“By a small sample we may judge the whole piece.”

—Miquel de Cervantes, 16th Century Spanish Novelist

image of a hand holding a bite-sized cupcake

Image from blackboard blog

When was the last time you dined at a smorgasbord, buffet, or pot-luck dinner? What was your strategy to identify and determine the tastiest items available?

If you are like many people, you might take a small sampling of many items, knowing that if one bite was tasty, a bigger helping would be even more delicious.

Sometimes, however, when we only have a small sample of something such as a book, a TV show, or a person we’ve just met, we get an incomplete view. We can jump to premature and false conclusions about the entire experience or person.


Where in your personal or professional worlds is it appropriate or inappropriate to judge the whole piece by just a small sample?