I had my windscreen washed again the other day. And as I stopped at the lights and admired the agility of this humble man dancing between the cars on Northbourne Avenue, I thought of the lessons he is teaching all of us, if only we are open enough to stop and realise.
Each day at the lights washing windscreens for example you might not consider him a business man. But that’s exactly what he is. Talk about committed, he’s out there in almost every type of weather. The freezing cold right through to the stinking hot days that are this city. And he’s probably earning more per hour than most, with very few overheads. Now that’s smart. And simple. Sometimes it pays to keep things simple.
But even more than the simplicity of his business I am struck by the way he mirrors back to us our own version of humanity. Some people are uncomfortable with a man washing windows on one of the busiest corners in the city centre. Even to the extent of hurling abuse and condemnation. And then there are others who see a fellow human being, acknowledging him with a smile as they agree to the wash or not. I know who I’d rather be around.
Isn’t it interesting how the same situation, the same person can cause such different responses? I’ve come to the conclusion that it really all boils down to our beliefs about what’s right and the judgements we attach. It’s simple really. The more tolerant and accepting we are, the happier we are. Because when we live like this, there’s very little to get worked up about really.
One of the greatest gifts you can give yourself and others is to learn acceptance. Of other people, of other beliefs, of other situations. So the next time you find yourself in a situation that rattles your cage, just take a moment to find out what the lesson in it is for you.
Are you locked into the habit of easy judgement? After all, does it really matter?
How much better could life be if you responded differently?