“When the power of love overcomes the love of power the world will know peace” —Jimi HendrixThey say that words of wisdom should be appreciated irrespective of who is uttering them and in this case, a rock star who died at the tender age of twenty seven. One need not have spent many decades in this world to come to this conclusion. Any thoughtful human being who understands emotions, who cares for humanity, whose heart is full of compassion and whose mind is governed by the sensitivity that is the embellishment of the soul, would certainly vouch for power of love as opposed to love of power. There is a famous fable about the Wind and the Sun. They were disputing which was the stronger. Suddenly they saw a traveller coming down the road, and the Sun said: “I see a way to decide our dispute. Whichever of us can cause that traveller to take off his cloak shall be regarded as the stronger. You begin”. So the Sun retired behind a cloud, and the Wind began to blow as hard as it could upon the traveller. But the harder he blew the more closely did the traveller wrap his cloak around him, till at last the Wind had to give up in despair. Then the Sun came out and shone in all his glory upon the traveller, who soon found it too hot to walk with his cloak on. This goes to prove that before the power of compassion and kindness, might and strength have no choice but to surrender.Is the desire to control in-built in the human nature? Research suggests that the idea of control is nothing but a delusion and is meant to keep things static. Nonetheless there are many people around us who want to exercise their hold over our lives. They are keen on managing our slightest of issues, even what we think in the privacy of our minds. They can be our parents, spouses, siblings, friends, bosses or sometimes even our offspring. They enjoy dictating their terms that may include style of conducting our life, schedule of activities, plans for education, future careers, marriages and may extend further to interference in matrimonial lives as well. This is done either with an iron hand that inculcates fear or with love and affection capable of cajoling others into submission without their realisation perhaps. There is no respite from persons who just consider their own desires and wishes, more important than that of their peers or subordinates. Many a times, such a behaviour has led to the suppressed becoming victims of mental disorders or physical ailmentsIn our everyday life the lust for power is visible in all spheres: from small families, big corporations to the political arena. One person or a handful of persons are seen vying for the positions of control-whether it be an authoritarian father, a dominating mother (or mother-in-law), a domineering teacher, a dictatorial husband, a wife who always wants her way, or an officious senior at the workplace. There is no respite from persons who just consider their own desires and wishes, more important than that of their peers or subordinates. Many a times, such behaviour has led to the suppressed becoming victims of mental disorders or physical ailments or some have been witnessed as becoming asocial where solitude is preferred over company. The fortunate ones may undergo appropriate medical treatment while those whose illness remains undiagnosed end up becoming prey to exorcism or merely spend their lives in acute suffering.Down through the centuries of human history, battles have been fought, precious lives lost, kingdoms vanquished, peace disrupted, families torn apart, people abused in ways beyond imagination, civilizations uprooted, industries destroyed, environment polluted with unthinkable diseases erupting on account of atomic and chemical weapons-all because one person’s love for power becomes the obsession of his followers-his partners in crime. On the other hand, stories of men and women who believe in the power of love are fraught with antonyms of conflict. Negativity which is the hallmark of those who are fanatical about love of power is replaced with positivity that these peaceful and content people preach causing the downtrodden to take refuge in their fold. The world is witness to innumerable Godly prophets and saints who have come, who are here and will continue to come and who will always be remembered with fondness, just because their conviction about spreading the message of love surpasses all other ambitions. Many examples are available in the Indian Sub-continent of men and women, from all religious backgrounds who set a mark for themselves by inculcating love for humanity and service to mankind. Even Ashoka the Great, who started off as a vicious, bloodthirsty monarch is now held in high esteem after he converted his ideology from love of power to power of love that enabled him to rule the entire Indian peninsula for almost thirty six years. Even Akbar the Great could only win over the self-respecting Rajputs not by warfare but through establishing harmony by marital relations. Credit goes to the many Sufi saints who are to this day revered for their selflessness, devotion to humane causes, extreme compassion and teachings of peace and solidarity with one another as being the only sources for survival of mankind.Despite these efforts, the lunatic lovers of power, now on a more global scale, continue to play havoc with the denizens of this earth leaving no stone unturned to disrupt the peace of societies without realising that these endeavours will have a damaging fallback. Ironically, a leader of a highly criticised country, Menachem Begin is quoted as saying, “Peace is the beauty of life. It is sunshine. It is the smile of a child, the love of a mother, the joy of a father, the togetherness of a family. It is the advancement of man, the victory of a just cause, the triumph of truth”. George Washington, leader of another country, which now has unprecedented control over the whole world and claims to be watching the interest of other nations by proxy wars, advised his countrymen: “Observe good faith and justice towards all nations. Cultivate peace and tranquility with all”. What a pity that these words remain just words as the followers of these noble men continue to pursue their passion for love of power.The writer, lawyer and author, is an Adjunct Faculty at Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS) Published in Daily Times, September 8th 2018.