Margaret Thatcher (on power (and women))

“Being powerful is like being a lady. If you have to tell people you are, you aren’t.”

Margaret Thatcher (1925-2013), long before being brought (back) to life and attention in an Oscar-winning 2011 Meryl Streep performance, was a tough-minded politician who became a polarizing figure as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. To her short definition I quickly think of others: being honest, or good in some way at at some thing, being blind to race or not chiefly motivated by money…

(And where do these quotes come from, you probably don’t wonder? In this case, Ms. Thatcher’s witticism — perhaps not words to live by, but awfully clever and yes, powerful — come from the March 11 edition of Sports Illustrated, its so-called “power issue”. I look for inspiration and good words everywhere.)

M.L. King (on love and power and where they meet)


“Power without love is reckless and abusive and love without power is sentimental and anemic. Power at its best is love implementing the demands of justice, and justice at its best is power correcting everything that stands against love.”

Martin Luther King, in Where Do We Go From Here? Chaos or Community.
Read it again. Power and love are positioned as allies, not foes, whose intersections lead toward the justice we all seek. That man had a mighty dream, but not only that.

Joseph Sheppherd (on power & knowledge)

“’Knowledge is power’, [parents] tell their children without pausing to consider how this attitude affects the whole of society….From childhood they are taught to believe that power is the ability to impose one’s will on someone else; however, in the absence of knowing what is important in life, one’s will becomes one’s whim. In reality, power becomes merely the ability to inconvenience someone else…”

Joseph Sheppherd, writer and anthropologist, speaking of Cameroon’s Ntumu tribe and its ways of wisdom, cited in Heather Cardin’s Mind, Heart & Spirit: Educators Speak