The Illusion of Power

Gerry Spence  referred to power as “the gun that shoots both ways”. Spence knows what he is talking about. When we use power, we inflict damage on ourselves and the other side. And after we exert power, we don’t get resolution. We get mess.

That does not mean that one never stands up to aggression. To the contrary, when the aggressor makes clear his or her intention, you know that the abuse will only get worse unless it is stopped. It does mean that we have to be realistic about what is going on. When we “win” in this way, we do not end the conflict. We need other tools to do that.


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