Power is the capacity generated by our relationships.

To live in a quantum world, to weave here and there with ease and grace, we need to change what we do. We need fewer descriptions of tasks and instead learn how to facilitate process. We need to become savvy about how to foster relationships, how to nurture growth and development. All of us need to become better at listening, conversing, respecting one another’s uniqueness, because these are essential for strong relationships…Power is the capacity generated by our relationships, so we need to be attending to the quality of those relationships. We would do well to ponder the realization that love is the most potent source of power.- Margaret Wheatley, Leadership and the New Science: Discovering Order in a Chaotic World

Power is the capacity generated by our relationships.  I have been mulling over this for the past few days.  When we think about ‘getting things done,’ it’s easy to become very task oriented.  But when it comes to the most meaningful parts of our lives, when we seek power that is deep, real, and impactful, we need to think differently. Before anything gets done, relationships must be tended to.

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Orange Tree at Congregation Beth Shalom

Rabbi Shalom Bochner of Congregation Beth Shalom and I spent Wednesday afternoon together, giving one another tours of our congregations, getting to know one another and our congregations.  He wanted to know more about Unitarian Universalism, so I told him my usual lines- “we are kicked out Protestants who now live on the border between liberal Protestantism, Liberal Judaism, Liberal Catholicism, Secularism, and Humanism.  We are a people who live on the border.” And borders are all about relationships–borders are literally the place of connection.

And that place of connection, where relationship happens, is a powerful place.

Where in your life do you want more power?  And how could tending to the quality of your relationships help build power?

I look forward to worshiping with you all this Sunday:  Right Relationship–Unitarian Universalists often invoke this phrase of “right relationship.” What does it mean exactly and how do we live in right relationship to ourselves, one another, and the world? Worship Leaders: Rev. Darcy and Sharon Arpoika


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