Monday, May 16, 2011
Power--a possible series
I teach a series of texts that make up a unit called Power. The main texts are The Iliad and the Declaration of Independence; the alternate reading is Letter From Birmingham Jail. I stopped using The Art of War because I grew tired of thinking of power in terms of military might.
I've been seeing some ridiculous power struggles. People who lack any sense of personal power often inflict others with unreasonable behavior. What is the lure of power for human beings? What big thrill comes from bossing another person around? Why is it necessary to be in control of every damn thing?
Now the end of the world is coming. What a power trip. That silly Bible has been the source of misery for too long. Some over the top fanatics want to rub our noses in our seemingly inferiority by letting us know that we are doomed. God's power does not lie in his ability to wipe us out. Authentic power can only come from patience, love and mercy. It takes a really powerful being to put up with human infallibility and still see some good in such flawed creatures. I would like to think God is like that. I would like to think I can be like that one day. I wish more people would reassess their relationship to power.