March 2001
May 2001

Twenty years ago, an acquaintance said to me, "Are you having an affair?" This was a most unusual comment of a personal nature that one does not ask of someone with whom one has not had any association other than attending organizational meetings where there is no socializing between the members. However, when I answered with a negative response, she continued to harass me for at least ten minutes. Her final remark was, "Oh don't tell me that! Everyone is having an affair!"

With that last comment I realized that she was, and that she wanted to justify her position by affirming that others did the same. I verbalized my thought which she vehemently denied. Moreover, currently I ran into her at a store where she told me that her husband was leaving her because she had been having an affair throughout their marriage.

It was not a surprise to me. People judge others by what they do themselves. Often accusing others of their own activities out of guilt. Suspicion and jealousy can develop from this cause. Not that every suspicion arrives from that source, certainly when the facts seem irrefutable, one may well be correct. Yet, people can only judge by their experiences which may be based only on the limited perception of their own or vicarious (i.e.,second hand; such as reading or another relating feelings,T.V. Programs etc.). happenstances. Therefore, people develop ILLUSIONS that are created by their own internalized messages to themselves as to what they should do, or want to do, based on how they perceive the facts which they view as the TRUTH. This often becomes ones LIFE STYLE. Assuming others think identically begins on the three year old level, but usually is outgrown to the extent that an adult has the ability to modify his/her reasoning when given an entirely different scenario.

It is necessary to be able to adapt to changing environments, different personalities, and varied life styles, especially in the United States where there are multiple ethnic groups with different life styles and experiences. Even the locality:urban, suburban, country, North, South, East or West in the U.S., can develop different impressions leading to dissenting opinions of life. If we are unable to figure out why we are being treated in a manner that does not agree with our Rights in life, we need to try and understand how that other person thinks. After all when we go to war we need to know what the enemy is doing and what strategy they are going to use against us.

A perfect example of this technique was the Iraqi war which America was able to win in three days because we had explored the negatives and were able to plan an attack that avoided the pitfalls of failure. My book HEAR MY CRY! explores the self-determined ILLUSIONS of ninety nine different situations and people. The vignette (a short story with a point),The Abuser, familiarizes the reader with the fact that the abusive personality is feeling unloved and victimized. When instead s/he is the attacker. Every stage of life is explored from birth to death: happy/sad, male/female,drugs, alcohol, childhood, teenagers, and much more. Being equipped with understanding is our first line of defense and hopefully informed assertiveness not aggressiveness will solve what ever problems one might have with relationships.