Saturday, 8 June 2013

Tired of Eating More Than My Share of Power Pie. Can I Give My Oversized Peice Away?

I’m sick of power pie.  I’ve had more than my share.  Though my income is pretty small compared to those in Canada, in 2012 I made more money than 85% of the world’s population (now see here).  In our world systems, money is very closely connected to power, so is education.  I have a high school diploma.  I am almost done my undergrad.  I also have power just from being white and speaking English. 

I wonder if I’ve created God in my image.  I want him to be the sort that gives up his power because I want to give up mine.  I wanna be free from responsibility.  Every time I buy something I make a choice that is connected to the well-being of others.  With our economic systems that function efficiently with underpaid labourer, my purchasing power all too often buys into their games.  I don’t like it.  Power seems like a dirty thing to me and I don’t want any of it.  Thoughts like these make me want to leave Canada, sell all I have and move to Liberia and work as a casual labourer on a farm.  It’s tempting because it would take away my choices and leave me with very few remaining options.  It is tempting because I would no longer be an oppressor.

When Simba’s dad died, he asked uncle Scar what he should do.  “Run” Scar replied, “Run far away and never return.”  Simba ran.  He ran until he was exhausted, made new friends and began a new life of fun times and little responsibility.  He had no worries.  However, in his absence the Pride Land was oppressed by Scar and the hyenas.  There was poverty and mass starvation.  Somehow Nala found Simba and begged him to come back to the Pride Land and take up the responsibility he once had.  She is convinced he can make a difference, and he can.

Well, Lion King is far from perfect, but it challenges the way I think about running from power.  It does so happen that I have power, and perhaps I should us it for good.  But that sounds wrong.  I don’t want to justify a means for any end.  But maybe power isn’t as dirty as I make it sound.  It is quite possible that there are two (if not more) ways one can use their power.  Power can be used to control (and I want to stay far away from that), or it can be used to influence.  Rather than talking about the power I have, perhaps I should recognise and embrace my ability to influence others.  Anyhow, I am not sure yet.

I have power.  Is it wrong to use power for good?

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