Friday, January 05, 2007


Yesterday I wrote about power and its misuse by petty people - the insecure and the bullies. Today I want to write about control.

We just came home from seeing the movie Stranger than Fiction

"An IRS auditor suddenly finds himself the subject of narration only he can hear: narration that begins to affect his entire life, from his work, to his love-interest, to his death"

Harold Crick is the IRS agent and somehow his life has become bound up with an author's attempt to complete her novel. Harold hears her narration in his head as his life unfolds.

But what isn't clear is who or what is in control. Is the author shaping and controlling Harold's life? Or are the choices and actions Harold take directing the author? It is almost a chicken and egg question.

But it is a question we all face. Are we controlled by externalities (our job, the life we have, the decisions we made long ago) or do we control our lives? Clearly there is no going back but can we control our going forward? I believe we can - attitude, self talk, self understanding, confidence and support and we can become the 'captain of our own ship' no matter our circumstances and no matter our past.

But what about those who feel they must control others? Those who manipulate and bully, those who scheme and are so self centered that the only thing that matters is their needs, their projects, their lives?

I feel they are to be pitied. Their need to control situations and other people, to me, reflects deep levels of insecurity and perhaps an element of self-loathing. If they are not in control, they believe, they will not be taken into account - because they aren't worthy.

They are the same people I discussed yesterday who need to exert their power over the powerless. This complements their need to control, manipulate and direct.

They must be very sad people