Positive Power: A Peek at the Modern World

“Every time you feel like you’ve finally arrived, there is the accompanying sense of feeling cheated. Because just like yesterday, today you’re still worried. With more problems. There are no perfect solutions, my friend. All of this is sort of a dance. So dance and go easy.”

Destiny Ogedegbe

Ever heard of freedom being an illusion? Or freedom being a form of control? Well, both are almost cliche statements now. The liberal society has remodeled different ways of controlling a large percentage of us. Positive power, glazed with the guise of freedom, has taken over the world by a whim. Now, a sizable number of us have become prisoners and victims of this panopticon.

The opposite of the subject, negative power used to be the way we kept ourselves in check in the past. Prohibition and limitation were methods used to control people’s behaviours in previous disciplinary societies. It is either a “NO, you can’t do that” or “NO, you shouldn’t do that.”

Given the illustration above, positive power comes off as straightforward. It sounds more like this: “You can be anything you want; any type of person you’d like to be because you’re in charge.” However, this realization is paradoxically self-limitation.

Come to think of it, we’re indeed in control. Our lofty aspirations are in dire need of our input. And if we don’t do the needful, we risk the bitter aftermath of missing out on those dreams. That’s the inherent uniqueness of positive power. It tells you “you can”, meanwhile negative power tells you “you shouldn’t or can’t.”

Although subtle, the switch between “shouldn’t” to “can” has a significant tell on what today’s society is like. We’re more in a meritocratic domain where everything is perceived as doable per the control we have over ourselves. It’s a clear shift from the disciplinary society.

Today, all you need to control people is to remind them of all they can be if they make themselves valuable enough. Within minutes, they become fired up and ready to give their all. However after a while, the same folks will begin to whine the moment they fall short with these goals. And this further jars at their self-esteem.

When you build a perception of self-lordship in someone’s mind, you put such at a risk of implosion. The person becomes focused on self, setting wrong standards and exerting their bodies beyond the ordinary. Since the expectations are now so high, they feel the tiniest guilt when their plans don’t pan out. In the end, breeding narcissistic tendencies.

Such persons would see every function as a way to increase their market value. This goes to the extent of seeing others who aren’t like themselves as unserious with life.

Today, narcissism carries a negative connotation with it. People who are drenched in this exhausting push of the modern world might have these narcissistic tendencies sipping into their entirety. Consequently, engulfing them and making them despicable members of society. But in reality, they’re the modern world’s undoing.

Society makes you believe you’re going to improve the biggest obstacles in life by increasing your market value. Frankly so, that’s how the modern-day works. But while it’s good to apply ourselves, there’s more to wholesome living than outright productivity and efficiency. It’s even more preferable if we dodge the accompanying self-absorption and obsession.

Unsure of how to ease up on the chase? Think of the achievement culture as a marathon. Every achievement you make doesn’t in the real sense give a feeling of overall accomplishment. Many times, it only comes with a mild and transient relief. And before you know it, you’re up again devising means to satisfy another desire.

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