Member Rara Avis
I don't disagree with you that working hard can contribute to your achieving financial success...
But see here Jim... I don't think it necessarily needs be confined to "financial" success. There are many forms of success, varying from person to person. What you think of as success may differ from what I picture when I envision it. Perhaps for many, money is the definition of success. But I also think there are a good many who don't agree with that (myself being one). Some may consider the simple fact that they tried to be a measure of success. Some could call having a family successful, etc. I think the responses to a query of "what is success" would be as varied as the people you question.
... but it is common enough for people to work hard all their lives and, for whatever reason, end up with little more than they started with.
I wholeheartedly disagree with this! With exceptions of course, people end up with MUCH more than they started with. Wisdom, family, memories... I think I've read enough from you to know that you don't define a "successful" life by the balance of your checkbook. It might certainly have a part in it... but I don't think it's a whole. What about your family? I know your son is a source of pride for you. Do you feel successful that he's been able to make progress? I hope so! I really believe that a minority of the people define success as nothing more than financial. I know I don't!
There simply is no purpose in an existence which is completely pre-destined, and so we do not live such an existence.
Hey - nobody said it had to make sense! But again, purpose according to whom? Could it be that indeed we have no free will? Perhaps we're the control group for some galactic experiment. (flashbacks to the Hitchhiker's Guide here...)
We have the ability to create whatever we wish, and follow any path we choose. The Universe will make manifest whatever it is we most deeply desire, or focus on, and will not condemn us for making certain choices over others. This is the essense of our free will. Many do not wish to accept the reality of our free will, because doing so would require them to take responsibility for everything that's happening in their lives. That fact that we have free will, and that nothing happens to us, means that we are creating every aspect of our life in the choices we make.
Not quite sure what to make of your point here... In a way, it seems as if you're implying that if we want something, we simply "wish" for it, and it will appear. And because we have the ability to do so, there won't be any consequences...? Ok - right now, I want a P38-Quixel Horonomer! LOL - Just teasing, but I think you see my point. How can you justify one person's wishes when it might span the bounds of immediate possibility, or when it might affect someone else's free will? Does the first free will take precedence over the second? The stronger? Just curious... I don't think I follow what point you're trying to make here. (maybe your free will is smarter than mine and mine takes a bit of nudging to understand!)
And I think serenity has a valid question here. I think that once you reach a certain age (and based on mental awareness), you can be responsible for your actions to a degree... but I don't see that as being all-encompassing. For an extreme example: Someone in [Russia] trips and accidentaly hits the button which launches a nuclear weapon at your hometown. You die. (like Local Rebel says: shirt happens...LOL) How did you bring that on yourself? There are a lot of choices which you can be held responsible, but I think there are a lot more that affect your life which you cannot be held accountable for. Sometimes another's "free-will" over-rides our own and what we have left is the ability to choose in what manner we will deal with the results.
[This message has been edited by Christopher (edited 10-13-2000).]