As a student at a boarding school, an intensely competitive one at that, you realise one thing. No one and I mean no one can be trusted. Frankly, I trust the support staff here more than I trust most of my friends. Now, before you sigh in exasperation, let me reiterate that this statement may not be true for every person and that boarding school really is one hell of a place.

Before I move on, let me give you a little back story, I’m currently a junior in high school, which is the 11th grade. This means that next year, as seniors, my batch will be given various offices of responsibilities. Not surprisingly, everyone wants a position and most people are willing to go to extreme measures to get what they meant. All of us being power hungry adolescent teenagers does not help in the maintenance of our friendships. It’s funny how little of a joke it is when I state that the situation over here is similar to that of the Hunger Games. I’ve often thought about how far I would go to get what I want in life. And even a dimwit can realise that everything is about playing politics. Playing it right is a whole different ballgame.

Over half a millennia ago, Nicolo Machiavelli said that, “It’s better to be feared than loved, if you cannot do both.” I never really did understand why he said so. Always having been a person who wanted to be liked and admired by everyone, this statement just seemed so illogical to me. That is until an unsuspecting me was brought down by his own ‘friends’ just because, in their words, ‘I was placed on a pedestal.’ Following this, something deep down in me broke.

I stumbled upon a realisation, love is fickle. It comes, it goes. But fear, fear is a much more stable motivator. Someone who is loved is only loved until he has something to give, the moment his views change his loved ones quickly forget their love. On the contrary, someone who is feared will always be in charge, regardless of his views. The simple fact that they do not know what will happen if they go against a feared person acts as the strongest motivator. It’s easier to appeal to what someone fears than what they love.

I still think that there is a part of me that believes love is better than fear, respect is better than hatred. But I’m aware that that part is slowly being overshadowed by its’ counterpart. I’m scared of how far I’ll go to get what I want.