Male 30+ 151 and 300 words. Saul Alinsky. "Power." From To the Great Egress.

By Paul Pasulka

Oh? Okay. So, Mr. Phineus T. Barnum, let me tell you a story. My parents wanted me to be a rabbi. But one day at Shul I read three pages of Hebrew without an error. A penny fell onto the Bible. The rabbi said God had rewarded me. I was stunned. Stayed awake all night thinking about it. The next day he told me to start reading. I said, "Nope. This time it's a nickel or nothing." And he slammed me across the room and cursed me unto the fourth generation. But I did learn something. I had just rebelled against God and there were no lightning bolts. Nothing. Just a rabid rabbi having a coronary. God didn’t care about me or anyone else. Started me thinking about power. And I figured out rule number one: Power is not in what the establishment has, but in what you think it has.

But that doesn’t mean the principles aren’t important. I’ve been fortunate to have met a couple people in the establishment who understand that. I grew up in the slum of the slums. A war zone. One of us gets beaten up by the Poles - we beat the shit out of one of them. Irish cops come and bust all our heads. My mother gets tired of it. Takes me to a rabbi - a different one - for guidance. But I wasn’t gonna be duped. "This is America,” I said. “It’s Biblical. An eye for an eye." The rabbi looked at me and said, very quietly, "You think you're a man because you do what everybody else does. I want you to remember what Rabbi Hillel said: 'Where there are no men, be thou a man.’" Peter. Oh, I beg your pardon. Saint Peter. You could take a lesson from him.