Saturday, October 1, 2022

Loss of control

We like order in our lives. It gives us a sense of control, and thus provides a feeling of security. Unexpected problems, or mistakes, can be extremely unsettling. You may wake up late and find that your alarm clock has malfunctioned. Or perhaps your phone failed to charge overnight. Or maybe someone else is taking an early shower - at the very time you use it every morning. The frustration over such simple events can sometimes be overwhelming and lead us to curse the chaotic nature of the world.

But the world is an ordered, deterministic system. We simply have a limited sphere of control. The complex interweaving of events and interpersonal relationships can give the appearance of chaos simply because we cannot keep track of it all. We must keep in mind that unexpected events will always occur, and that our response to such events should be in proportion to their significance. Your life will not be ruined just because you overslept. You don't necessarily need a fully charged phone. Skip your shower and enjoy the benefit of a little extra time in the morning.

Feeling like we have lost control can be frustrating, but only because we expect to have complete control. Accepting that many things are beyond our control can help temper our response to unexpected events.