There are many thoughts and ideas about power - what it takes to get power, to hold power and to stay in power. There are also thoughts and ideas about empowerment but these seem to run a close second to the beliefs about power.

Some might argue they are the same thing, or that they are so closely related as to negate discussion. But there is a difference. It is important that you know this before going in search of one, perhaps at the expense of the other.

The difference between the two is that power is largely external and comes from without, while empowerment is internal and comes from within. You have only to look at the difference between powerful people and those who are empowered to know the importance of recognizing the two.

* Powerful people have status, position, big money, big cars, big houses; the world power known as the nuclear power have bigger armies and more bombs. All of these are external. The problem with this is that these external things may be temporary and can be lost.

* Empowered people on the other hand, have strength of character, self-awareness, moral fortitude, a keen sense of right and wrong, discipline, knowledge of who they are and where they are going. All of this is internal and is lasting. It can't be taken away or lost.

Empowerment is true to the one who is empowered. It is what you are left with when you are standing naked in front of God. It is not measured in terms of what you have but rather who you are. It is not what you have IN life, but what you give TO life.

I am not saying that you should not pursue the good job, money, cars, homes, and so on. I am saying that if you do this with the idea that it will cast you into the mix of powerful people and make you powerful as a result, that you may want to see this idea held to the light. Before pursuing any goal it is wise to look at the merit of such a goal and decide whether it is worth pursuing. Knowledge is power!

But wait! Doesn't knowledge come to us from outside sources?

Yes, but the wisdom to use that knowledge in a way that ensures you receive the optimum benefit comes from within.

This is empowerment.

Ralph Waldo Emerson said, "The good news is that the moment you decide what you know is more important than what you have been taught to believe, you will have shifted gears in your quest for abundance. Success comes from within, not from without."

Empowerment to the people!

In Spirit,

Ralph P. Brown

Author's Bio: 

Ralph P. Brown (Mohawk name: Tawennihake) shares ancient Native American Indian philosophies and beliefs so your can make the most of this life!

He is a registered tribal member of the St. Regis band of Mohawk Indians. An educator and instructor on the use of the Medicine Wheel, he is a pipe carrier, ceremony leader, traditional storyteller and author of "Awakening the Eagle: A Guide to the Medicine Wheel" and "13 Virtues to a New Life: A Journey Around the Medicine Wheel" available at or Amazon.

Having lived with several tribes and studied with many Medicine Men, he brings to his work a lifetime of study and experience. Ralph a self-taught artist paints brilliant water colors and also uses a stipple style to create pointillistic impressions of his cultural and spiritual ideas. He draws inspiration from his native culture, nature and his unique perspective on the world and his spirituality.

He and his wife Anita live in Nebraska where they own and operate
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