Fighting Complacency: It’s An Eye Opening Experience. (1 Minute Read).

Fighting Complacency: It’s An Eye Opening Experience. (1 Minute Read).

When things stay the same for a very long time, we tend to get comfortable and somewhat complacent with our situations. We follow the logic of ‘if it ain’t broke, then don’t fix it’. But, how do we really know something is broken, if we do not step out of our comfort zones and objectively subject it to thorough analysis? How do we know that our current situation is not a threat to our personal development? How can we be certain that we are making the most out of our one chance in this world? Most people have fallen asleep in their lives and have failed to test their circumstances and situations with a view to have better, be better and hope for better.

Thus, some of us need to wake up and open our eyes to the world around us. Have you ever tried opening your eyes after a deep sleep to a room flooded with light? It’s a very disorienting and sometimes painful experience and the urge is to suddenly close your eyes once more. Such is the struggle. Such is the pain. But, this is exactly what we must do, to stop seeing the darkness in our complacency and start adjusting our sights to¬†light of the real world. Eyes, well adjusted to light, will never be weak again. If you have lived your life or done certain things one way only, it’s going to be hard to change those behaviors. It will not be accomplished overnight, or tomorrow or next week. But, people need to start at some in time and that is half the battle already won.

The human instinct for improvement and advancement has worked hand in hand with our evolution. The more we influenced our situations and environments, the more our bodies and minds changed to match those adjustments. The task of re-wiring our minds to think in a different way has its rewards and benefits, the biggest of which is knowledge. Wiping away the old ways from our heads and filling our minds with new information and wisdom is a step in the right direction, to combating the complacency we have cemented in our lives.

Things We Always Have And Can Share With Others. (30 Second Read).

Things We Always Have And Can Share With Others. (30 Second Read).

A Smile: Custom made, Free and will almost always be returned. The best currency in a simple non-verbal transaction. 

Best Wishes: Wishing someone a great day, Happy Birthday or Congratulations never takes anything out of us. They only count if they are genuine.

Good News: Spreading good news is as simple as telling others you woke up this morning, you are healthy and intend to make it through your day with a positive attitude.

Greetings: It takes an extremely grumpy person to declare to themselves that they are out of Good Mornings and Good Nights to share with others and refuse to say it to those they meet. Greetings are common courtesy and like Best Wishes need to be said genuinely.

Love: This is not a romantic type of love, but the care and compassion you feel for those around you. It’s being interested in the things that make them happy and doing things to show them that they are important. 

Patient Journalism: A Severely Wounded Concept. (5 Minute Read).

Patient Journalism: A Severely Wounded Concept. (5 Minute Read).

Golden Rule Of Media: If in doubt, leave it out. 

Journalistic Instinct: Everyone has an agenda. 

In 2009, a rumour was kindled via a popular talk program and spread as fast as wildfire, that a container filled with children had been found at the port of Port of Spain. Since the term ‘human trafficking’ was at the time catching on and people were becoming aware that such an unfathomable thing was possible, the rumor caused momentary panic. The port was shut down so the authorities could conduct searches for the children, who were alive and dead, depending on which media report you listened too. News outlets carried so called eye witness accounts of the discovery in their updates. Interestingly, very little information was requested by the media from the police which had spearheaded the search. While the officers looked high and low, media outlets sought out their own sources of information, restless for a new angle. In the end, nothing was found on the port. There was no container, no corpses and no children. The rumor was allegedly started by disgruntled estate security officers at the port who were clamoring for wage negotiations to commence. These were the very same officers who volunteered very detailed and chilling information to the media, while the port was still being searched. They made their point: without their security services, containers filled with children may possibly slip through our borders one day. It never occurred to anyone that such a lie would be concocted for such a cause. But, when interests are involved, (as they always are) a journalist must be mindful of every possible implication when getting information from sources who are usually trusted. Sources should be treated like batteries. Yes, they power your stories for a while, but every once in a while you should check to see if they need to be changed. You will find that as a source’s circumstances and interests change, so too will the quality of their information. 

Fun fact: A top level official in the trade union which was representing the officers in their dispute, was one of the key persons who offered information to the media. It is alleged that the said person called the talk program and gave the initial pieces of information regarding the container. 

Why did good journalists not handle the story more carefully? Why did good journalism fail on that day? Why didn’t anyone wait until the police finished their searches before running a report? Impatience got the better of us. Yes, I am guilty of spreading the misinformation. I was one of the reporters who trusted the words of the trade union official, because he gave me access to information. Not because he was the most authorised person to get the facts from, but simply because he was there. 

When journalists sacrifice credibility for access, problems will arise.
That problem is called misinformation. It is an embarrassment and integrity buster to any media house. Fast forward to 2017. A young WPC is reported missing around 9am one day, social media has become the fastest means to spread news, rumours and opinions; it’s like the pig shit in Game Of Thrones, and the chaos ensues. The first reports state her body has been found with gunshot wounds. This piece of information stayed in public for many hours, before being changed to: the WPC remains missing. No body, no shots, nothing. One social media platform is used to spread information from persons purportedly involved in the search. They claimed to have seen a body, were not allowed near it by their superiors, but it looked like the missing woman. The updates from the media are confusing. One Web page has a story about the WPC, stating she has not been found and remains missing, but the picture accompanying the story is captioned ‘shot’. It isn’t until 4pm that day that all the stories agree finally, that the woman is missing and there was no evidence to suggest she is dead. In the words of Gandalf, “hope is kindled”.

Once again access was preferred over credibility, for information on the search. Some reporters turned to their low level contacts involved in the search for information, because they wanted to have the headline first. The patient journalists waited until the ones with the authority to divulge the information supplied it to them. And they would not be rushed, but they were forthright with what they did know to those who were smart enough to ask them. The conflicting accounts shows a level of irresponsible impatience in the reporting on that day. The WPC did turn up dead, but five days later. 

As a journalist, knowing the right persons or sources to turn to for information is critical to the trade. Understanding that everyone has an agenda is being aware. If your source has lost its credibility and their information gives rise to doubt, leave it out. Be conscious of the power of social media and other platforms. We cannot control their reach, influence and consequences, thus everything posted or shared must be checked, double checked and triple checked for validity, consistency and credibility. Finally, patience is needed in this fast paced information filled world. Forget the deadline and headline; the story will unfold on its own, in its own time. A journalist must tell the truth when it comes out and not spend the day adjusting rumours and misinformation, hoping they turn out to be true.

The Story Of The Sun And The Moon. (3 Minute Read).

The Story Of The Sun And The Moon. (3 Minute Read).

There are many ancient folk tales which tell the story of the Sun and Moon and their origins. Personally, I have a only heard of two; one which is romantic in nature and the other, which, is philosophical, is the one I will share with you. 

The celestial bodies, the Sun and the Moon were thought to be siblings. After all, they looked similar, they shared the same sky, provided the world with light and were both revered for their importance in everyday life. And like siblings, they were very competitive and jealous of each other. Naturally, the Sun always felt it was the superior sibling, since it was older and it’s light was much more powerful than the Moon’s. But, it resented it’s younger brother, because people never complained about the heat of the Moon, while they did so over his heat almost every day. The Moon meanwhile, was jealous of his brother’s power and size. People worshipped him and praised him for giving and sustaining life on the world. 

The young Moon was very bitter about the situation and decided to do something about it. One day while his brother, the Sun, was halfway through his trip across the sky, the Moon moved slowly across his face, blocking his brother’s light from reaching the world. Despite the Sun’s protestations against the actions of his younger brother, the Moon would not move from his position. He had expected that the people on the ground would have been happy to see him in the middle of the day. But they were not.

The world was thrown into chaos. The Sun had been blocked off by a dark object. The people of the world did not see a gleaming yellow disc in the sky, just a forboding shadow creeping in front of the sun and blocking it’s light. They panicked and cried to the Gods to save them. Their pleas were answered. The Gods pulled the Moon away from his brother and let the world bathe in his light once more. When the Gods questioned the Moon about his actions, they realized his concerns and torment. The Gods explained both the Sun and the Moon were meant to share the sky equally. They both followed the same path, but would shine at different times, so there was no reason for either of them to feel worth less than the other. The Moon finally understood the error of his ways. He is still a bit stubborn though, as you can still find him lingering around in the western sky in the morning, when his brother begins his daily voyage and ever so often he would be mischievous and upstage his brother and we would experience a solar eclipse.

We must always remember that everyone has their own time to shine in this world and it does you no good to try to overshadow others just to be in the spotlight. Your time WILL come and when it does, you will be in all you’d splendor and glory. If you try to shine before your time and at the expense of others, people will only see darkness and chaos in your actions. Be patient and resist being selfish and jealous of others in life. 

Why Is This Happening To Me?! (1 Minute Read).

Why Is This Happening To Me?! (1 Minute Read).

Got soaked in the rain? You are probably a natural wet t-shirt model.

Got dumped with the ‘it’s not you, it’s me’ line? It’s definitely them. 

Got cheated on? No biggie. It’s good when the trash can take itself out. 

Can’t get to work on time? Real work only starts when you get there, since you are the most competent employee. Everyone else has breakfast while waiting on you.

Car stalls or gets a flat tyre in the middle of a traffic jam? Your embarrassment threshold instantly levels up. (+100 points). 

The boss always picks on you at work? Someone has to do their job for them or their incompetence starts to show.

Coming down with the virus? That wet T-shirt contest probably wasn’t a great idea.

Broke before pay day? Try falling in love again with all the stuff you bought after your last pay day.

Failed an exam? It’s hardly the same as failing at life. 

Lost your luggage at the airport? The fashion police seized it because your sense of style was probably a public hazard. 

Your students think you are a boring teacher? It’s fine. Their parents don’t get paid to hear their criticisms of their upbringing, so they send them to a much more qualified individual.

You’ve come to the end of your favorite blog’s post of the day? All good things must come to an end so they can begin anew another day. 

The Treadmill Analogy: Another Bad Comparison. (30 Second Read).

The Treadmill Analogy: Another Bad Comparison. (30 Second Read).

While going through my paces on the treadmill this week, I heard something fall with a loud bump behind me. As I turned around to take a look at what was happening, I realised I immediately had to turn my attention back to what was taking place in front of me on the controls. 

In the moment I turned around, I no longer had my eyes on my goal of burning calories. But more importantly I felt as if I was losing my balance; running while looking back is a bad idea. If you think about your life as running on a treadmill, then looking ahead and staying focused will ensure you get to your goals. However, if you keep looking back at the distractions of your past, you run the risk (literally) of stumbling and falling off your path. 

The key to burning calories and achieving all you want in your life is not breaking your momentum. Once you get warmed up, keep your stride, get into a rhythm and never look back. Momentum will always push you forward, dedication will push you further and a clear vision for your life will take you beyond your limits.

Ignorance Is Not Defense For Ignorance. (1 Minute Read).

Ignorance Is Not Defense For Ignorance. (1 Minute Read).

I wrote in an earlier blog post, that some people love to defend their ignorant ways with equally ignorant behaviors and attitudes. In such circumstances all logic, clarity and wisdom are overwhelmed by the onslaught of bitterness, prejudice and stubbornness. 

Dealing with ignorant people is a painstaking task. However, if left to their own devices, such individuals become dangerous, destructive and deluded, as all that matters to them is their selfishness, narrow mindedness and survival in a world they do not care to comprehend. 

It takes patience, not force, to make ignorant people see the flaws in their world views. It calls for knowledge, not vilification, to tame and retrain a lost mind. It requires understanding, empathy and some amount of love to dispel the thick clouds of negativity and falsehood which weigh heavily on an ignorant heart. 

It may be difficult to begin the process of getting an ignorant person to see the fallacies in the defense of their ways. They only know of one way to think and one way to live. Any attempt to change that will be seen as an attack on their fragile self esteem and image. However, without becoming ignorant yourself, you can effect positive change in the life of another human being. I typically see ignorance as a childish attempt by a misunderstood individual to seek attention from the world. At the end of the day they are people just like you and I and everyone deserves redemption, even if they may curse, kick and spit on your offer the first time around.