Leadership uses power and influence to affect societal change. While socialized power is used by elected officials to benefit the majority of the people, personalized power is used for personal gain. In general, power can encourage leaders to act with assertion and confidence to make decisions, but it can also encourage leaders to focus on their own egocentric desires the more they become “intoxicated” with it. Historically, many countries have seen dictators, tyrants, and totalitarian or authoritarian rulers. But what encourages some leaders to fall into this power-hunger behavior pattern while others do not?
Have we lost sight of what is important, as a civilization? Is the world out of alignment with principles that matter? Missing children, an increasing COVID-19 death rate, and constant ethical dilemmas associated with our socially complex world make us wonder: can we, as a species, come to an agreement on anything?
Is selfishness prioritizing the individual the root cause of the United States’ current divide? Is lack of belief in social equality holding the US back? Whether these traits can be entirely blamed for our current political climate or not, it can be argued a nation needs a mix of collectivist and individualistic ideals to achieve both social equality and freedom for all.
The controversial and well-known Lolita by Nabokov forces us to address taboo topics and confusing realities in a way that only art can do. How do relationships often represent unrealistic ideals? Despite the novel’s taboo subject matter, can it teach us something about the dynamics of normal relationships? How do different art forms allow us to address immoral behaviors, social faux-pas, or the negative features of our human condition productively?
Where do we derive meaning for our existence and how do we find happiness? Can souls be nourished like bodies? If the world is a window, what do we see when we look in as we pass it by?
Does the current government of the United States reflect the founding fathers’ views? As a society, do we value unalienable rights, individual liberty, and self-reliance, or the illusion of morality to control citizens? How can we move away from oligarchic principles and move toward the virtue of Republicanism?