“Can’t you control your child?” I often heard when my tired and cranky toddler daughter would misbehave in public. My answer was always: “No. No, I can’t.”
With these exchanges, I came to realize that the general understanding seems to be that control is a power or force one exerts externally to gain a particular result.
My own experience and understanding is that it is a skill honed by practice. My most productive expression of control is self-control. Which is, really, the only type of control I may exercise successfully since I have no control over anyone or anything else. It is a skill I hone through my daily meditation practice.
At a recent Cherry Blossom Festival on Roosevelt Island, we enjoyed a performance by taiko drummers. The control each individual had over their own actions, expressed in conjunction with fellow drummers, is a stunning example of how exercising self-control and standing in one’s own power can create a thing of strength and beauty in a community.
Members of Congress, please take note.