I’m sure that most of you have heard the old saying that “power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely.” Well, unfortunately we are seeing that adage played out in all too real terms right now in Washington. And, it’s getting scarier and scarier by the minute.
In case you haven’t heard, the latest is that a FOX News reporter was under investigation for possibly being a co-conspirator in leaking national secrets because he was reporting the news. Talk about a chilling development. Look at the history books and see what happens when the government starts to try to protect itself from the people. Fortunately for us, even our left-leaning liberal national media has its limits on looking the other way — especially when the government starts to come after the media itself.
The love of power and the resulting corruption that it can bring is not limited to any one ideology or political party. We can look throughout the ages and see example after example of how people are corrupted when power is in their hands.
Since the formation of our country, we have survived the corruption that is inherent in any political system and you know what, we will survive these current examples. But, contrary to what some national politicians say, it does matter as to who knew what and when and I would like to hear that answer. Even though most of us think that’s an important point, I’m pretty sure the average citizen will never get the straight answer to those questions.
Though I may be discouraged by the depths to which some of those in power will sink, I am encouraged by the heights to which Americans will soar when the need arises. Like all of you, I was sickened by the devastation of the tornadoes in Oklahoma this week and the tragic loss of life. The memories of those in this area are still fresh as we watched the same scenario play out in our neighboring state.
And, just like in the case of the tornado that hit this area just two short years ago and in previous tornadoes and tragedies — help was there almost before the storm passed. Assistance is already pouring in from all over the country and people will continue to come for weeks and months just to help strangers who will quickly become like family.
But, what brings tears to the eyes of many, are the stories of unselfish sacrifice that always rise out of any tragedy. In this case I have heard reports of teachers shielding student’s bodies with their own and in some cases giving their own lives to protect the lives of those in their care. Similar stories were told from the Joplin tornado and in every tragedy you have people more concerned with the lives of others than they are in preserving their own.
Page 2 of 2 - John 15:13 says, “Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.” It seems like in most tragedies there is no such thing as a stranger and we all become friends for that moment in time. How sad that we have to have tragedies to remind us of that and to bring us together.
Whether it’s a terrorist attack or a natural disaster, tragedies always remind us of the things that we have in common rather than the things upon which we differ. In the midst of despair there always seems to be a ray of hope. In that moment the minor things in life that so consume us fade away and we focus on what’s most important.
The people of Oklahoma need our prayers and our assistance and I know that they will get both. Even as many are still recovering from their own losses I know that they will give to those in need at this time.
Yes power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely but, we cannot let that be the message that defines this great country. Rather, it should be the willingness that so many have to sacrifice all for another and the heart of service that so many display in times of trial. That is what defines America and what is most important.
Kevin Wilson writes a weekly column for the Daily News.