Impulses: Virtues (Part III)

~ Power  ~

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“Although at first blush it may be difficult to distinguish the difference between the virtues of strength and power, the virtue of power doesn’t pertain to the ability to control or have powers over others. Instead, it refers to one’s capability to affect and make change, and the ability to perform up to your potential. Power is also being able to control and direct your own energies in a positive fashion.”

Power is a difficult word nowadays. There is a strange discrepance between the rejection of cumulated power on the one hand, and the felt powerlessness of most individuals.

The Romans’ wish for a dictator taking care of the people is absolutely unthinkable today: We have a demand for democracy, where every sign of power (of a politics or a grouping of any sort) is eyed suspiciously. And justly so, considering the abuse of power in the past and present. Dictatorships, power games, misuse of authority. Who can we trust, after all? Our world moves together, seemingly closer and closer, but how much insight we actually have into what works how – well, we don’t really know, do we?

Thus the mistrust of power grows, and we have that demand for a powerful people. On the other hand I’ve found that many people actually have no feeling of power at all. They don’t feel that they could make a difference. The world seems too big, the influential circle seems fully manned. Facing terrible happenings all over the world, paired with the fact that we don’t really know what’s happening why makes us feel helpless. Powerless. And so we shrug and say “Well, I can’t change it anyway.”

We affect ourselves by our everyday choices, but we also affect the world by our everyday choices and, in my opinion, we should be aware of that. Because everything is interconnected: “What goes around comes around” can be understand in a positive way. We can affect the life of a stranger by smiling at them. We can affect the lives of our friends by calling. We can affect the lives of our family by caring. And we can affect the world by, say, signing an internet petition. As easy as that! Why not do it?

Maybe we don’t want see that we have power, because “With great power comes great responsibility”  (from Spiderman). 😛 Maybe we just feel alone, facing the world, because it seems so huge. Maybe nobody has ever tought us how to make a difference. Or that making a difference is something precious and positive. Or that we have the power to make a difference, and that this kind of power is precious.

Our little selves are actually quite sufficient to make a change. And the power we have can be used for something good, if we only recognise it. Thus power can be virtuous, too.

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3 thoughts on “Impulses: Virtues (Part III)

  1. Many Thanks for this essay. . There are not really new thinks for me, but I like to see, what you are thinking of…
    Best wishes of Lissie

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