Conclusion — Is it really an end?

Noun: a judgement or decision reached by reasoning.

The definition of conclusion is the last part of something or an opinion reached after some thought. An example of conclusion is the decision to purchase an SUV after comparing it with a sports sedan. So as per this definition and the cited example, there has to be an end or decision made when we refer to a conclusion, correct? Now consider the following cases:

Case#1: Once upon a time lived a Casanova who had been into multiple relations before he met his dream girl. While the initial ‘getting-to-know-each-other’ was going on, the girl asked the guy about status of his past relations. The guy mentions that his past relations are no longer active and are dormant. This was not an answer that was expected. An ideal answer would have been “those are matters of the past and since then we have broken up or its over”. This ideal answer could fit in the definition of conclusion. However what would you term the actual answer? Doesn’t the answer imply that there could be relations which do not come to a logical conclusion? That not all relations either end in marriage, or a breakup. Not all relations get to see the brighter side of life nor do all relations end up as a heartbreak. Human relations may not always have a logical end — a conclusion.

Case# 2: Now take this case study: In one of the all-time Bollywood (Indian movie spectrum) hits, an architect of a crime sequence, who is an ex-cop, takes the help of two prisoners for capturing the local mafia. Situation becomes tensed and leads to a gun fight, wherein at an instance when one of the prisoners’ bullets get over, he sees a gun lying near the architect. He shouts and requests him to pick up the gun and pass it on to him. However the ex-cop doesn’t do that and just walks off leaving the prisoner to fend for himself. At the end, this guy becomes extremely angry and abuses the ex-cop that had he picked up the gun and passed on to him, the outcome of the fight would have been different. This was his conclusion and he was all grumpy and frustrated at the architect, only to know at a later stage that the ex-cop did not have his limbs and there was no way he could have picked up the gun. Now…what I mean to say is that conclusions made in a haste can be very harmful and not necessarily be the right conclusions. Before making any conclusion, look at the context, study the possibilities, try to offer a benefit of doubt, and after all that if you still come to a common end, then it would be safe to conclude.

Case# 3: We spoke of open ended conclusions, premature conclusions, and now let’s talk about the conclusion by definition. In work place environment for e.g. it is expected and necessary to always come to a conclusion. One cannot take up responsibilities or assignments and leave it half-way or without a proper logical conclusion. Imagine a board meeting which ends without a conclusion or a decision! In a professional environment, matters initiated should be concluded and that is the definition. Why is this a must is because a series of decisions and plan of action needs to be taken based on the outcome of your assignment. A business manager needs to know the fees charged for a particular service by his competitors under a given framework of scenario. Based on this outcome, she/ he will decide upon her/ his company’s pricing structure. In such cases imagine a non-conclusive feedback or survey done by his team mates!

The reason I chose to write on this topic is that I wondered we are so defined by the definitions that we have been taught in our language. For us, certain words are defined the way they are explained by someone. Life is dynamic. Life situations are dynamic. An explanation which applies under a certain situation may not be applicable for the same matter under different set of circumstances. Predefined understanding of concepts and terminologies make our thought process limited. Our aim in life should be to keep exploring and not to go by definitions and explanations as have been understood and conveyed by someone. Maybe a groundwork of thoughts can be laid, a foundation created, but what ensues out of that should be our understanding based on our context and dynamics.

Everything in life is not black or white. There definitely are grey areas and these grey areas become the context of life. The above three case studies will hopefully allow us to conclude :-) that there are types of conclusions — open ended, premature, and firm. Next time someone creates a definition of conclusion, they better write these three definitions. Or am I going too far? ;-)

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