Thursday, August 31, 2006

Dreaming Big

They are the people who make our lives easier. They cook for us, clean our houses, watch our children, mind our small businesses and do all of those small and not so small things that we luckier ones consider the minutiae of life. They live with us, eat with us and share our lives but how much do we really know them?

Most of them are relatively young, unsophisticated and naive . They leave their homes hoping to better themselves, find a decent job, get an education and help themselves and their families find their way out of the grinding poverty that has been their lot in life. In many ways, they are a subculture in our society, a large but amorphous group whose presence is tolerated but largely ignored.

We call them by many names. But call them yayas, housemaids, helpers or, more generously, household companions, they all have one thing in common; the desire to escape from a world of not of their own making, a world of no opportunities and, therefore, no hope.

The luckier ones, if you can call them lucky, who are able to go abroad and serve foreigners are called modern day heroes by the government. But for those coming home in boxes or who end up physically and mentally maimed for life, the price of heroism can be very steep. And what about those who are here with us?

We may wonder what they really think about when they reflect on the drudgery and tedium of their lives. What do they really dream and long for? Or better yet, ask yourself the question; do they have the luxury to dream at all?

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