In Others’ Words: The Power of Doing Good

Beth Vogt In Others' Words, power, Quotes 9 Comments


Power is often thought of as the ability to act or to do something. Adjust that idea a bit, and power becomes the ability to make others do what you want them to do.

Power causes change … both good and bad.

Power influences other … for both benevolent and evil people’s purposes.

And, let’s be honest here: people want power. Even in our little corner of the world, we all have things we want to do. (Check out that first definition of power again.) And some of us, most likely all of us, have some ability to make others do what we want them to do.

Here comes the what if.

What if we adopted the definition of power found in today’s quote?

“Power is the ability to do good things for others.”

Now that perspective on power will turn your world, my world … everyone’s world … upside down. And you know what? We all have that power at our very fingertips today. Right now. We don’t have to learn how to do good for others. Ever heard of the Golden Rule? “Do to others what you would have them do to you.” (Matthew 7:12c NIV)

Think of how you would like someone to be good to you — and then stop thinking about yourself and go do that good thing to someone else. Simple, yes? And powerful.

In Your Words: When has someone displayed the power of doing good to you? How can you live out the power of the doing good today?

The Power of Doing Good #quotes #perspective Click To Tweet Power is the ability to do good things for others. #quotes #dogood Click To Tweet

Comments 9

  1. Interesting question, too ill to address.

    All I can think is Gandalf:

    “Don’t tempt me Frodo. Understand that I would use this Ring from a desire to do good. But through me… it would wield a power too great and terrible to imagine.”

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      I love the Lord of the Rings movies, Andrew. And yes they so clearly convey the struggle of power — the sway of good vs. evil, and which will win. We all have to choose how to wield our individual power. For good or evil … for our own benefit, or for the benefit of others. (And yes, “others” include stray dogs who need safe homes.)

  2. You personally know that I’ve received many kindnesses and as possible, I love to listen and pass those on. In my transition to spend nearly 6 months a year 900 miles south of my usual MN home, I’ve been blessed by having a friend nearby who has been my perfect shoehorn into velvet slippers–familiarizing me with this quaint Mayberry-like town, and introducing her to her high-quality friends and connections which instantly became mine. When my older son visited to check things out, he was also very impressed. Kindness goes a long ways and only gets better when passed on.

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  3. Dear Beth, I love this definition of power and have shared your post on Twitter.

    The recent goodness given to me that stands out is when I shared a difficult situation with my closest friends and they not only promised to pray, they spoke love, hope, and life to me. They could have pulled the Pharisee card, but they chose kindness.

    By the way, I love the novella about the writers. I’m curious to know what happens next.

    Blessings ~ Wendy Mac

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      I love how our friendship started online — and appreciate how you have continued to show kindness to me with your encouraging words, such as those shared here today. You are a powerful force for goodness, my friend. 🙂

  4. A message with punch. I like it so much, Beth. For several years now, after having seen so many terrible headlines of hatred in the news, I’ve adopted “Choose Kindness” as one of my mantras. I sometimes use #choosekindness when on social media. Because what if we all chose kindness instead of hatred? Like you said, everyone’s world would be turned upside down. Thanks for sharing this unique perspective on power. After having just finished Saving Amelie by Cathy Gohlke, which features eugenics, it’s wonderful to hear that true power is doing good for someone. The evil dudes in that book should have taken note!


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      You know my One Word for 2018 is kindness, right? I, too, am weary of the anger an hatred permeating social media and news these days. I want to use my “power” — the choices I make — to do good to others.

      1. Beth, yes, your One Word of kindness is such a wonderful one, and I’m so excited for you with all you’ll be learning about it this year. The more I’ve been thinking about the power to do good (thank you for inspiring all that thinking!), the more I realize that my One Word of grace comes into play here too. Grace is unmerited favor. I think it takes a conscious effort to bestow unmerited favor in the form of using our power to do good to each other in the midst of all that hate. And it’s extra cool how different folks’ One Words can work together, and that our journeys cross and intertwine at times for each of us to grow well along the way. Thanks for being an integral and uplifting part of my journey this week!

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