Power of Human Will...

Sep 16, 2010

Do you feel that you are at a juncture, with nothing but a seemingly dark and long tunnel before you?  Are you at a stage where you feel that life has no meaning or purpose?  Do you feel that you are a victim and fail to realize that the escape route (alcohol, drugs, etc.) you have chosen is actually victimizing others in the family?  Ever feel that others are gifted, but you are not? 

Human beings, at a point or another in their lives, find themselves in situations that they wish could simply go away. Such situations may be physical, emotional, or environmental in nature.  They may either be caused by our own actions, or as a result of circumstances.

There is one grace (unmerited favour) that God has bestowed upon every single human being – regardless of sex, creed, caste, religion, economic status, marital status, and whatever else that comes to mind.  It is the gift of FREE WILL.  In simple terms ‘free will’ is the ability and freedom to make a choice.  Since God never takes back what He gives, it remains with us till our last breath, regardless of our moral standing before Him.

A tiger on a hunt kills its prey because it is driven by instinct.  A vengeful man, on the hunt for his betrayer, can still choose not to kill.  A person may say something to insult us, but he has no power to hurt us.  A wife may nag a husband, but has no power to turn him into an alcoholic.  Even though sex is driven by instinct, married men and women have the greater power to say ‘no’ to an adulterous relationship.  Both Judas and Peter betrayed Jesus.  Judas, overcome with guilt, hanged himself.  Peter, trusting in God’s mercy, sought forgiveness and eventually became part of history for the right reasons.  They both chose differently. 

The human will has greater power over instinct. 

I hope this article and the examples given bring hope to those who find themselves in seemingly impossible situations.  It is natural to react negatively to an adverse situation; however, it is not natural to make it a part of our lives. Many have used the power of the will - anchoring themselves on faith, trust and conviction - to eventually lead wholesome, happy and purpose-filled lives. 

On a grand scale, modern history has seen Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Jr., and Nelson Mandela lead people to freedom against odds that even today seem insurmountable.  These great souls used God’s ways to conquer – in circumstances that will bring out, in the best of us, the urge to kill.  They not only emerged victorious; they also worked equally hard towards reconciliation with their oppressors.

Mother Teresa left the security of her convent and was out on the streets bringing dignity to the poorest of the poor. She encountered and overcame numerous hurdles practising Jesus’ teachings.  Today, even after her death, thousands continue to find shelter, food and other comforts in centres that were established by her.  None of what she, and people like her, achieved was possible without the use of the human will - sustained by extraordinary faith and conviction.

Jessica Cox found herself in a situation that would make anyone’s heart bleed.  Born without hands, she could have easily given up and continued blaming God. She chose not to!  Helped by her mother, Jessica studied and became a psychology graduate.  She shops, cooks, types, drives a car, brushes her hair, changes her contact lenses, makes calls and does just about anything a normal person can. She also holds two black belts in Tae Kwon-Do and has earned a pilot’s license.  The journey has not been easy for her, but SHE needed to take that first step for God to help her along.  Today,  Jessica has found a new joy in living – she inspires people. 

John Forbes Nash, Jr., (born 1928) was a prodigious mathematician.  He earned his Ph.D. at the age of 21.  In 1959 he was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia.  He suffered a lot, but managed to hold his life together.  After 1970 he was never hospitalized again and refused medication.  He did not allow his illness to take control of him for too long and rejected the hallucinations that are so typical in patients with his condition.  Nash won the Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences in 1994 and numerous other accolades.  In 2003 he visited India to give a talk on his economics’ theories.  Nash, now 82, is still not free from schizophrenia, but continues to inspire people all over the world. 

A look at what God has said in Deuteronomy 30:19 needs our full attention, “I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live.”  WE ARE, THEREFORE, CREATURES OF CHOICE – NOT VICTIMS OF DESTINY THAT WE TRY IN VAIN TO DEFINE. 

In the belief system, there are no half measures.  If we believe that God is the author of all that happens to us and all that we do, then we should not and cannot condemn the child rapist, the murderer and the kidnapper. 

At the root of a loser’s heart is a spiritual malady called the SLOTH OF THE WILL. Losers don’t want to choose a life of living.  They also have the ability to pull others into the abyss of their own creation.

We are not machines that run on finite external power.  As God’s special creation, we are wired to His infinite power source.  Whether we remain connected to His power source, or not, is a matter of our choosing.

Demonstrating what the human will is capable of, Reinhold Messner conquered Mount Everest without the help of artificial oxygen.  To many of us, our egos are taller than Mount Everest.  Ironically, we are busy trying to conquer the other person’s ego.  Overcoming some of our problems may not be easy, but it does require our ‘will’ to make it happen. We want to achieve a smooth ride of the top gear, without ever shifting into first gear first.  God’s promptings are always there, but are we listening?

In our relationships, many impediments can be cleared once the will to forgive is exercised, which otherwise has the potential to destroy the self and everyone it touches. Sadly, the potential of forgiveness has been underestimated.  Are you afraid to apologize, afraid to forgive, perhaps thinking that you will not get the desired response?  Dalai Lama has said it beautifully: “Great love and great achievements involve great risk.”  Take heart, seeking to reconcile with a loved one is a very small risk. 

‘It is better to die than to live’ does not always come from a cancer patient’s mouth.  More frequently these words are uttered by unhappy couples, brought to the point of despair because of their unwillingness to reconcile.  Before marriage it was, “Come on darling, there is no need to say sorry – remember we love each other.”  Now their entire lives revolve around who will say it first!   Soon marital happiness seems like a distant dot in space.  I say seems because there are many who feel, “we have lived bitterly for so many years, can we find happiness again?”  We must understand that happiness is not a destination; it is an ongoing experience.  Choose to love, choose to forgive and experience the wonderful feeling these choices can make in our lives. 

Sure, we want all of the milk and honey in our relationships, but are we prepared to ‘give’ something first?  More importantly, are we willing to ‘give up’ something?  God’s instruction of “give and you shall receive” has been replaced by “when I receive I shall give – that, too, not that easily”!  We are fully aware that the bank does not give us anything, unless we first give to the bank. Neither does our boss!  We fully understand this logic of economics. This logic is a universal law when it comes to our relationships - and the health of our relationship hangs dearly on it.

There are young men and women who are not willing to give up their damaging habits and they still want to make it big.  Some are drowning in self-pity, accusing their parents of not loving them.  There is always a solution, but are we willing to seek help?  After all not all children of drunken fathers end up in the streets; not all children of abusive fathers become abusive.  Ultimately, it comes down to the choice we make.

In many cases, finding ourselves at the crossroads can actually work in our favour.  It forces us - which we otherwise would not do - to reassess our objectives and relationships.

Successful companies carry out periodic reviews and audits to help identify areas of strengths and weaknesses.  The need for us to review and audit our relationship with God and our relationship with those around us cannot be overemphasized:  it is absolutely vital for our ongoing happiness. 

We need to ask the right question when faced with trouble.  “What can I do?” is proactive and seeks to overcome a situation. “Why did it happen to me?” is passive, and self-defeating if dwelt upon for too long. 

Some people might say that we can never become like Mother Teresa or Mahatma Gandhi.  The truth is, neither of them knew, or ever imagined, that they would become someone, someday, and receive so much adulation.  They just had a purpose, and they chose to pursue it with the right means. 

For such people happiness was not a destination: every step they took, every effort they put, gave them joy, knowing that it was the right thing to do.  In our relationships, too, we need to make the right choices and enjoy the moments that come with it.

The fruit may not be in our power; but we have the power to make the choice. 

Oliver Sutari - Archives:

by Oliver Sutari
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Comment on this article

  • papiya roy, kolkata

    Thu, May 12 2011

    dear oliver,im shamma roy's mom here,it was great to read this article..divinity melts in my mouth like icecream when such words are absorbed by me,thnx,god bless.

  • Praveen, dubai

    Tue, Sep 21 2010

    Very good article, people realize when they read such article in lifetime, There is no alternative for convey good massege to people's heart, keep it up god will give more and more stregnth to write such article, appriciate. goodluck.

  • Mickey Castelino, Pangla/Dubai

    Tue, Sep 21 2010


    Wonderful, educational and inspiring articles. Keep up the good work and keep writing. All the best.

  • Oscar, Mangalore/Kuwait

    Tue, Sep 21 2010

    Wonderful article!. It magnifies what the Scriptures say "...choose you this day whom ye will serve..." Joshua24:15

  • Oliver Sutari, Manipal

    Tue, Sep 21 2010

    Dear Mr. Shetty,
    Thank you, Sir, for raising the question. Let me explain: there are many (usually losers who have caused their own downfall) who believe that everything is scripted by God - including the time we wake up each morning. If that is our belief, then we should also believe that perpetrators of crime are doing something that God has scripted. Why do 'the same believers' bay for their blood, or blame even their crime on God?
    To cite an example: before pronoucing sentence, a judge asked a rapist in Rajasthan as to how he could commit such a heinous crime. The fool's answer: "It was her destiny to meet me and my destiny to rape her." Infuriated, the judge was half-tempted to send the rapist to a mental asylum. The rapist was hoping the judge would understand!
    The problem, usually with losers, is that they try to hide, among other things, behind a belief. If the same losers turn into winners, they give credit to their hard-work. God is conveniently removed from the picture of their success.
    Also, I am not debating over a belief - it is just that our actions should be in line with whatever we believe. Half-measures is equal to hypocrisy. I hope I have clarified your point.

  • Shashi Shetty, Udupi

    Mon, Sep 20 2010

    Hi Mr. Olivier, Good article and quite a thought provoking as said by someone here. well, on readingI really could not understand one sentence for what were you comming to say? "In the belief system, there are no half measures. If we believe that God is the author of all that happens to us and all that we do, then we should not and cannot condemn the child rapist, the murderer and the kidnapper". DO YOU MEAN CHILD RAPIST AND THE MURDERER HAVE TO BE LEFT FREE? CAN YOU PUT MORE LIGHT ON YOUR THOUGHTS ON YOUR SENTENCE PLEASE.

  • clara helen, mangalore muscat

    Sun, Sep 19 2010

    What a wonderful and inspirational article! The vocabulary is so great! I'm going to keep this article for further reference! Thank you and God bless you!

  • Christine, manglore

    Sun, Sep 19 2010

    God blees you brother not only very nice articles.but spiritually understanding too.
    We all fail because of choice.in own sometime will of parents.if marriage is peacefully with 2 side than also couple than be blessed.
    power of tongue can be the mostly trouble in relation may own or perents words can effect full life like curse.when starting trouble try to solve ok if long its very difficult to solve permanently. Bitterness, anger,hatred will remain and can forgive but completely cannot forget.this is main thing going on in life.after that however couple cannot enjoy life peacefully.Either spiritual or counseling want help sometime sickness can effect if stayed in bitterness.
    I sugest to read one wonderfull book Blessing or Curse You Can Choose -by Derek Prince,someone not knowing person gave free gift to me.I was not interested to read. some one advised me to buy video called deliverance from demon author Bill Subritzky.when I want to watch feel sleeping,Its took long time 4 months to go through.may I was not knowing about curse I came to know in that.There is prayer also showed to deliver.
    later I went in book when reading after there is prayer when I say that all tears flowed like water in my eyes and I was joy filled.( I was freed) I advise everyone read that book and be blessed,even that vcd or dvd./in India availabe In kannada also
    (curses & causes showed in thatBook & video.I will not explain.it will not suit here.Thank You and God bless you.

  • Oliver Sutari, Manipal

    Sun, Sep 19 2010

    Dear Fr. D'Mello, it is so heartening to see comments from from so many readers and particularly from learned people such as you. Thank you for your words of encouragement and you have conveyed it beautifully that we need to examine (audit) our conscience and see where our choices will lead us. May God bless you in your endeavours.


    Sun, Sep 19 2010


  • Fr. Jossie D'Mello SJ, Mangalore

    Sat, Sep 18 2010

    Thank you, Mr. Oliver Sutari. You have brought out the theme very well. It is said that we are the product of our choices. The choices that we make will have their consequences on us. At times we make choices mechanically, at times due to peer group pressure. One needs to be AWARE of the demands of one’s choices. The AWARENESS is also important in terms of: “Where will a particular decision lead me or take me?” You have made a mention of successful companies making audits and reviews. St. Ignatius of Loyola (1491-1556) in his book “Spiritual Exercises” invites the retreatants to make an “examination of consciousness” every day. It is an exercise to reflect on one’s decisions, one’s pattern of thoughts, etc. This exercise leads one to the inner world. I just wanted to share some of these thoughts. Keep writing!

  • Laila Pinto, Mangalore/ KSA

    Fri, Sep 17 2010

    Very thought provoking and inspiring article of making the right choice in one's life.

  • leena saldanha, bandra/salalah

    Fri, Sep 17 2010

    hi i read both your articles,keep up the good work,and God bless you my brother.

  • Power of Human Will..., Veera

    Fri, Sep 17 2010

    Excellent article Oliver, Wonderful and Very inspiring article.

  • Sachidananda, Manipal/pondicherry

    Fri, Sep 17 2010

    Keep writing. Read both the articles.Great and true practically

  • SN, Udupi

    Thu, Sep 16 2010

    Very inspiring. Great article which people can refer to again & again.

  • adshenoy, mangloor

    Thu, Sep 16 2010

    Where there is a will, there is a way.
    Its yours either way.

  • Simon D'Souza, Niddodi, Doha Qatar

    Thu, Sep 16 2010

    Nice touching and effecive article for the current world problems. Excellent ! Keep writing more.

  • Clement C., Kelmbet, Dubai

    Thu, Sep 16 2010

    Yet another master peice by a great writer. Keep writing such thought provoking / soul awakening articles Sir Oliver. Present generation need them periodically.

    All the best and may God Bless your efforts abundantly.

  • jyothi, Dubai

    Thu, Sep 16 2010

    Wonderful and Very inspiring article.

    Thank you Sir.

  • Samantha , Mangalore/Dubai

    Thu, Sep 16 2010

    Oh no, why did this article come to an end? such an inspiring piece of information covering so many aspects, all in one go, i simply loved it. thank you so much Sir!

  • Deena, Shirva/Doha

    Thu, Sep 16 2010

    Dear Oliver,
    Read both your articles on Daijiworld, which are so very true. Everything looks so simple from outside, and we take everything for granted in our lives. It is only when things turn bad, and when we reach a desperate situation, we realise. Still, may not be knowing what and where it went wrong.

    Your article, "We reap what we sow" is a good eye-opener, a good reminder for parents.

    Also, "Power of human will" is another excellent article, a booster for self confidence, and bring out the hidden talents.

    May God bless you, and may you write more such beautiful articles.


  • John Tauro, Mangalore / Kuwait

    Thu, Sep 16 2010

    An excellent masterpiece for personality development.

  • Ashok Kumar, Udupi

    Thu, Sep 16 2010

    Excellent article Oliver, keep writing. These enlightening articles are like a compass for life.

  • Antony D'Cunha, Permude/Muscat

    Thu, Sep 16 2010

    Very inspiring article and an important tool for many of our modern day domestic problems.

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