Here’s how I see it: I will soar and sink on the whim of the Free Will. Not mine, mind you, but the Free Will of others.
Free Will is a force majeure of its own. Nothing and nobody can recompensate for the damage done by free will: those 3 hours between 8-11pm when I turn my head at the sound of every car. Those 1.5 seconds on the phone when I hear where you are.
Free Will is also an antidote to all despair! Nothing and nobody can elevate and intoxicate you in the same way as Free Will , when applied much like honey: A startling doorbell just when you gave up on Friday. An extra recovery drink waiting in the fridge, just for you. That fuzzy tingling in your very bones when your feelings form into one dazzling thought: “Really, especially for me?”
See, you cannot force people. Brute force is like aspartame. It’s nothing like the real sweet thing. You cannot go around twisting people’s arms, you cannot make their choices for them, even if you wanted to. Which you shouldn’t in the first place, because …
Choices are the stuff that can tell you anything and everything you ever need to know about people. Choices go to the very core of your character. Big choices will tell you about values, and the itty-bitty ones will tell you about priorities and preferences.
Every day I hear people making post-rationalization for their choices. After the fact, as it happens. “See, I had to go there because …” What scrambles to existence after those three dots is the stuff of first grade essays. And the most unsavory part is if I gobble it all down to feed my sorrow.
I really need to stay properly caffeinated and light-footed in these kind of situations. Just say no.
As I said, you cannot force people, but I can force myself to state what is obvious:
People (always) do (exactly) WHAT THEY WANT TO DO. If they don’t show up, they simply had something better to do. Or more important, pleasant, fun, interesting and convenient stuff on offer somewhere else. I know that’s how I navigate this world. Very much like a crow.
It’s the beauty of the fucking free will. It makes us who we are. It makes us and breaks us. It’s there, even though it is nearly invisible in the everyday clatter of life. I say invisible, because we refuse to see it. But there it is, perching on the shoulder of each and every one of us.