Thursday, 25 July 2013


Watching Orson learn that he can influence his world, and how, leads me to reflect that life is really all about learning about control. As I've got older I've decided happiness comes with learning what you can and cannot control, and letting go of the latter.
  Right now he is finding his hands and figuring out the best way to get my attention. Later on he needs to learn that he can influence his own emotions but not his luck. That hard work pays but bad things sometimes just happen. That he can't make people do what he wants, but he can control his own reaction to their behavior.

I've heard it said that the best indicator of life-time-happiness is a person's level of impulse- control. Those without become drug addicts, shopaholics, adulterers, or couch potatoes. They can't invest in their future, maintain relationships. But how do we teach impulse control to children? Are modern parents managing it?

Hume said reason is, and ought only to be, the slave of the passions. But this overlooks the extent to which passions are malleable, and to which the good life depends upon being able to restrict and train our desires so that we can feel fulfilled as a result of changing those things we can control, rather than endlessly frustrated  from trying to alter those we cannot.

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