Ambition Is The Greatest Enemy Of Peace


Ambition as the dictionary defines is an aspiration after success or advancement.

It is a strong desire to achieve a specific goal. It is an eagerness and sometimes inordinate, desire for preferment, honour, superiority, power, or the attainment of something. The undue craving for honour. The origin of this word comes from ancient Rome where the candidates for office were accustomed to go about (ambire) soliciting votes. This striving for popular favour was spoken of as ambite.

Honour is the manifestation of a certain reverence for a person because of the worth or assemblage of good qualities which that person is deemed to have. The excessive desire of distinction is of course a sin, not because it is wrong in itself to wish to have the respect or consideration of others, but because it is assumed that this quest is conducted without proper regard to the mandates of sound reason. This disorientation in the desire of or search for honour may come about chiefly in three ways: – i) One may want this credit for a merit which he really does not possess. ii) A man may permit himself to forget that the things, what ever they may be, which are thought to deserve the testimony of others, are not his in fact. iii) A person may be so egoistic as to fail to employ his virtues, which had evoked the people to respect him for the welfare of others.

Man is the only animal in this world that has the tendency of destroying himself. History tells us the story of men who in their quest for honour, superiority and respect destroyed themselves. Ambition is like a slow poison, it comes in the category of drugs and alcohol, as like them it completely takes over the mind and soul of a person and then destroys him completely.

Yes, we can say that ambition is the greatest enemy of peace. Ambition of some men has led to the downfall of nations. Homer’s “Iliad” tells the story of war between the Greeks and the Trojans. It was not to get back Helen of Troy that Agamemnon (Helen’s Brother in Law) launched 50,000 men in 1,000 ships, but he wanted to prove to the world that he was the greatest ruler. The war lasted ten long years destroying both the Greek and the Trojans.

The First World War was fought because of the ambition of the European Nations, which individually wanted to become the greatest power in the world. Each one wanted to be on top, the war was unavoidable.

Alexander the Great, Genghis Khan, Attila the Hun, Tamoor the Lame, the list of such zealous persons is endless, who put many to sword and fire in their quest for greatness, lust for power and craving for honour. All the above-mentioned persons had one common ambition: to become the most powerful and greatest person alive on earth ever. To achieve this purpose they waged many wars. Their motto was victory at all costs, victory inspite of all terror, victory however long and hard the road may be, for without victory there is no survival. We all know that in front of so much blood shed peace cannot stand a chance.

Greatness and honour is something, which cannot be got by power and force, it can be achieved only through love and peace. If power and force is used on people to impose superiority, then many people will become followers not because they have respect or love for the person in power, but because of fear of the power. An example from Indian History is of Emperor Ashoka, who was a very ambitious person. He won over many nations with his military might. He was the most feared Monarch. He was shown respect not because of reverence but because of fear. One day Ashoka felt sick after witnessing the magnitude of destruction, which his rampaging army had caused and decided to renounce war and take to the path of peace and love. Thereafter, he earned the true respect of people far and wide. He is called great not because of the wars he won but because of the number of hearts he won.

In every walk of life we find ambitious people who are willing to do anything to achieve their goal. Politicians in their lust for the chair have tried to create rift between people by dividing them on the basis of caste, creed, sect, religion and making them fight.

Some, workers in the office may speak ill of his colleagues in the ears of the boss, thereby disrupting the peace in the work place. By creating petty fights he wants to achieve a promotion and fulfill his ambition.

To be ambitious is not altogether bad, for without it the human race would not have progressed. We would still be living in caves and hunting for food had our ancestors not dreamt to make life more comfortable. Dreaming alone does not help. To realize the dream one has to make it ones life ambition. All the inventions that we see around us are the fruit of some one or the others zealousness to succeed against all odds and leave their footprints for posterity to see and revere.

When ambition transforms into a mad lust for power then it takes a negative turn. The person becomes obsessed about ones own success that one forgets everything and everybody else.

In the blindness thus created one treads over others feet and tries to destroy whom so ever comes in the path. It is this kind of ambition that is not only destroying peace between people, but is leading to self destruction as one starts burning in ones own ambition.

Oh! You, Ambition, the greatest enemy of peace, stay away.

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