Assumptive Silence

Assumptive Silence
A Sixty-Word SZEN Story:

Roberta heard her name on the news and that the evidence against her was adding up fast. The detective said: “ An eyewitness puts this woman at the scene of the crime, and we’re just waiting for the warrant.” “No one interviewed me,” she thought. “They think I did it, but they’re just plain wrong.” She wondered: “Should I talk?”

And more…

Speaking up for ourselves is something that most of us take for granted. We are happy to say what we think if someone asks a question or needs to know something specific about our work etc. But what if someone prefers NOT to hear our point of view. What if they avoid us or never give us a chance to say what’s on our mind? What then? What happens?

Silence, whether we create it by not speaking, or if there is no chance to speak, creates a void that in the absence of real facts and information is filled with assumptions. When people don’t ask, it is because they probably don’t want to know and prefer to assume the answer. And because assumptions eventually turn into beliefs, anyone can make up whatever scenario they choose. We all can. If we really want to live with what we “think” we know, we can. And the same holds true for people that may consider what we think to be disruptive or counter to their assumptions.

Assumptions are made all of the time because we don’t have the time to know everything we need to know. So we guess and fill in the blanks with conjecture and opinion. Saves time and arguments. But sometimes like Roberta, it’s important to be heard. And it’s our responsibility to find a way to get what needs to be said, said. The bottom line is that assumptions of any kind can trigger actions and reactions that may be unfair, unwise, or as Roberta said, “just plain wrong.” Why take a chance? Let what we know come out and seek from others what’s inside of them. Reality and the truth therein is a much easier place to start to change our world. And don’t assume it can’t be done.

Szenippet: People like to have order in their thinking. So if you don’t tell them what you think, they will think what they want. They will think that they know what you think – Silence begets assumption.

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