Use Your Power

This week Australian newspaper The Financial Review released its annual list of our most powerful people. Intetestingly they divvy up the spots in three categories: overt power (topped by our PM), covert power (topped by his wife and also including his private secretary) and cultural power (topped by TV CEO brothers). It makes for an interesting read, pulling the curtain back not just on who but how power is wielded in our society. What struck me is that all too few, particularly on the overt and covert power lists, are engaged in the business of empowering others, for benefit other than their own.

Is this our brave new world? A dystopian fight to clamber higher, questing for greater domination and clout regardless of the cost or collateral damage to those who will never so much as approach the list. Spot number 10 was given to a fictional couple, emblem of the Australian voting public, reminding us all that we too can exert some influence if we choose to engage.

This year has been all about our power cards: how we wear them and play them. We have been unceremoniously shown where our power wobbles or submits and who or what exerts its force over us. We are being well schooled in the anatomy of our power, this force majeur that can make us or break us (and those who come under our influence). It is our underpinning dynamic.

In the year to come as we delve further into the shadows, we will continue to see the structural change to the power model that is the raison d’etre of so much of the dance of the planets. The bigger question becomes how you use your power and wield your influence. To create or destroy? To dominate or empower? To make or break? Voltaire, Churchill and Spiderman all concur that with great power comes great responsibility. Abuse of that – or ‘weinstening’ as I now like to call it – will no longer be overlooked, shrugged at or condoned.

So riddle me this. How do you play your power cards, in an everyday sense, for the greater good?

Brilliant first stop solution via @thehappinessinstitute | Words © Kerrie Basha, 2017