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Community, Mental Health, Motivational

Sunday Sayings – Snobbery and Privilege

Hypocrisy is the essence of snobbery, but all snobbery is about the problem of belonging or exclusiveness.

Torun poland

“Some people have such good taste they can’t enjoy anything.”
Marty Rubin

“They [Harvard academia] liked the poor, but didn’t like the smell of the poor.”
Chris Hedges

“It was culture as class performance, literature fetishised for its ability to take educated people on false emotional journeys, so that they might afterwards feel superior to the uneducated people whose emotional journeys they liked to read about.”
― Sally Rooney, Normal People

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Why are some people Snobs?

Snobs are people who judge people for what they do or how much wealth they have, not for who they are. They fixate on product and performance, not personality or spirit. Snobs might display rigidity of thinking as some well heeled who, despite their expensive educations, came to admire Hitler’s autocratic style of government. The snob pigeonholes people according to superficial criteria such as their birth, their profession, either regarding or disregarding them. Countries with strict class systems are renowned for this. Exclusion may even be based on the way a person speaks.

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Some interesting explanations on snobbery are found here

It is suggested that snobbery is a symptom of social insecurity; that social insecurity may be rooted in childhood experiences, especially feelings of shame at being different, or an early sense of privilege or entitlement that cannot later be realized.

The true answer to snobbery is not to say that there is no such thing as a better or worse person, but to insist that better or worse exist in constantly unexpected places and carry none of the outward signs of distinction. Perhaps the antithesis of snobbery is recognition of those who fail as much as those who succeed?

Is it feasible to recognize everyone for their effort?

“People who hold important positions in society are commonly labelled “somebodies,” and their inverse “nobodies”- both of which are, of course, nonsensical descriptors, for we are all, by necessity, individuals with distinct identities and comparable claims on existence. Such words are nevertheless an apt vehicle for conveying the disparate treatment accorded to different groups. Those without status are all but invisible: they are treated brusquely by others, their complexities trampled upon and their singularities ignored.”
― Alain de Botton

Do you know some people whose self-concept is not so strong that they spend a lot of time making comparisons and judging others, who often fail to come up to their high standards? Is this a form of snobbery?

Or perhaps the do-gooders who are not really keen on the people they help in their everyday lives, at all. It looks good on paper to help the needy and they feel they are doing the right thing, and yet, if the recipients are not grateful for the handout, the donations or assistance abruptly stop .And then there are the group who seek to gain something from handouts, business favours or social favours.

Humans can be poor judges of the worth of others, and thus it may be simpler to be kind, curious, open and imaginative about all we interact with and that includes ourselves.

Snobbery and its contributing factors is Something to Ponder About

Community, Mental Health

Raising Children and Productivity

Lindy is a young Mum to two energetic boys. Lindy’s house is orderly and tidy, and Lindy works part time in a local law firm. The boys go to Daycare when she is at work, and she reports they love the activities there. Even so, she ensures she makes up for the time away from them, by rewarding them with an extra special outing or activity, on the weekends.

Every day she keeps their young minds busy by taking them out to parks, playgrounds, recreational facilities or plays. They are rarely at home.  Twice a week, they are enrolled in Early Music tuition and next year they will join a junior football team. She is also considering Maths tutoring so that will have a head start on their peers, at school. Lindy wants them to grow up to be motivated and ambitious individuals, living life and experiencing the opportunities she missed during her childhood.

But is she doing the right thing for her boys?

Are the boys benefiting from all these scheduled activities?

Or are they being raised with the expectation that entertainment will be provided, each and every day?  Will they thrive on this daily dose of stimulation, or come to expect it as a birthright? Could they even become victims of information overload?

Some experts now think it’s essential for our mental well-being to make time to relax, unwind and do nothing. But, isn’t that a tad boring? Won’t the kids get into mischief? Do young children really need down time at all? And what about us? Do we really NEED some down time away from the “bling” of notification tones? What is the value of downtime, anyway?

Confucius has some words of wisdom: –

“Learning without reflection is a waste, reflection without learning is dangerous” – Confucius

As well as Confucius, Forbes offers some insights –

“Introspection and reflection have become lost arts” as we are unable to resist the temptation to ‘just finish this’ or ‘find out that.’

With vast amounts of information at our fingertips, who needs to memorize facts at all?

“Working harder is not necessarily working smarter. In fact  slacking off and setting aside regular periods of ‘doing nothing’ may be the best thing we can do to induce states of mind that nurture our imagination and improve our mental health. “

https://www.forbes.com/sites/insead/2014/07/01/the-importance-of-doing-nothing/#354e533e75e4

Does free-time sound appealing to you? Works for me. Schedule time for Feet up, drink in hand, and letting one’s mind free-wheel. Muting notifications of course.

I hope Lindy and her two boys are listening.

Something to Ponder About

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Community

After a While You Learn

Ethereal Water LillyThere is no really more to be said. This poem says it all.

After some time you learn the difference,
The subtle difference between holding a hand and chaining a soul.
And you learn that love doesn’t mean leaning,
And company doesn’t always mean security.
And you begin to learn that kisses aren’t contracts,
And presents aren’t promises.
And you begin to accept your defeats,
With your head up and your eyes ahead,
With the grace of a woman, not the grief of a child.

And you learn to build all your roads on today,
Because tomorrow’s ground is too uncertain for plans,
And futures have a way of falling down in mid-flight.
After a while you learn,
That even the sun burns if you get too much,
And learn that it doesn’t matter how much you do care about,
Some people simply don’t care at all.
And you accept that it doesn’t matter how good a person is,
She will hurt you once in a while,
And you need to forgive her for that.
You learn that talking can relieve emotional pain.
You discover that it takes several years to build a relationship based on confidence,
And just a few seconds to destroy it.
And that you can do something just in an instant,
And which you will regret for the rest of your life.
You learn that the true friendships,
Continue to grow even from miles away.
And that what matters isn’t what you have in your life,
But who you have in your life.
And that good friends are the family,
Which allows us to choose.
You learn that we don’t have to switch our friends,
If we understand that friends can also change.
You realize that you are your best friend,
And that you can do do anything, or nothing,
And have good moments together.
You discover that the people who you most care about in your life,
Are taken from you so quickly,
So we must always leave the people who we care about with lovely words,
It may be the last time we see them.
You learn that the circumstances and the environment have influence upon us,
But we are responsible for ourselves.
You start to learn that you should not compare yourself with others,
But with the best you can be.
You discover that it takes a long time to become the person you wish to be,
And that the time is short.
You learn that it doesn’t matter where you have reached,
But where you are going to.
But if you don’t know where you are going to,
Anywhere will do.
You learn that either you control your acts,
Or they shall control you.
And that to be flexible doesn’t mean to be weak or not to have personality,
Because it doesn’t matter how delicate and fragile the situation is,
There are always two sides.
You learn that heroes are those who did what was necessary to be done,
Facing the consequences.
You learn that patience demands a lot of practice.
You discover that sometimes,
The person who you most expect to be kicked by when you fall,
Is one of the few who will help you to stand up.
You learn that maturity has more to do with the kinds of experiences you had
And what you have learned from them,
Than how many birthdays you have celebrated.
You learn that there are more from you parents inside you than you thought.
You learn that we shall never tell a child that dreams are silly,
Very few things are so humiliating,
And it would be a tragedy if she believed in it.
You learn that when you are angry,
You have the right to be angry,
But this doesn’t give you the right to be cruel.
You discover that only because someone doesn’t love you the way you would like them to,
It doesn’t mean that this person doesn’t love you the most they can,
Because there are people who love us,
But just don’t know how to show or live that.
You learn that sometimes it isn’t enough being forgiven by someone,
Sometimes you have to learn how to forgive yourself.
You learn that with the same harshness you judge,
Some day you will be condemned.
You learn that it doesn’t matter in how many pieces your heart has been broken,
The world doesn’t stop for you to fix it.
You learn that time isn’t something you can turn back,
Therefore you must plant your own garden and decorate your own soul,
Instead of waiting for someone to bring you flowers.
And you learn that you really can endure.
You really are strong .
And you can go so farther than you thought you could go.
And that life really has a value.
And you have value within the life.
And that our gifts are betrayers,
And make us lose
The good we could conquer,
If it wasn’t for the fear of trying.

Attributed to:

‘After a While’ (Veronica Shoffstall), ‘Comes The Dawn’ (Judith Evans), and ‘You Learn’ (Jorge Luis Borges) with minor variations on the wording. The version posted here  seems to include extra verses and the extra verses seem to come from other poems titled “I’ve Learned” either by Washington and Paul Coelho and by Maya Angelou.

Credit to https://purenourishment.wordpress.com/ for the content of this post.

Community

Proverbial Thursday – Global Wisdom

I find there to be profound wisdom in proverbs, sayings and quotes and I marvel at the way they are so succinct in communicating messages to the reader. Mostly anonymous, they come to us from past generations and from across cultures. They speak of the experiences of lives lived and lessons learned. Quotes, like proverbs, make us think more deeply about something.

Each Thursday, I post a Proverb or Saying and a Quote that I find thought-provoking. 

I hope you think so too.

You always learn a lot more when you lose than when you win –

(African proverb)

 

Do you learn most from a mistake or failure?

I think the act of winning confirms that you have completed the task well, and done most things correctly, and I would hope ethically. But in confirming our actions, do we learn anything of value? Isn’t winning simply reinforcing already learned behaviours?

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and the quote this week comes from a singer from the 60’s and the flower power generation:

 

“The more you live, the less you die”

– Janis Joplin

 

 

Was Janis right? Even though she passed away at a young age?

I would love to hear your thoughts.

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DIY Craft
Community

DIY Mini Note Book Covers

I just love this fun idea of using up beautiful paper. It is practical and functional and you can appreciate the lovely paper far more often than before.

The next best thing to pretty fabric is pretty paper! Although I don’t scrapbook, I love to walk through that department at my favorite craft/sewing stores and couldn’t resist buying some when I saw it marked down.  Of course, then I had to come up with a project for it, so here it is!

Sometimes the paper is so pretty, I am reluctant to use it, but I had no such trouble with this project. Some are planned to be small gifts, others I will use myself and then I can appreciate the paper each time I use them.

The therapeutic and relaxing nature of craft is something we should ponder about whilst stuck in traffic jams, heading to work each week!  🙂 Continue reading “DIY Mini Note Book Covers”

Community

No Dead bodies – Just a True Story of Courage and Love

 Quite unusually, I’ve been reading a book that has no dead bodies contained within its pages.

(See my book review page here for the lists of crime fiction novels I usually read). 

Biographies of interesting people, are also on my book shelf, but the title of this book, given to me by a work colleague, did not give me any clue as to the intensity of the story within.

 

 

Horse boy is the story of one family’s journey to heal their severely autistic son. Conventional western therapies were yielding little success and their son’s tantrums and neurological trauma appeared to be  increasing, exponentially.  Spurred on by an accidental discovery that Rowan had a special gift with horses, the family embarks on a monumental adventure that takes them to the outer regions of Mongolia. 

Continue reading “No Dead bodies – Just a True Story of Courage and Love”
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Community

What is in the Box?

Imagine if you had a box, and it could contain anything, anything at all.

But the contents are things one can not pick up.

What would be in your box?

This was an exercise given to primary school children, aged 7- 12 years. The text in BOLD  italics is mandatory and the rest, part of one’s own fertile imagination.

A great exercise for kids to use their thinking powers to fill an imaginary box. It focuses not on the usual kid’s wish list of Xbox or Barbie Dolls, but rather on abstract thoughts.

A gift that is free.

I pondered about what would be inside my box, which I call:

The Moose’s Box

I will put in my box –

the freedom of children to dream and aspire.

the fortitude and perseverance of a nanny goat,

the sound of boots stomping in freshly laid snow,

the anticipation of holidays and travel.

I will put in my box –

empathy and altruism,

emotional intelligence and joy,

extra doses of joy and happiness,

extract of a young pup’s exuberance.

I will put in my box –

a shifting fog,

wild windy weather,

a thousand giggles,

and the sky at twilight.

I will put in my box –

a black unicorn hiding behind the rainbow

and the toes of a fish or the fins of a horse.

My box is –

shaped like a moose’s horns

and is a kaleidoscope of colours and sounds

tied with imaginary bows of angel’s breath.

In my box –

I will understand the meaning of life and find contentment and love.

What would you put in your box?

Just a little Something Abstract to Ponder About  – What could you put in your box if the contents could not be materialistic?

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Norwegian wood box

Community

Declare War on Plagiarism – Stop the rot!

So you get a great idea, and it doesn’t happen all the time, does it? I mean, as much as we want them to, those moments of brilliance don’t come around every day, (at least not for me), so we should capitalize on them where we can.

How do we do that? We go ahead, publish our idea on the net, maybe even market it a bit, and if you are an amateur blogger, usually without thought of monetary compensation, in that the idea is free in the name of sharing information. You feel secure in the knowledge that the world is happily benefiting from your idea and being morally upstanding in proliferating it, right? Well……

Then one day, you google it, or explore a tag …. Bingo!!!! Someone else has taken your idea and claimed it as their own, with no credit, no ping-back, or acknowledgement what so ever that I had the original idea!

The first time it happened I thought it was flattering –

Second time, nah, must be a coincidence –

Third time, I am a little concerned –

Fourth time, I am really cheezed off!

Do people have no moral backbone? No sense of copyright?  Perhaps they simply trawl the net and regurgitate ideas from others?

What do I do in response? Rant on in the privacy of my home about plagiarism, copyright infringement, or attempt to report them? But what about the ‘community’ one builds around our ideas?

The ideas are not just stolen, but potential community members too are lost to other groups. Groups that I am excluded from due to ignorance of their existence!

But my twenty something highly computer literate son tries to placate me with:

“Mum, reality check: it is the internet!” (like somehow this makes it ok) “Request a take down notice or report them”

Okay! Let’s see how that worked for me:

Reporting them to Youtube/ Facebook or the net: zero results.

Direct contact via email – one positive result

This eventually resulted in the removal of a video from youtube, only because the film maker claimed he did not have time to check the validity of my claim! Time!!! Not because it might have been an error, morally reprehensible, legally wrong, or anything else, but in the interests of time alone! Ha!

Some victims  of cyber harassment take to facebook and contact the parents of these youth who indulge in this kind of intimidation, so is this the approach the internet users of today understand?

Somehow, approaching their mothers about copyright infringement is doomed to failure, as these kids are not familiar with the values of ownership, and generally speaking these values come to us from our parents, so I doubt I will find any joy there.

I do lay the blame, to some extent, on the sharing mechanisms for leading the youth to believe it is okay to take and not give credit. Hey, it is nice to share, but we don’t share everything, and, if we do, we don’t then claim it as our own!! Give credit where credit is due, comprende? It doesn’t take much time, but means a lot.

Then I found this wonderful little cheat sheet from digital cameraworld.com , that is incredibly useful in untangling the whole copyright issue, at least in regard to photography use. It makes for something interesting to ponder about.

Here it is and please note that this is digital camera world.com’s work!!

A Must to Ponder About

 

 

 

 

Community

Learning Danish – Fornøjelse Pleasure

Pleasure –  Fornøjelseaarhus

from the verb fornøje : to please or delight or gratify

Fornøjelig –amusing, delightful, pleasant

Fornøjelse – pleasure, delight, diversion, amusement.

betale fornøjelse: (to) foot the bill

finne fornøjelse i: take pleasure/delight in

har fornøjelse af: deirive satisfaction from

Det er mig en stor fornøjelse at…   It gives me great pleasure to….

Ja, med fornøjelse: Yes, with pleasure. – in agreeing to do something

God fornøjelse! : Have a good time!

Fornøjelsesliv – entertainment, means of enterntainment

Fornøjelsestur – det er ingen fornøyelsestur : It is no picnic. (metaphorical picnic)

Så kom den næste, han var lystigmager, han var direktør for komedierne, maskeraderne og al den fornøjelse der kan findes på. Hans rejsegods var en stor tønde.

Then came the next, he was merry-maker, he was director of comedies, masked balls, and all the pleasure that can be found. [Source: H C Andersen, posted on http://vandreture.wordpress.com/]

Some Danish words to ponder about for those of us struggling to extend our danish vocabulary.