Dangerous Compassions

how Ming does power

how Ming does power

“I respect you–I respect your process.  I respect your disabilities.  Yes, I respect your needs.  I respect how you do power,” I said to Ming.  He was packing us up so we could return home after a weekend at the Oregon coast.

“Wow, yes.  I love how you do power,” I said, marveling.  I thought of Ming’s deep respect and decided to write about how Ming does power.


What helps you feel safe?  I’m sorry you’re learning in culture some fucked up things.

What is power?  Do you feel safe when you have power over other people?  There’s the whole idea that they cannot crush you, if you crush them first.  Domination is ugly.  No one is really safe that way.  Violence is a shaky life.  Please don’t choose that.

This is how Ming does power.

  • fairly
  • cautiously
  • respectfully
  • not treading on toes
  • gently
  • with a lot of consideration
  • imagining multiple perspectives
  • considering history
  • erring on the side of generosity

I will try to think of some good examples.

questions go two ways

“How do you do power?” Ming asked.

I thought for a moment.

“I think I do power subversively.  In weird ways that don’t always work so well,” I said.

I used to think I was worthless, and I tried to get meaning by allying myself with white men who were older than me who I thought were very smart.  Now I know that I’m very smart, I have worth, and white men who are older than me can be fine people but are not the demographic that works best for me in relationship.


I love the power I carry inside myself, but only when I use it internally or for the good of the world.  Trying to better my position always feels like I’m tearing someone else down to build myself up.  And that’s not what I’m on earth to do.

Here’s how I want to do power.

  • with humor
  • with consideration for all
  • mostly internally
  • with kindness
  • curiously
  • lightly
  • creatively
  • like an experiment
  • pulling others in who want to be there
  • realistically
  • slow paced

By Laura-Marie

Good at listening to the noise until it makes sense.

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