good letters

Hope that the future can be better.
Work for justice.
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The current world socio-economic system is a power-over system. That is the tune that is playing, and everyone is dancing to it. I want to change the tune.

As long as somebody is in power, somebody else is powerless. And it is exactly that powerlessness that fuels the fight against the abuses of power. We can't stop the fighting until we give up our power. But without power, how do we stop the fighting?

I'm old enough to have had a few jobs. In one of those jobs I was stuck trying to manage a guy who was more bull-headed than me. For various reasons I couldn't fire him. And he knew that. And he refused to do anything that I asked or told him to do. I was stuck, and almost lost my job over my inability to get him to change.

Instead of firing me right off, my boss brought in a board member of our company to evaluate me on why I was ineffective. He immediately recognized my problem, and he had a solution. In a situation where I had no real power, I had influence.

Instead of pushing the hard-head away, my new mwntor recommended that I bring him in closer. We had lunch. We got to know each other. I found out about the pressure he was under. He found out what pressure I was under. We came to understand each other. He didn't want official responsibility, so I made him the unofficial assistant manager. We has regular leadership team meetings, just he and I. He got to be the hero for both improving and implementing my crazy ideas. And I got to keep my job, because along the way he had really joined the team and changed his behavior.

I learned then that there was another way to influence someone, other than exerting power over them. My intentions genuinely were for the good, so I was able to bring him in and empower him to solve my problem for me. I didn't have to force him to change. I changed his environment and allowed him to change.

This same process can work for nations. It is slow, but the results are more sure.

We have to set aside our own agenda, meet with the outsiders, and form a new shared agenda. We have to give up on power, if we are ever going to accomplish the peace that we want.

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