Friday, October 21, 2005


I put off writing this because it's such a hard subject to discuss in words and in space that feels so short.

Control. We all want to have control of ourselves and often over others. The fact is, we don't have control. It's a hard fact to accept. Talking with a therapist, she once observed that people would often rather blame themselves for things that happen (like the death of a loved one) rather than accept that they can't control everything in their lives.

Other people go so far as to try and control the people in their lives. Who hasn't heard the stories about people telling others what to do, what to eat, how to cut their food and so on?

We have people voting on legislation to decide the lawfulness of certain very personal choices. Right now, the big one is whether it's legal for two men or two women to be married. Those against it claim that it violates the sanctity of marriage. I find it hard to believe in a diety who would find that any sort of love was a violation of it's tenets. Even using the term legal domestic partners bothers some people. I don't understand? They aren't taking anything away from anyone. They are making a choice based on a personal decision and preferance. Is someone going to tell me I can't paint my bedroom pink?

Others find that they want to control a woman's body and her pregnancy. I can't imagine anyone saying abortion is an okay thing, but each woman has to make her own choice. I love the slogans, it's a baby not a choice. Yes it is a baby. It's also not YOUR body. If it is, then don't have an abortion.

Why are these types of choices considered things that anyone outside the relationship have any say over? Why would anyone think that other people should get involved in these decisions? To be angry about this suggests that we want to have control over those people who don't live life by our standards. Everyone has to find their own internal standards of living and we need to recognize that everyone will make different choices.

It would be hard to be peaceful while out trying to control the minds of millions of people. We can only control ourselves up to a certain point and the rest, well, that we have to leave up the universe. If we find that we can be successful in doing this, then perhaps we will feel a little more peaceful.

My question for myself this weekend: Where do I try to control others and how do I do that?


Blogger Graham said...

A really cool post. I believe we do have to recognize that we don't exert control over everything in our lives. We aren't complete masters of our own destiny. We are interdendent, social creatures. But, to the extent that we do control our lives, the difference we can make is immense. So often people don't connect with the power they have to influence change in their lives, and positive change in the people they're surrounded by.

Thanks for the thought provoking post :).

8:58 PM  
Blogger Bonnie said...

Thank you Graham. I believe it might have been your post on Cognosceti that made me want to blog about the whole issue of control.

4:37 PM  

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