What is Control?
And is it necessary to always maintain?
Recently I had the pleasure of having knee surgery and was put under general anesthesia. Now for those of you who know me are well aware of the fact that I am a teacher, coach, father, and leader. So, the thought of putting my life in the hands of someone I have never met is quite the challenge. As he walked in the room for the first time, I was judging this person to the ultimate degree. You are the person I am putting my life into your hands? You are mostly in control if I ever see the wife and kids again? Whew. Not sure if everyone out there is ok with that but as far as I am concerned, that is an unbelievable concept.
Now we know all the stats. 60,000 people a day are put under and they are fine. Most likely you will be ok as well. One of the major fears in this lifetime is flying on an airplane. Why? Because we are not in control. Even though we know driving a car is way more dangerous than flying on a plane, we are ok with those fatality numbers because we feel we are in control. Correct, most people will land fine and go on living their lives…. except for the ones that do not! Just like most people wake up from general anesthesia, do rehab and go on living their lives…. except for the ones who do not!
When it comes to control, it is never more present than in our children. As parents, we want to protect and educate our children, so they grow up to be wildly successful, happy folks. The most difficult stage on parents is knowing when to let go. When to let them grow up. When to let them fail. Very often the experience of them failing on their own is much more beneficial than them succeeding with their parents at the helm. While parents feel they are protecting their kids from feeling defeat and pain, what they are actually protecting them from the is the ability to cope with the ups and down that life will throw at them in the many years to come.
Life will be difficult at times. We will all experience loss. Loss of a sports contest all the way to the loss of parent or sibling. It is often during these times when we feel completely out of control. We feel we do not matter. Our feelings make no difference to anyone in the world. We can sometimes feel lost and hopeless. Wouldn’t it be better to prepare our children for how to cope with loss rather than shield them from it so they will be helpless in the fight against pain and despair later in their adult lives? We can best show our family and friends about control and the responsibilities that comes with it by letting go of our own need to be in control.
As you can see by reading this article that I did indeed wake up after surgery. Hopefully now I will have a body that can hold up moving forward. I will do everything in my power to show our own children the great parts of life and the necessary coping skills they need to live a happy, enriched life. They will remember way back when their own father was able to let go of control, get his body fixed as he also let’s go of control by allowing them to learn from their own mistakes. It will be the learning and adjusting they make from those experiences that provides the groundwork for their futures.