I have the power, but dare I use it?
Posted December 19, 2009on:
The Power Of One
One song can spark a moment,
One flower can wake the dream.
One tree can start a forest,
One bird can herald spring.
One smile begins a friendship,
One handclasp lifts a soul.
One star can guide a ship at sea,
One word can frame the goal.
One vote can change a nation,
One sunbeam lights a room.
One candle wipes out darkness,
One laugh will conquer gloom.
One step must start each journey,
One word must start each prayer.
One hope will raise our spirits,
One touch can show you care.
One voice can speak with wisdom,
One heart can know what’s true.
One life can make the difference,
You see, IT’S UP TO YOU!
A Psychologist’s View of the The Power of One
Most people who consult a psychologist feel powerless, or at least overwhelmed by circumstances. They don’t want to hear about the power of one! First, they want simply to be heard. They want to be acknowledged and not feel foolish for feeling powerless. Then ideally they want the power of many. They want the circumstances fixed ~ now! Of course, that’s the psychologist’s job: to help put their predicament in perspective and to stay withe them until they are willing to move forward again.
Increasingly though, work & organizational psychologists help people who run portfolio careers. Portfolio workers often consult us when they are feeling powerless, or unappreciated! The reality though is that they have massive power. In a sense, each person works in a niche. In reality, they work at the nexus of a great network. Everything they do, or don’t do, potentially makes a massive difference to the world.
Portfolio workers are the new bosses
There are many things that frustrate us and on which we voice an opinion in the pub or on a blog. In the ‘olden days’, solving those problems would be in the gift of a ‘boss’. In our interconnected world, we can do anything about anything. Because we are so powerful now, we need to take the responsibility of ‘bosses’ on our shoulders.
Are we ready to change the world?
Do we really want to solve the problem in the way we say? Have we thought about the side-effects? Are we willing to take responsibility for the side effects?
We have become so powerful that the fun of complaining in the pub is over for us!
And use our influence wisely?
What we really have to do is to list all the changes in the world that we want to see. Put them in order of importance. Become sufficiently expert to understand the ripples that we will cause and the costs of our solution to other people. And do it.
The interconnnected world is also a moral world. Sitting around complaining when you have the power to act marks us as parasites. But action requires moral accountability.
Are we willing to be accountable for the small things we do, and not do?