Control–having it in your life, over your life, and the ways in which you live.
Babies control by crying–it’s all they’ve got. Toddlers, too. But as kids age and interact socially, ‘leaders’ and ‘followers’ quickly show up. And, of course, there are controlling parents right into early adult life (I’ve seen it happen to children in their 70s!), sometimes micromanaging kids’ freedom and entire days.
And a lot of the control that children and teens seek is that which simply maximizes their freedom and independence–two elements signifying desired autonomy and maturity. So, ultimately, control and whatever freedom it brings is basic to the individual in his or her various phases of development.
There are many other ways of looking at control. Health is one of these. One is controlled by one’s health context at various stages of life. To a large extent, control in the area of health brings freedom in such things as physical and mental capacity, and mobility, for instance.
Beyond the physical, there is the matter of having control over one’s life in the areas of smoking, alcohol and drugs, eating, appearance, and sex. Of the latter, one often wants to have control over potential play, pleasure, closeness, and intimacy beyond whatever friends one has. Call it a control over how physically close others might get to one, or choosing how close one might want to be with another.
Just about any situation or context you wish to identify including how one will finish one’s days, funeral arrangements, and final will and money arrangements involve control and how much of it you have right up to the end of or beyond your life.
Oh, and there is the not-so-small issue of how people generally and daily interact with one another; in many cases treating others as a means to an end (controlling, manipulating) or respecting and interacting with people as autonomous ends in themselves. (I have seen more than enough of the former in literature, in homes, in workplaces, out in public to know that control in and of itself re. others is mostly negative and potentially harmful. It potentially warps how one relates to others or restricts the limits and limitations of one’s own self)
These days I mostly just accept people, things, and situations, occasionally giving my opinion without any agenda or expectation. Call it a control-less phase except for a self-control borne of perspective, aging, and personal freedom. Being and appreciating being are more the preferred operational modes, taking delight in Truth, Beauty, Nature, truly good Real People, the Arts, and the possibilities of late refinements in one’s personal sensibility.
Control is mostly a pathetic, distracting, self-gulling process which can damage self, others, various social situations and lives. Like all other self-inflicted suffering, it is typically human, but, of course, often unnecessary, absurd, or pointless.