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  • Writer's pictureJohan Smith

Power is a dangerous thing

If you really want to see a person’s character, give him authority. It is then that the true person is revealed. So many people use their power to manipulate and break other people. Others use it to enrich themselves through corruption and fraud. Others use power to feed their ego. Power also has another, positive side. When power is used correctly it can influence people in a wonderful positive way. The correct use of power can better other people’s lives. I wish there were more leaders in our society that want to use power in the way it is meant to be used.        An exceptional person in South Africa, the famous and beloved Bishop Desmond Tutu, wrote about the right and wrong way to use power: Real leaders are nor blinded by the trappings of power but recognize their role  as servant. He spells it out: obtaining power makes people blind. Power must be used correctly and must be used to serve other people. There is no problem with power if it is used correctly. There are plenty of leaders in South Africa, business world, politics, education, medicine and other fields - the question is whether they use their authority in the correct way? How many of these leaders are true servants focused on improving other peoples’ lives? Another heroin for many South Africans, advocate Thuli Madonsela, wrote: Living your life the best you know how is important. Living your life in a way that empowers others to live their best life is the best. Are these words not precisely what makes her such a phenomenal person? Are these words not the reason why politicians, misusing their power, stood up against her? You see, if you have been granted power, use it to bless others not to punish them. If you are trusted with power, use it to elevate others to live their best life.   Reread the last quotation. To live your best life is to be focused on improving other peoples’ lives. What else will give you greater satisfaction than knowing your life improves others’ lives?  This is a satisfaction that cannot be bought with money.

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