Wednesday 21 November 2012

Empowering people..

This is a phrase that’s often used, yet quite loosely defined.
Can you empower another? hmmm.. yes, at least you can certainly facilitate it.
It’s said that 'when the student is ready the teacher will appear', so does the process always begin within?... again.. not necessarily, as 'when the teacher is ready... the student will appear' also.
In order to empower another does that person need to realise or feel dis-empowered.. and what if they don’t?. What if the person feels empowered in an dis-empowered state?.

I think over the coming years if the economic system continues to destabilise, or if the overall mood changes and people feel oppressed, growing frustration may cause many to begin asking questions, demanding more and accepting less.
And by more I'm talking in terms of the quality of life.. freedom.. respect etc, and not materiality.
Watching the news this morning there was another ‘what makes you happy’ section, and many of the people expressed very simple things. Good job, family, good friends, etc.

So ( as we know) it doesn't really take much. Yet what may happen increasingly is, if those simple things become infringed upon.. when the ‘turn a blind eye not in my back yard syndrome’ becomes ‘can’t turn away , and it is in my backyard... empowerment will be a must.
The London disturbances last year were interesting in that they split the country in terms of those who were quite intolerant of it.. and those who felt they had an understanding of it.
What came out of it, in fact.. seems to be, very little. The IPCC seem unable to ever really make a case that holds water ( in cases where there is cause for concern/ an abuse of power or even a possible racist element) The IPCC seem to effectively placate, yet after the dust settles, what then...? ( who knows.. maybe they are a strong force and just need better P.R) the government ( days and weeks afterwards) were able to change the rules of the game, intervene in the law courts sentencing structure, and crack down hard. A sentence for a bottle of water, is pretty hard.
Anyway, I digress
My point is ...
Are people empowered when they go against the status quo, or are they empowered when they go along with.. and are rewarded for it.
When we talk about empowering people what exactly are we saying?.. Is it important?... if so why? And is it in our hands.. or theirs?

1 comment:

  1. I don't even know what its supposed to mean any more, seeing as its been completely hijacked by the chattering classes. You hear the Tories trot out empowerment on the daily and then you get an entirely different spin from Labour. big government vs little government? centralised vs decentralised?

    I read yesterday about Cameron pushing to cut down the "red tape" (e.g public committees) public projects must go through before government approval. In my eyes I see that as erosion of empowerment. If I have even less representation on a panel to have a say on what contracts get awarded in my community then what's left? Do you the government really really know whats best for my community? social contract sucks