Your assumptions are your windows of the world. Scrub them off every once in awhile or the light won’t come in. ~ Issac Asimov


One night, the captain of a Navy warship saw a light heading straight for him. He signalled ahead: “Change course twenty degrees.” The reply flashed back: “Advisable you change course twenty degrees.” The captain didn’t accept this response. “I’m a captain” he signalled “change course twenty degrees.” The reply “I’m a seamen second class, change course twenty degrees.” By this time the captain was furious. “I’m a battleship! Change course twenty degrees.” To which came the response “I’m a lighthouse!” The captain changed course.
So often we work or socialize with people and we make assumptions about them. This person is rude. That person is self absorbed. We make these assumptions without having any idea what is going on in that person’s life. Maybe they were up all night with a crying baby, maybe they just got news that a family member is ill, maybe they just woke up on the wrong side of the bed, maybe they are just a quiet person.
When we make assumptions we start to believe negative thoughts about the person, we start to treat them differently. We are rude to them because we think they are being rude to us. And the cycle continues. The person is probably really amazing, but because we have decided that they’re rude, we miss out on knowing this awesome person.
I have been mindful of this for a few months and the results have surprised me. First, I realized that I have been incredibly judgemental. I stop myself now when I start to form these assumptions. I think about the things that the person is doing which I am judging them on. And rather than continuing the thought process, where I am deciding what type of person they are (or that I think they are), I TALK TO THEM. And guess what, most of the time they are a really nice person who doesn’t realize that they’re taking it out on those they are interacting with. Most of the time, their mood has nothing to do with me.
We get so wrapped up in ourselves that we think everything has to do with us… guess what… it doesn’t! Don’t take things so personally, it likely has nothing to do with you.
As you intereact with people, notice how you make assumptions about them. Try reacting to them with kindness, despite their mood. Who knows, your kindness could change their demeanour altogether. Your kindness might snap them out of it.  Break the cycle! 🙂

10 thoughts on “Your assumptions are your windows of the world. Scrub them off every once in awhile or the light won’t come in. ~ Issac Asimov

  1. Great post Lisa.

    I forwarded to my team actually. A lot of my guys can be pretty judgey, especially with new hires – and I have a ton of those coming on board after Christmas.

    This article was a great example of why we need to not be so presumptuous, and judgmental.

    Thanks for sharing.

    Oh And thanks for the Christmas card too!


    Love, Jon



    Jonathan Ruch | Area Manager
    M: (226) 789-2197 | O: (519) 745-7160 |
    120 Ottawa St. N., Suite 201, Kitchener, ON N2H 3K5


  2. Lisa…I wonder how you have so secretly eased your way into my thoughts. All of your other posts have touched me in many ways. Snippets of my life experiences come to mind as I read about your adventures. This post profoundly affects me based on where I am today after managing through a rough 2015. I think of myself often and how the many challenging events of the past months have affected the way people perceive my interactions. It’s hard to put on the game face when you are being torn apart on the inside. But I choose each day to have a good day and do the best I can to be the person who is respectful, kind and compassionate because I realize everyone has a story (a mix good and not so great experiences every day). Thanks Lisa!


  3. Tia, what a great lesson for all of us. Thank you.

    Judging a person does not define who they are; it defines who you are.

    Mimi xo


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