I tend to hyper-fixate on certain subjects and certain words from time to time. There was the time I learned all I could about the American Civil War (which still fascinates me to this day). There was the time I researched the Greek word λόγος (or logos) just because it was interesting. Get me talking about mythology or story telling and I may never stop. I’m a collector of odd trivia facts too, enough that a number of friends have labeled me “The Bearer of Useless Knowledge.” There is also my own family history, which even though I have taken a break from, I still can spout off facts, such as the piece of info that I am indeed descended from a founder of the city of Philadelphia.
Then there are words I often never really think about until someone else says something about them. One of those words, until fairly recently, was the word power.
“By the power of Greyskull….. I have the power!”~ Prince Adam turning into He-Man
Yes, I really did throw a He-Man quote into a blog post.
Power – What does that word mean to people? I decided to do some research, since I am, after all, a lover of learning. Since I always use the dictionary first, I of course went to Google since I’ve long lost my actual giant book dictionary. There are two definitions for the noun power there:
But I also asked a few people what they thought of when they heard the word power and ended up with a variety of responses.
For some, the first thing that comes to mind when they hear the word power is energy, whether that is of an internal nature or external force like electricity or friction. Without power, no one can run anything in homes. Without the power of a heartbeat, life doesn’t exist.
Others think of superheroes and superpowers. After all, Superman is faster than a speeding bullet, more powerful than a locomotive, and able to leap tall buildings in a single bound. And I did think of He-Man first when I thought of the word power, so why not?
Others think of celestial forces or heavenly bodies and the powers they exude on the world. For some, God holds all of the power. Others believe in the natural forces of nature and the elements.
Others think of abuses of powers and leaders and dictators who corrupt the power they’ve been given. Read any news account these days and you’ll find someone at some level of government or even in the private sector who has misused their position of power.
Lastly, to others, power is resistance, especially against those aforementioned misuse of powers and dictators, which often helps to lead to change and progress. The Civil Rights Movement in the United States brought about changes. Resistance forces in Europe helped bring down Hitler’s regime. Others work against tyranny even today.
Of course, I had to do some reflecting on what power means to me as well.
Power is the ability and the responsibility to get things done, no matter what kind of thing needs to be done. Power is having an inner strength and a certain kind of confidence to face the day even when you want to stay in bed and do nothing.
I’ve got the power to change certain things within my life, such as factors affecting my health. I’ve got the power to write my opinions down and hope that they may change the way others may think. I’ve got the power to learn all I can about as much as I want to. I’ve got the power to change the things I can change, accept the things I cannot change (but wish I could one day), and the knowledge to know that there is a difference.
Oh hey, look, I referenced the Serenity Prayer again.
I use different kind of powers in my Portals Series stories. Of course, since they are fantasy works with magical elements, there are magical powers of various kinds in all of them. But there are also other kinds of powers. There are the powers of belonging and kindness and belonging. There are the powers of love and hope and faith and even charity. There are powers of good facing down evils and changing the realms for the better. There are powers of resistance and believing in yourself, even if you feel no one else does (though many times, you discover others do).
We may not have the power to conquer all the evils of this world or right every wrong, but we have the power to make positive changes in our own spheres of influence if we choose. We have the power to decide to make our own kind of magic. We have the power to write our own stories and show the world who we want to be. And we have the power to learn to love and accept others for who they may be, if we so choose to do so.
Stay magical, people. Write your stories. Enjoy the moments that make up your lives.
And remember that you’ve got the power!
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