One of the most memorable lessons I learned in college was not so much of a lesson, but an illustration. On one of the first days of class my business professor, who also happened to be the dean of the business college, wrote one word on the white board.
He then drew two vertical lines down the middle of the word, separating it into three parts.
His explanation was simple. "When you assume, you make an ____ of __ and ___."
I can't even tell you how important this piece of simple advice is. The people we know, the people we think we know, the people we don't know. Making assumptions is a natural thing that our imaginations must do in times of idleness. We see things, people, situations, with only partial vision, without knowing the full story. So naturally, we assume to fill in the blanks in our minds. Not a good idea. It brings undue judgment, misunderstanding, broken relationships, embarrassment, and shame upon you and the person you assume about. So the next time you think you see something, you think you know something, how about just leave it alone?
*Of course, this absolutely does not apply to situations involving possible danger, abuse, etc. If you failed to do something proactive about that, you would need to check and see if there truly is a heart within your chest. Just sayin.