Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Just because the President said that he will take care of you... doesn't mean that you get a job, health insurance, and food on the table.

I had a recent encounter with an individual where someone had assumed something out of me. I had never lied, I had never said anything to make one think something was true, and I had not done anything different than I had been doing. However, this person thought that because other people were doing something else, they automatically assumed that I would be too. When they discovered that I was not in fact like everyone else, they automatically put blame on me. My simple answer to this person was...Did you ask me ahead of time?

Their answer: No, you should let ME know ahead of time if you do things differently then everyone else.

Me: I did not know there was some sort of book of "how to do this right like everyone else". And more importantly: how can I answer a question that I don't know you have.
Their answer: Because that is what everyone else does, so you should let others know when you do something different.

Me: So the problem here is that you made an assumption, by comparing me to others and what they are doing, and now you are blaming me because I didn't answer a question that I didn't know you had.
Their answer: You're right I shouldn't assume... but....

And that's where I stop reading.
I don't believe in "buts." I believe in apologies. I believe in owning up to our mistakes. And I whole hardheartedly believe in not making assumptions.
This experience brought on a bigger message that I hope to pass along to my children: Never assume, ask questions, and never put blame on others.

Never assume.

Never assume that every one person is the same. Never assume that each and every business out there does things the same. Never assume that every doctor is qualified to give you the advice that they have given you. Never assume that the President is going to bring on positive change just because he says "I'm going to bring change," that you'll have health insurance just because he says "everyone will have health insurance" and that he will take care of you just because he says he will. Don't always take things so literally. Never assume that just because you are a mother to your children, that you can mother all children. Never assume that just because that mother is blessed and fortunate in many aspects of life, that she also doesn't have struggles or difficulties that she may be dealing with. Never assume that someone owes you a job because of your qualifications. Work for it.  Never assume that you may understand how something works, or how someone thinks based on your past experiences. No one situation or person is alike. Never assume that anything should be handed to you, and that you deserve anything. Never make assumptions that need not be made. Assumptions are dangerous and assumptions is what gets most of us {including myself} in trouble. And if you do have assumptions, what that means is that you have questions. So?

Ask questions!

Ask ask ask. This is something that I can do more of as well. I think one of the greatest tools that we have in life is the ability to ask questions. The ability to learn and delve into a subject that we may not be familiar with. So many things can go wrong when we don't ask questions, or don't ask the right ones. If we take our child to the pediatrician, he gives us the answer, and in our heart we don't think that the answer gives us a clear picture of what we should do---ask more. If we are working on a project at school, and the teacher gives us instructions on that said project but I'm not sure if she prefers for me to work by myself or work with others---ask! If I'm at my job and I know this drug, I'm familiar of what it does, but I'm just not sure about the side effects---ask! If you have any an inkling of doubt, an uncertainty about a situation, or question a product or business--ASK! The beauty about our generation and future generations is that we have the tools that many previously to us did not. The internet. The option to communicate quickly {via email, twitter, facebook, and so forth}. Forums. Text messaging. And so forth.  And when you aren't sure of the answer that is given you, ask more! Don't give up until you have the answer you are looking for.

And lastly, if you did assume, and if you didn't ask questions, then my greatest lesson to learn is this:

Stop putting the blame on others.

Ask yourself what you did wrong. Ask yourself if you worked hard enough. Ask yourself if you asked the wrong questions. Don't automatically set expectations out of others that you have no right to, and then turn around and blame then when those said expectations aren't met. Don't blame someone else for your assumptions. Don't blame someone for the questions that you didn't ask. Lesson learned. If you spend all this time pointing fingers and putting blame on others, then what have you learned about the situation and yourself. If I can teach my children only one lesson in life, it would be this very thing. Interesting enough, it is a lesson that I need to work on myself. Andrew, where are my keys, I know you misplaced them. Elliana, did you take my phone? Mom, why did you only make 12 eggs, I assumed you knew to make more since there will be 24 people here. I'm human just like anyone else, and make mistakes and blame others just like anyone else. Acknowledging these flaws and mistakes within ourselves will lead us much further in life than not. Learning how to say sorry, learning from our experiences, and then applying those experiences to our future, will take us much further in life.
You know what will take us all much further in life?

Never assume. Ask questions. And quit putting blame on others.


  1. I totally agree with you, on all three points but specifically the last. it's so easy to blame others but it's a bad habit (something we're all guilty of!) I see this a lot in the workplace, as a young professional many of my colleagues are quick to point the finger to try and shift blame, which is a big mistake. We've got to take responsibility for our own destiny and hold ourselves accountable, that's a huge part of make progress, learn, and grow.


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