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Devra Torres

The Gabe Axiom

Oct. 8, 2012, at 4:31pm

The other day, my son and I had the following conversation:

Mama: Gabe, why don’t you go play with the toys?

Gabe: Wah! Wah! You’re FORCING me to play with toys!

Mama: Well, what do you WANT to do?

Gabe: I WANT to play with toys, but you can’t make me!

There you have it: love of free will run amok.  Gabe is four, but his line of reasoning is common in teenagers,

and even in much older people who really ought to know better.

The core of the Gabe Axiom is this:

The object of my choice doesn’t matter. What matters is that it is I who choose it.

The extremist version (which, unhappily, my son appears to espouse) goes like this:

I will accept even something good and desirable only if

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