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Sunday, 20 January 2019

Adventures In Collective Empowerment And Self-Determination

By Kevin Parker

Self-determination is one of the most important tools an individual has in life. For, it is the motivating force behind finding the strength to accomplish and succeed at a number of tasks. Whereas, adventures in collective empowerment can often help individuals and groups work towards creating an equal and more peaceful world in the future.

Empowerment can provide a practical approach to intervention when it comes to social work. Whereas, in the field of education, empowerment is seen as a tool which can increase the responsibility of citizens to develop, learn and grow in different areas. In addition, it can be integral in promoting civic engagement among those in the community.

One of the most common definitions suggest that it is an ongoing process which is intentional and centered in the local community which involves group participation, critical reflection and caring. Whereas, the term also refers to the process which enables groups and individuals to access collective power, influence, authority and to employ strength when engaging with others, society at large or institutions.

Giving away a sense of personal power has nothing to do with empowerment, it only shows a sense of weakness in the giver. For, each and every individual holds the inherit knowledge and insight to overcome obstacles and challenges in life. In most cases, after having met and conquered one of these challenges, individuals are often better able to handle a number of difficult tasks at work, school or home.

Also being defined as being part of the process of obtaining opportunities for marginalized individuals, groups and minorities, it has the power to promote good in a number of different areas. As a result, individuals working towards equality and unity are actively using empowerment to empower others to make a change towards acceptance and tolerance from one of bigotry, hatred and homophobia.

When it comes to collective empowerment, it is generally when two or more people are working together to empower themselves and others. Or, when a group such as those seen in LGBTQ+ parades work together to promote and empower those within the group to make changes which have the potential to change the world. In all cases, it works to strengthen rather than weaken an individual, group or communities.

Phrases such as empower women can often come across as sexist to some individuals. While this is the case, that is clearly not the intention. Rather, the intention is to create empowerment in women so that these individuals can then empower others. Whereas, all genders need to be empowered on a equal basis by people with a global perspective. For, then and only then, will the energies of acceptance, equality, tolerance and unity begin to spread around the world.

While it is possible to empower individuals and groups in certain ways, creating a more equal and empowered world continues to remain a worthy goal. Although, until people can learn how to agree to disagree while growing in peace and love, there will always be a need for individual and collective empowerment. While the concept to strengthen the world by strengthening the people is a noble one, not all are willing to be the change others want to see in the world.

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