The Importance Of Shared Power

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As we grow older, we hear about how individuals of upper degree misuse their ability of power. Really, there are three different kinds of powers: ‘shared’, ‘owned’, and ‘aimed’. In Howard Brody’s essay “The Expert Power of Social Healers”, he defines how these powers are used. The most basic form of power is shared power. Shared power makes it “possible to own or disclose one’s power without sharing it” (Ladd 1129). The good thing about this power is it gives one the opportunity to “aim one’s power at a particular goal without sharing it” (Ladd 1129). The individual can choose weather or not to share their power. The second form of power is owned power. Owned power is “used in the sense of acknowledged; and suggests both candid admission …show more content…
Just because one has power, doesn’t mean that they should abuse it. Shared power in my opinion is one of the safest kinds of power. Shared power “tends to promote a degree of self-correction that prevents abuse and victimization” (Ladd 1129). Individuals that have such shared power understand that they cannot just use it to their advantage. Take for example Dr. Valerie Walsh in the case of the Baker’s. Mr. Baker, 77 years old, was diagnosed with ALS due to progressive weakness. Mrs. Baker, 73 years old, was now his caretaker. Although Mr. Baker was ill, and Mrs. Baker was taking care of him the best she could, she had some medical problems of her own such as angina, diabetes, and arthritis. So Dr. Walsh happily came to be their caretaker while both of the Baker’s were ill, well for a few months anyways. While the months rolled by, Dr. Walsh found herself getting more and more agitated with each visit. She felt such anger because Mrs. Baker had this power she did not know she had. Dr. Walsh came soon to realize that ultimately, she had less power than Mrs. Baker. With shared power comes great responsibility, and “power is almost impossible to share when one does not know that one has it and does not know what one is doing with it” (Brody 122). Mrs. Baker did not know she had such power, so between Mrs. Baker and Dr. Walsh, they were at a standstill, and neither lady were benefitting from their power. In the case of the Baker’s, …show more content…
Even though they all have some form of power they did not know they had, the experts’ power are aimed at their needs. The experts’ are taking all the power that they own to help these individuals. In the case of Opal and her grandmother, the experts have aimed power and “people appear to become every bit as dependent on the counsel of these ‘alternative’ experts as they were on that of the more traditional healers” (Brody 114). The experts are aiming their power at their client so they can have as much help as they need. In the case of the Baker’s, Dr. Walsh “withheld frank discussions about prognosis because she felt that her patient was not ready to hear them, we may wonder whether it was actually Mrs. Baker she was protecting” (Brody 123). Dr. Walsh misused her power, for she did not aim it at what she was supposed to. She was supposed to explain to Mrs. Baker what the prognosis was, and instead of consulting with another expert, she just decided it would be best to keep quiet about

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