May 23, 2019-
While I was exercising, this afternoon, a former student happened by the exercise room, accompanied by a couple of friends. The three stood nearby and watched me, out of the corners of their eyes, whilst having an animated conversation. This student impressed me, over the past two years, as one who has a wealth of personal power and has learned, early in life, how to nurture and exercise those strengths-physical,intellectual and interpersonal.
I’ve been thinking a fair amount, about the exercise of power, over the past few days. Knowing what power actually is, helps greatly in that exercise. Some regard power as the ability to outshout, to cut other people off, to be “large and in charge”. I see this in various levels of government, in the press and on broadcast media. Some exercise their power by seeking to exclude others from work, from social events and even from living in a community. Still others try to legislate or shame people who aren’t living in a manner they see fit, from doing what they regard as abominable or distasteful.
While this last is a laudable response to crimes against children, vulnerable adults or animals, or to actions causing environmental havoc, it has been carried too far when it comes to prescribing what a person should or should not do with his/her own body. In a nutshell, regarding the abortion issue and the childcare issue overall, I stand foursquare in favour of adoption/community parenting-and a much more rigourous set of standards for foster parenting, as well. Those are topics for other posts, though.
Power comes from inside oneself. It can, temporarily, be augmented by the use of a weapon, by obfuscation and sandbagging, or by outright lying. Those, however, are bandaids- and we know that bandaids must be changed, daily, lest infection set in.
Power comes from within, and must be brought to account, each day. It must be nurtured, through prayer and meditation. It must be strengthened through mindfulness. It must recognize the Source of all power. It cannot be ascribed to others. They, our parents, our elders, our steadfast friends, our leaders, our teachers can only nurture what is already present within each of us. It is up to the individual to exercise and maintain her/his power.