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 Part 12 – Forging ahead. . . fear and power

The elements involved in the use of power, as Mr. Im laid them out in Part 11 (the previous entry for the readers of this presentation) rocked Sam quite unexpectedly. He caught himself pondering his relationship with his wife, Sherry. He wondered how she would describe him in terms of power. Was there anything about Sam that was causing fear in her, or that perhaps could cause fear in her? He hoped not. But, he was beginning to realize that this fear issue was both more nuanced and much deeper than he had ever imagined up until now. And, he was suspicious that it would increase as Mr. Im’s material continued arriving. As for Sherry, Sam wanted to know if fear was present in her mind. At the same time, Sam knew he would be very embarrassed if Sherry were fearful to any degree, and certainly fearful of him.

As for his relationship with Jac, his co-worker in “the firm”, as they referred to it (only between the two of them, for obvious reasons) Sam didn’t give much thought. Sam was quite convinced that Jac would agree with Sam that the two of them treated each others, and thought of each other, as equals; there would be little more to say about it.

His mind returned to Sherry. Could Sam’s inner vacillating scale of values be so strong that it played a role in how he treated Sherry? Could the same thing be happening in her mind as well? It did make sense when he read Mr. Im’s description. He needed to work with that concept quite a bit. He might vacillate much more than he had ever consciously considered.

It had only been three days ago that Sam had read the previous section. Then, Mr. Im’s next installment arrived! On the first page was a sticky note: “I hope all this is giving you feed for thought, Sam. Are you beginning to investigate your fear/s differently? I hope so. This document will help your ongoing investigation.”

With that brief word from Mr. Im, Sam began reading.

 Element No. 5: Gaining power by changing the other person’s value system

One way to gain power over another person is to insert into their value system a desire for something over which you have control.   This is not a new or novel procedure; it is happening all over the world. It is happening in our time in a consumer driven societies and cultures. Once the other person, or group of people, develops a desire for what you are making available, you will have a certain level of control in their lives. Let me put that in personal terms. If someone wants to control me to some degree, they can do so by creating in me a “like” or a desire for a particular item or behavior. If they can elevate the value of that item/behavior in my value system, they will have control over all of my lesser valued items. I will be prepared to surrender the lesser valued items to “buy” or in some other way, obtain what will satisfy the higher valued needs.

Allow me to turn to an example to illustrate this element # 5. On one hand, since I do not smoke nor use tobacco in any other form, I am not under the power of those who control my access to tobacco. They can not force me to do anything by threatening to withhold from me their tobacco product. But, let’s say that they want to control me, or want to control some of my disposable income. In such a case as this, how can they gain control over me?

Their first step is to somehow create in me the desire to have tobacco in some form (preferably the form in which they marked the tobacco). This is where marketing enters the scenario. Once the desire to use tobacco is implanted in me and becomes part of my value system, the tobacco vendors will have power over me by either granting me access to the tobacco or restricting my access to the tobacco. They will have power over any item in my value system that I value less than I value the tobacco, the new substance they introduced (in whatever form it happened to be). The point is that power can be gained by creating new felt needs in those over whom you want to exercise power.

The illustration just used is not complicated; but it does need to be enlarged just a little. The example as presented, has been simplified by excluding a need I may have to obtain tobacco for another person. In that case, I have put myself under the power of the other person, not the tobacco vendor. To extend the illustration to cover this scenario doesn’t change the principle being illustrated. It does, however, demonstrate the danger of over simplifying what is involved in the exercise of power.

You might be saying, “All of this appears to be basic Marketing 101”. You are correct. But, notice the corollary – Marketing is an example of how the exercise of power has infiltrated the consumeristic society. (Please note that the exercise of power preceded the existence of consumerism) In any case, it is not a compliment to our society to point out the link between consumerism and the exercise of power!

Permit me to point out that it is our call as to the place that various items occupy in our value system. It is our decision. Furthermore, whatever is in our value system is an open door to whomever or Whomever can satisfy that need.

So, what is fear? It is the psychological/spiritual/mental state of being, or potentially being, deprived of something (a value system item) that we think we need. The greater the sense of need, the greater the fear when we are threatened with the need not being satisfied.



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