Are You in Charge of Your Life?
My favorite part of the Dark Knight Rises is when Bane asks in his creepy voice, “Do you feel in charge?” It’s really a great question. As adults we really are only in charge of one thing–our own lives. We are supposed to take responsibility for all that happens to us in our lives, not complaining when things don’t go our way and not apologizing when things go well for us. As humans, we try to control and mold our environment through technology, philosophy and many other avenues available to us. But I know firsthand that we don’t always feel in control. All of us at some point have complained about something wrong that has happened to us. Sometimes the complaining is justified–it might even feel good to vent. But I wonder, does it do any good?
Aristotle posed the question to his students, “What is the good in it?” He was referring to the deeds we engage is as human beings. With every deed, we should be able answer “What’s the good in it?” If the answer is nothing, we are not supposed to engage in the activity. Of course, this philosophy presupposes that humans do all things with the end-goal of achieving some goodness. This is debatable in regards to humanity as a whole. But, I’d like to keep the focus on you. You are, of course, a good person dedicated to improving yourself physically and emotionally. You wouldn’t be reading this otherwise. So, Aristotle poses a valuable question for all of us. In everything we do, we should ask, “What’s the good in it?” This is one way of taking control of our lives and our environment. By focusing on what good we can do, we can control our actions and therefore positively affect our environment–even possibly control it to the greatest extent possible, something we try to do as humans.
So, are you in charge of your life? Do you own yourself? If the answer is no, then who controls you? Of course you are in charge and responsible for your own life. While things may happen to us that we cannot control, we can control our reaction to them. And I would suggest, when reacting to these external events, ask yourself, “What’s the good in it?” If there is no good in your reaction, why do it? Will it help you to complain? To retaliate? To whine in social media? Will people think more of you or less of you? What will you think of yourself? So ask yourself what Bane asked, “Do you feel in charge?” Because you are in charge. What are you going to do about it?