Thursday 24 May 2012
Human beings gauge the march of progress by the degree of control that it allows us to exercise on our surroundings.
In the beginning, there was language, which gave us control over our interactions with each other. The advent of tools simplified difficult tasks, and relieved some of the rigors of labour. The development of knowledge helped lower the veil of ignorance and brought about a better understanding of our world, thus promoting active engagement.
Fear is rooted in the inability to control our environment. Fear is disorienting, and erodes rational thought and behaviour.
Without control, we descend into the darkness of our animal selves.
Without control, we could not effectively farm.
And yet there is fear; firmly planted and ready to sprout in the right conditions.
Fear that we will lose control. That the power will go out. That the fence will break. That disease will spread. That the well will run dry. That equipment will fail.
That death will be dealt regardless of us.
Of course, reason helps us understand that there are many elements out of our range of control. Those are best accepted as part of the dynamic environment and though worthy of attempting to change, should not prevent us from carrying on.
What a fine line that is.
Between acceptance and allowing fear to take hold.
Considering the dangerous precipice, it is easy to understand why so many people choose a life that is well established and predictable.
The promise of a steady job, regular pay, expected bills, available food, limited liability, and minimal responsibility.
In exchange for stability, expectations are kept low.
As society evolves, expectations congregate around the need to be in control and less so towards fulfilling aspirations and virtuous desires.
Having been relieved from my tenure in the workforce, the freedom has granted me the ability to pursue work that I consider wholesome and progressive.
There is a cost though.
Or so it seems.
By taking a hold of the reins, I take responsibility for controlling my environment rather than abdicating it to someone else for the sake of a predictable life.
With the many projects underway here, I find myself losing grip some days. It is really just a sensation and a matter of perspective. The temptation of the easy life can be alluring when it feels as though everything will unravel at the seams.
But that is an illusion.
My life should be in my own hands and not rest with someone else.
That is how to take control.