Control: The Myth

Posted: December 17, 2020 in Uncategorized

When you hit a parked car, did you wish you had control of your car? You steer, accelerate, brake, turn, stop, go, but when it really counts, none of that matters. Black ice can and will ruin a perfectly acceptable belief. Don’t worry. No one owns the right to control. Not you, me, or whatever god you believe in. Control doesn’t exist. Laws exist. They’re written down and mostly observed. Mostly. Sometimes they’re not penalized for breaking. So much for laws. They’re someone else’s rules…right? Why should we adhere?

Murder. “Thou shall not kill.” Well, Oh gee. Thanks. How many people die at the hands of others each day? We can’t even say we have control over whether we can kill someone. I certainly can’t. Before children, I didn’t think I had it in me. Now… well. I think I do. And who’s to say, with absolute certainty, that we have control of our own reactions? Police murder. Priests rape. Governments fail. Police, priests, and governments are sworn to protect. Uh huh. People forget that they are people like me and you. Some are: selfish, criminals, sociopaths, narcissists, kind, compassionate, giving, taking, on and on. You see what I’m getting at. There’s no magic device that brands labels on everyone’s foreheads telling what each of us is truly capable of doing.

Choice is key, but still a crapshoot. And there’s always a choice. They may stink, but… Still you have a choice. Control is lacking in the outcome. Someone could point a gun to your head, a knife to the throat of someone you love and demand you make a choice as to who lives. Both choices suck, but…still you’re making a choice. An extreme example? Yup. You’d be surprised how many people feel the same trepidation with more mundane crossroads. Both answers feel like the end of the world, so it comes down with, which can you live with that will cause the least amount of pain. Which sacrifice are you willing to make?

Control is perception. Someone with knowledge, education, experience, tells you to do something, or not to do something that will save you or someone else’s life, for instance seatbelts, car seats, safety regulations, jumping off a bridge, sky diving without a parachute, sticking to a speed limit, stopping at red lights and stop signs… so on and so forth, and you follow or don’t follow their law, recommendation, or warning,— your choice/reaction and subsequent consequence despite reasoning, excuse, or perspective—is on you.

People say fear is a controlling factor in how we are manhandled. Biologically, fear is a warning for caution. We feel fear, fight, flight, freeze, but it’s our internal system that reacts to terror… not fear. In most cases we feel fear of an up and coming event, a choice to stay put or move forward, driving for the first time, walking into a room with drunk people and not feeling safe (fear of personal harm), in terms of our current predicament )wearing masks, social distancing, being careful to not spread a deadly disease to the old, immunocompromised, already sick…getting them sick and possibly killing them. That’s fear…caution… perhaps a little bit of empathy and compassion. No one is hold a gun to your head…which is where terror (fight, flight, freeze is an appropriate biological response.

Do what will help others, or what may help others. Figure out why you rally against what you think is control. Sometimes rethinking a belief you were taught to fight against is a personal day terror rather than fear, a warning…caution. Look around. Talk to people. Let go of those internal burdens, restraints, voices coming from others. You’d be surprised at the moments of peace you feel at those times. We may not have control over them but at reprieve that allows comparisons, free thoughts and if I dare say… freewill.

So control… no such thing.

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