Saturday, 19 November 2011

Seven billion's a crowd

The world population is hitting 7 billion – that’s what the pundits tells us and some parts are particularly crowded – like Bangladesh, India, UK and the Netherlands. It appears that land space is running out for those born in the 21st century. The usual outcry in developed countries is that current landspace is filled up with economic migrants and that immigration is out of control. I don’t care to discuss government policy as I believe that there is more than enough resources for everyone (if they were shared more freely). I wonder if the Creator and his design team made a few errors of judgement!!
I take issue with the quality of citizenry rather than the quantity of inhabitants of planet earth. If the world was under-populated other problematic features would emerge. This is a problem without solution and I’m merely sharing my thoughts on this humongous subject.
Rush hour!
The world needs people and people need their world. Without people it would feel all rather pointless, lifeless and plain dull! People bring innovation, excitement and creativity into this world – that’s why we’re special. So where does it all go wrong? Where’s the flaw in the blueprint of the homo sapien?
Its all in the mind- how true! It’s not just about seven billion land locked bodies but it’s what in those seven billion minds that can create harmony or hatred. I’m concerned about the growth of the world population from a mental standpoint. Who are these minds? How have they developed and in what direction? Are they healthy or harbouring the unwholesome?
The like-minded are few
I live in a densely populated country and yet I find it hard to hook up with like-minded people. The microscopic portion of the 7 billion that I encounter I have very little in common with – and that includes some family members. If we are unable to connect mentally how do we communicate? Very poorly – with many a misunderstanding, several confrontations and hideous arguments. In fact, a great many of the 7 billion are not even speaking and are engaged in war – be it silent or bloody!
Seven billion people can be trying…..and the few amongst them are awesome. It should be noted that the awesome are loners….and though they may not enjoy the company of too many of their fellow men…these few are highly sought after.

Can anybody find me somebody to love?

Oh yes, there’s seven billion people but you can’t find a decent one to love….if  dating websites are anything to go by. Seven billion people and still that special someone is elusive. Seven billion people in the world and you can’t find the right person for the job. Seven billion people in the world and there’s still no room at the inn. Seven billion people trying to get the best out of life. Seven billion people but you can’t get the trains to run on time.
Seven billion people but there’s not enough caring and compassion to prevent abuse and neglect.  Seven billion people who will be all too quick to judge and condemn – imagine seven billion pointing fingers!  Seven billion precious people who can’t organize this world to make it a better place for us all!

7 billion changes for the better!

I’m one of the seven billion and I’m still working it out. I guess if seven billion made the world a better place there’d be no need for heaven. If seven billion people each donated a $1 to a worthy cause their hearts would be a little richer. Seven billion people can change the world but it all starts with me so…move over..... and gimme some room!


Wednesday, 16 November 2011

The will is more important than the skill

Your will - handle with care
In the modern world there’s a great emphasis on learning new skills and improving on the ones we already have. Learning is fun…..or its supposed to be….but all the fun is being squeezed out of it.

An education in wilfulness
This is mostly due to the pressurised conditions that we are forced to learn them in. Starting in school, childhood is no longer a joyful and carefree time. Children as young as seven are now expected to work towards and achieve their baseline, cognitive targets…otherwise there’s a problem and parents are hauled in to face the music. Making mistakes and or being at a different development level are no longer acceptable…according to teachers and government policy.

The frenetic pace of learning is not teaching anyone anything except to sweat the small stuff. The skills we’re expected to learn are keeping us distracted from seeing the value of our learning. All learning is not worthwhile. I’ve learnt a great many things that are just clutter in my mind and I aim to spend more time replacing them with healthier thinking. I didn’t acquire uncommon sense by chance!

Little Miss Super Achiever!
In any endeavour, the will is what triumphs in the hour of adversity. When you hit a wall, thinking alone will not break through it until it is transformed into solid actions. The transformation happens as a result of a strong will.

Will is purpose and intention behind the thought. People often feel challenged by the strong willed and they’ll do anything to put it down. Wilful children are admonished and sent to their rooms. Wilful teenagers are sometimes thrown out by their families and despised.

My parents are so difficult!
Being stubborn has its place and I agree that it’s not easy to deal with if you’re on the receiving end of it. If its your child be patient and remember that expression is better than repression.

If its your elderly parent you’ll have to bite your lip and remember that their minds live in one generation and their bodies in another. Whatever you do, listen -  but never discourage - and channel it into something meaningful. Help yourself by helping others find their destiny.

Don't be the weakest link
High achievers are stubborn, wilful, persistent, inflexible, tenacious, determined and down right pig-headed! The non-achievers with the above characteristics are losers playing the blame game.

Think of the greatest men and women in any field (vilains too) and you know what I’m talking about. You can’t “fly like a butterfly and sting like a bee” without a strong one!

A strong will says “Yes, we can!” A strong will is non-conformist.
A strong will can get you in and out of trouble!

The lady with defiance
Keep it strong and clean. Bear no ill will even if someone rains on your parade. Let it shine through the battles and conquer. By all means keep learning but ensure that it enhances and serves your mind and spirit. Learning can be instructive and some of it can be destructive – make sure you understand the difference.

Your will is unique and indomitable -  just like you!
I can  and I did!


Sunday, 13 November 2011

Marry a person who makes you feel rich

Singing in the rain
If only you could!
When it comes to marriage I’m a hopeless cynic as I married someone who was on a path of self-destruction (minus drugs and alcohol) and wanted to drag me down the same way. During my marriage I felt anything but rich, in fact there were more times than I care to remember that I felt dirt poor....and it had nothing to do with money!
I'd rather be covered in kisses
It’s exciting when you meet and fall in love with someone who is asset rich and he showers you with an array of shiny, sparkling, dazzling rocks and trinkets. He has a fast car – wow – a luxury penthouse – no kidding -  and a chalet in the Swiss Alps – whooping for joy! Now that’s serious money for some serious pampering.
There’s just one problem… love all the bling and gadgets….but when you’re in his company your heart feels empty. Material wealth, as sumptuous as it may be, is a thin disguise for spiritual poverty.  You may love his resplendent kitchen, exquisite bathroom, opulent lounge and magnificent bedroom complete with silk sheets but his impoverished spirit will be the hardest thing to live with. People with tell you that you’re lucky and you’ll smile and nod but, deep inside your being where  truth resides, you’ll feel hollow.
I’ve never experienced serious wealth but I know what it is to be financially comfortable and, as a result of my ex-significant other, I also know the discomfort of financial instability. I blame no one but myself for my naievety and plain ignorance but I was following  age old advice of my well-intentioned elders in finding a rich man. 
My humble advice is to find a man or woman who makes you feel rich. When you feel rich it means that the necessities of life are taken care of. Your purse may feel a little lighter at times and you may not have the best things with a price tag but your heart, soul and mind will be full – of joy, tenderness and love.

A partner with a heart full of love and little less in his bank account is the type you should seek. Sometimes he may have both - big bucks and a big heart - and that’s something worth cherishing.

So how can someone make you feel rich….without any money?
Firstly he must be someone you’re attracted to. That sounds easy enough but the attraction has to be for the right reasons….not just because he promised to take you out to dinner.

Check out the small print

Do you feel a glow when he looks at you? Be careful the glow can just as easily be lust. Is his smile genuine? Does it enrich his features?
When he holds your hand does he tell you that it’s better than holding a million dollars?
Does a light shine in his eyes? Check this out in daylight as well as moonlight!
At the start of a relationship everyone makes an extra –special effort but its whether he/she has the emotional stamina for the long run.
Making someone feel rich is when the little things mean a lot:
·         You bring her flowers when she least expects it.
·         You massage his back when you know he’s been working on that spreadsheet.
·          You look at yourself in the mirror and think how lucky you are.
·         Cuddling up together to watch an old film whilst feeding each other chocolates.
·         Reading poetry
·         Making  time to be alone
·         Laughing at mistakes – yours and his – after apologising
·         Watching a sunset
·         Listening to the dawn chorus
·         Cooking together
·         Looking into each other’s eyes at the end of a hard day
·         Helping with the housework
·         Repairing things that are broken
·         Looking at your children and feeling blessed
·         Walks in the woods appreciating nature and beauty
·         Kissing the tears away
·         Going to the cinema and sitting in the back row
·         Remembering that this person is your best friend
·         Planning little surprises (that money can’t buy)
·         You say and do those three little words in a variety of ways

Fun never grows old

These are your heart’s deepest desires and any or all of the above will keep it ticking and healthy. Your soul knows what you need but your mind is sometimes confused.
When your spiritual trinity work in unison and you know you’ve clicked with your life partner then you’ve struck gold bullion!

You might spend a long time looking but it’s a worthwhile pursuit. If people ask why you haven’t got a partner at least you can tell them straight: “ I never found someone who made me feel rich” so make sure you feel rich enough - all by yourself!

Feeling rich


Sunday, 6 November 2011

Greasy Insolvents in the sun

Crete, Berlin, Rotterdam....mmm which one would you choose?
Greece is on the verge of bankruptcy and they’re waiting on an EU bailout – the country has run out of money. The Greek people are out on the streets protesting over the austerity measures whilst the government is busily collecting taxes, and slashing a number of public services – the worst one being trash collection so, if you happen to be in Athens, make sure you have a peg for your nose!
Light heartred look
I don’t watch too much of the coverage on the news – scare-mongering and overblown news reports  are far too morose for my lively spirit – but I do have an opinion.
I share the plight of the Greek people. They are facing a state of insecurity or believe that they are. Regular readers of my blog know that I write extensively about debt, my direct experience and my personal world view.

Debt is a stark reminder of how fallible we are – the IMF, governments and us ordinary folk! I am not ashamed of my debt situation since I believe my debts to be honourable – my mortgage since I need a roof over my head and that of my children’s and credit card debts incurred when I had a husband who spoke a language I didn’t understand – probably Greek!
My big, fat Greek debt
Economists state that Greece’s troubles started when they abandoned the drachma as its currency in favour of the Euro in 2002. This made borrowing easier and the Greek government went on a spending spree.
Apparently alarm bells were ringing as far back as 2009 but the IMF chose to bury their heads in the sand. It’s reassuring to know that that those men in grey suits – policy makers and bankers –  icons of the financial world with a host of impressive academic achievements – got it wrong.
"Nobody's prefectus"
Its reported that Greece’s dour neighbours, Germany and Holland, are opposed to the Greek bailout. Of course they are because their economies are perfect – their financial houses are in order – so they can cock a snoot at Greece!

If you ask me they’re suffering from plain old jealousy.

Greece is an ancient civilization that gave birth to great philosophers and mathematicians like Socrates, Archimedes and Pythagoras. Banking was probably started by the ancient Greeks so maybe they have only themselves to blame! Greece has given us the Olympics which London is proudly hosting in 2012 so those Greeks knew a thing or two!
Contemplating the zeros
There’s another thing that the Greeks have that their northern neighbours don’t…and that’s….sunshine! I’ve no doubt that those ultra-violet rays that pour down on the crystal, blue waters of the Adriatic sea are not conducive to good, financial management.
The Beach Party gets my vote
Who on earth is thinking about their finances when they’re bronzing  on the soft sands and partying into the small hours on a balmy beach? Greece has a host of attractions and distractions that is the secret envy of their Northern European cousins.
Those southerly states of Italy, Spain, Portugal and Greece have a history of bon viveurdom. As anyone from  below the equator knows warm weather and good financial management often part company.
The Greeks enjoy fine wine, women and song and they can’t understand what their northern neighbours are griping about. Greeks are flamboyant, warm, passionate, utterly philosophical and, except for the Onassis clan, hopeless with money - as are a lot of people!

Germans in glass houses....
Whinging windmills
Greece is in trouble so everyone’s got to pitch in otherwise what’s the EC all about?

What part of "Community" do the Dutch and Germans  not understand?

There are times when we all need a hand up and this is no time for one upmanship.
People in the northern hemisphere are ardent sun worshippers so taking a few more holidays to Greece next year will help close that deficit. Greece has sunshine by the bucketloads so let's eat, drink and be mindful!
It takes courage to live with financial hardship and I should know. After the political  and emotional turmoil, the Greeks will face up to their responsibilities with stoicism and grace.  They’ll get their bailout after a lot of groaning and moaning from the EC.
So let’s get down to business - anyone for some beach volleyball?


Friday, 4 November 2011

The world is not broke

 The world is not broke; there is no global recession. The markets have not crashed. We don’t need a stimulus package. We don’t need to close down factories and adopt cost cutting as a new mantra.

The not-so-simple life
The world is awash in wealth and cash but bankers and big business control it , making sure they get the biggest cut. You and your families may suffer but they won’t. In a global recession caused by blue chip megalomania the people at the top won’t miss out on their holidays, villas, gym memberships and four wheel drives. 

A pocketful of hope
The money is within reach of just 500 people in the world – filthy rich people – who don’t care about the rest of us or the state of the world -  ‘cos they’re alright Jack!”
They “work” for six figure salaries whilst the rest of us feel thankful that we have five, measly figures that barely cover basic expenditure like food and shelter. These 500 people have pumped fear into the economy so that the “lucky ones” amongst who have jobs that our employers tell us are disposable.

We have been made to feel weak and useless by public sector officials on enormous salaries who tell us that hospitals, the police force, libraries and schools are now businesses that have to maintain profit margins but there’s no profit sharing… except for…yes…you’ve guessed it….those at the top! If you can’t justify why you’re important then they’ll ship you out!

Don't think we can afford that shampoo!
The irony is that never before have large numbers of young people enticed into higher education with the promise of better career prospects. Universities are graduating these bright minds into lowly, paid jobs. This generation of 20 somethings have a lifelong membership of an exclusive club: “Awfully Disappointed.”  
"I'm smug, I'm solvent - isn't everyone?"

No one has yet enlightened them to the fact that some of the richest and most innovative men and women on this planet dropped out of university. The late Steve Jobs’ advice to the 2005 graduates of Stanford was: “stay hungry, don’t settle”. He’s right and, in this economy, there’s no chance of that since home ownership is a distant dream and food prices ever-increasing. Mr Jobs was a visionary as he predicted the fate of generations to come.

However, the outlook is not all bleak….at least there’s a variety of gadgetry to keep idle minds – whilst they’re looking for suitable employment - busy…the ipod and the ipad will keep you awake for hours. Mindlessness is now meaningful industry.

A smile don't cost a thing!
But the world is not broke – that’s a lie – false economic structures underpin values that keep the poor poorer and the rich richer. The truth is that there’s lots and lots of money to go around. But its only circulating around the landscaped gardens of the second homes that most politicians and chief executives in charge of the public sector own.

In one hospital, management asked their staff to volunteer for unpaid work. When I say staff I mean the lowest ranking – porters, cleaners, nurses but NOT the administration at the top who are responsible for mismanaging funds that could have paid these employees. Global recession has given way to a set of bizarre working conditions:
“Work for no pay” – yay! – wonder which hot shot PR consultant came up with that slogan!

A political fabrication that is bandied around is that of social mobility – the ability to move up a rung on the social ladder. Move up to where……..from hard up to just getting by and hoping that my student debt will be written off in my 50’s. Social mobility means that you’ll wish half your life away before you realize that you could have been taking some practical measures like opting out of the rat race.

Adult education is one of them but the exhaustion you’ll endure from overseeing the education of your own children – getting them from Average to averagely A* will have you in a psychiatric institution before you get your pension.

Politics is a form of mental illness and politicians an insane bunch – they’ve created a poison pill. Start cutting back, pay more taxes, price hikes on food but we won’t be joining in – cost cutting is only for the working class. This is one big charade that is fed to the people through the media.

We're human and we fight over everything
The world is not broke or broken though the people in power are trying to break it – make no mistake about that.  The world is rich with hope, ambition and dedicated activists who do not have university education. All they did was sit and think… a different way…..and not become obedient university fee paying clones.

Politicians want you to go to university in the hope that you’ll become higher tax bracket fee payers. They want you to conform and be grateful to have any job – even one where you’re mercilessly exploited. They’ll sow the problems and you’ll break your back reaping an abundant harvest of red tape. The aim of bureaucracy is dehumanization and….it’s working. At no other time in the history of the world has compassion and common sense been so scarce.

Cash rich; time poor
The world is not broke but neither is it whole. The only thing that’s broke is the minds and hearts of our leaders and where there’s no sense, there’s no feeling. Our pain is not their pain; our needs are not their needs so our experiences of making ends meet don’t resonate with them. In fact, we’ve got nothing in common!

So what can we do to fix the problems?
I guess we can share good energies, healthy thoughts and fruitful labour amongst ourselves. We can turn 2 loaves and 5 fish into tuna melts for the world – if we have to. Those people at the top may be laughing all the way to the bank but when assets get frozen…..who laughs last laughs the longest. Good old-fashioned mirth is always in vogue since we don’t take ourselves too seriously – well, not as seriously as politicians, CEO’s and Fund Managers.

Deep down we know that we’ve got one over them…..people in high places live in fear…fear of losing their luxurious lifestyles. Trading in their yachts, rolexes, convertibles, martinis by the pool will break them down.

Pig farming would have been alot cleaner than politics!
Not having anything so complex to juggle – just our taxes, mortgage, bills and regular grocery shopping we know we’ll get by. We can count blessings whilst they count their miseries. The rich have never been good at generosity so it may be that we’ll have a better chance of squeezing through the eye of a needle – after a few gym sessions!

Immoral DNA

We can go without because we feel comfortable within – happy that we’ve not succumbed to the greed that infests the corridors of power. We’ll make it through the gates of heaven ‘cos we’re travelling light.

The world is not broke, you are not insolvent or morally bankrupt. We’ll sleep peacefully in our beds at night after counting a few sheep whilst the people-at-the-top- count a few more grey hairs, lines on their forehead and stains on their souls. They have robbed the poor to feed the rich.

Bank your energy
The world is not broke, my friends, false economics make you believe that it is. Those good people on CNN will tell you that it’s wrecked with war and famine. Humans are not kind, least of all those people at the top. So do not buy in to the hype; the world can be rescued but we must fix it first – from the inside. The world is not broke and neither are you!

Adapted from  Michael Moore's address to the public service workers of Madison, Wisconsin on 5th March 2011