Free Will

Dear followers: Thank you! I am humbled that anyone reads what I write. My fervent hope is that I can be of service to you.

We all want freedom, by which most of us mean the freedom to choose-where to live, who to marry, what to say, hundreds of choices every day. Most of us acknowledge that our freedom cannot infringe on another’s freedom. You are free to swing your fist, all day long if you wish, until it reaches the end of my nose.

Almost everyone believes, from daily experience, that we have free will. A few argue that we don’t; that DNA or Society or the Man controls us. They claim the serial killer had no choice and is therefore not responsible. This is horse s**t. Now, were his choices limited by birth or upbringing? Possibly, but he still had them. Was he born to kill because he had abusive parents? Horse s**t again. Thousands of abused kids do not grow up to be serial killers. He made thousands of choices, thousands of little steps down into darkness.

Once, contemplating some of my more disastrous choices, I told God, “This free will thing…I think it’s a bad idea. Why don’t you just make me do what is right?” But apparently God values free will highly, we must be free to choose, we are not marionettes.

Why does God allow bad people to do bad things to good people? Most human misery is caused by other people’s perverted choices. We think, “Well If I were God, I would stop them.” Yeah, well, you’re not God. Neither am I. We lack the mind power to see the big picture. We are like a pixel in a picture of the universe and see only the surrounding pixels.

But we can choose to do our little pixel bit every day to make the world better. We can be loving to those closest to us. We can pick up the discarded beer can on the sidewalk and throw it in the trash. We can tip our ill-paid food server and treat them with respect. We can forgive our cranky co-worker. We can enjoy the rolling art show when a train stops us. The rolling art show is what I call the graffiti on the sides of the rail cars-some of it is pretty good art. We can say something encouraging every chance we get.

Try it. It could become a happy habit. As Emmanuel Kant said, “What if everybody did it?”

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