Currently viewing the tag: "power"

It’s impossible to give someone the world. You can show them glimpses of yours, hope they join you in it, but to give them the world means you have to be willing to give up your own. –Sejal Badani, Trail of Broken Wings

Fiction Writing Prompt: Write a story about someone who wants the world, and isn’t worried about destroying the other person to get it.

Journaling Prompt: Write about the boundaries that you have that help you protect your world.

Art Prompt: If I gave you the world…

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience about how abusive spouses use power and control to demolish their victim’s world.

Photo Credit: Cindy Schultz on Flickr

Having climbed the ranks in her finance company to CFO quickly and efficiently, Marin understands there were those who viewed her with contempt. Names whispered behind her back as she chaired meetings and led the company through mergers and acquisitions, one success following another. She worked hard for her place in the world. Others’ jealousies or opinions are not her problem, and she will not allow them to constrain her. She knows plenty of women whose self-esteem is based on the estimations of others. They choose the clothes that are in fashion, even if they don’t suit their taste. They let their colleagues define the boundaries of their careers. Live their lives according to strangers’ rules. Marin congratulates herself for being above the rest. For standing in a place of her own making, for earning her success and creating her perfect life. –Sejal Badani, Trail of Broken Wings

Fiction Writing Prompt: Write a story about a powerful, self-made woman.

Journaling Prompt: How do you measure success?

Art Prompt: Powerful woman

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience about a powerful woman and how she gained her power.

Photo Credit: Sam Churchill on Flickr

monday workplace

Have you ever considered how two people’s perceptions of a workplace can be entirely different?
While Jane perceives the workplace as open and inclusive, John in the next office feels that he is never heard, and he notices that Fatima, in particular, is not included.

How can the same workplace be perceived so differently?

…The goal for people seeking power is to gain influence, control, social status and prestige. It is natural for such people to demand what they consider to be their rightful place. They will try to gain influence within processes and get resources for themselves. They will feel that they are heard and taken seriously and, therefore, perceive the situation as just. –Science Daily

Fiction Writing Prompt: Write a story involving workplace conflict.

Journaling Prompt: How do you perceive your workplace?

Art Prompt: Workplace

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience how their perception of their workplace may reveal what they are hoping to gain from working there.

Photo Credit: Carsten Kraus on Flickr

Power + Justice

The question of right too often develops itself into the question of might. A man easily persuades himself that he has a right to do what he has the power and the inclination to do; and when his inclination and his opportunities are on the same side, his moral consciousness becomes too frequently blinded, and the question of justice is altogether overlooked. –An Illustrated History of Ireland from AD 400 to 1800 by Mary Frances Cusack

Fiction Writing Prompt: Write a story with a protagonist who believes that might makes right. What happens to change his mind?

Journaling Prompt: Write about a time when power was used unjustly against you. How did you deal with it?

Art Prompt: Power and Justice

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Write about the corruption that can come with power.

Photo Credit: Johnny Grim on Flickr

The Power of Choice

…power is the fundamental ingredient of the human experience. Every action in life, every thought, every choice we make-even down to what we wear and whether we are seated in first class or coach-represents a negotiation of power that we engage in somewhere on the scale of the power that constitutes life. Power expresses itself as the psychic force of which you are most aware: who has it, who doesn’t have it, what type of power you are dealing with, what type you want-and what you have to do to get what you want. –Caroline Myss, Defy Gravity

Fiction Writing Prompt: Add to your character sketch. How aware of his or her personal power is your protagonist? How does he or she exercise it? What choices reflect it?

Journaling Prompt: How do your exercise your personal power? When are you reluctant to exercise it? When does it feel comfortable to use it?

Art Prompt: Personal power

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience about personal power and how to use it effectively to make life better.

Photo Credit: tastygoldfish on Flickr

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Fool witch once, shame on you. Fool witch twice, oozing sores and an eternal rash in private areas. -Linda Wisdom, 50 Ways to Hex Your Lover

Writing Prompt: Write an interesting hex for a witch to use on your protagonist.

Journaling Prompt: What would be the worst hex for you to endure?

Art Prompt: Hex

Photo Credit: John William Waterhouse, shared by deflam on Flickr
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Young Waitress at the Indiana Café


All I’m going to say is this: don’t anger the waitress!
In a new study, researchers at USC, Stanford and the Kellogg School of Management have found that individuals in roles that possess power but lack status have a tendency to engage in activities that demean others. According to the study, “The Destructive Nature of Power without Status,” the combination of some authority and little perceived status can be a toxic combination.

Social hierarchy, the study says, does not on its own generate demeaning tendencies. In other words, the idea that power always corrupts may not be entirely true. Just because someone has power or, alternatively, is in a “low status” role does not mean they will mistreat others. Rather, “power and status interact to produce effects that cannot be fully explained by studying only one or the other basis of hierarchy.”

One way to overcome this dynamic, according to the authors, is to find ways for all individuals, regardless of the status of their roles, to feel respected and valued. The authors write: “…respect assuages negative feelings about their low-status roles and leads them to treat others positively.”

Opportunities for advancement may also help. “If an individual knows he or she may gain a higher status role in the future, or earn a bonus for treating others well, that may help ameliorate their negative feelings and behavior,” Fast said. –Science Daily

Writing Prompt: Write a character sketch about someone who has power but no status. How do they abuse their power?

Journaling Prompt: Have you ever abused power in order to make yourself feel better?

Art Prompt: Demeaning
Nonfiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience about the phenomenon of power without status and how they can respond.

Photo Credit: luigi morante on Flickr