Rollo May on choosing to live

“It is doubtful whether anyone really begins to live, until he has frankly confronted the terrifying fact that he could wipe out his existence but chooses not to.

Since one is free to die, he is also free to live.

When one has consciously chosen to live, his responsibility for himself takes on a new meaning. He no longer exists as an accidental result of his parents having conceived him, of his growing up and living on the treadmill of cause-and-effect.

He accepts responsibility for his own life not as something with which he has been saddled, a burden forced upon him, but as something he has chosen himself.

Since he could have chosen to die but chose not to, every act thereafter has to some extent been made possible because of that choice. Every act then has its special element of freedom.

He has chosen freedom and responsibility in the same breath.”

– Rollo May (existential psychologist)