Assume Naivety

If you must assume, assume you don’t know until you do.

Todd Beal

Most of us would be surprised at the degree to which our beliefs, logic, reasoning and emotions, are based solely on assumption. Most of what we call reality is our preconceived notion of what reality should be, or what we want it to be, not what it actually is. Assuming we know without questioning the validity of our assumption removes us from reality, assuring willful ignorance and personal failure.

If we live life through our personal biases – either for or against something – we either presume before-hand or assume after the fact that everything we encounter is either correct or incorrect, based on our insistence to see something the way we want to see it, not for what it truly is. We each do this to one degree or another, in one way or another – it is our nature.

Example: Imagine you were born with an inherited vision impairment. You can see no color, only shades of gray, and if left uncorrected it will progressively lead to blindness. It is hard for you to see and do things that others can do, but despite the difficulty in school and everyday life, you manage to get by. One fine day in your early adult years, your eye doctor pays you a personal visit, informing you of a surgery that would restore your vision to 100%. It would allow you to finally see the world as it truly is, ensuring also that you would never go blind. To his surprise, you decline the offer. You have grown accustomed to seeing everything in shades of grey while mentally imagining the missing color.

Years later, you cross paths with the same doctor and immediately point out the pretty red flower that grows beside the tree in front of you. He looks at you with knowing eyes and informs you that the flower is not red, but instead, the most magnificently marbled and translucent blend of deep burgundy and midnight blue. Yet despite his true description of that flower you disbelieve him, and in turn, insist that he see the red flower just as you do. Once again he softly reminds you that the surgery would restore your sight, but as before, you decline. You have experienced life without color for so long that you’ve lost your desire to see the world as it truly is. You have your normal; it is enjoyable to you now. You would rather ignore the shades of grey that your eyes continually show you, and go on pleasantly imagining your version of color. You make a final decision: you would rather go blind than see color for the first time in your life.

The surgical operation is truth and the doctor is the urgent yet quiet prompting inside each one of us, the gentle tug, reminding us that truth would transform our perception of everything, if only we would let go and accept it. We would at last see life for what it is instead of what we insist it should be. We would at last become who we were born to be and what we were born to do, while knowing, not assuming, why.

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About Todd Beal

I love truth and its facts. I love thought-provoking conversations that give both the other person and me a better understanding of a particular topic. I love to find answers to life-long questions; answers that let me see things for what they are instead of what they seem to be. I truly enjoy being in the midst of a group of people where all individuals are joining in, where everybody is enjoying the company of each other. I relax in the company of individuals who are competent yet humble. I like to catch myself doing or saying something ridiculous and then laugh my head off. I enjoy my church and being involved.
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6 Responses to Assume Naivety

  1. An enlightening parable that invites the reader to examine himself/herself for injurious assumptions: Do I assume I will fail in business because my father or brother failed? Do I assume my religious tradition is correct because my parents/grandparents believed it? Do I assume I’m not very intelligent or talented because a fourth-grade teacher told me I’d never amount to anything? There are so many ways we generate and nurture lifelong assumptions from sources that are speaking non-truths or half-truths, instead of seeking that still, small voice that can guide us into true paths.

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    • Todd Beal says:

      Absolutely yes. You hit that nail right on the head.

      Additionally, I want to make clear that discerning thought always includes assumption but only as part of the process, never the foundation or conclusion. Assumption must always play a subordinate role.

      Is there anything you would like to add to that, Michael?

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  2. Michael Knudsen says:

    That’s a good point. It’s hard for us as humans to make “correct” (inline with truth) decisions without involving our education, conditioning, past experiences and even prejudices. Even if we tell ourselves “I only want to do what God would have me do,” we should consider the possibility that God may not want to control our every footstep. We should ponder why He sent us to a place where we are physically veiled from Him, and why we have the gift of choice. We have a brain, experience, abilities and feelings and these should all be employed as we are anxiously engaged in good causes without having to be commanded in all things. For example, should I pray to know if I should serve God, or even how to serve? Sometimes the answers are already written, already given. I can assume that I should serve, and the scripture tells me how to do it.

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    • Todd Beal says:

      If I understand you correctly, you are saying that our acceptance of truth and using our heart and mind to employ that truth goes hand in hand. Further, we understand God’s will through the personal faculties he gives to us, and do so only through reading the scripture and seeking his will through prayer. Does that encapsulate what you’re saying?

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  3. Michael Knudsen says:

    Very close, but I wouldn’t limit our knowledge sources to prayer and study. Inspiration can come from many places if we are open to those sources, such as film, books, conversations with others, sudden bursts of thought in our minds, music, etc. We will miss many of those messages if we are not “in tune” like a radio tuned to the “inspiration station”. For me, being in tune means I need to be living in harmony with the light and truth I already have, to position myself to receive more. Line upon line, precept on precept. If I am out of harmony, disobedient or rebellious against what I know to be true, I am not likely to receive new knowledge, except for what I can get the hard way from chastisement and adversity brought on by my own wrong actions.

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    • Todd Beal says:

      Excellent; use the truth God gives you so that by being in tune with him, you are also in tune with those things outside of prayer and scripture study.

      I agree.

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