The Outside View

By Judge Panambulan M. Mimbisa (ret.)

Power is the most priceless, the most cherished and the most guarded possession ever known to mankind. People are willing to lose life and limbos just to take a glimpse of it and nations, as history tells us are ready to engage in war to establish or gain dominance over other nations. The exploration for gold, diamond and other minerals of the earth are just means to an end, because wealth is equated to power. It is more than magic because it holds people mesmerized and awed by the way it can change color of everything from black to white to red and so on and so forth and how it spell bound the human consciousness into believing, even if it were not true, that rivers can flow upstream and spring can rise above its source. 

We all very know that this is not magic and no matter how incredibly brilliant the trick maybe, it can never be done. And yet power can make it happen precisely because people are forced or paid to believe so. This is why dictators from many parts of the world cling to it like leech. From history past to present to history in the future, this commodity will continue to pre-occupy their thinking and imagination. It has beclouded all their senses of spiritualism, their adoration of humanity and their penchant, if at all to public service. No one can belabor the fact that a great number of politicians have thrown their hats into political arena in the hope that victory will give them the power that they desire. Power that will give them the audacity to hold sway over public employments, development projects and business opportunities and place of importance or pre-eminence in social and cultural gatherings. These are but a few of the manifestations of the power for there are many others which are more pronounced and intricate. These are also measured into a large degree in the member of flashy cars one owns, and the gold and diamonds that adorn their wives or paramours, the oftenness of their travels abroad end how frequent they dine in five-star hotels and restaurants.

This is power for you. As for the rest of us, we can only watch at far distance or sweat it out in the heat of the sun or struggle against nature during calamities because we have chosen to bargain our choice, over freedom and liberties, which are as priceless as power, to a few coins of silver. There are times that this writer had hoped that we go back to our historical tradition of the Sultanate so that we do not have to go through the rigors of being humiliated every election or having to beg favors from the power that be or be divided to the point of hatred or be like commodities up for bidding in auction sale.

Power is not all that bad or evil. It can also be an instrument for good and beauty, if only the welders of power will see that in power there is a concomitant responsibility. It is the essence of power that it is exercised for the common good and not only for those who have catapulted you to power. It is also its essence to unify and bond the people for a common purpose. With all due respect, the Latin maxim, Vox populi es vox dei may have its sense of validity in a democracy but may run counter to some Islamic principles because the laws of man being imperfect, as they are does not represent the perfect admonition of the voice or commandment of God almighty. The voice of the people are temporal in nature and character.

It is for this reason that man should never flirt with power because it is like playing with fire. It is dangerous and one can never tell how deep a pit you will fall. PMM

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