I grew up in the northern Himalayan region of Kashmir. My grandfather would take all his grandkids for walks in his apple orchards, where he would pick apples that had been tasted by a bird and carve off the opposite side to give to us. I once asked, “Why would you not offer the ripe-looking apple untouched by the bird?” I felt he was such a miser that he wanted to sell the “good” apples instead of feed them to his grandkids. He rolled his hand over my head affectionately. “The bird would only eat one that is sweet, so I pick the best for you,” he said. “Never assume; always ask.” This is my mantra in my personal and professional life. – Khurshid A. Guru, MD
There are boundaries in friendship. Most of them remain unspoken and are respected, but once in a while the invisible line gets crossed, resulting in hurt feelings, heartache, and misunderstandings. My dad used to say when you assume, you make an ass out of that person and out of yourself. Actually, it goes like this:
When you assume you make an ass out of you and me. – Oscar Wilde
Have you noticed that friendship (or marriage) can get so comfortable, you assume you know what your friend (spouse) is thinking? We’ve all made assumptions about those closest to us. I’m not one to eat the same meal over and over. My husband learned a long time ago that he cannot assume I will want broccoli pork every time we eat Chinese food. I enjoy variety and he knows it’s a good idea to ask me what I’m in the mood for.
Do you worry about the future? It’s easy to get sucked into a negative mindset if you watch the news often. Now, I am not saying you should not be aware of the current events in your home town, city, state or country. I am suggesting that those negative assumptions that certain horrible events will take place should quickly be handed over to Jesus.
It occurs to me that if I’m struggling with negativity, I should be able to share my fears with my friend and be gently reminded that God is in control and He has a plan. I hope I’m the kind of friend who can do the same. I’m glad we can pray for one another about the fears and anxieties we feel from time to time, aren’t you?
Assuming you know what your friend thinks or wants at any given moment is akin to taking that friendship for granted. We should never assume we can speak for a friend or spouse. If anyone asks if my husband would be willing to do something, I let them know that I do not speak for him and suggest they ask him.
It’s wise to remember that we may not be treated by a friend or spouse the way we treat them. God did not create robots, He created human beings. Even friends or couples that have been together for years know that they should not assume a preconceived action or reaction.
How refreshing it is to hear a movie star declare that they are just a person. It happens so rarely!
I’m Joe Citizen. I’m a movie maker, but I have the same feelings as the average guy out there. – Clint Eastwood
More awareness and less assumption will set us on a happier path with our loved ones and friends. It’s a path that will lead to fewer hurt feelings and more mutual understanding in the long run. 🙂