Fear comes and goes, but a man’s love stays with him…… Eastern Proverb
I have to say that this one does make me think a bit. What makes us move? What drives us?
Is it fear that drives us, or ambition, or hate?
This is one of the questions that, I would like to believe, has bedevilled us through the ages. I do read a bit of Indian history, and while I may quote from this, I think that some of the lessons extend beyond the borders of my land. At this point, I am reading about a turbulent period of Indian history. This is the period from 1206 to 1526. This is the period of the Delhi Sultanate, which saw the rise and fall of five dynasties. Each of these five dynasties had some great rulers who have not been sufficiently appreciated by Indian historians. These five dynasties had their share of weak, imbecilic rulers. The dynasties, in order of succession, were The Slave Dynasty, The Khilji Dynasty, The Tughlaq Dynasty, The Sayyid Dynasty and The Lodi Dynasty,
Succession was a problem. Life was brutal, and so were the kings. There are tales of people being blinded by having their eyes gouged out with a razor. There is a tale of a prince/ king who was flayed alive, and his skin was cooked in rice and this was served to his family.
Much of this was done in the quest for power. I am sure that the kings lived in some sort of fear all the time. Power, and a display of ruthlessness kept them in power.
Did love stay with them? What sort of live did they have? Various kings of that time (Muhammed Tughlaq, Timur The Lame) were considered to be learned men, and yet were ruthless in their quest for power?
What drove them? Was it love, or was it the lust for power? Did they love the sight of people being tortured and killed? Did they did it for the love of money?
Did they hate the infidel, and love people of their own religion?
And yet, here is a quote from a Persian Poet called Saadi
“If a holy man eats half his loaf
he will give the other half to a beggar
But if a king conquers all the world
he will still seek another world to conquer”
The wise man is not driven by fear of hunger. We all have to die one day, yet it would seem that his love for the hungry man is greater than his desire to eat.
A king (not all kings!) is driven by ambition, by lust, and seeks greater and more worlds to conquer.
Replace the word ‘king’ with ‘politician’ or ‘global corporate captain’. How many seek limits to growth, new territories? Do we put limits to growth on ourselves?
What drives you?