Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Pity the Petty People

   It is said that it takes all types of people to make the world go around. That’s too bad really because there are just some type of people that the world can probably do without. At the top of the list are the truly evil at heart. Those that bring tragedy and senseless misery to the lives of others. More toward the bottom of the list are the haters and the petty. Those that should really seek help for their personality affliction, but instead seek power just to wield it against those without it. They walk big and talk big, but really couldn’t get any smaller.

   We are never going to live in a perfect world, although we dream of it and strive toward it and I think are constantly making the world a better place because of this drive. However, it’s not always the big sweeping changes or endeavors that make the most difference. Smaller pockets of personal initiative go a long way as well. I say all this to make a point about dealing with those people that we come across in our everyday travels that feel the need to impress upon others, the machinations of their will because of authority granted them by those they are impressing upon.

   Of course that’s not always the case as there are many that are self made successes and have positioned themselves to be over others in some shape or form. The real question is what influences a person on how they exercise power? Perhaps it’s just human nature to abuse power? There is a saying that absolute power corrupts absolutely...but just a little power can have the same corrupting ability. Let me rephrase that because it’s not the power that corrupts, it’s the manifestation of that power by the corrupted person.

   Not everyone in a position of power is abusive. Probably not even the majority of people in power are abusive of it...depending on what area of life we are talking about. I’d probably be hard pressed to sell anyone on the idea that the majority of our political system isn’t abusive of power.The question still remains what makes a person travel this road, and what can be done to deal with the repercussions?

   From my own personal experience, I can say that an exercise of abusive power upon me stems from the abuser not being able to fully come to terms with abuses had upon them. It is being carried with them like a large sack of dirty laundry, drug behind them like an un-hoisted anchor, and they revisit their hurt like the ghost of Christmas past. I suppose some effective counseling could help with this, but pride is the Gandalf that counseling shall not pass.

   When you really consider the situation, it’s very sad. “Because I’m in charge” is just an excuse to exercise petty machinations. Such a position does not foster respect or admiration but resentment and hostility. Since I’m enlightened about the background in my particular situation...I also feel pity. I’m left to wonder where the collateral damage ends, and the healing begin? Will there ever really be any healing at all, but instead just a rash of future conflict and destructive behavior?

   Dealing with the petty people goes beyond these types of people themselves. Sure, you can put them in their place (at possible future cost to yourself) and show them the truth of the consequences of their actions...but will someone so damaged even register the effort as a step toward resolution? Probably not. No, the true dealing of this starts in the mirror. Ultimately it will be the reaction to these people that starts a chain of calamity and although none of us can control how we feel, we certainly can control how we act.

   I choose not to feed the ravenous hunger the petty people have  for inflicting misery through corrupted power. I choose instead to exercise my own personal power of intelligent self control...and rob them of any meaning they place upon the misuse of their authority. Pity the petty people...


  1. And what if the petty person is the owner of the building you just signed a lease for who blocks your car so you can't go to work because you had the audacity to expect to use the parking spot you paid for that her daughter in the next apt was previously blocking?

    1. Pity them...they are being petty and are in need of help. Then remind them of the terms of the lease agreement and what could happen if they violate them (which depends upon the jurisdiction you live in).

  2. Wonderful post. It's hard not to get sucked into the pettiness by having some sort of negative reaction. But remaining aloof and detached is the best solution.