Question 20.3

There is someone I have been lucky enough to stumble into in my life. She is one of those people who makes you feel better about the world. She makes you feel important even on your worst day. She brings light to those around her. She has been like this as long as I have known her and she now faces my worst nightmare. She has Lou Gerhig's Disease. She is no longer able to bathe herself, walk, put in her contacts, or even brush a hair from her face, and it's only going to get worse. As slowly becomes completely paralyzed, unable to communicate with the world and make her needs known, she will still have her mind. She will still have choices. She gets to choose how she views the world.

This week my someone I know called to say she was raped at the hand of her father when she was 4 years old, and this abuse continued again when he re-entered her life at 8 years old. She suspects her mother was aware that this had happened and was then given everything she ever wanted stemming from her mother's guilt, at great peril to those around her, which was actually equally paralyzing. This is a life shattering event. It shaped her view of her relationship to men in such a way that her step son now needs counseling. It shaped her world view in terms of adult responsibilities that she is once again staring homelessness in the face with kids in tow for the second time in the last 3 years. I can't even begin to imagine what kind of devastation those events have meant to her. Yet, she too still has choices.

Yes, our lives are shaped and formed by those events around us but don't tell me free will doesn't exist. Without free will, what's the point? Without it we are reduced to a simple phenotype.

My friend is more than what her disease confines her to. My other friend is capable of rising above her circumstances. Free will is the beauty in horrible situations.