Sunday, March 25, 2012

More to the story

Passing the church on the way to work the other day, I noticed a pile of used toys and a wooden bookcase on the side of the road. A pickup pulled up to the curb and a crew of older men hopped out. One grabbed the bag of toys; another hefted the book case onto the road to shatter it into pieces. My first thought was, "Why didn't they recycle those things?" How wasteful. A few steps further down the road and I wondered if perhaps the book case was irreparable. The truck bed had stacks of broken wood. There's a place in town that pays for wood scraps. It's possible the church had generated some income. I could be wrong with any or all of my conclusions.

It made me wonder how often the conclusion we jump to is the right one. There are so many snap judgements made each and every minute of the day. I don't know what the real story is about the church belongings but for the rest of the day, I made up opposing stories about random things I observed.

The employee walking out the back door and crossing the street towards a coworker's house. Three blocks later, the severely-clad woman reappeared, turned another corner then headed back towards work. Clearly, she was out enjoying the gorgeous Spring weather, not sneaking out to meet up with someone.

The car parked in a neighbour's usual space despite the fact that everyone knew it was the only place the van could park to safely unload the wheelchair. Three days later and the car was still in the spot. Just as the van owner was about to hunt down the car owner and share a piece of their mind, an impartial third-party mentioned the car had been dropped off by a tow truck. The best anyone could hope for was that the car could be pushed forward into another space.

Minor observations but conclusions had been erroneous because there was more to the story than what was initially observed.

What's the strangest thing you've observed that you wish you new the rest of the story?

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