Tuesday, July 15, 2008


Throughout life there are various influences on a person's life.  These influences can be so powerful that they can hinder free choice and personal decision-making.  In fact, there seems to be very little time in life that a person is truly free to make their own decisions.  Obviously we are a product of genetics and our environment.  Those influences make us who we are.  What I am talking about is when the those influences start to run our life.  It is at this point that a person may feel powerless to do anything with their life, which can't be farther from the truth.  Here are the main influences for people that I have noticed listed from early in life to later in life:

church/religions/other organizations
government (laws, taxes)
nursing home

These influences permeate throughout life, so there is little time where a person isn't under some kind of influence.  This is manifest in the typical mid-life crisis that the majority of the population experiences.  At this time in life, people are usually faced with the decision to continue doing what others want or finally shed those influences and do whatever makes them happy.  Obviously I realize that you cannot be free from other people's influence on your life.  We live in this world and there will always be people here.  What I am trying to describe is recognizing that these things influence our decisions but ultimately the choice should be ours.  Whenever these influences seek to force or coerce us, a red flag should go up.  No matter the pressure, no organization, group or person can or should try to make a choice for another person.  I ultimately believe in each person's autonomy to run their own lives.  In this society, people don't even have the free choice to kill themselves which in my opinion = LAME.  

"Liberty consists in the freedom to do everything which injures no one else; hence the exercise of the natural rights of each man has no limits except those which assure to the other members of the society the enjoyment of the same rights." Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen, Article 4.

Isn't it amazing that the French drew from our own constitution as inspiration for theirs yet ours does not ensure personal liberty like this.  The French had it right in my opinion.  Everyone is free to do what they want, as long as it doesn't hinder other people from doing what they want.  That's my stand but what do I know.

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