Powerfully Powerless


Personal power. What is that? It’s not the same thing as personal strength. Personal strength I have in spades. Power I have far less of. Far less than I’d like, far less than I’d need to change any of the important things I believe need changing. I have strength, I have determination, I have drive and I have fortitude. But I don’t have power. I can influence, I can suggest, I can advocate and I can agitate. I can irritate, I can instigate and I can pester. But I don’t have Power.

I can’t make you do what I think is right. I can’t make you do what I think you must. I can’t make Him do what is so clearly needed. I can’t make them change the way they think, they act, they enact, they legislate. I can’t. I don’t use that word often. I can’t. Power is not something you can simply have by believing you have it. Power isn’t something I can drum up like confidence or belief or faith or mule headed stubbornness. I don’t have the power to make change happen.

I will lend my voice. I will stand to be counted. I will wave a banner or hold up a sign or sign on the dotted line and do my level best to be a force for change. I will speak loudly in my biggest  small voice and demand to be heard. And I will often feel small. Smaller for trying. Smaller for caring. Smaller for giving such a huge important damn.

There is so much change I feel is needed; little micro changes in my own life, larger macro changes in my community and giant leap forward changes in my country and the world. I am tired of trying to be powerful. I am tired of being chicken little. I am surprised so few people seem to notice. The sky might be falling but you seem fine… you seem not to notice it, you seem okay. Maybe, since power is only really available to a few, and I don’t think those few really play for my team, I should work on cultivating contentment. Stop seeking the power to change things, and seek instead the comfort of apathy.

Happy July everybody. The sun is shining so it’s all good. Right?

It’s tiresome, but I know I won’t be able to cultivate apathy. I am hard wired to give a damn. To keep pushing. To keep trying to jump just high enough to make sure you hear what I want you to hear. That’s ego, I guess. But it’s also a desire to connect, to work for things that matter to me and to demand I don’t just give up. I am going to always push against the easy if the easy feels wrong, feels like the lazy way. So chances are if you and I know each other in real life I have annoyed you at least once, or will.  I’ll work on that, but I will also keep working for what matters to me.

Can’t help it.

15 thoughts on “Powerfully Powerless

  1. Hey Deb I thought that was outstanding. I liked the rythym of the way it read. I really think you gave a brilliant and personal picture of how you feel in this world today, and you really hit home with me.

    I understand how you feel. I was once very up on social issues, and current things going on in the world today. I found in the end that all it ever was for me was a bunch of hopes met by disappointments and waiting a long time for them. I decided it would end and just like that I turned off the news about 13 years ago. I have not watched a single news broadcast since then. Not one.

    Wanna know how I feel great. I love everyday and to me life is just a movie that i live in, and i am content to just watch it unfold. I am a happy man today instead of a worried scared citizen of a country of which i have no power to change. I once believed i could, but i realized that i was wrong.

    I asked what is different as a result of my attention to these things. The answer was me. I was different. I was not happy.

    Just thought i would let you know that the other side is soooo good. In case you ever decide to give it a shot, I will save you a seat .

  2. Tom this is exactly why THEY have the power and not you. If an Ostrich get’s to scared it sticks it’s head in the sand. That is why we have a Harper government.

    • Werner, You are 100% right. I would rather be a happy ostrich with my head in the sand. Then a powerful member of government with my head up my ass.

      ,but that’s just me.

  3. No, being American is no reason to get involved, we also have way to many Tom’s in Canada who are not participating. They rather drink bier and watch Hockey. All this mass spectator jobs are controlled by the powerful. the Greeks and the Romans did this already and people still haven’t learn and take the power into there own hands.

  4. John Pattimore says:

    Yes, Deborah the amount of change we need locally, regionally, nationally and in the world is so daunting. But I thank the creator every day that my ancestors and First nations people going far back in time did not give up. Where would we be today I they had quit pushing the limits of their reality in their time. Tom can you honestly say to us that you never shared a new idea, that was accepted, with another human being in your life, or that you never influenced or inspired even one other person through your advocacy activities, to get involved in shaping their socio-cultural environment or protecting their natural environment. No one should spread themselves too thin but we must all pick a battle or 2 and essentially die trying to win it. Working with other community members to get changes made is very rewarding just in the act of it, win or lose. Otherwise we are selfishly benefiting from the change efforts of others.

    • I do not judge those who get involved. I even believe that some of them are well intended people. John you sound like such a person.

      You ask if i have influenced people. At the risk of promoting myself on debs page I will simply say that my writing has done just that. I do volunteer work for ADD in the private sector only. My words have caused those not in power to take steps to help their kids or help themselves. I am also an awesome entertainer.

      However, I will not ever believe that any of my ideas would be embraced by the those in power unless it ultimately served the those in power. I really dont know how things are in Canada.

      I have not watched a news broadcast in 15 years. I could not name three people in the entire american government. I care about few things anymore; my family and friends, my job, my xbox, and my blog. the rest of the world can burn as far as i am concerned.

  5. Werner, John, I agree with you both. I can’t avoid participation; it’s a challenge for me to shut off from the news and from causes that matter to me, even for a vacation. I can understand the urge however. It is a bit exhausting sometimes to feel compelled to comment, to inform, to upset. In a parallel universe I don’t care about politics or issues.

  6. Werner Rhein says:

    Sorry there is no parallel universe, we live all in the same Boat (earth) and if not every one wakes up soon and takes the power away from the destroyers of this Earth, the only one we have and it will be too late. So wake up and take your head out of the sand.
    See you tomorrow I have to go and at least try to take the power away from our Electricity provider, who want’s to bring the dirtiest power there is, LNG to my beautiful Yukon.

  7. I truly believe that we have impact, no matter how little or how much we do, as long as we are doing SOMETHING, we are indeed the change we need to make. You are one of the most amazing women I know, and you have changed MY life in many ways you don’t even know about, for that thank you. Your courage, your forthrightness, your compassion are all things that I admire. And you are making a difference, even if you don’t see it xoxo

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