Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Power Drive

I have been considering how to approach the topic of what drives, or motivates, people to seek power.  Many people hear the word 'power' and think tyrant, manipulative, sociapath, or any number of other negative images.  Not so, says I.

We all seek power.  Power is merely how we obtain what we want.  So in examining what motivates to power we really are considering what do people want.  There is more nuance than simply asking what someone wants and taking that at face value.  Perhaps it would be better to say 'what people are willing to spend themselves to get.'

Sure, I may want a billion dollars, but unless I am willing to dedicate myself, energies, talents, and growth to obtaining that billion dollars then it's more of an idle wish than a driving want.  So what are people willing to spend themselves for?

I submit there are two things.  Oneself.  Notself.  I do not believe anyone is ever really spending themselves to obtain a thing, or a status, or the like.  Those are only valued and desired as they build up either the one or the not.  What people have faith will accomplish either of those varies a great deal with their experiences, their beliefs, and their circumstances.  To a certain extent we are all products of our environment.

But there remains to each person an important choice.  Whether or not to value others.  It is a choice that is simply stated.  The results of that choice are as varied as the human race.

In my next post I will discuss the pros and cons of choosing not to value others.  I will also touch on some of the ramifications of that choice and how it effects the pursuit of power.