"I tell my students, ‘When you get these jobs that you have been so brilliantly trained for, just remember that your real job is that if you are free, you need to free somebody else. If you have some power, then your job is to empower somebody else. This is not just a grab-bag candy game."
Toni Morrison (via medievalpoc)
"Why do we abuse power? I think it would be dangerous to oversimplify the answer, but we have some hints.
We do not understand power or appreciate its purpose.
Power is given to any of us for the purpose of service. We are entrusted with it, but it is not ours. It is a stewardship, but we grow possessive of it.
That is when we get into a danger zone. What we think we own, but suspect we do not, we grow to like too much and we start to defend it at all costs.
We divide the world into friends and enemies of our protected power and quest for more power. Our addiction to power, like any other addiction, causes us to act irrationally and even brutally.
We cannot handle power unless we work to maintain the attitude of a servant who is merely a steward of power that is not our own.
It can happen any time, to any people, anywhere that abuse of power becomes institutionalized, justified, and memorialized. Even if it grows out of a good cause or a noble endeavor, we must handle power as the powder keg of potential abuse that it is.
Power exists to serve."
"But a common thread ties together the most horrific perpetrators of violence: they kill themselves. Violence kills the image of God in us. It’s a cry of desperation, a weak and cowardly cry of a person suffocated by hopelessness. Violence goes against everything we are created for - to love and be loved - so it inevitably ends in misery and suicide, either literal or metaphorical."