Close up macro of the control key on a keyboard

What’s the first image that flashes across your mind when you hear the word control? A puppet with strings attached? A person yelling at others, trying to get them to conform? A leader of a country smiling benignly down at his countrymen, his smile hiding the secrets of power? A button on a keyboard? A panel with funny little buttons and a red one you’re never supposed to push? A soft voice in a darkened room, convincing a young recruit of lies warped as truth? It could be all of them, or none at all, for it could be just an illusion.

You can calibrate the air in a closed room, insert a specific gene into a plant to suit your need, train an animal to do your bidding, make it rain as you wish, level a forest in a day, survive in the harshest cold or live under the scorching tropical sun. Humans are a species with advanced capabilities that can choose to play with the life and death of the lesser creatures on this unfortunate Earth every day. Is that control? But you will cower when the lightning strikes, seek refuge when the ground rumbles, watch helplessly when the sea rises to take away your possessions or run far away when the volcano erupts. Where did the control go? Nature is too big a force to control, you would say, and you would be right.

Think about a parent trying to get talk their child out of something. They could try to explain rationally, plead emotionally and convince mentally. If all of that fails, they could easily assume control and order the child to do as they wish. Or imagine the one little thing every couple wants to change in the other that they are sure would fix everything. How about a person who wants everything in such a perfect order that they wouldn’t tolerate even a thread out of place? Would any of those end with a happily ever after? You would shake your head, and you would be right.

What is it that you can really control then? You already know the answer to that one, don’t you? You would find it staring back at you if you looked in a mirror. In a world that is so out of your grasp that you can’t predict what tomorrow will bring, the only thing you can prepare is your mind. If you just nodded, you know you are right.

This post was inspired by recent conversations I’ve had with friends. What did you think of it? Let me know in the comments. Also, if you’d like to see more posts of similar kind, do let me know.

12 thoughts on “Control

  1. This is a strong post and I totally agree. We can’t really control anyway. We can control our thoughts and actions, but sometimes not even our emotions. When it comes to certain situations, you have to ask yourself, “Can I change this?” If yes, you can try to do something about it if you think it’s right. If no, then you have to let it go.

    Liked by 1 person

      • This is actually something my co-workers and I have been talking about lately. So many people at work haven’t been doing their job and it effects us and our students, but we’ve decided that we’re not going to try to complain about the lack of consequences anymore. We can’t control it, so we’re just going to keep doing our best for the kids and go from there.

        Liked by 2 people

  2. Very thought-provoking, Nandini. I’ve had to remind myself of that idea of control – what IS within our control, and what isn’t – a lot lately. (Let’s just say that the past few weeks have been stressful…) So now and then, I’ve been meditating on releasing my “attachment” to things I have no control over, letting go of related fears and anxieties, and replacing them with more productive thoughts and calmer emotions. Because in the end, the only thing any of us have any control of is ourselves – our thoughts, emotions, and actions. The rest is out of our hands… and sometimes it’s difficult to accept that, but we have to.

    Liked by 1 person

    • True. By nature we seek to control things around us and it’s very hard to train the mind to let go. Meditation definitely helps in reining in that side of ours. There’s quite a bit about it in the Bhagavad Gita, if you’re ever interested in reading something like that. It’s not religious per se even though it is considered a holy text by the Hindus, but it teaches a lot about life.

      Liked by 1 person

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