2009-07-10 / Columnists

The Inner Voice

Commentary by Marilyn Gelfand

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 considered 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. Often we blanket others with our own values, and completely misread what someone else is actually thinking and feeling.

Why assume that the other thinks the same way, when it may be totally different. We can't cover those we love with a blanket of our own values, and then act as though that it is a reality. It is so important to realize that not everyone sees things the way we do, and that is fine.

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 over, we heard promises of how our society can change. People act or expect things to be different, and fresh new thoughts often can become negative slurs or positive spins depending on our media choice. We know that once elected, politicians do what they want anyway unless there is undo pressure from outside. Your opinion of America, down to your July 4th celebration, was dependent on your own script. We may look at others, and say, "How can they act that way?"

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 our way eventually. We must allow the other person the right to do it his 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 it is not us 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 acknowledge who this person really is.

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