The Problem With Power Trips

What is a power trip? It is the act of exerting ones will into a situation to control the outcome of events where it is not necessary or beneficial and usually is detrimental to another. Any kind of relationship, from work to the most personal is a likely place to encounter this maneuver. But it's not limited to that. It can happen at the scene of an accident where the responding officer is a friend or relative of the offender and suddenly the ticket is issued to the wrong person. A whole host of places where things take an unexpected turn of events by someone else's interference are examples of stumbling upon someone's power trip.

Probably all of us have encountered situations where the opportunity was before us to interfere or intervene and change the outcome of a situation. Unfortunately we are also acutely aware that doing so would be unfairly detrimental to one of the parties. This is the fork in the road where we are called upon to make a choice. We can distance ourselves from the events unfolding, voice an opinion, offer advice or embark on a power trip.

Integrity stands before us; do we honor it or ignore it? To choose the turn to integrity means we are willing to trust the outcome without our interference is in the best interest of all parties. Ignoring it means we will choose to take the power trip and exert our influence by interfering in the outcome. If you believe in karma, the belief that we are accountable for our actions and will meet them down the road, it is worth noting that interfering in someone else's karma moves their debt to your column. You are accepting responsibility for another person's choices or actions. Still, it is a heady experience to exert oneself into a situation and control the outcome... at least for the moment.

The road gets bumpy on power trips. Unexpected consequences keep popping up requiring us to beat them back down to continue to the conclusion we have committed to. Sometimes, despite all of our efforts, the result is exactly the same as it would have been without our interference or energy expended.

People who choose power trips are prone to lament that after all of their efforts, the outcome was far less than satisfying. As my Momma used to say, 'I try to avoid power trips because I find they frequently take me someplace where I hadn't intended to go.' This was powerful advice from someone who had the opportunity to influence the masses through her work as a journalist at a major newspaper. If you are tempted to choose the power trip, take a moment when you arrive at that fork in the road where integrity acts as the stop sign; choose to be true to the person you are striving to become.


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