power and powerlessness at the Farm

If we feel powerless we behave badly: people who crave power are usually people who feel in some way inadequate on this earth.It doesn’t seem to matter if we are seeking power through control of a few others, or one other person, or an entire country, it is a bad idea if we do not recognize why we are doing it.

I live in a condominium development where the people who are in charge are very focused on not allowing anyone to make any choices about their surroundings. They reserve the right to oversee almost every detail from where a new tree gets planted to where and how one can park a car. In the beginning I paid little attention to these people finding it is better in life to ignore anyone who seeks to control the lives of others. I have found in my life many people who enjoy positions of power in small communities as perhaps they feel powerless in the overall scheme of things. Yesterday I was lying in bed reading the paper with my small dog beside me when I heard a commotion outside my window. As I looked outside I saw a few men climbing the tree on my patio and trimming the boughs of this lovely old tree. When I moved into this place I was sold on the idea of condo living because of the privacy I found here. The trees outside my window afforded  real privacy for me and I loved the beauty of their graceful limbs.Once I saw this beauty being destroyed by workers who had no regard as to how the tree was growing I became angry and yes, fearful. I felt powerless. I called the management office and asked to speak with whomever was in charge of this work. The men outside told me the head person had been told of my upset at the trimming and had told them to ignore me and keep on cutting. When I reached this man later on and expressed my thoughts on the trees and mentioned it would have been correct to speak with me about the trimming rather than telling the men to continue the work, he had no answer. I knew this man was indeed a victim of powerlessness. In his life somewhere there had been an angry woman who had turned him against all other women who he viewed as attempting to control him.This may sound like a pat diagnosis of bad behavior but in my heart I know it is true. There was pleasure for him in this power over me.

It is my reaction that I am still surprised at as I continue to think if I just keep trying some day I will not react to bad behavior but I always do. I react to people who ignore appropriate communication and go with the way of power.I react to feeling controlled by anyone.

One Comment on “power and powerlessness at the Farm

  1. at my volunteer job, when I pick up the food at the kitchen, a few months back a very angry seeiming man confronted me and told me I “HADN”T THE CORRECT SHOES ON TO ENTER THE KITCHEN!” mind you, I had been coming to this kitchen in flip flops or whatever we wear in malibu that we think constitutes civilized attire for many months, with nary a protest from anyone , including the head of kitchen services at the university who I had met many times while picking up the food for my elderly..this one guy laid into me, and as I tried to reason with him as I had to get the food to feed my hungry, and had a time limit as the twelve of them expected me before one that afternoon, he becane nore enraged and pompous, and I broke down in tears and begged his help, at which point he walked off , yelling something about, “get this woman a prozac”..I was so upset and hurt and thought, gosh maybe I really have a problem here I need to investigate, why did that get to that level where he was really trying to hurt me ?
    the next week I saw another man who was this man’s manager at the kitchen, who has always been lovely with me, and he said” I am so sorry to hear of yoru troubles, this man has been going through a very bad divorce and has had lots of behavioral issues here, but I can’t fire him because another of our management is his friend..”
    so this was a lesson to me, to be more forgiving of myself if another dumps his rage on me, and also to see, ah this man felt powerless and miserable in his own life, and i was just another opporutnity to play it out..much like your gardener ..
    next time break out the hose and just spray him:)

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