Many of our religious, spiritual, philosophical, economic, gender, ethnic and overal social issues often have to concept of control at their centers. People who don't believe in God mention at some point that they don't like the concept that someone besides themselves is in charge over them. I find this amusing, since we are all willfully and otherwise controlled by other things that we don't even realize or acknowledge. In addition, when discussing the concept of creation, if someone refutes that God created everything and that there was a fall from grace on man's part, there is little explanation for the evils that exist in the world as being a result of social and biological evolution, that somehow a random string of unconnected mishaps is enough to placate a mind that attempts to conceptualize infinity, science, and technology.

So often, we want to think that we are not being controlled, that we are autonomous. And I'd say that could be possible as long as one did not love, or allow himself to be loved, by another human being or even a small animal like a dog or cat. If love itself is not an element of control, in a good way. Love and respect, among others, are things that keep us under control, and allow us to get out of control, so to speak.

Control has no absolute. Some control is good; other forms of control are bad. Some deserve submission and others defiance. Some would say that strength means being the one in control, but I would say that the strength most accessible to people is that which comes from a knowledge of who has control over them and how to react to it.

When I have mentioned the book Four Arguments for the Elimination of Television to people, I also say this: I have not cut TV completely out of my diet, but I feel better knowing for certain that I'm being manipulated, and that I've accepted that. We are accountable for what we know and also what we choose not to know; our ignorance will not save us when it comes to control.

I have been told that most of the anxiety in society stems from feelings of helplessness, of having no control over one's life or future. Religion often seeks to present a possible foundation on which humans can build assurance that someone is in control if they cannot be. I'm not saying that this is wrong in itself, but I am saying that whatever you use to establish such an important system in your life, you should do your homework, you should know what it is you believe and be prepared to defend it if and when it comes into question.

In short, get over it. You are never going to live one day of your short life outside the realm of something else's control. Stop thinking you are the center of the world; you're not. Realizing this is not admitting inferiority, it's being realistic and sensible. Considering the varieties of humans I come into contact with, I sure as hell would sleep a little less soundly at night if I believed that any one of us putzes was in control of anything but our own bowels. In my mind, the world is simply too vast, complicated, and ever-changing for us to be in charge of it.