At the start of the pandemic, I wrote about the importance of accepting what we control amid the chaos. But I was rereading a certain book from a certain professor to a certain team from the RWBY series and found one of my favorite quotes. It argues instead about the importance of accepting the world's uncontrolled chaos.
The world is chaotic. We try to assert order on it, try to make sense of it...But what if the only way to fight chaos is to give in to it? All your planning, all your preparation, can be undone in a moment of bad luck. Or a split second in which you make the wrong decision, or miss your mark just so. This, I believe that we need to embrace randomness as well, try to harness it and turn it to our advantage. We have to plan for the unexpected, prepare outselves for situations we never could have anticipated or trained for. You and I are having this conversation because of a lifetime of choices and seemingly unrelated occurences that nonetheless shaped who we are and led us here.
Excessive length aside, it's right that we should grow more comfortable with the chaos. It will forever be here influencing my life, one way or another. So shutting it out completely in favor of what I can control isn't all that healthy either.
Chaos is Everywhere #
So much of the nature of everyday life, even outside a pandemic, is us dealing with elements we can't control. We're affected by uncontrollable things like the environment, economy, and people around us. There are also the thoughts and ideas we read about, and sometimes outright disasters and tragedies. I can't control if the weather is nice or a hurricane, but I have to work with (or around) whatever it is.
But what about the things within ourselves that we do control? These are our actions, reactions, interpretations, beliefs, ideals, etc. Plus the things right around us like our homes, jobs, and relationships to some extent. Don't we control all those?
For sure we have more control over them, and we should exercise as much of that control as possible. But there are still elements within our homes or minds we can't control. Sometimes we don't respond or react to situations as we'd like to. Or we interpret events and ideas differently than we'd expect. There are elements of our homes, jobs, and relationships we don't like but can't control them either. I can choose what decor goes into my apartment, but I can't control the options I see in the store, the materials I may need to set them up, or my innate taste or sense of interior design.
So even with our own minds, there's much we can't control. There have been times where my knee-jerk reactions have been ones I didn't like. But with time and reconsideration, they're brought back to a place that feels more like myself. It could be liking a wallpaper before realizing it was tacky. Or hating someone before realizing they're...tolerable. These are ways for our own minds to throw a little chaos at us, and I doubt anyone can claim 100% control there either.
At least not as much as anyone, myself included, would like to think so.
Chaos can be Powerful when Accepted. #
Chaos is everywhere, which is unsettling at first. That's why the quote's speaker makes a point of saying we should accept and find strength in it.
In a small way, I know I've already accepted this. I embrace randomness in my own website by randomizing the colors of different elements, and showing random doodles within other elements. The way I make use of this chaos is a favorite part of my site. It makes each view unique in a small way and sometimes results in something funny and/or bizarre.
I doubt the exact same can be said about the chaos of the pandemic. For many people, it's about getting by and hanging in there instead of it making them stronger. But refusing to accept it is what leads to people refusing to wear masks or get vaccinated for any number of bad reasons. Then the pandemic drags on longer than needed and we all suffer more with staying at home, missing group events, or hiding our beautiful faces under masks.
So when we're hit with this chaos we can't control, the sooner we accept it, the sooner we can look at ways to make use of it. Denying or pushing the chaos away only lets the opportunities to do better slip away. Or worse, it lets the chaos drag us down and we don't see how to defend ourselves from it. It's not like the chaos is going anywhere either way.
Plus, as the quote also points out, this uncontrollable chaos has also led to many good things too. There was likely a certain amount of chaos that led to your parents' meeting and having a child together. Now here you are, reading this.
How could anyone have predicted and controlled that? And would you have wanted them to?