Without a doubt, the most destructive trait in human nature is that of conceding to assumptions. Notice that even the descriptive verb (concede) paired with this word is in the negative context! But we have many other words linked to assumptions, such as falling to or jumping to assumptions. These words all describe some form of movement, change, or relocation from one place (or thought) to another.
Change is NOT always a negative thing! Without change, there could never be a progression from poor to better and then onto best. But change also can be, and more often than we might think, a very negative thing.
This very distinct possibility that a change in anything, whether it is thought, reason, understanding, or belief… only opens the door to the always present possibility that this change will prove to be both damaging and dangerous, and thus, prove to be our undoing.
In my opening sentence I stated what I believe to be the number one reason that we so easily fall into error… our propensity to assume.
Among the most tragic examples (plural) of erroneous assumptions comes from the ill-fated HMS Titanic, then the largest man-man object on earth! It sank on April 15, 1912, drowning 832 passengers and 685 crewmen in the frozen waters of the North Atlantic … while on it’s maiden voyage!
The designers and builders had constructed a true modern marvel, with specific features designed to make the ship unsinkable. That was the design. That was the plan. That was the assumption. But we know that the truth and outcome proved to be something horribly different. There was a ‘slight’ collision with an iceberg, a mere glancing blow, and hours later… the ‘impossible’ happened. She went to the bottom.
The builders assumed that what the designers told them was true, and build her according to that (flawed) design. The captain then believed the builders. The passengers in turn believed the captain. And tragically fifty-three young children perished that night assuming that their parents would somehow save them.
Assumptions can be both dangerous and deadly. Assumptions can readily derail (as they say) the best laid plans of mice and men. My first marriage is a prime example.
We were both nineteen. I understand that age alone is not always a prime requirement for marriage readiness. But maturity sure is! Maturity should give us a more healthy ability to reason properly and clearly.
Our parents saw beyond what our clouded eyes were capable of understanding, and they pleaded for us to wait! And so we did, for a full year. But alas, a year was not enough time for us to awaken from the dream we shared… and that dream was our assumption that what we felt for one another was true, real… LOVE.
It didn’t take long after the happy I do’s for us to awaken from our assumptions and begin walking in reality. We were forced to admit that we’d been totally wrong from the start! Neither of us really understood what LOVE actually is! We’d only been ‘playing house’ and playing it badly! This was not some he/she issue. The issue of assumptions was one thing we actually shared equally!
Assumptions can really hurt! They can hurt all of us.
Boys being boys as they are (Now THAT’S an assumption if there ever was one!) I’ve always liked dinosaurs. As a kid, the big question was, ‘What killed off the dinosaurs?’ Perhaps someday in the future, an alien craft will land on a barren and lifeless Earth, and they’ll ponder the questions, “What killed off all the inhabitants of this planet?” I know the answer! It will be assumptions that’ll be the end of us!
I know what you’re most probably thinking: Assumptions do have a possibility of being correct! And you are correct about that!
My point is that assumptions MUST BE thoroughly researched, dissected, studied and examined in minute detail. You’ve head it said that it’s better to be safe than sorry. I’m saying that assumptions have proven themselves over and over again to have the very real potential to contain hidden poisons which can both damage and destroy. It’s far better to be safe now… than to be sorry later.
~~~~~~~~~ Thanks for reading this! ~~~~~~~~~~~~