2010-06-11 / Columnists

The Inner Voice

Commentary by Marilyn Gelfand

We may not even be aware of how many ideas, situations, or values are linked by sources outside of ourselves. If I am going to eat an ice cream, criticize a political decision or go on vacation to a certain place, it is often because I have information from experts or trusted sources.

My values get linked by this information, and then they become what I believe to be true.

For example, in our society, we have laws that enforce and stress that monogamy is good in a marriage. The biggest scandals have cost men their jobs, embarrassment, and poor relationships in their family if this is not practiced. However, as America opens its doors to immigrants or other groups have different beliefs elsewhere in our country, we find that these other groups of people don’t reinforce the same beliefs we have. Men can have four wives or divorce a temporary wife with a text message on a cell phone. To these people in their society, different values have been linked together oftentimes by religious leaders giving their blessings. The place of homosexuality will also be debated by various experts and leaders.

The important point for spiritual individuals is to bring in our awareness of how “goods or bads” are created often by our culture in the time in which we are living.

We want to step back and ask ourselves, “What is it that I myself really think?” What feels right and comfortable truly from within.

If you need time to think and formulate your own value in a decision, take your time.

You may feel that you see things differently than mainstream belief and you may be uneasy about it. The point is to detach from the pain or insecurities that may occur, and then formulate your own thought. You will then feel more satisfied even if you choose not to share with others what you really do think.

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