The Fear of Power

When I was 13, I got in a fight. I was hit in the back of the head by a hard thrown football, purposely aimed, and blacked out. Awaking from a temporary lapse of self-awareness, my hands were around the throat of the asshole who attacked me. His face purple. I quickly released him and walked away.

It was a tramatic experience for a new teenager. Before that I constantly got into fights, but with little damage to anybody. Normal schoolyard scraps. I liked it. Being aggressive. Defeating my opponent. All the natural things a boy and a man feel. But, after this fight I scared myself. I became completely passive and introverted. Real or perceived, my actions declared myself scared to fight again. I moved to a school new school when given the choice to. When bullies arose there, I did everything not to fight, but still ended up in scraps anyway. In high school I feared I’d be fighting again. It never happened.

But the nerve racking fear of losing control remained. I risk little. Yeaes passed in front of the computer hoping for a miracle of love.

Years later, here I am, post-miracle, worse off. This is where the fear of power got me. The fear of my strengths and my instinct. From hunter to hunted. From lion to lamb. I let years pass hoping instead of doing. Hope is a motivator, not a game plan.

Reconciling over a decade of anxiety with how I must survive alone in this world is not an easy thing. It was always so easy to let the trampling masses just walk over, holding back until a clearing showed itself. But, alone, a man alone, its not possible to live like that. Out there is still as wild and dangerous as it was for our ancestors. Tribal conflict, apathy, oppression. It was, it is, it will be. Only those without any instinct left break to their knees and pray for redemption without a single try at resistance. Thats not a way to live. Its a horrible way to die.

People fear power, most of all their own, and it brings us all closer to losing our natural humanity. The fear of being considered powerful against others put people in their place: weak and compliant. I don’t want that up to me, they say. No more responsibility. No free will. Just plain old self-slavery.

If I could go back and tell that scared child one thing, I would tell him that all he did was what came naturally to a boy under attack. No warning. No mercy. When up against what is ahead, he did what was needed and no further. And that is all can be asked of anyone.

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