By Life Positive
The drive to power and the will to love are two important forces in us. The drive for power makes one assert oneself, manifest one’s strength and get things done.
The will to love makes one gentle, soft, other-oriented and sacrificial. Power is necessary to meet the needs of the self, while love makes us go beyond ourselves and get connected with others. Self-affirmation is achieved by power and self-transcendence by love. Both are important ingredients for a happy life.
Power without love is arrogance. Love without power is weakness. A proper integration of power and love makes one happy and healthy. Proper integration does not mean a permanent ratio in everything. It has to change from situation to situation. In matters related to professional goals, the ratio of power has to be more and that of love less, while in personal matters, the ratio of love has to be more and that of power less. Relationships cannot be about power. Too much focus on power in relationships create control dramas and self-centredness.
Power is masculine in nature, while love is feminine. Both are equally important for true maturity. A proper integration of these two dimensions create authority. The Greek work of authority is exousia. Ex means out of, and ousia means being. So exousia means from one’s own being. Real authority is something that surges forth from one’s own inner being. This authority is very difficult to resist.
After his failure to contain the revolution headed by Gandhi in South Africa, General Grant memorably said: “If he had fought us with guns, we had enough tanks to overpower him. If he had come with ships to attack us, we would have suppressed the attack with our aircraft. But he came with truth – the truth that a man should not enslave another man. It was this truth that we could not resist.” He was referring to Gandhi’s inner authority. When one becomes a person of authority, he uses his power not over others, nor against others, but for others and with others. Love and power are never a problem. Love of power is the perennial problem.
- Maria Antony
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