Exploring the origins, ethics and future of changemaking

Ethics quotes from “Right Use of Power”

In Quotes on July 9, 2012 at 3:09 pm

I have been reading the most wonderful and important book by Cedar Barstow called “Right Use of Power: the Heart of Ethics“. There are so many gems of wisdom in here that I am sure I will discuss further in other posts. This post is to create a repository for these gems as they come through. If these quotes resonate or you are interested in exploring these topics further, this book is a great place to start.

“My life belongs to the whole community, as long as I live it is my privilege to do for it whatever I can. I want to be thoroughly used up when I die…When you make somebody else do something against their will, that, to me, is not power. That is force. To me, force is a negation of power…By power I mean – almost exclusively – the ability to empower” – George Bernard Shaw, p.xi

“When the generativity and responsiveness of our power is guided by loving concern for the well-being of all, we will have an ethical and sustainable world. Power directed by Heart. Heart infused with power. This is the key to right use of power” – Cedar Barstow, p.xi

“Ethical codes are not arbitrary rules or regulations. Understanding a code of ethics is similar to listening to a wisdom circle of elders sharing what they have learned” – Cedar Barstow

“Ethics are an essential guide for the work of therapy [and other service professions]. They are a process through which we awaken, enhance, inform, expand, and improve our ability to respond effectively to those who come to us for help” – Pope and Vasquez, in Barstow, p. 40.

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