12/18/2018

“Of Great Place” by Becon : Summary.


Hardships of Offices:
Men who occupy high offices are servants of three things. Firstly, they serve the King for government ; secondly, they are subject to their desire for fame; thirdly they are restricted by the demands made own their time by their official duties. It is strange that they desire to seek Power over others and in the process lose their personal liberty.

Their raising power is toilsome and their hold on the position is percarious. They can suddenly fall from power or decline into obscurity because of others who attain greater prominence. This causes them deep unhappiness. But men either can not or will not retire from their offices and they continue to hold on them even in their old age or sickness.

Men in high position cannot be happy on their own : they are happy only if other think we'll of them and envy their positions. They are not really happy in their hearts. They lack self-knowledge as they are too busy to have time to look after their spiritual or physical health.

Opportunities of Great Place:
A man in high position has much scope to do good or evil. It is best not to desire doing evil at all ; the second best is not to have the power to do evil. The lawful end of ambition is to do good. Good thoughts are not useful unless they are translated into action and this is possible only through power or position. The consciousness of having done good in happiness of retirement.

Rules of Conduct:
A man should follow the good examples set in the past and check his own performance from time to time to see that it is not deteriorating.

He should improve his performance without ostentation and without casting aspersions on those of his predecessors who did not do well. He should himself set good examples for other to follow.

He should be systematic in his work. He should adapt the best from the past to the situation in the present. He should be frank and straight forward but not rigid or dogmatic. Any departure from his own rules should be clearly explained. He should respect the rights of his subordinates just he insists upon his own. Any advice regarding his work should be welcomed and given due regard.

Faults of Men in Great Place:
There are four faults to be avoided. These are delays, corruption, roughness, and facility.

Working according to a schedule and being easy of access will help to avoid delays.
Regarding corruption, one should not only refuse to accept bribes, but be able to stop a person from offering a bribe. One should not only be honest, but also keep oneself free from the very suspicious of dishonesty. Any change without appearing reason gives rise to suspicion of corruption, so one should explain one's intentions and reasons for the change clearly.
Roughness is worse than strictness, for it makes people hate a man . Rebuke can be given but not tauntingly.
Facility is worse than bribery. Once one allows oneself to be influenced by entreaties or recommendations, one lays oneself open to his form of attack forever.

Office and the Character:
The character of a man is revealed in a high office. A worthy man appears to an advantage and a worthless person appears worse than he is. A man may struggle and use crooked methods to raise a high position but one he has reached it, he should settle and pursue noble ends.

Advice to an Aspirant to Power:
One may, while rising to a high position, make use of crooked methods and join sides. But after reaching position, one should become neutral.
The memory of predecessors should be respected. Colleagues should be dealt within a consciderate manner. One should be free of self-importance and not let the consciousness of one's position enter into one's private conversations. He should unbend from official rigour when away from the office so that people may say that he is different man when discharging his official duties.

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