Sharing Lessons on Power

In August 2018 I am working with a wonderful group of young leaders from Belarus through WorldChicago. For over two weeks we are meeting with very talented people in various sectors on communications, fundraising, volunteerism, advocacy, research and organizing.

Most importantly we are sharing with them lessons around building power. They are meeting with different organizing groups, reading Saul Alinsky’s “Rules for Radicals” and learning about more tools to build their civil society. These young leaders are talented and committed. I wish them well. 

In hopes of inspiring the Belarusians, I shared with them this quote:

“Power, properly understood, is the ability to achieve purpose. It is the strength required to bring about social, political, or economic changes. In this sense power is not only desirable but necessary in order to implement the demands of love and justice.

One of the greatest problems of history is that the concepts of love and power are usually contrasted as polar opposites. Love is identified with a resignation of power and power with a denial of love.

What is needed is a realization that power without love is reckless and abusive and that love without power is sentimental and anemic. Power at its best is love implementing the demands of justice.

Justice at its best is power correcting everything that stands against love.”

– Martin Luther King Jr.