Osmose - to gradually or unconsciously assimilate some principle or object;

Have you ever stopped to consider how many of your deeply held "beliefs" are not actually yours? Most of what we "believe" comes from one of two sources. The first and most prevalent is childhood. The old "Nurture" accounts for what most people think and believe about most everything. Indeed, the apple or in this case the moral and ethical center, does not fall far from the parental tree.

The second most common source of your belief system comes from the same source but involves a profound rejection of it; we often refer to this as the generational gap or simply being a teenager. In either case radical shifts in what we believe seldom take place much beyond our teenage years.

However, it is possible to change. One common adult period of ethical readjustment involves being the parent of one or more teenagers who are themselves inspecting and dissecting your professed beliefs. At times the teen years are as life changing for the parents as they are for the young adults.

But the point of the Borg Cube is to emphasize that many of our cherished beliefs have been gained through a process of slow accumulation. We take on the moral and ethical tenets of those around us. Society, peer groups, church, television, motion pictures, assorted role models, even advertising can shape your moral compass.

The obvious question at some point is: "Are your most embedded beliefs really yours?" Or did you just osmose them from your environment? Perhaps the direction of this influence is the other way around, the environment osmosed you. Come to think about it, you should probably come to think about it. Which may lead you to several uncomfortable conclusions, including:

"the unexamined life is not worth living" - Socrates