I think it's safe to say most of us have heard some sort of adage regarding assumptions being bad. Hmm... I'm making an assumption right there, aren't I? Anyway, discouragement from making poor assumptions is often used in a sensible way. But I often see people making blanket statements about the act of assuming, as if it's something only fools do. It's almost as if some people proclaim a sense of superiority by denouncing others for making assumptions. I'm not sure exactly when it started, but this gets under my skin a little.

What I think many of those people fail to realize is, our lives are based on an incredible amount of assumptions. Modern life is based on a plethora of assumptions. We couldn't function effectively without them. How many people assume their car will start when they turn the key? Do you take time every day to check that your car is in working order, while you still have enough time to arrange for alternative transportation to work? Or do you assume it will work correctly, and adjust if it doesn't? Sure, you could thoroughly inspect your car every day before work and reduce the chances of ever being late. But would that be worth it? Of course not.

Let's say it takes approximately 5 minutes to go to the car, give it a quick once-over, start it, check the tires, etc. Say you do this every day. 5 minutes, say 340 days a year (accounting for some days with no driving)... That's 1700 minutes, or 28.33 hours a year. Say you do this for 25 years. That's 42500 minutes, or 708.33 hours! Unless there are special circumstances, there are probably only a handful of years in which something would be prevented by this practice anyway. Are those few times worth the investment of over 700 hours of checking? Not to mention the additional wear and tear if you actually start the car each time. It's better to assume that the car will be reliable, unless there is good reason not to.

When you walk, do you not assume the ground will remain firm beneath your next step? Do you check air quality reports every day before opening a window or stepping outside? Do you check the news every day before leaving your home?

Life without assumptions equates to paranoia. Assumptions are natural, and efficient. There are times where assumptions are inappropriate, even dangerous. But our lives are built on an immense array of suitable assumptions. So when I hear someone say something like "Never make assumptions!", or "Don't assume. It makes an ass out of u and me!", I tend to think less of them. What some people take as universal wisdom is, at best, half-truth, with situational validity.