I have been writing a lot in notebooks lately. Normally where I’ll make checkboxes and lists I have been writing full sentences. Instead of putting “read, work out, take dogs out” as a list, I’ll write that out like this: “Today I’m going to read 10 pages from . I’m going to do my Thursday workout. And I need to take the dogs out at 10 am.” There’s something in writing in a book that connects me to the act of doing as well as the intention of doing.
It also allows me to think as I write, to process my thoughts in order to get them down. I find when I write on a computer, I’m focussed more on the writing than the thinking. I have to pause to think. That may be due to being able to type fast and without looking at the keyboard, or maybe it’s just consequent to the act of typing. I don’t know. But when I write in cursive on paper, my thought processes are much different and I’m able to think more thoughts and connect more dots than when I type.
I was explaining power to someone today (one day, I might share who that someone is – long story and beyond the scope of this post) and the morality behind it. As well as the philosophy behind power. I expressed my definition of power: Something that empowers you to do something.
Fire is power since it empowers you to cook or be warm.
Electricity is power (and we actually refer to it as power) since it empowers you to do all the things it does (too long to list here).
Money is power since it empowers you to acquire resources for your or others’ consumption and/or enjoyment.
Physical strength is power since it empowers you to help lift others up, literally, or dig them out of a tornado-struck house.
It’s the use of power that creates morality, not the existence of it. Using a horse to plow a field is power. Eating salad is power. These things empower you to do other things.
Anything that empowers is power.
I couldn’t think these thoughts while I type, only while I write.
Then I thought of contemporary uses of the term empower. When we teach, we empower. We can empower people to stand up for themselves by teaching them a perspective of the situation and themselves. We can empower people to stand up for others, again by teaching perspective and sharing insight so the compassionate will be moved to stand.
Does this make us… Power? Do we have the power to empower people?
We absolutely do.
What an incredible source of identity. To have the power to empower people. And I’ve seen that empowerment come from encouraging words, insight, perspective, instruction, a pat on the back, a hug, a cheer… so many things can empower people.
And each one of us has this power.
As they say, with great power comes great responsibility. Did you know that you have that power? If you had asked me academically yesterday, I would have said yes. But after I considered the profundity of my definition of power in relation to whether we each have power, my answer is still yes… but a wholly different yes.
Be powerful. Empower everyone whose path you cross. That’s your power.