Saturday, November 7, 2015

Live and Learn--Don't assume

I was thinking about the title of my blog last night and how we learn throughout our entire lives. I thought I'd start sharing some of the things I've learned through living. I think you'll find most of these lessons are not unique to me, but things we all figure out one way or another.

The first: "Don't assume you know what others are thinking."

We observe others and from their actions, we assume we know what they're thinking. The problem is that we bring our perspective to the situation which can be different from that of the other person. Sometimes, this leads us to the wrong conclusion. This happens even in what seems to be the most obvious of situations (especially with kids).
An applesauce-lovin' Wally
(with wild hair)

Here's an example:

When Wally was a toddler, he loved yogurt and applesauce mixed together. We'd give him a bowl and he would quickly gobble it down. I was happy that he enjoyed this healthful snack. A recent conversation with an adult Wally, however, revealed that all was not as it seemed. It turns out that Wally liked applesauce but not yogurt so much. He kept eating because he was trying to see where the applesauce went. He said he was always disappointed because he never found it.

Wow. That was a surprise. I had never thought about the concept of mixing and when kids learn that. I just thought he liked applesauce mixed with yogurt. I was wrong.

This example helps me think twice before I judge what others say and do. When someone says or does something that I don't understand, I try to remember that maybe there's something going on that I don't know.

Have you ever been surprised when you learned the background behind what someone has said or done?