Donald Trump and a monk walk into a bar…
I don’t know a lot about the actual Donald Trump, but the Donald Trump in my mind is the archetype of the ruthless businessman. He’s greedy, and will step on as many people as it takes to get to the top. He’s deceitful, wasteful, and doesn’t care at all about people or the planet – only profit. He’s aggressive and male. He’s all power and no love.
On the other hand, the archetype of love and service is a monk. Monks are all about love and spirituality and service, but monks hate money. They don’t own any material possessions and they go out and beg to get their basic needs met. Lots of love… but no power. Because power corrupts, right?
The Ancient Legend of the Were-Trump
I’m afraid that if I let myself love money or power, then I’ll turn into a were-Trump. By the light of the full wallet, I’ll howl “Awoooooooo!” I’ll tear my clothes off, revealing an Armani suit underneath, and run around madly laying off workers, buying Ferraris, and building hotels.
What place is there for someone like me? Where’s my archetype?
The good news and the bad news
The bad news is that there’s no place for us yet. The stereotype of people who have money or power is that they are greedy and ruthless – and this stereotype exists for a reason. There has been a lot of harm done to the world by the rich and powerful.
The good news is that the world is changing. And we have the opportunity – the responsibility – to use our power to help shift the world toward love, instead of giving it away because we’re afraid it will corrupt us.
Imagine that you become rich and powerful.
You meet all your basic needs. You give yourself some delicious comforts – enough to really feel spacious. What do you do then? Do you suddenly bust out of your clothes and reveal the Armani suit underneath? Do you cackle with greed and start laying off workers, buying Ferraris, and building hotels?
Or would you – and I’m going to go out on a limb here – continue to be the same good-hearted person you’ve always been?
The world is changing.
I first began to believe in this change when I found others who embody both power and love, people like Pam and Charlie and Mark. They exist! Businesspeople who aren’t ruthless! (In fact, they’ve got a hefty helping of ruth.)
I’m doing my part, too. I’m doing my best to be the change I want to see in the world. I am powerful, and I use my power in service of love.
Let’s create a new archetype, together.
What does it look like to you?