2006-11-03 / Columnists

The Inner Voice

Commentary by Marilyn Gelfand


I love the title of a play called "I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change."

How often do we wish we could write the script and have the people we love act as we want them to? We see how it would be so much better if he/she acted in the manner we consider appropriate. Sometimes it is true, but the others can't see it. Sometimes it is our imposing of our own values on others who see things differently. A generation gap is when the values of a society change over the course of time, and what is acceptable or unacceptable has new meanings along with other new phenomena.

Now that Election Day is upon us, we hear promises of how our society can change, people act differently, fresh new thoughts often as negative slurs and we wonder if things can get better or worse depending on a candidate.

Once elected, politicians do what they want anyway unless there is undue pressure from outside.

Most people won't change because we want them to. The only time people change is when it is their own call, perhaps after a serious event. Even then, the change may only be temporary until the crisis is over.

The key is not to create our own suffering because we are waiting for a change in someone or expect that others will see it their way eventually.

We must allow the other person the right to do it their own way, but we can offer our suggestions if we think they will be heard.

We all know what it feels like to be under the gun of an overbearing person who sounds like the foremost authority, so we must make sure that we are not doing it in the name of trying to be helpful.

Acceptance of someone as he is may be one of the most difficult things to do.

The actions that we take in relation to this person are then more realistic because we can admit who this person really is.

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