Cleaning Your Looking Glass
There was this story that I always tell my seminar participants. It goes something like this.
There was a young couple who just got married recently. They moved to a new neighbourhood and bought a house with lots of glass windows. Every morning both of them would sit down for a nice breakfast while enjoying the nice scenery outside. Slightly to the right they could see their neighbour's backyard. In that house lives a very old lady who stayed thereby herself.
Every morning while having breakfast the couple could see how the old lady struggled to make it across the backyard from her back door. In her hand there was a cloth that she had washed by hand. As the old lady struggled to hang her washed cloth, they couple could see how dirty it was.
There were lots of dark and black spots scattered all over the wet cloth. So the wife started to make some remarks "I feel so sorry for the old lady, she must have been so weak that she can't even wash her cloth properly." The next day, the husband would make other remarks like "What kind of people that left their parent to live alone?"
This went on for about a month, not a single day went the couple could see a clean cloth being hanged by the old lady. Than one Sunday morning, the couple sat down for their normal breakfast. As usual they saw the old lady struggled to hang a white bed sheet. However, this time the bed sheet was as white as it can be. This caught the wife's attention and she remark " Wow the old lady must have had someone to clean her cloth today or she probably had used a stronger type of detergent!". The husband looked at his wife and said, "Actually I Woke up early this morning and scrubbed our glass window. It was full of stains and dirt spots"
There was nothing wrong with the old lady’s clothes. They had always been spotlessly clean after she washed it. The dirt and black spots were actually the ones on the glass window. This is a great story to remind ourselves about what we see and perceive are sometimes not what it's seen. Take our children for example. How many times have we labelled them as "inconsiderate"' "careless"' "naughty" or worse. How sure are we about those labels, only because were playing noisily, spilled the water, or scribbled on then living room walls? Have we stopped to analyse what were the real reasons behind those behaviours?
If our looking glass is clear, we would probably see a much more beautiful picture. Kids who are playing happily and noisily paint a picture of health and happiness. Those who spilled the water showed traits of independence and wanting to help. Those who scribbled on walls or any other surfaces are simply overflowing with creative juices that need to be shared with the world.
Therefore, we must ensure that our looking glass is cleaned daily, not weekly or monthly. We can start by performing our religious duty diligently. Haul the family together to multiply the cleaning power. Always be grateful with what we have, while stop worrying too much about things we haven't had yet. Take time to count our blessing every single day. List them down and awe ourselves about how lucky we are, having so many things that many people can only dream of.
These are like powerful detergent to cleanse our souls and purge out the dark spots in our hearts. They are so powerful that we will feel the effect instantly. Our minds will be erased of prejudice and hatred. In their places, we will Find love and peace. Our days will feel much brighter, much like enjoying the sunny scenery that we can see through a clear window. Our moods will instantly be lifted up to the highest level. We will find joy and happiness even in the most mundane of tasks. Our kids suddenly look like the little angels from heaven. Their smiles and laughter are God's gifts to our soul.
We suddenly can see beyond their antics and imperfections. What we will find is a beautifully clean and white canvass awaiting our masterpiece stroke. The brush is in our hand. Once we have cleaned our looking glass, we are now ready to paint the most beautiful picture in our world.
Zaid Mohamad is a Certified Parental Coach and the bestselling author of Smart Parents, Brighter Kids and Smart Parents, Richer Kids. Log on to www.SmartParents.com.my or write to him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Cleaning Your Looking Glass
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