the stripes of power

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It’s interesting to reflect on where power comes from.

Today, I stepped out onto a zebra crossing. Approaching quickly was a car. I hesitated, one foot in the road. The car slowed rapidly. Not heavily, but rapidly. This signal that I had been seen, encouraged me to move forward, out into the road. A ton of metal, rubber and plastic stopped to let a couple of hundred pounds of essentially water and some minerals cross safely.

White lines painted on a road surface in a particular configuration, together with a pole with an orange light on top, had afforded me power over this driver and their car. Had I attempted to cross one hundred yards down the road, the power would have remained with the car driver and I may well have been squished.

Power can be afforded us through a variety of means. A uniform, a job title, knowledge, braid on a hat, our age, a dog on a leash, our gender and, it seems, by the strangest of environmental factors, such as the placing of a few white lines on a road.

Interesting to reflect on the symbols of power in your life perhaps?

 

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