You decide what you believe … what you do. You have ‘free will’ as the ancient sages referred to it. No other creature has this gift. They are programmed to act in accordance with their instincts and conditioning. They do what they MUST do. They are always predictable. Chimpanzees may make apparent choices. But these cute, lively creatures are always compelled to avoid pain, seek food, safety and pleasure … to mate. They react to their circumstances IMMEDIATELY according to their drives and learned behavior. They do not rise above their situation and reflect. No sitting down in a park or a pub and mulling over what has been done and what to do. You on the other hand can deliberate. You can ponder and imagine, accept or reject. You are responsible. For you have the power to choose. You alone can determine what you will be and what you will do.

Adventurously paddling the waterway you decide to taste an amber liquid, smoke a few weeds. Sharing the experience encourages you. Mellowing and giggling you want to embrace everyone. Even vile co-swimmers seem attractive. After a few altercations and headaches though, you determine to be more discreet. You paddle on pondering why so many obliterate their minds. The river run can certainly be uncomfortable but discoveries and fascinations more than compensate for it.

You alone can say “hold on … don’t think I’ll do that.” You can consider innumerable choices. Much of your life is determined by your decisions. This is an amazing and powerful human ability. You may murder a child. You may save a drowning dog. You may have sex twice a day or once a year. You decide. You have free will. But in exercising it you ‘sense’ a ‘rightness’ and a ‘wrongness’. You must consider ethics and MORALITY.

with family or friends
tell one of them they have a nice smile
another her hair is looking great
embrace them
ask each to describe an activity they would never do
inquire why
discuss where their feelings come from
are they childhood legacies or adult ruminations, fulminations?
talk about the merits of
coin collecting, bee keeping, playing marbles … whatever
inquire about their favorite foods
ask each what they would be if they could ‘be’ anything
if they were given ten lifetimes
what occupations would they choose for each


You are being spiritual when you Choose,

When you alter your appearance.
When you decide to wear a different shoe on each foot.
When you dance to different music every night of the week.
When you bid adieu to family and friends and relocate far away.
When you buy three different beverages, mix them together and take a sip.
When you attend different churches, synagogues and mosques and participate.
When you write letters to five friends telling them to call you Mooky from now on.
When passion ‘ignites’ your corpuscles to immediate action and you ‘douse’ the flames.
When you rise early one morning and begin walking backwards around your residence.
When you give a cloth bag to your child … ask her to make a puppet, to color it, name it … then upon completion ask the puppet questions.

overcome your fears and self-recriminations by relying on your dedication to honesty and considerateness … everyone faces difficult decisions … you do … but by bringing to bear all your other abilities and being sincere with your assessments, you will make choices with optimism … bad judgment, mistakes, selfish decisions … these will happen

constantly renew your efforts at maintaining empathetic, respectful motivation

never let doubt hobble your powerful ability to choose … for you will become what you want to become through your choices … and they will ‘improve’ with experience and maturity
despite adversity you can always find ways
TO BE THE BEST YOU for you and for others


©2007-2008 Edwin O'Shea and All or part of only one topic, including all definitions and essay, may be used without written permission. Please see full copyright notice on home page.