Friday, May 22, 2009


The Oxford definition of power is: (n)(3) dominance, mastery, rule, command, ascendancy, sovereignty, domination.

Why would I write a post about power? Because power, and the use thereof, surrounds us and is part of our lives everyday whether we know it or not. From large uses to very subtle ones. From tangible to intangible. From real to imagined. This post could turn into a doctoral thesis or a research book; how does power affect our everyday life? Do we even know it affects us? How does each of us use power and respond to other peoples' use of it?

This is just one of the topics that has been attached to the membrane for sometime and has not figured out a way to detach until this moment. Humor me!

There are obvious sources of power: money, political esteem, weaponry, brilliance of mind, use of manipulation, and unusual physical attributes-to name a few. We are all witness to these sources of power; whether we recognize them or are just conditioned for them to be a part of our life that there is no such recognition, is inconsequential.

The face to face conversation where both participants make eye contact and the first one to break that contact unofficially gives in to the other superiority. The swagger and confidence of a person who knows they just have it. The failure to acknowledge a challenge that results in the unacknowledgers silent win. Cliques; whether in reality or cyberspace.

Why discuss power? It is part of the human condition; part of our hard-wiring. This is why we don't recognize or acknowledge it all of the time; because its such an essential part of our makeup, i.e. second nature.

Your history lessons are all about power; who overcomes which conflict? Entertainment, from drama to comedy, is all about power and conflict. Our sports, our jobs, our relationships, all about power--who has it and how do they use it.

Power can be draining, but I think it is what keeps our species evolving. Without power, without these daily conflicts we would idle, we wouldn't know how to move forward and conquer the small battles.

I think the trick is how we each handle our daily experiences with power; the old flight or fight situation. Do we need to win every little battle? Probably not, its probably an impossibility anyway. Food for thought. I'm interested in your thoughts.


ConverseMomma said...

I think letting it go, not caring, not needing to win, knowing who I am and liking her, all have given me power I never imagined. Happiness is powerful, and I'm happy, with you, the kids, this life. Powerful. Very powerful!
I'd be interested in this one getting out there in the blog-o-sphere, I think blogging is a lot of people's search for power after a lifetime of feeling powerless.

Ramblings of a Madman said...

I guess I failed to include how you can help other people's power in a positive way. I was approaching the power perspective from a slightly negative point of view. Thank you for turning it in another direction.

Jaina said...

This was really insightful, I like how you recognized the small as well as the large. You can probably see power within every conflict and interaction. I think one thing I've been working on is recognizing it, and consciously deciding on my own actions and reactions in how I handle it.

Anonymous said...

I think power and aggression are the dark side that people/humans don't want to acknowledge- makes us too close to "animals" (as though we're not!). In my work the power differential is something I must always be in tune with. Some times it scares me... Thought provoking post, thanks!