Power politics. In school, it was about who became the class monitor or who distributed the most expensive sweets on their birthday. In college, it was all about who could get out of assignments by hating ther eyelids or who was more popular with the opposite sex. Till now, we played power politics with our own peer group. We knew the rules of the game, the players, the strategies and the outcome. But once we became 'adults', the games changed, the politics got dirtier and the consequences far-reaching. We became a small fry in the big bad world, where more experienced players bent the rules, manipulated the strategies and ate us for breakfast.
I've always been an introvert, definitely not a people pleaser or a crowd-puller and nor do I intend to be one. When I think that anyone of authority might get offended with something I say or do, I shut up and swallow my pride, even though I'm right. So far, I've managed to remain in the good books of most people. I rationalise it by saying what good can come by pissing off people who are more important than me, whose word will always win against mine. When good can come by pissing off people who can determine whether I rise or fall, succeed or fail? I'd rather rise and succeed. Fortunately, many players are sporting and generous and they play fair.
I'm 17. I'm at the bottom of the food chain. I don't have the authority to make decisions, let alone tell others how to make them. But sometimes, and I think most 20-somethings will agree with me, I know I can make better decisions than some of the higher-ups. If I had the power to wield, I would use it sensibly. I wouldn't exploit it to make myself feel important or push my personal agenda over the greater good. Perhaps I would play politics with my own peers without it affecting those below me. Pick on someone my own size.
I'm finding it increasingly difficult to restrain myself from giving the power abusers a piece of my mind. Yet, I don't. I'm no coward. But we're told play safe. Act smart. Think with our heads, not our hearts, all that 'Dummies Guide to succeed in life' trash. And so I zip it. Absorbing the injustice of it all. Becoming the unwitting pawn in the games others play.
Maybe, just maybe, if I get there one day, I'd throw my weight around. Just because I can. Maybe people who have power to deserve to throw their weight around, because they earned that right on their way up. Maybe when I get there, I'll eat small fry for breakfast. Till that day comes, should I stand up or back down?