Two Words

7 May

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My sister and I have taken on board two simple words that we like to live by, and remind each other of. It is a very simple term but it can have little or huge ramifications if we don’t live by those words. I do not remember how we got the idea or when; but I do know it came from a moment a few years ago where we knew we needed to take it on board in our everyday living.

Those two words are “Never Assume”

You may not think it’s as strikingly wise as the build up caused it to be, then again, don’t assume it isn’t!

The meaning of assume is – “suppose to be the case, without proof”. It is also a verb, which is an action on our behalf.

I don’t think I could sum it up any better. The key word is “suppose”, not actually the case. The other is “without proof”, to accept something as fact without knowing if it may or may not be true.

The reason why I share this now is because I truly believe more people need to take this on board. Because I have this as one of my mandates, doesn’t mean I’m not prone to assuming; in fact, I still do it, it’s human nature. However, it give me and my sister the awareness of when we assume if we can pick it up.

Why is assuming damaging?

1. It limits communication.

When one accepts something as a fact from a source other than the actual source, we don’t clarify because we have already taken something on board as fact, whether it may or may not be true. A small example is, I’ll assume my sister is cooking dinner tonight, therefore I don’t need to worry about it; so I’ll just let it be. A few hours later. my sister comes in to the door and through no fault of hers, ask why dinner hasn’t been cooked. It is because of my assumption that I delayed the process of communication.

2. It can mean accepting something false as true.

The perfect example for this is gossip. As people indulge in gossip, it can create a false impression of someone. This is very damaging to relationships, reputations and thoughts of people. Assuming means to accept something without clarification and without this, it is too easy to believe something that is fake; when there is actual a perfectly logical and reasonable explanation to whatever it is that has been spoken about.

3. It can very easily be wrong

This is the biggest key to our mandate of “Never Assume”, if we do, we can so easily be wrong about whatever assumption we have made and it makes an ass out of u and me (Take away the words ‘out’ ‘of’ ‘and’, you get the word Assume). It causes decisions, thoughts and behaviors to run on assumptions that are potentially wrong and could cause damage in aspects of our lives. Never assume as there is always context, always reasoning; context that influence behaviors, thoughts, and bible verses. Out of context, it can sound ridiculous or horrible; but within context make complete sense. Discover the context, discover the reason, discover the true action/fact.

It is even more crucial now that we don’t fall in the trap of making assumptions because we are more connected than ever yet more detached. Mainly due to social media, we have access to statuses, tweets and so on that give us shallow ideas of what a person thinks, feels or does. People can easily create a whole idea of who someone is based on their social media activity. It has a profound influence on the impression one gets (which is why we need to be aware of what we do on social media) but it also stops people from truly getting to know a person. Take the time to speak to them, get to know their personality, their heart, their dreams and such. This is where you build fantastic relationships (or know who to avoid!). Go beyond assumptions and discover reality.

 

How do we avoid making assumptions?

1. Ask

Get to the source. We have a mouth and a brain, it is not difficult. Out of care, concern and love, speak to the person/people involved if it’s gossip or talk about them. Speak to God if you have a question or issue about the Bible. Speak to the leadership, mentors if you have a problem as a servant. Ask, question, clarify and chances are you’ll get the facts right. If not, you’ll be in a better position to make an accurate assumption. There are always two sides to the story!

2. Remind yourself

This is a regular check because again, assuming is human nature. We often have to correct ourselves to not make assumptions. It’s a process of developing habitual thinking to ensure we have our facts right and that we are not accepting mere assumptions.

3. Look at your sources

Where are you getting information from? The actual source or 2nd, 3rd, 4th hand source? information become tweaked and tinkered with because people have incorporated it with their own ‘information’ (whether it’s right or wrong) and passed it on. What is the motivation behind the source. i.e. the person sharing gossip. Do they despise the person? Are they good friends with the person? Were they wronged according to the person? Motivation can harshly change the word a person speaks through.

This is an incredibly simple mandate to take upon in your life but one that many people fail to realize. I truly hope we can have more people ensuring others and themselves to not make assumptions, just like my sister reminds me to not assume when I subconsciously do. Ask, clarify, go to the source.There is too much unnecessary talk and/or gossip that brings hurt, pain to others that could have been prevented or creates false impressions of people and ideas.

NEVER. ASSUME.

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One Response to “Two Words”

  1. Gabriel Kwok May 7, 2014 at 11:17 pm #

    …ande have made and it makes an ass out of u and me’ haha. LOVE IT!!

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