A policeman was heading home after a long, hard day on patrol. All he wanted at this point was to unwind, enjoy some peace.
But, as he neared home, he was startled by a vehicle that came careening around a sharp curve and narrowly missed his squad car. As the car passed within a few inches of him, the other driver shouted “Pig!”
The police officer was suddenly energized. He slammed on brakes, all set to turn his squad car around and head off in hot pursuit. But as he rounded the curve, he ran head-on into a large pig that was standing in the middle of the road!
It’s a lesson we learn early in life if we’re lucky: Don’t Assume!
No matter how confident we are in our understanding of the issue. No matter how certain of another’s reasoning or motives. Effective communication is far more complicated and difficult than we think. With barriers like cultural differences, personal filters, different definitions, etc. It’s amazing that any of us ever understand one another. The biggest reason we aren’t able to hear what another is saying to us is simply… “Fear!”
Or we may hide it behind anger, self-importance or any number of other false fronts, but at the root is fear. Fear of being ‘found out’ or being disappointed, or not getting what we want. Honest communication requires trust, and taking a risk. The Apostle Paul described it in Corinthians, chapter 13. It’s the “higher way of love”. The risks are higher for this way of living, but so are the rewards.
Think before you jump to any conclusions in a situation of stressful conversation!