(illustration: Fiammetta Ghedini) Power is probably one of the most “energetic” words in our vocabulary. It means energy in the literal sense of the word and figuratively speaking you can almost feel the supernatural “rays” the word generates.
It has a negative and a positive connotation: we want it all or we are disgusted by it. In order to be in balance we need the “attraction” of counterparts. In fact power holds yin & yang within one understanding. Could power be the personification of a balancing act trying to remain aware of the difference between good and evil, to thrive for honest prosperity rather than submitted poverty, to value good food and a responsible lifestyle to keep you healthy instead of sick?
According to wikipedia “yin and yang are supposed to be complementary opposites that interact within a greater whole, but either of these aspects may manifest more strongly in particular areas and may ebb or flow over time.” In other words if you engage this description in apprehending the deeper meaning of power, we could conclude that it energizes our ability to choose. Combined with the observation that yin and yang might “meet” in the aforementioned rays of power you could say that power might be as essential as food, fluids and even love.
If this is true, why are we misusing power, almost up to a point of no return? Or is it that we have forgotten about this interaction with the greater whole? To be less esoteric: to have lost the connection with the strengths and weaknesses of the universe that need both care and destruction in order to keep the equilibrium in tact.
Because after all there is life and death, day and night or summer and winter.
What’s wrong with us? Why did we give the free rein to the financial sector by loosening the legislations that regulated the banking system? While, for instance careful households would never think of lending, their car to a friend of the brother of the neighbor’s sister in law. Similar to this simple example, the financial sector had forgotten to “value” the importance of balancing the “two sides of the coin”: taking good care of your clients money, while making a decent profit.
Money affects us all and can undermine our direct capacity to obtain one’s first necessities. Power and money are interconnected, but power is connected to so many other things in the second degree.
Like for instance healthcare: we are told that the costs of healthcare will skyrocket because of the aging of the population, but is this true? Life expectancy in the Western world has been growing as a result of a better diet, better working conditions and hygiene. Nowadays the state of medical science and the developments in the pharmaceutical industry can prolong our lives even more. So why would the cost of a “sane” healthcare system grow out of hand?
With a business sense that is not always according to the Hypocratic oath, the actual reason of higher costs, might be more complex. Small health problems, that could easily be solved by adjusting our diet or going to bed on time, are more and more solved with a pill rather than adapting to a better lifestyle. Often, from that point on people enter a vicious circle that is not easy to part from. Because when you start using one drug, on the long run you end up taking several to counterbalance the side-effects caused by the chemicals in your body. In many Western countries there is a problem of over-prescribing, while the drugs are not sufficiently tested for efficacy or safety when used in combination with other medicaments. It would be naïve not to smell the “odeur” of money behind this. Surely, the pharmaceutical industry will use all the marketing tricks to “seduce” you and will never cease to stop developing expensive medicine. The power of money is in this case covered with the veil of curing people.
The good thing of the crisis is that we are starting to look for more affordable and sustainable alternatives. Like for instance a better lifestyle with more exercise and food, providing calories that are not empty, bringing you minerals and vitamins instead of fat and diseases.
We are already facing a big trend in growing your own vegetables and fruits. We start eating more bio food, although still too expensive for people with a low income, we see a growing interest in nutrition before medicine.
A different attitude to health in general might not only energize our bodies, but can also trigger of entrepreneurship with new initiatives like a garden center providing part of your grocery shopping, a gym organizing cooking classes or a home decoration shop advising you how to grow oranges in your dining room annex urban farm.
As far as I am concerned it may take awhile, but some people state that conventional medicine will be something of the past soon. Not only because we will (or have to)adapt to a different lifestyle, also because of a growing interest in involving ancient Eastern healing like acupuncture and massages based on the energy streams flowing through our body. Together with the general uprise of people against establishments, the global power of the pharmaceutical industry might not be sufficient to sustain the growth of their “multibillion dollar” operations in the future.
We can see similar situations in the insurance business, power companies, or the telecommunications.
So what is awaiting us? A further downfall of the financial world unless power structures will be revised, a healthcare system with a higher aim on profit growth instead of curing people and energy shortage because power companies waited too long to switch from fossil fuels to renewable energy?
We shouldn’t underestimate the self healing ability of mankind! Oppressed people in different parts of the world fight for respect, claiming a decent life and a fair share of prosperity. On a growing scale corrupt and dictatorial leaders are being held responsible for misusing the power confided to their care. Bankers, managers and everyone else acting in a dishonest manner solely focused on self-interest are being held accountable.
Power has two sides of the coin ... for the coming period let’s try to focus more on the positive side: like having the power to solve a crisis, the power to overcome a disease or generating enough renewable power to be self-sustainable ...
In order to find yin & yang within power we need a different view on mankind. If we think according to economics only, that man always wants more without making a difference in quantitative or qualitative growth, there is little hope we’ll survive on this globe. Opting for consolidation and sustainable growth focused on a balanced global household will result in a brighter future.
(This article is also published in the Second Sight issue 27)