My favorite word is “Encourage”. I love it because it puts the focus on the other. It implies that they have within themselves the innate capacity to do something difficult. Like the latin word for the heart, ‘cor’ it is “a matter of the heart.” It is something intimate and personal. Yet, we (or whoever does it) can help them find the courage, internal strength or heart, to do it. There is a sense of kindness and caring in the transaction – which there is not enough of in life. I love that it seems personal and hopeful – connecting those who need it and those who give it.
My least favorite word is “Empower”. I know it is most often used interchangeably with “encourage” but I don’t like the word ’empower’ because it seems to imply that the ‘power’ resides outside the individual, that someone else must give power to them. Often used as a victim mindset’s retort. Yes, there are times someone holds authority or resources or whatever and they need to share or release it… but for my own kids and everyone important to me – I’d hope that they never see themselves as fundamentally ‘powerless’ being in need of ’empowerment’… I’d rather have them always look within themselves for their power. Of course, sometimes, we all need to be *encouraged* to dig deep within ourselves to find the power to do what must be done. 😊
What interests you about these words?
What do you notice about it?
What if you were to say these words?
What would change if you said it?
What questions does the statement raise for you?
What impact do these words have on you? the community? the world?
How would things be different if these words were never said?
To what extent do you agree with the statement?
What do these words inspire you to do? to think? to become?