(Em)Powering the World

Most of us don’t care about how electricity works or how it gets into our houses; we only care that something turns on or off when we hit a switch. We live much like that in the world, too; we don’t fully understand the dynamics of what makes the world go ’round, but we expect it to spin.

(Cue The Stylistics:) People make the world go ’round. We ‘power’ the world; all of us, together. What most of us consider to be total chaos is a carefully orchestrated system that we can’t fathom because of our limited view. We look at people, incidents and events as isolated unto themselves with no necessary part of the bigger picture.

Let’s bring that thought down to scale:

                                         (photo courtesy of Eric Rasmussen)

This is an electrical panel. To most of us without the necessary knowledge (read: overview or higher perspective) of electricity, this is just a jumble of wires. Different colors and sizes heading in different directions. Chaos.

The skilled electrician can look at one of these panels and read the status of its functionality by being able to observe correct (and incorrect) wiring and connections.

One of these panels can be enough to power a house. A larger house or building may require more than one panel or added subpanels to provide more circuits.

We are like the wires in the panel. We are different sizes, colors, and gauges, and specific to our function in what we give our power to. None of the wires in the panel are insignificant; even the seemingly smallest wire can cause damage to the panel if wired in incorrectly or attached to the wrong circuit. Our power comes from one larger entity that is made up of all of the power combined. We individually sort, filter, and direct that electricity through the circuits and in and out of the groups and organizations we belong to.

One faulty wire or a wire that is the wrong gauge attempting to flow the electricity through to something it is not meant for would get too hot, melt its own insulation, and start a fire. The source relying on that power would be incapacitated, and the entire electrical panel could be destroyed.

One person attempting to be or do something that he or she isn’t made for will have the same effect on the whole. It could even be something as ‘insignificant’ as having a job that is hated. Being in an unhappy relationship, forcing yourself to reside within the limiting and uncomfortable boundaries of others, or living a life that feels unnatural – anything that restricts flow – will eventually cause a meltdown. The resulting fire will damage everything it touches, and the only difference will be the speed of ignition. Damage is damage; its impact ripples outward, affecting the whole. What’s the basic difference between a broken leg and an ankle sprain? The time that it takes an injury to heal. It could take six days or six weeks, but the individual will still be unable to walk for a time.

We all draw from the same power source; that is our connection. We are each unique in our talents and abilities, and we work best when directing those talents and abilities towards enhancing the functionality of the combined groups we are wired to. The right wire to the right circuit.

Other people may be wired to the same panel, but each has their own specific purpose. Their sole responsibility is their own hook-ups and they do not dictate the positioning and purpose of the others; that is the job of the electrician, the one who can see the entire panel.

You are a live wire. Be you, whoever and whatever you are. Conduct your best qualities and skills towards empowering the world, ignoring the ‘direction’ of the other wires. You don’t want to melt down.

As long as you are connected to the circuits you were created for, your impact will be positive.


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