This quote by Martin Luther King, Jr., from “Where Do We Go From Here?” leads off Adam Kahane’s book “Power and Love, A Theory and Practice of Social Change,” which I recommend.
Power properly understood is nothing but the ability to achieve purpose. It is the strength to bring about social, political, and economic change…. And one of the greatest problems of history is that the concepts of love and power have usually been contrasted as opposites – polar opposites – so that love is identified with the resignation of power, and power with the denial of love. Now we’ve got to get this right. What [ we need to realize is ] that power without love is reckless and abusive, and love without power is sentimental and anemic… It is precisely this collision of immoral power and powerless morality which constitutes the major crisis of our time.
(TY Rand Selig)