to be loved or to be feared, that is the question!
Is it better to be loved than feared, or vice versa? This is the question that Machiavelli sought out to answer in chapter seventeen of the prince. When answering this question, it all comes down to what individual you are referring to. In regards to a ruler, I agree with Machiavelli and believe that it is better for a ruler to be feared than loved. Machiavelli explains “ Men are less nervous of offending someone who makes himself lovable, than someone who makes himself frightening” (pg 36). When an individual is loved they are more prone to being taken advantage of, and it is easier for one to use them. When an individual is feared than people are more nervous to take advantage of them, so therefore they listen to them more. When you are in a position of power “ It is much safer to be feared than loved” (pg. 35). People are not going to question you, and ask why? They will do it hands down because “ they are afraid of punishment” (pg.36).
Let’s look at this question, in a different perspective. When talking about an individual other than a ruler, such as a spiritual advisor is it better to be loved than feared? I believe it is better for a spiritual advisor to be loved. A spiritual advisor is one you can tell anything too. You express to them your deepest thoughts, and ultimate secrets. They should know more about you than you know about yourself. So therefore, if they are feared than you won’t have this special connection with them, and you won’t be able to express to them what you are feeling.
Machiavelli mentions “ it is difficult to accomplish both being love and being feared at the same time (pg.35). Though, this is true I believe parents are an example of individuals who are loved and feared at the same time. Parents are considered to be the number one role models of most children. They represent the ultimate expressive hood of love. Parents care about their children, they provide them with food, a roof on their head, and clothes on their back, these all represent a form of love. Yet, at the same time parents can also be feared. In order to insure their children are well raised, they must instill a form of discipline. When this is instilled, children develop life-learning lessons. So though this may represent fear, it is fear that is respected. The concepts of loved and feared are both forms of respect in parents.