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Giving Our Power Away to Others

Updated on September 8, 2013
gmwilliams profile image

Grace loves to write commentaries on psycho-cultural and sociocultural dynamics in their myriad forms.

Giving ONE'S Power Away

Many people feel that they are insignificant and powerless within themselves, so they attach themselves to those whom they believe to be more powerful thus giving THEIR power away to others.
Many people feel that they are insignificant and powerless within themselves, so they attach themselves to those whom they believe to be more powerful thus giving THEIR power away to others.
People must access their own power in order to fully utilize their human potential and to gain OWNERSHIP over their lives.  They have THAT power, but oftentimes fail to realize it to their utter detriment and regret.
People must access their own power in order to fully utilize their human potential and to gain OWNERSHIP over their lives. They have THAT power, but oftentimes fail to realize it to their utter detriment and regret.

We as Individuals Must Learn to Harness and Use Our Power

Throughout time, there has always been somebodies and nobodies. Somebodies are defined as those wealthy, famous, powerful and/or otherwise influential. From ancient times, such people were considered to be special and superior to the masses. They were often the objects of worship and/or adulation. It was the somebodies who were placed in positions of authority.

Wealthy, famous, and/or powerful people were considered to be the elect and/or authority in most societies. They were often the trendsetters. They were considered to be more knowledgeable than the average person. The upper and more powerful classes were often granted semi-divine status. Kings, queens, and emperors were considered god and goddess incarnates. Their respective status conveyed authority and power. They were to be obeyed unquestioningly.

We are now living in the postmodern era. However, there are still vestiges from prior eras regarding the paradigm of submitting to authority and/or those perceived to be greater and/or better than us. Even though we live in a democratic society, we are indoctrinated with the premise that there are somebodies and nobodies.

Somebodies are to be adulated and/or obeyed because they possess the power, fame, and/or wealth. Conversely, nobodies are nonentities because they possess nothing of significance. In other words, nobodies are the hoi polloi-the mass people!

We are taught subconsciously by parents, teachers, and other authority figures to respect and obey those in authority. We are further inculcated to follow those in authority because "they know better" and/or "they possess the knowledge that we do not have." If we dare to question authority and assert our individual opinions, we are often derided and told that we do not have the knowledge to contradict the said authority figure.

Obedience and blind compliance to authority is very much encouraged and has its rewards. Children who conform and obey authority without question are classified as "good" while hose who question and/or refuse to follow authority are often deemed to be "disobedient" and/or "problematic.". We are programmed, beginning in childhood that it is good and proper to obey and give our power away to those in authority.

We are further taught to believe that the "little" or "average" person is quite powerless and nothing. If you have observed a child and/or person who is quite opinionated and assertive regarding his/her opinion, he/she is routinely told "who does he/she thinks he/she is." In other words, how dare the so-called little and/or average person have such an inflated ego because this is considered to be totally inappropriate.

There is an underlying premise that "nonauthoritative" and "powerless" people should know their place i.e. be as subordinate and unobtrusive as possible. Only the authoritative and powerful among us are allowed to have egos and assert their sense of power, not the so-called hoi polloi. In essence, stay in YOUR place!

We have been further imbued with the premise that people in authority know what is best for us whether it is parents, teachers, religious leaders, politicians, and/or other powerful/authoritative people. It seems that we are quite uncomfortable with and/or fearful of developing and cultivating our own sense of power. It is so much easier to follow the leader and to obey than to exercise our own concept of power.

Why is that? While we have been inculcated with the concept that people in power and authority are "more" than us. Conversely, we were thoroughly indoctrinated that we are quite insignificant in ourselves. I remember as a child disagreeing with some religious concept and my mother informing me that my opinion meant nothing because it was it was not documented. I just paid her no attention, continuing to assert my opinion. Because we have been told that we are insignificant, we transfer the concept of our supposed significance to those in power thus vicariously feeling more powerful.

This vicarious feeling of power explains why we worship celebrities and other famous and powerful people. We actually believe that these people are more important than ourselves. This emulation of celebrities and other powerful people are obvious in that we imitate and copy them in terms of fashions and opinions, often not discounting our own opinions and values.

It is quite de rigueur to adopt the opinions and lifestyles of those in power because of the subconscious belief that since they are powerful, they are right. There are those who are actual carbon copies of celebrities. Young girls in the 1980s thought nothing of submerging their identities to look and act like Madonna and/or other young female celebrities of the period. There are people who adopt the opinions and beliefs of famous celebrities and other renowned people because it is perceived that these people "know."

Many people become powerful and wealthy because people elect to glorify them and give their individual power away. There are churchgoers who are impoverished and living precariously from day to day. Although they live at and/or near poverty, they continue to make outlandish donations to ministers and/or other religious leaders who live quite a lavish lifestyle.

There are people who blindly adhere to the concepts of their priests, minister, and/or rabbi although the concept is totally arcane and atavistic. They KNOW subconsciously that these concepts are totally arcane from its inception. However, they elect to adhere to the particular concept because the priest, minister, and/or rabbi said so which makes it correct in the formers' eyes.

Many people are quite fearful of thinking for themselves. They prefer to attach themselves to a leader, any leader, to give them a sense of security and reassurance. This is quite dangerous. An example of people totally giving their power away and proverbially selling their soul to the devil is the rise of Adolf Hitler and Nazism in 1930s Germany. People in early 1930s Germany felt so demoralized by the worldwide depression. In addition to feeling demoralized by the worldwide depression, many Germans in the early 1930s believe that the democratic government(the Weimar government) was totally inept.

The German people wanted jobs and prosperity. They believed that Adolf Hitler once he got into power would guarantee them employment and prosperity. At that point, the German people were willing to give their power away to Hitler because he would grant jobs and prosperity. They frankly were unconcerned that their individual freedoms gradually diminished as long as they had jobs and stability. They ultimately gave their power away to a horrendous dictatorship with extremely dire consequences!

Many people elect politicians because they want someone to lead and remedy societal ills. In other words, they want the politicians to rescue them and change society for the better. These people either do not or refuse to believe that they are instrumental in reforming and transforming society. In essence, they believe that they are powerless to effect any type of societal change. They believe that the politicians are in fact "more qualified" than they are regarding the reformation of society.

Many people elect to remain powerless because they refuse to take responsibility for their own lives. They rather displace all responsibility upon a leader and/or other authoritative people because if that leader and/or authoritative person fails then the onus is on the respective leader figures, not them. Besides having individual power means risk and being the master of one's own fate. They prefer to place their respective fate in others' hands because it is quite too daunting for them to be actually responsible for their own lives and fate. It is so much easier to be in a quasichildlike state than to be an actual adult, taking the prerequisite responsibility for one's own life so to speak.

People do not want to harness their own respective power because they are AFRAID of the concept of OWNERSHIP. The average person is just uncomfortable with this concept. We have not been taught that we are divine, creative, and unique individuals with the utmost in potential. Instead, we have been taught the opposite. We have been inculcated with the premise that we are must mere humans and nothing more.

We have been brainwashed that we are just like everyone else and not to think "too high" of ourselves less it means "conceit". Well this concept of unobtrusive humility is just an atavistic one. Ownership of ourselves and our destiny is a good thing. We must believe that we are powerful in order to become so. No one on this earth is above and/or better than us.

In summation, we have been inculcated with the premise that hose in authority and power are MORE than us. We were told that in ourselves, we are quite insignificant at best. As a consequence of such teaching, we transfer our sense of power to those in authority. There is a dark underside to our transfer of power to authority figures as evidenced by the dictatorship in 1930s Nazi Germany.

We are often fearful of asserting and having power because of being apprehensive of taking the ultimate responsibility for our own lives. Furthermore, we are quite uncomfortable with the concept of ownership of our individual lives and destiny. We must grant permission to ourselves to harness our own power in order to become the persons we were meant to be.

© 2012 Grace Marguerite Williams


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    • gmwilliams profile imageAUTHOR

      Grace Marguerite Williams 

      6 years ago from the Greatest City In The World-New York City, New York

      So true, Amy, so true!

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Excellent story - We all give our power away at some time or another, because then we don't have to accept responsibility.

    • punamdharkar profile image


      6 years ago from India

      Good Hub. It gets people thinking. Gets them disturbed. That's why I liked this Hub. It is my belief that the concept of a seamless world, large corporations and multinational business maybe creating a world of pygmies. Ethnicity, individual difference is less tolerated and add to this FEAR. It becomes almost second nature to give away power, else be prepared to perish. Our attitude to consumerism adds to this dilemma. Voted up and sharing.

    • smzclark profile image


      6 years ago from cheshire

      Another very impressive hub! You write (or type) many truths.


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