Have you ever stopped to ponder how superficial “power” actually is? When we strip away the veneers of wealth and influence, we all put our pants on exactly the same way.

Fortunately, there are some who have a gift for pointing to the basic humanity in everyone.

Today at Ever Widening Circles, we point you to the work of one of the best photographers in the world. He has a knack for creating photos that point to the inner life of his subjects.

Image: Graffiti of a cubist style painting of a face

Source: Wikipedia

Have you heard of the renowned photographer Platon? He’s taken portraits of the powerful, ranging from Vladimir Putin to Barack Obama, from Instagram’s Kevin Systrom to Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, and many more. With these remarkably revealing photographs come stories of vulnerability, calculation, and commonness.

Today on Ever Widening Circles (EWC) we are empowered by the amazing insights Platon points to with his stories; lessons about how power is projected and how often it is nothing more than a thin veil.

What does that mean for the rest of us? I suspect it means we are far more powerful than we think!

Take a look:

Via: Vimeo 1

Penny for your thoughts?

This talk from the fabulous PopTech stage made me rethink power. Is it something we give people? Perhaps we are not actually powerful unless we abandon our scrutiny of the often messy details of their lives.

Image: Metal sculpture of a king whose cloak and most parts are invisible:

Source: Pixabay

Who are all these people really, but ordinary folks who have had events unfold in a way that put them at the top of their fields? They’re sometimes just as insecure, proud, uninformed, capable, confused, wise or discouraged as we can be. But we all put our pants on in the same way.

This kind of thing always reminds me that we are not living in the binary world. People, events, even entire systems are not simply good or evil. Platon’s stories remind us how complicated people are, no matter their positions.

What would a world look like where we all more carefully considered the complex flaws in people in power?

I suspect it’s  easier for the powerful to manipulate us if they can keep us thinking that everything is either black or white. What if we found ways to conquer our problems by being more curious and at ease with the shades of gray in almost every situation?

If you’d like to start living in a world that celebrates complexity, points out the wisdom in a non-binary world, and asks more interesting questions, check out a few more of our articles from thought leaders who are pointing to ways we can share this empowering innovation era!

Here’s one of my favorite funny and powerful TED Talks. You can be certain that every one of Platon’s people in power shares the same struggles and triumphs with the following insights!

38 minutes

Making Struggle and Vulnerability a Good Thing!

What could possibly be good about Struggle and Vulnerability? Don't we spend every waking moment trying to avoid them both!? Turns out there are some amazingly valuable things to celebrate about both!

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Want another that is a game changer? Here are some fabulous insights into the body language that Platon was referring to in his stories:

23 minutes

Your Body Language Shapes Who You Are

Could you be limiting your own potential with something as subtle as body language? Turns out that your body language tells others who you are, and that could be a lot different than who you want to be!

Read More

Thanks for taking a break for insight and wonder with us here at Ever Widening Circles!

Stay open, curious and optimistic!

~ Dr. Lynda

Want to see more amazing and thought-provoking work? 

Explore more of the talented people capturing our world by clicking the button below!

Photography on EWC 

Scroll down to find a few other articles I highly recommend!


  1. “The Face of Power.” Vimeo. PopTech, 06 Nov. 2016. Web. 27 Nov. 2017. <https://vimeo.com/190437141>.

Dr. Lynda is a dentist, artist, global traveler, and philanthropist who looks for potential and shares it with the world. Hear her latest conversations with thought leaders on the Conspiracy of Goodness Podcast--new episodes every Wednesday!