Is it true that ‘I had no choice’?

Law & Order SVU

In procedural drama interrogation rooms, whatever the crime, the hinge phrase is “I had no choice.”

If you spend any time at all watching police procedural dramas, you know that every plot turns on one phrase: “I had no choice.” Every wrong-doer is convinced that they chose the only option available at the time. If they were to protect their family, their business, their reputation, then they “had no choice” but to murder or extort or steal.

At the same time that we all know there is always more than one choice, probably most of us have experienced moments when we’ve felt backed into a corner and couldn’t see good options. The best of us collapse onto God in helpless tears; the rest of us lash out and insist, when called to account, that we, like the worst of criminals, “had no choice.”

Seth Godin, one of my favorite bloggers, summarizes everything I’ve been thinking lately and much more in a few sentences. Here’s his post: Your Choice.


About Carlene Hill Byron

The former editor of New England Church Life and The New England Christian, Carlene Hill Byron is enjoying being home in Maine after 20 years in North Carolina. She is a member of the Redbud Writers Guild. Find her at, and on Facebook at MyHouseHasHistory.
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