“If there was one wish I had for you, one gift I could give you, it would be empowerment. People without empowerment act from a survival basis and must do whatever they can or need to do, just to survive. Empowered people act from their sense of what is right and wrong, their conscience guides them. Empowered people don’t get up in the morning wondering what they can do wrong or to hurt others; they look for ways to make the world better. I wish for you #empowerment.”
The daily news shows graphic images of people living in fear, striving for survival, hungry for love, affection, even just acknowledgement. These are people who are not empowered.
Less often we see images of people walking purposefully, striding out, or relaxed with their families, feeling confident, happy, secure. There are two reasons for that: Firstly, it’s not graphic news and it doesn’t sell newspapers or TV airspace time, but secondly and sadly, there are fewer people living a life of empowerment.
If empowerment was a choice, why don’t people take it?
There are probably three main reasons.
- Power-hungry bullies, including governments, corporations and others in positions of power and authority find it easier to govern or rule people who fear them and don’t know that they can choose a better life.
- Ignorance. They have been conditioned to living in fear or survival mode for so long, it’s not part of their reality and they neither know nor understand it, nor do they believe there is anything in life for them other than what they have.
- Challenging life situations, where people have been born into or acquired a challenging situation such as poverty, chronic illness or accident causing a massive life and/or health change or other similar circumstances.
Let’s look at these reasons, and their contradictions.
Power Hungry Bullies oppressing people over whom they have a measure of control. It is far easier to herd sheep from horseback than say, a pride of lions. Why is that? Because the lion is not afraid of a man on horseback! If you are in the ‘herding people’ business, it pays you to have them frightened of you! It’s that simple.
The ‘people herders’ are governments, large corporations (think Monsanto, Halliburton, General Dynamics, etc.), employers where there are dictatorial bosses, and even within families, a spouse might dominate their partner. These bullies think they need to exert massive and overwhelming power to get what they want. However, in most cases, they are coming from a level of fear and insecurity also, where their fear is that if their “subjects” become empowered, they will rise up and overthrow them!
The contradiction is that empowered people don’t really need to overthrow anyone else. They feel confident and secure within themselves and are already in control of their lives.
Ignorance and conditioning. These are the people held down by their conditioning and the bullies they ‘live under’. Conditioning is one thing – education and positive experiences can, in time, overcome conditioning and in the right circumstances, enable empowerment. Getting out from under a genuine bully is another – their fear of losing control can be extreme and their actions to retain control can be extreme also.
Awareness is the first step for those living under oppression. Only once the awareness is there, the long trek out can begin.
Challenging life situations. Let’s break these down into poverty and poor birthright, and accident and illness causing an acquired chronic situation.
Poverty in a developed country may be an income of $200 per week. It may be as high as $500 per week, depending on the location and circumstances. However, in some developing countries, $200 per year is a fortune, it is fabulous wealth! Poverty is relative to the location and circumstances, but just as real in any circumstances. Where there is education, there is a way forward. Where there is no education, intervention is often necessary.
Poor birthright can mean a person born into a caste, race or class situation where they are deemed to have no rights. Many developing nations have this problem. The crazy thing is that when a person of poor caste migrates or is relocated to another country, often this condition vanishes because that caste or class distinction is not recognised outside their own culture. Education can be the starting point for this transition.
Chronic illness and acquired injuries forcing changed life circumstances. An insect bite can change your life. A momentary lapse of concentration while driving can do it too. A sporting injury can take a person from Olympic glory to total dependency on a full-time nurse. Life can change without warning. There is no easy way back from this and lives can change forever.
However, empowerment does not rely on wealth, power or influence. Empowerment is firstly, a state of mind, preceding the physical changes that can occur because of it.
Look at Nelson Mandela’s example: Imprisoned by a brutal regime for 27 years, he emerged as a man ready to be president of a nation emerging from possibly the darkest period in its history. When he passed away recently, he was revered as a leader, an example of a man who empowered and united a nation by his example. How could that happen?
The Empowerment Tone Scale
In the EMPOWERMENT TONE SCALE image, the TONE SCALE is shown on the left of the image, with the emotions listed in ascending order beside the scores. Empowerment is shown as an emotional state, a state of mind on the image, at the top end of the scale.
The broad blue vertical arrow shows the emotional range in which most people live. You can verify this by walking on any street and noting how many people are smiling from the inside, happy and carefree, and how many are walking with heavy hearts and steps.
The challenge of empowerment becomes one of understanding how to raise the emotional state of a person from their state of concern to where they take an interest in the world around them, and are no longer concerned with fear or survival. There is a simple, standard starting point.
Ask the question of yourself: HOW CAN I….?
What this simple question does is propel your mind from wherever on the tone scale it is, up into the region of creativity, as your mind automatically tries to answer the question. Eventually, your mind starts to live up in that area of the tone scale, as you repeatedly bounce it from down where you asked the question, to where you want it to be.
However, note that between wherever you are on the tone scale, and where you want to be, you need to traverse, and experience all the other emotions on your journey to empowerment. If you have been living in a state of ‘covert hostility’ for example, you will need to pass through and manage anger and pain and the other emotions on your way up.
At first, it will frustrate you and anger you, but perhaps that is just part of the journey. Along the way you will experience many emotions and soon understand that you travel up and down this emotional tone scale many times daily. However, you will soon find that by understanding it, being conscious of it and working with it, you will learn to live in the conscious, empowered part of it.
How can you train yourself and your mind for Empowerment?
Empowerment must be from within you, but intervention and education is usually needed to spark the fires of creativity and imagination alight. Once the inspiration for and understanding of the principles of empowerment are held, it’s up to each person then to continue the empowerment journey. A supportive environment is preferable and will speed the process. If that is not where you live, then you need to create that through the empowerment process you use.
The most effective way is to take on a program that sets out an empowerment routine for you each day. A routine that sees you establish small, achievable goals daily, for you to congratulate yourself on their achievement each evening. A program that gives you an affirmation each morning to carry you through. A program that teaches you awareness and an understanding of what really goes on in your life, your heart, mind and soul as you make your way through your day.
This all happens, regardless of whether you are aware of it. Being aware just means you can control it and create in your life those dreams and goals and experiences you want.
In coming blogs, I will be discussing more on empowerment, on topics such as:
Empowerment for Women
Empowerment for Men
Empowerment for children and teens
We will refer back to this post also, because this is the foundation of empowerment, the fundamentals on which true empowerment is based and built. Until and unless the process of empowerment described above occurs, nothing else can change!
If you feel this blog has empowered you, please feel free to share and reblog this information to your friends, family and other people in your network. Every person on the planet desires empowerment and every one of us deserves the opportunity for it. Please help.
Til next time, fair winds and full sails,
“Don’t confuse poor decision-making with destiny. Own your mistakes. It’s ok; we all make them. Learn from them so they can empower you!”
― Steve Maraboli, Life, the Truth, and Being Free
Please also refer to my other posts on Empowerment: