2005-01-28 / Columnists

The Inner Voice

by Marilyn Gelfand

We are constantly bombarded by external stimuli telling us to do this or do that or to believe this or that. It is so important to remember to think for yourself and come to your own conclusions. As we are digging out from a big snowfall, do you really care or believe in global warming, for example?  Many people are banking their careers and organizations try to get funding based on the premise of global warming.  If we look in history, we can note that there were always changes in climates.  We see the wooly mammoths in the LaBrea tarpits in California, and know about floods from the stories of Noah’s ark and the epic of Gilgamesh.  So is climate meant to constantly change on the earth or is it America’s fault because of overindustrialization?  I have even read that some countries think that America caused the tsunami by detonating a nuclear bomb in the ocean. So, we know that many people think differently for their own reasons, but it is important to not just have a kneejerk reaction, and rather you can conclude through your own research if you care about an issue strongly enough or draw a conclusion by thinking intuitively. 

I know both sides really believe strongly in creationism vs. evolution.  No one really thinks that both could be partially wrong or right. So much becomes black or white, and people polarize and begin to dig in on their side.  The important point again is not to be brainwashed, but to think on your own.  Perhaps, just like the humans who create these ideas and then draw sides, you will draw a similar or different conclusion. As we see intimidation and victimization work as powerful tools to convince others, and as facts take a lesser role to who tells the louder story, it is as important to check things out especially if your own gut reaction or insides seem unsettled. 

Whether it’s figuring out which street to drive on in the snow or coming to a conclusion on how you should vote or express your belief, you can’t go wrong if you stop and think or meditate on it.  Your own opinions need not always be expressed, but you can have the satisfaction of living your own life as you choose.

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