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"Don’t Jump to Conclusions"

Post on: March 12, 2024

“Dad, the trees are moving behind us!” cried the 20-year-old youth. The father smiled at his son and patted him on the shoulder. The duo were travelling on a train.

A group of executives sitting opposite them looked at the youth with pity and felt sorry for the youth’s childish behaviour.

Suddenly, the young man sprang from his seat and exclaimed, “Wow, the clouds are running after us – It’s so thrilling, dad.”

The man was elated by his son’s behaviour and hugged him.

At this juncture, the executives approached the father and said, “Why don’t you take your son to see a good doctor?”

The man replied, “Well, I did and we are returning from the eye centre. My son was blind from birth and he just got his vision today.”

Their erroneous assessment and jumping to conclusions humbled the executives. They apologised to the man for their indiscretion.

We tend to jump to conclusions and have the habit of being critical of others, taking a holier-than-thou stance as we go about our daily activities. The story shows how the frown-upon behaviour of a childish youth suddenly became acceptable after realising the correct narrative.

5 reasons why we should not jump to conclusions:

  1. Our judgement may be flawed

There are instances whereby we jump to conclusions by merely making inferences from our perspective. For example, at a supermarket, we witness a 5-year-old boy throwing a tantrum and kicking his mother while screaming at the top of his lungs. We tend to judge the mother and deem her a failure for poor upbringing, without realising that there may be more to it than meets the eye.

  1. We cannot appreciate what others are going through if we are myopic in our view

By taking the above supermarket example, what if she is your personal friend and you know the reason behind the incident at the supermarket? You will feel pity for her for managing a son with “special needs” while struggling to buy the household groceries. And at the same time, she has to take care of a bedridden parent at home.

  1. What we focus on, festers in our minds

When we emphasise someone’s shortcoming, however small it may be, it soon amplifies. We will eventually perceive it as a big flaw in the person.

  1. Live and let live

We cannot assume that everyone lives up to the high standard we set for ourselves. Who are we to impose our views on others? In my travels, I’ve noticed that in some cultures, people are very polite. They thanked me earnestly whenever I did them a favour. However, in other societies, I am not verbally thanked for the same help I render. To the locals in these countries, helping others is a norm; it does not warrant a verbalised appreciation though they are grateful for my help. Experience has taught me that both behaviours are acceptable — tolerance and understanding of others are the keywords.

  1. Do not judge a book by its cover –

It is an idiom that we are familiar with and one which resonates so deeply — we should not form an opinion on someone based on what is seen on the surface. When we delve into the subject, it may be different from what was expected.

As you think, so you become – it is innate of us to interpret things and jump to conclusions. Let us be more discerning and not decide based on insufficient information. There is a proverb which can be interpreted like this: “What is seen can be false, what is heard can also be false; the truth emerges only from proper investigation.”

By: Shaji Thomas Varughese 

#JollyGoodTimes #Don’tJumpToConclusions #ShajiThomasVarughese ;


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