Kierkegaard wrote that it was Aristotle who asked “How should we live?”—the “should” implying that we have a choice. One of the great consolations of philosophy is the concept of human will: the ability to make choices and through those choices, create ourselves. Will entails far more than deciding to turn right when the sign points left, or to opt for an apple over a slice of cake. It’s the tool that enables us to determine the course of our own existence. Without will, we’re adrift on the sea of fate.

Take the statement “Together we’re fucked.” Place the emphasis where it feels natural, on the final word, and you have a fairly typical expression of modern malaise. Now shift the emphasis to the first word and you have a declaration of solidarity. Which feels more like an application of human will and which like a surrender in the face of fate?