Everything is a ratio. Ursula LeGuin wrote in “The Parable of the Sower”, “God is Change”. Physicists also put forth that the universe at both the quantum level and the cosmic is constantly in flux.
I submit that the same applies to living things. The useful determinant of having a future or not having a future is whether a thing is useful to its own future.
This concept can be generalized by the ratio between what we consume and what we contribute to our future resources. A tiger adds usefulness to an antelope herd by culling the weak, stimulating responses and exercise, and providing future tigers (offspring) that will continue the predator-prey balancing act.
Humans have become “Consumers All”. Our minds are mostly educated by marketers to buy and extract without quid pro quo to the planet.
As Goethe said, “There are none so enslaved as those who believe themselves to be free.”
Free choice comes mostly from randomness. Intentionality is a tiny part of our brain, buried under layer upon layer of conditioning and lizard instincts. We can use it, but it is mostly effective when we combine our tiny executive functionality with other humans for common goals (or even opposing goals). By doing so, we can overcome the conditioning and powerful interests of profit-based marketers (priests, salesmen, politicians playing with our brain stems).
We can be independent thinkers with free will, but it takes both cooperation and independent randomness. This seems contradictory, but it’s what humans evolved to do. Most survival of humans depends on cooperative tribes supporting their own immediate environment, but the independent, random individual (hunter) seeking new things is also necessary in order to find new resources or risks that would otherwise be unknown.
The saying goes that there’s no “I” in “team”, but without “me”, there’s no “meat” in it, either.