The dominant news story of the day today has been the mass shooting in the movie theater in Aurora, Colorado – a tragic, senseless act of some deranged man whose motives and psyche we may never understand. My heart goes out to all those directly and indirectly impacted by the tragedy. My prayers are with the families of the victims and those recovering from injuries. I trust justice will be done and the shooter will never again know what it is to be a free man in society.
The side story for me in all this has been the grossly irresponsible reporting by so-called professionals who seem more interested in being the first to speculate about the incident rather than being correct in what is reported. ABC News’ Brian Ross should be out of a job tonight in my opinion for his erroneous speculation with zero fact-checking this morning. That is unconscionable behavior for anyone is his public, national role.
There is a side to most (if not all) of us that seems all too ready to jump to conclusions we would like to be true. We really don’t want little things like facts getting in the way of us touting what we want to believe is true. Facts are inconvenient when they don’t support our presuppositions or desired conclusions.
Most of us have had times where we’ve had a very lumpy humble pie for dessert after jumping to some conclusion before all the evidence is in. It doesn’t set well when we eat humble pie. Hopefully, however, it makes us less eager to feast on the same buffet of irresponsibility the next time an opportunity arises.
Actions have consequences, and while we have control over our actions, we have no control over the consequences of those actions. Irresponsible behavior, be it personal or professional, bears consequences – sometimes very serious ones.
Whether in your own home, at your work, with your neighbors, friends or strangers, please try to remember leap year lesson #200 – Don’t jump to conclusions.