You might think I’m avoiding a paradox at the heart of this relatively straightforward proposal, but I’m not. Here it is: If our lives are truly unmanageable, if we are essentially powerless, then how can we by definition do anything about it?
The answer, I believe, lies in the nature of the contention. I am not arguing that the physical nature of the world and its concomitant events are anything less that impossible to manage. We cannot and never will be able to do anything about certain events or circumstances in the world. Sorry. But one thing truly is within our grasp; the ability to change what we think and how we feel about those events, and by affecting that change we can in effect change our view of the world, and therefore its reality as it appears to us. We can change the unmanageability of it, for that unmanageability is only what it appears to be to us, and always is. This is not to suggest that we give up and surrender, it is an invitation to acknowledge that events in the world have no intrinsic emotional or even psychological content. That’s the part that we are responsible for. It’s only a problem if we’ve decided it is, and the only reason it’s unmanageable is because we’re trying to manage it.