Tag Archive: Friends


Twit-perience

This post is long overdue.

One of my faithful readers has expressed his wish for me to share my twitter experience and for a long time I have unconsciously ignored it but today I must address it.

Why twitter?

Why are people so caught up in sharing their lives constantly?

Will I ever get the symbols (@, #) correct and the other jargons?

What is a trending topic?

What is a twitter tag?

twitterThese were the questions that troubled me before joining the force called twitter. I hated it. Before joining I would load twitter pages (mainly celebrities) but it was only to see what they tweeted about.

I hated the concept of followers, following and how the amount of followers you have on your page impacted your reach. I avoided topics surrounding tweets and twitter because I didn’t want to be caught up in sharing my life with the world. I tend to be very private, unpredictable but I can also be engaging.

However, on August 18, 2009 I officially joined twitter and now I am a faithful tweeter. The tweets on twitter from the twitter users are twitfantastic and the experience can be fun if you follow the right people. At the beginning I started following celebrities and a few of my blogger friends. I searched for twitter users in my area and followed a few a well – although they weren’t many. I would suggest that a new user find topics they are passionate about and tweet about that eg. technology, blackberry etc. You are going to be surprised how many people will reply (@) to your tweets and may even follow you.

For my own safety I do not tweet on certain topics. I would never support any twitter user tweeting on their specific location or any detail on their plans or schedule. My tweets, if they fall along these lines are very vague. The world is so dangerous and unsafe that you can’t even trust anyone even your friends.

One should never be afraid of twitter. I am a testimony that it can be good. The moment you join the ‘force’ – twitter, the more tweets you want to put out there – adding to your page. Placing tweets that surround trending topics is also similar to blogging.

My twitter experience has been great, I enjoy every moment of it. I enjoy telling my followers ‘Good morning’ as I always do and follow up with my own ‘thought of the day.’ Pretty boring huh? It’s never a dull day on twitter. I mean for those who live in the United States of America and other first world countries can really live a twit-fantastic twitter experience because tonnes of companies and others use this medium to promote their craft.

Oh how could I forget the amazing friends I have met through twitter who follow my blog and who I share my tweets with. They make my experience on twitter so wonderful and hmm twit-fantastic.

Please do not let your fear keep you from twitter.

Start tweeting today, memories await! Literally.

Welcome to the fifth edition in the series of the Water Cooler – appears every Sunday on this blog. This feature will highlight what’s hot, topical and up for discussion.

Here we go.

Others in the Series:

Water Cooler, Water Cooler Ed. 2, Water Cooler Ed. 3, Water Cooler Ed. 4

Politics

On Friday October 2, 2009 the Obama administration traveled to Copenhagen, Denmark to encourage the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to choose Chicago, USA for the 2016 Summer Olympic Games. Competing with Chicago were Madrid, Tokyo and Rio. With local issues behind and pundits crying out for him to stay and focus on the problems affecting the country, Barack Obama flew to Denmark to make the case for Chicago his home state.

Later in the afternoon, the first round of voting eliminated Chicago’s bid to host the 2016 games. Many people especially Americans were shocked and flabbergasted by their early elimination. The energy surrounding Chicago’s bid and information that the media reported was that the decision would have been between Rio and Chicago. Oh how they were wrong?

When I heard the words “Rio de Janeiro” to host the 2016 Olympic Games I had mixed emotions. I am happy that the South American country will be able to host the games of such magnitude there and it shows great leadership and planning on the part of the Brazilian team. The twitter world was lit up by this announcement with IOC, Chicago and Rio as trending topics. What also struck me was that many people seemed happy that Chicago had lost the bid. Were these sentiments ‘un-American’? Were theses feelings driven by conservatives?

In this post I want to share the information that was presented to the International Olympic Committee. I am doing this to give readers a front row seat in the presentations that were delivered. Below are the video presentations and speeches of Chicago and Rio to host the 2016 games.

I must say hands down the presentation by the Rio team was concrete. It articulated a phenomenal approach to the games. The video presentation outlined to the delegates was unique and displayed quality images to show voters what they would expect from Brazil hosting such a game. The video presentation made you believe that this would be spectacular; it challenged your imagination and made you believe that athletes would live their passions in Brazil. This was followed by a moving speech that was delivered with such emotion and one that would make the delegates move to action to choose Rio as the perfect destination.

The Chicago bid was different from the Rio presentation. In that it presented the information but was low on substance – imagery.  The presentation would be what my lecturers accuse my classmates of having – it was all over the place. It was not compelling and not believable. As we saw in the Rio presentation a focus was on sporting activities and the athletes; I did not see that in Chicago’s bid. I got the impression that they (the athletes) would be spread across the city like nomads. In Rio’s presentation, although they (the athletes and games) are in four areas, it had an aim in mind. I watched the videos carefully and nowhere in Chicago’s video do you see people. They talked about humanity and friendship and one would have liked to see two people laughing or sharing something. The video showed buildings, google earth graphics and animations the entire time.

michelle-obama404_676280cSpeeches by the Obama’s and the others didn’t help. Michelle Obama before her trip to Denmark said the Obama team would be taking the bid as the Iowa primary. What was their focus? Clearly they thought these delegates would have been bought by their fame and shared ignorance of what the Olympic Games are all about or they are still in campaign mode. The Chicago team sent the wrong signal expecting everything to change with Obama’s presence; in their words “to put it in the bag.” With Michelle Obama lies and a groggy President Obama the speeches clearly made the delegates cringe. Michelle Obama stated that she sat on her father’s lap cheering on Carl Lewis etc. Which 20 year old sits on a father’s lap at that stage of their life watching the Olympics? Barack Obama’s speech didn’t help. He focused on his ego and him winning the election, this is not what the speech should have surrounded. He should have emphasized more the decision that they had to make and how Chicago is the best option. Obama wants to step a few blocks from his home with Michelle and his girls to welcome the world. Wouldn’t it have sounded better if he stated that Chicagoans and Americans want to welcome the world to their shores?

Who would you have voted for? What do you think?

Love & Relationship

Many people would agree that compromises are the hallmark of all relationships. Sharing an environment like a home isn’t always easy for couples; living together or dating. Couples who face this challenge face a real divide especially dsc_0076when pets are at the heart of the issue. A dating partner may compromise on one pet, but what should be done when the other keeps adopting more animals? Surely, pets should be cared for and deserve a home. Should your partner keep adopting pets ignoring your preference of having none at all? Or shouldn’t it be an issue once you are not allergic to one?

Having pets is surely a rewarding experience for those who love them but it should never be at the expense of your partner’s happiness or experience.

Inspiration

2072865350015798315S500x500Q85This week’s inspiration has to deal with taking care of our bodies. We have one life to live and one body to experience it with. Eating the right foods and exercising regularly should be everyone’s focus as we get older. We are busier than ever these days with family obligations, our own education pursuits, workplace issues etc. We should however take some quality time in taking care of ourselves. If it means taking a well needed check-up at the doctor, a massage at a spa, that visit to the dentist, for women – that pap smear test and for men prostate exam. You have one body; take care of your health this week and on.

Ahhh, You’re such a FLIRT!

Harry:                   Hey

Veronica:            What’s up?

Harry:                   I’m good.

Veronica:            Cool. I’m fantastic. You look amazing today; wish I could spend some time with you. (Smile)

Harry:                   Really

Coworkers-FlirtingFlirting for some is the ideal. Being on the receiving end gives the receiver the kick they need just to jump start their slow or bad day. If you are involved in a relationship flirting would be the last thing on your mind – based on set cultural rules. On the other hand, however, single people who are not obligated to anyone, find it enticing to flirt. But are there advantages and disadvantages of flirting? Sure, there are, but if flirting is ‘contained’ and by that I mean not over the top then friends and people in your circle should be able to flirt. Why not?

I remember later on in my high school years that we all would flirt but we knew at the end of the day nothing would come of it. It wasn’t serious – I want to date you flirt. We need to acknowledge the fact that there can be heavy or light flirt. Heavy flirt is where you make the other person uncomfortable in their space. This is most relevant in the workplace and may lead to sexual harassment. Heavy flirt also includes staring and lusting at someone in a demanding way which makes the other person think you are dangerous and makes them scared. I have been out recently and people literally act out of line in their quest to send their signal that they are interested. One would think that if someone is interested they would say “Hi”, or wave with a smile – something that is cool and fun. What people are doing is the extreme and makes you want to run. Staring and licking their lips makes it heavy flirt which makes you feel grossed out.

People who have mastered the art of flirting are great at making friends. You place them in a room with strangers and you watch them come alive as they work the room – getting people comfortable around them. I am a believer in flirting. Flirting builds ones ego, confidence and can you imagine flirting could also activate your adrenaline and nervous system? Essentially, flirting allows you to become more alert and stimulates the limbic centre of the brain, which creates pleasurable feelings among other things.

For many, flirting is an abomination and a sin in relationships. Are partners depriving themselves of lower stress levels and the ability to eliminate loneliness when they all ignore flirting – all the benefits? There should be boundaries in relationships and these must be reinforced and established. Partners in relationships should be allowed to flirt lightly. Hold on, but they do flirt without the view expressed which means that partners in relationships know the accepted limits in flirting. Relationships that embrace light flirting would mean that partners lead happy lives based on the fact that flirting provides benefits that will inextricably build better relationships.

I am in no way defending that men and women should go out of their way to flirt with others because of the guaranteed benefits. Everything should be done in moderation. Sometimes people will misinterpret your actions and think because you said something nice, sweet and endearing that it is their place to ask you out and to make certain advances. With this said one has to be extremely careful when they decide to flirt especially when in a relationship because when the word gets back to the other partner, the storyline is filled with lies.

Single folks can never really go wrong with flirting since they answer to no one. However, people who are hitched and are in relationships should be wary on how they go about flirting lightly and getting those needed benefits. Ready to flirt, who is first?

Since the development of the internet it would appear that reality television came after. Reality television features unprofessional actors, most times celebrities or created ones to show unscripted reactions in various scenarios. In recent times we have been seeing many newly wed couples deciding to film a reality series to be picked up by the major networks. However, it would appear that the usage of reality television for any couple in Hollywood is a divorce sentence for their marriage. Of course we can list all the victims of reality television these days. The question is, did reality television cost them their marriage or was it for different reasons. Most times children are the biggest cash cows for these series as they are also paid for the gig.

Giuliana & Bill

Giuliana & Bill

I am a huge fan of reality television. I would say I like the productions, not a fan of all the drama but I appreciate the wonderful and creative ideas that they are based off. Two reality television series that I have been following and I will be referring to in this piece are The Real Housewives of Atlanta (not really a fan) and Giuliana and Bill (can be seen on the Style Network). The Real Housewives of Atlanta is filled with drama as the show follows five Atlanta housewives on their lives and friendships with each other. The celebs on the show are always in conflicts and they lead unstable lives financially and emotionally. On the other hand, Giuliana and Bill; this reality show features both Bill Rancic – winner of the first Apprentice and Giuliana from the E Network. The show is about this couple as they lead successful careers and attempts to balance their marriage.

There are hundreds of reality shows on television, some are sane and the others are insane. One would think the sane ones would get stellar reviews and constantly being booked for another season. Hell NO! The insane reality shows, filled with wanna be celebrities, people that live unstable lives, people who you would warn your kids to stay far from are playing huge roles in what network executives are constantly booking for another season. They do this because this is the garbage that society wants. I do not know but I would never sit for hours on end and enjoy a show that shows humans behaving despicably, acting in selfish ways to their neighbours. It alarms me to know that we have reached a stage where this is what we demand daily. I would agree that this is entertaining but networks that run these series for endless hours the show becomes insipid.

The show Real Housewives of Atlanta is depressing and we wonder why we still have certain issues in our society today. When a show can glamorise black people to be irrational thinkers, uneducated, gold diggers and unproductive to society we have a huge problem on our hands. We then wonder why people are hateful of black people; they are because they have not seen anything positive of the black race. They have not seen hardworking, educated people rising to the top (apart from Obama and a few others) and the images we should be portraying of our race are absent. So they have associated with being black all the negative ideas we can think of.

The sane reality shows and images we should be desperate for are all being chopped by business executives because they have a business to run. They cannot fund sane reality shows because it is the unpopular decision to do. After all a business is not charity organization. As a people we should start demanding productive programming. I will agree that there will always be a market for insane material but we should have options. I enjoyed watching Giuliana and Bill because it never had any crazy drama scene where they were fighting each other down and the constant bickering was absent. Whatever your tastes are you can find it. If you want to see adventure, a loving couple, hardworking people who are balancing their lives check it out. I am sure you can find other sane reality television shows to watch where it can be worth your entertaining and leisure time.

The world is now an open space. With cable television comes with advantages and sore disadvantages for any society. Cultures will begin to change and people will act differently because of the diverse influences that will now be present. The cultural values that some societies were proud of will soon go away because there are other new sometimes bad values to adapt. The images and values that these insane shows project into our societies must be challenged by positive role models (which we so lack) and shows that depict what living a stable life looks like; that is reality. There is no way we can continue to accept the negative images of our race and remain silent with it. As young people we need to separate positive entertainment from negative entertainment and break the rising trend of insane reality television.

Love’s Actions!

LoversGazeREX_468x304Love is a feeling you feel when you feel a feeling you feel you had never felt before. If that is love then you shouldn’t be feeling that feeling too often. For many of us, finding love is a dream, that aspiration to meet the one who connects and feels your inner emotions, your ultimate soul mate. Humans need affection, love and companionship which we all seek daily. If love never existed the world would be at war, and many of the unions and offspring would not be here today to continue humanity. Apart from love towards our neighbours, closest friends and families there is a special love we all reserve for the ones closest to our hearts. Finding the person to share private moments with can be a thrill for some, devastating for others and a journey that makes you look crazy.

In the book Message in a Bottle by Nicholas Sparks the main character Theresa Osborne finds a bottle with a love letter in it. As a columnist she publishes the letter in the newspaper and finds out there are other letters out there written by the same gentleman. She admires the writer from reading the love letters and begins a journey to find the man who she thinks will be the perfect match for her.

I am sure you have seen couples together and they have that spark that says they are definitely in love. I am quite sure that many readers of this blog right now might even be in love. Love stories will always be told but there are times you hear of a wild experience of someone in love and make you ponder; is it real love?

So you did what?

For those seeking love it can be a whirlwind, it stirs everything up blinding your next move. Dating partners from your financial class/level will be critical sometimes. A love story is told some time ago where a top level bank executive asked this particular female on a date. They went to a very expensive restaurant in the city and they had a good time. Perfect! If you have to withdraw a huge amount of your savings or investment to get someone’s attention, to prove you care then they are not worth your time. Many times partners find themselves all in a moment. We are on a high to the point where we are no longer in control of our actions because this person may be the hottest on the market, maybe the one with the personality you’ve been looking for or whatever. I do believe in the notion of going all out for the one you love but never to the point where you suffer financially in the future.

So you’ve changed what?

We all know love makes us do some ridiculous things. However, we should always be in a position to distinguish between the feeling of love and infatuation. If loving the person you are chasing means changing your friends – the good ones, changing your outlook on life, being honest and persistent about your own personal goals then you might not be looking in the right place. When you’ve found love in a partner they should never influence you negatively. Many families are at the bitter end of this stick who confess most times that when members of the family get married or begin to date someone they change overnight into different people because of the huge influence their partners hold over them. I vehemently believe in listening to your partner and respecting those decisions but there comes a point when you should be able to think straight and see through things and make the best decision for your life.

So you’re not happy?

It might take you days, weeks, months to figure out that this person who you have been investing your time and effort in is not making you happy. There is no way someone should stay in a relationship when they are unhappy. This state not only affects you personally but it trickles over in your work, and your relationship with others. Life is too short to sit around and have someone in your personal space eat away at your happiness and you enjoying life. For some, this may take years for them to realize that things have not been developing into what they desired it to be. At this moment you need to sit down and figure out what was blinding you, what has changed and what you can do now to make this work.

Love do sometimes makes us do crazy things I tell you. There is someone out there for each person and the quest to find them can be a thrill, can be devastating, and it could last a lifetime. Find someone who shares similar interests, will love you, who is a lover of life and someone who compliments and will compromise. Live life happily ever after and feel the feeling you have never felt before.

So You’ve Graduated

graduate3After attending college/university you expect to land the perfect job or have an internship at a top company using all the skills and the knowledge you have learnt. As graduates we expect the economy to provide constant jobs and the business environment to be healthy for the creation of new businesses. Are our expectations too much? In today’s economy, it is not advantageous for graduates as fewer jobs are left vacant and the vacancies created are as a result of layoffs from companies both huge and small. University/College graduates should therefore prepare themselves for a period of unemployment. How can we all prepare our minds and psyche for the stressing times ahead? This blog will seek to provide tips for recent graduates who are in the market looking for a job.

Be Patient

After leaving school the job market will be very competitive. All the students from all the universities across the world are graduating students who have studied the same area you did. You cannot ignore all the applicants who will be entering the same market from high school and other areas. You must be patient as companies review hundreds of applications and resumes all in a bid to say you are the best candidate. In this time I will advise any applicant to remain calm. Never blame yourself for not finding a job fast enough; you did your part by getting that solid education. That’s a start!

Keep Searching

We all have our favourite companies and dream jobs stuck in the back of our minds. In this economy and with a world wide melt down of countries, there is no way you can limit yourself as to the places you apply. This is the time to expand your scope and apply to various places.

For example, you have graduated with a Marketing Degree. You cannot expect only to work in Marketing Departments and Advertising Agencies. You would have to apply for jobs in Customer Service, Teaching, Management Roles, Sales and Banking etc.

It is critical that as soon as you graduate or even before graduation it is advised that graduates apply for a host of job opportunities. You cannot go wrong in applying as you may never know the company may be looking for you, a candidate in Sales & Marketing but you studied a Finance elective. Never as a graduate limit yourself, this is a huge mistake that people make. Research employment websites, company websites, newspapers, and classifieds for any job posting and never forget to apply.

Be Optimistic

Life goes on; bills are to be paid, your activities etc. Life will become stressful as the months roll on and the need for a job becomes your ultimate goal. It is critical that at this time you remain calm. There is nothing you can do (unless you will be starting a company) about your job prospects once you have applied. At this moment potential employees must remain positive, thinking that better will come in due time. Moments will however arise where you are at your end where job searches are concerned. It is advisable that you remain optimistic and never stress; this may have you developing health complications which you may never want to have.

Network

It is so important that as graduates look for jobs that they rely on the present network they have. This is crucial because the contacts you have within your circle may prove to be beneficial. It will be in your advantage to email or hand copies of your resume (multiple copies) to those in your network. This is good as your friends in the companies will hand deliver your resumes to the Human Resource Department or to hiring Managers. These people are your hands and feet to the managers directly. Ensure that they say a word on your behalf ‘Carol is hardworking and great with the databases’ etc.

But what if you do not have a network? It is advised that you ask around your family and friends and investigate who they know and who they can connect you with in companies. If you are at a disadvantage in having a good network then walking in to companies may be your next move.

Family/Resource Team

It is important that in this time of looking a job in a jobless market that you have a team around you that will keep you positive and one that won’t blame you for not having a job. Starting with family and real friends, rely on them for emotional and financial support and always let them know how important they are while you are in this predicament.

Today, being unemployed is never easy. Being unemployed and actively looking a job is even worse. I hope these tips that were explored will give you insight and assurance that as you look for job, it may be hard but remember there is a rainbow after the storm.

2Land that Job. Yeah!!

Learning to Swim

I have always wanted to learn how to swim and if it’s something to be disappointed about in my life it’s that. I was always told by my father that he would teach me but it never materialised. I would go to the beach or the pool and just splash around or just watch other people swim around. I have been so busy that attending swimming lessons is so far fetched that taking the lessons was not apart of the plan. We all see those divers, swimmers and synchronised swimmers do what they do best and we watch in awe but we are most times concerned about competition than anything else. Swimming is beautiful to watch but it can be hard taking lessons so far in life. After a while you think how relevant learning how to swim will be. This was clearly one of my fears and now….

All that changed on my vacation to Portland. I was taught to swim by my best friend in the world who is a good swimmer. Although I had a few lessons I would admit I improved a lot on trying to swim. I didn’t know it was so hard though; although swimmers will tell you its so easy. I would recommend that persons learning to swim take away from their minds all the images they have seen because learning to swim entails more than what we see on television or have seen people do.

My first lesson was about getting used to the water. That entailed submerging and staying under the water for some time. It was shocking at first but I got used to it and was comfortable. I was excited to learn because swimming is a vital tool that you may never know when you will need it and it stays with you a lifetime. I’ve always wanted to learn because it’s so much fun and the many comments I have received on how I have the ideal swimmer’s body – tall, broad shoulders, slim. One thing though, never become fearful of the water, feel free and relax; think the water is your best friend.

In my time and before me unless you lived near a beach or river and went to the beach regularly then you would learn to swim. Now, schools are building their curriculums and activities including swimming. Children in schools today are so exposed to different activities like this that which will benefit them in their lifetime. My second class and some parts of the first lesson were dedicated on the movements of the feet.

One tip however that cannot be over emphasized is that you should clear your mind of what you have observed on swimming because it can hinder your growth and learning how to swim. I wanted to learn so fast that before I got the movements of the feet right I wanted to use my arms. In regards to swimming you can swim without using the hands.

You do not have to take my tips above because I can’t swim well myself. Well, now I have conquered one of my fears and I am on the journey to swim well IF I continue my lessons. Conquering your fears can be traumatic and can hinder personal growth at times. I was so afraid of swimming that it took a lot to get over the idea of learning to swim. The first time I walked in the pool was nerve-racking. The first time I submerged myself was horrible, the force of the water caused me to stand up right away. After the lessons I am even more comfortable to go under and go head down in the water.

Changes

So the last day of the vacation I decided to go swimming in the morning. With the aid of the inflatable raft I began to hold on, submerged my head and worked my feet. I was moving in no time. Shortly after I could swim without the raft and now I am using my hands. I am so happy I can help myself to swim in the water. This was clearly one of my fears and now…. I can swim!!!! Yeah, rock on dude!!!

The Quest to find love?

If you live in the world (which we all do), we are bombarded with advertisements surrounding the topic of finding love. Nowadays, people search in various places to find love. More than ever individuals are going online to search for the perfect one. Whether it is on e-harmony or match or MySpace we are desperate for the ultimate one. But how far would you go to find perfect love?

Reality television has highlighted the fact that people go on quests to find the real one and have created these amazing shows some incredible some fall flat but the main aim is to highlight the extreme levels of finding love.

silhouettedcoupleRecently, I saw a promo for a new program showing fabulous plus size girls seeking love. What was interesting is that the person I was watching television was grossed out because the person didn’t want to see fluffy girls seek love in this format on television. I made the point quickly that obese girls need love too. What made it unique was traditionally we only see slim, size zero girls on these reality shows seeking love. It makes it very weird for some people now seeing plus size girls on their quest on main stream media.

How far is too far?

Would you go in a dark room to find love? Would you join a dating site to find love?

A new program to hit the ABC network will have couples move in a house and the dating process would all take place in the dark. However, what happens in the dark would be revealed in the light as the couples would see each other for the first time. Some would be grossed out; I guess the others would like what they see.

I like the fact that people are getting out there to find love. I like the fact that we are finding unique ways to do so. Traditionally, people date by being introduced to friends and date by networking in your own circle. Things and times are changing and people are getting with it. It is no longer weird to date in a dark room, on the job, on the internet or even speed dating. Finding love is now the focus of most people. Individuals want to share their lives with someone special and unique.

To find that unique person, how far would you go? Is finding love on the internet weird for you or we all have come to accept this form of dating?

Share your views!

Can men cry?

man-cryingMen who cry…..what can we make of them? They are soft, insecure, wimps, cry babies, sissies, bitches, other degrading words are used, and the list goes on. But the fact is men who cry or show emotions publicly are seen as losers. Are they?

The perceptions we have of men who cry or show emotions publicly are often times culturally driven. Most cultures do not agree or will accept men crying or men showing emotions. We can readily accept women showing emotive language because to some, women are weak, lower than men and are born expressive beings. But, how can we accept women who cry but we cannot accept the same of men? Aren’t we all the same?

Is this attitude the same across the world? Clearly it isn’t. I am appalled that we on the Western side of the world have this terrible view of men who show emotions publicly. We believe that men who show emotions are weak. It is however, the opposite, those men who show emotions are actually strong men. Women will tell you that if a man is strong enough to show emotions publicly they will respect them even more. It does not benefit a person to store up all that emotions inside and never have the boldness to express it. That is what we do when we degrade men who show cry and show emotions; we stifle their emotional and psychological development. Can we save people from heading down a road of suicide? We can if we foster cultures where we accept that is okay to express your deepest emotions.

Take France and other European cultures for example, they do not have cultures where they bash men who show emotions. For them it is quite normal. It would be like walking the street, pretty normal. I believe countries who can accept the expression of emotions are advanced and mature when men and women are able to express themselves not having any fear that they will be chastised for feeling hurt, or even feeling pain.

Women mostly should take responsibility for the attacks men have received because of the expression of emotions. Majority of times they drive this negative escapade. Through those experiences men recognize that hey if I show my emotions she/he will think less of me and think I am weak. I do not know how men have reached this low point. But it is time to prove to men that they are strong emotionally when they are able and freely to express themselves.

man-crying (1)What is also depressing is that the media pushes this culture of allowing men who show emotions to feel like wimps. They support this thrust to have men always exude a presence of power which is not bad. But we must also support the real growth of a man and that is to support the man when he is at his weakest, the moments when he is hurt. Men should be able to express themselves and not have the risk of people calling them the worst names ever.

Times change some say. I hope we will mature culturally and recognize that when men show emotions whether of strength or weakness that they will be seen as normal as they are. NO, a man is not touching his feminine side when he cries, he is a man.

My day in Parliament

Many times we see politicians on the job and wonder what it is like to be there to experience the moments. Recently I was invited to share in the festivities at our parliament in Jamaica. The experience was spectacular.

parliamentAs I entered the doors I was greeted to security systems beeping clearly signalling what kind of possessions I had on me. There was security all around clearly you could tell security is a major issue when so much power comes together. No alarms rang; I walked up to the gallery. In the gallery clearly there were sections outlined. One section had high profile persons; managers, CEOS, investors all ready to hear what the minister had to say. Dr Christopher Tufton would be presenting on recent developments in the Ministry of Agriculture.

All my life the proceedings, all the pictures I have seen of parliament were aerial shots focusing on the speakers on any particular day. Clearly sitting in the gallery I had a bird’s eye view of the proceedings seeing all the politicians who appear to be at the helm of the country.

As I sat I was in awe the entire time, couldn’t believe I was granted this experience to see parliament in action. I looked around seeing the power of the people in the gallery, the media section etc. The media area shocked me. There were not a lot of media personnel covering the event. I found it amazing but daunting. I believe the more journalists covering events like these and even working in the industry the more objectivity and coverage regular citizens will have of what is really happening at the highest level of government.

From watching parliamentary proceedings on television as well, one cannot ignore how noisy the politicians are. Most of them on television would be gyrating and chatting away as the speakers made their points.  Found it embarrassing. Well, the same greeted me. The politicians showed no regard for those who were speaking. Most were reading documents, shouting across the isle, signing documents, sending messages continuously, the constant walking in and out etc. I was amazed but not impressed. I feel that when a presentation is being made your duty is to listen with the intention to make suggestions or ask questions at the end. This was not so in parliament. However, I do not feel that persons must sit throughout presentations for over two hours without even commenting on an issue with the person near you, but the constant chatting and disrupting behaviours must not be condoned.

p3_2 When I entered the gallery and looked down at the seats I noticed that some seats were empty but documents were thrown all over the area in front of the chair signalling that someone was sitting in the seat. Later, former Miss World winner now turned politician Lisa Hanna walked in with another member of the Opposition. I have not fell that feeling in a long time. Her beauty mesmerized me, I was shocked, amazed, even flabbergasted.  Even years after winning the title Lisa Hanna is able to look refreshing, great and constantly keeping up with fashion and style. She truly added to the excitement of the afternoon.

As the speech went on, more members walked in clearly they took breaks, some even conducting business on the floor while the speech went on.

Later the leader of the Opposition Portia Simpson Miller, Phillip Paulwell etc walked in to take their seats. What was interesting was that most members of the governing party were present while most of the Opposition were evidently missing in action.

Joke of the day

roger-clarke-pointingRoger Clarke former Minister of Agriculture when his party ruled was present for the proceedings. There has been characterisation of him in the media as a negative famer who opposes everything the ruling government does. Recently he was portrayed as a fat rice eating famer who eats everything on a farm. In the minister’s speech, he referred to the successful rice testing done by the government and brought into parliament packaged rice products for his demonstration. This was seen as a positive movement for the government because previous governments have not been able to achieve this level of success where they are able to produce value added products for the international and local market.

There was a huge uproar by politicians on the floor who sought to ensure that the minister gave Roger Clarke all the rice he brought to parliament. This was a light moment but everyone had a moment to laugh and take it all in.

The speech was very long but the time was allotted to Dr Christopher Tufton to complete his speech.

peter-bunting-gen-secAfter his speech ended Opposition member Bunting gave a speech on his constituency and even commenting on changes that should be made to Jamaica Constabulary Force. What was amazing the ruling party teased him before he began his speech calling him ‘Facebook’.

Recently, after the Opposition lost two bi-elections Bunting made remarks on his Facebook page about a leader not searching for consensus but a molder of one. This was seen as controversial and was reprimanded by some for his comments. The teasing I found very alarming because I think he was ashamed in the moment.

This teasing was obvious right through the proceedings with members from both sides shouting defaming slangs at each other. I found it disgusting at times but I guess people can have fun.

So my day ended with me experiencing parliament. Not many citizens will ever get to go through the doors at our parliament but this day will always be treasured by me. I enjoyed my day, while some parts were horrible to digest I was able to take it all in and see what parliamentary proceedings were all about.

Corve DaCosta