Good Control, Bad Control

water color mudOne of my daughters and I are taking a water color painting class at our local community college. Since I’ve been making black lines on paper with pens, pencils, and markers for decades I thought this class would be a breeze. Not true. Manipulating three variables–water and two pigments–is hard! I’ve never considered my self a controlling type of guy but I am now determined to control this unwieldy art. I’ve become a control freak!

This got me thinking about other types of positive control. Control is good when taming horses or testing prescription drugs with a control group. We know about arms control, birth control, volume control, pest control, and self control. We are grateful for air traffic controllers, the Center for Disease Control, and the Ctrl key on our computers. Society is safer when law enforcement officers control substances, criminals, and violence. 

However…..there are at least two ways control is not good!

Mind control. Cult leaders, authoritarian dictators, seductive manipulators, Jedi masters, and power hungry tyrants who prey upon the gullible, needy, and easily influenced are wolves in sheep’s clothing. C. S. Lewis called them omnipotent moral busybodies. He wrote, “Of all tyrannies a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victim may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated, but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.” 

Spouse control. I cannot improve upon the Power and Control Wheel published by the Domestic Abuse Intervention Program of Duluth, MN.


Okay, enough of this serious stuff. Back to blending ultramarine blue and alazarin red to make a puddle of mud.

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