We’re not all in power, by definition.
Pouring the rest of my soup into a Tupperware container, my girlfriend-at-the-time asked me to stop.
“That won’t fit”, she said.
“Obviously it will”, I replied, pointing to the remainder of the pot.
And it did, with a millimetre to spare.
“Oh, you’re one of those people”
Only then, in my mid twenties, did I learn that other people couldn’t eyeball volume so well. At first I felt happy about my new-found powers. Then I realised I didn’t have anything new, other people simply had less than I wanted.
We know intellectually that power is relative, but I never clearly feel that in the moment. When I exercised and gained muscle, I didn’t feel like I rejoiced in a world which had - relatively speaking - lost leg-muscle. But then again I don’t see the functional difference. If everyone gains muscle power, we would become weaker by comparison, and what could be more practical than seeing the world in terms of relative values? If everyone in the world doubled their bank accounts and earnings, nothing would change.
But then the opposite approach doesn’t make any sense. If I lose muscle, the world does not need to celebrate that they - relatively speaking - have become stronger.
I hear we should all compete with whatever we were yesterday, and compare ourselves only to ourselves. Besides the fact that this is a young person’s game, this solves none of the problem here. We certainly can focus (while young) on being better than yesterday, but any celebration of power still comes from putting distance between ourselves and weakness.
Maybe the Zen school of thought has it right, and we should just focus on whatever happens, without care for comparison or celebration.