"The lies we want to believe tell us something about ourselves."
-- Eula Biss, Having and Being Had

Sunday, September 20, 2020

Mastering Our Power

     "Mastering others is strength," wrote Lao Tzu, "mastering yourself is true power." 

     I just saw an article by someone who was mastering the power in himself. He wrote that for most of his life he had never voted in any elections. He felt that politics was dirty. Political people were often angry and unpleasant to be around. He didn't want any part of them. He also figured that one vote has no impact. One vote out of tens of millions? It's insignificant.

     He had heard all the arguments about how it was his civic duty, how if he didn't vote he had no right to complain, how one vote really can make a difference. None of those arguments moved him.

     So what finally changed his mind? He realized that politics doesn't affect him very much, but they do affect many other people he knows -- people with disabilities or chronic illnesses, people fleeing domestic violence, people suffering from racism, genderism, ageism. So he asked himself: How can I say I support these people if I can't take a few minutes to vote? It costs me almost nothing, but it means a great deal to many of my neighbors, including those who have the misfortune to be in the way of a wildfire, hurricane or pandemic.

     It's the power of the vote. And maybe because we all feel so powerless these days, this week Baby Boomers are talking about power. 

     Laurie Stone of Musings, Rants & Scribbles asks us to picture a female brought up without any gender conditioning, a female who does what she wants whenever she wants. Picture a dog named Libby. Then you can picture all the things Laurie admires about her Yorkie's chutzpah in An Untamed Unfettered Female.

Libby does her thing
Libby does her thing
     Carol Cassara at A Healing Spirit addresses another aspect of empowerment. We have created and directed our lives, she says. We're the make-it-happen generation. So it's no surprise that some of us have trouble sitting around, doing nothing, and letting things happen of their own accord.  She offers a simple exercise to discover The (Sometimes Painful) Gift of Sitting with a Blank Canvas.

     Meanwhile consumer journalist Rita R. Robison provides information that will give us power in the marketplace. In Price Gouging Persists on Amazon she reports on an analysis showing that some items on Amazon were up to 14 times more expensive than identical products sold at other retailers.

     (I second Rita's report. I was on Amazon looking for health and cleaning supplies. A bottle of simple rubbing alcohol was priced at $10. That seemed like a lot to me. So I checked out Walmart.com. Sure enough, there was a same-size bottle for $3.92 -- for a two-pack! So I continued my shopping on the Walmart site.) 

     Then we have Rebecca Olkowski with BabyBoomster.com who is Remembering Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. The justice, who died on Friday at age 87, spent her life fighting for equal rights and the empowerment of women everywhere.

     For her part, Meryl Baer of Beach Boomer Bulletin focuses on overcoming discrimination and the relentless push for change in Notorious RBG and the Women Who Persevere.

     Finally, as a postscript, you might want to check out Kathy Gottberg's vlog Today Is a Good Day to Live. She reminds us that regardless of our circumstances, we each have the power to shift our mindset and create days filled with things that matter to us. 


ApacheDug said...

A nice endorsement of these other sites topics Tom; the Amazon one grabbed my attention right away, as more & more I am getting nervous dealing with them. Besides the price gouging still going on, I recently read of “review mills” where items are stocked with literally thousands of 5 star reviews (bought by the seller, of course). I learned of this very recently with a mattress topper I got and had to return. It had 2,000 5 star reviews—and a dozen that said the product was junk and they couldn’t understand why thousands of others had given the product 5 stars.

BTW, when I added a comment that the product was counterfeit & I found the genuine item on Overstock.com for a lesser price, Amazon informed me my comment would be deleted.

Barb said...

I tend to rely on Amazon too much and have been bad at price comparisons but am getting better. The yarn I need was twice as much in Amazon and like you I am ordering more and more from the mart and even considering they annual fee.

Arkansas Patti said...

I do rely on Amazon but only when I can't find what I need anywhere else. Even then I check the different Amazon sellers and always check the bad reviews.

Laurie Stone said...

I confess, I'm an Amazon junkie. Use it for everything. I thought their prices were good. Will have to comparison shop more.

Kathy @ SMART Living 365.com said...

Hi Tom! I always check your boomer roundups to see what you, and some of my fellow bloggers are thinking and writing about. I LOVE the diversity of ideas (and you are great at tying us all together!) I agree that Amazon and their sellers are guilty of overcharging so it is always good to double check before buying and I also love the tributes to RBG and her incredible contribution to our country and particularly women. Thanks for another great roundup. ~Kathy

gigi-hawaii said...

Yes, I agree with the last paragraph. We can change our mindset and make days filled with things that matter to us.

Rebecca Olkowski said...

What a thoughtful roundup. Thanks, Tom.

DavidH said...

One thing about Amazon is the free shipping. I can buy an item for a few dollars and get free shipping. I was looking to buy car polish for $20.00 at Amazon. The informational website was $20.00 plus $30.00 for shipping. Returns are also free at Amazon. It has by far the best deal for me.

DavidH said...

I just went to Walmart.com. Shorts I just bought at Amazon are $5.00 more. Free shipping only on $35.00 orders minimum. I gave up on Walmart years ago.

Tom said...

David -- I guess all the more reason to shop around.

Linda Myers said...

I am buying lots of stuff for our new downstairs apartment. I shop at Amazon, Wayfair, Overstock and Lowe's. There's less of an advantage at Amazon now that shipping, though free, is not as fast as it was.

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Kay said...

I agree about Amazon. I used to always think you'd get the best price there, but not anymore. Sigh...