Why I Hate The Word “Empower”

Young Woman Flexing Her BicepsWe should throw out the word “empower.” It sounds cliche when used with few exceptions. The power is there, you were born with it. But so is the fear, and I understand that. Are you really going to let fear stand in the way of the life you want?

Anyone that has ever been around a toddler knows the power that can be wielded by the smallest of packages. Most people don’t really lose it. They just forget how it feels and certainly don’t know how to properly wield it at that point. I know that there are oppressed groups out there of all kinds, people who have the control over their own lives taken from them by force. Those people definitely need control of their lives back. Throwing this overused word at them with a fist raised in the air is not about to get anyone anywhere.

Everyone is born with power, so I hate to hear that people need to be “empowered” to do anything. They need to strike the fear from their hearts. They need to pray for strength. They need to remember how to wield the power that is already there. Be reminded that they never really lost it. We definitely do not need to be “giving” power away to people and wonder how they don’t recognize how to use it. I’m not saying that I’m about to come up with the next great tagline to replace empowerment. I certainly hope there isn’t a new one. Every person and every situation is different and each person should learn to wield their power in a way that works for them, and especially be aware of this when we are the teacher. 

I used to complain about work problems to my husband sometimes and he would give me advice to settle things the way a man like him does. I can’t do those things! And not because I’m incapable but I would be a total fraud doing it any way that didn’t suit me. I would have been trying to wield his power and not my own. I had to realize exactly what my power was before I could wield it properly against those coworkers. I did eventually get things settled. I’d had a new group of people that worked for me that were testing my boundaries. It happens. Their insubordination was squashed. And I didn’t have to take any kind of power from them in order to do it. I just had to assert authority.


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