The word ‘power’ as referenced in the OED has a multitude of meanings, far too many to describe here, but all relate to both positive or negative power, even in Science. And when I refer to power I am not talking about world leaders, terrorists, The Spice Girls (‘Girl Power’) or Superman (although he will always be the best). I am talking about you, me, the girl who served your coffee this morning and the chap who let you through the gate at Euston as your Oyster card wasn’t working: People Power. We all have it but do we use it wisely?
This Monday morning, my words positively impacted upon the life of a stranger, helping her with health and bereavement issues. She found my words (this blog) supportive and relevant to the plight she is going through. Such engagement is positive… and powerful. I made a difference to one kind soul’s day – someone who is suffering. Each and every one of us has the choice and the power to help or harm someone else. We don’t need to be a preacher or teacher to help, engage and change. As Snap told us, “I got the POWER”! #tune and my beloved Luther’s “The POWER of love”.
As we watch the news and witness the plight of thousands of refugees fleeing from a destructive form of ‘power’, the refugees themselves are hoping to empower themselves by taking ownership of their destiny and future. Whilst I understand mixed feelings about welcoming more people into countries when they/we can’t deal with their/our current socio-economic problems, the images displayed via the media are powerful and warrant an emotional and knee-jerk reaction. We all deserve a home and a place to feel safe. Who knows where my family might have ended up had the UK not welcomed immigrants into the UK in the 1930’s/40’s.
We all have a huge amount of power within us: the power to change our focus; to harm others and to heal. And then there is the power of emotion and belief. Last Monday, as I sat in Synagogue celebrating the Jewish New Year, tears rolled down my face as I joined in with the singing, thinking about my mum. She died 15 years ago and I still become overwhelmed from time to time. It is quite normal and humane. Why people tell us to “be strong” when we lose the people we love, I will never know. We just need to “be” ourselves. To experience what we need to feel to deal with the power and process of grief. And it is a process. And a powerful one at that.
Emotions can be extremely powerful and gripping, even at the most unexpected moments. Anger, joy, sadness, love, depression, fear… all have a powerful effect on our psyche as well as our physical being. I know from personal experience that words carry responsibility. Quite recently, a certain individual wished genuine harm on me and every aspect of my life. No chance in the long run but she (and it was a she) did her best.
We under-estimate the power of our thoughts and our words. “Be careful what you wish for” carries more truth than we might ever consider. This phrase should have an additional caveat: “Be careful what you think, it might just happen”. And you would be amazed at how often it does happen, both for better or worse (see above paragraph).
With the advent of people hiding behind social media, many feel empowered by belittling others. By putting people down or blatantly abusing them on Twitter, Facebook and the like. Celebrities must have a pretty thick skin to deal with all the crap that is regularly thrown at them – more often than not for just looking great!
These ‘haters’ need a hobby or should be looking in the mirror and dealing with their own issues. Many bullies, even killers and abusers, thrive on power and usually are acting out a need to exert some level of power in their lives, when they actually feel powerless inside. Just watch Criminal Minds if you want TV proof!
As David Cameron and his bunch of cronies use their power to try and run Great Britain (can you hear the irony in my typing?) we too, as citizens of the red, white and blue (it will always be a Union Jack to me), all possess an inner power that can change both ourselves and our environment. You don’t need to be a politician or Prime Minister to change, create or help yourself or others.
Entrepreneurs get up off their asses and make change happen. They have the balls to go it alone, despite the odds (more than not) and believe in their own power. They too feel fear or angst but the power of their positive thought and belief usually counteracts the negative. Light over dark, positive over negative and good versus evil.
I believe we all have huge amounts of power: lots of atoms together create energy (I think that is chemically correct, LOL). If we wish ill upon someone it comes back to us. When life deals us a powerful blow, we must fight back. Punch back. And that, my friends, is what I am doing tonight. In the ring… my boxing training that got me through Cancer and some of the darkest moments of my 45 years. Now THAT is power. The ultimate power. And it is all mine.