Empowerment is visioning. It is taking responsibility for your actions and controlling your future. Empowerment allows you to draw on your knowledge, combine it with your experience and your values, and act from an internal locus of motivation, acting with strength and taking initiative. It traditionally has not been the strength of women, who too often turned over their power to others.
As activist Petra Kelly reminds us, "We must work from our own values and elevate their influence to those of men. There is a saying, 'where power is, women are not.' Women must be willing to be powerful. Because we bear scars from the ways men have used their power... women often want no part of power."
We believe it is the patriarchic definition of power as authority and control that women want no part of, rather than power itself. Women do see power as a way to achieve their goals, and part of the destiny for boom-generation women is to redefine power using their values, which include nurturing and egalitarianism.
The foundation for empowerment is abundance, the wealth we recognize from within our soul as the energy we celebrate by our words, actions, and deeds.
Daniel H. Pink in his book, A Whole New Mind, says, "Abundance has brought beautiful things to our lives, but that bevy of material goods has not necessarily made us much happier. That's why more people - liberated by prosperity, but not fulfilled by it - are resolving the paradox by searching for meaning." Pink reminds us that "as more of us lead lives of abundance we'll have a greater opportunity to pursue lives of meaning."
Hundreds of millions of people all over the world no longer have to struggle for survival. As Nobel Prize-winning economist Robert William Fogel writes, this has "made it possible to extend the quest for self-realization from a minute fraction to almost the whole of it."
Most especially for boomer women, as they empower themselves and others to fully realize their vision for a better world, the acquisition of material abundance accelerates their need and heightens their desire for self-realization and meaning in their life.
In a recent management certification class, counselor and career coach, Dr. Sherry Bluffington, author of The Law of Abundance emphasized, "Ultimately, it is happiness, contentment and a deep sense of satisfaction that are the true measures of abundance."
And unless we own the responsibility of empowerment for ourselves and fulfill it through meaning, philanthropy and our virtuous legacy for our communities suffer.
Read more about empowerment in "Women, Wealth and Giving: The Virtuous Legacy of the Boom Generation," or visit www.margaret-may.com.