True authority – empowering teachers and kids
How important is it to be able to be heard, to be listened to, and to express? What holds us back from delivering what we need to say? When we give our kids the opportunity to say what they are really feeling they start to develop their natural authority; an authority that holds them steady through the ups and downs of life.
What is true authority and who ‘owns’ it?
Do we depend on authority to be delivered by lawmakers, teachers, headmasters, education systems, regulatory bodies and governments – not feeling able to deliver it ourselves?
Rather than solely relying on a prescribed set of rules, a list of do’s and don’ts that hold everyone in the same rigid framework, true authority comes from a sense of an inner-knowing as we connect more deeply to ourselves.
We all know that feeling, when something rings true. This natural authority is always there. It is this authentic relationship with ourselves and life that many of us have lost connection with. Why would we do this? It is a travesty that we have ever backed away from our innate authority. To be able to back yourself is awesome and powerful, and no one else can give this power to you, but you.
Being the author of your own life
In our current society we have bodies of ‘authority’ to maintain order, prevent and control chaos and mayhem, to uphold a level of safety for all. But we have come to know that in the world and even in our own backyard this imposed authority only works up to a point. Is the way that most authority is implemented in the world today simply functioning as a ‘band-aid’ effect? And if so, what is that covering up?
Rules and regulations have their place, but what if we have had to resort to laws, edicts and control from an outer authority because we have become disconnected from our inner knowing of what is true and what is false? There is a great carelessness and disregard in this, as we hand over any personal responsibility, relying on ‘the authorities’ to cover for us, or alternatively, catch us if they can.
Why do we so unquestioningly throw away our authority? Is it that, as we struggle to deal with the perceived million and one daily stresses, we become more and more overwhelmed by what life throws at us and in this, we step out of ourselves and our true authority.
True authority carries with it an unmistakable authenticity and power that children can recognise within themselves and others. They know this to the bone. And adults know this too. True authority serves everyone.
What role can Education play in this?
In Education today we can foster and nurture children to feel and value their own self-authority, trusting themselves and their feelings – honing their own ability to make sense of and to act on the core values they naturally carry within them. Children know what stance someone is taking with them the moment they walk into a room – they can feel whether the person is open, available, loving, authentic, or not.
Subject to a number of powerful authority figures during their lives, including teachers, parents and other adults, children can become used to deferring, giving their power away without discerning. Their size alone can sometimes be a drawback in the authority and equality stakes!
Some children can feel anxious about expressing and suppress what they are feeling. Teachers can be an amazing support with helping them to express what they feel, bringing the child a sense of self-empowerment and the ability to back themselves in any situation. Then if children encounter anything that is out of line or not okay, they are more likely to see and give credence to the truth of what is happening and consequently less likely to doubt themselves, their true feelings, or their standing. Even if it is not possible to do anything about the situation at the time, they have at least registered that something is wrong.
In the schoolyard or the classroom this confidence and standing carries weight as children learn to be the ‘author’ of their own lives and not at the mercy of others.
Is it possible that we actually know what true authority is and deeply feel the lack of it in our lives; that as a society we crave the connection that can bring us back to the nature of our full and rightful self-authority?
We are all authorities on life, we are born that way without exception. We all carry within us an astoundingly beautiful, insightful wisdom and a practical know-how about what is going on in life. Why not claim it as our own.