It’s startling how quickly a long-standing tradition can suddenly disappear into the abyss of historic memories.
When I was young, it was not unusual to drive down the street and see laundry hanging outside in most every yard—soaking up the warm rays of sunshine as they dried in the fresh summer breeze. Some folks used a simple, straight clothesline connecting two trees while others chose a fancy, adjustable rotary apparatus. Either way the sun, wind and dozens of clothespins did the job very efficiently.
This fond memory brings to mind a Generational Gem that we should revisit as we face a business environment which, for the first time in history, employs members of four very different generations. How we view one another is critical to our success.
Consider this example:
A young couple moves into a new neighborhood.
One morning, over breakfast, the young wife notices her neighbor hanging the wash outside in a gentle breeze.
“Her laundry’s not very clean,” she said. “She either doesn’t know how to wash correctly or maybe she needs better laundry soap.” Her husband looked on, but remained silent.
Over the next few weeks, every time her neighbor would hang her wash on the clothesline the young woman would make the same critical comments.
About a month later, the woman was surprised to see a nice clean wash on the line and said to her husband: “Look, she has learned how to wash correctly. I wonder who taught her?”
The husband said, “I got up early this morning and cleaned our windows.”
And so it is with life. What we see when observing others depends on the purity of the window through which we look! A little patience, empathy, and understanding can certainly go a long way in providing a much clearer view!