A couple of weeks ago my husband and I were sitting on the front porch enjoying our after-dinner coffee. As we chatted, a man and his son walked by. The man, in his early thirties and a tad overweight, was pushing his son, who looked to be about three years old, in a stroller. The father, with his elbows resting on the stroller and walking at a very slow pace, didn't appear thrilled about this activity. From his posture I formulated a judgement (I know, shame on me). Possibly he was tired out from his day at work. Perhaps he was lazy and unambitious. As I contemplated his "story", I decided that his wife had came home from work, shooed the boys out the door so that she could prepare dinner and this man was grudgingly fulfilling her wishes.
Sometimes our assumptions, or judgements, can be so off base. It's impossible to read into any one's story. I have since witnessed this man, always accompanied with his son, on a couple more occasions and have decided my assumptions may not have been so accurate. A couple of days ago, I saw the father and son duo at the grocery store. The boy was pushing a kid-size cart and the father was filling the cart and chatting with the boy. In this moment I saw a father's patience.
Today as I sat on the front porch, listening to the birds singing, I heard a man talking. The man hadn't came into my line of vision yet and from the tone of his voice (I couldn't hear exact words) it sounded as if he was having a conversation with a friend. When I was finally able to see the speaker, I realized that it was this same man, walking hand in hand with his son. Today I saw a father's love.
"Begin challenging your own assumptions. Your assumptions are your windows on the world. Scrub them off every once in awhile, or the light won't come it." ~Alan Alda
How great it would be if we all learned to put a positive spin on our assumptions...or not make assumptions at all.