Every Assumption Brings Us Further From Reality
A girl had two apples in her hand. Her mother came up to her and asked her daughter if she could give her an apple.
The girl quickly bit one and then the other. The mother felt her smile freeze and tried not to show how disappointed she was. Then the girl gave her one of the apples as she said, “Take it, mommy, this is the sweeter one of the two.”
This short story shows the consequences of assuming without having reason to do so. We can even end up judging a girl who, in her innocence and good will, handled her intentions in the most touching way possible.
Oftentimes what we perceive is not reality. In fact, our experience or knowledge really does not matter that much; we must not pass judgment and we always have to offer the other person the chance to explain themselves.
Jumping to conclusions condemns us
Jumping to conclusions about situations and the behavior of others brings with it a great risk of being let down. The truth is that in all life situations, those who hope are let down. But we live on hope, though, and we cannot escape from our expectations.
In this sense, jumping to conclusions can not only lead to isolated mistakes, but also cause real catastrophes in our relationships. This is what we often know as making a mountain out of a molehill.
Getting to this point depends on our implication with the subject, but above all else, it depends on our emotional state. Sometimes our feelings stop us from seeing the lack of proof that is blinding our judgment.
Since we know that this happens, it is positive for us to take some time to put things back in perspective once in a while. At the same time, we have to look at different sources of information, which will help us to value what is happening in the most just way possible.
The value of forgiveness
Sometimes we are too proud when we make mistakes and we are unfair with others. It is often difficult for us to recognize that our attitude was not right and that this was caused by our predisposition and our erroneous perceptions.
This not only leads to our losing relationships; it can also cause our prediction to be a self-fulfilling prophecy. In other words, if for example the mother in our story had gotten angry and scolded her daughter, one of the reactions that we may expect from the daughter could be for her not to give either of the apples to her mother.
Obviously this could also have countless explanations: the girl could have gotten angry, she could have frozen up, or she could have gotten extremely sad because of her mother’s false judgment. However, the reality that we can see is very different.
When we think ill of others and express it, we can end up blocking out all possible responses or explanations on the parts of those affected. In any case, the most serious direct consequence is not for this to end up confirming our ideas or hypothesis, but to make it difficult for us to take notice of our mistake and apologize.
But no, sometimes we are too proud and conceited for that and we fall into the trap of having hard feelings. How many times have we thought that we needed to apologize to someone and we have not done it? How many times have we expected an explanation or an apology from someone who hurt us with their assumptions?
Surely a great diversity of situations comes to our minds; in fact, we have probably lost a great deal of things because of our assumptions or the assumptions of others. So, the triumph of our pride rises up, along with a great loss for us.
The truth is that if we want, we can enter a truly parallel world at the margin of reality, but it is not worth it. Clearly trying to avoid these situations is something that we can choose only to a certain extent; however, making it happen is based on the premise of being fair and doing the right thing above all else, which is always the most desirable and enriching option.