Do We Really Have Free Will?
With our lips, we claim it. It rolls off our tongues as if it were second nature. “Everyone has free will,” we say. Do we really? Free will is defined as the power of acting without constraint of necessity or fate; or the ability to act at one’s own discretion. Could it be that this is something we all possessed as children, but lost over time to the woes of fear and conformity?
It is my personal belief that everyone is born with a gift of some sort. We aren’t aware of it in our youth and most of us aren’t fortunate enough to have parents that recognize those gifts either. No fault to the parents, because they weren’t taught to look for those gifts. And if they didn’t know to look for them, how could they possibly nourish them. Therefore, they pass down what was taught to them. They teach us to conform.
Whom, what and why we are become that of predeterminism rather than that of free will. For example: Some of us are born with the gift to create, innovate or discover. To exercise those gifts require that we take chances and push against societal norms. When we do so, those who believe they have a better way accost us. “Why are you doing this?” “You’re too smart to make such stupid decisions,” they say. Upon ridicule and embarrassment, most of us surrender our free will to adopt the will of another.
By doing so, we bring about somewhat of a spiritual captivity to our will. The spirit knows what it is capable of and it wants to be nourished until full realization. However, once we choose to bury that spirit and thus our free will, it could be gone forever. It may tug at us for a while to get back on the path, but sooner or later it will cease the urge as we take on the new form of one who’s will has been surrendered.
A person who functions with free will chooses his or her own path rather than the path that’s laid out by others. Pursuing realization of your natural gifts won’t likely start out beautiful. This is likely why loved ones try to steer us from the path that we’ve chosen. For example: Imagine a blank canvas. Even with the brilliance of the first stroke, it doesn’t look like much. The second, third and even forth stroke might not look like much either, but in due time, you could have a beautiful work of art. You’ll have a work that can be seen and admired by many, including those who attempted to force your surrender.
It’s time to set free your will. Keep in touch with your inner self or your spirit. It knows what it wants to achieve. Exercise your free will and let it not be taken captive, because a free will not exercised isn’t free at all. We are all born with free will, but it is up to us to keep it.
Eric L. Lipsey