This story is an embarrassing confession.
When I was 14, I thought I knew how to drive a car. For some reason, I also thought that it was a good idea to sneak out of the house in my parent’s car and drive to go pick up friends. This was obviously a very bad idea.
One day in particular, I remember having a car full of friends as we approached an intersection. Remember, I’m only 14 and haven’t ever been to driver’s ed. I had no official instruction on how to drive a car.
As we approach the light in the left turn lane, the light turned green. Green means go. So I went. I turned left, full speed ahead. Right at that moment, a station wagon came screeching though the intersection swerving to miss us.
It scared us to death.
We thought, That crazy lady must not have been paying any attention at all. Clearly, we had a green light. Whew. That was a close one. (The other driver was fine, thank goodness. She kept control and didn’t wreck)
Sadly, it wasn’t until a year later, in driver’s ed, I realized I could have killed my friends and a poor woman I’d never met.
All that time, I assumed it was my turn. I assumed because the light was green I could turn left. I assumed the other driver was at fault.
I assumed, until I learned the rules of driving.
Then I realized that green doesn’t always mean go. Sometimes it means yield. Oops.
Today, I’d like to invite you to think about some of your assumptions.
We all have them.
We assume the person who just cut us off saw us and did it on purpose. We assume our friend screened our call. We assume the woman in the killer heals is as confident on the inside as she looks on the outside. We assume the teacher is just in a crabby mood. We assume a 20% tip is enough.
We assume the person who made our shirt is being paid a fair wage and has good working conditions. We assume the food we eat is safe for our bodies.
Sometimes it’s easier to make an assumption and move on, than it is to take time to find out what’s really going on.
What have you assumed already today?
What might change if you looked a little closer, learned a little more?
You might learn that the person who cut you off was a little old lady, struggling to keep her independence, because if she loses her license she has to live in a government facility. Your friend was right in the middle of a huge fight with her husband and can’t find the nerve to call back. The woman in the killer heals is fighting a daily battle to prove she’s enough. The teacher woke up this morning, to her second miscarriage. The server needed five more dollars to make rent tomorrow.
It’s certainly easier to assume, than it is to care enough to find out.
When we assume, it keeps us from feeling responsible to do something about it. We’re off the hook.
Look a little closer today.
What are you making assumptions about?
Take a second look. Find out what’s really going on. Read between the lines. Make room in your crammed schedule.
Learn a little more. Give a little more.
Make one choice today that’s not based on an assumption.
To more love!