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You have less control than you think

A couple of years ago a friend of mine died in a car accident. A drunk driver smashed into the car she was a passenger in and wiped out both her and her friend. They both died on impact.

The last time we spoke she was sending me pics on Whatsapp from her four-year-old daughter’s school play.

A few weeks later, two people adored by their friends and family were both gone. A little girl was now without her mother.

I’m an optimist by nature but I’ve always known the world isn’t a fair place. When I found out about my friend that Saturday morning it was a brutal reminder how unfair it can be.

I call bullshit when people say, “when it’s your time, it’s your time.” People involuntary die at an early age because of an accident, illness, war or murder. Their life isn’t predestined to end then. There’s no grand plan. It’s not fate. It’s circumstance.

At anytime our life, or the life of someone we care about, can be taken away through the actions of others.

In life we have less control than we think.

We’re lead to believe if we take control of our lives we can control the future. This is untrue. At any time it can be taken away from us through no fault of our own.

The control we think we have is illusionary. For the control freaks among us, understanding this can be a bitter pill to swallow. I know this because I used to be one.

As Joe Rogan said, “Whenever you take yourself too seriously, just remember we are talking monkeys living on an organic spaceship flying through the universe.”

You may like certainty but the control we have over events is minimal. We can take precautions and we can make our environment as safe as possible but we have no control over other people or indeed organic spaceships. My friend had no control over the person who chose to drive his car after heavy drinking that evening.

Knowing you have no control over events is freedom. Having this understanding gives you the freedom to do as you please. To be who you want to be and to experience life and the human condition in all its forms. Without fear and without expectation.

Though cut short, my friend lived a good life and she touched many of her friends’ lives. I know this because of the hundreds of people who were, and are still, distraught at her passing.

Once you understand you have very little control in life, very little can control you. It’s worth remembering before it’s too late.

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