According to Dictionary.com, an Enabler is: 1) a person or thing that makes something possible; 2) a person who encourages or enables negative or self-destructive behavior in another. In today’s ‘politically correct’ society, being an Enabler has a very negative connotation, and to be branded one is either met with vehement denial or embarrassment.
The funny thing is…
Enable is the root word of enabler. Dictionary.com defines ‘enable’ as: 1) to make able; give power, means, competence, or ability to; authorize; 2) to make possible or easy; 3) to make ready; equip (often used in combination, such as ‘web-enabled cell phones’.
Hmm…so, something that starts out on a positive note sours with the addition of two little letters? Just call me politically incorrect then. In fact, one of my goals in life is to be an ‘enabler’…
I want to be an Enabler. To the best of my ability, I want to help people spread their wings, learn new things and expand their horizons. I hope to teach people some of the basic life skills, so that they can take those skills with them, thereby making it possible to create a great life for themselves, their families and other people.
What to Teach
Teach people how to grow a garden. This gives them the ability to provide at least a portion of their food. Teach them to cook, so they are prepared to make healthy meals. If they have them, Show them how to care for animals, and then about the cycle of life and death. This equips them to appreciate the life that was given so they could eat.
Set an example, then teach them good manners. This gives them a way to respect for themselves. In turn, they are able to treat the land, the garden, the animals, and people with that same respect. It would be fun to teach them a craft – whether sewing, weaving, fiber arts or any other type of craft I know how to do, so they can put clothes on their back, make their home a touch warmer or give a gift that was made with love.
Children can be taught the importance of wise decisions – to think through any given situation so they can determine the best possible outcome, so that they grow in confidence when faced with the really tough decisions. Most importantly, teach them how to celebrate in the joyful moments, and how to handle failure or hard times with grace and acceptance – and then how to learn from those difficult moments that life will most certainly throw at them.
There is just something so special when you teach a young child something new. My young friend Nehemiah brought a glow to my heart when he sat down at my floor loom and studied every inch of it. I showed him how it worked, then let him weave a few rows. His grin was unstoppable. Will he one day become a famous weaver? I have no idea, but I do know his mind was opened to something new. And I was his enabler…
What Happens when you Teach your Children
Teach your children how to garden, or how to tend to an animal. They will learn how to care about something besides themselves. Teach them how to be responsible, and how to be task oriented. Require them to make their bed, take out the trash or do other daily or weekly household chores. That way, you enable them to learn self-discipline. Show them how to follow orders and to have respect for rules.
Get in the kitchen and teach them to prepare a meal. By doing so, they also learn basic math skills. They then know how to feed their family. An added bonus is they learn how to follow through with an assignment until it is completed. (No meal is actually completed until the dishes are put away and the kitchen is clean!)
When you ladle up a bowl of soup and have your children go with you to deliver it to your sick neighbor, you are ‘enabling’ them to learn compassion for others, generosity, kindness and thoughtfulness – all things that this world really needs. If you teach your children all these things and more, then you, too, are an ‘enabler’.
Yes. I am an Enabler. Given a chance, I will enable any person to achieve greatness in their lives. It doesn’t matter if they walk across a pasture in muddy boots or click their heels along a cement walk headed to a high-powered corporate position. I will enable someone to create a better life. My head will be held high, I will accept the ‘Enabler’ label. And in many cases, I want to be an Enabler to myself – so that I never forget the importance of living a life that sets a positive example for others.
Are you an Enabler? Tell us your favorite way of ‘enabling’ others – maybe together we can enable the world to be a better place!