power and addiction

someone said:“It almost seems that having too much money, and the power it brings, changes the brain’s chemistry. Normal people can be turned into sociopaths if they acquire too much material wealth. It is almost like a chemical addiction.”

my thought:Anything that causes pleasure can cause an addiction. And in terms of the brain’s own neurochemistry, that addiction is chemical.

I’m not talking about the “laying in the bathtub puking because of withdrawal” type of addiction, obviously. But I am talking about the type of addiction that narrows your world: you find one thing that brings so much overpowering satisfaction, that you turn to OTHER things less and less, until that one thing becomes the only thing that CAN bring you satisfaction, because over time your world has constricted so much.

It can happen with wealth. It can happen with power. It can happen with television. Heck, it can happen with anything. If you are extremely good-looking, and you constantly rely on the benefits of that to the exclusion of developing other skills or talents, then you can become addicted to THAT. Anything you have that brings you benefit, you can become addicted to.

I think the point that I am trying to make is that the problem isn’t the fact that these people have too much wealth, per se. There will always be people with too much of this, and too much of that. The problem is that we do not educate people and help them to cope with having “too much” in a way that is not addictive.

With recent current events, I’m forced to think of Corey Haim, and so many other child stars that end up imploding later in life. When you become addicted to the adulation of strangers on the street, it makes it impossible for you to get pleasure our of real personal relationships. And when that adulation fades…. you fade, emotionally.

The “corruption of wealth” and the “corruption of power” are not special. It is merely another expression of “the corruption of addiction”… being addicted to something that you were blessed to have too much of.

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