Working into the evening at my office, I heard the voices of a few other people down the hall, some laughter, and a few loud noises. When I left later, my peripheral vision pulled my gaze to the left and I saw one of the office windows covered with cardboard. Closer inspection revealed that the window was smashed yet still in place.
The following morning, I asked our office administrator if she knew anything about the broken window. No, she replied.
"Well, I was here last night and I know who else was here. I heard laughter and loud noises. Then when I left, I saw the cardboard on the window."
"The window was broken the night before that. I helped put the cardboard on it," she responded.
Wow. My assumption and conclusion was totally without basis in fact.
I had taken what I caught, in a momentary and somewhat distant observation, and arrived at a conclusion. A conclusion that was totally wrong.
It's a normal thing to do that. To see something or hear something and race to the finish, whether or not we hold the truth in our grasp.
Did you ever do logic puzzles? Maybe you remember the one about John and Mary being found lifeless in a pool of water? (you have to solve who they are and what caused their demise) Or the one about the guy who lives in a high rise. When he comes home from work each day, if it's a sunny day, he walks all the way up to his apartment, but if it's rainy he takes the elevator all the way up. (you have to solve the why of that one)
Read any post on social media and you'll see the vast majority of people rush in with their conclusions based on a mere snippet of information. Much as that bothers me, here I did the exact same thing. I almost felt like grabbing a piece of that broken glass when the repair was done and placing it on my desk to remind me to act, not react. To learn all the facts before I jump to a conclusion. It's vital in life and incredibly important in our profession, too.
Not sure what you use as a reminder but maybe my story will help open your mind this week. I'm certainly going to use it as a reminder to myself because I know, life's better when I keep my windows open.