Ponderings On Control
Creating meaning when experiencing challenging times, can help support an individual’s resilience & adaptive processes to better cope with their circumstances. A sense of meaning may help to foster positive emotions such as hope, optimism, acceptance, compassion, not to mention finding the inner strength & courage to move forward. Having personal control or autonomy, has been found to have a positive impact on the individual; no matter how limited the perceived control is in the circumstances, the mind-set of choice seems to be a very potent ingredient to our sense of well-being. Suzanne C. Thompson highlights Geary’s (1998), theory that control may function within an evolutionary framework, motivating mankind’s survival instincts; as the individual who can control his environment & access resources has more of a chance to survive. We can see this drive echoed throughout history all the way up to present times, with our need to conquer areas for resources; Water, food, women. There does appear to be agreement between researchers of differing theories that a need to control motivates human behaviour & would appear to be innate.
Has this innate desire to control ultimately pushed our species towards extinction and how can we counter-act this drive? What sense of meaning can we weave within a story that can capture the hearts & minds enough to transform an innate drive that has become perilously destructive? Could this be the story of spirituality & religion?
Letting go…Surrender…Acceptance…Compassion… Sacrifice. I wonder
Thompson. S. C. The Role of Personal Control in Adaptive Functioning. Chapter 25, Oxford Handbook of Positive Psychology, Oxford University Press, 2011.