Strange that I thought about power and empowerment a year before “Taking our power/control back” became so popular in the United Kingdom…
This is something I think a lot about lately: power, self-power, being empowered.The word or concept of “power” for me has a negative image to be honest. It implies abuse and misuse and the saying “Power corrupts” comes to mind. However, like everything even power has two sides. There are people with power who use it in a good way; even though I would prefer to call this “authority” but that’s another story.
Have you ever thought about how much power you give away when you buy ready meals and eat them? You give away your power to be creative in a different way: cooking. You give away the power to know what’s really in your food. You give away the power to feed yourself with what you really want to eat.
We all know the excuses: I’m too tired. It’s too expensive. I don’t know how to cook…. I start to wonder if those who say this have really tried it. Maybe it invigorates you to cook your own meals. Maybe it is cheaper (my own experience is: it is a lot cheaper!). Maybe you can learn a new skill.
This is just a small example of my ponderings about power. There are many more. For example: How much power do we give away to organised religions: Are their explanations about the divine really what the divine is all about? Why do they know and you don’t?
Or how much power do we give away in buying cheap clothing? If you make your own, you can really be individual because no-one wears what you wear. And if you, like me cannot sow, why not order your clothes from the seamstress around the corner? You would empower her to get an income and still can get individual clothes.
Of course, I know it’s not that easy and it does not work that simple. However, I believe it is time to question our habits and thought patterns. Is what advertising tells me really the truth? Do I really need what they tell me I need? Is what parties promise me really the truth? How have they acted in the past? Will they really change now?
In the end, it is a question of taking a decision on how you want to live your life. Taking a decision implies that you have power: The power to do it one way or the other. And you always have these powers, you are just not aware of it anymore due to habitual actions. And you always take a decision even if you do not take one.
They say: Be the change you want to see in the world!
This implies power as well. The power to change things. So many huge changes have started because one single person changed his or her behaviour. The snowball effect of human behaviour is immense. Remember Rosa Parks? The simple act of not getting up from her seat gave the civil rights movement in the United States a huge push. A lot of rights we take for granted started only because one woman didn’t get up from her seat.
In my opinion, it does not need to be that huge: Begin with one little thing. Begin with one little thought. Begin with one little step. Begin with one little bit of power that you take back in your life.
Maybe you are ready. Maybe I am ready. Maybe we are ready to stop giving away power!