Imagine that you were a person of great influence and power. Imagine that you had so much power that you could fire people, start wars, negotiate shady deals, and make others dance to your tune. Now imagine that you had a certain idea of just how your life should be, just how the world should be, and just what you expected of others around you. You would never have to be challenged; you could enforce your will on others as you pleased. And you could destroy what is not pleasing you.
We all know of people with this kind of power. Some of them inspire us with their continued humility and generosity. Others make us shudder at the suffering their possessiveness inflicts on the world. Yet whatever degree of influence we have, the question remains, what is our possessiveness doing to others?
Week Three: If you had the power to make the world the way you want it to be, what kind of a world would it be? How much of your vision for the world is in service to your own ego’s comfort? And maybe more importantly, what would you do about people who disagreed with you or got in your way?
Week Four: Tolkein’s Hobbit and Lord of the Rings series is a gripping portrayal of the effects of all-consuming possessiveness. From the time the merry, fun-loving Smeagol strangles his friend in order to gain possession of a ring he calls “my precious”, through his transformation into a twisted, lonely, conflicted creature called Gollum, we see how possession can possess its owner. George MacDonald said, “a man[sic]is enslaved to whatever he cannot part with that is less than himself [sic].” This week, take a look at what you cannot part with that is less than yourself, and notice if this inability to let go has altered or is altering your character in any way.
For further reflection:
Read or watch the Hobbit and Lord of the Rings series.