So, you’ve finally acknowledged your dictatorial thirst for power eh? The ability to mould the world in your image, as if you were higher-than, as if it were preordained; as if you were god. No worries – it happens to the best of us. This is why those pesky Spartan Greeks developed the separation of Government powers, to ensure that the responsibilities and powers of one sect of state did not impact or infringe on the others. With power you can embody all that is just, healthy, and harmonious – but how do you rise to such heights? Radical collaboration. It is one thing to achieve power through the pursuit of dominance, coercion, and violence, but is is another to achieve it through the inclusion and understanding of others; their experiences, their fears, wants, needs, and desires – what makes them tick, and how you both can collaboratively achieve mutual aims through reasoned negotiation and dialogue. Through the spilling of truth, and the genuine engagement with, and acceptance of other people and their perspectives, we generate social capital, in the form of trust, respect, partnership, community, negotiation, communication, nurture and kindness. You do not need to feel like the Buddha or Mother Teresa to embody these actions – these behaviours.
People want to feel seen, heard, and treated like they matter. This can be difficult sometimes, especially when we have not seen, heard, and treated parts of our self like they matter; as above, so below – as without, so within. The acceptance of self is, by extension, the acceptance of others; similarly, we treat others as we treat the many disparate and loosely connected parts of ourselves. So, true power lies in the exploration, rigorous analysis, and the following acceptance of, or improvements made toward an more acceptable condition – the lack of integrity, for example.
Collaboration is the ultimate form of power and control, because it is not orchestrated by one, and cannot be easily corrupted. The distribution of power through the social network of human beings, that is, each person has an equal voice, however, a voice taken with consideration to their past and present circumstances, of things that may or not be out of their control, but we will endeavour to support them nonetheless. This democratic function is constantly being shifted and modified based on the needs of the group, through the function of truthful, respectful, and collaborative dialogue – a process through which truths are illuminated, and actions taken to address them; a constant rewiring of the social structure – an evergreen process of rejuvenation. This constant renewal breaths life into that which stagnates, and has stultified.
True power is that which serves the greatest sensible proportion of everyone’s mutual needs, resulting in a healthy, alive, and constantly renewing process of social institution, both explicit, implicit, and symbolic; in short: a healthy, alive, and just democracy. One that praises and elevates free speech, honest and open dialogue, and personal responsibility of one’s own emotions through self-regulation and self-care. A society that elevates and prioritises big picture, relational, empathetic and compassionate dialogue, care, and harmonious communication – though one that does not shy away from difficulty and challenge, both within or without; neither inside, nor outside.