We live in a time of tremendous power shifts. Historical concepts of power–leader driven, exclusive, and hoarded by the few-think Kings of yore–have been on the decline since the French and American revolutions. New forms of power involving citizen participation are entering adolescence. Much like family dynamics shift as parents scramble for stability when teens demand independence, our political, economic, and social structures reel as participation opens up to everyone. Got a tent? Occupy Wall Street. Got a car? Drive for Uber. Got extra cash? Fund an artist or inventor.
How are these changes impacting you? How do you think they impact the generation(s) both older and younger than you? I feel the tension in the air as increasingly militarized police departments grapple with protecting the public while rogue officers exert historical power in instances where connection and compassion would be truly powerful. I feel the freedom of summoning transportation from any location with a tap on a smart phone. I feel frustration with gridlocked politics and admiration at the wisdom and drive of young people. I am both appalled and amazed at life on the planet right now.
While I have no answers for our most perplexing problems, I do want to be present to the pain and joy in myself and others as we adapt to power shifts. For whatever is occurring within me or in my surroundings, I know that to be vital is to stay connected with myself. For it is within me that my source of personal power lies. Your power lies within you! Viktor Frankl’s memoir of life in a Nazi concentration camp reminds us that whatever events are happening in our lives, we can always do our best to meet each event with dignity and personal power.
With blessings that you find your greatest resource: your inner power,