Phoenix Functions


Empowerment is a function of human development, specifically, the development of accountability. To be empowered as (a way of being) is to be accountable for (a way of being). Ways of being are a function of the age of every person. There are only certain ways of being accessible to a person at the various ages of their development. Wisdom, the final stage of human development, is access to all ways of being.


As a function of accountability, empowerment relates to Rights by the means of responsibility

RESPONSIBILITY, therefore, likewise, is accessible and applies according to the developmental stages of a human being. It has long been thought that the fundamental access to responsibility has developed by 7 years old ( the age of conscience). The age of 15 years could be seen as the age of maturity, the primary independent responsibility for all life's decisions.

RIGHTS might be ideally seen as only applying to three categories: Children to age 15; The environment; and animals.

In this framework, any view that RIGHTS have been infringed is an indication of where RESPONSIBILITY and ACCOUNTABILITY among the adult population, has failed. This is not to imply that everyone is equal in this responsibility, nor to excuse the level of responsibility that lies at the feet of political and corporate leaders. However, apart from the downtrodden, it does imply that mere complaint about the failure of leaders is a failure of the complainant to be accountable for their own responsibility in contribution to the world. In otherwords, if complaint, then action.

CHILDREN All children have a RIGHT to be fully supported and nurtured in the community. Key to their development is the incremental training into contribution, accountability and responsibility. While that might seem austere, it would be an error to imagine that the pedagogy for providing children access to responsibility is an austere discipline. Contrary, the evidence for children's access to responsibility shows a strong relationship to open play, problem-solving, service; engagement with the arts and nature; and cross-generational interaction. Not surprisingly, this cross-section of life's dimensions are necessary for the development of whole and complete human beings.

YOUTH , the transitional period from childhood to maturity from the ages 11years to 15years, demands mentoring into teamwork for community contribution. The minimal benchmark for all 15 year olds is competency in teamwork. For some, leadership will show up as an excellence.

The transitional period from maturity to adulthood, from ages 15 years to 21 years, demands further mentoring and coaching in empowerment and leadership. The benchmark for an adult is a fully independent being, materially, spiritually, socially, rationally, and in action.

ADULT.The adult is a fully fledged learner and contributor in society. During the energised years of their life, say from 21-50 years, the adult takes on increasing comittments to others and themselves, as development of their own contribution to their community and the world.

WISDOM The getting of wisdom can occur early in life, however this may be a less common condition. The great opening that is possible for many people in the latter half of life (50-100 years) is a place of significant creativity, contribution and leadership.

Other specific philisophical questions that are considered include: