Reader comment on Dacher Keltner's passage ...
On Jul 13, 2016 Kathy Grant wrote:|
The question, how do you relate to the notion that power is the medium through which we relate to one another initially caused me to recoil. I have lived the Machiavelli definition of power. As a child and young adult, my experience of powerful people is that of aggressive victimization by bigger stronger scary people. As a young child I understood myself to have power however I often gave my power away. It was either to avoid conflict because someone was going to grab it away from me any way, or so as not to assume responsibility for it. It’s interesting when I reflect on my youth I was either denied any power or I was accused of having omnipotent power. Either I was worthless incapable of anything, or through one mistake or transgression I was capable of great and horrific things (Just look what you did!) I remember age seven or eight thinking, ‘someday they will realize who I really am and they will be sorry’. Not sorry that they will feel incredible physical pain, but sorry that they will feel badly about how they treated me.
Based on my past experiences, I believe power requires responsible actions to ensure no one gets hurt. I’m reminded of the great line in the Spiderman movie when Uncle Ben says to young Peter Parker, ‘with great power comes great responsibility’. As an adult, in my work, I find myself in a position of power. In fact, I have the power a Machiavellian would dream of. Perhaps because of my childhood experiences today I am committed to reframing the concept and definition of power for myself and to use my position to interject it into the way business is conducted. I am in the position to create the work environment that encourages and inspires people to work for the common good. I choose to harness the power of positivity, love, kindness and respect. I choose to use the power of kindness to be the medium through which I relate to others. I “aspire to be someone who has the almost magical power of spreading happiness and confidence wherever he goes” (Norman Fischer).
On Jul 13, 2016 me wrote:
Amen! You tell my story! Hmmmm ...