As we look ahead into the next century, our leaders will be those who empower others. — Bill Gates.
Empowerment for Men
There is a subtle distinction between commanding respect and loyalty, and demanding it. The actions and words may be exactly the same; the distinction lies in the heart of the one desiring it.
Throughout history, great leaders have been loved and their legacy lives on down the ages, with fond memories of them and their deeds. They commanded the respect and loyalty of troops, nations, families and congregations.
Throughout history also, dictators have commanded great armies and nations but are reviled and their memories and legacies are of hate and revulsion. Idi Amin, Hitler and many more whose names you will know. These dictators are not limited to presidents, they occur in families also and the hate and revulsion felt for them is the same except that at this level, it is very, very personal.
So what is the distinction?
Empowerment for men is about the place us guys come from when we face the world.
If we feel the need to bully to get what we want, what we are really saying is “I’m not feeling confident or secure so I need to take what I want from people less powerful or able to defend themselves than me”. This feeling of insecurity is the root cause of most of the bullying and dictatorial behaviour on the planet.
What is the option?
True empowerment for men comes from a place of humility and service orientation, where we ask the world “How can I be of service? How can I make this a better place? What can I offer?” Oddly enough, people rarely take advantage of a man who is strong and humble enough to ask these questions. Instead, his open-mindedness and leadership is recognised. People flock to him for his leadership, his strength and guidance. Whether in a family, a congregation or a nation’s armies or parliament, leadership and strength combined with genuine humility is recognised, loved and admired.
When these two men pass, the dictator is reviled and the leader revered. #Empowerment for men is the distinction. Guys, remember this – your legacy is already under construction. People are already making judgements on how you will be remembered. Think about it; if you don’t like the legacy they believe you will leave, it’s time to start over.
And yes, it can be done. Empowerment for men is not an event. Empowerment for men is a way of life, if it is to mean anything at all.
Empowerment for men is not an accident. It is a state of being that is chosen as a way of life. Sometimes the choices are unconscious, based purely on the conscience instilled in us by our upbringing – whether good or bad.
Many great leaders had miserable, poverty stricken and abusive childhoods, yet they rose to prominence despite, or was it because of their poor start? When one is so low that there is nothing left to lose, many have thrown down the gauntlet and aimed for the top – knowing any progress at all is a step off the bottom rung of the ladder. Look at the likes of Cardinal Jaime Sin of the Philippines, Archbishop Desmond Tutu and the recently deceased Nelson Mandela of South Africa. These men grew up through an era of incredible racial hatred and vilification in nations divided by race – between different warring tribes, by colour, between blacks, whites and other coloureds and cultures, and by wealth and poverty levels. It is a melting pot from which you could not imagine any winners but these men shone through and created legacies that affected not only their own families and country, but the global communities as well!
Some great leaders were born into the roles, such as the Kennedy brothers. Wealth and power were their birthright. However, it was the birthright of other men also who abused it and became monsters. The Kennedy brothers created a legacy that has become mythical; they virtually created a royalty class in the republic of the USA.
How can the average guy, like you and me, gain empowerment for men?
It’s not hard, but it requires conscious effort if it is not already in evidence. It requires us to be aware of these distinctions and consciously choose humility and service, it requires putting our leadership out there on offer, and it requires action to follow through.
Not all of this is going to come naturally, especially the part about it being a ‘state of mind’. We need to stand guard at the gateways to our minds, to ensure that what we feed our minds is healthy. We need to remind ourselves constantly, daily, that we are not here to harvest, but to plant the seeds that will become the harvest. We do this by creating within ourselves the desire to become more, and better at being ourselves.
For a father, be a better, more considerate parent, who takes time to parent his children. This can be as simple as reading bedtime stories to your babies and toddlers, changing their diapers when they need it, cuddling them and kissing them goodnight. As they grow, it means teaching them to play ball in the park – not because you want them to be a champion ball player, but because it’s fun for them and it teaches them to run and enjoy life and grow fit and healthy. It gives them hand/eye coordination and a sense of achievement when they catch the ball. When they get to school, attend the school plays, the sporting events, the parent and teacher meetings, show an interest so that when they enter their challenging teen years, you are already an important part of their life to them, and you don’t have to fight to get your message heard. You already have their trust and love and now when they need you, they will trust you enough to come to you for guidance and help – not just cash!
For a husband, be thoughtful and considerate. Study what it takes to be a better partner, lover, friend and
confidante. Earn the trust of your wife, encourage her to feel a sense of achievement in her life and be proud of her, the amazing woman who was incredible enough at some time in your life, to win your heart and accept you with all your faults. Share the workload with her. That doesn’t mean offering to wash the dishes and breaking them all and creating more work! No, contribute what you do best, whatever that is, to take the load from her. That will definitely mean diapers, taxi driving kids to sports events and sharing the discipline roles. And be a great lover – one who takes her on date nights, surprises her with flowers and gifts, and sometimes leaves a lovely card around for her to find and show her you really do think lovely thoughts of her all through the day.
As a community member, stand up and be counted when it counts. Wallflowers get nothing and give nothing, community leaders are in the middle and up the front, looking first to the betterment of conditions for their family, through making their community better.
Elected leaders take an oath of office, but less live it than take it. However, genuine leaders are already living way beyond any oath that could be taken. The oath that is sworn is the minimum expectation of the elected official – the true leader is always going the extra mile!
How will you know if you have gained this elusive ‘empowerment for men’?
You will look around you and see the evidence. Success leaves clues, but so does failures. Look at the faces and in the hearts of the people around you and you will know if empowerment for men has been your way. Your people will admire, respect, love and follow you to hell and back. It is either empowerment for men and everyone around you, or you became a dictator and have a group of “yes men” or servants – you can’t have it both ways. The evidence will be there. If you can’t find the evidence, just check to see if you are a wallflower, still waiting to make your contribution to the world.
On a personal level, how can you gain empowerment for men?
Empowerment for men and in fact, anyone, is best done through a structured program that puts you on a course that teaches you the self-discipline and self development necessary to change your life. No, it’s not hard – just constant, and being human, we can forget. We can slip up and before you know it, a month has gone by and you realise you haven’t set or checked off a goal, made an affirmation, or acknowledged a lesson from a day passing. A simple program, a few minutes morning and evening is all it takes to reshape your thinking and feelings to empower you to make new, better and conscious decisions about your life and the people you care about. That program could be Life Change 90.
I wrote about this recently in a post called EMPOWERMENT and it’s worth a revisit, to review the EMPOWERMENT TONE SCALE. As you work on your daily self development program, you will see that you are continually moving your emotional and mental state up to empowerment, from where you can change your world and the world and lives of those around you.
Worth considering. Empowerment for men and any guy who wants to become one!
If you feel this blog has provided empowerment for men, women and their families, please reblog it and share it with other men and families around you. The world needs empowerment for men to lead it out of the morass of apathy, violence and destruction we seem to be plagued with. Only empowered people will have the strength of leadership necessary to take us forward. Perhaps you will be the one who puts this in front of such a person and makes the difference.
Til next time, fair winds and full sails,
“The power to change your life lies in the simplest of steps.”
― Steve Maraboli
Please refer also to my other posts on Empowerment: