For the most part, fears are paper tigers. For the vast majority of us, it’s deciding to act upon what we imagine. The fact is, we can do almost anything we decide to do. Nike Corporation co-opted the phrase “Just Do It”. That phrase does not need to be just a corporate sales slogan, it can be reclaimed as a personal mantra.
It’s easy to fantasize about what we’d do in particular situations or wish to create, or stand up to entrenched authority, and so forth. When we finally have the tenacity to put our words into action, the process becomes its own reward. We finally realize that we have more control over our lives than we previously believed.
Certainly, there are many things we cannot control, like the weather or natural disasters. Regarding much of the rest of it, we must decide what’s up to us and what is out of our control. What it boils down to, is our attitude, our intention, our will, our determination, and our real physical abilities. We’ve heard and read such words from motivational speakers and writers many times because they apparently are true. The point is to get beyond the powerful words and convert them into powerful actions.
We step into sketchy territory when we attempt to control the lives of other people. Control freaks are in abundance in society. It takes wise people to occupy positions of temporal and religious power. Unfortunately, the people who are wise enough to occupy those places are in very short supply these days. Those who remain are in power struggles, fighting to gain control over one or the other and the rest of us.
“One ought to hold on to one’s heart; for if one lets it go, one soon loses control of the head too.”–Friedrich Nietzsche
Nietzsche was an interesting case in part because he intellectually understood mental processes but fell prey to disorders and possible dementia. Experts say that he suffered from “manic-depression” which is now known as bipolar disorder. His highly intellectual mind helplessly witnessed his own mental disorder. A condition that was out of his control. He was fated to live during a time before effective psychological treatment for his condition was available. We are left to wonder what philosophical writings Nietzsche could have written had he remained in control of his neurological condition.
“The strongest and most effective force in guaranteeing the long-term maintenance of power is not violence in all the forms deployed by the dominant to control the dominated, but consent in all the forms in which the dominated acquiesce in their own domination.”–former Poet Laureate, Robert Frost
In the end, a free person has the choice to act in her or his accordance by the choice to submit to authority or not. It is up to us to think and act out of our own ability, conscience and ethics. This is a personal definition of the phrase, “in control”.