A lot of people often mistake stubbornness for power. They think by not agreeing with other people, you have power. Some think when you can force people or threaten people, you have power.
Power is simply power when people acknowledge you have power.
You need not to tell me or threaten me before I know you have power.
Within the walls of a classroom, teachers will define power as the ability to compel others to do your will and power is not power if it is not being used. But personally, I think there are other perspectives to power.
Using a simple analogy;
The average Nigerian tertiary institution cultist commands respect because of his status and personality as belonging to a cult. His mates and lecturers alike are most likely going to accord him with unnecessary respect, not because he deserves it, but just to let peace reign. The respect given to him is not respect in the true sense, but respect born out of fear. If he walks into a class, someone will most likely vacate their seat for him out of fear and to let peace reign.
This is not power!
In our everyday relationship as well, we all have friends who think being physical is all that is to life. They stand up to you, flex muscle, slap people even for the slightest provocation, courts trouble. Now, their friends just for the sake of peace usually let things go, avoid, accommodate and generally let things slide. Such an individual thinks he has power, but he doesn’t, at least it has not been confirmed yet.
Using the Animal Kingdom as reference
Sometimes back, I was watching the National Geographic Wildlife on DSTV and I took particular interest in the program being transmitted because it was something about lions. In relation to the topic of power, I’ll narrate;
Happened that a group of lions gave a matured giraffe a hot chase and after a while caught up with her and after a minute of struggle, they brought the tall creature down. They had struggle tearing into her skin, but they snuffed life out of her and after a while feasted on the beast.
The lions numbering up to five having fed to their satisfaction remained rooted beside the giraffe (whose meat they couldn’t/didn’t finish).
About a hundred meters away from the scene, a group of jackals stood, spectating the scene of the lions. Obviously, they had interest in the meat leftover by the lions, but for some reasons couldn’t go over and eat.
Note, the jackals totally outnumbered the lions. But even at that, they preferred to remain still and watch, probably praying that a miracle happens.
As faith would have it, the lions one after the other noticed the jackals and their obvious interest in the fresh meat. And to my surprise, after several minutes of contemplation, the lions one after the other walked away from scene deep into the forest and slowly, the jackals walked a hundred metre towards the leftover meat and fed on it like the lions had done.
By implication, the concept of power was at play here as seen from the subtle behaviors from two different animal class. Lions generally believed to be the most powerful animal on land was feeding, jackals who is powerful in its own right wanted a share of the same food with the lion, but could not walk over to join the lion, because without been told knows what the lion is capable of and the power it posses. The lion as powerful as it is knows how powerful he is and rather than advance towards an innocent rival in the jackal with force left the food.
The jackal has shown humility and respect to authority. The lion on the other hand acknowledged the respect given to it and albeit all powers it posses returned the humility and respect to the jackal.
Few minutes later, the jackals left the meat for an advancing party of vultures and walked away.
Deviating a little from the subject. Quick question; Why is the Animal kingdom orderly and more sane than the human society who are “the higher animals?”
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