Tag Archive: community


Thanks Daddy

We never can overemphasize a father’s impact in his child’s life. Many times those who have a father’s presence take it for granted. While those who are without a father find ‘father figures’ in the form of boyfriends, uncles and other relatives, it is not surprising that statistics emanating from fatherless homes and lives are horrendous. Many of the myriad problems societies face are a result of fathers not playing a role in their child’s early years. Of course, the same happens when mothers abandon the parent-child relationship. However, there are more negligent fathers than mothers today. Culturally, we have accepted the absence of the father as normal. We have also accepted the ridiculous excuses that may be given by the father to justify his absence as a parent. Even those who live in the same home with the children need to realize that a father is more than a ‘pay-rent.’

The paternal role as sole financial provider is rapidly becoming obsolete as more and more women make their way in the corporate world. Fathers must come to the realization that all the money in the world can never replace the bonding and interaction that characterize healthy parent-child relationships. The relationship should not be forced. It should be built over the years with trust and communication. Certainly, money plays a role, but children must be made to feel independent and should therefore be provided with their own cash. Parents must secure quality education for their children.

Today marks the eighth anniversary of the war in Afghanistan. The soldiers who are deployed in the war-torn areas, to serve their country in an endless war have rocked millions of families in America. Evidently, both mothers and fathers are away from their families but can you imagine the absence of a father? Many of the stories that are told highlight expecting mothers; and that makes the situation even more devastating. The memories these fathers miss cannot be repeated even if they are recorded. Memories like seeing your child going off to school for the first time, seeing them graduate, play in the park, looking at their report cards are all events that parents anticipate. Fathers suffer but more so the children are impacted emotionally because ‘daddy’ is not at home to share in those private ‘Kodak’ moments. Bonding is reduced to letters and phone calls.

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Who can forget the video of the dad hugging his daughter after the little girl threw the ball back on the field? It melted hearts but what should never be missed is the father’s reactions. I watched the video over and over again and wondered how many fathers would have reacted the same way. It makes me wonder because here you have a dad who is clearly a baseball fan who decides to hug his daughter in a moment where he could have been upset.

Fathers are important from the fertilization of the egg to adulthood. We should never at any point think mothers should raise children on their own – even though some women beat the incredible odds of single parenthood. Both mothers and fathers are important in the development and nurturing of a child. We need to ensure more than ever that fathers play that role in a child’s life. Fathers may not be aware but children are watching parents and are learning from their attitude and actions.  A father’s presence in his child’s life makes a difference. Only those who have experienced it can begin to express what it really feels like.

It is time for men to be fathers again.

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I believe in community service. Volunteering is an activity that should be promoted more as social ills exist in our societies and this can reduce the harmful effects of these. Companies invest heavily in community service because they understand the relationship with giving back and the prospects for profitability. In business they practice what is called social responsibility and develop foundations to serve this purpose. Partnerships with other groups (community service oriented) are made to have a larger impact on a particular cause. Some companies however, will find unique ways to make a profit helping a cause. This is called cause-related advertising. For example Apple will say purchase this I-Phone and 5% of sales will go towards cancer research. On the other hand we have advocacy advertising and this is where a company will dedicate advertising to a particular cause with no profit making intentions. Not that you needed to know but now you know.

Beenie Man with LIME Execs

Beenie Man with LIME Execs

Just today in a local Jamaican newspaper LIME (an international telecommunications company) and Beenie Man (an international reggae artist) donated two computers to a city police station here in Kingston, Jamaica. This is wonderful and all these things to have two entities like these give back to society. We may not see the computers at work but surely they will assist the police in crime fighting. Congratulations and kudos to them.

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Back in March a group under my leadership and others participated in a community service activity at the Jamaica National Children’s Home. As students we participated in painting a section of the male dorm, manicured their lawn and surroundings, took personal care of the children at the home, assisted with homework and reading, played games, partnered with the National Commercial Bank Foundation and one of the top meal providers to donated food items, provided lunch, gifts etc. We worked hard to get the sponsorships we acquired to make the day a success. We also had the reigning Miss Jamaica Universe giving a talk on the importance of giving back.

April Jackson - Miss Jamaica Universe 2008

April Jackson - Miss Jamaica Universe 2008

There is no way I am comparing what we did months ago to what LIME and Beenie Man has done, clearly they are different. There is a point though. These two institutions command millions of monies annually and although we are happy that they donated the two computers it leaves a bad taste to see them only donating two based on the market they command. LIME is a company that offers computers with their product line certainly donating only two just proves where their priority is. If they wanted public relations they got it. I am not sure people are going to look on and say wow let me take my business to LIME. They could have maximized on this opportunity by donating to a few more police stations (at least two) with the same two computers; that would have been a bigger statement and a more news worthy item.

I hope my readers will get the point. I am in no way ungrateful for the effort. From a business point of view the business I am not sure they communicated their core values in this PR. Beenie Man on his own could have donated the two computers, even more so LIME who is in this area of business. Companies want to show they care, they can do things big and they are socially responsible. Although we are in a recession we cannot donate ‘recessionously’- cheaply – do things the proper way.

Have you ever been in an enclosed area and smell the fumes from someone smoking? Doesn’t it annoy you? It must be weird being annoyed by a smell. I am upset, agitated, and infuriated when I smell a smoker and the smoke from their activities. I cannot fathom why someone would smoke their way to their death beds. We have heard of the many side-effects and ramifications for smoking cigarettes. For crying out loud go far far away and kill yourself with the fumes. Why make the rest of the world suffer in your unhealthy agony? I cannot imagine what goes on in the lungs and inside the body as they inject those crazy chemicals in.

Obama the Savior

Obama the Savior

My heart goes out though to all of the many addicts to smoking. I really blame them for their conditions and addiction to cigarettes and wish that they would change their lifestyle to a healthier one. Many families are being separated by those family members who smoke for a lifetime and end up dying from complications. There are however, solutions and many alternatives smokers can make to live their lives better.

In America alone 46 million people light a cigar. We have heard many times of the disadvantages for smoking but the information does not move smokers to stop killing themselves silently. They are addicted and so drawn and warped into smoking that they cannot and sometimes find it hard to end a life addicted to its contents. One would think businesses would stop making cigarettes so harmful to the body. No. They are manufactured and marketed to entice the innocent. Many young people are becoming addicted to smoking and the trend must be stopped. How many young people should die because of this addictive substance? Worldwide between 80,000 and 100,000 kids will start smoking everyday. No public service announcement can save those kids. Parents should become involved in parenting once again and ensure that their young children are not being killed early.

I have not felt the urge to smoke, never. I wonder what would prompt someone to light a cigar then. Of course, we can blame society, the culture and all the other factors that motivate our actions. I think our culture has a lot to do with this nasty trend. In Jamaica and many other parts of the world it is acceptable if a teen smokes in public. He/She is seen as unique, special, cool, fun, exciting the list goes on. What if we had generated a culture where we speak out against killing our hearts and our bodies? The price we pay to provide health care to these lunatics who are walking dead bodies waiting to happen must end now.

Side Effects of Smoking Cigarettes

  • Tobacco contributes to many cancers.
  • Smoking causes heart disease.
  • Smoking causes fat deposits to narrow and block blood vessels which lead to heart attack.
  • Smoking is a slow way to die.
  • Smoking causes heart attacks and strokes.
  • Carbon monoxide robs your muscles, brain and body tissue of oxygen, making your whole body and especially your heart work harder. Over time, your airways swell up and let less air into your lungs.
  • Causes impotence in men.

The list goes on but I decided just to highlight those.

I want people to realize the dangers of smoking and their lives. We are having a heated discussion on health care reform in the US. The fact is people must take personal responsibility for their lives and take steps to live a healthy lifestyle. In 1998 alone, USA spent $72.7 billion on people with health care problems associated with smoking. We are in 2009 that cost would never be decreased but increased. We are setting up ourselves for a huge problem with heart issues and strokes hitting younger people if we create a culture where smoking is accepted. I agree when any government that comes down hard on smokers. They must be taxed to the point where they cannot afford the product. Then we will see this horrendous habit by millions changed.

Can someone tell Obama to make this a teachable moment? He is for crying out loud, spewing fumes into the White house on a regular basis. He must be confronted and a team used to stop his addiction to smoking. If he doesn’t……..Oh my God!

Obama Care

“Nothing is more fatal to health care than an over care of it” – Benjamin Franklin

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In many parts of the world, health care is operated by the government. Such countries include: Cuba, Canada and UK among others. Although they are advantages and disadvantages of universal health care the government will end up playing a huge role in the health care those citizens receive.

There is a health care debate rather war raging on in the USA. Politicians of course on issues like this all take their sides with some not contemplating or refuse to negotiate on the issue. Even the government’s party that is expected to support an issue like this even find disagreements to squabble over. All citizens deserve a proper and quality health care system. Quality health care systems will determine the expected life for citizens in a country.

Many will agree that the American system is expensive for some. With over 40 million uninsured persons the government has a right to tackle health care reform. They need to tackle health care reform because equity should permeate in a society. It cannot be that only the rich, working class or the educated are allowed to proper health care treatments. It is absurd and changes must be made, I think all can agree on that.

However, covering that many people is the problem. Where will the funds come from? Someone has to pay for a system like that. Universal health care is a great idea. Those viewing the issue from a Utilitarian point of view will forever think that this is the best thing to do. Obama’s plan is constantly changing since debates are currently going on and the quest to please as many people remains the viable option.

We all know the benefits of having universal health care but what about the cons. We have heard of the Canadian and UK experience where patients take forever to get proper care. In one area in Canada the nurse shakes a box and picks out four names. Those four names will be able to see the doctor. I do not think that this is the way to run a health care system for all. You will have people dying because of lack of treatment when the purpose of the program was to provide that needed health care for all.

Another disadvantage we hear of is the quality patients will receive. The quality may not be an issue since hospitals in the USA provide a good service. It is also good to note that health care treatment and drugs will also be rationed by the government. Can you imagine this?

Patient information will never be private as the government will control all the information. We all know that when private information is in a database, it will be compromised. I already see media houses, tabloids having spies to search the database exposing people’s private information. It is crazy what can happen with Universal health care.

The story gets better. There are advantages having a universal health care plan. The most popular is that those who could not afford health care will now be covered. Patients with pre-existing conditions are also covered. Along with this a database is created to make things work efficiently.

I believe in a universal health care plan. I do not believe in a one time roll out plan as this can damage a country. One has to take into consideration the costs. If America puts in place this plan their taxes will be increased and the debt will rise.

I prefer a system where the government takes steps in rolling out Universal health care. For example, prepare legislation to cover a segment of society – children. This will make the opposing parties have fewer disagreements. The advantage of taking on universal health care in stages is that the effect covering all would have on the economy is different than just taking on a segment. That’s the approach I would take. Since I’m not Obama lets have one go at this, one shot. We should not be in a rush to pass health care reform when most of the legislators will never read the bill in its entirety or inform the public of what changes will be made.

As the debate roars on people will constantly be divided. As republicans, they believe that there should be less of government and more of private sector. The democrats believe in providing health care for all. Years ago, health care reform was stalled as the debate didn’t materialize in a bill to be passed. The President came out saying that a bill should be on his desk by August. Legislators told him bravely no bill till September. Will there be any other delay? It appears this time around that a bill will be passed. A bill to cover all – called Universal health care plan.

F_317522_c6KHZ1f7HreolYV5FYUQNSGhVw1gLnThe recent campaign by the Ministry of Health in Jamaica with the tagline ‘Pinch, leave an inch, roll’ has come under fire from certain sectors of the society. Esther Tyson, principal of Ardenne High School in Kingston, Jamaica wrote an article in the Sunday Gleaner condemning the campaign calling for serious adjustments to the message. Her new tagline for the campaign would state ‘value self, value others; self-control and true love waits.’

We live in a society that is over sexualised with not only images but also heavily present in our music. The fact remains that our young people are having unprotected sex and the Ministry of Health recognizes this.  Any campaign that is geared towards educating and influencing the use of condoms with the youth must be embraced. The youth globally not only unique in Jamaica are faced with choices daily and most times the values we would ideally want our youth to accept are ignored upon. Societies today are not projecting the conservative values we are told of. Instead, young individuals are bombarded with the acceptable behaviours of promiscuity and unsafe sexual habits.

The Jamaican society has been characterized as a Christian one. However, one would think the church would be vocal on certain issues but on the contrast they are numb and quiet leaving a sector of society to be leaders teaching our children that unprotected sex is real love. Our youth today has taken that message as gospel preaching it to those who they come in contact with, developing a culture where we have accepted sexual activities among young individuals as a norm.

How do we now combat this problem? The advertising campaign suggested by Esther Tyson to promote value self cannot work. Young individuals are battling low self-esteems, no confidence within themselves and a society where they are searching for role models. Valuing Others? Jamaica is currently one of the murder capitals of the world. We have no respect for life or anyone’s life in this country. True love? If a research should be conducted I am positive the percentage would be high of children born out of wedlock. Therefore the campaign that Tyson suggests is nonsensical, and cannot work in this society. The fact is, the campaign suggested by Tyson would be looked down upon and revamped to change its message simply because it would not be current.

The Ministry of Health’s campaign was spot on. Recognizing that young people today are participating in activities like this, arming them with the correct information can only assist. The campaign teamed up with popular show Magnum Kings and Queens of Dancehall and it was a perfect match because the target audience were fans of the popular show.

It is a pity that Tyson reminds me of Sarah Palin. Sarah Palin as a conservative believes that sex should be solely between married couples. However, Palin’s daughter Bristol Palin got pregnant at only 17 years of age. Sarah Palin as a republican politician has been preaching for all her political life of the sacredness of sex and marriage; when in her own household her daughter was ignoring this message. Esther Tyson serves as principal of Ardenne High School, a top school in Kingston, Jamaica. One would think she would have on the ground experience of what is happening to our youth today. However, Tyson still chants from her high seat that the campaign should be ‘value self, value others; self-control and true love waits.’ One thing is for sure, her students are chanting a different message of ‘Pinch, leave an inch, roll.’

It is time we accept the world we live in presently and start accepting the truth. We live in a society where sorry to say sexual promiscuity is a current trend which is very attractive to our young people. We need more innovative campaigns that will challenge stats quo and be different. After all we are in 2009 and not the 1960’s.

Corve DaCosta