Our Readers' Opinions
November 27, 2015
Vision 2020: A people-centred enterprise

Editor: People Vision 2020 is based on the belief that we can do better as a collective when we each do better as individuals – we do better as a country when as citizens we each do better.

The basic philosophy of People Vision 2020 is that personal growth and development begins with individual responsibility – assuming responsibility for ourselves and our most immediate circumstances and environment.{{more}} This bedrock philosophy can be summed up in the popular song – brighten the corner where you are. As we each take care of ourselves, this personal responsibility would then begin to positively affect wider and wider circles of influence around us – impacting on the lives of our families and loved ones; our colleagues; our neighbours; our fellow villagers; our fellow citizens and ultimately our world. But all of this cannot happen if we do not first begin with that entity closest to ourselves – our very own selves – brighten the corner where you are.

Put another way, People Vision 2020 is about empowering others through empowering ourselves. It is about empowering each other to pursue and become our best individual and collective selves. This is possible – this is not an unrealistic and unrealizable utopian dream – it is a challenge. It is a call of duty to deep personal responsibility that would find expression and influence far beyond our single selves. This call of duty is not about social engineering or grand political schemes for organizing people and societies. No! These grand schemes are always about a few elites who believe that people should live their lives according to their scheme of things. This is not what Vision 2020 is about. Vision 2020 is about the power of the caring brother’s keeper individual to improve his life and the lives of others through first, a deep personal responsibility for growth and a desire to empower others to realize their very best selves.

The opposite of power is weakness. The opposite of powerful is weak. The opposite of empowering is weakening. The opposite of empowerment is debilitation.

Sometimes we are weak because we feel unworthy, undeserving and worthless. We feel these ways because of past experiences and what those around us might have told us and keep telling us about ourselves through their words or the way they have consistently treated us. Sometimes we are weak because the system has made us weak and continues to attempt to keep us weak. We have been marginalized, disenfranchised, discriminated against, ignored and unconsidered. These are examples of institutional and cultural weakening. Then there is the weakness that comes from authority figures and majority groups who want to silence our thoughts and expressions that are not in keeping with their view of things. They want to make us afraid of our own persons because we are not towing their line nor singing their songs. This is an example of political weakening. Then there is the weakness of resources. We lack access to physical and material means and capital for investment. We are weak because we lack proper access to other resources, like critical knowledge and ideas and mentorship and guidance and a supportive and nurturing network to help us to realize our dreams and ideas and help us along the road to successful entrepreneurial ventures.

We have to be able to identify the sources of weakness in our individual and collective lives and confront them. Confront them alone and confront them together. Confront them when they affect us personally and confront them on behalf of others. However, in order to respond adequately and positively, we have to at least agree on a certain direction. We do not have to have a complete and detailed map before we can make moves in the right direction. We have an internal compass that tends towards better and warns us about what is not better. We can use this as a start – always take the direction towards right and better and as we go along we would be able to develop more detailed maps about where we want to go and how we want to be.

Take some time today and reaffirm your uniqueness and worth and purpose. Reassess what you are about and how you are achieving your purpose. Recommit to taking steps towards growth, even if it means changing course. Take some time today and identify the people, situations and areas in your life that weaken and disempower you and the people around you. Take some time today to decide on some steps towards confronting these sources of weakness. Act on your decisions, one step at a time. Share your ideas and experience of success or failure with others, so they too become empowered by your witness. Take some time today to brighten the corner where you are. People Vision 2020 begins with you.

Phillip Jackson