This statement may seem drastic, but deliberately so. We live in a world where self-help books, management books and popular psychology books talk to us about how to take control of our lives, how to not live as victims, how to be in charge of our lives, where we are headed etc. All of them are valid. But, in all of that, we cannot miss the point that we are not really in full control of anything.
If the two and a half years of Covid have taught us anything, that must be a very important lesson. The whole world was in lockdown mode. Therefore, where is the control?
Let me tell you the story of a rich man. One-third of his riches were in a locker at home as gold, one-third was in shares and a third was invested in cash in his bank, with risks spread out. One day, early in the morning, he went out for a walk and an earthquake struck the city. After recovering from the initial shock, he rushed back home. His family, his wealth, everything had been reduced to rubble.
In shock and despair, he collapsed, crying for God or somebody to help and rescue his family from under the rubble. Nobody turned up. He then rushed to the bank to withdraw some money to pay people to sift through the rubble and see whether the family had survived. The bank too had collapsed.
Family gone, wealth at home and in the bank gone. He had become an orphan, a refugee in his own city. He was a businessman who ruled the roost and was looked up to by his peers. But, right now he had to depend on NGOs and government agencies even for a cup of tea. Therefore, in the physical world, we are in control of a few things under normal conditions. It doesn't take long to make everything go out of control. That's why I started by saying 'All control is an illusion'. Then, what can we do? This will be the topic of the next article.
The writer is the founder of Aarsha Vidya Foundation. You can write to him at email@example.com