Renee Villanueva & Ashton Lynne Haywood
Inspirational Quote: ..
Power Song: ..
Empowerment- Refers to increasing the spiritual, political, social or economic strength of individuals and communities. It often involves the empowered developing confidence in their own capacities.
The very opposite of Empowerment is a lack of self confidence. Self Confidence: Where does it start? Is it something we are born with or is it something that can be taught? I believe that it can be both!
Sure there are some women that just have it in them to reach for the stars and not let anyone or anything stand in their way but then there is the other group. Women, smart, strong, brilliant women who have so much going for them but for whatever reason simply cannot let themselves see it. Why? What is it that we are so scared of, that we do this to ourselves instead? I heard a beautiful statement, that our fear is not that we are Less than we think but that we are infinitely MORE than we think. The fear of being so much and having to be responsible for ourselves to such a degree frightens us into “playing Small”. This serves no one..least of all ourselves. What about Mothers raising children..is this something that we pass down along with cookies and kisses? A belief in others, just not ourselves? Do we do this to our girls AND our boys? What is the message we tell our children. Boys are “tough” and we do not address IF they can do anything they want, because it is implicit that they can and Will. Our daughters? Do we not prop them up with “You can be anything you want, honey”. Why do we give them PERMISSION to be themselves? Why not address their amazing characteristics and believe that they will do and achieve whatever they choose? We do this for our sons..we never say “Oh you are just as good as the girls” “You being a boy shouldn’t stand in the way of getting a job that you want” “Dress for success, but be careful not to be “too masculine” you wouldn’t want to give the wrong impression” So WHY do we say this to young women? Maybe the lack of confidence is passed down with all of these amazing “supportive” messages. A young girl hears this encouragement, looks to the young males around her and realizes that they are not getting propped up and encouraged..but she is..and why her? Doesn’t anyone believe that she too, just like the boys..Has it. She’s got it and can handle..she’s tough minded?
As mothers we want to inspire our children to have a better life than ourselves. To make them reach heights succeeding our own and to have the drive to always keep pushing themselves to be a better person. A tough row to hoe if you are the mother of a daughter, but what if we are mothers of sons? It takes a special person to raise a boy into a man!
It’s a burden of responsibility to teach a boy to grow up with the appreciation for the women that seek to be independent and influential. We have to be able to teach our young men to see a strong independent women as an equal not as a threat or a project or someone that needs “help”. They should meet the women in their lives on equal ground, fall in love with them, give time to them, respect their drive and ambition to the same extent that our sons expect their own ambitions and drive to be recognized. Women are learning to empower themselves and our sons..our men must also learn not to encourage or condescend or patronize but to recognize and value a strong woman. So many of us, as people not just a woman or a man, are constantly battling the small voice inside our heads that tells us that we are not good enough. We beat ourselves up more often than anyone else. So when we define Empowerment it’s not only a definition of what a woman should do for herself but also a definition of how we should teach and guide our sons to behave and to provide respect and acceptance for the women in their lives in the same manner they would for any human being. Especially a human being that they love.
You see it is not just women empowering themselves, it is also mothers raising sons and daughters that inculcate the lesson of self confidence for themselves and others at a young age. We must all work together men and women to better ourselves as humans and a large part of that is how we treat each other as people. We cannot say that one is better than another. We cannot say that the other should earn less, or be the one to raise the children, we should not put limitations and expectations on a gender. We instead should help encourage each other to be the very best of ourselves. To love each other unconditionally. Can you imagine how different the world would be if we all just showed one act of kindness to one another instead of competing to be better. No matter whether we are women or men, we all as humans deserve to love and believe in ourselves. Self Confidence is the key to a healthy self image and life. Empowerment starts now! With our children, family,friends,loved ones,and just with people in general!