Go Willingly

Once, a half-naked man handed me a revolver and told me to shoot him in the chest.

I was about ten at the time.

My parents were there. They were laughing and clapping, as were the two dozen spectators who had gathered around our unlikely duet.

The man was a street entertainer; a child waving a gun in the middle of Covent Garden was a great way to draw in a crowd.

The revolver wasn’t loaded (I hope).

When I was a little boy, I would volunteer for everything — even to a partially-clothed punk waving a gun in the air — as any happy child will; flinging my finger in the air as high as it would go, straining to raise it above a quivering sea of pudgy digits.

“Pick me!”

The best thing about volunteering is that you can quit anytime you want. Nobody can tell you to change how you’re doing it.

Better still, nobody can get you to stop.

We always have that power.

Nothing can defeat the human who volunteers for life, in all its different moods.

Only the unwilling march the road to hell.