Today’s blog continues the discussion about authority, and specifically addresses the question: Who will actually help to bring about change? In short – it will NOT be the one who currently holds the gold.
He who holds the gold…
There is an old saying, “He who holds the gold makes the rules.” Historically, there has been something very true about this statement. Those with power and control are those making the rules. We, the peons who work our butts off so that those in power can remain in power, are then expected to KEEP QUIET, DO WHAT WE ARE TOLD, SIT DOWN AND SHUT UP. In the U.S., for example, our government was initially set up so that we, the peons, would actually have power and control through the work of the officials we elect to represent us in policy making decisions. Well…..those days are long gone! These days are so long gone, in fact, that it isn’t even our elected officials who are making the decisions, but powerful corporations and special interest groups who are coercing and sometimes paying for decisions to be made in their interest….not in the interest of the American people, and surely not in the interest of the larger global community.
Too much to lose
You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to see that the rules generated by those holding the gold are no longer working. In fact, if we continue on the current trajectory the very survival of our species is in question. This is true in all institutional arrangements – government, corporate, religious, education, medicine, banking, etc. And, this current arrangement which is working really well for those in power and control, but not working at all for the general population or the larger global community, is not about to change – not at the hands of those in power and control anyway. Those who are currently holding the gold have too much to lose because in the current paradigm, they are (typically the only) the ones reaping the benefits of a hierarchical/patriarchal institutional structure ruling mostly through intimidation and fear. (note, this intimidation and fear can be very subtle and insidious…..have you paid attention to advertising for example, all designed to make us feel we aren’t enough, don’t have enough, and that we won’t be loved and accepted if we don’t have said advertised product.)
The Power of a few (who are in fact, the majority)
I am not without hope, however. For the REAL power, you see, is in OUR hands. “The tired, the poor, the huddled masses,” and masses we are. We, the peons, far outnumber those who are in power. The problem is that we have remained silent for far too long! We have bought into the manipulations of those in power and control and in doing so, we have lost our voice. Well, we don’t need to be silent any longer. In fact, our very survival depends on our ability to find our voices and SPEAK on behalf of the real needs of our world. What we don’t need is to know what Kim Kardashian wore to the grocery today, the “next best Apple device,” the “guaranteed weight loss cure,” to “lose ten years off our face through expensive and unnecessary cosmetic surgery.” We also don’t need to wage another war, plant another crop laden with genetically altered seeds, kill another honeybee, destroy another piece of land through fracking, kill off another species or allow another human being to go hungry or homeless. Instead, what we need are:
1) to feel safe in our world
2) to discover our own uniquely creative contribution to bettering our world and finding fulfillment through this contribution
3) to feel empowered toward making positive change
4) to know that we are loved and accepted for who we are
5) to have the freedom to express our truths
6) to feel confident in making prudent decisions reflective of our own unique place in the world
7) to know that we are not alone
It starts with you
The process of facilitating positive change in the world begins with ourselves. First, through our own process of self-discovery and self-actualization, we need to find the fulfillment of the above needs within ourselves. Once we have identified our own uniquely creative gifts, THEN it is our job to SHARE THEM. And when we all come together in sharing our uniquely creative gifts, change can’t help but happen. The good news is that we have a whole history of positive change movements led by authentically powerful leaders who have first done this inner work themselves, and then empowered others to do the same – St. Francis of Assisi, Teresa of Avila, Martin Luther, Dorothy Day, Oscar Romero, Mother Teresa, Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Jr. oh yeah….the Buddha, Moses, Mohammed, Jesus, etc. etc. etc. Positive change starts with one person taking care of their own inner needs, then inviting others to do the same. And sometimes, when a group of people gather with this common intention….amazing things start to happen and then suddenly someone else is holding the gold and generously sharing it with others.
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