Preconceived ideas browsing by tag


October 5

Thursday, October 5th, 2023

I suppose all of us, at one time or another, have jumped to conclusions. We decided what someone was like or what took place without having adequate information. I’m pretty sure all of us have figured out what a person was like before we really knew. We hear snippets; we observe random actions; we surmise without knowing all the facts.

That’s like the old legend of the blind men who were brought to an elephant and asked to describe it based on their experience. One touched his trunk and said it was like a big snake. Another touched his leg and said it was like a tree. One touched his tail and said it was like a rope. And the other touched its side and said it was like a wall. Each was right and each was wrong. It all depended on their perception. They were incapable of seeing the big picture.

When someone jumps to a conclusion-without knowing all the facts-there isn’t much difference from that and the blind men’s perceptions of the elephant. In their limited vision, they may have been correct, but in reality they were wrong. When we form preconceived ideas without knowing all the facts, we do ourselves and those we are forming opinions about a great injustice.

Limited in knowledge and limited by experience like the blind men, we fail to grasp the complete truth, to get it right. We cheat the other person. And we cheat ourselves. I decided to look up preconceived notions to see what some have to say. There are a lot of quotes to consider but here is one I thought was pretty spot on: “Preconceived notions are the locks on the door to wisdom.”

Let’s not jump to conclusions. Let’s not be hasty in our preconceived ideas. Let’s gather facts. Let’s give people the benefit of the doubt. Let’s make informed and wise decisions about people. We all deserve that, at least.