By Kevin Sheehan, Special Columnist
“Vivus: An Exposition Of A Volatile Mind” by Kevin Sheehan is available in digital and in print on Amazon.com!
Regardless of weekly content, this column is designed to help others expand their way of thinking and promote creativity, empathy, and thought in general.
There is too much to be said for fate. Some people believe in fate, some people believe in destiny, some people believe in chaos and our use of free will. However, a brilliant display of cognitive dissonance (where a person holds two beliefs that conflict with one another) is when someone believes in predestination, yet actively tries to change their life on a large scale.
If our life is predetermined, why bother trying? If we believe the universe has something in store for us, why should we make an effort, instead of letting the universe guide us to whatever our purpose in life is? Finally, how could life be so cruel to victims who lost their life to senseless violence? Was that their ultimate plan, to be walking down the street and get run over by a van? Or to be in a Waffle House when a person who is mentally ill arrives to wreak havoc? That is what those people will be known for?
The thought of having a decision made for us, however, releases a sense of accountability to ourselves and others. Accepting free will, on the other hand, also means accepting that we are accountable for our actions, and also our reactions. With everyone having free will, we may be thrust into a situation due to the actions of someone else, but we have the freedom to choose how we handle that situation.
That is why I say that life is a book, and you are the writer. We can decide how we want to live our lives, and we can decide who the characters are. Another reason I say you are the writer is because we have the choice to be the protagonist of our own story, the antagonist, or perhaps even a supporting character of our own life.
We have more control over our actions than we care to admit. Sometimes I feel the reason for that is that we would prefer to blame something else, anything else, when we make decisions that we come to ultimately regret. There are times when we wish we had chosen differently, and there are times when we wish something didn’t happen at all.
But here in lies the beauty of free choice. It is never too late to make a better decision. It is never too late to make a positive change. An addict can get clean. A corrupt business man can change and donate money to the less fortunate. A thief can learn the value and satisfaction of a hard day’s work. A liar can learn the value of telling the truth.
We can be cast in the role of whatever society wants to cast us in, but with determination, we can break that stigmatization and role into a new role of your choosing. Of course, it is never easy, but neither is life in general. But we have to accept responsibility. We have to determine what we want, and then work for it.
We have the ability to change ourselves and the world. Life is a book, but don’t allow anyone to write your story for you. Write a story you would be proud of, and want others to learn from. The world is a stage, and we are all actors, so grab a pen and write your own script.
This column is sponsored by The Richardson Law Firm.