Mistress of My Fate?
Free to choose?
Programmed to react?
Driving home tonight I thought about King James and his merry men. About the time we devote to the things that matter to us. The people that matter.
Somehow or other this led to thoughts about the choices that we have … and those that we don’t.
It seems that a lot of the things that happen to us are beyond our control.
And for some, it seems that reactions to life’s events are predictable. Almost inevitable.
This led to some thoughtful theorising.
Maybe the biggest potential “good” that religion offers to people is a realisation that it is possible … to some extent at least … to break free of the programming. Free to be ourselves rather than a genetically guided response to an ecology.
The downside is that sometimes one set of programming is just replaced by another.
Of course, religion has no monopoly on this.
And it’s not just religion that can replace one set of programming by another.
And the new programming can be worse than the old.
I remember reading a book a long time ago. I don’t remember the title. But the author wrote of an experience in New York. He regularly visited a newsstand. The newsstand owner was an unfriendly kinda guy it seems. One day the newsstand man was so awful that the author left the newsstand fuming … in an awful mood. And then he realised … it doesn’t have to be that way. He didn’t have to allow the owner of the newsstand to ruin his day. He had a choice about it.
I guess that the choice begins when we realise we have a choice.
And even then … it’s easy to forget.
If someone cuts me up when I’m driving along minding my own business … I don’t have to cuss if I don’t want to. I can smile and get on and try to enjoy the day.
Although … I guess there is a time and a place for almost everything under the sun … even a little non-violent, peaceful private cussing.
And some choices are easier for some people.