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Meditation 712
Who's In Control?

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There's an interesting article[1] in the August issue of National Geographic Adventure which deals with the elements of character which make a person more likely to survive in a bad situation. It is well worth reading, even if you don't ever venture into the wilds. One of the factors discussed was the degree to which a person feels he controls his own destiny.

Some people... view themselves as essentially in control of the good and bad things they experience - i.e., they have an internal locus of control. Others believe that things are done to them by outside forces or happen by chance: an external locus. These worldviews are not absolutes. Most people combine the two. But research shows that those with a strong internal locus are better off.... The importance of this mentality is evidenced by tornado statistics. In the past two decades, Illinois has experienced 50 percent more twisters than Alabama, but far fewer fatalities. The discrepancy can be explained, in part, by a study in the journal Science, which found that Alabama residents believed their fate was controlled by God, not by them. The people of Illinois, meanwhile, were more inclined to have confidence in their own abilities and to take action.[2]

So, it appears that belief in a god with a plan who controls everything may actually be bad for your health. It's better to believe in a god who expects you to control your own destiny or to believe in no god at all.

Who's in control of your fate? It should be you.

Footnotes:

  1. Everyday Survival by Laurence Gonzales, National Geographic Adventure, August 2008
  2. Control your destiny, p66 ibid