It’s been said that power corrupts, but it is possible that power simply holds a bright light and a clean mirror up to reveal what has always lurked in the darker recesses of our hearts and minds. I am reminded of one of my favorite bits of literature:
The text itself is below, but the full novel is available online at Project Gutenburg.
Consider the subtleness of the sea; how its most dreaded creatures glide under water, unapparent for the most part, and treacherously hidden beneath the loveliest tints of azure.
Consider also the devilish brilliance and beauty of many of its most remorseless tribes, as the dainty embellished shape of many species of sharks.
Consider once more, the universal cannibalism of the sea; all whose creatures prey upon each other, carrying on eternal war since the world began.
Consider all this; and then turn to this green, gentle, and most docile earth; consider them both, the sea and the land; and do you not find a strange analogy to something in yourself?
For as this appalling ocean surrounds the verdant land, so in the soul of man there lies one insular Tahiti, full of peace and joy, but encompassed by all the horrors of the half known life.
God keep thee! Push not off from that isle, thou canst never return!
-- Melville, Moby Dick, Chapter 58
This is an excerpt from the book, Humane Leadership: Tools to Engage, Empower and Improve Performance.
A pdf of the image is available for download here.
An image file is here