March 14, 2016
March 14, 2016
Power is a strange thing. It is gained through fear and physical violence and threats of both.
What destroys power the most is removing the fear/leverage so that the threats are empty.
Physically assaulted on two dissimilar occasions, I said with conviction each time: "You can kill me. I will not do what you want." Each time the assault ended not to be repeated. In fact, in one case, the abuser acted fearful of me - much to my amazement.
In two other circumstances with different individuals and on separate occasions; I was threatened with the loss of something I valued. The first time it was a blackberry bush. I cut it down. The second incident was a weeping willow tree which I enjoyed looking at. Threatened by a family member constantly over how he was going to chop it down, I invited him to do just that.
With nothing left to hold over my head as leverage, peace was restored in each situation.
Ghandi understood that concept when he led his people non-violently to be slaughtered by the British. Until, the British realised that they had no power to control the natives. Resistance, even when peaceful beats power over time.
For many years I did not understand why I was so powerful by simply quietly resisting the attempts of others to control me.
I was watching A TV documentary that was questioning a women who had been beaten by stranger. She related that as soon as she stopped struggling. He stopped and left. It occurred to me that his main purpose was to have control over her. Once she submitted - in a sense - he had won and lost interest in the pursuit of power.
Researchers questioned rapists about their motives. Control over the woman was the main objective.
In any of the the above situations the individuals could have died. In fact, in India many did die before the British relented and allowed India to govern itself. I am not suggesting that people follow my lead, but merely pointing out that when control is no longer leverage that the power is insignificant. I doubt that everyone who wields power is aware that control is what they seek.