Even though you may feel small and powerless, everything you do matters and everyone matters. The experiences you have in childhood of growing up in systems of power and control create a world-view that persists into adulthood. You learn to believe that domination is just the way the World works.
You take it for granted that you must use power and control over others. When you are a child you take in the feelings and belief that you are little and what you do does not matter. To make yourself feel more powerful and stronger in a big World that does not care what you think or do, you then turn to strategies that you learned from adults.
You use power and control over those who are weaker in order to feel strong. You hoard power and are unwilling to share it because you never experienced that as a child. You see power and force used around you everyday and you use power and force yourself. It is what you learned to do. You use power in small and big ways internally and externally.
As you begin to change your Awareness of how control shows up in your relationships with children, you can reframe those relationships. Creating Awareness of how your need to use power and control shows up allows you to make a conscious choice. This Awareness also allows you to see how you use power and control internally, with yourself.
Power over others is a form of violence. Power with creates mutuality and respect. When you operate from a place of power with, you create a space where each person matters. Power with opens up the possibility of both sides being influenced and changed by the other person. Power with recognizes that each individual makes a difference and can change the course of events.
You can use your power for positive change to create Love, justice and equal relationships or to reinforce relationship patterns of domination and control. That is the tral power you have. Each of us. What you do everyday, in small ways matters. It matters for children, and for the World.
All energies of life have in them a possibility of an excess of going too far.
When you bring up your children, and you tell your children your various far-out ideas and the children suddenly believe in them, I am horrified. I think ‘Oh my god, what will they do next?’
But everybody feels that way in regard to the strength of the younger generation that is coming on. Cause this younger generation is huge. When we think about young people, we have terrible ideas. We think that we know what life is and that they have to be told that they will learn it from us, and be like us.
We don’t take that attitude when we see the new vegetables come up in the spring. We don’t say the vegetables have to be educated to be vegetables. We say ‘Hooray! At last, young vegetables. With all the life and energy in them. New meals for everything.’
So when we see young people come up, we might say ‘Good gracious, isn’t this great? To see the human race is still doing its stuff. I wonder what they’ll have to teach us.’
Because wisdom doesn’t come from above down. It comes from below up. That’s where the wisdom is, surging into us. The old people, they have a function. But they have it in order to fulfill that function. They have to understand first that they can learn from the young sources. If they understand that, then they can be wise and be teachers. If they don’t understand that, they never can.
To be wise, you have to … that’s the meaning of the saying, ‘to enter the kingdom of heaven, you have to become again as a child.’ From the child’s point of view, the things which the adult considers irrelevant to survival, are perfectly important. And so children collect pebbles and colored glass, and all sorts of trivia which they consider as precious as diamonds. The adult says “Oh, pfft. Frippery.” But they really have the secret.
Now the child, as a child doesn’t know how to play the adults game. It is a power game. And so it has to be educated to learn the values of the power game. To learn what’s what and what is important. But when he has mastered that game he realizes it has no rewards. That all the things that the adults thought they were gaining by their power game, are after all not worth having. Which is why you can be rich and miserable.
So that having learned and having seen through the adults power game, we come back to the point of a child.