Drunk on power

Last week I was at my kid’s school. As I stepped out of the gate, there was a Toyota Innova with a red beacon on top. And it was on. Inside the vehicle were 6 school kids (obviously from same school). Arrogance and disdain on their face as they looked around. I asked them to turn off the light. One kid rolls down the window and says with utter arrogance – “we have license for this”. When I insisted they either show the license or turn off the beacon, they laughed and zoomed off.

In times to come, most of those kids will be in fancy cars, drunk on all the power that money and connections bring. They will look at other people on the streets as insects that need to be run over. Some of them actually might do so in drunken state. Safe in knowledge that the power they have, makes them invincible.

While this was an example stemming from my experience and what I have read in papers about some of the fancy cars involved in accidents, power is something that makes people feel invincible in other spheres too.

It puts you in a bubble that rises above everyone else. Makes you look down on people who seemingly don’t have that power. It leads to arrogance, apathy and utter disregard for human values.

You head a corporate and have so many people working for you. Do you use that power to make their lives and working environment better or do you use them to make your life even better than it already is.

E-commerce (and here I include everyone who is part of it – deep discount ecommerce, food delivery apps etc.). You had the idea, you had the investor and you were on top of the world. The brightest minds were queuing up to work for you. For a while everyone was on a high. The organisation treated their business partners as vendors who know nothing (after all, you are the big gun). And then the House of Cards collapsed. Who got affected? Not you. You only worried about the money you won’t be making. You just shut down the business and moved on to something else. The lives that were left in tatters were not your concern.

Look at what has happened at BCCI. Arrogant bunch who was even willing to question the highest court of this country.

Will not talk about politicians. The less said the better.

History is replete with such stories. The financial meltdown, the great dynasties, individuals.

Countries indulge in power games. US prime example. We all know where that is headed with the orange top in power.

But the thing is, ultimately, life is a great leveller. Someday you lose the power or someone more powerful comes along. Karma has a way of getting back at you.

When that day happens, you realise that you are not no invincible after all. You are as mortal as the man on the street. What do you do then? 

We keep hearing about “with power comes responsibility”. But most ignore that. 

Will things ever change? I am afraid they won’t. Because power is something we all crave for. Before we get it, we mouth platitudes and talk about how we will use it. But once we get it, we feel we were more deserving than others and we invested our lives in getting it and there has to be an ROI… and it just goes on and on and on… just another addiction… an aphrodisiac.

2 thoughts on “Drunk on power

    1. Thank you Rashmi. Most of my posts start with a thought in my head and I start typing. Somewhere through the post, the thought travels from head to heart.

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