July 1, 2015

372 words 2 mins read

You Are In Control

This post is about the control you have.

And the control you don’t have.

Last week was tough on a lot of us. The Supreme Court limited your freedom. The same-sex marriage case was very similar to Roe v. Wade in judicial legislation. States lost the power to regulate marriage. (There’s a deep theological discussion around whether the state ever had any say in marriage, but that’s for another post.)

A lot of people feel powerless right now. And for a moment, I did, too. The SCOTUS seems all-powerful. Nine lawyers rule the country by decree.

But I was wrong. I am exactly as powerful now as I was one minute before the Supreme Court made that decision.

I am just as powerful now as I was in 1984 when I used my power to raise my right hand swear an oath to defend my country against all enemies, foreign and domestic. (Justice Kennedy, you’re under arrest.)
In fact, my power, like energy, is constant. Power cannot be made or destroyed. One person’s power simply is.

Viktor Frankl said the same thing in another way:

Forces beyond your control can take away everything thing you possess except one thing, your freedom to choose how you will respond to the situation. You cannot control what happens to you in life, but you can always control what you will feel and do about what happens to you.

That’s it! That’s the power you’ve always had. It’s exactly equal to the power of Barack Obama, of Anthony Kennedy, of George Washington.

“You can always control what you will feel and do about what happens to you."

You are in control.

What you do with your power and control is up to you. You cannot control the outcomes, only your feelings, your actions, and your reactions.

But that’s a lot. It’s more than any species and as much as anybody else. You are tied for first in power with 7.125 billion people.

You have lost nothing that wasn’t already lost. And you have gained something wonderful: an understanding of your remarkable power to control yourself.

You are in control.

P.S. The world would be a better place if I were a justice of the Supreme Court.