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It’s the easiest thing in the world to be a critic, a judge, moderator and authority over our neighbors. We all do it and we are all guilty of getting trapped by our self-righteous attitudes. I read this story recently and it has a great lesson for us all.
One day a family moved into a new house in a new neighborhood. The next morning as they ate breakfast, they see their neighbor hanging laundry out on the line to dry. The woman looking out the window says to her family, “her laundry isn't very clean, she must not know how to wash her family’s clothes correctly. I think she needs better laundry soap.”
Her husband and children continue eating their breakfast and chatting among themselves.
For the next several weeks every time her neighbor hung her laundry out to dry, the woman made similar comments to her family. About a month goes by and she was surprised to see nice and clean laundry hanging on the line outside in the neighbor's yard. She gleefully chirps to her family: “Look! She has finally figured out how to wash her clothes and get them clean! Do you think someone taught her how or she got new laundry soap? I wonder…….”
Her husband replied to her, “No I don’t think that’s what happened, you see the kids and I got up very early this morning and washed our windows.”
And so it is with life, what we see when we judge others depends on the clarity of the window through which we look. Are your windows clean?
If you find yourself judging another, you can stop yourself and instead just assume everybody is doing the best they can. It’s smart and helpful to share when you’ve judged someone unfairly too; it can spark great conversations for all of us to stop and think before we judge.