Possessing power does not appeal to me. What drives me is always being who I am. I never sought out anyone to tell me what to do. Even as a child, when I encountered people being treated badly or as pawns, I made my protests known with my voice and fists.
Recently I called a friend from my childhood who still lives in Chicago. He has earned a Ph.D. in education and is recognized as an outstanding educator. We have been close since we were seven; today, he and I are closing in on 100 years!
During our conversation, I asked him to describe me as a kid. He remembered me as the leader of our group of street kids, something which I immediately denied. Still, he argued that I always listened to everyone and what they were saying and did not jump to conclusions or act selfishly.
It is interesting how people that know us see us. This is because we do not see ourselves even if we believe we do. Still, I must have known then how important listening is, and over the years, I made it my strong suit. Clearly, active listening is at the root of ”genuine dialogue,” the process that flattens pyramids and distributes power to those at the center of the leader’s influence.
I have always spoken truth to power and will push back against the person who loves power for power’s sake while embracing the leader who empowers and shares their power.
My worldview is the same as my tiny view. Power exists in its natural form as people exercise it. When the people’s form of power is used for the good of humanity, we are all blessed. Why is that so rare?