Some years ago we lived in a home with a laundry shoot. I loved it!! The shoot itself was little more than a hole in the floor of the master bedroom closet that dropped directly into a cupboard above the washing machine. The washer and dryer themselves were located behind bi-fold closet doors in our family room. It wasn’t ideal, but with a baby, having the laundry close at hand was, at least, practical.
One afternoon we were enjoying a visit from our extended family when it came time to switch the laundry loads. I emptied the dryer, moved clothes from the washer into the dryer, opened the cupboard above the machines and loaded the dirty laundry into the washing machine. When all was said and done, I turned around to find everyone staring at me. Each and every one of my visitors was wearing an identical look of confusion. Finally, my young cousin asked, “Why do you keep your dirty laundry in a cupboard above your washing machine?”
What made perfect sense to me – a person with a perfect understanding of the entire situation – appeared nothing short of bizarre to my family members looking on. In their minds, I had taken the time to transfer my dirty laundry into a cupboard above my washing machine. Obviously I had done no such thing, but the available evidence lead to an understandable, and entirely incorrect, conclusion.
Please, please, PLEASE remember this the next time you are about to draw a conclusion or judge another harshly. When we see a parent who appears to be pandering to a naughty child, we don’t know. When we see a mom lose it for something totally minor, we don’t know. When the teacher deals harshly, we don’t know. When a husband comes across as unsympathetic, we don’t know. When the neighbor lives in a mess we could never abide, we don’t know.
As outsiders, we lack that perfect understanding. So, if you’re going to assume, assume the best of people. If you’re going to judge, judge kindly. If a situation appears alarming, take the time to gain the necessary perspective prior to forming conclusions. What looks completely crazy to you, might actually be a cleverly disguised laundry shoot.