2010-04-16 / Columnists

The Inner Voice

Commentary by Marilyn Gelfand

Is drinking red wine good for you or bad for you? Have you noticed that one day’s advice changes by the next few years? At work, I just read our work newspaper for staff and there was a Harvard study on how drinking coffee is good for you, especially if you drink between three and six cups a day. I had to laugh at how we have been told that coffee has been bad for us for a while now. The same story with drinking red wine. So many things change from generation to generation so it really is important in life to trust our instincts. Fads come and go. Scientific research changes the way we view things, for example. In addition, so many things happen all the time that we don’t expect.

I remember driving to work on 9/11/2001 and thinking that it was just another Tuesday not knowing that a big event would happen that would change all of us New Yorkers.

These days many people have an intellectual approach to life and don’t believe that there is more than human beings at the helm of reality. People may believe that man has the ability to control weather because of his actions, for example global warming discussions, or that eating right and exercising and getting checkups will bring a person a very long life. For the secularists, the weather is not controlled by God or a higher outside force, and God is not the one to decide life and death but rather the actions of man determine the longevity of life. We are in control of our human destiny.

On the other hand, there are also certain groups in the society that believe the opposite. Faith in God carries them through life and that is what is right to believe. We may have different religious groups each believing that theirs is the only true religion, and they live life following the teachings of their particular faith.

The secular and the faith-based groups often are at opposite ends of an issue— each blaming the other for a variety of society’s problems.

Instead of having the outside world of journalists, teachers, politicians or experts make up our own minds about how to live, it is really important to detach from the society and see if there is a common sense answer. Our instincts are meant to give us these clues even if those powerful in society have a different version. It is only now being disclosed that so much of what the media calls experts are individuals who are paid by a group on only one side of an issue.

News reporting is no longer neutral, but admits that it is one-sided to help people make wise choices.

Our lives necessitate making wise decisions, but how we make those decisions is up to us. Hopefully we are not blind followers of a manipulative or ignorant source. We have to trust ourselves. We also must remember that we have to accept life’s events and the choices that other people make. They may make decisions based on other values or information. Where there is choice, it really is good to know that no matter what anyone else says, we can trust in ourselves enough to look at a situation the way we’d truly like from within ourselves.

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