This is a very difficult question. It's about standards in different things. Standards of behaviour. Standards in work. Standards in writing. Standards in anything.
It's about where we say, "This is acceptable, and this is not."
I find it a difficult question because I think one has to consider that one's own standards are not always the standards of someone else. And there really is no right or wrong. Or is there?
How do you define your own standards, and how do you think one should define societal standards?
Say you want to go naked when you go to school. You may want to consider the reactions of others around you, they might feel uncomfortable and can't concentrate. Plus maybe there is a law in the school that says "proper dress code". In that sense you can't just do the things you want to do, there are laws created in office setting, or school, anywhere which are based on values shared in the community.
laws are dependent on the moral values prominent in the place where laws are effective. They are also based on the moral values of the people who are making the laws.
But once people will demand for no dress code including naked in classroom, and student will start to imitate the one who went naked then they might consider changing the laws, the behavior then becomes acceptable.
Killing is a universal no no - which is wrong across all culture. Other behaviors are acceptable depending on the culture you are in.
@prettydarkhorse. So what happens when half the school are nudists and the other half aren't. Who wins? I understand that it is the majority that wins, but what happens when there isn't a clear majority?
then the laws of the school will not allow the students to go naked. They are prohibited to enter the classrooms then until they rally perhaps and change the law after sometime or it will be the accepted norms as many are doing it already.
Didn't quite answer my question. What happens if the most powerful figure - the head of the school - is a nudist? And what happens if the school is pretty well divided equally on the issue. Why would the swing be towards people wearing the clothes, rather than not wearing clothes?
then the people would be involved through a referendum. Put it to a vote! If that came out 50/50 then obviously negotiation would be the answer, as it always is.
if there is a law beforehand then they will follow the law - even if he is the most powerful person in the school. If the student perhaps side with the nudists, then it is time to study the ruling.
Wearing clothes in classroom is the prevailing accepted behavior.
Don't forget the final law,,,, life is not fair.
yes at times..
I just say I admire those people who dare to be different and go against acceptable behavior. They are the prime mover of a new order -- introduction to new and exciting world out there. Look at Lady Gaga. Brave people who will mostly change the world. Not Lady Gaga - but fashion wise only, LOL
Standards is tied to conscience, which is defined by morality.
Morality is defined based on actions, as good or bad. Thus, rights are also aligned with morality. No one has the "right" to do bad to other people, it is done by many, but isn't subjective to what one thinks.
Morality should be natural via one's conscience, however, if one isn't taught about their own conscience, to understand it, then their morality will be skewed.
Morality defines each person's actions. Morality does not super-cede individual rights. Educating children about morality early in life and help them to better learn about themselves is the only course of action, to a better society, in the overall.
Usually, morality is taught(or it was me) by parents. It isn't to be forced upon them, but parents should be guiding factors in the growth of their children.
Yes, standards can be applied to each person and in doing so, teaches them to remain of integrity, which is based on honesty. No one is above the human species, as a collective and no one is more important than the human species, as a collective.
Each person should apply the highest available standard to their life, while making sure that they do not, under any circumstance, infringe upon the rights of others.
So, Cagsil, if people are taught different standards, how do they get along with each other, and accept diffirent standards from each other?
If one person is taught that it's okay not to be able to spell (bringing it closer to home) and another person is taught that it is not, who has the right to determine who is right and who is wrong?
If one person is taught that it's okay to drive around in a dirty car and another person is told that they must never drive around in a dirty car, who has the right to judge the person's character based on the dirty car? And who determans which level of dirt is acceptable for the car?
You are assuming that standards are taught when in fact they are imposed by the concensus of society. Your own standards are based on the societal norm, you may be what you perceive as 'more than' or 'less than'.
Standards are also difernet for different people, to take your example of spelling it would be generally thought as 'below standard' if a native speaker has "poor' spelling (against the normal (or average) for the society around that person) BUT if a second language speaker makes a few spelling mistakes this would not be 'below' any standard as the standard for a second language speaker is by definition lower.
Standards, like morals, are in the eye of the beholder.
Actually, I didn't make any such assumption. I was responding to Cagsil who said that standards were taught. Also, regardless of whether one takes standards from the society around one, or from one's parents, they are still taught.
My question is not about what current standards in specific societies are. It is about who sets those standards. How does society determine what is an acceptable level of spelling and what is not?
And as per my questions, if standards are in the eye of the beholder, then who is to say that anyone's standards are wrong?
Sophia, if it is left up to unintelligent people to teach standards, regardless what that standard is in regards to, without having a solid foundation, then you have society like it is today.
Standards come in all different aspects and should be taught. This goes back to my first post about understanding Morality to begin with. What is good or bad is deemed by actions, any standard is tied to those actions. As for spelling? Oh please, if someone makes mistakes about spelling it only shows that they were not taught properly to begin with, so it is better to be kind and show them that the error that they commit isn't doing them any good. If that person then decides to rebel against or refuses to understand the importance, then they have chosen to be ignorant and chooses not to improve upon themselves. Thus, it must be pointed out again, the error of their way, because of the damage they continue to do to themselves without realizing. If the person says "I don't care"?, then they have no respect for themselves or others.
This is a ridiculous statement, considering you're talking about a car? There isn't any individual standard for taking care of a car with regards to how dirty it is. If there were, the person who put them in place should be shot.
Ah, but you see, Cagsil, you are talking about current standards. However, standards change. Who is to say that there isn't some major reason why cars should not be dirty?
What happens if it is suddenlys discovered that a major virus would reside on dirty cars because that dangerous virus likes the combination of dirt and metal? In that case, there would be a very sound reason for not having cars be dirty.
I think that most standards are linked to the degree of well being and survival associated with doing things in a certain way. And that as the community recognises those factors, standards come into being...
Sophia, you make me laugh. If a person understand morality, then their own car would not be dirty. And, as for as for standards change? Actually, standards with regards to morality is the only thing that needs to be truly understood.
This proves you lack understanding of morality.
Morality is based on actions, so are standards. Understand Morality, good or bad actions- good actions come from integrity in all aspects of life. Therefore, if one was to treat themselves accordingly, based on integrity, then they will have respect and love for themselves. When they have respect and love for self, then their life isn't interrupted by what other standards set by other people. My life is lived by standard by understanding morality. I am honest to the point it hurts me sometimes. People get more insulted and react to my honesty, but fail to realize that their own ego is in their way, because they didn't understand my actions. You ask a question? I'll answer it. If you don't like the answer, that is your problem, not mine. What many people fail to do is realize why? they have a problem with it to begin with.
Cagsil, I find your comment interesting that I lack understanding about morality. Have you ever considered that people ask questions, not because they don't understand it, but because they want to see what the understanding of others is?
I've written about ethics for years. Some of my articles on the topic are Number one in google.
I disagree that morality is based on actions. Before the action takes place, there has to be an idea that it is 'good' or 'bad'.
Where does that idea come from?
In case you think I'm asking because I dont' know. I do have an idea. I've studied it for many years. I'm interested in where you think it comes from.
I think others are much closer when they say it has to do with what is comfortable and uncomfortable for people, and that it stems from what works towards survival and well being. That is my understanding of it.
You're funny. An "idea" shouldn't be held to a "good" or "bad" assessment. The consequences that result from the implementation of action to enforce the idea must be realized. The IDEA itself is meaningless.
All ideas come from imagination. Imagination is the sum of all collective knowledge learned and unknowingly learned.
My post seems to bother you. Yet, you fail to realize that I'm not talking directly to you or at you, but am talking to the benefit of everyone. Now, your studies and what you learned, can be assessed through actions and the consequences of said actions. However, what you say is irrelevant about background.
My words were an explanation and not one for debate. It was simple to be understood. If you disagreed, which apparently you did say you did disagree....like I said, ask yourself why?
That only feeds the "survival of the fittest" mentality and is nothing more than a prime example that much of the distortion and misinformation with regards to life, has seeped in too many people. The "survival of the fittest" mentality is animal kingdom thought process. It's outdated and needs to go away. Survival can be shared among all people, providing they each have a true understanding of moral standards.
@ Cagsil. All of us write for the benefit of everybody else. You are not alone in that.
People assess actions. The assessment is an intangible. Whether one calls it an idea or an assessment, it is still an intangible evaluation of the action.
Survival of the fittest (most adaptable) is not a 'mentality'. It is a scientific, biologcial varifiable fact. It's never going to go away. While I understand that you have the same desire that many of us have - that survival of the fittest will go away - I don't see it happening any time soon. )
So, what criteria do people use to evaluate whether an action is good (acceptable, benefits the majority) or bad (non acceptable, harms the majority)?
That was my original question, and you haven't answered it yet.
This is interesting and seems to be getting nowhere. Morality is based on good or bad actions. The actions have a consequence, which is judged by others.
If one holds themselves to integrity, then the observed action, can be determined, good or bad.
Integrity is the foundation for good action. It's up to the individual to understand morality. The problem is, too much distortion and misinformation, with regards to the topic.
Like I said- with regards to ideas - it doesn't matter, unless you enforce it with actions, at which time, the action will be judged or deemed, at a specific level of morality.
If you have an idea to kill someone, but you never act on it, but manage to live on to a ripe old age and die, then it will not be judged by anyone. So, it's irrelevant.
Standards are set first according to a law of morality.
Next, standards are based on God's commands (thou shalt not kill).
Then a minimum standard is accepted by society (murder in self-defense is okay).
Every single individual in the world has their own standards to live by, which is equal to their ability, their talents, their skills, their knowledge, the society in which they live, the family to which they belong/identify - all of which must conform to the beliefs and inclinations of the individual.
If conformity is not reached, the individual struggles to reach or maintain a standard.
(this topic should probably be in the Philosophy forum)
Standards are also defined by the paradigm in which they are implemented.
A couple of examples:
Lying is considered wrong in business and in society in general. However, in the game of poker, lying (aka bluffing) is an approved practice.
Poor spelling is considered an infraction by society in general. However, in the business world, poor spelling ranges from a major misdemeanor to an outright felony.
- Just my thoughts this fine Sunday morning at ~6:30 AM.
@paradigmsearch. Yes, that is so.
But how did we arrive at those standards?
Who said that it's okay to lie in poker but not in business? How did that standard evolve?
As to poker, all games have rules. Lying is a rule in poker as bishops-moving-diagonally is a rule in chess. The rules are agreed upon by the participants before engaging in the game.
As to the business world, poor spelling can/will result in loss of revenue. Anything that costs revenue in the business world has been and always will be a major no-no.
So, would you say that standards are determined by best chance of survival?
Sophia, your question makes me think of my favorite saying and what I follow in life, "everything is relative".
We all are raised a little different and humans follow, for the most part, what they are taught is right or wrong. We all think what we do is "right" because it is how we were raised.
How we act and what we believe is all relative to how we were raised and the community in which we grew up in.
Each person would believe and act differently than they do now if they only had been raised and/or brought up in a different place or family.
As for who gets to say what is right or wrong, it's the community your living in. Each different community, city, country and whatever has what everyone knows is right and wrong for that place.
That does not mean it IS right or wrong. Nobody can say anything is absolute right or wrong because we all think different.
Yet almost everyone thinks what THEY see as right or wrong is,,, right!
So there is no right or wrong, only what each of us has been taught and raised to think as right or wrong.
Every single person alive would have different values and definitions of right or wrong if they had simply been born in a different country, town or community.
Everything is relative.
@ Bill Manning.
So if everything is relative to the community one was raised in, and if communities are becoming more and more diverse, with people with very different standards moving in, how do people with one set of standards make room for those with very different standards?
Bill is essentially correct - standards are set by the "sub-community" around us. A ghetto gang member finds murder quite acceptable, and even necessary sometimes, as long as it isn't a member of his/her own gang.
As far as fitting in new standards, it won't happen until the new members have sufficient strength to force a change. The new standards may be tolerated but not accepted until then, but only if they don't affect existing members of a community.
Another example might be a small, highly religious, community. An atheist is tolerated but not accepted, and his standards of keeping religion out of public life likely result in being shunned (no jobs, children shunned in school, etc.) until sufficient atheists are present to physically and/or legally force a change to their own standards.
So, at what point does this reach the point where the Chancelor of Germany announces that diversity was a failed experiment?
And at what point is civil war reached - when two sets of opposing values are so abhorrent to each other that neither can tolerate each other?
Chancelor question: When the new group begins to have power and make a fuss, but not enough power to actually force anything. The old group will then declare that it's a failure and take steps to stop the change.
Civil war: Typically this point is reached when one set begins to physically threaten the other or in some other manner make it impossible to maintain that "pursuit of happiness". One set will then dispose of the other. The ghetto gangs will be removed by force, for instance. Members will be jailed for murder and removed from the now "right thinking" society that they once inhabited and controlled.
Occasionally two sets find that they are forced to get along - the religious example might be of this type. The larger society steps in and forces the issue.
wilderness pretty much explained it all and I believe that, what he says.
This all goes back to the whole racism, failed diversity and all that stuff. We all think our way, our community is right.
When we have to live with a new community, the bright ones will try to compromise and work with them.
However if the two have a big problem with what they think is right and wrong, then wars, racism and so on start.
It will always be this way, always has been. There is nothing wrong with communities and people just keeping to themselves. Trying to force diversity is an already failed experiment.
If you WANT diversity then by all means go out and take in all the different cultures. But for the most part, two different communities just can't work well together.
Unfortunately, Bill, different communities have to work together. No community is self sufficient - we buy oil from muslims because we don't have enough otherwise and sell them products and services that they can't produce themselves (engineering, for instance). This is not too difficult to work with as transactions can be held at arm's reach but still (obviously) causes enormous friction just from such contact.
More difficult is the case of two communities growing into contact physically, such as a city surrounding or butting up against another community. Members of each inevitably come into close contact with each other with resulting friction. In such cases it is often the larger community (state, federal) that settles disputes over standards, with results no one is happy with; people must then learn to accept and live with diversity or leave. They cannot reasonably keep to themselves when their neighbor (future son-in-law?) is so close physically.
The only real answer is to eliminate all diversity in the world and that is not going to happen (nor should it). Other than that we must learn to live with it.
Oh that's true, I said two communities can't work WELL together. Most communities and countries all work with each other on some level.
They put up with what they have to in order to get what they want. But most don't want them to merge and become one. Most wars, if not all, started because the other people where not like them.
There are many individual people that love diversity and seek it out. But whole communities and countries,,,, not so much.
You've said it well - I can't argue with a thing there.
Not fair - you're supposed to be obviously wrong so that I can then point out how my standards are so much better!
Hey Wilderness, to be fair, it's not about how one person compares their own standards to another, but to ensure that both people truly understand the basis.
Phew. A lot of clever people on this thread. I need to recap on a minor detail. If my car isn't very clean, and it isn't, does that mean my standards have slipped or that I had low standards in the car cleaning area to start with?
Will I still go to Heaven? Obviously I wouldn't take the car.
Well, fortunately, it isn't a societal standard. I was looking for an example that wasn't a current societal standard in order to explain something more clearly.
No you will not. "Cleanliness is next to Godliness" and that obviously includes a car. Should it get dirty mud bogging you must visit the car wash there before leaving the mud bog, and even that is a little questionable.
Thanks Wilderness. It's not often I get an answer of the quality of yours. I will leave the car at home from now on.
Well! (nose in air) All my answers of high quality!
Please do leave your car at home. I cannot quite see it from my window, but I'm sure it is a real eyesore, and dangerous to the oculation of your neighbors. Possibly even more so than my own, which I washed just 2 years ago. (If you need practice here, you may come and wash mine...)
They say that "When in Rome do as the Roman's do". If you don't then that will generate a certain kind of experience which may be less than desirable. If you are going to buck convention then you have to be willing to accept the results.
But great for psychological study.
Good point, and people know and understand that. At least until they run into something different.
I understand that Europe (and Australia?) have topless and even (gasp) nude beaches. Any right thinking American seeing such a decadent sight will immediately turn and run away (except for the degenerates like me - we just wanna know where they are ) and then go home and exhort their neighbors and friends to never never go to such a terrible place. And then write the obviously immoral governments that they need to become Americanized.
It never ceases to amaze me that people think everyone else has, or should have, the same standards they do. Why do they bother to travel, then?
"It never ceases to amaze me that people think everyone else has, or should have, the same standards they do." Big conflicts ensue. Anger arises with the assumption that some are purposely offensive, whereas talking to them one may realize they have different standards and had no idea they were being offensive.
The same standards, when realized as truth, can be made adaptable by any individual. The problem is ego.
Ego and a person individual inability to see past it.
Being offensive by someone else's standard, depending on whether or not, that person's standard is based on integrity, is what makes the difference.
If a person has a high standard, such as integrity and you as a person do not? Then what does that specifically say about you as a person. I'm not trying to create an argument, just want to give you something to think about.
BTW If you lived in a place where there was a shortage of (drinking) water having a clean car would be wrong.
class standards, high, middle and lower class. "If a person has a high standard, such as integrity and you as a person do not? Then what does that specifically say about you as a person." How does the lower class even know their are different kinds of integrity and vice versa? Hey I like an argument. How else you going to learn anything?
Different identities have different standards of integrity which come with the
adoption. Maybe if you saw HBo's 'The Soprano's', these gangsters have certain kinds of integrity, that is not shared by the greater community. For instance big trouble if they cheat each other. If you are going to adopt the identity of gangster specific mores go with the occupation.
Cagsil, until you can define integrity as more than conscience, everybody will always define integrity differently because it's subjective. You need to define integrity outside of human 'conscience.'
Cagsil, you need to define what good actions are.
Define a good action? You're kidding right.
A good action comes from the understanding that bad actions are harmful to others and self.
Let me define it for you the way I define a good action.
A good action is an action that leads to the greater good for the greater many over the longest period of time. A 'good' action will lead to the survival, wellbeing, of the greatest number over the longest period of time. An action that only leads to the good of one person but destroys the good of the majority is not a good action because it leads to the destruction of the majority.
Nope, wrong. A good action simply is not a bad action.
One man's good action is another man's bad action.
Muslim martyrs consider it a good thing to die while killing others. You might not, but they do not.
That's why the word 'good' is relative. Until it is defined, it is only an opinion.
Your comparison is just distortion away from truth. It's obvious that they don't understand what a good action is to begin with.
Opinions have nothing to do with universal truths.
So how do you define a good action without it being taught to someone, and without it being from one's conscience, which means it's a subjective measure.
I don't buy that some people are born with 'good' consciences, or that some people are the ones that know what good is, because they're the only one's that have been taught what the 'real' good is.
"It's obvious that they don't understand what a good action is to begin with"
And you do????
Got to agree with Sophia here. There are lots of things different cultures do that to them is a "good" thing, while others see it as bad, bizarre or even perverted.
I think good actions (on earth) are subjective, but that doesn't change the universal truth to morality.
Actually, Yes, I know and understand what a good action is and the simple fact that you continue to manipulate by bringing in things that obvious are not good actions, simply shows you are trying not to get to the truth, but spin things to fit your "relative" ideology.
A universal truth exists.
"A universal truth exists"
Ok, so your saying that we all know what those are, and we can choose to do or not do them? We just all know, somehow? I don't think so.
I think big ones we all do. I think we all know killing someone is wrong. Oh wait, no we don't. Not unless it's taught to us.
I don't do the long argument stuff, so I guess this is where I say believe what you want then, your right.
No, I'm not saying that. I am saying that not everyone understands that a universal truth exists, because of distortion and misinformation on the accounts of others.
This would be ego talking more than anything else. The conscience knows the difference.
Morality isn't natural, it should be natural, but isn't. When one understand themselves, then the conscience rules actions.
This type attitude comes from ego not recognized.
"You need to define integrity outside of human 'conscience.'" Good point. Was just thinking that. What would that be, nature?
what you define as standards, I define as moral fiber. I have found that people who have a moral fiber that would allow them to be alright with telling a small lie, or cheat a little, will also by means of that same moral fiber will be able to do other things like possibly steal a little bit from stores, or cheat on a test, just as an example. It is true that everyone's standards or morals are established as we grow up, and are different from others, but honesty is a good way of measuring someones conscience.
"A universal truth exists." Great one. What is a universal truth?
because truth changes through time, what maybe true in this age/era may not be true anymore tomorrow. The values that are important to a specific culture may not be that important in other era. And different culture places values to different attributes like honesty etc.
The key to understanding other culture is to understand where are they coming from.
Again good one. But now I am so disappointed. I would say that nature might be a universal truth made possible
by our universal bodies as empirical. Seems to me the interpretation is from where all the problems arise.
A universal truth-
Goodness comes from honesty.
Badness comes from dishonesty.
Not so, Cags. Much of our social interaction with family, friends and acquaintances, not to mention customers, bosses and the like are more lies, spin, innuendo or avoidance than honesty.
Without these gentle "white lies" we would find the world to be a much harsher and often downright unpleasant place. And that's OK - most of us recognize when truth is preferable or necessary and when it is more important to make someone feel good than to give honest truth.
"Goodness" can come from dishonesty and often does.
I would disagree about goodness coming from dishonesty. I don't believe anything good can come from a lie. That, however, doesn't mean brutal honesty is always required. I think a different way of saying something can maintain honesty while preserving the dignity of others.
When shown a picture of a new baby from a coworker or family member don't we all coo about how cute they are? What a good looking baby it is?
And yet, few new babies are cute or good looking. We just say they are. A little lie that hurts nothing and pleases the new parent.
Or your mother gets a new haircut; "It's new and the latest thing! Do you like it?" It's hideous, but we would never admit that, instead we say "Yes, it's great" or at most "Oh I liked your old one so well, it's hard to judge". It's not hard to judge at all but we won't admit it. A little kind lie that later we might change, little by little, to tell her the old one was better.
Upon seeing a picture of a new baby, rather than cooing over how 'cute' it is, I'll coo over the tiny fist or how much hair he/she has or something rather than tell a lie.
Mother with a new haircut? Really? lol (I'll go with friend because a mother ought to be able to handle the truth!)
I'd say something like this to a friend with a haircut I didn't think looked right on her - "Oh, wow! It looks just like Molly Ringwald's haircut in Pretty in Pink." (or whatever, lol, so again, I wouldn't be telling a lie)
I dunno, I just find it really difficult to lie. and, Yes, I do find it equally difficult, at times, to tell the truth!
Mothers haircut: You didn't lie, but you managed to avoid the question while giving the impression that you actually answered it in the positive as you must have liked Molly's haircut or you wouldn't compare them. To me still a lie - the best lies do not sound like a lie at all. Ask any politician about it!
And I agree with you - I have difficulty in lying effectively, to the point that it gets me in trouble. Most of the time my attempts at avoidance are taken (as in the hair) to say I don't like it, which is true. For the most part my friends and family have learned not to ask these leading types of questions if they don't want an honest answer. If they're just fishing for a compliment they best go somewhere else!
There ya go! lol Avoid the question in order to avoid a lie! lol (gosh, why didn't I think of that? lol I had to go and explain myself. lol)
Yeah, I've even gone so far as to tell someone I knew well. "Why are you asking me? You know I'll tell the truth." Sometimes it works, other times they'll say "Well, I asked you because I want the truth." Whatcha gonna do when you know they're lying? lol
"Goodness comes from honesty. Badness comes from dishonesty.". Honesty is interpretation. They honestly believed that Asbestos was not harmful.
This is a really thought-provoking question!
I believe each of us forms and reforms our own standards as our lives unfold. Whatever external forces we are exposed to -- parents, church teachings, school, the military, work -- all can influence the standards we adopt for ourselves. I think that's where the idea of a "moral compass" comes in.
My moral compass may guide me in the same direction as others'.
In fact, for most of the "big ticket decisions" I would hope that is the case.
But the reality is, it is not! Look at the big divides between people that cause friction (politics, religion, wars) -- it's clear we do NOT all have the same standards!
And when it comes down to individual decisions and choices about my own conduct as a wife, mother, daughter, friend, neighbor, sibling, worker, citizen -- my compass will not be the same as the next person's. Even someone as close as my husband or my sister will have some standards that are different from mine.
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