The Neighbors

    Jeevan Sivasubramaniam Posted by Jeevan Sivasubramaniam, Managing Director, Editorial, Berrett-Koehler Publishers Inc.

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    The Neighbors


    A young couple moves into a new neighborhood. The next morning while they are eating breakfast, the young woman glances outside their kitchen window and sees her neighbor hanging the wash outside. "That laundry is not very clean -- it looks spotty and dirty, still. Maybe she needs better detergent." Her husband looks on, remaining silent. And so it goes almost every week for a month -- the neighbor hangs her laundry out to dry and the young woman makes the same comment about how filthy her laundry still looks.

    One day, however, the young woman looks at the laundry being hung and says, "Wow, today her laundry is actually clean and spotless -- she must have found a new detergent." She then looks at her husband and asks, "What do you think made her finally realize?"

    The husband does not look up from his morning cereal but simply says, "I have no clue. All I know is that today I got up early and cleaned our windows."

    Moral of the Story: When we observe others, we must always be aware that the lens through which we watch and judge them may be stained by our own presumptions and biases.

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