The Power Riddle

by Devina Gunawan

Power resides where men believe it resides.

Then it all comes down to faith, doesn’t it? It all comes down to what we believe, and whom we have faith in.

I am sure a lot of you who watch Game of Thrones know this already. It isn’t just a random riddle I throw your way just to confuse you. I simply do not have time for that.

But it is fascinating, to think about this and reflect. Power is the ability to influence and affect others.

Power isn’t tangible. It isn’t what we have, but what others believe we have.

Power is to have influence, and to be a person of power, we need a lot of control. Not just over ourselves, but over a lot of people.

And how does that work? We need people to put their faiths in us. We need people to believe that we have power, and that we are in charge.

But what happens when people do not believe?

What happens when people do not see us the way we want them to?

What happens to power then? Who has it?

In a room full of people, who could have the power to have the rest listen to him?

In a scenario where there is a group of men and one of them is assumed to have a gun, who do you think has the power?

The man who might or might not have a gun. Perhaps he does not have one, but if he says, “I have a gun with me” convincingly, then eventually the others will think that he has the ability to hurt or kill someone or more people. Thus, he has power.

If nobody believes him, however, then he remains powerless.

It all comes down to what others think and see. What they believe.

I remember an episode from That’s So Raven, in which Raven’s dad Victor lost his job as a chef due to Raven’s behavior at his workplace restaurant. Later on, Raven tried to get him his job back later on by posing as a superstar Liz Anya (Eddie was in charge of choosing a name when a plate of lasagna passed by).

What happened was that the manager of the restaurant believed that Raven was truly a superstar, and he let her do whatever she wanted at the restaurant. He even agreed to her request to have Victor back as the chef because he believed that she had the power to damage the restaurant’s reputation.

If he had not believed in Raven’s fake identity, he would not have let Raven go around trashing his restaurant.

That belief, the faith is effective. Raven did not need the real fame and riches to have power, she simply needed the manager to think she was who she said she was.

So where is power?

It’s in wherever you think it is. No one truly has power over you unless you believe that he or she does. You are the one who gives someone a control over you, because it’s up to whether you want to put faith in it or not.

A tricky thing, isn’t it?

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