Febuary 20, 2018

Do You Know Where Power Lies?

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Soon after the guest of honour begins speaking, there's a power cut

The generator takes an age to provide backup. I motion the speaker to return to his seat. I then get the choir which was meant to perform later in the program to entertain us while the technicians sort out the electricity issues. As soon as the generator starts working, I apologise for the hitch and invite the speaker back to the microphone.

Only to be met with another power failure.

The speaker sits down again. I organise another unscheduled a cappella performance to keep everyone entertained. Two minutes later, power is restored.

I'm now racking my brains for an interesting way to apologise (yet again!) for the interruption. As I make my way to the lectern, someone exclaims, "The Devil is a liar!" I say to myself, "That's it! I've just found my scapegoat."

I proceed to blame the power cuts on spiritual forces. Next, I implore the audience to intensify their prayers for continuous electricity supply. With gentle laughter rippling throughout the crowd, I then invite the speaker to make his speech for the third time. This time there are no breaks.

Was luck on our side? Or maybe it was the power in the prayers of the audience that did the trick?

“It’s not what happens to you, but how you react to it that matters” says Epictetus the philosopher. He teaches that all external events are beyond our control. However we are responsible for our reaction to those events. And that’s where our power lies.