There is a story that appears in our paper this week that had me contemplating power and how it affects us.
The story I am referring to is about a former Airdrie RCMP officer and volunteer coach who allegedly sent what some have perceived as “grooming” text messages to a 16-year-old who was also a volunteer coach.
While no criminal charges have been laid, there is something sickening about what happened.
Why did he think what he did was OK? What leads people to believe there is a line at all when it comes to these things?
While I refer to the story in our paper as a jump starter, I think the topic of power and how it goes wrong is fascinating. Watch any documentary about a dictator and you’ll be right there with me.
I can recall reading a pivotal book in my life, one that changed everything, called The War of Art by Steven Pressfield. Much of the book talks about the war between the pursuit of greatness through the creative lens, and what blocks and stumps most people from ever really achieving anything.
He refers to the blocks as the “resistance”, what stops us from pursuing what we really want to. In the book, he lays out something insanely profound that has stuck with me.
He dove into how Adolf Hitler initially set off to become a fine artist. He went to school for it, but never hit his creative stride. Apparently, he also wasn’t that good, or at least he wasn’t receiving the praise he was looking for.
He was powerless in his endeavour for creative excellence. Pressfield said it was easier for Hitler to start the Second World War than it was for him to stare at a blank canvas.
What a powerful statement. You can see it in the eyes of the people who fiend for complete control, too. There is something seemingly missing, or something they are running from. It becomes easier to try and manipulate and control, rather than reflect internally and grow.
I’m not saying I am innocent. There was a period where I did nothing but party and get as intoxicated as I could, trying to escape the traumas of my childhood and my own personal insecurities.
It is heartbreaking to understand that some people go through struggles and instead of working on themselves, they see how they can damage others.
I am not sure what the answer is to rid ourselves from these issues. Can you ever really stop someone from becoming this way? Will the need for power always outweigh the cries for unity? One can only hope that isn’t the case.