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Blinded By Assumptions

In our daily lives, we navigate through a multitude of assumptions. Though often subconscious, they shape our understanding of the world and influence our interactions. Nestled within our assumptions lies the potential for misunderstanding, missed opportunities, and even injustice. It is in challenging these assumptions that we uncover a profound opportunity for growth, empathy, and deeper connections.

Let me take you on a journey through a seemingly ordinary trip to the grocery store, where an unexpected encounter challenges my assumption.  As I maneuvered through the aisles, I stopped and scanned the shelf looking for a particular product.  It was then I suddenly felt a gentle but unmistakable collision of a cart bumping into me. Startled I turned around to find a blind man standing before me. For a moment, I hesitated, unsure of how to react. But before I could utter a word, he swiftly continued on his way without saying a word.

At that moment, my assumptions about civility, manners, and social discourse were laid bare by the silence of the blind man. I had assumed that if someone bumped into me, they would apologize or at least acknowledge the incident. His lack of response forced me to confront the limitations of my perspective.  He may not have even known he bumped into another person vs simply a grocery cart or stack of boxes. He also might have been hearing impaired.

This encounter serves as a poignant analogy for the importance of challenging our assumptions in all aspects of life. Just as the blind man's silence forced me to reevaluate my expectations, so too should we actively question the assumptions that govern our thoughts, beliefs, and actions.

At its core, challenging assumptions requires a willingness to embrace discomfort and uncertainty. It demands that we resist the temptation to cling to familiar narratives and instead remain open to the possibility of alternative truths. Yet, it is precisely through this discomfort that we pave the way for personal and collective growth.

Moreover, challenging assumptions is not merely an intellectual exercise—it is a fundamental act of empathy.  All too often, our assumptions serve as barriers, separating us from those whose perspectives diverge from our own.  By questioning our assumptions, we are compelled to acknowledge that our understanding of the world is far from complete.  In doing so, we find the true essence of growth, empathy, and human connection.

Questions To Consider

  • What assumptions do you hold that are ready to be questioned?

  • When has an assumption you held kept you from connecting with someone?

  • When have you acted impatiently or impulsively based on an inaccurate assumption?


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