The great spiritual leaders of the world lived lives of piety and engaged the world with clarity, compassion and a desire to succor those in pain. Their lives were epitomized by a complete lack of fear and a confidence in the belief that what they thought, said and did was not only right but mutually consistent. They wielded (and still wield) an enormous power to inspire human effort and give people confidence in themselves and their fellow beings. The same can be said albeit to a lesser degree of the Lincolns, Kings, Ghandis and Mandelas of this world. They never sought power, yet, their lack of fear and their compassion vested power in them and that power made them ever humbler, ever more compassionate.
Unfortunately, it is not possible to say that about our current crop of leaders. From cradle to grave, fear seems to drive their lives. Every milestone of their careers, every stance, every ideology is driven by the necessity to minimize the impact of that fear on themselves while leveraging the fear of others to push themselves to the top. The higher they go, the greater becomes that fear. At the top – in government or business or any other human endeavor, in their vanity, they call themselves the most powerful but in reality, they are the most fearful. At the top, they wield that fear ruthlessly, believing that as long as they remain at the top, scything everyone and everything in their path with an aggression born of absolute terror, other, equally frightened people cannot touch them. They believe that they can neutralize real or imagined danger from external entities by using fear to command and wield the weapons and the people at their disposal against such threats.
It is time to re-write the old adage: