Other than “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz,” one of my favorite books from childhood was T. H. White’s “The Sword in the Stone.” (I believe I first read it around the same time I read Baum’s “Wizard of Oz.) I believe I liked the book because it satisfied this urging I had for magical powers.
The sword in the stone, best known as “excalibur” aka sword, was a symbol of power in its purest form. Only a righteous individual could remove the sword from the stone. Rather than re-tell the story, suffice it to say that a young and innocent boy who went by the name of Wart at the time but would later be known as King Arthur, pulled the sword from the stone…a feat that no one else was able to accomplish.
As a King, the legendary Arthur was faced with the ultimate dialectic: Arthur asked himself the question “Does might make right, or does right make might?” In this case the word “might” meant power.
The question is still valid today and continues to be hotly debated. Does the power wielded by a person, group, or nation make what it does…right? Or do the right actions made by a person, group or nation make it powerful?
There is no doubt in my mind that the world has chosen to use power to make right. Be it an individual or a group, having the power is everything. What we fail to grasp its the fact that power is fickle. History tells us over and over again how people or nations who once wielded “great power” lost it.
Having power is a great responsibility. Ultimately if it is misused it comes back to bite you on the ass. A parent who misuses his/her power as a parent will eventually lose the respect of his/her children. The same goes for a boss.
One of the questions surrounding power is not who wields it, but how did one acquire it. Did a person or nation wrestle the power away from another by “over-powering” them? If the one who had the power in the first place was misusing it, then it could be viewed as a good thing if someone comes along and takes the power away. (I don’t know how often that happens.)
The real problem I have with power is that in my experience more often than not the person who has the power not only misuses it, but had NO RIGHT to it in the first place.
More on this in the next blog.