Re: The Fear of Power
A lot depends on how one defines "power." Power to affect other people, either by coercion/force, is often how people automatically think of it, but of course there is a lot of other power: power over oneself, power by moral example or moral pursuasion, charisma, etc...
I took up aikido looking for physical exercise that wouldnt bore me to tears and ended up immediately hooked by two factors: (1) it engaged me to directly challenge my weaknesses in movement and proprioception in a way that no previous activity ever had, so that despite being incredibly frustrated by my limitations for the first couple of years it never occurred to me to quit and (2) something about working on the connection with another person spoke to a me deeply.
I have never been interested in dominance; by nature I'm an observer and negotiator despite also having very firm internal convictions and sense of self. In work situations I've tended to be the one who leads by example.
An in truth, while I've engaged in active self-defense when necessary, in the dojo when the opportunity arises to "play" disregarding role of nage/uke, I tend to stay in the exploring connection mode more often than the exploiting openings mode.