Don’t Assume

From time to time I get frustrated by statements that people make…statements that indicate they think everyone is like them, should be like them, shares their opinions, or fits in a little box of expectations.

One thing you can count on…in almost every group of people there is someone who belies definition, or doesn’t look at a specific issue the same way you do.  We think we know others, even those we have never met or engaged in much conversation.  We think those who disagree with us should be punished and subtlety look for ways to do it. 
Here is a list of assumptions I have experienced and have heard that I think poison our world. Assumptions that are not necessarily truth.  These assumptions have limited lives, made people less than they are, have kept people from their potential, and have been used to cultivate lies in brains.  They bring division and not unity.  They are the roots of a lot of evil, directed at ourselves and others.  Here are some thoughts, many learned the hard way.

Don’t assume that:

everyone wants to do the right thing.

the idea of who you think you are, is really all that you are.

because you believe something for a long time, it is right.

investing in negative things will produce positive results.

the majority should always rule.

how something looks is how something is.

because people follow you, doesn’t mean you are correct or a worthy leader.

because you have experienced the same thing as someone else, you know what they are going through.

what you hear on the news is always truth, or what you would have found significant had you been there.

you have to agree with those you love.

you know your own limits.

everything that is true, is right.

everyone who attends church, or belongs to a church, is a person of faith.

everyone who does not attend church is not a person of faith.

people who look you in the eye are telling you the truth.

you are limited by your age.

it is easy for everyone to attend a party.

you really understand what others think of you.

because someone laughs at your teasing, it doesn’t hurt them.

more money solves money problems.

you cannot be an athlete.

because you follow or do what you are told, doesn’t mean you haven’t made a decision.

all good people share the same faith.

people who have children, or teach children, like children.

those who flatter you, like you.

people’s reactions have anything to do with you.

schools breed learners.

people who do not have children, do not have children by choice…..or those who do have children want them.

everything that is legal, is moral, or everything illegal, immoral.

those who don’t want children don’t like children….or would be bad parents if they chose to have them.

retirement means you never work again.

your doctor can read your mind.

all single people have made the choice to be single, or all singles want to be married.

all married people would marry their spouse again if given a choice.

everyone thinks that the United States is the best country on earth.

someone’s sexuality can be determined by the way they talk, or by the way they look.

a marriage or family that looks good on the outside, is really good on the inside.

a marriage or family that looks bad on the outside is really bad on the inside.

everyone sees all the colors that you do.

all people of a particular race were raised the same, or hold the same values.

people who compliment you are telling the truth.

people who tell you that you look younger than your age really mean it, or those who guess your age are guessing the age they think really you are.

everyone is a team player.

those who say they will keep a secret will keep your confidence.

people who look happy, are really happy.

people who look mean are really mean.

anyone can ever stop prayer in schools.

Sunday is the Sabbath for all.

holding a job means you work.

just because it is in print, it is true and accurate.

everyone looks forward to holidays or wants to spend holidays with their family.

all who work on holidays are unhappy about it.

God says the same thing to each person, or expects everyone to believe or do the same things.

those who are in prison are guilty.

those who are declared innocent, are innocent.

freedoms should always be exercised.

quiet people are shy.

the advice of all parents is in the best interest of their child.

those who live in big houses are rich.

those who are homeless are poor.

where there is smoke there is fire.

cleanliness is really next to godliness.

everyone likes to receive gifts.

all pastors are Christians or have a closer relationship with God than you do.

those who profess to be atheists don’t hear the voice of God.

those who have pets love animals.

those who don’t have pets don’t love animals.

all lawyers are sleazy.

some lawyers aren’t sleazy.

all doctors have compassion and common sense.

everyone good at their job, likes their job.

they who cry loudest feel more.

you know the heart of someone you have never met, or even those you have.

those who appear healthy really are.

those who say they are sick are really sick.

age brings wisdom.

all members of a family are alike and live life the same way.

you can’t do something because you have never been able to do it before.

the fat lack willpower.

the thin are healthy.

bullying is limited to the playground.

your vote doesn’t count.

your vote counts.

treatment is available for addicts, even if they want it.

the words of an addict is truth, or that because they love you they won’t lie to you.

birthdays are significant to all people, or a celebration for all people.

today is the way it is always going to be.

the strong can’t be weak and the weak can’t be strong.

everyone has someone with whom to celebrate a holiday, birthday, or special event.

those who appear in control feel that way beneath their skin.

if someone tells you it doesn’t matter, it really doesn’t.

those who borrow money will ever pay you back.

your sacrifices will ever be appreciated.

our political or justice system will work fine without your attention.

because someone does not speak your language or is from a different culture, they don’t understand what you are going through.

celebrities are their image.

everyone sick has someone to hold their hand.

feelings tell you the truth.

people can read your mind.  Even those who love you.

you can read the mind of those that you know and/or love.

the movie is like the book.

you really are good at forming first impressions.

that God views you in the same way that people view you.

you have better things to do than sit on a jury.

people will tell you what they really think.

someone else’s opinion of you is correct, whoever they might be.

someone else’s opinion of you is wrong, even if it is different than you have always been told.

because you sing and people applaud, you are good at it.

the highly educated are smart, or those with no education are dumb.

there is much value in having cake if you can’t eat it.

people owe you their secrets.

you have the moral right to speculate on the private lives of others.

it is true, unless they have told you it is true.

everyone has been the guest of honor at a party.

it is true because they told you it was.

you are too old or too young to help someone else.

that the biggest winner is the one who takes home the trophy or has the highest score.

how old you are has anything to do with your age.

hurting someone who has hurt you, damages them more than you.

attending the same event produces the same experience.

childish behavior is limited to children.

the weather report is accurate.

life is fair.

“I love you” means the same thing to everyone.

you have done anything that God was not aware of or cannot forgive.

how you live your life doesn’t matter.

you are the center of the universe.

you are not important.

Assume little.  New opportunities and a bigger world of possibilities open to you when the door to your mind has not been shut.  Remove the deadbolt.  Don’t be part of the lynch mob. Think before you speak.  Look at the finish line before you join the race.  Forgive and forget. Notice you don’t exist in a bubble.  And sometimes admit you are wrong.

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