BY LEANN DILBECK –
Power can evidently become an extremely addictive and intoxicating agent that can devour humility and cloud judgment to the degree that one can assume that every word they utter is profound and every thought and opinion is infallible. We read or hear daily about people in powerful positions that are suspected/accused of corruption almost to the point that we become callous to the headlines of yesterday’s “hero” being today’s “bad-guy.” Why does perceived “power” corrupt people that begin with what seem to be generous hearts? “Power tends to corrupt,” said Lord Acton, the 19th-century British historian. “Absolute power corrupts absolutely.” It’s no longer shocking news when we hear it… but more of an expectation.
Perceived “power” or “positions of influence” can be defined by different factors whether it be wealth, title or authority. Perceived power can feed pride like a steroid and launch an ego like a rocket ship.
Every facet of life needs a leader… from our families to our schools and businesses to our cities and of course, this great nation. But may our leaders always remember that no man is an island and they didn’t achieve the position by themselves but rather by being surrounded by trusted and wise counsel… that the position is one of privilege and opportunity. May they never become so arrogant in their “influence” that they fail to recognize other’s wisdom and differing perspectives.
I’ve been asked lately for my opinion on a variety of issues and topics. I am extremely private with my opinions. I have been challenged on that privacy, even being told that my role as an editor in society required me to endorse or take positions because I have the power to influence. I beg to differ and not to say that my way is right but it is my very deep-rooted conviction. I was greatly influenced by a very old-school journalism teacher that engrained in me that our job is simply to bring the facts pertinent to the story – the who, what, where, how and why – and allow our readers to make an informed decision. I still stand by that. We are not arrogant enough to think that our “opinion” on issues should be used to influence but am confident in our readers desire to know the unbiased raw facts pertinent to the story so that they can make their own informed decisions and conclusions.
We are not obligated to print every word uttered by someone with a title nor do we believe that our role as a news publication and the perceived power of influence that it holds should be used to “make” or “break” people or issues. We are keenly aware of the value of every drop of our ink and it will not be used for malice. Opinions are reserved for this page only and will only be used for God’s glory and no one else’s.
Yes, we must all stand for something or else we will fall for anything but I know myself and many, many others that pray our leaders forego all of the political posturing, opportunistic grandstanding, self-promotion, drive the bus over their opponent tactics and simply lead by doing what is right and consistent with what this country was founded on, to understand that their position is not about them but about the privilege and opportunity bestowed by our great Creator to make lives better. Pride goes before destruction, And a haughty spirit before stumbling. (Proverbs 16:18)
In the words of one of this country’s greatest leaders: “Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.” – Abraham Lincoln