What To Do When You Feel Powerless

Girl finds power within herself
Zoe Ra

Today, I find myself struck by those insatiable pangs of powerlessness. You know the ones? The ones which punch you right in your core in the middle of the night, or maybe they catch you unawares, idly staring into your TV screen. For me, the latter proved to be the case.

Indeed, a feeling occurred to me today; it is one I had experienced before but hadn’t truly known, which I didn’t possess the power to articulate. Whether or not that power burns within me now is yet to be established, but, at least for my own sake, I will strive to find the power to express this powerlessness. Emptiness, perhaps.

Terror currently reigns alongside some other questionable characters and I cannot help but to feel small. I feel oh-so-disillusioned by the hatred which fuels the powerful and by the eager inclination of others to be engulfed by it. It swallows up the vulnerable, mutilates them in its toxic gut, spits them back out with no more than a ballot paper and a pen, hovering conveniently above the box promising its victims a remedy for the illness it has so ardently inflicted. It takes suffering and pain of children, families, the grieving, the dead, and it contorts until it has achieved its own perfect form of exploitation.

I stand by and I empathize and I weep and I bring into question everything I thought concrete.

But what can I do? Insignificant, another afflicted youth with no developed understanding of what’s ‘good for us’. As I’ve been told, time and time over, by those older, wiser, I just have to get on with it. See the good where it does exist and accept that I can’t change the world. I suppose to some extent they’re right. They know what they’re talking about because they know the world; they really understand it. I think it’s that that gets me. And it is with this is mind that I gather we are left with just two viable paths to follow.

1: Resign ourselves to it. Accept the ultimate futility of our actions as just small, unimportant individuals.

Do as they say. Tremble and cry until your microcosmic world finds the momentum to spin, until the water flows through the valleys. Your mother, your father, your teacher, your priest, they were all probably right! We are but statistics, votes, that girl I-kind-of-knew-but-didn’t-really-know, and we should get on with it. Create a bubble and live in it; be content and comfortable in having wasted no time, having not fallen back on the way.

What we are then left with is the alternative.

2: Act.

Two fingers up to those who tell me to accept this miserable fate. I won’t settle for oppression, and greed, and hatred characterizing this version of the world, seeping into the air, filling our lungs, asphyxiating us one by one until we find ourselves reduced to the deadened souls of those who govern. Fight and fight hard, at the very least, to know you fought.

Whatever you do, fill that emptiness. Fill it until it oozes with passion, or rage, or even apathy is okay too. I wish I could find contentment, comfort, power in powerlessness. But if you’re like me, please, I implore you, dare to make your voice heard, dare to allow your opinion to count, dare to join the powerful mass of the powerless. TC mark

More From Thought Catalog