Power Trick

“Power resides where men believe it resides… it’s a trick, a shadow on the wall… and a very small man can cast a very large shadow” 
- Game of Thrones, George R. R. Martin 

An intriguing take on one of the most persistent and powerful desires of men - to possess power, over resources, over other men, over destiny itself.

Most sources of power are formal, either explicit or implicit contracts of authority, with money, rights, ownership or tradition giving them their legitimacy and, in many cases, acceptance.

But while most would be quick to list accurately and exhaustively those that have power over them, what is often unappreciated and unrecognized, is one's own power. Power to choose, to think, to decide, to act, to change.

The Arab Spring, is a case in point. An uprising of unprecedented scale, it was sparked by one man's refusal to accept his powerlessness. The act stirred the long suppressed desire of millions to snatch a bit of power over their lives that was their due. A simple realization that change was possible, was within reach, if only they believed it was.

But what if power is completely invisible? They can't see it, they can't feel it, they don't know it exists. The illusion of freedom persists, yet it is nothing more than an illusion. Wouldn't that be a neat trick?

Note: Opening quote is from the second season of the majestically epic saga that is the Game of Thrones. For those who don't know, Game of Thrones is an HBO show based on George R. R. Martin's fantasy saga, 'A Song of Fire and Ice'. Think of it as a new Lord of the Rings but with far more complex characters, each of them with more than a few shades of grey. 


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