power up

small but mighty - July 19, 2016m

“Our thoughts and prayers are not enough.”
              — President Barack Obama, October 2, 2015

Another national tragedy brings more words of sorrow, more pleas for unity from my nation’s leader…

He seemed rather weary during in his brief speech following the killings in Baton Rouge, Louisiana last Sunday.  But I can’t fault him for any emotional slump.   He’s made so many speeches like that one.  And to what effect?

Nonetheless, I was encouraged by his words.  By one line in particular…

After acknowledging our divisions, he asked “that everyone right now focus on words and actions that can help unite this country”.

I only wish that he’d taken that idea a step farther.  Imagine the benefit if he’d said: “Each one of us can take action this next week.  Every single one of us can do something positive to make this bad situation better.  Some small but meaningful action.”

That simple statement says: you may feel powerless to change this situation, but you aren’t.

When we begin to feel powerless, we may surrender our will and fall into depression…

…or find violent ways to express our frustration…

…or look to our leaders to do something in our stead.  In particular, we may look to our political leaders.

Fortunately, I think we’re starting to realize: our political leaders don’t have the answers.  It’s up to us to save ourselves.  In the sixties, we sang, “power to the people”.  That’s not naive.  We do have power—if we’re willing to use it, if we’re willing to act.  Even if it’s only in small ways.  Small, but meaningful ways.

In times of crisis, we’re apt to look to a leader for guidance. As we open ourselves to this leader, we may gain a sense of our own strength.  That’s not a negative—as long as we realize no one gave us that strength: it’s ours.

The leader can be felled in a moment.  But as long as we own our strength, our power, we won’t lose the will to act, we’ll continue the good fight.

© 2016, Michael R. Patton

sky rope poetry

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About Michael Patton

I am a poet, novelist, and fabulist...A new mythologist, a peace miller, a dream worker...I don't qualify as an illustrator or photographer--I just "make pictures"...I have thirteen books available at amazon... I currently reside in northwest Arkansas, but have lived and worked all over the United States... I'm self-taught, for the most part--which is like searching for the right door in the dark. It's an on-going process.... I don't want to write MY story, I want OUR story, so that's what I'm studying: the human story: past, present, future, in its many aspects--including the spiritual. I'm proceeding at a slow crawl.... I don't see the inner world and outer world as separate. By learning about myself, I learn about others, I learn about my world.... Conversely, as I struggle to understand what I see OUT THERE, I learn about myself.... But to be clear: I don't claim any special understanding. I'm still purblind, still only half-awake.... After frustrating experience with the publisher of my first novel, I've published on my own, beginning with e-books, with plans to move into print and audio. Even video.... Along with a second novel, I've now published eight books of poetry. Each poetry book focuses on a theme. For instance, the collection GLORIOUS TEDIOUS TRANSFORMATION is about the slow difficult wonderful process of change.... In that book, as with all my work, I try to be accessible to a general audience, while also striving to achieve a certain literary quality.
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