Destiny of Power

By Julia Fernandes. Julia is a Catechist at the Resurrection Church in Virar. She lives in Mumbai, India.

“Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.” – Abraham Lincoln.

The above statement is extremely true. Power has the ability to make you feel invincible. And, it is this invincibility that can sometimes lead a man to use it for harming others. Man is a fallible creature, and when you really want to test his character, just give him power and see what he does with it – whether he uses it for light or darkness. Most of the time man gives in to temptation and uses his power for committing wrongs.

Only a few wise men and women know that with power comes responsibility. The greater the power you have the greater is your responsibility in using it judiciously, in making sure you don’t misuse it in any way. Most people abuse the power given to them. For many people power lends them a false sense of having supremacy over others. It makes them believe that they can control the lives of others, which is nothing more than an illusion. Because, whatever is given to you, will one day be taken away from you. It is a universal law.

I myself have encountered quite a few people in power who use it to satisfy their own selfish ends. I look with horror and astonishment as to how people in authority use their power to demean, belittle and attack those below them. Power inflates the ego even further. Even a simple no as an answer is regarded as a personal insult to them. Such is the negative effect of power on the psyche of such individuals that they cannot even take no for an answer.

Power has the capability of damaging the good in a person. Hence, you have to be very careful when power is given to you. True power lies in not in trying to control, manipulate, scheme or hurt or harm others. True power is in not hurting people even when you have all the power in the world to do so. History is replete with instances of abuse of power.

In recent times, the world is witness to one dictator who is holding the whole world to ransom. He is regularly conducting nuclear tests, despite the protests among other nations. What better shining example of misuse of power or power gone in the wrong hands? This dictator has the power to govern a nation. Instead, he is using it to intimidate and threaten the mass destruction of countries. Little does he realise that even his own people will suffer.

At any given time, we are all governed by a supreme authority, the Almighty God who actually has all the powers. We can all learn a lesson or two from God. Despite being so powerful, God is kind and loving. God does not throw His weight around unlike man who is actually nothing before God. Nothing. God uses His power for creation and not destruction. As a matter of fact, all the forces of nature: sun, moon, air, water, soil, trees – its powers – are regenerative in nature and not destructive.

True power lies hidden in your character, embedded in your soul, in the deepest recesses of your heart. True power is how you use your talent, gifts, and skills for the betterment of the world. And, when I say world, it does not mean it has to be something monumental or dramatic. World can sometimes mean the little corner where God has planted each one of us. Very often our calling is to simply add beauty, meaning and value to our own little worlds. All you need is the inherent power of goodness we all are born with.

Use that power within you which can never be taken away from you rather than craving after superficial power that can be gone anytime. Power, per se, is not bad. How you use it (for good or bad) determines its moral destiny on you and at the world at large.

I shall leave my readers with this beautiful quote:

“When the power of Love overcomes the Love of power the world will know peace.” – Jimi Hendrix.

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