Your integrity is essential
"Knowing others is intelligence; knowing yourself is true wisdom. Mastering others is strength; mastering yourself is power." (Lao-Tzu)
Our personal power does not rely on our ability to dominate others, but in our own inner strength and respect for all life.
Power and Control
Many people are valiantly struggling with the weight of the rapid changes taking place in the world today, and find themselves locked in a competitive, politically dominated race against time, that seems to herald a fearful and uncertain future.
Controlled by our ambitions and personal lives, we can shake our heads in horror at events; shield ourselves in the false security of our houses, our material need, our boredom or emotional fears and circumstance.
We can criticise our leaders, the fate
of the world, the weight of the world; but the truth is that, although anyone can
find themselves in a position of leadership, not everyone
has the capability or Will
to put it to good use.
POWER and CONTROL seem to be extremely dominant factors in our nature, which can be used to the benefit or detriment of society, so it may be useful to be aware of this, and perhaps light a candle for more conscientious and responsible actions between our nations - especially around the events that are happening today.
And maybe it is particularly important now, that all of us also take a long honest look at ourselves, and observe how much real control we have over our own behaviour, and - when put in a position of power in our everyday lives - how do we use it?
Are you someone who handles the authority you have with integrity and respect, or do you use it to feed your own self-worth and pride?
Most people want to control their circumstance, but lack the Will to take control. There are few who lead and many who follow, for leadership - whether political or personal - means making the effort to take full responsibility for our behaviour, and not trying to excuse ourselves or blame others for our own mistakes.
So which are you - the real actor in this play of life, or are you just one of the audience that comforts yourself with popcorn and complaints in the shadows?
Of course we all like the rewards of achievement, but how much of this pleasure is down to boosting our "ego"; and how much do we really appreciate that the way we handle success or failure directly affects the hearts and minds of others?
Although the weight of world decision lies on the shoulders of very few, the future of our planet and our personal safety really does lie within us all, and by our behaviour we can make a difference.
As individuals, we all teach by example, and it is our personal strength that gives others security, and our personal conscience that gives others guidance.
Such is the "power" that can be used or abused, and therein lies the key to the future of the world.
Many in political prominence fall into disenchantment at some time or other - some for good reasons and some just from public boredom or discontent. Because we are given the power to command, it does not necessarily mean we have won the battle. Very few people can use it effectively, and more often than not it uses them.
Real power requires inner strength, integrity, and humility. It requires the ability to control our base instincts and not to revel in our triumphs. It also necessitates the ability not to lay blame without taking responsibility for our own part in events, and above all not to mete out punishments for the sake of revenge rather than justice.
To dominate by force or political manipulation is not wisdom, nor strength, nor control, nor real power. It just wields the stick of arrogance and insecurity, and does nothing to command the respect or loyalty of the people on either side of the fence.
However bad, however mindless, however heinous we believe the crimes committed, perhaps we should continue to be mindful of the fact that we are all part of the one human race. Every country has had, or will have, its atrocities to assess - whether associated with the past or present or future- and every leader of the time is ultimately held responsible for those crimes, either before or after death.
But can we as individuals really wash our hands of any responsibility? Racial, religious, or any form of hatred is born from the fear and ignorance of individuals reacting to each other. It takes many willing people to make an army, many to make the weapons to destroy a nation, many to follow a leader, and many to do nothing.
Each of us has been given the magical gift of life, and in this 21st century we, as part of humanity, stand at the crossroads of a major decision. We can continue to lay blame, bully, and remain the "sheep", or we can actively take control of our fear and base reactions, and aspire to become a worthy "shepherd".
History returns in cycles, and many nations have had, or will have, their "day" in the world arena. Empires may rise, but Empires will always fall, until true wisdom, compassion, and respect for all life finally takes the helm.
For, inspite of the pride we may take in our hollow victories and false values, perhaps the following statement is the only important thing that can ever be written as our epitaph in the history books of life...
".....they were all part of the vast human jigsaw and, to a greater or lesser degree by their actions or inaction, they were all partially responsible for both the good and bad events upon the earth".
"What truly hurts is our conscience - that aches when we oppose it, and dies when we betray it."
Aeroplane image © Robert Karr :
All writings © J.Shell 1981 to present day - (unless otherwise stated). All rights reserved.