Wednesday, June 30, 2010

The Power of One

Power is one of life’s most challenging words.  Ask anyone what they consider it to mean - in one word - and you’ll get thirty different answers from twenty different people!  They range from military or peaceful connotations while others bring in concepts of oppression and liberation, leading to a point where all these meanings swirl and collide to create a star-burst of misunderstanding.  Today I’d like to consider the word cooperation as one linked to power.

The coalition government has sent Westminster media commentators into a tailspin. They can’t comprehend that two different political parties can work together to deliver a programme of government.  Instead of focussing their fire and ire upon the true impact of cutting benefits they focus upon highlighting the smallest misplaced comment or sneeze to suggest the coalition is splitting and - like the cracks in time (see Dr Who) - will lead only to implosion and fireball.  I don’t think this will be the case.  Why? Because when you have or wish power you find areas that you wish to cooperate on - because through that cooperation you can achieve more than just shouting loudly.

Cooperation is key to delivering real change.  This has to be seen from the start-point that we each hold an amazing amount of power ourselves.  From our resources of intelligence, friends, money, time and energy we can create a small firestorm that can bring change.  Yet we cannot achieve this on our own.  We can only create a suitable head of steam to which others will couple to create the express train bound for justice and freedom.

Whats great about the whole process , and self transformation delivered, is that you realise having done it once it can be done again.  For once we’ve each made that initial leap to create a better world we are ready to leap higher and higher and higher.  

Today I traveled up to Edinburgh where I met two different people who’ve really changed things.  The first is my twin.  His campaign, Barred, has been challenging politicians conceptions of disabled access.  Through utilising his own experience, he has held a mirror up-to the current state of disabled access in pubs and the end result is an amendment to the licensing act (Scotland) which has now amended the licecning act (2005). He has changed the law.  The second person, well I’ll return to them another day.

Whatever you do today don’t accept an injustice against yourself or against someone else.  Power is a drug, both liberator and oppressor, and as such all it takes is someone to hold a mirror up to that act and then change will slowly start coming.

“Oh Freedom, Freedom
Before I’ll be a slave I’ll be buried in my grave
And go on to my lord and be free”
(sung by Pete Seeger - but adapted from a song much older than he)

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