”Power”

”…One has to reach the stage where power is in the hands of those who refuse it, and not of those whose ambition it is to possess it.”

I agree with Simone Weil’s statement. Someone who wants to possess power would most certainly use it once he gets it, probably even abuse it, because otherwise he wouldn’t really want it since it’s a great responsibility and very complicated to handle. Of course there would be an exception for someone who just wants the power to do good and help not just himself, but also others, but we probably wouldn’t say that such a person wants to “possess” power. For example in Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone the Mirror of Erised (a magical mirror) which was hiding the philosopher’s stone knew that with Harry the Stone would be in safe hands because he didn’t want to use it and its power, but the mirror didn’t give the stone to anyone who wanted to have it and possess its powers because it would be dangerous.

An example from my own life would be “being in charge of the grade book”. In my old school one person would always be chosen to be in charge of the grade book for two weeks. This meant that this person would carry the grade book to the classroom and to the teachers’ room for the teachers to take attendance and put in grades and notes. So the person in charge would get out of class a lot during the day. This might not seem like power, but it’s actually the same concept, because the students who always wanted to be in charge of the grade book were the ones who wanted to get out of class the most. So carrying around a grade book was a great excuse for coming late and getting out of class. I personally was not volunteering to be in charge of the grade book, simply because I was too lazy to walk up and down all the stairs at the beginning of each period. Because I refused this “power” in my example I was always the one who would be best for the job, because I wouldn’t take hours to get the book, I would just take the shortest way back to class and couldn’t bother taking any detours. So basically because I never wanted to have the “power” in the first place I wouldn’t try to abuse it like the ones who wanted to possess it did.

I guess that what I’m trying to say is that power comes with consequences, but once someone’s ambition becomes to possess it, it’s more for their own good than for others and the purpose of owning the power changes. In my example the power was in being charge of the grade book. The consequence of this was having to walk up and down between three floors every few hours, but the people who wanted this power abused it so that they could get out of class whereas the people who didn’t want to have this power either because they were lazy or didn’t want to miss class would be the fastest to get the task done.

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