Change the Perception: Wipe your windows clean

Posted Thursday, January 31st, 2013. Filed Under Voices of wisdom

This story was shared with me through an email and I loved the underlying message.

An older man and women lived in a house for many years. Their neighbour moved away and a younger family moved in. The women of the neighbouring house would wash the family clothes and hang them on the line. Looking out the window the older women would comment to her husband, “Look at the clothes on the line, they are dirty. Someone needs to teach this women how to wash clothes.” This went on for a few weeks.

One day as the woman neighbour was hanging her clothes, the husband of the older woman disappeared for a few minutes and then came back into the house. The older woman looked out and noticed the clothes on the line were clean looking. She commented to her husband how someone must have said something or showed her how to properly clean her clothes. What really happened was the husband of this older woman went outside and wiped the windows of their house so she could clearly see through them.

What does this story say to me? Perception. Shifting perspective can be as simple as “wiping your windows” or frames of reference to see thing differently. The only thing that changed with the woman who washed and hung her clothes, was that the person judging needed to clear her windows. We judge people through our own points of reference/windows and call them wrong when in fact the issue often lies with us.

I am working on making changes in our workplace, universities and education system as a whole, the way employers perceive the hiring process and potential candidates. Perhaps the time has come for our systems to “wipe their windows” and begin to see something a little different. It is time to look at our systems and procedures and see what is working and what is not; what is relevant for today. It can be as subtle as the old man who went outside and wiped the windows of their home for his wife to see things differently. This is no longer about ego. It is about bringing change and having everyone part of it – not taking down one person to lift another.

I will remember this story forever. I will ask myself, do I need to wipe my windows? Am I being judging. Sometimes I may and this will require me to step back. Other times it will be the other person who needs to wipe their windows and see things differently. Then I want to neutralize the impact of this, knowing it is their issue, not mine.

This weekend as you go about your days, look around and ask yourself, do I need to wipe my windows? Am I being judging? Am I being judged? How can I neutralize this impact?

You only hand your power away when you let it happen.

I want to wish everyone a wonderful February weekend!

All my love,


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