"More precious than gold! More addictive than any drug! POWER!" So goes an ad for a movie a few years ago. Why do most people crave power? Why do most relationships devolve into power struggles? Why does it seem that power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely? Why do we so often demean ourselves by misusing what little power we have?
Maybe because our natural state is one of empowerment that we no longer have. Maybe because we are so disempowered, so helpless that we live like ants crawling on the jungle floor while the elephants are stampeding away from the hot lava flows from the erupting volcanoes. The historical, economic, cultural, and political forces are more powerful than we are as individuals. Which one of us can stand up at the beginning of a recession and say backed by power, "We are not having this recession now!" The best we can do is try to see these things coming and insulate ourselves from the worst.
The forces of nature just on this globe−tornadoes, hurricanes, volcanoes, earthquakes, tsunamis, etc.−are also beyond not just the individual but beyond the entire human race's ability to control. And these forces are dwarfed by the forces operable in the solar system, which are dwarfed by galactic forces, which are dwarfed by intergalactic forces. You get the idea. We may have godlike aspirations and dimensions, but we are housed in physically fragile bodies. In order to survive, we must have a very narrow range of life-support conditions of temperature, radiation, pressure, oxygen level, etc., and be very careful.
Ideally, we spend our lives growing, learning, becoming wiser and more loving, becoming richer, deeper, more wonderful human beings. But the material universe doesn't notice. The message from the physical universe that is constantly in the background is one of relentless indifference. No matter how famous, beloved, celebrated, or virtuous, gravity never lets you skate by one time when you fall over a cliff. Electricity never lowers the voltage to a safe level because you are loving, wonderful or wise.
Power! In this world if you don't have it, it is a given that someone else has it over you, and chances are that several agencies will dominate you. Maybe we should ALL have it in conjunction with each other?
Every human being has a natural and legitimate desire for empowerment.