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Effective empowerment


Circle of caring. Civic stewardship. Compassion that works. Compassionate leadership. Compassionate transformation. Empowering conservatism. Constructive conservatism. Ethical empathy. Faith-driven care. Generous responsibility. God’s heart, man’s hands. Grassroots compassion. Go FORTH (freeing our resources to help). Individual empowerment. Neighbor love. Social stewardship. Thoughtful humanitarianism. Transforming conservatism.

Those are some more readers’ suggestions for renaming “compassionate conservatism,” a good, small-government idea now tarnished by association with more government spending. (See “Words search” from the March 9 WORLD Magazine, for earlier suggestions.) Other readers developed further the idea of effective compassion, and David Shafto deserves an honorable mention for spelling it out: Elevating, Freeing, Formative, Empowering, Challenging, Transforming, Inspiring, Vital, Encouraging.

As I mention in my May 4 magazine column, Kelly Cogan is the winner for going one step further to “effective empowerment.” As she explained, “We want programs to accomplish the goals they were intended to accomplish. … We want people to move from ‘entitled’ to ‘empowered,’ and enjoying the freedom that comes with being empowered. The name itself provides a way of measuring success.”

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Kelly added, “I also like this term because it offers little to no ammunition to the other side. Who wants to say, ‘We’re against effectiveness?’ Or ‘We’re against empowerment?’ Effective empowerment is something that both sides want (at least I hope so!). The difference will be how that comes about. … This term doesn’t immediately alienate people. Some who hear or read the word ‘conservative’ dismiss and scoff at whatever is associated with it.”

Marvin Olasky
Marvin Olasky

Marvin is editor in chief of WORLD News Group and the author of more than 20 books, including The Tragedy of American Compassion. Follow Marvin on Twitter @MarvinOlasky.


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