2009-01-23 / Columnists

The Inner Voice

Commentary by Marilyn Gelfand

Turning on the radio or television almost guarantees some talk about our new president, hope and the inauguration. As we open to a new president with a new skin color, people all have their own reactions.

Words and charisma are tools of politicians and media creators, and we are getting our information from various sources these days. All of politics is so geared to winning the public's mind through image creation and then the politicians invariably do what they want to anyway. Image is the most important work prior and during elections.

It is such a good way to observe the way words are only tools to create what will be only an image. These images constantly change depending on what the politician or journalist is trying to get the public to believe. Being old enough to have lived through the Vietnam War days, I have seen that war and the soldiers who fought in it changing from "good" to "bad" or back and forth depending on what was to be the purpose of the given speech. I know for many veterans the attitudes they faced when they came home from Vietnam was as bad as the war itself. So, images constantly change. Which are real? Probably none of them. They are just images, not reality. Each person creates his own life and learns from personal experiences. Different people in the same situation may come out with different reactions. We must also realize that there are different motivations for why people do what they do. Some just want to create a scenario, while others may be truly expressing what they feel.

Another example of how words are just used to create a desired effect may be seen in the war in Iraq. Who wants America to look good or bad or what Americans should do in ending the war are up for the creation of images. Many have said that we must always listen to the speeches in Arabic because they don't always coincide with what the same leader says in English.

I was talking with a friend about how global warming has become climate change since we have had so much cold weather. Then she reminded me of rap groups for women in the 1960s. When she said it, I immediately thought of rap music, and it took a long time to remember the meetings we had in my house where we discussed various topics about women's roles in society.

We must be so careful with our words and the way we believe what others tell us. We may try to get to facts even in our personal relationships.

What really happened when two people had a fight? Sometimes it is difficult to get to the facts. In a love relationship, does he/she love me or not? Check out the actions with the words, and try to find the motivation.

But, at least if I am aware that I must trust what my insides believe, that I don't just accept the words of another as blind truth or follow what my advisors say, I am more open to follow and trust my own opinion.

We should not be afraid to think within ourselves and come to our own conclusions.

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