Friday, 26 February 2010

The human will

About a year ago a thought came to me. The thought was this - 'In all of this I have reckoned without the force of the human will.' I think that in our generation the human will is a bit unfashionable. Everybody has to be allowed to feel what they want to feel, to express everything, to process everything. Certainly in my twenties and thirties that was the way I thought. And that view does still have its value. But there are things too big to process. Sometimes the only way to survive is to get up and walk off. You can decide just not to think about certain things. And it also becomes apparent that you can also decide to be happy - although when I was younger I never thought that you could. In fact, the human will is incredibly strong. I feel now that I understand my mother and my (departed) grandmother in a way I never did before. They are war time women and they have very English stiff upper lips. They are busy, practical, efficient, nothing gets them down, they smile no matter what. Five years ago I'd have criticised them for 'denial.' Now I'm a grown up myself and I understand that sometimes it is better to smile and pretend it never happened.

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