The 2012 blockbuster film “The Dark Knight Rises” features one of the most terrifying movie villains to ever hit the big screen. This villain is simply named Bane, as played by Tom Hardy. About a quarter of the way into the movie there is a scene in which one of Bane’s business associates, John Daggett, tries to challenge Bane for authority. Their dialogue plays out as follows:

Dagget: “I’m in charge here”

Bane puts his hand on Daggett’s shoulder and says, “Do you feel in charge?

I don’t think I would feel in charge of anything if a guy like Bane put his hand on my shoulder, and I think Daggett felt the same way. He allows the fear of what Bane might do to him overtake him and submits to Bane’s “control” (which ends up costing him his life).

When watching this scene it caused me to wonder, am I in charge of my life? Do I allow the difficult circumstances in my life, or the fear of what others think or do scare me away from taking charge of my own life?

There are many voices in the world today that assert that we cannot be in charge of our lives. Whether it comes from external sources or from our own thoughts are these things true? Can we truly not be in charge of our own lives? Recently I had something happen to me that further cemented the idea to me that we in fact CAN be in control of our lives!

My whole life I have struggled with reading. Sitting down and reading a book took great effort, and if I did start reading a book I would very rarely get around to finishing it. I always had the desire to be a reader, but I used to tell myself that I would never be one, and for many years I allowed myself to believe it. About 6 or 7 months ago I picked up a book with the determination to read it all the way through. It was a short book, and it took me a while, but I finished it! I quickly started another book, and slowly I was able to finish that one as well. Since reading that first book 6 months ago I have now read 13 books, simply because I decided to take charge of my own life. Now reading is not always easy for me and I still struggle with many aspects of it, but this experience has demonstrated to me that I can be in charge of my own life.

So back to the question at hand, can we change our circumstances? Can we be in charge of our lives? No matter how big or how small (like reading a book), I believe change is possible. We don’t have to let other people (like Bane) or the circumstances of lives dictate to us who is in charge. If you don’t feel in charge, then you must take some steps to be in charge. Even if it’s baby steps.

Roger Connors, author of the book Wisdom of OZ says: “You can’t let your circumstances define who you are and what you do. That kind of thinking only brings a sense of victimization that paralyzes your ability to think clearly, creatively, and quickly”.

So let me end by echoing Bane’s words “Do you feel in charge?” If not, then now is the time to make a change!

Comments (5)

  1. Reply

    This is a very interesting topic related to control and influence. I agree with your viewpoint. The environment cannot determine your identity or behavior.

  2. Matt Meyer


    Thomas, Thanks for your post I found it very interesting and easy to relate to. This scene does a nice job of portraying how many people, myself included, are often intimidated by different things in life and let these fears influence them. In reality, KSM teaches us that we are the only ones that control our lives and those that we associate with. Dr. Dean has also said that when something goes wrong people tend to immediately blame others and that this is a natural law. I think in this case Dagget blames his lack of control on fear rather than himself for choosing to follow the path that led him into this situation. Anyways, thanks for the post it was very interesting!

  3. Tej Hendel


    Good on you for taking control over your reading! I agree with what you’re arguing for. In many situations in which people say “I’m not in charge,” or “I have no control,” they make it up in their mind that they have no power. When thoughts like this go through their heads, they essentially give up their own control of their lives.

  4. Reply

    Interesting take on “who is in charge”. Was Dagget, who thought he was in charge, or Bane, who seamed to be the one actually in charge.
    In construction management, I find myself at times having to deal with those who had the attitude that they were in charge of every detail of my day.
    I have a different, more positive outlook now that I realize that I am in control of my life, not others.

  5. Paulo Miro


    Thomas, I enjoyed this reflective post. First of all, that scene in that movie is so great. From Bane’s intimidating stature to his eerie voice everything about him makes Dagget feel like he’s not in charge. The same can be applied to the circumstances in our lives — they can be just as intimidating sometimes and makes us feel completely powerless. This victim-mentality is so easy to fall into but I am thankful for KSM and for this post for reminding me of who really is the only person who has control in my life: me.

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