We need to remember that regardless of whether deep down inside we feel ourselves to be inadequate, harmless, or so upstanding as to only be capable of benefitting others, it is always possible that others are nonetheless quite vulnerable to us.
We have to accurately assess our power, not in order to puff ourselves up but in order to figure out how best we might use it to deliberately help others and how best to avoid risking hurting others.
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And sometimes a precondition of that virtue is a proper sensitivity to power-differentials and to how they affect the needs of others and our responsibilities to them. As a follow up post to this: Meditations on How To Be Powerful, Fearsome, Empowering, and Loved Posts on related virtues: Rightful Pride: Identification With One’s Own Admirable Powers And Effects The Harmony of Humility and Pride Your Thoughts?If you enjoy reading my philosophical blog posts, consider taking one of my online philosophy classes.We all know of many ways that powerful people can hurt others deliberately.But sometimes powerful people hurt others inadvertently because they underestimate their power and do careless things which cause harms they never expected, and sometimes never notice even after the fact.In all his professional dealings which I have observed he seems to be a fair and generous person.
He has never (that I have heard of) abused his power and behind the scenes I have even seen him use it to protect and encourage vulnerable students after a student came to him for help.
But nonetheless he implicitly scares the crap out of many students with his demeanor and he does not compensate for that in the sorts of emotionally sensitive afraid of him and prevents him from proactively alleviating their anxieties and helping them grow.
I know one student in particular who suffered a lot of intellectual paralysis, with real academic and personal costs, out of fear of his disapproval.
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Very often, our personality is just a reflection of events that we went through in our lifetime.
While most of us rightly want to be exceptional in some way or another, we often feel a lot of social and moral pressure not to think of ourselves as generally better than others.