I've been thinking lately about what it is that makes us tick.

There has been plenty of discussion in the media about what makes a person British - in terms of values and attitudes. After all, if we ask immigrants to become British, what do we mean? But it's worth asking that question not just for Britain but for the "Western" world as a whole. What is important to us in our (Western) culture - so important that if it someone tried to take it away from us we would be devastated and indignant? It's not an easy question to answer.

I think I've stumbled on something with this idea of choosing. I've noticed this not only in the amount of choice we now have, even before breakfast, but in the fact that we genuinely like to be able to choose. (This is different from being decisive!) People get really upset if you deny them their right to a choice.

Opto ergo sum, by the way, is Latin for I choose therefore I am. It's a take-off of Descartes, who said, Cogito ergo sum (I think therefore I am).

As my thoughts coalesce, I'll cough them up and deposit them here. So I invite you to watch this space - if you choose.