Food for Thought: Jumping to Conclusions Can Be Tricky
by Ardith Hoff
A mother picked up her son from the city swimming pool one afternoon. When she saw that he didn’t have his towel she asked him where it was. He said, “Somebody stole it!” The mother marched right into the office and asked to speak to the pool manager. “What kind of an operation are you running here?” She shouted. Somebody stole my son’s towel!” The manager was very apologetic, but reassured the angry mother that he was pretty sure it was just that the towel had been misplaced and offered to look for it. “What does the towel look like?” he asked. “It’s white and it says Holiday Inn on it” the mother replied.
While it is just a joke, we can imagine that something similar could actually happen. It is parental instinct to want to protect our children. Too often in today’s world, children are bullied or taken advantage of. We all want to make sure to keep our children safe and it is understandable that a mother might be upset that the adult whom she had trusted to watch over her son might not be doing a good job. She wanted to make sure he or she was held accountable for not protecting her son and his property.
The problems the joke illustrates are that the mother assumed that it was the manager’s fault that the towel was missing, that she assumed that someone had actually stolen the towel and yet we can probably assume that she or someone in her family must have stolen the towel first.
Looking for someone to blame, making unfounded assumptions, and doing things we know are wrong are the kinds of sins we all need to guard against. It is also a good idea to teach our children not to make those same mistakes. If we steal something ourselves it is logical that our children would either assume that it is okay to do so as well or to assume that others would do the same.
“Do not hastily bring into court, for what will you do in the end, when your neighbor puts you to shame? Proverbs 25:8
“And all the people shall hear and fear and not act presumptuously again.” Deuteronomy 17:13