Lately my musings on the people equation have turned to the human tendency to compare ourselves to one another. It must strike a chord with people because the blog posts have generated some lively discussion. See my posts on the effects of praise and how to “run your own race” to see the thread of the conversation. This theme continues with a random observation from my lunch hour today. . .
On my lunch hour walk, I passed by an architecturally lovely home in my neighborhood. The exterior of the garage faces the sidewalk and has two windows. When passing by the garage I noticed that the garage door was open, giving a glimpse into its interior. A quick peek inside (from a discreet distance, of course) revealed two beautifully constructed custom-made curtains hung above the windows on the inside of the garage. From the street side you can’t see the curtains, because the homeowners have installed mini-blinds for privacy. (To keep out prying nosy neighbors like me, I suppose.)
My first reaction was “Huh. Fancy curtains in a garage. That’s a bit over the top. You can’t even see them from the street.” As my walk progressed, my thinking evolved. Why should it matter if neighbors can see the curtains or not? If the homeowners want a nicely decorated garage interior, that’s certainly their prerogative.
Then, because I study human nature and simply can’t help myself, the thoughts continued to flow. I began to wonder (metaphorically speaking) how many of us have “curtains in our garage” and are judged harshly by those who are passing by? If the décor isn’t hurting anybody and it gives us satisfaction, why not have curtains in our garage?
Why not? A few thoughts come to mind:
- Other people will think me frivolous
- One time, someone told me I couldn’t afford curtains and now that’s become my reality
- I know I want curtains, but can’t seem to get off the dime to go buy some
- My garage doesn’t need (deserve) curtains
OK, so enough with the drapery theme. You get the idea. How can we as leaders, co-workers, friends and family encourage people to “decorate” their lives in a way that has meaning to them, regardless of whether or not the prying, judging passerbys approve?