Since the dawn of time, man has craved power. Since the dawn of time, power struggles have disrupted people’s peaceful lives. Today, too, the hunger for power is wreaking havoc and destroying countless lives. Power turns people into bullies. We cannot kill it but we can use it positively. Unless we learn how to do it, it will destroy us all.
You could say that the hunger for power is man’s primary trait. We want to control everything around us. This is true not only of pitiless rulers, but of every human being.
Power-hunger exists within us from the moment we are born. Look at how babies grab everything their hand can grip. That, too, is a desire to control, to keep. It is the fundamental state of being of our desire: to want to own and control everything I see, to bring it under my governance, so that I am in control and everything else is subordinate to me.
In other words, the hunger for power begins from the most basic needs and increases to levels where people lose their ability to judge correctly because of their obsession with power. The initial desire is natural, but in humans, it evolves into a disastrous monster.
The problem is not that we want something, but that our desires grow beyond the level where we can balance them. Eventually, they become desires not only to get what we want, but mainly to prevent others from getting what they want, and to have them at my mercy.
There are two fundamental forces in existence: attraction and rejection. They manifest on every level, physical, biological, emotional, and moral. In all of nature, the opposites balance each other out. In humans, the pulling force grows from generation to generation, and keeps growing throughout our lives until it grows out of balance and out of control. In order to maintain the balance that the rest of nature maintains naturally, we must learn how to do it.
From early on in life, we must teach children about human nature, how we can keep it in check, what goals we should set for ourselves, and how to achieve them in constructive ways for ourselves and for society. We need to show children which social environments are good for them and which are not, and why, and show them the harm that reckless egoism can inflict.
Once people have acquired control over their ego, they can use it positively and constructively. If such people have a desire to rule, once they have learned how to rule their ego, they can become great rulers. They will be able to resist the intensification and inflation of the ego, and instead of saying l’état, c’est moi (the state is I), as did Louis XIV, they will feel humbled by the privilege that the public has bestowed upon them to lead it wisely.
Indeed, a leader must have an inherent feeling of unworthiness. Unless a leader feels that other people know better, are more capable, or have more experience and wisdom, nothing will stop him or her from becoming a tyrant. However, humility and a certain sense of inferiority curb the ego and allow the leader to remain attentive, appreciative, and, above all, caring.