Power as a Gift

Max: It’s a terrible feeling to feel like something outside you has power to not care about you or to make you suffer, and then the person decides to try and have power themselves… I think we’ve had the conversation before about “power over” versus “power with”… power over one another or power with one another, power in strength with one another…?

Jim: Yes. And the idea is not to exercise power as a threat but to exercise power as a gift.

Max: I appreciate that a lot. POWER AS A GIFT I think is a wonderful phrase.

Jim: Well if we go back to the young lady with the automobile offering to use the power she has for the well being of other people, I think that what she’s doing making a gift of her power, and in doing so extending the community, and therefore multiplying the gift — that would be the other people who say, I live in the neighborhood with a lot of elderly and sick people who cannot get to the store to get what they need, I will be glad to do that.
  So there’s more energy and more presence and more power in that community.

Max: When we talk about power as a gift, do you know what I think of?

Jim: Tell me.

Max: Our conversation about baking bread! That’s what I think of because all of the tiny little microbes in the sourdough help the bread be most nourishing. They help the nutrients be most bioavailable to the body. Baking bread, the bread itself is a collective organism made up of so many tiny tiny microbes that make the bread most nourishing to a person.
  There is a power in it. There is a gift in it. And for me it feels like a better version of what when I was a kid I would think of as a power plant, an electrical plant. 
  When I think about power as a gift, I think about collective life energy that brings more than seems the sum of its parts.


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