I was recently prompted to consider the concept of ‘power’.
And I came to the realization that it is very much misunderstood by most people.
I don’t mean things like physical power, steam power or electrical power and so forth; what I’m thinking about is perhaps best described as psychological or personal power.
The power to make decisions.
You and I make decisions all the time, on a second by second basis. Our lives are a series of continual decisions – especially if we include all the unconscious decisions we make while we’re asleep.
But power, real power, is more than that.
The thing is that most people ‘give away’ a lot, sometimes almost all, of their personal power.
You and I less so, but we still do.
It happens in different ways, and depending where in the world people live, they may or may not have a choice.
In ancient history groups of people, extended families and tribes came to understand that to operate more effectively as a group, certain individuals would be ‘empowered’ by the group to undertake specific responsibilities and tasks.
Those powers were delegated by individuals on a basis of mutual respect and understanding and were always on a temporary basis – power was delegated, not given up.
And we still do this in many circumstances and situations – you and I delegate tasks that we don’t really want to do to others who are probably better at whatever it is than we are.
Thus, you and I ‘loan’ our personal power to others in specific circumstances – but retain the power to take it back.
The problem with groups of people delegating power to make decisions for them was that in many cases the people who had taken on that power rather liked having this control over others and didn’t want to give it back.
And to preserve this power for themselves they institutionalized it into various forms of ‘government’, some more extreme in terms of the actual power they had over people, than others.
Democracy is supposed to be the most benign way of governing as people are given the opportunity to vote some people out of ‘power’ and vote other people in.
But the people who are doing the voting don’t actually get back their personal power.
They just transfer those decisions being made for them by the ‘government’ to different individuals within the ‘establishment’ of that State.
Alongside the State there are to other entities that drain personal power from individuals.
When people are employed they exchange some of their decision making power to the ‘Company’ they ‘work’ for – albeit in exchange for money.
More insidious though are the Religious organisations who attempt to persuade people that they have no power anyway, that it all rests with a ‘higher power’ and that if they want things to change in their lives they have to beseech this ‘power’ to help them.
This gave the Religious organisation huge power over its adherents, especially when this communication with the higher power had to go through ‘official’ religious channels.
Because of this, many people of faith (those who believe in a higher power) have been controlled by Religions claiming to have the authority of that power, and many outside a Religion still believe they have no power of their own.
The truth is that we all have the power to make our own decisions – even if we have (or believe we have) given it away.
That power lies inside
But that power is not just our personal power. We are all already connected to ‘higher power’, within us and surrounding us, and this is borne out by numerous philosophies, metaphysics and the source materials on which all faiths are established.
You and I have the power – and the ‘higher power’ – to make our lives what we want and to be who we want to be.
“You Got the Power”
It’s your life, exercise your power!