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The Gift of Free Choice

Friday, 14 August, 2020 - 4:10 pm

Untitled design (2).pngOne of the greatest gifts that we have been endowed with as human beings is "Free Choice". Free choice means that each and every action that we choose to do is fully guided by our choice alone and not simply part of our destiny or the way we were made. Free choice means that when we choose to do good, it has a special unique value to it, as we could have easily have chosen to do the opposite, yet instead we chose the better option.

Certainly free choice also brings with it the potential to make bad mistakes and immoral choices. Yet the good wouldn't be special or meaningful, if there wasn't another way to choose from besides good. So ultimately the ability to choose also means the ability to bring positive change to the world.

It is this principle that is laid out by Moses in the Torah reading of this week "Re'eh", where he exhorts the Jewish people to realize that in life there is free choice to choose good or the opposite. It is not always a simple thing to choose what is right and sometimes it requires us to do "Re'eh", to stop and see and reflect on what is the deeper purpose and dimension of what is happening in our lives and what ought to be happening. At the same time it is important that the reason that we have choices in how to act is part of the Divine design to make our choices that much more special and powerful in what they can do for the world.

Parents are always proud of their child when they do the right thing, but there are differences in when that right thing is done and in its deeper ramifications for the child and what they bring to the world around them. There is doing the right thing because they are in a class or structure which maintain that kind of choice and rules, and then there are the moments where they are off on their own and make their own choices not because of something that is imposed on them, rather because they have learned to appreciate and choose what is right. It is those moments of exercising free choice in a good manner that bring the parents and ultimately the child the greatest meaning and pleasure and what bring the best kind of change to the world around them.

Free choices comes with its challenges and pitfalls, yet overall it is one of humanity's greatest gifts and what enables us to flourish and grow in every sense.

In his final address to the Jews, Moses makes a case for them to internalize this and integrate it in their lives as much as possible, as this more than so many other things, is what will give them a powerful ability to succeed with the job they have been assigned with. 

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