Control and our lack of it

January 26, 2011

I think I’ll start off by asking you a question.

Have you ever experienced an event and concluded that it was a sign? By this I mean an event seen or heard to be a sign that you are destined to be something else. I understand that the latter part of that sentance is loosely framed with a subtle touch of adolenscent confusion but bear with me. Now when I say seen something, I mean something that has changed your life, in terms of you’ve actually chosen to change your life because of what you’ve experienced.

It could be easy to speculate, there are many examples on can draw upon for an answer. A heart surgeon watches a patient die totally outside of her control on an operating table, hours later after showering she sees the face of the patient drawn through the condensation on her bathroom mirror. She leaves the profession, retiring to knit jumpers and cardigans for her grandchildren. She lives out her life forever aware of the fact something exists much larger than her, too afraid to tell those she loves because she is scared of it herself. An off duty forty year old cop is out buying milk when he is robbed, his life flashes before his eyes and in his flashback he remembers arresting the same junkie many years ago. It is his fear of losing his family that he believes forces his decision to retire however in all realitgy it isthe fact that he knows he has no control that guides his decision. These examples whilst relevant don’t quite provide enough quantification for what I’m looking for. It’s the fact that in any of these examples, it’s not the event that made them make these decisions. These events and their results are part of a process older than life itself, time.