Thursday, March 15, 2007

Personal Power

Personal power is the ability to make something happen in the world, to be able to get someone to do something for you, or maybe not directly for you. Even if it's as small as asking someone across the table to please pass the salt. Ask and how much you receive is a measure of your personal power. It can be viewed in a mean light, like using people, but it can be seen in an empowering light, like rallying people to a cause. And asking people not just to help you, but to also use their personal power to rally even more people, well, that's a multiplication of personal power, that creates ripples, and that kind of power can change the world.

And it's not always one way, perhaps when they ask something of you, you do it. And the repetition of this behavior in communities is what strengthens us. This flow of personal power as it were allows us to acknowledge the people who have helped us in our lives and allows them to acknowledge the help they've received from us. The recognition of our power as a community, one relationship at a time.

It begins with a simple email to a list. One from Miss Evelina Galang. Asking each one of us to talk about, post about, sign a petition for House Resolution 121-1H, a "resolution calling Japan to acknowledge its mistakes, make a formal apology to
surviving Comfort Women and their families, and to pay reparations."

The current Prime Minister of Japan doesn't believe there is no solid evidence of government coercion regarding these women's forced work as essentially sex slaves. Then again the prime minister, Shinzo Abe, was not even alive at the end of the WWII. With major officials born 10 years after the war's end, the societal historical memory for these events is already fading. As much as we say never forget history, it's the first thing that goes.

But before these women fade away completely, you can read about their plight here, and you can use some of your personal power to do more and sign here.

See? That was easy. Do a little something. Take a little risk.

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