The Definition of Power. This week’s Young Reporter article

Our idea of power has changed through the years. The ancient and outdated ideas of male dominant power that ruled a major part of history, is evolving into the power of equality, the power to make our voices heard. Now more than ever are we not confined to the limits of our power because there are no limits, or at least there shouldn’t be…

Power is defined in several different ways: physical strength, the ability to do something, and the ability to influence the behaviour of others, but how can one word be defined in four ways? Power has a different meaning to everyone. People love to have power, but others just hate people in positions of power, yet power doesn’t just stop at a politician, or the Queen. Power is so much more than having fame, money and followers.

The power of one’s voice is perhaps the most important form of power because, if we don’t have opinions, how can we change the faults of the world we live in. It is unimaginable for a woman like myself to think of previous generations of women who were unable to speak their minds, who were unable to do what made them happy, yet here I am, writing in the newspaper, doing what I love and speaking my mind. Take the suffragettes, voicing their opinion only 100 years ago getting physically tortured and punished for believing in the rights of all women. This toxic idea of male power has evolved to the point where we understand that it’s wrong for men and women to have unequal amounts of power. However, despite this modern-day epiphany, it seems as if this hasn’t reflected onto our lives, but it’s up to us to claim the power we deserve, to close the gender gap.

The primary reason why people are neglected the power they deserve is the pure fact that previous generations have abused that power and, thus, the idea of that being the norm has trickled down to our society. The Divine Right of Kings explores the idea that the monarchy rules on the basis of God choosing the rightful King on no other reason, but the fact they were born to rule. Such people that are born into positions of power, historically, are participants in the abuse of it. The fact is that no one is born with the same amount of power. Prince George, for example, has much more power than the average person just because his parents are heirs to the throne, yet he is six years old. Will power ever be shared equally, or will it always be given out unjustly at birth?

Power should neither be abused, nor unequally given out. Most of society’s cruellest problems are caused by a lack of focused power; think Brexit, and the many, many wars mankind have had. All these catastrophes have been caused by conflicts of power. But power isn’t just on a large, national scale, it should come from within, from a small, deeper entity. Everyone should feel like they have power, whether it’s doing what you love, being able to voice your opinion, or changing the world, empowerment for the individual is always going to be unique.

Power is, and will always be a unique force that will remain with us until the end of time. With no power, there is no civilisation, yet with too much there is no freedom. Philosopher Voltaire said, “With great power, comes great responsibility”, and its true; power can a very meaningful force.

Power is a complicated subject to explore, and to find the definition for, due to its personal and unpredictable nature. Historically, power has been one of the many things that has carried civilisations that lived thousands of years ago. From the Romans, to the Egyptians, to even now, power will always be there, as we develop as humans. So, what is the definition of power, evolution.

Article written by Young Reporter Sophie Read.
First appeared in Grimsby Telegraph 8th October 2019