We are told that we have free will. We are told that we have free choice. But we are never told what that means, so we are left with a childish or adolescent view of what we can and can't do, what we have the power to do or not.
The childish/adolescent view is that it means that you have a license to do anything you wish, or refuse to do anything you wish.
Licentiousness is what makes government and police and laws necessary, the widespread view is that you are free to do anything, just don't get caught.
This is now what free will or free choice implies, and this is how humanity lives today, bemoaning the fact that they were duped and there are boundaries, and other people that complain, or exercise their license to take yours... look at yourself instead.
If my hunches don't lie, you would do the same thing if you had the courage... but you have chosen to be sheep, oh well.
The childish/adolescent view of the world is what causes the misery on earth, and you have been part of the problem.
Here is one way to become part of the solution: the REAL meaning of Free Will and Free Choice taught through the example of three people that lived in the last century:
We have, for the most part, the feelings we choose 1 to have.
Please don't be angry with me if you prefer to be tragic. I do not deny you this choice. I deny only that you have no escape (i.e. choice!).
Our feelings, in the first moments, are triggered by circumstances, something happening on the periphery that we call "I". Happy news. Sad news. News that makes us angry, sad, anxious, miserable, afraid. But in the following moments, our feelings are the produce (as in "that is what grows out of the seed that the perpective or attitude is") of our chosen perspective or attitude.
What perspective do you choose when you examine the day that lies ahead of you and all the days that lie behind? What is your perspective? Where do you aim your eyes? The patch of light in the sky or the dark clouds? What produce do you grow in the soil of your imagination and the sunshine of your life?
Jeanne Hébuterne was a 19 year-old art student in 1917. She fell deeply in love with a dashing Italian artist named Amedeo Modigliani. A year later, their daughter was born out of wedlock and the Hébuterne family was horrified. When that little girl was 2, Modigliani died. The next day Jeanne Hébuterne threw herself out a fifth-story window. She was only 22 years old.
Modigliani's sister adopted the little girl and raised her as her own.
The girl inherited no art. She died in 1984.
What do you suppose the little girl felt as she was growing up? Did she say,
"My father was an alcoholic, a drug-addicted loon who refused to marry my mother when she became pregnant and my mother did not love me enough to raise me. She killed herself the day after my father died."
Persons who would choose this perspective, and the feelings that accompany it, always say they are being "honest and realistic."
But is that really true?
Would this perspective be any less honest or realistic?
"My father was an artist whose paintings of my mother sell for many tens of millions of dollars. My mother was so deeply in love with him that she literally could not live without him. I am the product of that enormous love."
I do not know what the little girl chose to think, and feel, and believe.
I know only that she had a choice. (quoted from Roy Williams' Monday Morning Memo)
If you have been predictably living a predictable life, you may need to do some work to identify the particular perspective you look through. It is not easy.
I actually taught how to find, identify and neutralize that "default name" in a class called "The Soaring Method". It's 4.5 hours of video instruction. If you want to listen to a 35-minute segment of it, enter your name and email address in the form below. It will take you instantly to the video.