You’re only as good as your honor after you forgo the position
Stan Lee wasn’t joking when he wrote, “With great power comes great responsibility”. And for folk who don’t know Stan Lee, the Gospel of Luke shares a similar sentiment, 12:48: “from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked”.
I’m sure all of us, at some point of time have shared a strong emotion or have had a strong opinion of someone at work or amongst our relatives. We may have either grown to admire and emulate that person, looking forward to learning from him/her; or we may have sworn to never be like him/her when we get to that position in our lives. So we have two stark results of absolute power, we can either chose to be like Professor Charles Xavier or swear never to be like Magneto.
Out of science fiction, in reality, I don’t see a difference between power and authority. Authority is the most human and logical display of one’s power. The power of authority to an individual is to feel god like. Used wisely and for its promised purpose, you’ve got a very real chance of making a difference in someone’s life. Misused and you’ve got your very own army of minions, who you perceive to be at your disposal. Unfortunately, the gravity of the situation is a lot more when the power of authority is misused. It is better to have not done any good for someone, than to have ruined someone’s chances.
Recognizing the folks on the receiving end, one of the reasons for feeling these strong emotions is a combination of the unknown and what happens to us either coincidentally or consequently. Let’s face it; unless we are a character from Sesame Street, we are all a little self-centered. Rightly so, we look out for ourselves and look for an option, at every stage of our lives, that best suits our interests. Thus people understand that those with the authority must’ve done the same; assured their interests first and then look into others. Completely neglecting the unknown. There is a common error of presuming we are aware of all facts while coming to a conclusion. Neglecting to acknowledge the unknown is just like refusing to acknowledge the existence of more than three dimensions. Being adamant that something I cannot sense must simply not exist.
For the record, people choosing to neglect the unknown does not go to show that those with authority always do well and we only misinterpret them. As evolution would have it, we’ve been programmed to want more. It is like when kids say, “any number you say plus 1”, wanting more or never to be proven wrong. One of the simplest ways to achieve those, or at least perceived so by said “peers”, is to gain a position of authority and play your whims and fancies. It’s probably a sad realization and self-acknowledgement that you need the authority to get your way through.
To quote Formula 1 legend Ayrton Senna, “Maybe I am only at half of my life right now, so, there is a lot to go, a lot to learn, a lot to do, still in life”. I’ve yet to explore and experience many aspects of what I’ve written today. Let me be the first to acknowledge “the unknown” here.
I guess the key is to realize you are only as good as the respect people give you even after you forgo the title given to you by those very people.