Do you know what it means to be in power?
More money. More women. More fame. More recognition. More relevance. More control. Little wonder so many people wish to be in power. Little wonder some wouldn’t mind doing anything- stealing votes, threatening the peace and security of others, spilling innocent blood- all for power.
Have you read any of the H arry Potter series? If you haven’t, then I think you really need to. A lot of people see it as a story based of witchcraft and wizardry, which is true. But, I see it as being much more. I see it as being a book about real life. It discusses real issues that are necessary to the growth and maturity of anybody. In this post, I will explain power from the Harry Potter dimension.
For those who have not had the opportunity of following the story line, let me give a short summary. It is about a young boy, Harry Potter who leaves a perfectly normal (or rather imperfectly normal) life with his Aunt and her family. He thinks he is normal until one day, he gets a letter informing him that he has been offered admission to the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, as he is actually a wizard. Naturally, Harry is doubtful and his relatives are relunctant to let him go (though they are not actually in good terms). However, through a series of rather amusing events, Harry winds up at the school.
At Hogwarts, Harry meets other kids like him. Some become his friends- like Ron and Hermione- while some others become his enemies (like Malfoy, Goyle and Crabby). Quick into the story, we see his friends being examples of
courage, bravery and positive decisions. We see them uniting to join the school headmaster, Albus Dumbledore in his fight against terrorism. We also see some others, the enemies Harry gains so quickly, seeming to love the attractions of dark (or evil) power.
But we’ve skipped an important part of the story. Harry has by now discovered that he is not just a common wizard. He is famous! it turns out that he is part of a household story that occurred at the time of his birth…
The wizardry community had been under the strong hold of a wizard known as Voldemort. He was exremely powerful and he was well known for his wicked killings and quenching thirst for power. Pressurized by one man for a long period, the entire community had lived in fear. One day however, Voldemort had succeeded in killing Harry’s parents. However, when he tried to kill Harry, the curse bounced back and all of a sudden, Voldemort lost all his powers and dissappeared.
So Harry suddenly is thrust into fame and responsibility. He has to plan a permanent defeat of Voldemort, for there are speculations (that soon turn out to be true) that Voldemort is still going to rise back to power. He has to handle fame. He has to handle the leadership role that has been thrust on him naturally.
I won’t continue with the story, because I would like you to read the 7 parts for yourself. it is an intricate story of power, of love and hate, of leadership and dictatorship, of charisma, friendship and enemity. It can grab your full attention, stir your mind, motivate you, excite you. Hey, I’m not being paid for this advert!
So what lessons do I want to teach from this story?
1. The strongest power lies in love: Harry could not be overcome by Voldemort because he was covered by the love of his (Harry’s) mother. Love others. If you hate, you can’t think sanely. Even enemies are best won over with love. And in love lies such amazing power. Powers like the power of friendship, of networking, of team spirit. The fundamental principle of leadership or even power, is love.
2. You Will Have Enemies if You Have Power: Ever seen people who hate you just by looking at you? well, such comes when you achieve some form of prominence. So, if you can’t learn to live comfortable with opposition, you can’t succeed.
3. Before you can rule others, you must rule yourself: Master yourself. Harry finally won the war (in part 7) through supreme mastery of the powers (and weaknesses) of himself. He had mastered things such as lust for power, hatred, lust for wealth or fame, etc. At the point in which he won, he had become willing to die to save the lives of others. He had mastered himself and was willing to do things for the good of others. As the book rightly concludes, power is best managed by those who never sought it. Such people don’t need power for selfish reasons.
4. Think of the Big Picture: Power lies in the brain. The greatest battles are those of the mind. Plan ahead! Many times, we do not see the big picture; we think from narrow points of view. Don’t think just about today. Think about the future. Less people would kill for power if they could see things in perspective. The greatest power Dumbledore demonstrated in the story (which also happened to be the author’s checkmate) lay in his ability to think and plan ahead. he overcame all others who compared to him, were small time thinkers.