Powerful people & us – Paternalism


Last weeks lecture: Paternalism


Definition of paternalism: A policy or practice of treating or governing people in a fatherly manner, especially by providing for their needs without giving them rights or responsibilities.


Paternalism can be abused in so many ways and places, in government, workplace, school, community, church & relationships.


We learnt there are six levels of paternalism. The level’s covered, right from wrong, how we react in situations, following the crowd / blending in, standing out, walking against the crowd, questioning morals and standards.


One that stood out for me was point six. Purely focusing on the wellbeing of society.

In the definition of Paternalism above it mentions governing in a fatherly manner. A lot of the time when you see people using paternalism it doesn’t feel ‘fatherly’. Powerful people, in powerful positions, making powerful decisions for society, a workplace, school, congregation can often make us feel inferior, which generates a perception of double standards. The graphic above (which I found Here) reads ‘actions speak louder than words’, this I feel is relevant to us all. No matter what our status is… Powerful… Influential or not we may need to apply a little of point six in our everyday lives.  Putting our insecurities aside to take others individual needs & feelings into account.

Is it possible to purely focus on the wellbeing of our society and each other?




‘Love one another’

JOHN 13:34-35



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