Monday, May 20, 2013

What I Can't, and Can, Control

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"One Voluntaryist's Perspective" is an original bi-weekly column appearing every other Monday at Everything-Voluntary.com, by the founder and editor Skyler J. Collins. Archived columns can be found here. OVP-only RSS feed available here.

Seeing these Congressional hearings or Presidential speeches can make someone batty. Fortunately, I avoid them. What good would they do? Would they "inform" me of something important happening? I suppose, but so would a short news article or two after-the-fact. Why glue myself to the live coverage as if its all that mattered? In reality, it's unimportant because I have no control over it.

What I Can't Control

I can't control if the President of the United States orders his generals to order their soldiers to fly aerial drones over Pakistan to drop bombs on unsuspecting, alleged terrorists. I can't control what orders the President gives his generals. I can't control who the President is. I can't control the fact that we have a President. I can't control anything about "we." I can't control you.

I can't control if the Internal Revenue Service plays favorites with Leftist nonprofits. I can't control how much the Internal Revenue Service collects in taxes. I can't control the fact that we have an Internal Revenue Service. I can't control anything about "we." I can't control you.

I can't control if the ruler of North Korea orders his generals to order their soldiers to shoot nuclear missiles at other nations. I can't control what orders the ruler of North Korea gives his generals. I can't control who the ruler of North Korea is. I can't control the fact that North Korea has a ruler. I can't control North Koreans.

I can't control if some maniac steals his mom's guns and shoots innocent people. I can't control some maniac, nor his mom. I can't control what other people buy. I can't control other people.

What I Can Control

I can control my reaction to the outrage that is the President ordering his underlings to drop bombs in Pakistan, the IRS playing favorites with Leftist nonprofits, the ruler of North Korea ordering his underlings to fire nuclear missiles at other nations, and some maniac who steals his mom's guns and shoots innocent people.

I can control how much legitimacy I give the President, the IRS, the ruler of North Korea, and some maniac to commit their crimes. I can control whether or not I will allow their crimes to affect my life, my happiness, and my well-being. I can control the actions I take in preparation for and in response to their crimes. I can control what I tell others about how I feel about their crimes.

I can control what I tell my children when they ask me about these crimes. I can control whether or not to answer any of my children's questions. I can control whether or not I allow the asking of questions in my house. I can control how I treat my children and their curiosity. I can control my relationship with my children.

Final Thoughts

In short, all I really can control is me, my actions and my reactions. If I want to see change in the world, I can only start with what I can control. Everything else is beyond my control, and hence a waste of time and energy to try to control it. I can write about things I feel are important to write about. I can invite others to read what I've written. I can invite others to write with me. I can invite others to understand my point of view. But I can't control them, and I can't control you.