The illusion of control

You cannot control outcomes, you can only control how you respond to them. In various types of crises I see people trying to control outcomes. This is futile. You don’t have that much power. If we try to control things we can actually make things worse or open the doors for other negative experiences. Why is the quest for control an illusion?

Utopia means people have to die
The problem with reaching a utopia society is you have to be willing to laughter many people. Collectivist regimes of the 20th century slaughtered over 56+ million people. And after all that many of them collapsed or are still poorly treating their countrymen. This struggle goes all the way back to Plato’s Republic and its quest to have the perfectly just city. Utopia melanin death is not an overboard statement. Why?

You’re to as good as you think you are
I find people are broke in some way. It’s more of where they’re broken not if. Often we like to point out the faults of others but are not willing to look in the mirror and work on ourselves. You are the hardest person you will ever lead. And as many people believe no body is perfect, that will also be reflected in our society. If we struggle with controlling ourselves, what makes us think we can fix the world?

Get local not vocal
We cannot change the world, but we can change our communities. Work hard at helping and bettering people in your community. If all of us invested more attention on that verses the national or global fronts, life would be better for everyone. Why? Because local people know your faults and can help mitigate them. Locally your strengths are known as well to help build a stronger community. Protesting and the national cable news hysteria accomplishes little. The one who whispers will be heard loudest. Often that’s the servants who work at making their community better.

Have a pity party, and set an end date
This advice was given to me by an older and wiser gentleman. We need to process our emotions appropriately. It is ok to hurt and to feel. It is part of being human. But it is not good to let that rule us and lead us. Talk to friends, if you need get a good counselor. Take the time to process and remember you still have to live.

Be wary of control solutions
Often the problem is the people who say there is a problem and then create a solution that creates a worse problem, meanwhile not solving the original problem. Unintended consequences can often be worse than the problem at hand. This is often exemplified in trying to control ecology. Research adding wolves back to Yellowstone Park as an example of this. Gun control is another example. The 56+ million people slaughtered above started with gun control. That is recent history, not hundreds of years ago. I’m sure in some instances call fo such control was noble, but it ended in disaster.

Discern issues from symptoms
In trying to control symptoms the issue goes unaddressed. While timing may take longer, dealing with issues has a better outcome long term. chiropractics illustrates things well. Pain is an indicator that something is wrong and needs adjusting. We can take things to remove the pain, or we can take actions that will stop it. We can engage the issue, or we can run from it by masking or dealing with the symptoms. A friend shared with me how easter countries didn’t care about how the US did things as much as why they did them. Get to core issues. Often long term solutions are truly short terms ones because eventually tomorrow becomes today.

Respond, don’t react or repeat evil
Responding to a situation means taking responsibility for our own actions and working at what we can influence. It deals with our attitudes and what’s immediate or close to us. Responding also means getting the facts clear and thinking through a situation. Reacting is dangerous and often leads to other tragedy. It may be different than what you’re trying to control, but it will still be tragic. Finally, we can repeat. This is the worse as we become that which we hate. People who fight against bigotry often become bigots themselves. Same problem, they just switch labels. A church I visited were against legalism of wearing suits to church but were legalistic about the right kind of jeans to wear in public. Apparently my Wranglers at the time were wrong. The church I was at the weekend before refused jeans and required suits. Both churches were in the wrong. Respond means acting virtuously. Reacting is moving to another problem, often unintended. Repeating is becoming like that which hurt you.

The bottom line:
When tragedy hits resist the temptation to try and control outcomes. Focus on leading yourself well, processing the emotions, and acting virtuously by responding, not reacting or repeating the tragedy.

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