Where True Power Lies

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Jon Owen has spoken at the Forum several times and is actively engaged with his wife Lisa and family with Urban Neighbours of Hope. We are grateful to be able to share some of his thoughts as he lives and works with friends in his local community at Bidwell in Western Sydney.


I witnessed a big waste of money the other day and I approved. A friend, who budgets and works like nothing else to make ends meet for her family went out on her payday and bought her little brother a brand new pair of pretty flash shoes. Her gift cost her all of her spare money that week, so there would be no outings or trips out for a meal as a result. Generosity that flows from scarcity shines far brighter than it does from abundance.

“Dad are we being forced to lie?” A cold shiver ran down my spine as I thought “What have I been caught out for this time? I thought we settled Santa and the Tooth fairy ages ago”

This unsolicited question came from my 11 year old as she prepared for a speech at School entitled “For Those Who’ve Come Across The Seas We’ve Boundless Plains To Share”. We try not to talk politics at home (too much) but they pick up a lot more than we like to admit. I can’t say I was relieved to be off the hook. In fact, I want to be on the hook for this one like so many of you in the Huddle already are.

What is powerful about my daughter’s opinions is that they are connected to her relationships. So when she talks about “Indigenous Issues” she talks about friends. When she talks about “Asylum Seekers” she relates it to people who have been guests in our home.

Put simply, we don’t have an issue with resources in this country. We have an issue with distribution.

The same applies for love doesn’t it? We generally decide in advance who gets it and who doesn’t, but isn’t love a non-exhaustible resource? When I asked my friend why she spent all her discretionary budget on a pair of shoes she told me “No one cares about my little brother, and he never gets anything new, so me and my partner decided to surprise him”. It worked. The look on his face was out of this world. It may have cost them everything for the week but it bought a little more love into his heart.

For many identity is developed around accumulation and not distribution and we easily mistake this for power. True power accumulates from what one shares not what one has.

I love this place, again I walked away confused about who is rich and who is poor in this world.

So I’d like to say a big thank you to all of you in the huddle who know where true power lies and is working to make our nation the place it is today – which is great…with room for improvement.
Till we gather again,

Jon Owen Minister-At-Large

Title: Where True Power Lies
Author: Jon Owen
Format: Article/online blog post
Year Published: 2016
Access: Online via the Huddle Newsletter

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