Saturday, January 21, 2017

That Certain Lack Of Control

Life could be so easy, if only we could exercise more control over it. Often this lack of control is blamed on the presence of others.

For instance, here’s a quote from Jean-Paul Sartre:

“In football, everything is complicated by the presence of the other team.”

I’m pretty sure that I’ve shared that one before, but it came to mind last week when I came across another quote expressing the same sentiment. This one was from Vice Admiral Matome Ugaki, who was Admiral Yamamoto’s chief-of-staff in the Imperial Japanese Navy:

“There is an opponent in a war, so one cannot progress just as one wishes.”

This phenomenon is true not only for sports and warfare, but also for life in general. We can never quite get our way, because the outside influences are so powerful.

Planning, industry and discipline are, of course, the remedies to this lack of control. They are always to be recommended. Employ them liberally if they are not intellectually or emotionally denied to you. The only thing that can be done about the actual lack of control is to accept it.

I’ll wager that neither Mr. Sartre nor Admiral Ugaki was happy about accepting that fact, but it does appear that both did accept it. 

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