Photo by Reza Hasannia on Unsplash

Watchet, Somerset, UK, 13th April 2020 23:40

Today there is quite a lot of talk in the news about going back to normal, easing restrictions and giving the economy a much needed shot of adrenaline in the arm.

I have to admit that I don’t envy those who have to make those kind of decisions, or those who are advising the decision makers. It must be terrifying to have to be responsible for the fate of thousands, even millions.

I think that the differences between the motivations to enter politics are becoming very apparent. Those who entered the political arena seeking power and gratification of ego look scared out of their wits and are defensive and don’t take responsibility. Those who did it out of a sense of loyalty, or because they simply wanted to make the world a better place, seem more at ease with themselves. They also seem able to acknowledge their shortcomings and their apologies are sincere, none of this “we are sorry that you feel let down” lark.

I am reminded of the story of the Sword of Damocles, which took place in the 4th Century BC in Sicily. According to the story, Damocles was pandering to Dionysius, his king, and exclaimed to him that Dionysius was truly fortunate as a great man of power and authority, surrounded by magnificence. In response, Dionysius offered to switch places with Damocles for one day so that Damocles could taste that very fortune firsthand. Damocles quickly and eagerly accepted the king’s proposal. Damocles sat down in the king’s throne surrounded by every luxury, but Dionysius, who had made many enemies during his reign, arranged that a huge sword should hang above the throne, held at the pommel only by a single hair of a horse’s tail, to evoke the sense of what it is like to be king: though having much fortune, always having to watch in fear and anxiety against dangers that might try to overtake him. Damocles finally begged the king that he be allowed to depart because he no longer wanted to be so fortunate, realizing that with great fortune and power comes also great danger.

I think this story should be told to all aspiring politicians as a reminder that with power comes responsibility and that it is important to acknowledge our vulnerability.

I don’t yearn for that kind of power but I can see an important message for me in this tale.

Let’s hope the sword remains hanging, even if it is by a thread.

Good night all

OneLove OneHeart

Tonight’s choice of music is by Lou Reed: Sword of Damocles

World-wide confirmed cases: 1,912,923

World-wide deaths: 118,966

World-wide recovered: 448,053

UK confirmed cases: 89,569 

UK deaths: 11,347

UK recovered: 625


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