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Let’s Review – “Taboo”

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Just when I thought all my luck had run out, I won something! Stush on Facebook gave me two tickets to go see Taboo last Wednesday. It is the first in my life that I ever won something and got it, so I am dedicating this review to my new found luck.

Taboo, written by Keiran King and directed by Eugene Williams has already become a must see for Jamaican theatre-goers. King’s Taboo was probably the most anticipated play for the summer as it is the stage on which former beauty queen, Yendi Phillips makes her acting debut.

Last Wednesday’s staging at the Phillip Sherlock Centre for the Creative Arts, showed the shared awaiting of the crowd, as I struggled to find a seat in the full house.  The play starred Keiran King, Lisa Williams, Rodney Campbell and Yendi Phillips.  King also starred in Last Call and Mr and Mrs Blacke, which were critically acclaimed for the brilliant writing and technical aspects and the Taboo audience expected nothing less.

The production of Taboo highlighted all the misconceptions of the current Jamaican society about the Existential Crises, employment, Depression, sex and  the overall lives of the upper class  and how one can have it all and still be unhappy.

I must say I was in love with the set. It was a modern and contemporary and very well arranged, which gave the play a more realistic feel. The use of bold colours were eye catching and also heavily laden with symbolism, gave the audience something additional to think about, since the  colours were not representative of their traditional meanings.

The lighting used was also very effective even though not much was used. The chemistry between the characters was adequate and made the mood radiate to the audience through the somewhat open stage. The play was very funny and had me laughing right throughout. King made use of witty parts of speech and literary devises, which provided something  extra for the largely intellectual crowd. Taboo, as the name suggested, was something out of the norm, as I would categorize it as,  “Theatre of the Absurd”, an acquired taste for the VERY open minded. I love absurdities and difference and laud King’s effort for bringing a style of theatre to Jamaicans which many fear- because of taboo issues condemned by mores and norms.

My issue with the play was that the climax was not as intense as I expected. This probably was due to the fact that they were hinting toward it throughout the play in a ‘not so subtle’ way. The ending also left a number of patrons disappointed. Even though the issue was not resolved, it was not dealt with and the audience was not prepared for what I would call an abrupt ending.

To Watch Or Not To Watch? That Is the Question…

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It made me sympathize with the characters and the notion of love and  realized that in order for us to be free and happy, we must be true to ourselves.

Well, my expectations were really high and I consider myself a harsh critic, so maybe you will give it more ratings than I do. If you have an open mind and you can appreciate sexy cleavages, chiseled abs, jokes, a little colourful language and things out of the norm, then Taboo is for you.

For me it is the climax and ending that really makes a piece, so I give Taboo 2.5 out of 5 stars.

Thinking about it, it had laughs, a good concept, good actors and a really nice set, I think it is definitely something to watch and whether it was good or not… I want you to be the judge of that.

Should We Ditch the Label?

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I like to tell my friends, “Just because I give you advice, it doesn’t mean I know more than you, it just means I’ve done and read more stupid things.” They normally laugh and say some comment about me being ‘The Psychologist’. I have to warn them, that I’m no Psychologist yet and that they shouldn’t call me that, just in case the Psychological Powers that be arrest me and take away a license that I don’t even have. It’s just how people make sense of the world- they add  labels.

So a friend of mine seemed to have had his knickers all up in knots the other day about his “relationship”. His problem was that he didn’t know what to call it. Was it like a boyfriend and girlfriend type thing, friends with benefits, dating? He seemed really concerned, so I told him to let it play out and enjoy it for what it is, because not everything in life deserves a label.

Howard Becker, a Sociologist, who formulated the Labeling Theory would have supported my answer. He theorized that labeling usually have negative effects. In his study, poor young men were usually labelled as deviant and he claimed that giving them this label, made them strive to be deviants- something he called the self fulfilling prophecy. He also said that those not labeled deviants would often be stereotyped- which would often lead to societal rejection or some sort of discrimination.

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Labeling forces people and things into a box and if they don’t fully fit the criteria then they become anxious, scared, feel like an anomaly or try to fit the label. I tend to look at Silk products, the Soy Milk, Rice Milk, Almond Milk etc, and each time I see the label, a weird picture pops up in my mind. I imagine the Mommy Almonds telling the little “Almondlets” [just made that up ;)] to drink from her mammary glands, so one day they can be big and strong.  Blame my overactive imagination, but isn’t milk a white liquid produced by the mammary glands of mammals? Exactly, so it isn’t  logical for the treated and partially decomposed, polished juices from plants to be called same.  Think about it… another problem with labeling!

However, these negatives are attributed because we tend to label things negatively. What if we applied positive labels?

There is a New Age Theory about Indigo Children, find out if you or your child could be one of them in this quiz

Wow! According to the quiz and many others that I’ve done, I am and Indigo Child. The effects of positive labeling are good, because the description of Indigo Children are that they are brilliant, may be socially awkward, sensitive to certain environmental stimuli including food, they may be rebellious, mischievous or misunderstood. To me they described Gretchen and Dennis the Menace. Hearing that your brilliant child who happens to be very rude is some celestial being sent to Earth for a special purpose seems to be of comfort to many parents.

His pranks and menacing ways are no longer seen that way, they are now viewed as  projections or manifestations of a  beautiful mind, which may be the next Einstein! It goes on further to tell parents of these heavenly beings how to treat these children, ( lots of love and support) and how to feed them (low sugar diets free from trans fats and excess dairy etc). Seems like something a doctor or Psychologist would tell a parent of any hyperactive child or one who seems defiant.

Well, if a positive label can be placed on kids who would be otherwise labelled as rude, sensitive, misunderstood etc, and cause their parents and those around them to treat them better, I’m all for it. Who knows, maybe it was a lack of attention, love, care and a proper diet which adversely impacted their behavior in the first place.

Think about it, I may be a cynic with regards to this theory, but if we must label, make it be for the better, a way that will be beneficial to most. As you can see, there is power in words and the labels given to people and things influence the way they are treated.

Be kind ❤

 

Is Success Meant For All?

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I was at a karate tournament last weekend, at The University of Technology. A quote mounted on the wall was what really caught my eyes and somehow allowed its contents to seep into my brain. It read, “Strive to achieve, not succeed.” I thought it was a powerful statement and food for thought and it seemed to resonate more than the numerous spin kicks I saw. I showed it to my friend and she remarked that success and achievement were the same things…. I thought differently. Striving for achievement, (something accomplished successfully, especially by means of exertion, skill, practice, or perseverance) means that  striving to do one’s best, given the circumstances, just to feel a sense of accomplishment. Striving for success, (the achievement of something desired, planned, or attempted), is striving to be the best in an area, disregarding the circumstances. My problem with the latter is that, it is the theory most widely taught and it usually sets us up for disappointment.

While the debate continues about The University of the West Indies (UWI) and the University of Technology (UTECH), and which equips students better for life, I thought of something. UWI teaches students to strive to succeed and not achieve while UTECH lives by the quote in the gymnasium. UTECH ensures that students are given a perfect balance of practice and theory, which they believe equips them to achieve in the real world, not necessarily to be the best- but to be given a fair chance. UWI equips their students with theories and very little practice- equipping them to be managers and heads of whatever they choose. The sad part is, one must achieve before they can succeed. No one wants to employ a “21 year old kid” to be their manager- even if they are more than capable and excuses such as lack of experience are often tossed around- leaving the average UWI graduate disappointed.

Dr. Hebert Gayle of The University of the West Indies, told a graduating class at a primary school last Thursday, that life is 50% what you are given and 50% what you make it. So defend your 50%! It is surprising the hand we are dealt sometimes in this game called life. Imagine, you decided that success means becoming a successful politician. Did you know that something as simple as your physical features could determine whether or not you have a political future and hamper your “success”?

Look at the pictures below, who would you give your vote in a Presidential Election?

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If you are like the average person, you would more likely to choose the one on the left. Why? You don’t really know… They look similar but the one on the left looks more mature, trustworthy, more business-like , married etc. There is such a thing known as a Convincing Face, a part of the Halo Effect,  where the overall impression of a person influences how we think about their character. For those of us who don’t have the average phenotype, difference is usually frowned upon- unless you fall in the category of the Denzel Washingtons and Halle Berrys… Sad 😦

Based on how we look people form stereotypes and believe they can tell sexual orientation, competence, socioeconomic background and even IQ! Some people were given more talents than others which make it more likely for them to succeed. Some people have many talents but don’t get the opportunity to show or develop them.  The sad reality is that most people have what are called hidden talents, that will not surface in our traditional education system. We tend not to apply the Multiple Intelligences Theory. Instead, we test our pupils like in the cartoon below.

Some of us have many talents and the stage seems very near, but we never get pass the audition phase. My mother used to say a proverb, about when men plan, God wipes out. I used to wonder what was the use in trying, if God was going to do what he chose anyway. Then, that would mean my choice was not really my choice and if I go against his will, then I’d pay the penalty. I thought I was no better than Pinocchio- a puppet on a string, that is expected to just go with the motion. It was  then my mother reminded me of the Parable of the Talents as told in Matthew 25 vs 14-30. The guy who got 5 talents invested and got double returns, he would be regarded as the most successful in our society. The guy who got 2 also invested and got double returns, and he did well and achieved. The guy who got one buried it and the talent was taken from him and he was punished. His aim was to succeed and not achieve. Let’s face it, he was not given the same opportunities, so achievement and improvement should be his aim, since success will mean he will be compared to the guy with 5 talents. Had he been realistic, he would not have disappointed himself and his master, because one much achieve before they can succeed.

If Christianity is not your thing, your God would want you to try, the Universe would want you to try, karma would want you to try and science would be saddened if you tried to destroy energy.

Think about it… strive to achieve, be positive and work hard and you will be proud and satisfied. However, continue to work hard and give your full 50% and with good cards played in your favour success could be yours.

 

Boost Your Self Confidence Now!

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As I was ruminating, I wondered what could be the reason for the absence of acceptance letters from graduate schools to which I had applied. Thanks to self confidence and a healthy self esteem- I did not suffer from an existential meltdown

With time on my hands, I thought some more on the prospect of being a Psychologist and whether or not I’d be a good one. Then I remembered my Intro to Counseling and Psychotherapy class and I learned that empathy is always good, but sharing personal experiences were a no no!

Then I thought about Alvin Day, Joyce Meyer, Jillian Michaels and all the other folk who have become millionaires from telling people what to do, using “Pop Psychology (or what I like to call “2 cent psychology”; hidden in the mainframe of what they label as personal stories or testimonials…. And it really seem to work!

Apart from Dr. Phil, I really don’t know any rich Psychologists. The thing is, most people think Psychologists are high level scammers!

  1. Do psychologists usually claim they don’t tell people what to do, they facilitate? Ahmm, why would  any rational thinking human being pay money to come up with their own cure when talking to a smart 12 year old on a bus and some deep introspection could yield the same result?
  2. Do Most psychologists project to themselves and the world that they have it all figured out when in truth and in fact they probably fly over the cuckoos nest a little more often than some of the patients they treat?
  3. Do psychologist tell everybody they are broken to sustain their livelihood?

False!!! The fact is, we are all broken to some degree .Imagine a metal pipe  which provides water for a whole town, which seems to be worn to some degree by rust. Oxidation and other chemical reactions have taken a toll and we decide it’s not shiny, it looks damaged, so we break it to fix it. That will result maybe in a pipe that cannot be fixed, a town without water and prime condition for disease outbreak.

Which is why it is important to seek advice from people who know the pros and cons to many situations… Especially the ones often shunned or left alone!

Not everybody can be fixed, most  need someone to facilitate them to get the best of what they have, for as long as possible. Sometimes   fixing is not so good, because sometimes we have to break to fix and be willing to face the consequences of breaking.  Sometimes the rust is a protective layer to prevent any further damage to the pipe.  If the pipe is broken and cannot be repaired, Ethics will ensure that this is properly dealt with.

The sad thing is, like this pipe people question one’s competence based on looks or how they act. Those traits they believe are good indicators of self confidence and self esteem.

Mental health is often ignored and the only time it is checked , is either when Insurance companies need information or when it seems unstable. Psychological help come from friends, religious books, weight loss programmes, etc (basically everyone who is not a psychologist who has some marketing knowledge).

Religion gives hope, so people feel good about themselves and the lives they lead and makes them confident, that one day things will be awesome. Self help books – (when they do help), boosts the person’s morale and makes them more self aware and self confident. Testimonials give people a boost in confidence and self awareness to know and assess their skills and the confidence to believe that one day they too, can achieve it.

So, I have ranting and the only words popping up so far are self and confidence. According to source, self confidence is authority, sureness and freedom from doubt; belief in yourself and your abilities. This self confidence from having a high self esteem and self awareness. So first, get to know yourself and you will discover your strengths and weaknesses. After that highlighting the high points and contouring the low points, the results will be great. However some things block us from exploring  our great points…. Over the past year I’ve done many things and I believe I am way more confident than ever!

Here goes my list of things that can affect your self confidence:

Dating-   Who, me?  I’d never kiss on the first date! No Burger King date for me, How Rachet! It is  impossible for me to watch a horror flick.. for those of us who feel strongly about our morals dating is a great way to test them , even those of us who resist the great winds of peer pressure will rethink and re evaluate who we really are and what we really stand for.

Spending time with other people who you find attractive can boost self esteem. It forces one to think about their likes and dislikes and doing things that makes you feel good and more self aware. The pros of dating: we tend to want to put our best foot forward so we tend to find our strengths and highlight them, we become more self aware. The cons, we should date not to find someone to save us, dating shouldn’t be a quest to break the spell of loneliness that you have had since… forever!  That tends to lead to unstable relationships or allowing the prospective relationship to consume most of your time. Sometimes, getting out of the house to do something fun or to feel appreciated is all your self esteem needs.

Body Odour- Many people struggle with this problem, especially teens and young adults.  Being around people and being the reason for their noses turning upwards is not a good feeling. It makes you self conscious and often lowers self esteem. This happens mostly because of hormone changes and your body is producing pheromones to call out to potential mates. It usually takes a while for persons to find the right products. However, Degree and Arm and Hammer deodorants seem to do the trick for the underarm regions. In Jamaica, a freshly cut lime is usually squeezed and rubbed under the arm pit during showers and it tends to eliminate odours. Sprinkling baking soda under the armpits tend to do the trick as well. Shaving privates and underarms makes staying fresh, a lot easier;  pheromones to attract our mates, the caveman, are  no longer necessary, those homo erectus are now homo sapiens and much rather the scent of perfume and cologne than any pheromone!

Clothes- I can speak from experience about how clothes can affect self esteem. As a skinny child, my mother thought it was her responsibility to buy some of my clothes a size or 2 bigger than I am so I could grow into them. It felt rather unflattering and the ones that did fit… I LIVED in them, to the point where my grandmother said I would be photographed wearing them. This continued for a while and as I ended university, I decided to do a change. Clothes I liked that were a bit too big, I got them altered at a Taylor. When my mother buys clothes, I tell her, don’t look on how small they are, when hung up they will look smaller… Ask the people for Size 1, please! Suggest to people who shop for you the style of clothes you like, reject some “old bruk”, saves you some dignity.” Old bruk” is some hand me downs thatnwill  not coming back in fashion…. EVER!  They are usually ugly and sometimes even come in barrels from ‘Foreign’.  Looking good helps you to feel good

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Hair- I must commend blogs like Black Girl With Long Hair, they truly have started a wave of Black pride which has caused improvement in some natural hairstyles I have seen. If asked, many females will tell you they feel most confident when they just did their hair. My advice is to keep hair healthy and invest in good products and learn to style or care for your hair properly and bad hair days will be few and far apart… So keep that salon day confidence going!

Weight Fat or slim, people will have something negative to say about your weight. I eat like the average Caribbean person…. surpassing the required calories for the day and I look like a tiny 16 year old. However, when people say hurtful things, I am not phased because I eat healthy and I exercise  and the doctor gave me a clean bill of health the last time I checked. If you are a bit on the heavier side and you eat properly and exercise… just live and feel confident because people will always have something to say

Acne- In a family with Acne and eczema and allergies to a lot of stuff.. I prayed to have a clean face when I was little… Well, that prayer was not answered. As beautiful as I am, I hated taking pictures because of the bumps or the scars on spots that were left behind. I tried every brand, every product and nothing worked. I got a job and as I had enough saved, I visited Dr. Yapp, who introduced me to Ari Sulphur bar…. and trust me, it was Magical! My face has never been more beautiful and makeup for me is not essential. I am glad i found something that worked and I want to share it with the world and I have never felt more confident…I haven’t started photo bombing yet…. But I love the camera and it loves me more!

So, be cognizant of the image you put out, be true to yourself. Stand tall- research shows that proper posture makes yo look more attractive and increases blood flow which lifts your mood. So, those are my experiences and hope they help you as much as Dr. Phil does. 🙂

Think about it…. Charles Cooley and his Looking Glass Self  Theory asserts that people act the way you see them. ” I am the way you see me”.  My take is different – This life is a three way  reflective mirror, I  see you the way you reflect your image, interpret it,  then show it back to you. So, start reflecting confidence and self worth!

P6 =P3!

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There is no doubt that mathematicians and physicists may try to prove the above equation. After all, people tend to act in accordance with what they have been taught. In primary school, I was a player…. (No, not that kind). I was the one who would  be playing marbles and  using my last ten dollars to buy 15 minutes of a Super Mario game. Salad- A- Kick, (a football game where the aim was to get the ball through a persons legs and everyone would kick them until they reach safety or the “den”) and the occasional “Police and Thief” were my kind of games. It is not that I eschewed all feminine games, I just thought I could learn more from the ones I liked. My teachers and parents thought I could learn nothing from games, but even today, I can prove otherwise. During University, Bejeweled, Zuma Deluxe and Mahjong were my games of choice and I convinced people to let me be, as these games have been proven to improve reaction time, memory and  general brain function based on the theory of Neuroplasticity. The last game I tried, I was a bit hesitant. It was Plants versus Zombies.  I was a bit hesitant at first, because I am not a fan of zombies, vampires, werewolves etc- I gave it a chance and I am HOOKED! I learned a few things from it I want to share with you.

1. Proper Planning– I have learned that making wise investments from early helps in the long run. Proper planning is primarily organization. Making your first 2 rows your biggest investments, planting money plants is the best way to go.  Waiting on the right time to spend is also important.  Buying a cheap but effective plant in the early stages protects your brains from being eaten while allowing you to save to buy better defense for the harder days.  Buying good plants may be costly, but they usually can be upgraded and offer better protection. I’ve learned that living from hand to mouth is more costly and tend to be ineffective when things get really tough.

2. Practice-  I also realized that the more I practiced this game, I discovered more shortcuts and even more effective ways of playing, as practice allowed me to get a better understanding of the game each time. Before this game, I dreaded doing past papers or Mathematics and I realized that really practicing allows one to appreciate the topic and guess what? You may end  up liking it! So whatever your area of weakness, dedicate a little time as often as you can and you will be amazed at the results! Whoever said practice makes perfect was lying, but it sure gets you closer to being perfect at your craft and allows you to be more poised and prepared which makes the task less of a challenge.

3. Play- Playing releases endorphins, it helps us to relax and it makes us feel good. I am a big advocate for experiential learning, i.e, learning while you do activities- especially fun activities! Apart from temporarily distracting us from other stressors, play this game allowed me to see life as a process with each stage requiring different things and it is through successful completion that we get a reward- A big bag of coins!  Sometimes waiting until the end isn’t enough motivation so the game randomly rewards you with plants and chocolate to keep you going. Sometimes, we just need to let go and play for a little bit and I’m sure the feeling you’ll get is better than the sugar rush from the chocolate.

4. Power= Knowledge  In order to be ready to take on a task and do well at it, one must be prepared. Having read about the task or given advice from an experienced person allows you to feel better and more confident. In this game, buying the tree of wisdom and taking care of it gives tips which gets you a step closer to getting the gold trophy.

Think about it, ” Proper planning, practice and playing prevents poor performance plus produces power!” This alliteration may have you spewing saliva all over the place but it really has a deeper message: “Plant wisely, because you really reap what you sew.”

Fighting For A Dream

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Image  It was about 3 p.m, the sun was out and the fluffy cumulus clouds provided some shade, which made it easier for me  to run and maintain breaths. I ran as fast as I could through the busy Downtown Streets – but they were hot on my heels. I felt the danger energy emanating, so I ran into the Burger King and hid under a table. Shortly after a lady  with “Three Colour Hair” came in the room asking if anyone had seen me and had my picture in hand.

It was then I realized I was in deep trouble, so I hid my face and came out. I walked the streets trying to be inconspicuous while stealing a shirt to change my apparel somewhat. Shortly after, I heard trotting  footsteps and I resumed running. Next, the shooting began and I ran as hard as I could. When I thought I had lost  them, I resumed walking and felt somewhat safe when I saw policemen. It was they who started to shoot and I ran into the gun warehouse and hid, searching for a high powered machine while trying to stay alive- but all I could find were short ranged hand guns. They told me if I faced them I would be fine. It was then, I got brave and the longest and heaviest thing I could find was a 2X4 plank. As I headed out to confront my pursuers- I woke up.

Many may view this dream as a nightmare, but I didn’t. I put on the cap of Freudian and Neo Freudian Psychologists and saw it as  highlighting the issues going on in my ‘Unconscious’ and ‘Subconscious’ states- which clearly highlighted the Existential Crisis I was facing.

Dreams can tell us about things we are unaware of, some believe they can give hints about the future – while a dream can be simply, a dream- something to aspire towards. That dream was showing me that my avoidant personality was  doing me more harm than good, that I should be brave and face the issues affecting me in my life or else the results could be quite serious.  It showed me that there are people who I am trusting  who are not genuine and that I should be careful. The final message from the dream was that problems are only solved when you tackle them head on.

I was watching Happy Feet 2 and  it had a few points about dreams and  dealing with crises that I want to share.

1. Be Realistic–  Erik, a young penguin wanted to fly. When Sven (a puffin bird professing to be a penguin) came, those hopes seemed real. After trying and failing many times he started  to get depressed. It was his father who showed him how to make the best of his other gifts and abilities and set goals which are attainable  comparing yourself to others tends to do more harm than good and taking advice from shaky sources can be detrimental. Be the best of what you can be.

2. Just Act Tough– When Skua scavenger birds tried to eat the young penguins after being separated from their parents, Mumble’s advice was to just look tough. Sometimes, even when we are scared, acting tough scares off the bullies and allows to believe that we are indeed tough- which kills the fear.

3. Dance In Adversity– When the ice split and separated the colony. All attempts made to help were futile. It was that point Mumble began to tap dance. The others were angry at him and wondered how he could be dancing in such a time. It was that time he realized that tap dancing was lifting the lose snow which was filling the great divide. Having a positive attitude in difficult situations, helps us to keep calm and easier find solutions. It is scientifically proven that the stress hormones produced in depression, suppresses thinking neurons.

4.  It’s Ok to Call In Favours– Many of us believe our life is for us to live and no one should help and sometimes the load seem burdensome.  When Mumble needed help, he asked the other penguins and when they weren’t enough, he sought help elsewhere which ended up saving their lives.

5. Face Your Fears- Young Erik was afraid to sing in front of anyone and he was afraid of confrontation. After his dad Mumble, risked their lives to save an Elephant Seal, the seal promised to help whenever they needed him. However when they asked for his assistance, he refused and threatened them. It was at this point that Erik confronted him, singing about how he felt about people honoring their promises and what true bravery was. He sang about his dad being his hero and reprimanded the Elephant Seal who was the leader of his clan. This confrontation  earned Erik the Seal’s respect and the seal used all of his resources to help save the penguins. Sometimes, just standing up for yourself and what you believe in is enough.

Think about, doing what you want to is sometimes scary, and when the world tells you they fear the worst, answer them like Will the Krill……. ” I fear the worst too, but only because fearing the best is an absolute waste of time!”

What Kind Of Curtains Do You Have At Your Windows?

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So, I was looking for jokes online today when I found this one.

A woman enters a store that sells curtains. She tells the salesman, “I would like a pair of pink curtains”. The salesman shows her several patterns, but she seems to be having a hard time choosing.  Finally she selects a lovely pink floral print. The salesman  asks what size curtains she needs. She replies, “fifteen inches” “Fifteen inches???” asked the salesman.

“That sounds very small, what room are they for?” The blonde tells him that they aren’t for a room; they are for her computer monitor.

The surprised salesman replies, ” Miss, computers do not need curtains!”

The woman says, “Hellllooooooooo …………. I’ve got Windoooooows!”

Corny? I know, but something about this one actually made me smile and started thinking about curtains and so, I decided to write about it.

Curtains are pieces of material that are often placed at windows. Like anything else in life, our choices in curtains may tell about our likes, dislikes, levels of sophistication, sleeping patterns, need for privacy,interest in home decor, personality, state of mind and even our schedules Yes, it surprised me too and I also came to realize that it is almost instinctual to have some forms of curtains in our lives.

Some persons may beg to object at this point, but keep the objections, because I have the rebuttals coming. Curtains are often used to express a sense of style and to maintain privacy. We use the curtains of In Private or Incognito browsing to maintain some privacy of our actions on the World Wide Web as allowing others to have access to our not so pleasant interests may cause us discomfort. We use curtains on Facebook and Twitter, as we block some material from parents and Pastors and future employers. Curtains are necessary, as they allow us to hide what we want to maintain secrets and allow us to carefully manipulate our image to allow others to view us the way we want them to see us.

So I have devised my own Pop Psychology Theory on curtains, which will shed some light on the curtains we put up at the windows of our lives. What kind of curtains do you have in your life?

Thin Curtains– These are put up by persons with an open personality, the type that screams, “What you see is what you get”, “My life is an open book,” sort of people. Having thin curtains at the windows of life allows a lot of light and outside influence to enter one’s space. It can be positive when viewed in terms of seeing opportunities and the beauties that exists. It can be negative in terms of all outside excesses are able to penetrate one’s personal space. Having thin curtains require a certain amount of confidence as one must be comfortable with everything on the inside, as it is all easily seen by the public. Just ensure that the downs of life from the outside doesn’t affect you too much, as it could take a toll on the state of mind and then things could become disorganized and messy, and guess what? Everyone will see

Thick Curtains– Persons with this kind are usually exact opposites of persons with thin curtains. They tend to be big on privacy and usually want very little of the outside world impacting on how they are viewed. It is allows for a whole lot of image manipulation and may also be used as a façade to hide real feelings. This kind keeps out dust, sunlight, prying eyes and excessive light. However, those very purposes can be harmful as well, trapping dust and moisture doesn’t do well for the respiratory system, too little sunlight and socialization, may lead to depression and these curtains may arouse suspicion which breeds harsher prying eyes. They also give a sense of more security, than what actually exists, which leaves the person susceptible. Just as Incognito mode feels safe, but may store cookies and temporarily disable the antivirus, which leaves the computer vulnerable; thick dark curtains may have this effect. Everyone wants to dance their own dance, but having no support leads to a downward spiral, and when you crash, no one will be able to see to offer help.

Light Curtains– These often turn the bothersome sunlight into pleasant hues of colour that tends to lift, soothe and calm the spirit. These light shades often bring hope in gloomy situations and may be a source of motivation for the disheartened.

Dark Curtains– These often seem to have some levels of sophistication. Whilst they can e associated with expensive tastes they can also be associated with casting a gloomy or dark feeling in the person’s life. Dark curtains usually allow some light to come in and depending on the thickness, may still allow persons to see the happenings on the inside. But having a dark appearance is usually misinterpreted.  Remember, people treat you, the way the think of you.

Medium Curtains– In life, a balance is what we should always strive for, as too little or too much of anything, can be harmful. This type allows for the right amount of almost everything and come in all different colours and textures. Whist the ideal may be difficult to find, spend some time looking for it as the type of curtains at your windows, say a whole lot!

Think about it, if what is done in darkness will soon come to light and your house is filled with windows, which curtain would you choose? Would you adjust your practices or the curtains?

Just ensure that your choice results in you being happy and healthy!

Charmin Moments

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About a month ago I was listening to the news, when I heard that Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II was having quite a few “Charmin Moments”, but she wasn’t as excited as these bears about the go. I giggled to myself and wondered briefly why the excessive actions of the Queen’s bowels had to make it to International News. Then it struck me, she is the Queen, she doesn’t go! Well at least that’s what my mother told me when I was 4 years old and everything she said then, was gospel. I guess lots of other parents told their children that too, as I saw quite a few posts on Facebook relating to the matter.

Your Majesty, just to confirm, is that story true?

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Seems like a an affirmative nod and a reluctant “Yep” to me. So it is true.

Through socialization, there are certain things that we learn, mostly through observation of the environment. We learn by association and may have realized that making generalizations make the world easier to understand. We expect some behaviours or actions as acceptable from some people while we view the same behaviours as totally unacceptable by another sub group. It was Sigmund Freud who spoke to how our perception of certain behaviours as young children can impact the rest of our lives, either negatively or positively.

Freud, said that as humans, we develop in stages and non mastery of a any stage stick with us for life and oftentimes have negative repercussions. In Freud’s theory, everything we do is linked to sexual energy which he called libido (I know it sounds kinda pervy, but hear me out). Basically, he says you’ll do it and enjoy it once you are comfortable. The second stage is the Anal stage, which is primarily concerned with control of the bladder and bowels and successful mastery of this stage gives a sense of accomplishment and independence. Freud believed that successful mastery of this stage was very dependent on the parents. He believed that if the parents praised the children and encouraged them, this would lead to successful results and the child will become a successful, creative and competent adult. Not all parents take the gentle road, some punish and use harsh means with the child whenever they have an accident which leads to negative outcomes. If the parents take too much of an indulgent attitude, the child will develop and “Anal Expulsive” personality where they become, wasteful, messy or destructive. If the parent’s responses are too strict then Freud says an “Anal Retentive” personality forms and the child becomes stoic, orderly, inflexible and obsessive.

Well Freud, It seems like most persons I’ve met failed the Course PT101, as they either seemed to be to retentive or expulsive. I would say that most people can fit in the Type A Type B personality schemes. Therefore it would e safe to say that Anal Retentive persons have Type A Personality and Anal Expulsive have Type B Personality. I guess what would be ideal is a balance, never mind leaning to one side, a straight Type A or B doesn’t spell good news for anybody.

Type Bs, often characterized as being calm and less prone to stress, they are often seen as creative, non competitive and reflective. They can just enjoy a game for what it is and backing down is not a problem.  On the downside, they tend not to stick to deadlines and schedules and work steadily on completing a task. Most managers wouldn’t exactly go out and seek this kind of employee. However, whilst Friedman and Rosenham’s study suggested that this type of people are less susceptible to cardiac problems, I believe they may be equally susceptible to depression. Not getting things done on time means a lot of lost opportunities, it may also mean the inability to keep a job and to accomplish major goals in life. I don’t believe that one can ever be too carefree to reflect and realize that their life is a mess and not much has been accomplished. This type of rumination can cause depression to even the accomplished… What say the unaccomplished? Whist that may be the negatives, the positives are very rewarding, as allowing oneself to enjoy the little things in life allows you to feel less stressed and more appreciative of your blessings.

Then there are the Type As. They are characterized as workaholics, people who love competition and  have a lot of drive and the need to control. They are sometimes viewed as aggressive and and tend to have an unrealistic level of urgency over the completion of projects. These persons are often descried as “having sticks up their rear” or in Freudian terms, anally retentive. They tend to be stoic and think they can achieve much on their own. Truth is, this just leaves them tired, stressed, depressed ad prone to heart disease and they generally seem uncomfortable. Maybe they should take some points from these Charmin bears.

Some things in life may be uncomfortable, but having aid in packages that are soft and ultra soft often helps to ease the burden and makes the situation more pleasant. Realize that some things are natural and you will not have control over everything. Some things if you keep it up and not let go, makes you uncomfortable and the longer you wait it makes you feel sick, even on the inside and it is only when you release it that you feel better.

Think about it, having no control is bad, having too much can be worse and in life, sometimes we jut have to let go. As humans, we all go, so why not enjoy the go?

Do you know what kind of person you are? Type A maybe? Click the link below to find out.

http://www.quibblo.com/quiz/eduuaZe/Are-you-a-type-A-or-type-B-personality

Very Inspiring Blogger Award| I Am Humbled

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I was overjoyed when matthewkirshenblatt, told me that he really enjoyed my blog and would nominate me for the Very Inspiring Blogger Award. I was really humbled and decided that I want to highlight others  who inspire me. It took a while and as my audience grows, I am more grateful everyday that these people still continue to support me.

The requirements of The Very Inspiring Blogger Award are as follows:

1. Display the award logo on your blog.
2. Link back to the person who nominated you.
3. State 7 things about yourself.
4. Nominate 15 other bloggers for this award and link to them.
5. Notify those bloggers of the nomination and the award’s requirements.

1. I Am Very Caring– I have always been empathetic towards persons less fortunate than myself since I was a child. That’s how I learned to do cornrows. There was a little girl next door who suffered from Trichotilomania and her mother could not comb her hair. So I learned to, just to help and today I’m almost pro.

2. I Love Performing Arts– I love to dance but I can’t, I love to sing and to speak. It makes me feel powerful as I am able to express hidden sides and deep emotion through an art form which is very much appreciated. Watching people perform motivates me as each character played have so much to teach in a short time.

3. Mental Health Is Important To Me- I often realize that it is mental health that often lead to serious physical illnesses, but still it is not viewed as important. Ignoring mental health leads to ineffective planning, ineffective methods and ineffective action plans when dealing with people. Mentally ill persons are still misunderstood, so are learning disorders and depression. My goal is the get the message out there, loud and clear so persons will have a better appreciation for mental health.

4. I Love To Play- I believe playing is the secret to maintaining one’s youth. It allows me to de-stress through things I find pleasurable like games or even giving jokes. it makes light of certain situations and gives time to think.

5. I Love to Analyze Everything- I guess thinking deeply about things gives me a better understanding of the issue. It also allows me to see things that others may not have seen. It also helps me to be a more understanding individual and I am forced to use mostly my head and not my heart in making decisions

6. I Like Educating- Ever since I can remember, I was always sharing what I know. First, I used to teach the trees and my baby brother, then it was my dolls. I find it fulfilling to allow persons to know something they never knew before. I also found out something, when you share knowledge  you are forced to analyze it, hence you understand the material more and you also concertize it in your mind. Then, it is save to say you still benefit, even a little more than the other person. I guess sharing is really caring.

7. I Was Never Considered To Be A Good Writer In School- I guess in school, I did well in English, but writing a story or a descriptive piece scared me. I would get assignments to write letters, stories and other prose and never got around to doing them. I guess, exams forced me to, since I couldn’t avoid it then. I never thought I could write, so I didn’t. I guess observation made me reconsider and I love blogging. Who would have thought?

The following blogs moticvate me and you should check them out if you can:

http://dmarcuswilliams.blogspot.com/

http://5kidswdisabilities.com/

http://petchary.wordpress.com/

 http://nozybugga.wordpress.com/

http://cruisingthroughmylife.wordpress.com/

http://rickmallery.wordpress.com/

http://mooretalkja.wordpress.com/

http://aboutthechildrenblog.com/

http://terkinn.wordpress.com/

http://parentingandstuff.wordpress.com/

http://graysonqueen.wordpress.com/

http://morningstoryanddilbert.wordpress.com/

http://jaevion.blogspot.com/

http://maximizemylife.com/

http://www.kimroybailey.com/

Tell Me About Bling and Flossing!

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When I first moved to Kingston, there was often one recurring conversion, as the persons from Montego Bay were always bragging about how beautiful Mobay was and it was more deserving to be Jamaica’s capital. Since I was from neither of those places, I kept quiet.  It was shortly after  that I got a chance to visit this second city and it was really beautiful!

I must say, I was shocked as there were usually news about the negative happenings in this side of town. I would say that I toured the city and all I saw was wealth until it was time for my workshop. We drove past the beauty and entered what was obviously a poor community. The zincs and dogs and many dirty children told the story. It was during this workshop that we decided to feed our students and the remaining portions be fed to people on the outside. This was done and in the midst of my presentation a little girl showed up. She was dirty, hair chemically treated and had a Blackberry phone in hand. Though not very clean, the faded Gucci prints were evident on her blouse. Then she said, “Miss, me mother say you must send another food. She want curry dis time and send a Pepsi!”

I don’t know why I was so shocked, as it seems that this is always the case. Little shaky wooden house with AC on top and flat screen televisions and pricey electronics on the inside often accompany the irony of poverty. Popular media often leads us to believe that this only happen in Black and Latino Cultures, which is far from the truth. This phenomenon is not a recent one and has been on the mind of popular social scientists such as Ocar Lewis since the 1930s. He said the reason for this behaviour is because these values are shared, taught and are being passed to down through generations, thus, creating a sub culture- The Culture of Poverty.

Lewis said that the following are the some characteristics of The Culture of poverty and he seeks to view each trait from a individual, family and community level. Lewis listed the traits as:

1. Strong Feeling of Marginality- People are usually on the television with signs demanding justice for what they deem as unfair treatment but refuse to be to be strong advocates for themselves as they believe that their views do not matter or that they are too insignificant to offer solutions.

2. Helplessness- Because they feel like they are not regarded as important, a feeling of helplessness is propagated and simple decisions like closing ones legs or using birth control becomes a mammoth task. This if often displayed through statements which include what the government should do for poor people.

3. Inferiority- Inferiority is the feeling that one has less worth than others because of a low socioeconomic status. This belief often leads to ritualism and retreatism, where people no longer fight to achieve high goals but settle for less and bounces wherever life tosses them.” We throw the garbage in the gully because the government nuh care cause we a ghetto people!” The government will not be getting sick from leptospirosis and everything else that comes with that. It is not accepting inferiority which breaks the  Culture of Poverty and allows one to climb the social ladder.

4. Present Time Orientation-  A friend of mine was telling me that he recently visited a community and someone came in the shop and ordered a sardine and 2 slices of bread. He was surprised that two slices of bread was even sold but when the shop keeper opened the tin of sardines and took out a sardine and put in a tiny clear bag, he was even more surprised.  This is due to the present time orientation mentality;  little or no thought is made of the future which results in short term planning and hasty decisions.

5.  Little Ability to Defer Gratification– Because they are usually denied certain amenities and privileges  the ability to defer gratification is non existent as it allows them to feel a sense of pride and autonomy. It is also a way to escape the challenges faced on a daily basis. So anywhere the bashment is… they are there

6. Fatalism- This is the belief that all events in life are predetermined and we are mere puppets on strings. This submissive attitude breeds the feeling that we have no control over our behaviors and what will happen so we should just accept life for what is is and do not strive for change. This continues to foster the Culture of Poverty as persons believe there is nothing they can do to help themselves.

7. Men Dislike Commitment- Whilst the larger number of “baby mothers” seem to be a huge accomplishment, these babies and their mothers usually get little or no support from these “baby fathers”. It perpetuates poverty, as the mother will now have to find a new spouse to take care of her and the children and this spouse gives her another, the relationship ends and the cycle continues. These children will not be given as much opportunity as other children which already puts them at a disadvantage. Boys grow up with no real male role model which usually results in the  emulating the wrong people. This is usually blamed on Colonialism, but that ended years ago, so pull it together.

8. Lack of Participation- The money is kept under the bed because the banks are unfair, the child will not be apart of the youth club because they don’t want them getting in any “mix-up” and no extra curricular activities because there are dishes at home to wash. They vote because their parents were die hard green shirt or red shirt party. Still, the lack of participation is all too obvious and these areas usually open up any doors of opportunity. Still, it is the banks and youth clubs which they refuse to partake of that they think should help to do just about everything. However, when these entities do help, I don’t believe it is as appreciated as it should.

In my eyes, the culture of poverty is continued because of lack of exposure. I was raised poor but my mother taught me to appreciate things. In rural Jamaica where not many entities present opportunities, we have to make our own. If there is no electricity, the sad iron and a heat source are your friends and children are raised to believe this does not have to be your reality for the rest of your life, so they strive to be better. In urban centers  most entities offer help so some persons think it’s their duty, hence it is not appreciated enough. Poverty is everywhere, but it is the attitude that we have towards it that will allow us to elevate ourselves or remain in it.  Sometimes we just need to pick up ourselves and move on. This will affect whether poverty becomes a culture or a thing of the past.

You may not be poor, but think about it, if you possess the aforementioned traits, you may just be heading down the wrong road and if you are poor, knock on doors of opportunity, think long term, make opportunities and if we all think a little more like this, vision 2030 may become a reality.