The Danger of Assumptions

The Danger of Assumptions

Scott Jerles

Audrey Wallick, Staff Writer

To make an assumption is to make a guess one believes to be true without actual proof. While sometimes an assumption holds up to be true, a majority are far fetched and false. As people, our minds are constantly making assumptions without us knowing. For instance, one may assume that someone who drives a nice car is wealthy, someone who attends church is a saint, or someone who appears happy on social media is happy. However, without really knowing a person,you cannot justify any of these theories. 

One time when I was about four years old, and my two brothers were ages five and seven, my mother discovered her new white throw pillow had been inscribed with the name of my older brother´s name, ¨Rhett,¨ in black sharpie marker. In a rage over her now ruined throw pillow, my mother blamed Rhett for the crime. He claimed that he was innocent, but she still believed he was the perpetrator because it was his name on the pillow. After some time passed, my mother decided to have both of my brothers write Rhett’s name in order to find a match to the handwriting on the pillow. Sure enough, Rhett´s handwriting did not match the pillow, but my younger brother´s handwriting did match. Finally Mitchell, my younger brother admitted to writing his brother´s name on a pillow. This goes to show that even if something seems to be the truth, one should never assume that something is fact without hard proof.

While this example did not result in any real repercussions, many assumptions can. For example, Dover City Parks allows the Dover cross country team to host a race in the park every season. However, after the meet this year, numerous trees around the trails had been spray painted with ¨Dover Cross Country¨, ¨Go Dover¨, and so much more. Understandably, many Dover residents who regularly walk those trails were appalled by the vandalism and disrespect and immediately assumed the high school cross country team was responsible. A few people made posts on social media condemning the team for vandalism and damaging the trees. But the truth is the Dover cross country team did not even know about the spray paint, and after seeing it ourselves and realizing how bad it was, we were embarrassed that so many people thought the Dover cross country team did it. An assumption as serious as blaming a group for vandalism is not acceptable. Having false accusations made against you is not a good feeling.  

Assumptions are dangerous. They create rumors because they are mistaken as fact instead of what they really are –a figment of the way one person perceives another person or their actions without the whole picture. In any situation in which you find yourself making assumptions, be sure not to share them with other people. There is a good chance you could be wrong.