"With great power comes great responsibility," says Uncle Ben Parker to Peter Parker (Spiderman).
True, natural power, comes from being aligned with the Universe - of being kind, compassionate, loving and caring for all beings. Of being aligned to the greatest good for the greatest number of beings (not just human beings.)
And since True, Natural, Power is 100% integrous, it's aligned with the "all giving, all accepting, ever kind, always benevolent" Universe. And so, it's infinite and inexhaustible - and will exist as long as the Universe does.
These thoughts occurred and came to me when I was pondering over the various exchanges on social media and mainstream media, about various things. The predominant theme seems to be that there is one extreme or the other. Those who are willing to stop, think and look at multiple perspectives seem to be a very small minority in terms of numbers. That almost everyone is willing to jump and accept anything that is aligned with their predispositions and more willing and ready to debunk, dismiss, and quite vehemently and rudely anything that is different from their positions. And each person seems to want to put down the other and their point of view, their beliefs, and even to the extent of making personal attacks. And sadly, in some rare cases, it has even led to the total collapse of some close relationships.
I have been constantly reminded of 2 Thamizh proverbs in this context the past few days:
"கண்ணால் காண்பதும் பொய், காதால் கேட்பதும் பொய், தீர விசாரிப்பதே மெய்!"
(kannaal kaanbathum poi, kaadhaal ketpathum poi, theera visaarippathey mei)
(Translation / Meaning: What one sees is not true, What one hears is not true, What one learns from a due and proper investigation, diligence and understanding alone is true!)
And the reason this is so? The eyes and the ears and sense of touch like all other sensory organs can be fooled. And prone to illusions and delusions. And if one wants to know more, then they should look up the term "cognitive dissonance."
Hence, it might not be useful to believe anything that you read, see, or hear - they can be manipulated to serve some ulterior motives. So, it is the responsibility of each person, to introspect, learn, and act appropriately.
And it might be useful to understand that they only form their own opinions from what they learn from research, investigation, introspection. And understand that they will still remain "opinions." And will not become THE TRUTH.
எப்பொருள் யார்யார்வாய்க் கேட்பினும் அப்பொருள்
மெய்ப்பொருள் காண்ப தறிவு. (குறள் 423)
(Epporul yaar-yaar Vaaiketpinum Apporul Meipporul Kaanpatharivu)
(Translation / Meaning: Whatever may be the source of any information, it is the responsibility of the recipient, to add to their knowledge by extracting and assimilating the truth in it.)
To me, this is a beautiful "kural" ("Thirukural") that simply put means, regardless of the source of knowledge or information, it is the responsibility of the recipient to investigate, introspect and ascertain the knowledge in it.
Anything that's not aligned with integrity, kindness, love, compassion and truth, is not power. This is "force," and it needs to be exerted constantly. And moreover, it's an exhaustible, finite, resource and since it is used for something that's selfish or serves a select few, will be exhausted along with them and their lifetime. So this can never succeed in the long term. (Note: A lifetime, mine or yours, isn't long term in the Universal scheme of things. Even a millennium might be just a blip in the Universal scheme of things. To put things in perspective, the Universe is thought to be about 13.8 Billion years old. 1000 years, a millennium is 1/13800000 as a fraction!)
Power (The Universal Truth, Love, Compassion, Kindness etc.) which just exists, will always prevail over Force (Falsehood, Selfishness, Jealousy, etc.) which needs to be exerted.
None has any power over me than the power I give them. It's in my actions of blind trust, and my beliefs, in some who might not be acting with integrity that gives them false power over me. I might give them this power over me, probably because of my naivete, ignorance, and at the extreme, irresponsible behaviour of not being willing to act with due diligence and responsibility for my welfare. And simply put inability to differentiate TRUTH from FALSEHOOD.
And each of us is given the ability and power to differentiate “truth” from “falsehood.” This ability is displayed in the form of ability to identify those who are trustworthy and those who are not. It is hard-coded into our beings. The video here might throw some light on this. (Thanks and credit to David Eagleman, BBC and all those associated with the making of this video.) (Trust - Are we born with it, or do we learn it?)
We are born with the ability to discern kindness from unkindness. And the key is to learn to nurture this ability and to discern truth from falsehood. And at every instance that one forms a very strong opinion, to stop and to ponder, introspect, and to check if one is acting in line with the Universal principle of love, kindness, compassion and integrity.
And as for those who act irresponsibly from Selfishness, exploiting the naïveté and ignorance of others, they will reap their rewards of such non-integrous behaviour. Not because of the Universe punishing them, and entirely because of their own core being, that's aligned with the Universal truth, which will self-correct.
Cheers! Stay happy, stay blessed, stay vigilant, stay responsible, stay safe.