Let’s take a minute before we judge

Like many fathers and mothers in Kampala, I was saddened to hear and see the footage of the maid abusing a young child. I have heard many people make comments about it generally. I was also told how many women are making up their minds to send the maids away and stay home themselves to look after the children. For some that was a comment made in the heat of the moment.

Others, however, are serious. A friend told me of her friend who two days after watching the video actually kindly asked her maid to leave, thanking her for her services and saying for the time being she no longer required her help and would call her back if a need arose.

There is nothing wrong with deciding to be your child’s only caretaker. But there is everything wrong in terminating the services of an employee, based solely on what you have seen on a video on social media. As employees, would any of us be okay with that? If your employer walked to you and said: “Look, we have been happy with your work so far. But we have decided we do not quite need your position right now. So we would like you to leave at the end of the week. If however, we feel that we need you back, we will get in touch,” would you find that fair? I am sure none of us would. Some would even sue! The labour laws do not allow for an employer to sack you just because they feel like it. There must be good reason.

As a society, this shows how quick we are to judge. If you sack your maid, not on the basis or evidence of bad things she has been doing, but because of something you have seen or heard elsewhere, about what other maids do, you are judging harshly, emotionally and recklessly.

This is why I hold in high esteem the position of judges in court. These men and women have got to do their homework thoroughly before they can pass on a sentence. And the good ones, after having gone through every document, looked at previous cases and consulted fellow judges, will issue what they believe is a fair judgment. And this brings me to my second point.

When I saw the maid beating the girl, I remember thinking that she (the maid) was very calm. She was not shouting, breathing heavily (as people do when they are in a rage), or throwing stuff at the girl.
She was beating her like it is the most normal thing to do. And it got me thinking that for this maid, it is likely that violence is a way of life. It is likely that all her life as a child, this maid was beaten up by her parents or guardians or perhaps by a boyfriend or partner and now she believes it is the only way to get people to do what.

I have read, seen and watched a number of cases of violent people and 99 per cent of the time, that violence has been born, nurtured and grown by another person in their lives. So they turn to it because it is the only thing they know.

They too need help
Does this then explain the maid’s behaviour? Not entirely. But it shows she needs help. I firmly believe that people, who beat those in their care, should serve time when apprehended but they should also receive psychological. As hard as it is to write, even playboys, men and women who go around sleeping with hundreds of people and breaking hearts, rapists, and child molesters need help.

That evil does not just appear from nowhere. It is born by a terrible and hurtful thing done to them, and worse still, they have no one to help them out of it. The criminals should definitely be jailed and serve their sentences.

But even as they do so, they should be receiving help because if they do not, once they come out, they will go back to doing the thing they were jailed for. Because while everyone “told” them what they did was wrong, no one “showed” them why it was wrong.

Helping every violent person out there might seem like an insurmountable task. But for as long as we do not seek the root cause of the issues, the problem will continue unabated.

cbeyanga@ug.nationmedia.com

SOURCE: Daily Monitor

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