Thursday, November 6, 2008

The Advocacy Gap?

Stephen Covey's first habit of highly effective people is Be Proactive. Being proactive is :
  • realising that one's choices needn't be determined by anything other than one's freedom and self-determining power.
  • realising that one can choose. 
  • living 24/7 in the light of the realisation that one can decide to NOT think like a victim; 
  • deciding to NOT be dis-empowered by self-defeating language
  • choosing to NOT make one's self a product of circumstances, our past, our environment or other people.
In the context of political advocacy, whilst I certainly don't wish to disregard the kinds of injustice meted out to various people groups and individuals (especially in Malaysia) I wonder if there's a gap which remains unfilled, that of educating people to make self-determined responses whatever the problems occuring.

Could there be a need to re-educate and empower those experiencing the brunt of political indifference and cruelty.

'Simple' lessons (which even many of today's Malaysian college grads take for granted) like:
  • Time Management
  • Learning how to Learn
  • Money Management
  • Working in Groups
  • Being Proactive!
  • Anger Management
  • Relationship Building
  • Leadership
  • Conflict Resolution
(Sounds like a training provider's brochure, eh? Indeed it is, but what's the problem? How many of us have excelled in more than two of the above topics anyway?!)

When balanced with sound Biblical teaching on the power of God and our missional calling, such lessons can fill the 'gap' of personal development and nurture greater effectiveness (can't they?)

When taken to bigger, national circles, perhaps this will go some way in reminding politcal victims (both individuals and communities) that whilst the advocacy can continue, feelings of helplessness and defeatism need not (should they?)

All of which, who knows, may change the tone (if not the face) of advocacy itself, bringing real power to the people i.e. that which is nurtured in the mind. Not the fist.

No comments: