Categories: The Science of Think by Chris on 8/18/2015 7:46 AM | Comments (0)

The following is an excerpt from my latest book, Know God, Know Self, Know Others.

   If this book is about anything it’s about leaders and leadership, courage and responsibility. It’s about being proactive instead of reactive. It’s about always looking two steps ahead instead of one. It’s about trying and testing and being tested both individually and as a larger group, even a nation.

   History, if nothing else, has recorded how some men and women crave power. Ever wonder why this is so and what is at its root? Why can some people be so filled with love, gentleness and compassion while others are so barbarous? To what can we assign such diversity within a single species?

   It has been my observation that most of the human race is content with living their lives filled with family, fun and friends. I mean, why not? I’m not the first person to ever consider or write about what the world—or even the history of the world—would be like without wars and crime. I can imagine such a place; the question truly and ultimately is: how do we get there?

   Many times I think what happens in our societies is this: Good, kind, family-loving people settle down to live their lives in peace. We are going about that business every day and soon become lost in the bliss of it all. I don’t think that is a bad thing, except for the fact that wickedness always seems to find an opportunity to strike. During this time we tend not to be as vigilant, watching out for those who would take advantage of the situation to selfishly gain power for themselves. Again, history has proven this to be true. Good people tend to be more trusting, even to the point of naiveté. Continue in this fashion long enough and that is when some fool wanting power climbs into political office, a chairmanship or board of directors somewhere. When everything is going well, then we should be most concerned about how things will be 10 years from now. We can never stop being vigilant. We can never let our guard down.

   This section of the book is called, “Know Others.” Knowing others is imperative for you to live a meaningful life. I can’t think of a better place to point this out than in this section and with this maxim. Power is craved by some men and some women even though only foolish people will crave power. But these people crave power in a selfish manner because they’re consumed with serving themselves.
 I mentioned in a previous chapter that power is not given to us to serve ourselves but to serve others. To a power-hungry person, this is a paradox, and it seems contradictory. Certainly the owner of a company has power. He knows he must make difficult decisions that may not always be popular with others involved in his enterprise.

   But there is a difference between craving power and working toward success. The difference is in the motive of the heart, and a man of character knows this. Authority comes with the price of serving others, and a man of character knows this as well. Therefore he or she will not seek or accept authority frivolously without proper consideration because they know that when they accept authority (or power), they are accepting the responsibility to give their lives in some way for the benefit of others. The power-hungry person, on the other hand, rushes in to grab power. They are fixated on the possession of it, sometimes to the point of intoxication. This is where the term “drunk with power” comes from.

   All we have to do is grow just complacent enough to leave authority unattended in some way. That is when someone will appear and seek to gain control. I’ve seen unqualified individuals ascend to leadership positions in groups or government simply because they ran unopposed. The results were sad, even disastrous. This is exactly how some dictators have gained power.

   In many ways, this kind of thing has happened in our country, as well. I’ve seen men and women run and be elected as senators and representatives. However, once the time came for them to demonstrate real courage and leadership, they were incapable of manifesting it. Knowing others, learning the differences between true courage and just good speech-writing is imperative for voters. You must take seriously your responsibility to know the candidate you vote for.

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