Evolving into our own person requires strength of character and confidence in our own abilities to make decisions. Others can unwittingly destroy the seeds of self-esteem planted within us. People assail mastery over others with or without consent. We must realize that with power comes responsibility. We teach our children to include others and to share and take turns when they play, yet we, as adults, at times like to exclude others we don’t deem desirable to our standards. We hate to take turns. We like to have it, do it, make it, and force it our way. What we teach our children is what we need to emulate in our own behavior. If we ask ourselves where the other person’s freedom is to pick and choose and do and make, we might understand the discrepancies in our thinking. How would we feel if we were the person always taking what was left? Social intelligence is acquired through thought processes. But if we don’t take the time to think then we will never arrive at the socially moral answers.Unchecked power and control breeds the destruction of others. It doesn’t make a difference if one begins with high motives. Handling power is troublesome which is why few people can pull it off and maintain their humility. At times we might reort to the ends justifying the means. Nothing worthy is ever accomplished overnight. It is a slow growing process. Taking the shortcut predisposes one to compromise.
Bosses pressure their workforce to perform. If the workers do poorly it is on the workers shoulders to face the consequences. If the workers do well the boss gets all or most of the credit. When people work as a team, the outspoken person gets most of the credit even if all were involved in the discussion. The promotion goes to the loudest wheel. In most interviews, the timid person is the loser. We like aggressive people and we feel confident in their power and control. In a true emergency it is the thinking person who perhaps makes the right decision or best contribution, but we are simply more comfortable with the fighter. Many aggressive people might be thinkers but not all thinkers are necessarily aggressive.
Having power over another commands us to nurture and aid those we influence. Mothers-in-Law have the ability to manipulate their sons and Daughters-in-Law can easily bias their husbands beliefs. The man who is caught in the middle between two powerful and controlling systems, potentially loses his power completely and might then be blamed for his weakness. We don’t see ourselves in any of these struggles. Instead we disdain a peaceful answer as weakness. Fear and guilt are two traveling buddies we can call upon to make our cases when we want the control. At that point we have lost our reflective process and our humanity. Those with influence must respect another’s need to comprehend and appreciate becoming aware of a different way of thinking about a situation.
A worker cannot function forever out of anxiety and self-reproach. In a relationship of any kind, the constant pressure of proving our loyalties becomes tedious and burdensome. In the end everyone loses. The boss gets less from his worker because the worker gives up on the possibility of ever pleasing his boss. The husband gives up his attempts at a peaceful co-existence for his wife and mother. This in turn causes less attention and support to our children and ourselves and an atmosphere of dissension. In essence, everyone loses and knowledge is lost. We just can’t make it an all or nothing ultimatum. When on a spiritual journey, we are led slowly into enlightenment. We are fragile and require gentleness or we close up.
The answer perhaps is to avoid controlling others forcibly. Directing and collaborating is fine. Compromising and discussing alleviates anger and promotes a calmness to the situation. Anyone can feign toughness, loudness, forcefulness and belligerence when coercing another individual. Most of us will step out of the way and at the very least attempt to follow the rule. It takes character, social intelligence, insight and respect for others to work in the opposite direction and bring a positive solution to a vexing situation. The result is an overwhelming uplifting of your whole self and a lightness of mind and body to an altruistic state of affairs. Moral elevation is worth more than any award or promotion one could ever receive.
“The highest reward for a person’s toil, is not what they get for it but what they become by it.” John Rushkin