2003-09-26 / Columnists

The Inner Voice

by Marilyn Gelfand
The Inner Voice by Marilyn Gelfand

Think for yourself, to thine own self be true are statements that have existed from time immemorial saying we should look within to decide what is right or good for ourselves. It sounds so simple, but it is not. These days we have actors in politics, and politicians who were businessmen, and everyone says all the proper words at election time. How can one tell what is authentic? The media may not bother checking facts. We know that a NY Times reporter, Blair, published fraudulent stories, was terminated along with his editor, and now got a big book deal to tell his story. The CNN staff in Iraq told us that it has published lies for the last twelve years, until Saddam’s fall, so that it could continue to remain in Iraq.

The decision was made by the head of the news staff, Easton, who preferred to report lies rather than be removed from a hostile nation. The news reporting on television is a business with commercials based on ratings. Our society has experts galore on every issue and their "spin" is acceptable entertainment. It seems that entertainment and news have merged. Bill O’Reilly has gone so far as to say that his program on Fox news is a no-spin zone. This has all become acceptable, and it does cause confusion because it is hard to pick out the facts.

We can feel tremendous forces of energy from individuals or groups and must not confuse that feeling with reality. Often the people who take greatest offense, are the most offensive themselves. They just don’t like it begin "done" to them. Intimidators count on their ability to wear down or frighten their subject. Often when that doesn’t work, they can switch into being a victim in the same breath. You can be made to feel guilty or obligated from the same person who just tried to force you to do something. It is truly amazing to watch. The feeling of pressure or guilt must be guarded against. We must be vigilant to do only what feels right. fOur society loves con artists. We hold them up to be clever and admire that they can get away from what others must plod along and do. From Huckleberry Finn to recent films, one can see the glorification of those who can get something for nothing, and trick the hard working "dumb" honest ones into doing their work. There is no stigma in not working hard or doing it yourself, as was the case in the days of the work ethic.

Our instincts guide us into what is personally important to ourselves. We can tell the difference between impulsiveness and truly being cleansed and in tune. As much as possible, when a decision is to be made, give yourself the time and space to trust yourself to come up with the right answer. It still is important to quiet yourself, and allow the answers from within to emerge.

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