The Dark Side Of Power
The existence of the dark side of power was unimaginable to me as a child. I grew up in a middle-class neighborhood in Farmers Branch, Texas. Of course, the definition of the middle class is muddled and meaningless, so to be specific, I grew up in a one-story, two-bedroom house. My father taught medicine at the University of Texas, Southwestern Medical School. My mother practiced as a Registered Nurse and Director of Nursing at a large skilled nursing home in Dallas, Texas. She got me involved in long-term care, and her influence shaped much of what I believed about the industry in the beginning. But I learned the truth on my own. Not just the truth about long-term care, but I think about all of corporate America. I learned about the dark side of power.
My parents did not intentionally lie to me. They taught me what they believed to be accurate. And maybe it was right at one time. I don’t know. The American dream was to grow up, get married, own a house, have children, and live in one of the world’s greatest free countries. I believed in the legal system, the constitution, the Bill of Rights, and all the protection they afforded each of us. It wasn’t a perfect country or legal system, but good conquered evil, and the truth would win out.
I learned everyone is equal. We treat everyone with respect and dignity no matters their skin color or religion, or even sexual orientation. And if someone should harm you, the courts were there to protect your rights. It was all so simple. But it wasn’t.
The Dark Side of Power Rears It’s Ugly Head
Today, I question nearly everything, I believe. And while I disagree with the violence on the street, I can understand the anger. But I think the issue is much bigger than national origin, sexual orientation, skin color, or any of the multitude of topics that people use to manipulate us to create a power base for the rich. It is about your soul and do not think for one second that there is not a price on your soul in corporate America. For my purposes here, I refer to the buyers as power brokers. Others may refer to them as pure evil, people who already lost their souls, angels of darkness. Whatever label you choose to put on them, they worship power and the money that goes with it. And if you sell your soul to them, you will probably never see it again. Whatever you do, do not underestimate the dark side of power.
Government And The Dark Side Of Power
I do not want this book to be about politics, but unfortunately, politics is the vehicle the power brokers use to build their power base. Whether your politics are far left-leaning, moderate, far-right, or somewhere else on the scale look at who represents you. I find it hard to believe that a party claiming to represent the underdog would have mostly rich, powerful, and rich politicians in charge. And who carries their message? The powerful and rich, of course. They peddle the dark side of power for the power brokers.
The Uber rich celebrities and billionaire entrepreneurs and women are the standard-bearers. Do you honestly think they care enough to give up their money, live in a 2500 to 3000 square foot home in the suburbs? Have they? No, that money gives them power and influence. Influence is another form of power. In the right hands, we use it for good, but in the wrong hands, it is another way to buy your soul. It is the dark side of power.
What about the party that also claims to be creating jobs and expanding the economy? They want deregulation and less government. And yes, I align more with this party, but no one has fooled me to think they are right on everything. As I have learned, they are far from right on a lot of things. They leave us exposed to being abused and poorly treated by corporate America. They allow the power to be in the hands of the corporate elite. Again, money is power and it leads to the dark side of power.
How It Works
As you read this book, you will understand how my beliefs have developed. If we want to change, you will need to find common ground and tell all the politicians they work for us, not themselves and their billionaire friends. The people cannot continue to be used as pawns and let the power brokers dictate what is best for us. I think we have more in common than many of us believe.
But the power brokers stay in power by keeping us, the people, divided. Looking back, I first realized how things worked when I was in college. I watched my mother, eaten up, and spit out by the power brokers. The winners were the corporate owners and the government. I’ll talk about that story. But I was too young to understand what had happened. I was still putting it together.
My Personal Experience With The Dark Side Of Power
While with the company I recently left after 20 years of service, I first put it together. I was arguing over our VP of Human Resources’ desire to implement a test to screen applicants. I said it was fine if it is one factor used in combination with others to decide on the best candidate. But this test will block us from hiring a candidate if the results are not what we are looking for. Who wants their career hinging on one test result?
My argument is that a test, assessment, or whatever you want to call it should not determine who we can and cannot hire. I use my two bi-racial daughters as an example. In particular, one of them wants nothing more than to be independent, and she will get there through sheer determination. But she also has cerebral palsy, and she learns differently and at a slower rate than other people. Our CEO became frustrated and stated flatly, “I don’t think we want people like that working for us.”
Before that, I had the utmost respect for this CEO, and to be sure, he brought the company from nothing to a publicly owned profitable organization. But now I question if he is the most dangerous kind of power broker. The kind who is charismatic and inspires people to follow him. Do you recall Jim Jones and the poison Kool-aide? I am not qualified to judge, but the Bible clearly says,
15 “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves.[i]
Journey With Me
So with this in mind, I will take you on a trip through corporate America, and in particular, I will spend a great deal of time on things that happened in the company I was with for the last 20 years, but it won’t be the only company. There was my mother and what happened to her. And other companies where I got a glimpse into what things were really like.
If you continue to read, I will not disappoint you. You will learn things that will not always surprise you. But then you realize the victims were the most vulnerable older adults. Sometimes, however, they are young people. Young developmentally disabled people and people with brain injuries, kept alive by machines.
But it did not stop there. As the company grew, it went from no attorneys on staff to what seemed like an entire law firm. And they could be ruthless. Our employees could not fight the machine. Unions were impotent. And there was limited government protection. I hope when you finish, you will understand the need for change. Not just change in corporate America, but it’s time for “we the people” to take back our country.
Note: This post is a very small insight into my upcoming book that focuses on the exploitation of our seniors, by the companies that purport to take care of them. Not all organizations take advantage of our seniors and I will talk about them as well. Unfortunately, bad actors seem to outnumber the good and that is why I wrote my book. Watch for it and please buy a copy when it comes out.
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[i] The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2016). (Mt 7:15). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles.