I have just returned from vacationing in the beautiful Canadian Rocky mountains. A place of solitude, reflection, relaxation and rejuvenation. Canmore is nestled among the grandeur and power of nature rising into the heavens etching the landscape with mountain goats and misty cloud filled valleys. Travelling by car across three Canadian provinces, I could write describing the beautiful flat lands of Manitoba still green in this time of fall, the rolling cattle dotted hills of Saskatchewan brown grasslands painted burnt umber set against the payne gray sky or the majestic mountains of Alberta layered ebony, prussian blue, and titanium white. I could write about the echo of nature contained within the granite walls which surround the valley and the people who resound with nature itself, cheeks rosy and heads covered in hats, the out breath clean and crisp. Instead, the mountains compel me to write about power and strength and the way in which we use these majestic energies for good or not.
I stumbled upon the Al Smith Charity Dinner on TV while surfing for the Weather station, an event held in New York attended by elite and the Catholic churches highest ranking officials, Eminences, Excellencies and clergy. The event held to raise money for the New York Archdiocese Catholic Children’s Charities. The guest speakers at the event, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. I am aware that most are knowledgeable of the current drama being played out between these two candidates in the race for President but, it is how these two powerful and influential individuals are using their gift of power that most concerns me and is therefore the theme of this blog.
There are public displays by powerful people all the time in our world, some we take notice of and others not. Those that may be elected to run a country as powerful as the United States more difficult to ignore. The public displays by Clinton and Trump cannot be ignored or brushed aside as they grace every media site on the planet. The use and misuse of power by both parties is being leveled to destroy the character, reputation and the essence of being of the other party. The charity dinner raising six million dollars this year, the most ever raised in the history of the event, was confusing and ironic given the Catholic Church and its lack of responsibility and accountability for the crimes committed against children by priests. A horrendous example of misuse of power. Was this event held to raise money for children or was it to promote political agendas or both? Why was the highest church official clapping, laughing and cheering as each candidate was being ripped apart like Christians being fed to the lions in the Colosseums of Rome? What year is this? It was almost to surreal to watch and yet I could not tear my eyes or ears away.
Watching two very powerful and influential people use their power to defame and destroy one another, attacker and defender, defender and attacker, is disturbing. Power used to tear down, destroy, hurt or defame to gain power and pride for oneself is misuse of a glorious energy better served to build, empower, support, make change in our world and move mountains for the good of humankind. The displays and misuse of power throughout this Presidential election is not only played out in our political arenas but, they are also played out on a smaller scale in our communities, organizations, institutions and families. I believe that is why we all squirm as we watch because each of us have felt the effects of misuse of power in our own lives and the lives of people we love.
Everyone will at some point have their five minutes of fame even if you are not running for President of the United States. We will all have the opportunity to use our power for either good or the destruction of something or someone. Power is an energy within us either dominated by the ego or the soul. You cannot have it both ways. Your soul will lead you on the path of goodness and light, the ego into the shadows. The choice is always yours to make. But, if I can suggest anything it would be to revisit some of the American debates and speeches. Not for political reasons but, rather to experience what misuse of power really looks, hears and feels like. To challenge our own reactions to the use or misuse of power. How it is that misuse of power effects not only your opponent but, your communities, your workplaces, your families, your neighbor and most importantly the wellbeing of yourself. Use your power to move mountains for goodness in this world. Resound your strength and light into the valleys of darkness. It is not necessary to destroy or tear down others to shine. Will we forever close our eyes, ears, voice and heart to the misuse of power in our world? If so, how will change ever occur?