the things i write apply to myself more than anything, reallyPosted: August 26, 2009
About a few weeks ago, I made the somewhat bold statement that assumptions were mucking up the world.
I’m pretty sure the verbatim of it all involved a greater deal of profanity and the egregious use of the word “shit”, the phrases “fucked up” and “you know?” as well as the occasional tangent to “words that are fun to say” (among those, irrevocably, quasimodo, and hullabaloo). There was banter exchanged on how assumptions lead to misunderstandings which eventually lead to world conflict, which of course, leads to various degrees of a kinda-messed up world. The most distinct example I can remember was an oversimplified, most likely sort of offensive interpretation of the conflict in Israel, (very controversial, very touchy subject), tracing the roots of it to assumptions both groups made. Needless to say, I was both trying to be both incredibly stupid as well as at least a little bit insightful on the machinations of the world, and I’d hoped there was some degree of merit in what I was saying.
Probably the worst mistake someone can make is assuming everything is absolutely, perfectly normal, that everything will go perfectly, absolutely, according to plan. And this happens a lot. A few months ago, I was accused of a crime I didn’t commit. I expected, nay, I assumed that day to be over within eight hours from when I woke up, and, within nine, I would be taking some sort of nap. Things like Google Maps are freakishly useful, but as any savvy person knows, assuming that the twenty-three-minute-and-five-second route that the computer told you will take twenty-three-minute-and-five-seconds is a pretty bad idea. Sure, you can get there sooner, but you can sure as hell get to wherever you’re going an hour late. Here’s something else to consider. The mind is a sick son of a bitch, and I mean that in the best way possible. The parts of it you don’t control like to play tricks on you: hearing your name when it hasn’t been spoken, seeing a friend in someone that you don’t even know; and that is one of the main factors in the wondrous unpredictability of life. You see the traits of a close friend in a complete stranger, perhaps the hair color, tiny little idiosyncratic inflections in voice or expression or even personality if you manage to speak to the stranger, and this tells you to try and get to know them. Either way, you’ve met someone new that you otherwise wouldn’t, incited only by a tiny spark in your mind that tells you, “Why not? Looks like someone decent enough.” You assume that they’d be at least a little similar to the person they so remind you of, only to be proven so happily right or so dreadfully wrong. And there lay the crux in my neat little package of why assumptions are pretty much a hassle; though most often you’d be disproven, there are those special moments when it all turns out alright.
However, if there was one thing I’ve learned about assumptions, it’s that they make an ass out of you and me.