Power Vs Force
"God grant me the courage to change the things I can, to accept the things I cannot and the wisdom to know the difference."
Down the ages wise men have said that our true power lies in the ability to sift through and discern the events and circumstances we can improve or alter and that which is out of control. As long as we lack the capacity to recognize this basic law, there will be strife in life.
When we deny the truth of this tenet we are likely to resist, push and use force to justify our position in any relationship. As a contrast, true power is total and complete in itself and requires nothing from the outside_ no agreement, no necessity of obedience, no acknowledge or even approval.
I want to further illustrate these two tendencies we are all familiar with by introducing you to Rajesh and Suresh.
Rajesh is a self-made successful businessman. Early in his life he’d promised himself that “He’d never be poor again.” Undoubtedly he has achieved much merit due to his single-minded determination to reach his goals. Though the intensity he expresses in all his endeavors is a double edged sword; it requires him to control every aspect of his life_ his financial security of course, and also his relationships. His wife and her choices, his children and their careers, conduct and future are all sharply monitored by him. He sets very high standards for his own life and all those that affect it. He is uncomfortable when he cannot the outcome of any event whether it is business or personal. You can probably guess that Rajesh has a high level of anxiety since the highest priority in his life is to “win” at all costs. And consequently the price of this exertion of force makes him edgy, defensive, complaining, and of course, dissatisfied. It is perplexing to him that he has few friends and that people avoid him socially too.
The guiding principle in Rajesh’s life : FORCE
In sharp contrast _ Suresh, an engineer, owns a medium sized manufacturing unit. His passion is technology and the latest mechanical inventions keep him deeply involved in innovating his plant and processes. He has great pride in what he produces and this extends to caring for the well-being of his colleagues and subordinates. He encourages debate and differences of opinion in his staff meetings and describes himself as a “professional learner”
Suresh’s wife runs a dance academy where he frequently plays the synthesizer since music is one of his passions. His two kids describe their dad as an open and co-operative guy who always inspires them to do their best in their chosen careers. Most people see him as a warm human being, smiling and approachable; one who lives by the belief that true power exist in living a meaningful life of purpose.
The guiding principle in Suresh’s life : Real power is supportive, unifying and gives life and energy.
The truth is that force automatically creates a counter, opposing friction and must ultimately succumb to a higher energy. Power, on the other hand, is still ; it does not move against anything, though it moves all around it.
This reminds me of what Socrates said, “Obscurity is dispelled by augmenting the light of discernment, not by attacking the darkness.”