Power Transforms Negatively

Who doesn’t like to be in power? We all do, even though some trouble comes as part of the package. One gets used to power, enjoying and coping with the thrills and kicks that it carries. Power gradually transforms the subject that it rides. Chiefly, it saddles him with a pernicious ego which then takes control of him; of course the subject can equally be of the other gender as well. The empowered subject, if fate doesn’t snatch away power soon enough, becomes mentally sick and then lives on with this sickness. Those that surround such a person, imagine that he’s having a rollicking time but that is not so.

If five people praise the person in power because he can help them in some way, there are five who abuse him either on his face or behind his back. Nihilistic as it sounds, life is like that. If people come to visit you socially, most of the time they do that to see what you have for them and how much you can be used to help them. What people say has meaning only in the moment. Those who can say things that will remain meaningful beyond the moment are either philosophers or poets that have the power to see beyond the here and now.

The sad thing about power is that it leaves a bitter taste in the end. When one is out of power or bureaucracy or some other position, the very same people who seemed to be with you, are now clearly with the ones you dislike. They are as happy with them as they were with you, as if there was no difference between you and the one who succeeds you. The successor gets everything that you had imagined only yourself fit for. There is a sudden vacuum in your life which can’t be filled in by anything. Life, indeed, seems to be a tale told by an idiot and everything seems to be nothing.

All this is for the one who allows power to ride him. There are some, though very few, who don’t allow power to get into their heads. They carry out their roles as though they were following the orders of their superiors without allowing self-interests to disturb them. More importantly, those who can remain creative while in power, trying to do something they were born to do well, something that no one can do better than them, will not be bitten or stung by power. Such subjects will be able to carry on life after they are no longer in power, without feeling cheated by it. The nothingness that so often follows the giving up of power will be kept at bay.

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