I am aware that I have a lot of presuppositions in my everyday life. In other words, I have many assumptions that I have accumulated throughout my life. Some of them are still important to me while others are no longer true to my life. Some of them affect my way of thinking while other impact on my behaviour. All of my current behaviours or perspectives are based on my experiences in the past.
Recently, I have encountered one of such presuppositions.
For many years, I had a belief that my sister can be irresponsible at the times. She is weak in her decision making which leads to her unresponsiveness in any form of communication. It is her tendency to return the call, even in an urgent matter. All these are my judgement toward my sister’s behaviour.
When I wanted my sister to respond to an urgent matter, she failed to respond for several hours. Even though I was studying, another part of my mind had this accumulated anger and frustration towards my sister who was yet to respond. I knew she was attending another commitment but I expected her to call during the lunch break, which failed again. For all these hours she failed to respond, I had to face this anger and frustration. I couldn’t act before confirming her action because I didn’t want to double handle the situation. I had to evaluate all these feelings I had towards her whether they are reasonable feelings.
Making assumptions simply means believing things are a certain way with little or no evidence that shows you are correct, and you can see at once how this can lead to terrible trouble.Lemony Snicket
Eventually, she responded. I explained the situation. She calmly and patiently listened to what I had to said. She then promised that she will act straight away. She acted straight away without hesitation or confusion. Later, I realised that she responded as soon as she could.
Assumptions are made and most assumptions are wrong.Albert Einstein
What have I learned?
Once again, I devalued and made a wrong assumption about my sister. If I could believed in her ability, then all those hours I could spent them more purposefully than filled it up with anger and frustration. What a waste of my time and energy.
Making judgement and assumption are easier than not making any of them. As I reflected on this incidence that night, I have realised that I devalued my sister just like how my parents devalued her ability. I remember I was very upset when my parents devalued her ability. However, I was doing the same thing as my parents. In fact, I though I was fighting with preassumption from others all the time but now I am doing the same thing to my sister.
The harder you fight to hold onto specific assumptions, the more likely there’s gold in letting go of them.John Seely Brown
As how I was allowed to be who I am, I want to allow my sister to be who she is without making any judgements or preassumptions about her. I would like to be that safe place allowing her to be because having such place actually encouraged me to stand strong as who I am.
What assumptions are you holding tight which are unresourceful?
How can you break your presuppositions?
Why are you holding them tight?