Where I stand

Never confuse a position with the power – Woodrow Wilson had the position, but Ida B. Wells had the power. Lyndon B. Johnson had a position, but Martin Luther King, Jr. had the power.

Those are words spoken by a preacher in the PBS documentary “The Black Church”.

In these times, we have to admit the President of the United States (whoever that is at any given moment) has the position, but we the people have the power. To that end, the former guy had the position, but we had the power. That’s complicated because collectively we have no one else to blame for the state of affairs in which we find ourselves.

The current President of the United States has the position, but he does not have the power that many claim. He does not have the power to decree the price of gasoline, for example, but many blame him for the high price of gas today. He can’t do that, but the oil companies and oil lobby interests can. The machinations of various lobbying interests who interact with the OPEC leaders can do that. The President cannot.

Once again, I must consider the fact that power is a many splendored thing, to use an old phrase. We confuse power with abandon, we confuse power with strength, we confuse power with force. If money is power, it is only because we have made that agreement. Ultimately, money is an indiscriminate grouping of fibers and metallic tokens that means nothing in the natural world. It is a human construct, like time and like racism.

This issue comes to mind today only because yesterday I got an email response from the company with which I did the one-way interview. My initial response was to be a little dejected, but I quickly realized these people did not have any kind of personal relationship with me so I need not accept this as a rejection or a statement of my inadequacy. The only reason I might have to feel badly about this is because I have chosen to do that. They have a position as a hiring entity, but I have the power. I have the power to give up or keep going, the power to refuse some nameless and faceless entity the ability to dictate my opinion of myself.

I know this. Unfortunately, or perhaps fortunately, what my brain knows is not the same thing as what my spirit knows or even what my heart knows. The brain may have the position, but does it have the power? Does my spirit have the power? Does my heart have the power? I suppose I must accept that brain, spirit, heart are interrelated and it is that triumvirate that ultimately has the power. There’s a catch, though – the power is expressed only when all facets are in balance and in right relation.

Out of balance, I will lean to one side or another, I will tilt and quiver and ultimately lose necessary perspective. That’s where I find myself right now, far off balance. I am not sure whether a remedy for that involves only reminding myself that I know who I am and practicing right thinking and right action. I forget, and forget often but I’m hoping that is not a fatal flaw.

Today is quiet, and that is not a bad thing. I applied for two positions online, which was counterintuitive for me because I want to give up. I want to wallow in a deep well of self-pity, but I chose to do something else, felt compelled to do something else. Hopefully, that will continue because I’m tired of being in combat with my Self.

Note to Self: lay down your arms, do the next right thing, rinse and repeat.

Location, location, location – position is not equal to power.

Published by annzimmerman

I am Louisiana born and bred, now living in Winston Salem, North Carolina. Fortunately for me, I was already living in NC before Hurricane Katrina decimated my beloved New Orleans. An only child, I now feel that I have no personal history since the hurricane destroyed the relics and artifacts of my childhood. As I have always heard, c'est la vie. My Louisiana roots show in my love of good coffee, good food, and good music. My soggy native soil has also shown me that resilience is hard-wired in my consciousness; when the chips are down (or drowned)...bring it on.

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