For the Powerless

Today was a confusing day.
I watched as a community ripped itself apart, as it expressed its powerlessness the only way that it figured out how. I saw the community rage, as it mourned. All negotiations failed, the hopelessness was confirmed and the vulnerability was too much to bear. And so it exploded. Nobody cares, we are damned if we don’t and damned if we do, so let’s do. As we are hurt, we will hurt, as our hope is gone, we will take away theirs. This is our mirror to the world, it is ugly because the world is ugly.
I too mourned for the loss of connection, for the rifts that separate, and for the fact that I saw myself in the mirror.
Today was a sad day. A staff member died and people reeled from the news. People questioned the point of work, doing well and showing up. A colleague died and yet, we got up, dressed and came to work with no sense that she was gone. No one had an idea of when she passed, it was like she was never there. We were all reminded that the world does not stop for us, and that what we do every day may have no meaning, outside of our immediate circle.
Today I was angry. l was reminded how easily power can be abused in the name of love or care. When organisations do not explicitly set boundaries for managers, then managers are free to trample on staff and to have their way with them. Managers are protected by their positions and staff have no recourse. I felt my anger rise because I knew that I did not have the authority to fix the problem. I could highlight, generate reports and agitate, but the power is not mine to make the change. I kept my professional veneer and raged inside with a deep sense of sadness.
My day had come full circle. I was reminded of the rage in the street, and the powerlessness that fuels it along with the fact that when we are gone, the world does not mourn.

What do you do when you feel powerless?

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