The Dangerous Habit of Jumping to Conclusions

The only exercise some people get is from jumping to conclusions, running people down and dodging responsibility.” ~ Author unknown 

This week I’ve just been flooded with the reality of the first subject of this quote – how often people tend to jump to conclusions. You would almost have to live under a rock to not have heard the controversy surrounding the death of Trayvon Martin, a 17 year old kid from Florida. This is truly a tragic event, but I want to use it to illustrate the point of the danger of jumping to conclusions.

When I first heard this story a couple of weeks ago, here is roughly the information that was reported at that time; Trayvon Martin, a 17 year old black student was walking to his father’s girlfriend’s house in a gated community in Florida. Neighborhood watch captain, George Zimmerman, followed the youth on foot, then called 911 to report a “suspicious looking character” in the neighborhood. When the 911 operator asked Zimmerman if he was following the youth, Zimmerman affirmed that he was. “We don’t need you to do that, an officer is on the way,” replied the 911 operator. A few minutes later, Trayvon Martin lay dead from a gunshot wound from George Zimmerman. Police in Sanford, Florida did not arrest Zimmerman.

Based on that report alone, it’s very easy to jump to the conclusion that George Zimmerman is guilty of the murder of Trayvon Martin.  In fact, it was so easy to jump to that conclusion, many people did, especially those who make their living off of race baiting such as Al Sharpton, Spike Lee and Jesse Jackass.  That was even my own first assumption, but then I began to think, “There simply must be more to this story than what has been reported and we should find out the facts before condemning Zimmerman.”

Then, after the media and countless “leaders” condemned George Zimmerman in the court of public opinion, even having the Black Panthers put out a $1,000,000 contract for the death of George Zimmerman, the facts of this case began to surface. The details are still very sketchy, but here are a few things I have heard since the report first came out; Zimmerman was returning to his vehicle after calling 911 when he was then confronted by Martin. Reportedly, Martin told Zimmerman, “You’re going to die tonight”, then attacked him, broke his nose and had Zimmerman on the ground pounding his head into the sidewalk when Zimmerman was screaming for help and was finally able to access his pistol and shoot Martin.

That sheds a much different light on the story. Let me be clear in stating that I have no idea what really happened that night. George Zimmerman is the only that knows exactly what did happen and hope that whatever did transpire, justice will prevail. The point I want to make is how dangerous it can be to jump to conclusions without having all the facts.

I recently lost a good employee from this very thing. There were a couple of situations in which she knew some of the facts, but certainly not all of the facts. She took that limited knowledge and ultimately made the decision to change jobs. Her assumptions could not have been more inaccurate, but nonetheless, they were her assumptions, her perceptions and her reality, regardless of how inaccurate they may have been, and she chose to act upon them.  I wish her well in her new job.

Making assumptions is a very dangerous thing. In the case of Trayvon Martin and George Zimmerman, there is a one million dollar bounty on the head of George Zimmerman and the simple truth is, none of us knows what really happened but it is very plausible that this man is completely innocent.

What conclusions are you jumping to in your life and at work that could be jeopardizing your personal relationships or your work relationships with co-workers? We should all strive to be more like Joe Friday of Dragnet fame, “Just the facts, ma’am”.

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About montyrainey

Public Speaker and District Manager. Mission: To empower and inspire others professionally, personally and spiritually to elevate their lives to a higher level.
This entry was posted in Influence, Leadership, Relationships, Team Building and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to The Dangerous Habit of Jumping to Conclusions

  1. I’d argue that most of us can identify with both Martin and Zimmermann:
    http://www.charleneoldham.com

  2. I think you’re right on with this post about jumping to conclusions. And it is too bad you lost an employee over it – sometimes it’s in your best interest to remove conclusion jumpers.

    I thought of a funny quote from an episode of “Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” where Buffy and her friends are talking about how men are pigs, and one of the boys said something about her jumping to conclusions and making assumptions and not all men are jerks, etc. To which she responded, “I did not jump. I took a tiny step and there conclusions were.”… I think too often, and most of us are guilty of doing this, we take tiny steps with very little information, and we don’t seem to need to go very far to get the story wrong.

    With all that said, I don’t think we’ll ever get the story about Trayvon Martin. It’s sad that he lost his life in such a manner, and I also feel bad for George Zimmerman in that there are a lot of people siding with the Martin Camp, and no one but Zimmerman knows what happened. But even then, we can’t be sure. My husband always says there are three sides to every story: your side, my side and the truth. I don’t think we’ll ever know.

  3. Pingback: Why The MSM Desperately Needs George Zimmerman To Be Guilty, Trayvon Martin To Be Innocent « The Neosecularist

  4. Pingback: George Zimmerman Found Innocent; Trayvon Martin Shooting Justified… « The Neosecularist

  5. Terry says:

    Had Zimmerman just stopped following him,nothing would have happened!I think T. Martin had every right to believe “his” life was in danger,and should have done anything possible to protect his safety.Man vs Boy………Gun vs Skittles………Hunter vs The Hunted.This is so cut and dried a blind man could see it.GUILTY! NUFF SAID

    • montyrainey says:

      Terry, thank you for proving my point about jumping to conclusions. It sounds like perhaps you were an eye witness to the events that took place, in which case, you should be a witness for the prosecution.

  6. Pingback: When the Information was Wrong: The Inaccurate Public Conviction of George Zimamerman « CITIZEN.BLOGGER.1984+ GUNNY.G BLOG.EMAIL

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