After a perilous path through child abuse, adulthood brought little on the way of reprieve. To be sure I could now choose my clothing, use the restroom, and drink water from the tap, but agency, choice, consent, and self determination?
Not just miscarried — never conceived.
I emerged into adulthood with a deficit in identity; very little awareness of agency; compounded by coercion rather than choice.
To the hungry a meal in chains is still a meal.
It is safe to say that I had never had a choice. Choices are what empowered people; privileged people; aware people; intact people; informed people — make.
I was none of the above.
Now that I am an informed and empowered agent in my own life (and this is new) I am appalled by the way that most individuals and institutions seek to diminish the agency and informed consent of others.
To inform is to empower.
To misinform is to oppress.
To listen is to empower.
To silence is to oppress.
To acknowledge is to empower.
To dismiss is to oppress.
For those who are so called Christians… hear me well.
The Christ you purport to follow values free will SO much he created it. It was His idea. That’s means He is into informed consent, empowered choice, and human AGENCY.
Anything less from you is hypocrisy.
I fear that having found power in this world, some use their power to tighten chains rather than loose them. We feed the bound and call it good. We claim “well done, good and faithful self.” When all we have done is sustained the oppressive status quo.
It serves the smug.
To empower implies to share the power with the powerless; with those for who agency, choice and consent were either never conceived, miscarried by the malfeasance of another, or aborted by abuse. Empowerment gives birth to choice. Some of the most pro-life will have none of that.
Empowerment is a process that is resident in the powerless not the helper. (Lee, 2001)
Feeding the bound is fine but falls short of freedom. Leaving my chains intact leaves you with the balance of power.
I fear you like that.