Tuesday, August 4, 2015

More on Self Control

Since the last post, I've been pondering more on the subject of self control.  I've come to conclude that our society is one that runs on impulses.  And before you think I am high and mighty, I would say I give in to impulses probably just as much as the next guy.  I am routinely asking for chocolate cake or ice cream from the local ice cream shop just because I want it.

As I contemplate self-control though, its interesting seeing from a parent's view point.  First, it feels like we want our children to choose right from wrong, so we say no, no, no to the wrong but yes, yes, to the right.  But along those same respects there are so many things that given the situation can go either way. Things that in small amounts are good. Things that work for one situation or one child but don't for another. It becomes all kinds of complicated. Its probably another reason our society is what it is, one crazy bunch of impulse driven people. Consumerism is set up this way, every store has check out isle items, and there are always deals on this or that but only for one day. And then in our sexuality the culture just screams impulse, to think differently means you are backwards or judgmental.

So I'm wondering how does one really learn self control.  Is it through discipline?  Is it through understanding?  Do we naturally have self-control inside us, or is it only something we can learn through example? I don't know.

There are very limited pieces of art that display senses of self-control.  Last night, I actually ran across one of them on Netflix, and I was amazed at it.  The film was called Heart of the Country and in it, the other guy that usually wins, didn't. Instead their was fidelity and faithfulness, and it was refreshing to see, because it gives me hope that it can happen in this world, and that others do see it as a virtue to uphold.

Post watching that film, it reminded me of one my favorite books of all time, called Running Barefoot by Amy Harmon. Since I'm a hopeless romantic, its a love story of course, but of a different twist.  In it the girl meets the guy on a school bus, but she is 12 and he is closer to 18.  And instead of him taking advantage of her he waits, and in the oddest way.  He lets her live her life and she actually is engaged at one point but there is tragedy and well you will have to read it to see how it ends, but its good, so read it!  And again, there is self-control involved here in the story.

I think sometimes we get caught up in control issues in this life, it feels oddly easier to control someone or something else instead of ourselves. But I wonder if we ever are going to be able to have an impact on someone else by example unless we ourselves understand our own self-control. It has me thinking about situations as a parent, its so much easier to bark orders, but less easy to give true freedom and give understanding with loving direction so that someone can learn their own self-control as well.

Anyway, this is where I am at today.  Hope you are having a wonderful first week of August.

Spiderman to the rescue