The human being is a self-propelled automaton entirely under the control of external influences. Willful and predetermined though they appear, his actions are governed not from within, but from without. He is like a float tossed about by the waves of a turbulent sea.
—Nikola Tesla (Public Domain)
A pretty depressing sentiment, expressed by a truly great mind. Perhaps Tesla was simply observing (something he mastered to a remarkable degree) the state of the people around him and put his analytical conclusions to paper. After all, doesn’t this quote hold true for most of the souls wandering the earth, either in our time or Tesla’s, or 2,000 years ago?
But we weren’t put here to be automatons. We were put here with a Divine Purpose. With a new perspective, consider the interminable bombardment of external forces to be an ongoing test of our own free will. Instead of influence x causing the standard response y, let us act in a way that will best move us forward. We cannot control how others will respond, but we always have the power to choose a different path for ourselves—despite Tesla’s observation.
—MSH, Penn Wealth