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Showing posts from February, 2009

The Power Paradox

By Dacher Keltner, Ph.D.
Professor Keltner is co-editor of Greater Good and a professor of psychology at the University of California, Berkeley.

Originally published in Greater Good magazine , Vol. IV, Issue 3 (Winter 2007-08). For more information, please visit www.greatergoodmag.org .


True power requires modesty and empathy, not force and coercion, argues Dacher Keltner. But what people want from leaders—social intelligence—is what is damaged by the experience of power.

It is much safer to be feared than loved, writes Niccolò Machiavelli in The Prince, his classic 16th—century treatise advocating manipulation and occasional cruelty as the best means to power. Almost 500 years later, Robert Greene's national bestseller, The 48 Laws of Power, would have made Machiavelli's chest swell with pride. Greene's book, bedside reading of foreign policy analysts and hip-hop stars alike, is pure Machiavelli.

Here are a few of his 48 laws:
• Law 3, Conceal Your Intentions.
• Law 6, Court At…

The Power in Giving

We are all probably familiar with the power of giving. When we give, we draw to ourselves even more of God’s Grace and Goodness. Jesus exhorts us in the book of Mathew to give without relenting. “Heal the sick, cleanse the leper, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely ye have received, freely give.” (Mathew 10:8). Many people think thatgiving is limited to providing the material needs in life but Jesus brings out the multi-dimensional nature of giving. His call suggests we should also give of ourselves in every way possible, using all our God-given talents, powers and resources.

My late grandmother used to tell me that if you cling too tight to money, you’ll never be a rich man. That was another way of reiterating the profound power of giving and the necessity to give continuously. Giving has the power to heal our divisions and unite us as children of the one God. Giving has the power to bring out the essence that is in our lives, the stuff we are all made of – pure love. Givi…