The Touchstone of Encouragement is about the processes by which people become more confident and powerful, not just as individuals but also as a group. Sometimes this is called ‘em-POWER-ment’, but we prefer the idea of ‘en-COURAGE-ment’. Regardless, we mean the same thing.
Mostly when we think of ‘power’ we think of those who have and use power OVER us because of their position and status, because the law gives them the authority to do so, or just because they are bigger and stronger in some way.
This kind of power is important and good when it is used in ways that everyone has agreed on, such as the powers we give to Police or to a person who is chairing a meeting.
But there’s another kind of power. This is power that we hold WITH another person or other people. This kind of power allows us to encourage and empower each other, by adding our energies, confidence, knowledge, and skills to those of others either for a short time until they become confident on their own, or for a long time because the situation demands it.