The Paradox of Power and Relationships

The thrilling news is that the world runs on relationships. The devastating news is that the world runs on relationships.

I was reminded of this strange paradox this week. I spent two days talking to a friend R, and during our conversations where questions arose of how human connection can fuel changes and bring about a paradigm shift in channelizing one’s perspective, thoughts and goals.

People like my mom, S,S1, C, M, M1,L who played a key role in sparking my life in every arena have left their mark in a tremendous way.

There’s a saying which goes “Some people come into your life as BLESSINGS. Others come into your life as lessons”.

While the subject matter ranges widely, thoughts in my mind was essentially wrestling with versions of the same question: when are our connections life-giving and when do they actually reinforce damaging divides?

I’ve been thinking about this question on a much more personal level lately. My career and personal life is entirely built on the strength of wonderful and often wildly serendipitous relationships. In fact, I haven’t gotten a job the old-fashioned way — cold, with a formal resume — since I first graduated college.

I love the deeply organic way that my personal and professional life has unfolded. Mostly, I’ve tried to pay careful attention to the people I really like being around, those that make me feel smart and challenged and creative, and seek out ways to collaborate with them.

But I remember a time when I was first out of college, trying to make it as a freelance content writer and life’s skills equipper after a brief stint emerging as a student who was passionate about colours that chemicals diffused (Food, water and drugs analysis – Organic Chemistry), when the prospect of building a professional life based on relationships was not only daunting but felt downright discriminatory.

Uncle M tapped my inner potential and showed me a distant horizon and a bridge, that I need to cross, to utilise to the fullest and to the best of my abilities. I went to People pro in Bangalore and had no clue what it was all about when i initially set forth for the journey ahead. I went there with an open mind and i listened to life’s skills trainers from various walks of life. The first lesson that i had learnt was “It’s your attitude that determines your altitude”. I went to People pro to earn my bread and butter, nonetheless, it was a boomerang experience in my life, it was like a diving board till date, to think of the magnanamous impact it had, shaping me into the woman i am today. I can never thank Uncle M enough, for his presence in my life. My heart fills with a great sense of gratitude and reverance.

How the hell, I wondered, was a girl from small town, Rajahmundy supposed to make friends and work along side with people from different walks of life and do things which i never would dream in my wildest of imagination ? (rolling back down the memory lane makes me laugh 😀 😀 😀 ) I  would ride the train home bursting with embarssment at the panelists’ advice, hungry to unleash my talent and my ideas on the world, feeling totally stuck.

I don’t really know how I got from there to here. There must have been little breakthroughs — S, with whom i have worked on a project, always, always said, “when you are in the middle of an ocean facing strong water currents, never look back, over come those currents and move ahead”. This is what he had to say, each time, as i simply wanted to give up when i stumbled against hurdles, another who needed some research assistance that I was more than happy to provide. One thing that has always served me well is that I’m not above “dirty work” — whether that’s serving food at a diner or organizing someone’s address book — if it means getting a foot in the proverbial door.

I’m through the proverbial door these days, even sitting at many proverbial tables. And yet, I haven’t forgotten what those deflated rides home on the subway felt like. The world keeps reminding me.

When I left a workshop this week, I ended up in a conversation with a gentleman —  originally a content developer and life skills equipper. J had been driving these work shops for some weeks and said he loved it, “I’m soaking it up like a sponge,” he said. “I’m learning so much driving these interesting people and just talking to them about how they got to where they are in life.”

When i was probing in my mind, how i ended up at this particular work shop, and I fumbled around, trying to trace back how it all came about. The lines between the dots were, of course, relationships. Many of them from varous walks of life. Among people who, like me, are with an open mind, well intentioned. The kinds of people that J may drive these days, but would never run into otherwise.

My mission to go to the UK was to pursue a degree. Actually come to think of it, i have met some beautiful people in my life, i’d never ever dreamt of, and happened to listen to their life-changing real life stories. 🙂

L, clearly got a beautiful family. Her “strong ties” are thriving. She has gone through tremendous life changing experiences. Never did she express any rage in her testimonies, at least none that I could hear in our conversations together. But I couldn’t help wondering if she sometimes felt like I used to, listening to many life equipping speakers talking about relationship-building as if it were an equal opportunity prospect when I was, at that very moment, experiencing its absence as an abyss.

It’s easy to pretend that networking and building human bonds is an agnostic sport, when in truth, it widens so many of our world’s most dispiriting socio-cultural gaps. Crashing into so many people from different walks of life, sincere thanks to each one of them, reminded me that human bonds are not neutral. We need each other. If only the “we” were less predictable.

6 thoughts on “The Paradox of Power and Relationships

  1. Nice thought…n just to add Neelu there r 2 types of relationship one blood relation n other relation from life experiences. ..Blood relatives Bonding cos of same blood flowing through our vessels ironically speaking we gt diff blood groups though…..wheather you like it or not you got to maintain it…but those relation from experiences are only made when you feel good being with them….n I think they are more stronger….


  2. Life at were is a complex phenomenon , some say is an unfolding joke , others considers it as a dream played out . Nonetheless I view it from the lense of faith , as an opportunity to practice the God nature ; LOVE , thus can only be express in good relationship . I sure have had great and painful feedbacks and returns . However , when I look back I never regrets any relationship , some where blessings others lessons as rightly curled out above . Memories sweet memories , bring down tears , good old days , with friends from all over the world , different colours and races , but one concept called love. Coventry days and friends


    1. The world would have been a boring place if we never had those hair-pin bends, twists n turns, we would never grow, never emerge. Also, about the friends bit, Emma, our bonding as friends is based on love 🙂


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