Is power a dirty word?

I am privileged to be in attendance at the Brickner Seminar where there is some phenomenal teaching, learning, and conversation taking place.  Last night there was a great session from Jonathon Lange from the IAF who presented a brief overview of the organizing work that he does with congregations.  The presentation started with the group attempting to define power in as short a definition as possible.  We concluded, power is the ability to act.  This is closely related to the Spanish word, poder, as in si se puede.

Power though, is now a dirty word.  It seems we associate power with dominant power like those totalitarian regimes that ruled Europe in the mid-20th century.  Power does not have to be this.  We all need to claim power back.  We have tremendous potential to make change when we do this.  There is a lot more to be said here and I have a lot more thinking to do.

What do you think about the word power?  What does it connote for you?

About rabbisteinman

I am a rabbi living in North America. I was ordained from HUC-JIR. This is my blog.
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