Imagine that you were playing a game with a friend. Let’s say tennis. And let’s say that you lost every time. After a while, it would get a bit frustrating. It would not be fun. You might give up. Or this might spur us on to practice and get better at the game. But what if no matter how hard you practiced, you would not be able to win?
And let’s say that you realized that your friend was not winning because he or she was inherently better at the game, but because they knew something about the game that you could not know. Your friend was a “tennis insider” and you were not. Now you might start feeling just a tad angry.
So , how much is life just like this? How much is life a game that we play but cannot win? How often do we feel like “outsiders”? In answering the reality of our situations may be less important than how we feel about those realities. For if we feel like a loser and an outsider and that the cards are stacked against us, we tend to stop playing the game
This is what feeling powerless does to people. And it has severe and long term negative effects on lives. We need not give statistics to prove this. We can simply look around at those who commit acts of violence. Most frequently, these acts are not strictly rational. They are the lashing out of someone who felt powerless.
I propose that we can take a huge step forward in dealing with this problem by re-thinking what power is about. Instead of taking the term as we know it from our culture and history, we can re-shape it to meet our current needs.
Ready? I will be posting on this thread to build up a book called “Power Games”. You can follow this adventure with me. Onward!