October 4, 2022- I once happened by a small corral, occupied by two full-grown horses. Someone who was nearby said that while the animals were well-fed, they were never let out of the corral. He wondered how they were still able to move around. We both wondered how the animals were experiencing life.
I thought about that today, when someone replied to my comment on a post by a nationally-known columnist. She took a different view from mine, but thanked me for correcting an earlier comment she had made, which left her looking ignorant. I feel that is the least one can do for another; not because I am above her in intellectual stature, but because no one should sacrifice dignity for lack of information. It does not matter so much how someone views life, as how they express that viewpoint.
I thought of her objections to the practices of a certain religion. I then thought of my own struggles with certain aspects of spirituality. The struggles that each of us have, because of free will, invariably pit our search for quality of life in this physical plane against our sense of what lies afterward. So many, including the person mentioned above, seem to equate this life with the afterlife. I certainly used to.
Time has brought lessons that have made me see way beyond the comeliness of a woman, the seemingly charmed lives of some friends and neighbours, the gregariousness of a person who appears to be wildly popular. Any one of those people could tell stories of loss and despair, some of which would exceed any troubles I myself have known. While I was sitting and waiting for my meal, this evening, a very pretty young lady told of recently going through exactly the same situation I experienced in September, 2021: Being 50% at fault for a car wreck. We make some choices that benefit us, and others that put us through the wringer. This life spares no one.
So, what is the point of free will? I would say, in my limited understanding, that it is a series of opportunities for each of us to hone our spiritual attributes-Love, patience, courtesy, honesty, forbearance, generosity, trustworthiness, and many others. I would say it is a series of opportunities to prepare for a far more intense life of the spirit, once the body is left behind.
I can choose for no one else, save the incapacitated and the very young. No one else can choose for me.