“Leaders who do not act dialogically, but insist on imposing their decisions, do not organize the people–they manipulate them. They do not liberate, nor are they liberated: they oppress.”
― Paulo Freire, Pedagogy of the Oppressed
While working with the community, we also find ourselves imposing our ideas on them. We start by facilitation but in the process, lose our patience and try to get quick decision so we end up imposing. This also happens because we do not trust their ability to think, reason and take decision. We fail to believe that they also know things and have better knowledge about their situation and solutions than any of us.
Until now even after two years of work with the communities, I have constantly failed to trust the community fully and believe in their ability to take decision and implement them successfully. Neither have I seen any of our leaders doing this. We talk lots on this and believe in this principle as well but when it comes to practice we are way behind…
It has been a struggle and I have no idea how long will it take to change this attitude within us? We may seem like a facilitator and a companion to them(communities) but if we do not practice what we believe in, this would keep them in the same condition, dependent and in bondage for a life time.
Therefore, I would request my friends and new emerging fellows committed to work with poor communities, let us practice this value and trust the capacity and enormous potencies of the community. We can be a part of their struggle for liberation with the attitude of a leader not as a superior being….
Let us believe, talk and more importantly walk the talk….