Search This Blog

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

The Game of Power!

From the beginning; it was about power. The first battle for power took place in the heavens:Lucifer, the highest of the Archangels, became incensed when God called upon all of the angelic forces to bow before his creation--man. Lucifer found this despicable and and refused to debase himself and asked: "a son of fire should be forced to bow before a son of clay?" And thus, the war began. He convinced a third of the angels to join him to overthrow God--all life and heaven's Creator. This was insurrection and as any earthly king would do; God banished Lucifer and kicked him and all of the angels from their heavenly dwelling forever. From the beginning, Christ made it perfectly clear that Satan/Lucifer was the enemy.

This battle is still waging. The great Apostle Paul wrote: That we battle not against flesh and blood, but against powers and principalities of powers." Ephesians 6:12

As relates to us humans, our battle also is related to power. But many human beings don't even understand that they have any power. They wonder why criminals, politicians and the wealthy rule over them? Why? Because the one thing all in those categories realize--it's all about power.

What is power? Wikipedia explains power as a philosophy: Power is a measure of an entity's ability to control its environment, including the behavior of other entities. Power is also defined as "the capacity to bring about change." It takes many forms, comes from many places, and is measured in many ways. Understanding all the varieties of power is essential if one is to understand who has it, who doesn't, and how those who don't have it can get it.

Essays that are useful to read to better understand this complex concept include:

  • Understanding Power - If power were one-dimensional, we could easily agree on who has more and who has less. However, we are often surprised when a seemingly less powerful party holds a more powerful party at bay. This introductory essay discusses both potential and actual power, and the sources and forms of each.
  • Coercive Power - Huey Newton wrote, "Politics is war without bloodshed. War is politics with bloodshed." Though not all politics is coercive, it is certainly one way among others to force people to do what you want them to do, against their will. Though coercive power is sometimes powerful, it usually has a lot of destructive effects, which are explained in this essay, along with the benefits of coercion.
  • Aggression - This essay explores the debate over aggression, and whether it is an instinct, a reaction, or a learned response.
  • Revenge and the Backlash Effect - Most people hate to be forced to do things against their will. Using threats often produces such a large backlash, that more problems are created than are solved.
  • Sanctions - Sanctions are punishments that are used to try to influence other nation-states' behavior. Examples are embargoes and prohibitions from attending international events. The benefits and problems with sanctions are described in this essay.
  • Exchange Power - In simple terms, exchange power means that, "I do something for you, in order to get you to do something for me." However, this simple concept has formed the basis for very complex human interactions, including, for example, our economic system.
  • Incentives - Incentives involve rewarding another party for changing their behavior. Although incentives have been frequently associated with weakness or indecisiveness, they can be an effective approach for changing behavior and resolving conflicts.
  • Integrative Power - Integrative power is the power that binds humans together. Kenneth Boulding calls it "love" or, "if that is too strong," he says, "call it respect." Though seldom studied or discussed, Boulding argues that it is the strongest form of power, especially because the other two forms (exchange and coercive power) cannot operate without the presence of integrative power.
  • Persuasion - Persuasion is the ability to change people's attitudes, largely through the skillful use of language. Martin Luther King's "Letter from Birmingham Jail" is a classic example of persuasion.
What much of the world suffers from is power inequality. Low Power groups are those who are impacted from lack of resources mainly, but also, this can be related to group perceptions, geography, class, and the lack of education Link:

 However, I'll assert this more practical understanding of power: when I was in tenth grade, there was a girl in my class named Jennifer. Jennifer seemed to be much older than most of the class--not in years, but the way she talked, indicated that she had a better understanding of what life was all about. That intrigued me. One day, during a break, I overheard Jennifer state to a classmate, "you don't get what you put into life, you get what you take." A light within me went on. I knew she was right about that. Although I never said a word to Jennifer, that girl opened up some serious insight that has lasted in me till this day.

Basically, I have always known one thing about myself: My main objective in all I do is TO GET WHAT I WANT!

And that is the truth ladies and gentleman. This is the nature of ALL POWER. And I highly suggest that if you want to keep what you have--understand that the reason why credit card companies, banks, government, celebrities, politicians, rich people and most certainly ALL criminal entities rule; it's because they understand the Game of Power.

Learn it. And you'll never be a victim a day in your life.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Marriage For Me, Thanks...

This will be brief, but just about all of my adult life, I've listened to the negatives from people who are against marriage, and in my opinion, if you're against marriage, you either have a poverty mentality or can't commit to anyone and generally are not trustworthy or dependable.

Most people understand marriage to be the union of a man and woman through a private contract, legally, it means: Marriage… is the civil status of one man and one woman united in law for life, for the discharge to each other and the community of the duties legally incumbent on those whose association is founded on the distinction of sex."- Black's Law Dictionary, dating back to 1891

The Heritage Foundation gives this definition: The benefits of marriage: Marriage is uniquely beneficial to society because it is the foundation of the family and the basic building block of society.
  • It brings significant stability and meaning to human relationships.
  • It remains the ideal for the raising of children.
  • It plays an important role in transmitting culture and civilization to future generations.
Marriage is not merely a private contract, but a social institution of great public value and concern. As social science research and government surveys increasingly show, the decline in marriage since the 1960s has been accompanied by a rise in a number of serious social problems.

Statistically, married couples are much wealthier and happier.

My paternal grandparents were married for 67 years. My grandmother passed away in 2007. However, I saw my grandparents committed to each other--she was my grandfather's best friend. Their love and respect, as well as committment to each other was inspiring.

Marriage is not all roses and you have to work at it for it to be successful as any other thing in life.

Thus, it's marriage for me...

Why should anyone fear the one thing that can bring about the stability that all human beings desire?

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

3 Stories to Learn From and Grow By...

Click the image to open in full size.

Gather around everybody.

For some time, I've been thinking about a lot of things: people that have passed away...and the people I used to know, seem to consume my thoughts.

Many people take life for granted and never really stop to take in what they are experiencing.

I've met people from around the world and at last count; at least 48 states. That's a lot of people...with various backgrounds, life experiences and knowledge. What have I learned from them? So much.

Everywhere I go, people will engage me in conversation--I don't have to try and muster up discussions, they just seem to evolve. I often tell some of my friends, associates and family that they wouldn't believe what some folks have told me. I started thinking about a lot of the stories I've been told and began editing my brain and pick the ones that really struck me the most. On that note, I'd like to share these three stories:

Tabatha: Tabatha is a former coworker that I knew about 8 years ago. She lives in Chicago--grew up on the West Side. Anyone that lived or grew up in Chi can tell you that the West Side is not a great place to be--the violence is off the chain. Tabatha often would tell me the most intriguing stories about life in her neighborhood and in her family. During lunch one day I along with her and some other coworkers got into a discussion about death. Tabatha told us about her two older brothers, both of whom had died 8 months apart. The first brother died suddenly--she was 17. Tabatha told us that after the funeral...some months later, she was just laying down in her room. All of a sudden, she felt the bed compressed. She was facing the wall--and turned over to see who it was. Tabatha said that her late brother, was sitting on the edge of her bed, just looking at her. She began screaming uncontrollably and ran out of the room. It took her family over an hour to calm her down. For those who've always wondered...we really do survive death.

Monica: Ms. Monica Y. Our class "It Girl." She got voted for (((EVERYTHING))). Monica and I have known each other since third grade, but we were never friends. Junior High, High School, we would chat, but it was always banal--not like true girlfriends. Monica was too busy being the popular girl. Her head swelled from that. I and some other people got turned off and basically we made the decision that Ms. Monica was a little too special for us. Graduation came...and well, afterwards, everyone went their separate ways. Monica went off to college, only to drop out after she met a young, smooth talking cat named Clifford. He gave her diamonds, bought her a car...and gave the impression that he could fulfill all of her needs. She bought into the bling. They got married--a wedding fit for a princess. Her prince became a monster and would beat her. But she stayed, because of the "things" he'd bring her. Then...we found out: Clifford was a drug kingpin. Her family got involved. The government got hot on Clifford's tail and made their move. When he was arrested, Monica's mother lost her job at a very large pharmaceutical company--her father was indicted, a real estate agent and a lawyer, all part of the drug ring. Long story short, Clifford cut a deal with the government and got five years--only because he brought other folks down with him. Many people's lives were ruined. Monica was damn lucky she didn't do time. I guessed he really loved her, part of the deal was that she wouldn't be touched. Monica ended up raising two boys alone, and on Welfare. She's OK now...that was a long time ago, but sometimes it's not always a great thing, being the "It Girl" especially when smooth talking dudes entice a naive girl into thinking that easy money doesn't have a price.

James: Another classmate. Since third grade. James was always a cut up. But there was something else he was known for: his temper. Saw him hit a guy so hard in the chest--you could actually feel it. That was 5th grade. We went on to high school. James began dating a girl named Lauanna. She was a cute girl--had a great body. James was aggressive and he began to beat her. One of my friends saw him beating her in the hallway during a bathroom break. He was literally smashing her head against the wall. No one came to intervene. That was 10th grade. 7 years ago, after conversing with an old classmate, she told me that James had been beaten badly--so badly, he was in a coma. I asked her what happened, and she told me that he had hit his...then girlfriend. Her brothers and other family members confronted him. They beat him unconscious--he was put on life support. After some time, he came out of the coma and he healed slowly physically, but never mentally or spiritually. I found out through some reunions on Facebook that James had died from a drug overdose in 2006. I thought about Lauanna. Karma really is a B*tch.

You can take what you want from these stories...but just understand, that everything happens for a reason...and everyone has a story to tell.

Thanks for listening...

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Once Upon A Time When I Gave A Damn...

The one advantage to getting older and wiser is that you begin to see how much time you wasted worrying about what people think. I used to care, but now, I'll tell you my opinion and really not give a damn if you disagree with me. It's my right to think as I choose. My batting average is pretty high: I have above average common sense, God-given wisdom and I know that I was raised well. My values are superb compared to many of my contemporaries and thus; my thoughts have value because I live what I speak.

The world is screwed up mainly because so many people worry about what others think. Many live in fear, stay in relationships they hate, have friendships and associations with people they truly despise and stay in jobs that don't fulfill them, simply...because they are worried about how so and so is going to respond.

Who gives a flip!

I own everything I do. I am the CEO of my life and I will always maintain veto power. What someone else thinks means nothing. You know why? One can suggest something. One can tell me what to do, but ultimately; I am the one that must live with the consequences of my choices. Thus, do what you like--and THINK about what you do before you do it.

I mind my business. Honestly, I just don't have the time to worry about what other people are doing.

Live your life and stop wasting time being hindered by those who don't have the courage to live their own lives without apology.