As I read the OP and the following posts, it occurred to me that we do live our lives with free will.
HOWEVER, from a very early age we have been indoctrinated to "choose" certain things:
More "stuff"...expensive cars, nice houses, "socially acceptable" mates, lots of "toys", exciting vacations, nice hotels and travel destinations,
expensive clothes, jewelry, on and on.
We have been programmed to be consumers. The most obvious way to acquire this lifestyle is to get a college education for a successful career...move
to the metro areas to get the high paying jobs. (so we can pay off those outrageous student loans)
Along the way, we have been quietly programmed to look upon those that live more humbly as "Backwards", "Simpletons" "Not too sharp" "Hillbillies"
In turn, this has reduced the size of families...both men and women putting off having kids to pursue the $ and all it can buy. EARN! EARN!
EARN!...SPEND! SPEND! SPEND! Impress all the people and look out for #1!!!
It is obvious to me how this mindset has separated us from our parents and siblings, damaged our relationships with each other, alienated our 2.2
children and broken our families.
Sadly, by the time most realize that the career and all the material trappings it has provided hasn't made them happy, and that "simply living simply"
is more freeing and fulfilling, it's too late.
We are a product of our influences.
Unfortunately for nearly all of us, those influences have been those that have intended to enslave us for several generations now.
Yes. We have free will. We are just guilty of being gullible from the start.
edit on 17-6-2011 by Elostone because: (no reason given)