Machiavelli reminds us that ends justify whatever means we need to employ achieve our goal. It is always better when individuals cooperate with the requirements to get to the destination, but if they do not, manipulation, exploitation, and coercion are all fair tools that one can employ. His books have stood the test of time. From my perspective, all great leaders have read “The Prince of Thieves”, even if they disagree with the premise and conclusion.
Ironically, as strongly as I disagree with Machiavelli, on reflection I use his methods far more often than I care to admit. They work, at least for a time. I am not the only one. Many want economic security. For this, they are willing to compromise their values, give up their freedom to choose, and even enforce this approach on strangers that do not understand the issues at hand. Yet, with the reflection of today's dawn, I wonder if anyone understands the impact of telling our souls that compassion will never be our number one value unless there is an ulterior motive, community is always less important than the individual, and mercy is not an appropriate point of view. Even as we fight against the truth of these statements, our past actions tell us that this is what we say is true.
I find that it is hard to keep one's tactics in focus with values. Most of the time, I have a goal in mind and simply focus on getting there. I am not the first. In situation after situation, just like managers throughout the centuries, “the religious leaders renewed their threats, but then released them. They couldn't come up with a charge that would stick, that would keep them in jail.” (Acts 4.21) If one tactic is not available, another will suffice because the goal must be achieved.
Today can be different. Today I can live with a spirit of compassion, an attitude of mercy, and a willingness to be in the moment. I can, will, be present, striving to see living compassion, realized mercy, and relevant community.
2021 Copyright © Daily Whispers.