Things are not (always) what they seem

<August 6/14> No kidding, eh??

It’s amazing how quickly we humans can jump to conclusions. & judgments. Think we can read someone else’s mind … intentions … know what they are thinking.

Two things this morning got me onto this.

First was when someone asked me if I’d been on my way to the yacht club when she’d seen me the other evening, walking down by the lake. I guess I may often look “dressed up” in the summer, simply because I own a lot of great dresses (all either bought for me by a to-die-for friend who delights in finding clothes for me, the woman who never shops, or hand-me-downs from friends). When it’s really hot, I’d always rather be in a dress than anything else, as they’re the coolest thing to wear in the heat. So I sometimes look “dressed-up” on even the most casual of occasions.

But me & yacht club? I am sooooo not a yacht club kind of a gal.

2nd thing was when I was out on my bike & came across the path being blocked by 1 person & 2 bikes. Could have become annoyed quickly, but soon enough saw that a young person had pretty obviously fallen off his bike, & was over to the side of the path being comforted by … an older man, his father, perhaps? (Didn’t want to jump to conclusions & assume it was Dad.)

I am wondering if we jump to conclusions/judgments so fast, so automatically, we don’t even realize we're doing it.

This I do know. We cannot tell what another person is thinking unless s/he tells us. We cannot read minds (not we ordinary mortals, anyway), or know what others believe, just by looking at them.

Had a recent sort of “set-to” with someone who made a big leap in thinking he knew what lay behind a certain remark I had made on a certain occasion, & he was half a continent away in his assumption. Just not even close.

& now, I am reminded of one of the most helpful books I have ever come across (thanks, Brenda!!).

The Four Agreements, by Don Miguel Ruiz.

The 4 agreements he lays out are:

  • Be impeccable with your word
  • Don’t take anything personally
  • Don’t make assumptions
  • Always do your best.

 

He is not exaggerating at all when he claims these can change your life – or even that one alone (the one about assumptions) can do so.

Wildly helpful book. No kidding.

Or so it has been in my own little life.

Janet

‘Quote of the day’ with this post: “It reminded me of talking, how what is said is never quite what was thought, and what is heard is never quite what was said. It wasn’t much in the way of comfort, but everything has a little failure in it, and we still make do somehow.” – The Yellow Birds, by Kevin Powers <pg 225>