I was staying with my in-laws last year, and my father-in-law’s phone was lying next to me on the table.
A message came through, and his phone buzzed loudly.
I looked over without thinking. And, as the phone wasn’t locked, I happened to see the message...
“Wen can you call me xx”
I immediately jumped to conclusions:
Was he having an affair?
Was the message from a secret lover, needing to talk in private?!
I bit my lip, and looked away.
And... I’m REALLY glad I said nothing!
Because later that day, my mother-in-law (whose name is Wendy) said,
“Auntie Paula texted me earlier on dad’s phone, as my battery is dead. She wants me to call her.”
This wasn’t a message from a desperate lover. It was from a family member, saying,
“Wendy, can you call me please?” (She calls her “Wen” for short.)
I chuckled inwardly to myself. What an idiot!
Can you imagine if I’d have said something? If I’d told people I thought he was having an affair!
It would have been cleared up by me explaining about the text. But sometimes the damage is done.
A reminder about assumptions...
Most of the time, we don’t know the full picture.
We can be quick to jump to conclusions, without having context.
Because here's the thing: a photo or brief encounter are just tiny snippets of what’s going on.
So often we’re missing context. (And there’s an easy way to solve that with people we know - ask! ;) The answer might be very different from what you think.
Be aware of the overall picture.
We all do crappy things. (Which doesn’t make us crappy people. It makes us human.)
So next time you’re feeling crap about something you’ve seen, remember that you’re not seeing the context:
We have no idea.
So let’s not make up stories that make us feel crap. You know?
Judge the action, not the person.
(And this goes for yourself, too! But that’s another topic... ;)
I love you all. I'm grateful to have you here.