A couple of weeks ago in the adult Sunday school class I lead, I made a comment about a section of Scripture. To preface my comment I stated, “We all know this […]”. After some discussion, one of the newer people in the class spoke up and said, “You mentioned that ‘we all know this’, but I DON’T know this.” The comment got my attention.
It’s so easy to assume that just because we know something, everyone else must obviously know it as well. I was reminded that this is usually not the case. For me, it’s important to be aware of this reality, so that I don’t inadvertently exclude people from classroom discussions, dialog in a meeting, or even a simple conversation by assuming they know what is being discussed.
I like to include people versus excluding them. What I learned from the Sunday school class exchange is to stop assuming that folks know something and actually give space to check that assumption. If my assumption is correct, great! We can move forward. If, however, my assumption is incorrect, then that presents a great opportunity for discussion to help bring others along, and event to learn something new myself.
There’s enough division and exclusion going on in the world, that I don’t need to add to it in my conversations and interactions. How much better it is to test and assumption and gain clarification, than to move forward with the assumption, only to find out that it was incorrect.