The dynamics of human life would appear to be an eternal procession of selected choices, widely ranging from the facile bedtime decision to turn the pillow to the cooler side for comfort, to the existential decision, to be or not to be. It is volitional decision making, as contrasted with autonomic functions (ex., breathing, digesting, eliminating) and Pavlovian (pre-programmed) responses to stimuli, that is the present object of concern.

Elie Wiesel, whom we, at plinyblog, have elected to call, the lyrical, “Greek chorus” of the horrific, non-fictional tragedy, known as “The Holocaust,” knowledgeably said: “Always take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victims. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented.” We will return to the subject of this vital, empirical observation, following a general, less esoteric discussion on “choice.”

The exercise of the universal franchise of choice in most mundane matters, such as morning and evening routines, observably, are merely matters of acquired habitual behavior, evolved routine choices, depending upon the practical circumstances of family or house-mates, regarding bedtime, work schedules or merely, happenstance. Such schedules, which include, matters such as, brushing teeth, shaving or applying facial make-up, ordinarily morph into consistent, semi-mindless habits or routines, disturbed only by nuanced circumstances. By major contrast, the reasoned and conscious exercise of volitional choice is never as facile as, sleepily, turning the pillow to its cooler side or routine behavior.

The principled right to universal free choice is assured by specific delineation in our Constitution and system of laws. The declared equal entitlement of all citizens to the exercise of their personal rights of action, as described in the Bill of Rights, is limited only by societal considerations of health and safety, and non-infringement of the rights of others. The exercise of the individual’s specific choices, is more complex, residing in his personally nuanced motivation, underlying such assured rights.

It is to be borne in mind that, predictably, there are psychological and factual considerations affecting the exercise of volition. Factors which would affect or impinge upon that exercise may consist of, parental upbringing, race, economic status, education, cultural and religious teachings, societal factors, intelligence and capabilities, mental health, health or disability, bodily (brain) chemistry, and perhaps above all, past experience, actual or perceived. It is elemental to assume that man’s choices are affected by such modulating factors, and that free choice, (“free will”) in addition, encapsulates such freedom in the context of the similar rights and choices of similarly entitled others.

Individual liberty is affected, as well, by practical considerations of family and national duty, events (like Covid-19), personal relationships, nuanced perception and the influence of others.  Assertive or timid personalities may differ in (choice) reaction to stimuli, but, living in society requires uniform acceptance of its approved code of morality and of the identical rights of others. Any government, person or group, which discriminates against or limits the natural or granted rights of the individual, is never morally or legally acceptable since, among other considerations, it unjustly interferes with the exercise of universal free will and individual life choices; such restraint is un-American and morally and legally, forbidden.

In the case of unjust practices, such as bigotry, personal or institutional, it is legal and relevantly appropriate, for American citizens, pursuant to the written provisions of the U.S, Constitution, to peacefully and legally exercise their legal choice to protest, such as in the “Black lives Matter” movement. For decades, law-abiding and morally inspired, American citizens have anxiously witnessed a steady, fearful, militarization and arming of municipal police departments, and in the criminal and Nazi-style mode, police acts of homicide practiced, criminally and in a Nazi-style mode, against unarmed, peaceful American citizens, motivated by the sole neurotic basis of their skin color. The realization that the police, are perceived to represent the establishment and the will of society in such cases is disturbing.

It is inconceivable to realize that rational American citizens, will tolerate or celebrate a Nation in which fellow Americans who happen to be born with darker colored skin, are treated in an inhuman manner, similar to the Jews in Europe; as well as, earlier in our history, by our government, with respect to our continent’s peaceful Native Americans. Sad to say, the deadly pathology of racist bigotry (among a plenitude of miscreant behavior) appears to be a feature of the repulsive persona of the current President of the United States; a Nation fundamentally dedicated to the moral principle of liberty and the equality for all.

The responsible choice of Americans is to, at long last, rid the Nation of the immoral and repulsive phenomenon of bigotry. Thousands of responsible, law-abiding Americans, of every color ethnos and circumstance, have appropriately joined in the huge public and peaceful demonstrations, against institutional prejudice, including, particularly, immoral black homicide. They are acting appropriately and as good and responsibly moral citizens in availing themselves of their Constitutional right to peaceably, protest prejudice and unequal treatment.

Elie Wiesel, (if he were alive) would join us in the applause of and earnest support for, those true and dedicated citizens who love our country enough to come out and protest against the systemic prejudice, practiced against black and brown fellow Americans, (“Black Lives Matter”) and in favor of the enshrined principle of equality, on which our Nation was fundamentally established.

Our egotistic and un-American President, in keeping with his perverse totalitarian inclinations, has, in autocratic fashion, chosen to illegally and shamefully, send armed soldiers to confront those patriotic, and admirable protesting citizens. He must be voted out of office if we are to have a return to the eternal promise of a principled and traditional America.


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Retired from the practice of law'; former Editor in Chief of Law Review; Phi Beta Kappa; Poet. Essayist Literature Student and enthusiast.

2 thoughts on “Blog # 528  CHOICES: THE COOLER SIDE OF THE PILLOW (2)”

  1. The BLM protestors have killed Police and have injured hundreds of Police. NYC alone has had more than one million dollars in damage to Police Cars. The property damage to all Cities will be hundreds of millions of dollars. Peaceful protest? Trump has not deployed the Army. Can you spell lies?


    1. Dear Pliny,
      Thank you for your words, I agree with you as usual.

      In response to Joseph Connolly’s response above, I wish to share an African proverb:
      “The child that is not embraced by the Village will burn it down to feel its warmth.”



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