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Related approaches


These are some other ideas and practices that are or can be consistent with egalitarianism and empowerment (Egem).

Love

Many are the words that are written about love with many different ideas about what it means. It provides endless material for stories to great romances. But how many of those stories lead to cruelty and possessiveness?

The Ancient Greeks are known for having different words for varieties of what is called love, and other cultures and other times have more ideas about what love is. These involve all sorts of complexes of feelings and actions. Many, many people the world over say they love someone but treat them appallingly.

It feels good to be loved and it is necessary. But that feeling is not love. Often, people have not experienced being loved enough or in ways they need to be loved. Then to be loved becomes a frozen need. They experience feelings like desire, infatuation, possessiveness, jealousy and will do all sorts of unhelpful things to try to get what they want.

Love is not a feeling, love is about what you do. To love someone is to accept them as they are and to support them to be more of what they, in enlightenment, would choose to be.

We do not have to like someone in order to love them, our aim is to love everyone.

The Golden Rule

This is a very good maxim for living, it can be stated in three different ways:

It can be found in most religions and ethical practices. The earliest know version is some 4000 years old in the Egyptian story of The Eloquent Peasant.

It is egalitarian in that “others” refers to anyone whoever they are.

If a person really knew what they wanted for themselves, an all wise version of themselves, they would want to be in their own power. The Golden Rule, and Egem, says that, therefore, we should help others to be more in their own power i.e. support them in their empowerment.

Caring

The meaning here is caring about the circumstances of other all other individuals on the planet and what happens to them. It is not necessarily caring for as a nurse cares for a patient.

This means helping others to help themselves and this can principally be achieved through empowerment.

When someone is having difficulty the first question is “Do we care?” The Egem answer is we do, so the next question is “What to do about it?” The more we are in our own power the more we can see that there are many possibilities.

Some of the answers are along the lines of caring for, like if someone is struggling with something on their garden we just pick up some tools and do it for them. Other answers involve thinking about how the person could solve their problem for themselves, from ways in which they could do the job themselves to ways of getting help.

So what do we choose to do? The Egem approach is always to be thinking about what another person will learn from what we do. Sometimes if it is something practical it may be a question of learning who to ask and how to ask. Sometimes, instead of doing something for someone we can get them to have a go themselves while we support them to learn how to do it.

There are time when someone is in danger or in some sort of mess when caring means doing something to help them now. They are not in a position to learn much, they need rescuing from deep water or given some food. What is generally important is to care about what happens next. How did they come to be in deep water or starving? What can they learn from their experience that would help them not to get in the same sorts of messes in the future?

Learning

Learning is a core part of Egem. Empowerment involves learning how to be more in our own power. Egalitarianism means that everyone should be supported to learn from conception to death.

Learning needs to be holistic which means learning to feel different and to develop imagination as well as taking in information or developing practical skills.

Learning should incorporate:

These are key elements of empowerment.

Panocracy

This is the principle that everyone should be able to be involved in any decisions that affect them and that decisions should have enough consent, in other words decisions should be made on the basis of dialogue and consent.

Dialogue should be open, open in time so that there is no cut-off to dialogue and open in the sense that it is public or published to those people who may be affected.

Consent means having enough support for a decision and enough lack of opposition. It is not precise, it cannot be decided by voting, for instance, although straw polls may be useful. The strength of opposition is a combination of numbers of people opposing a proposal and how seriously they may be affected. Thus a small number of people who might have their home destroyed following a particular decision may mean that there is insufficient lack of dissent.

Panocracy is not about the structures or procedures by which decisions are made. It is about the basis on which decisions are made, it should be an underlying principle. Whether decisions are made in government, by managers in businesses, in organisations or in social networks the question should be “were they panocratic?” It should be a constitutional principle that if a decision is, on balance, not panocratic then it has no force.

In practice panocracy works, if decisions are made with sufficient consent after sufficient dialogue they turn out to be good decisions.

Co-Counselling

Co-counselling is similar to other forms of counselling in that one person, the client, talks or works on issues that they are having difficulties with and another person the counsellor, listens and maybe tries to help by asking questions and making suggestions.

In co-counselling the two people take it in equal turns to be the client and the counsellor. There are two main organisations that support co-counselling, Re-evaluation Counseling (RC) and Co-Counselling International (CCI).

CCI accords with Egem. The person being the client runs the session and there is no sense that they are requiring anything other than good supportive attention from the counsellor. The CCI network has no organisational hierarchy, all CCI co-counsellors are accepted as equal members of the network.


Updated 4th March 2022