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Expecting Raisins and Finding Chocolate: How People Can Surprise You

By Alethea MacPhail

The best articles start with a story and a quoteI feel, so grab some tea and cake and find a comfy sofa. Firstly the quote, to set the scene:

Although 'jumping to conclusions' is an expression, rather than an activity, it is as dangerous as jumping off a cliff, jumping in front of a moving train, and jumping for joy. If you jump off a cliff, you have a very good chance of experiencing a painful landing unless there is something below you to cushion your fall, such as a body of water or an immense pile of tissue paper, If you jump in front of moving train, you have a very good chance of experiencing a painful voyage unless you are wearing some sort of train-proof suit. And if you jump for joy, you have a very good chance of experiencing a painful bump on the head, unless you make sure you are standing someplace with very high ceilings, which joyous people rarely do. Clearly, the solution to anything involving jumping is either to make sure you are jumping to a safe place, or not jumping at all.


But it is hard not to jump at all when you are jumping to conclusions, and it is impossible to make sure that you are jumping to a safe place, because all 'jumping to conclusions' means is that you are believing something is true even though you don't actually know whether it is or not.”


- Lemony Snickett

And now for the tale. I recently met several new friends while working in Glasgow. Two of them gave me their numbers, and I’ll be the first to say I misjudged one of them completely - seeing only the tall rugby human who could wear a shirt very well. Then I got to know them, and saw they had a habit I am personally a touch against. Talking to others about them, good friends I introduced them to only saw the habit and not the lovely human behind it.

Now, this is a prime example of how we cannot misjudge others. It turns out this rugby human is an avid reader (yes, on par with me. Yes you read that right), a keen gamer, can quote Disney in conversation and is a dab hand at making excellent food.

 But why did she mention chocolate in the title? And where is this promised chocolate? I use the title analogy of raisins and chocolate for a few reasons – one, chocolate.

The second reason I’ll explain here – it’s a great way to explain how it’s all too easy to see the one thing we may not like over what is actually in front of us. I’ll use cake as an analogy here. Most children, and some adults I know, will actively avoid raisins or puddings like Apple Charlotte because it has one thing in they don't like. However, the raisins are just one aspect of this beautiful pudding and it's a crying shame when it is shunned. Maybe it's the way we've been raised, or a case of once bitten twice as shy but we miss out on so much because we only see the one factor we aren't too keen on.

One bad factor does not a bad person make, or some similar wise words like that. People may have one habit we don’t like or aren’t partial to, but look past this one habit and all their great habits will shine through even brighter. Jumping to conclusions about someone is all too easy to do, but avoid doing it and you’ll avoid a very uncomfortable landing.

Now, obviously please do not go about eating people. This is not something we encourage at Populus. My point is, try your darnedest to not jump to conclusions about anyone or anything. You'll miss out on so many beautiful relationships and experiences if you do – and I speak from experience when I say this.

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