Influence is real, control is really only about yourself.
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Control has at least six definitions in any dictionary, three verbs and three nouns. All have to do with the idea of something or some body manging people, events or objects to behave in a predetermined way. This concept is used in every human endeavor from government and business to science and religion. The idea of control is often tied to the idea of power. Power is often defined as the ability to control.
Theoretically, there is absolute control on one end of the degree scale and complete lack of influence on the other extreme. Absolute control implies great strength. Wether that strength is physical, mental, related to personality or a combination depends on the situation. Lack of control implies weakness in the same categories. Upon close inspection both extremes are illusions relative to the degree of cooperation from others that is involved.
Absolute control is an illusion because cooperation is required and because it is impossible to be aware of all the influences on a given situation. Absolute lack of control is also an illusion because everyone is capable and to a certain extent obligated to make up their own mind. When it comes to human relationships, control is always given or not given from one person to another prson or group in the form of either acquiescence/cooperation or resistance.
Cooperation is necessary for control, wether dealing with humans, animals or inanimate objects such as machines. Cooperation can be obtained through coercion or agreement, love/respect or fear/intimidation. People will often cooperate with the understanding of some future benefit such as money. Natural forces must be cooperated with, they can be manipulated, but this manipulation requires working with (cooperating with) the laws of nature. The consequences of these manipulations can be beneficial and useful or unexpected and dangerous, depending on the understanding of the laws of nature by the person(s) doing the manipulations.
The ideal situation is cooperation based on mutual benefit. In this situation, all parties are required to control themselves by acting according to agreement, with their motivation being whatever benefit(s) have been agreed upon or exchanged. This situation requires that people take responsibility for their own actions, responsibilites and/or promises. everyone controls themselves.
Unfortunately, the majority of people, for whatever reason(s) tend to give up at least some of their natural born control to bosses, governments, religions and other individuals and groups to which are attributed the ability to “know what is best.” This can be argued to be an exercise of self control, but only if there is an awareness of what has been given up. Many people give it up because they have not examined their options.
Ultimately, the only true control that any person ever has is control over their own thoughts and actions. Even this kind of control is difficult to manage due to the presence of fears and other subconscious motivations that exist in all of us. Self control requires awareness of all the things that motivate the person and all the things that influence their perception of the things that they witness and cause. Complete self control is virtually impossible for most humans, but if it were possible, it would require the ability to see only what is there and avoid reading unnecessary and incorrect meanings into the things that they see, say and do. It would require that the person recognize the influences of their emotions and the reasons for their desires and ambitions. It would require that the person know what they see, need, want and why. It would require that people accept the responsibility of self control and the result would be a better world.

Al Noeng

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