Weekly Blog

What “Assume” Really Means

You’ve probably heard before that “assume” means “making an ‘ass’ out of ‘u’ and ‘me’”. Well, this past week, I was the “ass”. I made an assumption about someone and something that caused me to respond in a way I now regret.

In the circumstance I’m referring to, the details to which aren’t important here, the person I offended thought he was responding to an invitation by me. Here’s the thing…he was correct. I asked for his opinion and then I got upset when he gave it to me.

What gives? What’s wrong with me? First, I’m human and I’m a sinner, far from being a perfect individual. That said, what just happened has caused me to reflect.

Some observations.

To start, a brief comment about the phrase. When referring to “u” and “me”, the real “ass” is me, the person making the assumption. Although a poor assumption can make a mess out of things for both individuals, it’s the person making the assumption who has egg on his or her face, who’s responsible for the problems caused.

With a simple internet search, I found several articles, one of which by Dr. Marcia Sirota (, who makes the point that “instead of basing our understanding of people and events on what we observe and what we know for a fact, we often prefer to make judgments based on our emotions, beliefs, expectations and wishes”.

She suggests always asking ourselves, “how do I know this?” If the answer to that question is anything other than “I learned it through observing the evidence or through obtaining factual information,” then we’re at risk of making an incorrect assumption.

Why Do We Make Assumptions?

The answer again is…we’re human.

We often jump to conclusions or make an assumption based on our past experiences or perceptions. Although we all do it, I’d like to be doing less of it. I think one thing I can do is ask the question proposed above by Dr. Sirota…”how do I know this?”

To do the above, I need to slow down…and not just “jump”, but ponder and reflect. I can’t be so quick to react, but thoughtfully respond. That said, I think there are two things that cause us to “assume” or jump to conclusions:

  • Pride – defined as a high or inordinate opinion of one’s own dignity, importance, merit, or superiority, whether as cherished in the mind or as displayed in bearing, conduct, etc. Pride expresses itself in “ego”, which is an acronym for “edge God out”.
  • Lack of self-love is related to pride and ego, among other things. Counter intuitive, the less we love or like ourselves, the more important it is for us to be right, to be on top, which expresses itself through pride and ego….in making assumptions or jumping to conclusions.

We are all beloved children of God, loved beyond imagine and made for greatness. Central to our calling is to love one another…through patience and kindness. Please join me in trying to no longer be the “ass”, instead of assuming…verifying and instead of reacting…responding.

As always, please feel free to contact me at with comments, questions, concerns, challenges, or prayer requests.

May God Bless you on your Path to Peace, Joy, and Fulfillment!!!
Remember…You were Made for GREATNESS!!!

Mark Joseph