When one’s inner self meets power – character is put to the test

By Pearl Mercy Rupavathy. Pearl lives in Chennai, India. Please read her article and leave your thoughts and comments below.

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


Power is a very strong word.

Not just in terms of the word, but with the control that comes with it. Not many are taught about handling the power given to them, because power is not easy to obtain. It comes with years of hard work, determination, insults and a lot of expertise in the given line of work. Controlling the span of authority over the group always gains the attention of everyone around. You gain power when you succeed, overcome all the hurdles that have come along your way and above all, when you are able to stand up despite all the failures you have seen before.

Maybe that’s why we weren’t trained as children to understand how one should handle power. In order to teach someone, you should know what it is. However, the command that comes with power is a luxury that not many would experience thereby making it an experience customized separately for all those aspiring to succeed. Not many realize or understand the mentality of people once they come into power, their actions are always under the radar, but the factors that contribute to their actions are hardly ever questioned.

Our character is developed by what we perceive to be right, what’s been taught to us and what we have experienced over the years. All the qualities that we have gained and what we wanted over the years is the fusion that stands out as our character. The predominant observations that shape one’s character comes from the people around them. For a few – watchers, it may have been walking on a bed of roses but for many it may have been walking on a bed of thorns – Dreamers strive for their daily life and are those who grow up with thorns all around them, desire for success and a prominent hope to live the life that they want, thereby making their characters extremely sensitive. Their future comes from their dreams.

While dreamers have witnessed trauma throughout their lives, adversities are always seen as the next road block, they give almost all their strength to turn the tables over and cross them. On the other hand, those who live their lives to its fullest – watchers- are shattered when adversities hit them as they have only watched them happen to someone else, they have not put themselves in other’s shoes; they take time to get over them. They are exposed to a whole new experience that may not always be sweet but may line their life with positivity. Their new actions are defined by every single encounter they experienced along the way.

Adversity doesn’t just shape people, it defines them. One’s character takes a strong hold based on all the occurrences throughout hardship. In fact, the trauma that follows the hardship is what defines their personality. Not many can handle this phase of life, but those who overcome it taste the fruits of success and the journey they experienced shapes them to be ready to hold on to their success.

However, this list also includes those who cannot learn how to incorporate their knowledge to sustain the achievement that they’ve made – Strugglers. Surprisingly, despite how hard they try, they look at their victory as a trouble. Mentally it is deeply distressing, this is when one’s complete character is developed. It may take years for them to see through it. Once they do, nothing can touch their accomplishment.

The reason for explaining in detail about the various characters that can get into power is because to test a personality, it is important to know about them so you can relate to their actions.

Now there are three different characters that we find here: Dreamers, Watchers and Strugglers. Well, after they achieve their goal, their character can be put to the test. To be honest, not everyone is lucky enough to be bestowed with Power. Power comes with high demand. It requires a strong, capable and agile mind that can control the command and the prime superiority that comes with it.

Once attained, power throws two choices to all three characters – one: to change all the bitter experiences into an acceptable attribute that can help others overcome their adversaries, or two: give all those bitter experiences that they had received to everyone else. It is this choice that shows their true character.

Lincoln is a great visionary. I’m not surprised with the words that he had penned down here. The words relate to him completely. Because with power comes a huge responsibility and Lincoln was always cautious about how he carried out his work (in his own style) and he turned out to be one of the best leaders in the world.

Power is a crown that can consume one’s whole life. Power can make people hold their heads high, unfortunately it can also force a burden of weight on their heads. While some take power to display the goodness that comes with it, many portray the dominance that comes with the weight.

Are all those with power like this? Not at all, we still have those heads whose goodness comes out, overcoming the burden that comes with power. They regret and turn back, look at the pride that power had given them as an adversity, overcome the pride, exercise the best of power and prove their character. While there are heads who handle this pride with joy right from the start, that power turns out to be one of the fruits that they had got from their success.

I feel compelled to mention another quote of Lincoln’s that I think goes along with Power.

Be sure you put your feet in the right place, then stand firm’

This is where the character is put to test, it is completely driven with one’s own set of moral values and power comes with its own standard of values with high integrity distinguished by the ones who had created it.

No matter how great the power can be, if one decides to try and use it to repair the trauma of his experience to success, then he/she must be sure that they’ve not chosen the wrong place. Instead, they use power to ensure that no one experiences trauma like they did and help others overcome their adversaries, that is when they are in the right place. Well, the trauma was the same for the watchers, dreamers and the strugglers but all their lives had contributed to their experiences.

This is where power has to stay firm, to lead all of them to the roads of success with memories of people helping them, not out of dominance but by inspiring them and standing by them, giving them what they really want –COURAGE!

31 comments on “When one’s inner self meets power – character is put to the test

  1. Poorna on

    Really well said. Awesome lines. I can understand completely because I can able to found my lives in the list of three character. Great job Pearl.


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