Power and Domination

I had a mini “Ah-Ha” moment the other day when I was thinking about a parent child relationship. I think most people go through life without realizing this little fact, most just take it for granted. Our attitude in any parent-child relationship (I am referring the the blood-type relationship of a parent and child, adoption included, NOT referring to the Parent-Child-Adult relationship of Transactional Analysis), is one that is almost akin to “god given right”, as in “I am the parent you jolly well listen to me and act accordingly.” That appears to be the norm in almost any culture. Parents, have literally forgotten to ponder about the fact that do you really think you actually have power over your child? Apply that in a broader sense to anyone who is seen as an Authoritarian, or Authoritative figure, do you really think you actually hold the “power” over your subjects to be able to get him/her/them to do anything?

The answer in both cases unfortunately is “No”. He/she who has what appears to be “power” has only been given that “power” because those below you have willingly surrendered their own personal power to you so that you may do your job to serve them, or guide them, with their best interest at heart. In the parent-child case, the child surrendered his/her personal autonomy to you so that you may bring, guide, feed, and protect, etc, your child. Of course, the child may not know that due to his/her underdeveloped cognitive capacities. In the case of an Authoritarian, or Authoritative figure; your power exists for as long as the people under you lets you have it. If everyone under you prefers to die, or run away to somewhere else (or in some cases overthrow you),  over doing your bidding, pretty soon you will be a lonesome person with no more power over anyone else except yourself. Your power to create fear over others so that you can continue maintaining the facade of having power has a limited lifespan.

Therefore people who are in positions of “power” (parents included) be mindful about the reasons you hold that power. “Power” comes with a certain level of responsibility. That responsibility is to act with honor on behalf of your charges under you.