Every day, online, in the press, on radio and TV, we hear reports of people in positions of power or authority, abusing those positions in order to gain yet more wealth or power. It is said that power corrupts, and that absolute power corrupts absolutely. It seems, with the ever growing gap between rich and poor, that responsibility and being held to account, are fast fading traits from a bygone age.
As Daisaku Ikeda says, “We must establish the correct standard of value upon the foundation of the dignity of life. Leaders of society, including politicians and schoolteachers, should teach children the distinction between good and evil and lead society in the direction of goodness. Today, however, the higher the status that people achieve, the more wrongdoings they tend to commit. Those in high status think only of their selfish interests while exploiting ordinary people. The “me first” attitude prevails. Looking at those adults, children cannot possibly grow upright. Such social trends, in a sense, are destroying our children. Adults must first reflect on their own way of life. Without self-reflection, adults are not qualified to scold children.”
History shows us, that given sufficient provocation, citizens who feel a total lack of power or hope for their future, will take matters into their own hands, often with catastrophic consequences. Remember the French and Russian revolutions, bloody events where the citizens of the country took back control.
How long will it be before we begin to see, that our leaders, and those with wealth and power, have started to heed the lessons of history, and are using wisdom, courage and compassion to reverse the ugly trend towards increasing greed, selfishness and elitism?