A Thinking Man

What Men May Want to Know


Expanding or Limiting

By Don Wright

If you think about it, our inner selves are always striving for expansion, extending. We often feel it at our very core as a longing, wishfulness,  hope etc. Of course there’s a portion of this that may be based  in ego which comes from some sense of unfulfillment or dissatisfaction. But, ego aside, for most of us our natural spirit seeks expansion, learning, growing and marching to the beat of our own unique inner voice.

But directly opposed to that is our inner need to control. I’ve always maintained that controlling one’s self or inner spirit is one of the hardest challenges we face during our lifetime. Dieting, exercise, restraint in one’s desires and behavior,  kicking a habit or any type of self-improvement are activities that come at a very high price in discipline and resolve. An honest look at ourselves will very often reveal that we’ve chosen a life of “lowest common denominator,” existence – we do only what we have to do. The minimum.

As for our need to control, we find it so much easier to enact our “controls” on others, “Do what I say, not what I do.” Protecting innocence aside, we see this controlling nature in  parents, teachers, businesses and governments, any authority figure. We can feel it as a bullying, a dampening of our spirit, an imprisonment or shackling. We don’t like it. And we’re exposed to it in hundreds of ways every day. The result can be a kind of low-grade inflammation of the psyche. Many of us simply accept and live with it, while for others there may be more dire consequences; rebellion, lashing out, terrorism and even suicides.

The point is this. A question to always keep in mind when making corrections, rules, policies, or direction of others is, “will this action result in promoting expansion or crushing and limiting?” As we approach the realization that we’re all one and in this together, we’ll see that when we seek to limit others, we’re really limiting ourselves as well.

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