Today is election day in the United States. For weeks, the airwaves have been inundated with television and radio ads – most of them portraying the opponent in the worst possible way. What a relief to know that at least for a time, the noisy clamor for our attention will take a break.
There seems to be a lot of anger this election about the failure of politicians to do what they promised to do and indeed, to work together to do anything. It’s unfortunate that these days politicians are often referenced in a disparaging way. It’s a reflection of how frustrated people are.
One of the key reasons that people vote for any politician is the hopeful expectation that the power vested in the office will bring the results or changes desired. A few days ago, I read the following quote about power:
“One of the most common forms of mental disease is power madness. That too, is based on the illusion that man has the power to make things happen, to influence people and events and to be a prime mover”. Quote from Beyond the Dream by Dr. Hora.
Quite startling, but when you think about it, quite true. Few of us have the power to voluntarily hold our breath for more than 2-3 minutes. We don’t have the power to control the weather or determine how any one person chooses to respond or think about us. Our bodies largely function without our conscious assent.
Perhaps, it is the unsettling nature of our powerlessness that drives us to seek control. And when we can’t personally abide within our narrowly framed parameters, find proxies who will promise us results that we demand. The entire thing is a type of illusion and points to a problem within us as much as those we elect.