[Kuypers’ home at artvilla.com]

[Books and CDs][Artvilla.com][JanetKuypers.com][Bio][Poems][Prose]

Exploring Power

Imagine a perfect society. Imagine swaying trees, sunny skies and a cool breeze. Imagine when you walk down the all-too-clean streets that everyone you see is friendly. Everyone is your friend, and everyone is good and kind and giving. Imagine being able to come home from the job that you love to a warm, safe home. There is never a disagreement in this society, and differences in people (like gender, race, age) are not hated like they are today but loved and appreciated.

It’s a hard society to imagine, I know. The hardest part of this perfect society to imagine is the fact that power, as we define it in today’s terms, does not exist. Power, by definition, is the ability of one person to make another person do something against their will, or the ability of one person to do something against another person’s will. Power can be physical brute force, the power that a father and mother have over their children, the power that a man can hold over a woman, or the power of one race over another. The problem with power is that it is too often used - and too often used in poor ways. For example, in today’s society obedience is considered a virtue in reference to a child’s behavior toward their parents, but it is merely a submission on the part of the child to the power of their parents. In most cases the fact that most women care more about their physical appearances than men care about their physical appearances is a demonstration of the woman’s submission to the man’s power. The statistics show that white men still hold much more than their proportional share of jobs than black men do - and these statistics show that the black race is unwillingly in submission to the power of the white race.

Power as defined above would not exist in the society described here. Whether or not the ability to possess that power would not even matter - for each and every individual in that perfect society may have the capacity for possessing that power (in the same way that each and every individual in society may have the capacity for becoming a mass murderer, but most of us don’t realize that potential). In this society, no one would want to possess that kind of power (in the same way that not one member in the society will want to become a mass murderer). No one would want this kind of power because no one would want to feel as if they were hurting someone, and no one would want to force someone into doing something against their will. No one would want to have a job if having the job meant that they were taking the job from someone who was more qualified, even if that person was from a minority group. No child would want to do something that would hurt their parents, and no parent would want to have to reprimand their child (and wouldn’t have to if their child had not only their own, but also their parent’s best interests in mind). No man would want to force a woman into a situation that she did not want to be in, and no woman would feel the burdens of society to find herself a husband. People would no longer marry for economic reasons but for love.

The kind of power that would exist in this perfect society would only be an entirely self-contained power - a kind of power that we as humans all possess but seldom actually tap and use to our advantage. The power that would exist would be a power that enabled people to accelerate and do the best that they could (for themselves and for others). It allows personal achievement to become a reality in the pure sense of the word, and it shows how the individual can move ahead if they want to and be proud of their accomplishments. This kind of power will not hamper others, and it involves no competition, but only the completion of personal goals. This kind of power would let people feel good about themselves, knowing that they as humans (even humans that stand alone) can accomplish almost anything that they want to.

Call it power, if you will, or give it another name so that people of this society don’t get confused with this self-fulfilling power. Call it self-determinism. Call it the power over yourself, and not the power over others. Call it anything you want. Maybe in this society people wouldn’t even have a name for it - maybe people would know that they have some sort of abilities without even giving them names. The most important fact is the fact that this is the kind of power that will exist and dominate in this society, and not the kind of hurting, oppressing power that we in this society are used to.

This power would lead to the most efficient society - it would be economically be producing at it’s peak, it would have no crime and thus be a safe place for women and children as well as men to live in, and it would be filled with love for others instead of resentment, jealousy and agression. A hierarchy of power to implement laws would be unnecessary, and prices of goods and services would not be unreasonable, therefore giving people more money to spend in the market and eliminate both unemployment and competition.

The power structure that we see in today’s society would not exist in this perfect society. A structure of power in any sense of the word would not exist, as would not a limit to the power that could exist in a society or the power that one person could possess. This kind of power comes from the inside of a person, and doesn’t hurt others - it only helps others, as well as helping the self. Therefore, the only amount of power that would exist in this society would be as much that the members of this perfect society would want. Hopefully, that amount of power may be limitless.

I know, I know, this is a very hard sort of power to imagine, for it seldom exists in this society and it never exists in its pure form. I have a hard time fathoming how this kind of power may affect me, and what may be the end result.

So many times I set out to accomplish a task and I find that there is some sort of obstacle in my way that I have no control over. It may be something as simple as walking out at night alone (that I feel I cannot do because of a fear for my safety), or something as important in my life as trying to get the job that I want, but not getting it because I am a woman and there was a man almost as qualified for the job that took the job from me. An obstacle that has been created by the self can be eliminated and is therefore a problem that can be overcome. However, when there are factors that seem to be outside of one’s own control that take precedence, it can become very frustrating. It often makes me feel as if there is no point in even setting goals for myself when there is such a great chance of not being able to achieve that goal because of other people having unfair power over me.

With this sort of power eliminated, I can’t help but wonder if there would be anything that I wouldn’t be able to do. It’s an exhilarating feeling, to think that I would be able to go through life not having to battle other people to accomplish my goals but only battle the person that is my greatest competetor - myself. If I didn’t accomplish what I wanted, I could learn from my mistakes and set new goals for myself, not feeling any vengeance or resentment. If I was able to accomplish my goal, then I would be the better person for it. The sense of satisfaction would be great, I would have tangible proof of my achievement, and I would have done it all on my own, with the help or the hurting of no one. I would then be able to set new goals for myself and improve myself (and possibly the lives of others) even more.

With this new outlook, I almost can’t imagine how much better my attitude would be about myself. I would know exactly what my potential was, and I would have a much better chance of achieving my full potential. There would be no regrets in my life. I would never have to be ashamed of myself, because I would be the best that I could be. Everyone would have this feeling of self-satisfaction. How could it not be a perfect society, if everyone felt this way?

In a society like this, with an outlook like this, everyone would have the same opportunities and the same goals. Everyone would then be treated equally, for everyone would be the best that they could be. When people are looked at for their ability, they are seen as capable people - and not as people that are inferior. There would be no need for discrimination, and there would be no need to look down on other people. There would be a feeling of total respect and honor for other people - you would honor every other person the way that you would honor yourself, for they - like you - would be able to achieve anything that they wanted. This philosophy would eliminate the differences that people see today in ages, races or colors of the skin, or genders. With the elimination of this kind of power, this weed that has infested society, the seeds of respect would be able to grow and flourish.

Yes, I know, this kind of society doesn’t exist. People depend on using and abusing others in order to get what they want instead of depending on the abilities that they possess within themselves. Maybe the reason that people don’t rely on themselves alone is because they are too afraid that they wouldn’t be able to achieve all the things that they would want to. But they would, if they only tried. Maybe the reason the people don’t rely on themselves alone to do the things that they want and to get the things that they want is because they feel that it is too easy to achieve their goals while stepping on others, since the opportunity is there. But there are others - the oppressed, the downtrodden - who would tell you another story. The people who are oppressed, who are being abused by this power, want to have the same opportunities that others have. And it wouldn’t take anything away from the people in power now - if anything, it would only improve the lives of all. The only thing that this society would do is give everyone the opportunity to be the best that they could be. There wouldn’t have to be hurting anymore.

Books and CDs  Kuypers’ Bio  Kuypers’ Poems  Kuypers’ Prose  Chicago Poet and Poetry Chicago Artist and Art