I found the page of a book in the forest. I read it. It didn’t make much sense. Then, I found another page, and another. I continued down the path and found more pages. I sat down and ordered them. Damn… No page one… I wandered about, trying to find it, until I reached a cabin. Page one was right there. I picked it up and was about to leave when a voice, coming from inside, said “I was expecting you”. I’ve read many pages since, and Old Patrick, the voice, always closes his eyes and smiles while I read.
So this is supposed to make me feel empowered, is it?
I looked from the fourteen black plastic bags full of the miscellanea of my past life to the, now bare, walls, shelves and cupboards of my apartment.
Now, was apparently a turning point in my life: The creation of a fresh, blank canvas, upon which I could paint a new destiny.
And all I had to do was take those black plastic bags, full of their memories, heartaches, successes and failures of a life that owed more to mediocrity than to satisfaction, and throw them all away.
All my life I fought to be heard. I struggled to be noticed, begged to be appreciated – and never once did I succeed.
Pushed down, ignored and scorned, I was told I would never amount to anything, that I lacked presence and was incapable of achieving anything.
For a while I believed them, but today will change all that.
Today, the gun I hold in my hand empowers me.
And, for one brief moment, all the power in the world rests in my index finger.
So, go on… wave to the crowds, Mr President.
And let’s see who’s helpless now!
100,000 Dead in the Halls of America
I’ve always been suspect when I hear someone say we don’t hand-hold: we empower. It hangs out with terms like, team-player and leadership. It often come out the mouth of someone in the highest level of on org chart. Yup by folk who love org charts. The only way to help someone up is to get down next to them. Hands on the same shovel, hands on the same piece of paper, working the same funkn algebra problem, working any problem from the floor-up. So to all you three ring binder consultants. Empower this and the horse you rode in on.
Billbert didn’t know how to respond. Was this the only reason Linoliamanda liked him, because he could fly? His twelve year old mind tried to put two and two together. Was she just using him for her entertainment and excitement?
Empowered and emboldened by his indignation, he asked, “Is that all you care about? Would you still like me if I couldn’t fly?”
Linoliamanda gasped, there was a moment of silence, and she hung up on him.
This was not the response he had expected. Denial or an argument, maybe. He didn’t think she would just hang up on him.
Our corporate mission statement was up for review. “We empower people–”
“Stop right there!” said Eannmbaighe. “Divisive language, ‘us’ against the othered ‘them’. And ‘people’ erases their individuality!”
“How dare you ignore the biggest issue of all?” Empathy answered. “Giving someone power foregrounds your power over them. Empowerment is disempowerment! Power is only taken!”
“Taking power implies you already have power,” I suggested. They both glared at me incredulously and shouted “No!” And “Yes!” simultaneously. Then they turned on each other.
Great! We’d spend all day and decide nothing. That’s the idea, keep the clowns out of the actual business.
When you’re rich, you can do anything.
Just ask Michael Jackson.
Well, you could ask him, if he were alive.
But he’s not.
Because he made others very rich.
His managers, his brothers and sisters, his mother and father.
And so many executives and lawyers.
They wanted to get richer.
Keep him alive, and he’ll make more music and perform more shows?
And make more… mistakes, is that what his business manager called it?
Lots of royalties and deals coming in.
Don’t want them held up by lawsuits.
Is he having trouble sleeping?
We’d better put him to sleep. Permanently.