Empowerment and Apprenticeship
Language often gets us in trouble...
There are a lot of interesting conversations that take place in my household. With three young children, I have learned that I need to be careful about what sort of words I use to describe things. Instead of saying something like, "this is astonishing," I use these words "this is really fun." The reason being is that the cognitive development of my kids sometimes doesn't comprehend larger words. In fact, there are many times when my kids ask me what a certain word might mean. As I'm explaining the meaning of this word, I've learned that it's not only important to use additional verbal references, but also to demonstrate to them what this words actually means.
When I think about the future of our society and the community of faith, I think there are many similarities that can be found between how I'm learning to interact with my young children and how different generations need to grow in communicating with one another.
The words empowerment and apprenticeship are key verbs that describe what I believe needs to happen in order for us to continue to grow and develop as a community.
Empowerment means "giving responsibility to" or "allowing to lead." There are so many younger folks who long to be a part of something significant. This, I believe, is why there is such a draw to social justice initiatives currently. Our younger generations are leading us as a Canadian culture in a creative way of thinking about others instead of only ourselves. Like it or not, we have intentionally (or maybe unintentionally) empowered them to help us course correct as a society. The question I now find myself asking is this, "will we allow this empowerment to continue and in what ways does it need to grow?"
Apprenticeship means "working alongside" or "doing things together. This can be best observed in rural farm settings as the older generation passes on to the younger generation the way of doing things...and more importantly the mission and passion for farming. I wonder what it might look like for this to take root at a deep level in our current society? Could we see CEOs from large companies becoming younger in age as executive boards try to grow their companies next successor? Will we see an increased team oriented approach for leadership with perhaps a three-headed hydra steering an organization instead of the lone ranger CEO or president?
I don't know a whole lot, but I do know that I fascinated by our societal and cultural development and the factors that stimulate this kind of growth. This next generation will inherit what we are building...like it or not. The question we need to ask ourselves is will we allow them to create alongside of us through empowerment and apprenticeship, or will we attempt to "manage their potential" by some other means?