Being A Woman, Social Stigma

Can A Daughter-In-Law Expect Gratitude Or Its Her Duty?

Shikha was happy in her joint family where everything revolved around her. She was single-handedly managing all the tasks both inside and outside, from paying bills to helping with homework, taking her in-laws to doctors and almost everything which you expect from normal an Indian Bahu. Perfect indeed!

Her mother in law had become completely bedridden a few years back after her marriage. Her husband was the only son and was responsible for taking care of their old parents. She had never discriminated between her parents and her in-laws.

Shikha had to leave her job when her MIL got paralyzed and was completely bed-ridden. Her life revolved around her paralyzed mother in law, ageing father in law and two growing children with a busy husband. Her husband had a travelling job so she had no other option but to take complete charge. She was well educated, sweet, fun loving and had always believed in putting in an effort to make her relations better and smooth.

It was a daunting task for her to take care of someone who was completely bedridden. Even though she had appointed a nurse to help her MIL, one needed to check on her too. In between giving her medicines, food as directed, washing her clothes, she was working all day long without any breaks. She knew her MIL was not able to lift her lower back but she had not lost her memory and senses. She was completely fine mentally and verbally!

Shikha was doing her best to ease her. And managing all alone an entire family was not smooth. From early morning till night, every day and every second, she had a timetable to follow. She had never expected that she should move out of from this house or wished someone else could take care of her MIL. The only one thing she was missing, “Just a few words of appreciation from those who are her family and for those she had killed ME”.

Even though her mother-in-law was not well physically, she had never uttered a single word to say thanks or a word of appreciation for her. Forget about gratitude that she was indeed doing a good job and was able to manage so well all alone. For them, it was her duty and those who do their duties should not ask for Gratitude.

Really? But is this logic really logical? What will happen if her in-laws or the husband expressed a little gratitude towards her? Everyone does their duty but if someone thinks that gratitude and duty are opposite poles then one must think to change it around. Does expressing gratitude towards someone affect your EGO?

I know it happens many times when our domestic help, could be a maid, car washer, gardener does their duty – and if you ask them to do some favors, in terms of change of timings or little extra work, for which they might get paid off too, and you end up adding a small thank you, it makes a lot of difference.

A big smile, sense of motivation and a feeling that EGOs are not there in between the rich and poor or the big and small – makes all the difference! We do respect each other’s work and see no dominance as a payer and receiver!

I understand society is made in a manner that most of the times, younger ones are supposed to do all work for elders. It’s completely OKAY, but do elders feel the need to thank them sometimes? Everyone is busy now and trying hard to satisfy all their near and dear ones.

It happens generally when you look for an auto or taxi and they refuse to go – and there are few who don’t want to know where you want to go – they just say YES. Can we just add a small THANK YOU to them so that they feel elated and a general feel-good factor prevails?

Why does GRATITUDE have demarcated lines between the Big and small, Rich and poor, Elder and younger, Owner and servant and DIL and In-laws?

Can we remove that thin line and add a smile with thanks to people around us? Indeed it will not make any difference in our status and but will just add some value as a human being when we leave our Egos behind, and make an effort spread love and respect.

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