Wait a day or two before breaking out your “Jump to Conclusions” mat

By Michael d’Oliveira

In the movie “Office Space,” Tom proudly talks about his “Jump to Conclusions” mat.

“You see, it would be this mat that you would put on the floor and would have different ‘conclusions’ written on it that you could jump to.” His co-workers dubbed it “horrible” and the “worst idea ever.”

Unfortunately, many Americans, myself included, have their own lame version of the “Jump to Conclusions” mat and roll it out when it’s time to pass judgement on someone else.

I like to think I’m pretty good at waiting a little while before passing judgement on a situation. But I’m not perfect. I’ve reacted too fast sometimes without waiting to see if there’s more to the story.

Yesterday’s incident at Wrigley Field is a good reminder of why we should all wait a day or two before we render an opinion.

In the video below, a member of the Chicago Cubs lobs a foul ball to a young boy. After the boy fails to catch the ball, a man picks it up and gives it to the woman next to him.

People immediately reacted with name-calling.

“Don’t be this guy” was a common one. There are harsher ones that won’t be repeated here.

But, according to David Kaplan of NBC Sports Chicago, the man in question had already given a foul ball to the kid.

“I spoke with people from the Cubs. The man who grabbed the ball on the widely seen video had actually already helped the little boy get a ball earlier. The young man has a game used ball and a Javy Baez ball. All is well. Guy is A-OK so let it go people,” wrote Kaplan on Twitter.

Another man on Twitter claimed he was at the game and says the man in question is also more generous than he appears in the clip.

“I was sitting next to the little boy and in front of the Cubs fan getting called every name in the book. Here’s what they forgot to mention…

  1. The boy already got a ball two innings before this.
  2. The guy was able to snag at least 2 other balls & gave them to other kids”

A third man who was also at the game and sitting next to the guy said he actually caught three foul balls and gave all of them to little kids. You can see his interview below.

Clearly, this isn’t a guy stealing balls from children to bring home for himself.

And while this doesn’t have anything to do with politics, it’s a great example of how we should seek out more information before we form an opinion on issues both political and non-political. An entire lifetime of good deeds and behavior can be wiped away just by one 30-second viral video.

We see one instance of behavior and we think we can sum up a person’s entire life and personality. We need to stop being so casual with our opinions regarding complete strangers.