Dec 26, 2022

Power Walks/Money Talks. Take The Time/To Make Those Rhyme

A Machiavellian exploration of power. No, not really…

By Ed Goldman

Do you take Power Walks before your Power Naps? Are your Power Runs followed by Power Breakfasts?

Do you get together with clients, colleagues or bosses over Power Lunches, Power Meetings, Power Coffees or Power Cocktails?

Edgy Cartoon

Sole Proprietor Tycoon

Do you wear Power Ties and Power Suits to the office? Do you sleep in Power PJs or Power Peignoirs?

How many Power Bars do you consume in the course of a day?

How many Power Bathroom Breaks, Power Sick Days and Power Vacations do you take per day, month and year— respectively, natch?

Then there’s “Power of Court,” which evidently allows one to correct or modify records—though none produced by Kanye West or those featuring a “special guest appearance” by Weird Al Yankovic, Paris Hilton or former SNL dipstick Rob Schneider. (I may have taken the word “records” out of context. So sue me, you powerful law brutes.)

Okay. Why has the word “power” become so ubiquitous when we’re at a point in human history when we arguably have the least of it?

For example, we think because our having some 800,000 cable channels to choose from makes us powerful—failing to note that perhaps one percent of everything that’s “streamed” wouldn’t insult the intelligence of a comatose ferret, even one who, like the musician Sting, wears glasses to signal that he’s being serious (when performing in concerts? No. While touring the Rain Forest? Oh, yes!).

Our being able to select our national leader from a rather limited pool—two septuagenarian white men—really shouldn’t make us feel that we’re in charge of our country. The fact that one of them is a traitor and an admitted liar (but I repeat myself) evidently doesn’t matter to nearly half of us. Or that the other is a plagiarist whose entire career for nearly half a century has been spent running for political office: 36 years as a U.S. Senator, eight years as Vice President, and yeah, two years as POTUS.  

We’re able to choose, among dozens of chain and independent coffee joints across the country or down the block, precisely which overpriced beverage will win our hearts—but we don’t feel powerful enough to boycott the prices, products or owners by buying a jar of Folgers Crystals and snubbing places where glorified soda jerks are lauded as “baristas.” This just confirms we’re only puny earthlings.

At the same time, purchasing a new or used car for more than we paid for our starter homes simply doesn’t denote personal economic power. Nor does sending our kids to an allegedly “prestige” college, in the process incurring enough debt for us, the kids and their progeny to develop a hopeful belief in reincarnation.

So go take a Power Walk today. Walk off those calories you’ve been intaking since Thanksgiving. Head to a bookstore (if you can find one) and pick up a few copies of “The Power of Now” (by Eckhart Tolle). Or “The Power of Discipline: How to Use Self Control and Mental Toughness to Achieve Your Goals” by Daniel Walter). 

How about “Not Done Yet!: How Women Over 50 Regain Their Confidence and Claim Workplace Power” (by Bonnie Marcus)? Then there’s “The Power of Their Ideas: Lessons for America from a Small School in Harlem” (by Deborah Meier).

All might be worthy books. And anytime a book has the word “power” in its title, we’re likely to buy it. And why not? We’re powerless to resist.

Ed Goldman's column appears almost every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. A former daily columnist for the Sacramento Business Journal, as well as monthly columnist for Sacramento Magazine and Comstock’s Business Magazine, he’s the author of five books, two plays and one musical (so far).