2011-09-02 / Columnists

The Inner Voice

Commentary by Marilyn Gelfand

We look at each other, events, things and history, and we each come up with our own conclusions. We have our opinions, and some of us get angry when others see reality or their own lives differently from the way we wish it could be.

We have judgments that we believe to be real. However, life can be filled with love and openness and suspended judgments on others. It has to have our awareness of what is and what our own reality is. It is the way we approach others that is important. Often, when we feel our way is best, we speak to another from a condescending attitude. The other person feels judged, and becomes defensive. Then barriers are created, and each person feels justified in his own corner.

Instead, we want to build bridges with those people who are important to us. We want to demonstrate that we can see where the other person is coming from. We want to say we are available to talk about it. We extend a hand of openness and feel free to discuss an issue knowing the other person has every right to see the world his own way. This does not apply to issues that jeopardize the safety of another. Where safety is involved, that has to come first.

If we can take our own ego out of the way, we often can say, “Let’s just see what is going on here.” Or if you messed up, sometimes it is easier to say, “I wish it could have been better, but I gave it my best shot in the circumstances.” People will then be less judgmental of you. Instead of being consumed by your own anger, push it away, and extend a hand to someone you love. Try to have the other person explain his reasons to you. See if it makes sense and offer your own suggestion. Then let it go. Others do not often want the advice or want someone else to fix their own problem.

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