Look Before You Jump . . . To Conclusions

14 Sep


Grab the nearest book. Open it and go to the tenth word. Do a Google Image Search of the word. Write about what the image brings to mind.

The tenth word in one of the books I am currently reading (actually, it’s the tenth word in the section I am reading now) is the word conclusions.  Something of a loaded word depending on the context. One of the images I found on Google was a cartoon sleuth (patterned after Sherlock Holmes) with magnifying glass in hand, on his knees, searching the floor for evidence. There were several others, some very comical. 

We all know the old adage, Don’t jump to conclusions. We all know it; but, we all still tend to do it!

I have taught a philosophy/logic class as an adjunct professor at a local college. In the class we discuss the importance of drawing proper conclusions from the arguments. It is an important reminder (or introduction for some) of the importance of good, critical thinking skills. Being able to construct an argument, based on certain proofs and then draw a logical conclusion from that is an important mental skill to possess.

The ability to draw conclusions, not only from your own arguments, but from others to test the veracity or the probability of their argument is important too. The power of deduction to come to the right end is often a lost art it seems.

When it comes to jumping to conclusions, well, that’s a different matter. Jumping to conclusions is when we have not taken all the facts into account. It is when we rush to a judgment without giving the subject enough consideration. Why do we do this? I suppose there are many reasons. Perhaps we identify (agree) with the argument being made; so, we assume its veracity. Maybe we don’t like whomever is making the argument; so, we naturally discount their position. Or, it may come down to old-fashioned laziness. That is, we just don’t want to put the work into it to test the proofs to see if the argument is valid. Instead, we accept at face value what’s being said. In short, it is the easier path.

A lot goes into this thing of jumping to conclusions. Prejudice, bias, envy, pride, just to name a few. We sometimes jump to our conclusions because a person looks a certain way, or sounds a certain way. We do it because of a person’s race or creed. Jumping to conclusions (which usually turn out to be faulty) is easy to do.

Following the example of the fictional Inspector Holmes takes perseverance, hard work, mental agility and determination. It is a discipline that must be learned and exercised often. After all, drawing conclusions and jumping to conclusions are two very different things.

Besides, jumping to conclusions can be dangerous. Once you jump, you don’t know where you may fall or what sort of injuries you may sustain!

Don’t jump to conclusions – there may be a perfectly good explanation for what you just saw. In the heat of an argument, don’t betray confidences; Word is sure to get around, and no one will trust you. (Prov. 25.8-10: The Message)

To succeed, jump as quickly at opportunities as you do at conclusions. (Benjamin Franklin)

People who jump to conclusions rarely alight on them. (Philip Guedalla)


Posted by on September 14, 2013 in Daily Prompt


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16 responses to “Look Before You Jump . . . To Conclusions

  1. Monique

    September 14, 2013 at 10:17 am

    Awesome word you got. Could have gone so many directions with that!

    • Timothy Murray

      September 14, 2013 at 5:16 pm

      Thanks Monique. Yes, there were many possibilities!


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