Power, Oppression & the Identity Revolution

By Courtney Mills, CHASM Editor

So much has been happening in our world lately, and by lately I mean all of 2020. Say what you want about this year, but at the very least it’s been a truth-laden mirror held up to the perhaps idealistic perception of the society we live in. From police brutality to COVID Karens to toilet paper hoarders (remember them?) to flatout racists, anyone can see that we are being forced to deal with some ugly truths hiding inside of humanity’s heart.

As I’ve been listening and learning and pondering it all, it gave me a wild thought: what if we all knew who we were?

Let me explain.

When we don’t know who we are, we are in a constant state of self-doubt, and therefore are riddled with insecurity (speaking from personal experience here). And when we feel insecure, we have this coping mechanism engrained so deeply within us that forces us to overcompensate. And more often than not, we do this through the obsessive need to gain power.

We strive for power. We thirst for it. Once we get a hit, we can’t settle for less. We become addicts to the thing that will numb our feelings of being less than enough.

And what’s the quickest way to achieve a status of power? Of course it’s not by hard work and gaining responsibility and influence over time, that would make too much sense. 

The quickest way to gain power is to oppress others. 

Example: I feel bad about myself. But if I make you feel even worse, then at least I feel better than you. And now, I have power over you.

This leads us back to my apparently revolutionary thought: what if we knew who we were?

Maybe if we knew that we are valued just as we are, we wouldn’t need to devalue others to feel a sense of worth.

Maybe if we knew that we are already accepted, we wouldn’t be so quick to reject others to give ourselves an artificial sense of belonging. 

Maybe if we were secure in the fact that we are loved, we wouldn’t have to hate others to muffle our own fear of not being enough.

What if we knew that we were enough. And if we’re enough, everyone around is subsequently enough. 

We are all enough.  We all have value. We all have worth. Believe it for yourself. Believe it for those you know and those you don’t, those with whom you identify and those with whom you don’t. 

Let’s start a revolution from the inside out.

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