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Guest Editorial | Free Willy

Do you know that thing we call and fondly revere as our free will? You know, that human attribute that has been universally translated and so-well articulated in practically every nation’s bill of rights? The one that distinctly states one’s right to expression, religion, political beliefs and so on? Yup, that one. Essentially, it’s the principal program in each of us that says, free to be you and me.

Now if one looks close enough, especially in the context of all things happening with the world today, that ‘free to be you and me’, has come out as the probable root of all our ills. The seeming lack of compassion or empathy, coupled with ignorance and self-interest, have actually proven to be much worse than that virus out there. Care to consider the following.

First, in the ongoing pandemic, what still persists is this aversion to the quarantine regulations which were intended at flattening the pandemic curve. So far, there has never been a unanimous action anywhere that had acceded to these, with daily violations like curfew and social distancing, for example) resulting in more contamination on a regular basis.

Then, the latest move by government, at the insistence of certain parties, to prematurely open the economy, and thereby ease quarantine restrictions despite still unsuccessful attempts at combating the virus and ably providing comprehensive and unbiased medical and social welfare assistance to the populace, has all but indirectly hinted that the noble tag, “for the good of all” is actually synonymous with “to sacrifice a few”.

As such, this whole exercise of a few months has actually gone down the path of “survival of the fittest”, otherwise known as Darwin’s evolutionary theory of natural selection. So, like a restless herd fleeing away from their pursuing predators, the sick, the old and weakest ones at the back of the line shall indeed be sacrificed first, but then, they will have served their purpose.

Overseas, the construct of free will is likewise clearly at play in the racist stance of a certain fragment of American society today. Deep-seated hatred and apathy, in spite the presence of positive influences through the years, have remained and have now erupted to the surface once again, this time to violently keep pace with the growing resistance against it.

In truth, racism in America has become so enculturated that, even the simplest minute actions could convey intent. This resultant idea of free-to-be and free to express, one of which is racism, thrives healthy in that supposed-land of the brave and free because there in the US of A, each person has the God-given free will to believe and express what they want.

To end, we homo sapiens, arrogant as we are, exist unlike the other inhabitants of the planet. While their sense of order is seemingly free of our unique gift to ponder and decide what path to follow or what decision to make, theirs is more in-tuned with the pulse of the earth.

Many believe that eventually, it will be man who will kill this place, but not yet. First will come our weak ones and the less deserving of us (as pre-determined by those that hold the power), then the environment, last of which would be both the flora and fauna. When all will have been depleted, and there might be nothing left to keep us alive, some may have already acquired by then, the means to travel elsewhere. As wide as the universe is, man’s stupidity will be greater, as Einstein had said. Because of this fact, free will again will program us to fail a second time. (By Icoy San Pedro/Honoring my Mother)

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