< Back to JVM's Blog

The High Risk of False Assumptions

pile-of-books-stacked-at-deskWONDERFUL STORY FROM TWITTER

I read a wonderful story on Twitter last week.

The author of the series of tweets was a grad student named Thomas who sat in the front row of his class every day.

A gentleman with a thick foreign accent, who Thomas did not know, sat next to him and always arrived before Thomas.

The gentleman had the very irritating habit of piling all of his stuff on Thomas’ desk, forcing Thomas to ask him to remove the stuff prior to every single class.

Thomas was getting more and more upset about it until one day he arrived later than normal and saw someone else trying to take his desk.

From a distance, he heard his neighbor say: “I am sorry this desk is saved for my friend Thomas.”

Seeing this, Thomas went to his normal desk and his neighbor removed all of his stuff, and Thomas sat down.

It turned out that his neighbor was piling his stuff on Thomas’ desk only to save the seat for Thomas.

Upon learning this, Thomas of course felt awful for assuming the worst about his neighbor and he then invited him to lunch.

He learned that his neighbor was an immigrant from the Middle East, that he had a wife and kids to support, and that he was working full time and going to school to get ahead.

Thomas also learned that his neighbor was having a very hard time making friends, and that he considered Thomas one of his only friends (even though they hardly spoke).

Thomas felt even worse after learning all of this, paid for his neighbor’s lunch, appreciated his new friend, and learned a really valuable lesson.

The valuable lesson of course is to never make premature assumptions about the motives and intentions of others.

I loved this lesson b/c I am guilty of that far too often. I never would have tolerated someone piling stuff on my desk for more than a day, and it breaks my heart to think about what I might have done or said.

Jay Voorhees at (925) 855-4491
Real Estate Broker, CA Bureau of Real Estate, BRE# 01524255, NMLS# 335646