I taught my daughter two things as she grew up.
- The time to be sorry is before you do it.
- The only person you can control is yourself.
Huxley’s quote is appropriate when I look back. Control of the self is the only thing you can be sure that you can control. There has never been an instance where you have full control over anyone else. I know, you could torture them or bribe them to get their compliance but that isn’t really control. At any time that person could break ranks and change their mind about what you’re trying to get them to do. So all roads to control tend to lead right back to yourself.
The part about being sorry before you do it, that falls under self control too. It requires forethought. You need to think about what you are going to do and how it will effect yourself, your family, friends and even your colleagues at work. It’s not that you won’t ever be sorry. It’s that you took the time to think about the consequences of your actions.
Before you take action, thinking about it tends to give you more options. If you spend the time considering what you are going to say to someone in anger, sorrow or even joy, you might change what you say. Saying something different can mean all the difference.