Better to Be Loved or Feared

Topics: Love, Fear Pages: 3 (902 words) Published: June 27, 2011
Machiavelli, the well-known philosopher of the Italian Renaissance, poses this question in this famous book excerpt The Morals of the Prince: "is it better to be loved than feared, or vice versa?" Machiavelli answers his own question, arguing that a prince is much safer being feared than being loved. Inducing fear upon his subjects with cruelty will keep them united and loyal. Those who are fearful of a person of any authority are more inclined not to cross the boundary of disrespect, for fear of punishment. Without a doubt, being loved is desired and has a greater value compared to being feared. Love has the power to nurture, support and ultimately, liberate; fear restricts, denies and imprisons. Personal growth and human achievement thrive on love, while fear hampers and destroys potential. Many people who aspire to be feared actually are fearful people themselves. They command respect rather than earning it, but they desperately want it all the same. To allow ourselves to be loved we have to also allow ourselves to be vulnerable. If we are very fearful people then we may feel that we need to form a protective emotional barrier around ourselves and shut out love. When this happens we may come across to others as cold and unfeeling. At the same time we may want to have as much control as possible, including control over other people. Being loved is not about having to abandon discipline, or being soft and fuzzy. For me, love means that the support, instruction, good example and encouragement help others towards freedom and goodness. It brings respect, emulation and admiration. Yet there are some in positions of power and authority, who would disagree, believing that fear achieves more. A dictatorial and rigid boss will rule by fear. Fear of the consequences, for workers, if they cannot meet his or her demands, is the way such a person chooses to operate. The unfortunate people who have to work for such a tyrant will be afraid of losing their jobs. Those...
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