When you think about your life does it look and feel how you would like it to? Are there areas of your life that are a little neglected or that have fallen into a state of disrepair? Are there relationships that you feel don’t receive the attention that they should do? Is your body not feeling as nurtured as you would like it to? Maybe it’s time to pay attention to this, as it’s so often the little things that count. In this blog, we’re going to look at how neglecting the small things in your life, the broken windows, can lead to bigger problems down the line and how a criminological theory can help you avoid this from happening.
The Broken Windows Theory
This criminological theory was first introduced by J Wilson and G Kelling in 1982 and the basis of the theory is that disorder and incivility within a community lead to subsequent occurrences of serious crime. Therefore, by dealing with the lower levels of crime (the disorder and civility) you reduce the levels of serious crime. This theory was popularised by Mayor Rudi Giuliani and it became his mantra after he was elected in 1993.
To me, this translates perfectly into our lives and how when we don’t deal with the lower level stuff it can lead onto much bigger issues. G Kelling wrote this about the theory ‘ the idea is that once disorder begins, it doesn’t matter what the neighbourhood is, things can begin to get out of control…. Once you begin to deal with the small problems in neighbourhoods you begin to empower those neighbourhoods’.
How it translates into life..
If you replace the word neighbourhoods with the word life then it begins to make sense. Things tend to spread whether they are good or bad. You could liken it to the garden if you leave the weeds untended they can spread but they can take over the garden. This is the same in life and it can be anything from your mind-set, to your physical health.
It’s so much easier to address things when they are at a lower level, but often times when we are busy or if it’s something that we’re not so keen on, then we can let go of these little things and then they grow into much bigger things.
Broken windows can be a clue
When you start noticing the broken windows in your life such as rushing out of the house without making your bed, or not having the energy to go to your Zumba class on a regular basis, etc etc it can be a sign of bigger things going on in your life. Often dealing with the broken windows can be the catalyst that resets the balance or it can help you to identify if there is a more fundamental issue.
What are the broken windows in your life?
Where do they appear in your life? It’s the small stuff that can turn into the bigger stuff. I know for me I need to do a bit of a declutter because every day I feel like I am just moving things around so to me that means I need to ‘weed-out’ and get rid of some things. On a more internal level, I need to drink more water. Sounds like such an easy thing to do but sometimes for me the easier a thing is to do the more resistance I feel about doing it. I’ll be covering resistance in an upcoming blog so if that’s something that you come across too then be sure to keep your eye out.
So I’d love to hear what you think about the broken windows theory and if you have any broken windows in your life?