I think the reason that Lucille Ball was so wildly popular and funny is because she was always out of control. In her normal, everyday life, living in that apartment with her husband and son, just downstairs from the Mertz’s, things seem pretty humdrum and mundane.
Until Lucy stepped in. And, in her red-headed wisdom, she would find a way to “make things better.” To do something — anything, really — to make her life more suitable. In the process of carrying out her new scheme, she would completely lose control, and of course, land in the proverbial pot of hot water.
The most famous scene of all is the one at the candy factory, where she and Ethel are wrapping candies, side by side. The conveyer belt speeds up a notch, and then another. Before you know it, Lucy and Ethel are beyond frenzied, and stuffing candies in every available opening from the waist up.
We laugh. Because on some level, we can relate. We’ve been in a situation somewhere, when things got out of control. Maybe not to the “Lucy Degree” but there they were. It could be the plate of spaghetti that slipped out of our hands and onto the floor at the crowded gathering; or the traffic that was backed up and making us 15 minutes late for an interview; it could be the lawnmower running out of gas, a quarter way through the job, and not a drop in the gas can. Those curveballs. The things we don’t see coming.
Life is full of them.
Oh sure. We all know what it feels like to want to be in control. It happens frequently. And, in certain cases, exerting our control is an important personal skill. At the most basic level, we have the absolute right to be in control of our own minds, bodies, spirits, and our own lives. When we take control in this way, it is a good thing. It empowers us. It is necessity.
But. The other truth remains. There is much which is out of our control. That is how life and the Universe works. We don’t know what will happen or when it will occur. And even more than that? We don’t have any business trying to control others. It can become negative behavior when we step beyond our own boundaries and right into the lives of others — often accompanied with the phrase, “Well I was just trying to help.”
Control is a tricky thing. Sometimes is it essential. And on other occasions we simply need to relax and allow events to unfold exactly as they are. Often, knowing the difference isn’t so easy.
The best we can do is to find peace in our hearts. To really “be” in that moment, that event, that place, in our lives, and try to be okay. Know that it is okay, and that we are okay. And most likely, we will come out on the other side of this thing, and life will have changed, because that’s what it does.
Somewhere along the line, the conveyor belt sped up. And now we are stuffing candies in our cheeks. And we are doing all we can to say ahead. Even though it may feel like things are out of control, we always have the option of enjoying all that candy.
“Incredible change happens in your life when you decide to take control of what you do have power over instead of craving control over what you don’t.”
― Steve Maraboli
“Life is to be lived, not controlled; and humanity is won by continuing to play in face of certain defeat.”
― Ralph Ellison, Invisible Man
“Great things happen to those who don’t stop believing, trying, learning, and being grateful.”
― Roy T. Bennett