Ah, for the love of power, is there anything you would not do... how about if it was for just a "little bit" of power -- "because it would be in the best interest of the organization that you worked for?" Power, in and of itself, is neither good nor bad... rather, it is the use of power for both "control" and for "ego gratification" that is the real problem... the further problem of power lies in the huge list of "attachments to power" that drive our human temptation to grab onto any "little bit" we can wrap into our lives... All of this is "perfectly normal human behavior" -- but if our goal is both personal and social transformation, is it "good enough" to perpetuate these age-old patterns under the guise that change of any real substance is slow and therefore "we can put off until tomorrow work on this issue"?
Ah, now here is a rub that can produce an unlimited amount of friction! I know exactly what I am writing about -- because I've played the "power part" in ump-teen dramas for far, far, too long... but isn't that one of the essential points to life: we should learn something along the way? Be assured in the truth of this: the transformation that we all seek -- and the transformation that our precious blue Planet desperately needs -- is a re-alignment with every expression of power in our lives. Unless this re-alignment happens, persons, organizations, and societies will never get to the root of the dominator paradigm -- and transformation will not happen -- and the losers will be the future generations of children and the Earth itself.
Here is the key question to ask which will enable us to create the necessary conditions -- the space -- to critique power and strive for transformation: Does this expression of power serve to liberate or to dominate? Other follow-up questions could include: Does this expression of power serve to unite or to divide? And, does this expression of power consider first the needs of the most powerless or most vulnerable among us or does it perpetuate differences and suffering? I am hopeful that you will consider the place of power in your life, in the organizations to which you belong, in your places of work, and in the larger picture of national and international relations -- I am hopeful, because the Holy One has intended us all for greatness and goodness -- for the kind of all-out radiant lives that could make of our world an incredible Paradise of Infinite Possibilities...
Robert Daniel Smith was privileged to serve the homeless and marginalized for 30 years in Salinas, California. Together with his wife, Michelle, they founded an intentional community called the 'Companions of the Way', also in Salinas. Robert and Michelle are community organizers, Catholic Worker renegades, sacred activists, writers, poets, artists, Divine Mother devotees, and practitioners of Kriya Yoga as taught by Rev. Ellen Grace O'Brian of the Center for Spiritual Enlightenment. Michelle is also a Montessori public school teacher. Robert is also an ordained Interfaith Minister.