Sharing Power: Case Study #1

by | Mar 12, 2003 | Archives

This course began because of synchronicities. Another synchronicity on arecent trip gave me the message to share this first Case Study for “SharingPower”.

The purpose of this course is first to throw more light on controllers, whothey are, what they are doing and how. The second goal is to share apractical, easy-to-use method of spotting controllers and knowing when theylie. Third, and most important, this course shares how to live a free andjoyous life despite the fact that many would drain your positive energywithout giving compensation.

The first eight lessons have focused mainly on how we can spot controllersin action by understanding the difference between force and power. When wesee force applied, we can tell when controllers are taking advantage of us.See

One clue for spotting controllers that we have learned is to look forsimplicity versus complexity. (Power is simple-Force is complex.) See

I was thinking about this yesterday as we returned from Florida to NorthCarolina.

We have learned in this course that Power focuses on the most underlyingproblem, while Force deals with the symptoms.

The thousands of motorcycle riders helped me clarify this thought. Duringour long stay this winter in Florida, Merri and I had a chance to spend timewith one of the most unique people we have come across called Dr. Phil. Heis an M.D., but does not practice medicine as he prefers to teach and loveshelping others learn how to heal. When Dr. Phil came along, they broke themold as he does not look or talk like any other teacher we have ever meteither. We just loved meeting him and were inspired in many ways with outtime spent together.

When he arrived on his Ford Motorcycle (bet you never saw one of thosebefore!), wearing his leathers and a red head kerchief, I was not surprised.Phil marches to the tune of his own drum.

But his helmet was missing? “Phil,” I asked, “Where is your motorcyclehelmet?” I knew Phil followed his own way of life, but wondered how can heavoid being hounded to death by the Florida troopers for not wearing a hardhat?

I was surprised and pleased to learn that Florida has removed the lawrequiring bikers to wear helmets. Bravo, I thought. I dislike laws thatrequire us to do such personal things that are no one else's business, i.e.wear safety gear, put on seat belts, etc.

I know the argument about the cost to society, and I always wear my seatbelt because I think this is wise, but to be forced to wear it has alwayschaffed just a bit. No one has to take care of me if I do something dumb.Plus having so many laws is so complex.

Yet there is more. The first synchronicity came in the form of Daytona BikeWeek. Every spring tens of thousands of motor bikers pour into DaytonaBeach and party all week long. Many from the north then return the Mondayafter. So as Merri and I cruised north on Monday we were accompanied bythousands of Harley riders also flowing north.

I watched this and counted helmets. There were riders of all types on theirmotorcycles, men women, young and old. There were almost no helmets at all.

This suggested that the law requiring helmets had been passed by those whodid not ride bikes. It appears that when given a choice, bikers who havenow spent considerable time riding with helmets and have helmets, stillchoose not to wear them when they ride, unless they are forced.

“So why,” I asked, “Did those who did not ride pass a law that imposedsomething on bikers against their will?”

The answer of course was that there is an enormous social cost providingmedical attention to bikers with head injuries. I thought long and hardabout that as bikers continued to ride by.

Understanding the difference between Power and Force really helped me arriveat some conclusions. Motorcycle helmet laws treat symptoms, not realunderlying problems. Perhaps the root problem is poor driving. Even more,perhaps the problem is providing health care to those who choose todangerous things and choose not to afford it.

The real roots of this problem are:

#1: There is inherent danger riding a motorcycle, especially at high speedsand especially along with cars and other much larger objects.#2: Many people like to do dangerous things.#3: Health services are very expensive.#4: There is an attitude that all should be entitled to health services,whether they can afford to pay for them or not.

During this course we have looked at opposite positive and negative humanattitudes and have seen that one positive human attitude is education andthe opposite is persuasion.

We have seen that power flows and attracts naturally and does not createresistance. Force creates resistance. The more it is applied, the moreresistance it creates, thus becoming increasingly ineffective.

Certainly making everyone wear a helmet on a motorcycle all the time iscomplex. Someone has to manufacture the darn things. The bikers have tolumber around with these bulky uncomfortable objects and have an addedcontinual security problem of keeping the helmets from being swiped.

Finally, we have to divert the time of our police watching and stoppingriders for non- compliance. This might cost more than the medical services!These police could be providing other more valuable services such asslowing down speeding cars, providing inland security, helping people indistress, etc.

Perhaps if power were applied to the same problem (the risk in motorcycleriding), several things would happen.

#1: Some people would choose not to ride motorcycles.#2: Car drivers would be more careful.#3: Bikers would get insurance to cover any head injuries they incur (orlife insurance to pay for their burial).

Perhaps if we removed the ability for those who ride bikes without adequateinsurance to obtain medical services that cost society, the following wouldhappen.

#1: Some people would choose not to ride motorcycles.#2: Motorcycle drivers would be more careful.#3: Bikers would get insurance to cover any head injuries they incur (orlife insurance to pay for their burial).#4: Some bikers would choose to wear helmets.

This case study is not meant to suggest that I know what the correctsolution. Future lessons will show how to come up with more powerful andless forceful solutions. But here, the only point is that we can seecontrollers have been at work.

The second synchronicity was that as we watched bike riders head north wealso were able to see the U.S. Armed Forces flow south.

We watched a never-ending military convoy come down I-95 towardsJacksonville which I assume were headed to the Mayport and on to the MiddleEast. There were hundreds of huge tankers and Humvees, huge carries of somesort (all painted in the desert colors) and thousands of soldiers. Ourhearts went out to these men and women.

My thoughts also drifted to the complexity of moving hundreds of thousands,of conducting a war and trying to get the world to agree to this. And ofcourse the problems a Christian Western nation will have administering aMiddle Eastern Moslem nation.

I also reflected on the financial implications of the added spending, thebillions that our nation does not have and the global economic consequenceswhen this causes the U.S. dollar to fall.

Most of all, we thought of the lives that will be lost.

“This is not simple,” I thought. This helped me understand how to use thisthought process we have been learning. But this lesson was reinforcedbecause as the soldiers moved south, thousands of motorcycles were headednorth!

Nor will killing lots of Moslems resolve the underlying problem that has ledto this conflict in the first place.

Again this case study is not meant to suggest solutions but to show us howwe can now (using what we have learned in Lesson #1-8) to spot whencontrollers are at work. The goal here is to show you how we can alreadyapply the knowledge we have learned.

So these synchronicities ..a doctor who teaches and rides motorbikes, athousand bike riders without helmets and thousands of soldiers with helmetsshow us places where controllers have been using force.

Such analytical problem-solving ability is powerful. The understanding wegain can be used to enhance our personal thinking about health, wealth andmuch, much more. We may not be able to change what the controllers aredoing, but we can begin to predict what the results of their force will be.

Later the lessons of “Sharing Power” will help us come up with powerfulsolutions, so we can better act.

Until then, may all the power be with you!