Dec 10

UNITED NATIONS DECLARATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS…70 YEARS OLD TODAY!

 

HAPPY WORLD HUMAN RIGHTS DAY!

 

 

Last week Thursday, I was gifted the opportunity to flex my creative muscles via an adapted and stylised presentation of the 30 Articles making up the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights. You see today, 10th December 2018, marks the 70th Anniversary of the implementation of this UN drafted and adopted collection of rights, agreed upon to be the most basic and fundamental rights afforded to every human being on the planet earth…without exception! Apparently, so the story goes/suh dem seh (a phrase I will henceforth use by way of a disclaimer, in case what I share with you today turns out to be based on fake news at some future point), a group of people from around the world, appalled by the atrocities that took place during the second world war, decided to take proactive measures to ensure that human beings would never again be allowed to descend to the levels of barbarity, evil  and wickedness as was seen during the six year war. Yeah right, I sense some of you thinking.

 

 

YOUNG PERCEPTIONS OF WAR!

 

Growing up in England, my perspective of that war was always influenced by media images of valiant Englishmen and their allies, risking their lives for the rights and freedoms of their fellow countrymen.

 

Each November, as a child through to my teens, I would customarily wear the purchased poppies that my whole family wore in memory of those brave souls that sacrificed their lives for a noble cause. The only bad guys in that war story were the Germans, or to be more specific, a particular group of deranged Germans called Nazis. Apparently taking the life of another was only evil if, according to the rules of war, the lives were those of the bad guys. The fact that both sides of the cass cass saw the other as the bad guys was irrelevant to those writing the history books I studied. Bloody, valiantly fought battles and atom bombings were mixed in with stifled tales of torture, sexual abuses, murder of civilians and other unclaimed acts of barbarity…on both sides. No doubt the saying that “all is fair in love and war” could well have been coined during the said conflicts.

 

 

In the aftermath of that war, an estimated 60 million human beings were dead. WWII was dubbed ‘the worst war in modern history’, by the time it ended in 1945.  The United Nations emerged through unification of 58 country states, officially forming in 1948, with the primary purpose of bringing peace and upholding the rights of citizens in all lands. They drafted and agreed to the Declaration of Human Rights, the details of which most of the world’s citizens, I would hazard a guess, are oblivious. I hazard that guess on the basis that BBC World News reports (one of the few news sharing establishments I still have some level of trust in), consistently highlight unprecedented atrocities happening daily across our planet. As if on cue, as I drove home from my Human Rights presentation to the Mandeville Graduates of the Sutherland Global Microsoft Training programme, I felt a deflating blow when I tuned in to my radio to hear about the ‘alleged’ daily executions taking place in the African country of Burundi. The chilling report, as told by the BBC news correspondent, based on first hand intelligence obtained from eye witnesses and former perpetrators, stunned me. The pitch and inflections in the voice of the young sounding reporter, gave away a frustration that I presumed came from the fact that no decisive action was being taken by the UN nations, despite the submission of solid evidence to the UN leadership.

 

JAMAICA ON HUMAN RIGHTS?

 

 

Having become privy to and played a part in sharing the 30 human rights articles to an audience of Jamaicans, what now? Surely the scale of the global human rights breaches might suggest that those rights are destined to remain mere words on paper, while even the heads of states that are signatories to the declaration are themselves perpetrating, at worst, and turning a blind eye to, at least, gross human rights violations against their citizens. Closer to home, here in Jamaica, a modern day tropical paradise, the Tivoli Gardens ‘incident’ of 2010 still echoes a cry for justice that will ring in our ears for generations to come. Though I am considered an eternal optimist, the international and local news on any given day lends support to my concerns, that since the 1948 scripting of the declaration of human rights, matters have in fact gotten progressively worse, rather than better.

 

 

So, is it worth building the hopes of ordinary citizens by spreading the gospel of human rights to which they are entitled, yet potentially have little recourse if the state and its officers refuses to honour them? I say yes! Let the people know their rights! Armed with knowledge of what being a human being should afford them might at least empower some, and then more and more, to stand up for their individual and collective rights. Around the globe we are seeing and hearing of unrest and mounting frustrations among ordinary citizens that are saying enough is enough to leaders that have lost sight of their responsibility to serve and support all its citizens equally and fairly. The youth in particular are rising up to protest the disparities in treatment for segments of the society and blatant corruption within both government and private sectors.

 

HUMAN RIGHTS IN PLAIN LANGUAGE

 

 

All that said, given the energy of the youth of this world to clean up the messes of prior generations, I will do what feels right to me and proceed to sensitize my fellow Jamaicans and other world citizens to the 30 rights they have on the global stage, by virtue of the fact that they are human. The link below is to the Youth for Human Rights web page, which features a simplified version of the 30 Articles, as I shared with the young graduates.

 

https://www.youthforhumanrights.org/what-are-human-rights/universal-declaration-of-human-rights/articles-1-15.html

 

Learn them, as one day, you may need to demand or exercise one of them, in the face of some violation. You do, after all, have the weight of the now 192 member states of the United Nations behind you. Let us trust that this is heavyweight enough when put to the tests.

 

As our island’s reggae icon, Bob Marley sang…”Get up, stand up, stand up for your rights!” Knowing them is the first step.

 

May 14

MINISTRY OF HAPPINESS AND WELLBEING

Just imagine for a moment that a Government of a modern day country chose to establish a ministry dedicated specifically to the happiness and well-being of its citizens and residents. Sounds outlandish, right? I mean, a Government  (according to Wikipedia and the Business Dictionary) is a system or group of people governing an organized community or state…that sets and administers public policy and exercises executive, political and sovereign power through customs, institutions, and laws within a state. Not much room for the exploration of happiness and well-being in such a stiff-necked, protocol following world of Government one might say. Having worked within the structures of local government in the UK, I can testify that I witnessed no proactive strides to foster happiness and well-being within either written policies or human practices. Job descriptions were flooded with to do’s, but no attention was given to how the civil servants felt. Feelings were simply not questioned unless they rose to high levels, spilling over into ‘misconduct’ that interfered with the carefully planned out functions. No wonder there is so much talk of ‘extended tea breaks’ in our public sector world.

 

Image result for uae government

 

Anyway, imagine how surprised and delighted I was upon recently visiting the UAE (United Arab Emirates) and discovering that the Emirates had the foresight to establish a fully staffed government ministry…not just a department…dedicated to the happiness and well-being of persons living in/visiting each of its seven (7) federate areas (emirates). Now I was part of a theatrical delegation from Jamaica, proudly representing a monodrama piece, “Who Will Sing For Lena?” by Janice Liddell, at the biennial Fujairah International Arts Festival. From the moment of landing at Dubai airport, there was an immediate sense of feeling welcomed and respected. The feeling permeated the entire visit. It may not sound like a big deal, but having lived the majority of my life in England and had opportunities to travel, I can tell you that ‘welcome’ and ‘respected’ are not words that readily come to mind when recalling arrivals on the tarmac (in the earlier years) at many world airports. Even when returning to my UK ‘home’ soil I did not feel the warm and dignified welcome I got upon landing in Dubai. The point I am working to make here is that our Arab brothers and sisters, contrary to the stereotypical portrayals in the western media, took me aback with the genuine and consistent royal treatment meted out to our Jamaican delegation from the day we landed, right up to the day we left!  Are we following the right models?

 

 

Now back to the UAE Government’s bold and refreshing move to establish a ministry for happiness and well-being. It became apparent as our festival package unfolded that many of the volunteers coordinating same were high ranking government personnel, including a Chief Happiness and Positivity Officer (what a job title!), that willingly answered my many questions about life in the UAE and the practical work of my now, favourite ministry. It was clear to me that the work of this ministry is more than just words on paper or that the officers pay more than just lip service to the cause/mission of the ministry.  It was in the air. In the smiles. In the social conduct. I was impressed.

 

 

Having packed up and relocated my life from England to Jamaica some years ago, I, for the first time, found myself considering whether or not another relocation was now in order. Had I become complacent in my assessment of the place I call home? Had my love for Jamaica blinkered me to really examine whether or not it is STILL the best place for me to continue calling ‘home’? What criteria have I been working with? Being the birthplace of both my dearly departed parents, Jamaica is a place I fell in love with even before first setting foot on the island in 1989. I recall vividly hearing my father’s stories of the land he loved and yearned to return to. I remember the first vacation here, when I bawled on a dingy, out at sea, at Doctors Cave Beach, because I didn’t want to go back (to England). I wonder now if all of these retained reflections are mere sentimentality. Dare I take off the rose tinted glasses and take a real hard look at my perception of my tropical island home. The unique, world emulated culture, natural beauty and spiritual potency of this island are just a few of the things that still tick my boxes. But are these enough? If so, why then, after 23 years, has a visit to a distant land, with a very different culture, a language that I can’t speak, got me (re)considering my love affair with Jamaica? Like any relation-ship I must now ask, is it sailing in the right direction? Have I given back to the country as much as it has blessed me or was it a one sided relationship? Are we still compatible after our respective evolving?  Why all the questions all of a sudden? (Sorry, that was another one!). Was it the potent sense of peace, consistent civil order or just the reciprocal respect that prevail on a daily basis in the UAE that caught my eye? Could it have been the reverence and respect shown to the country’s women and children that wood me?  It is do-able, I kept telling myself! I am not ignoring the fact that the nations common practice of Islam must certainly play a role in fostering greater unity and social cohesiveness, but short of a wholesale conversion to Islam in Jamaica, perhaps we could start with a simple Government implemented solution, that we might make our people happier and healthier…perhaps?

 

 

When asked about the crime rate in his area, a senior UAE police officer (who invited us to be guests at his home) had to scratch his head to recall the one (1) murder that happened back in 2013. A domestic dispute. I remember blowing down heavily at his response, as I reflected on the lives of those lost and being lost in Jamaica daily. The officer spoke of doors and gates to compounds being left open at night. I immediately recalled hearing my father speak of the same comfort in his rural home community in Manchester, back in the day. Today’s Jamaica has two States of Emergency, multiple murders daily, women and children looking over their shoulders, young disenfranchised men being rounded up in packs and detained at police stations for days without ‘due’ processing…we know the rest. Don’t get me wrong, while it saddens me to reflect on the dark side of our island, I remind myself and others often that the majority of my country folk are kind, loving, decent and honourable people, that will light up your day with the wittiest one liners…stop to help a roadside damsel experiencing vehicular distress and sing sincere hit songs of love! All is certainly not lost, but while we witness the media hyped destabilization of our peace and security, perhaps it’s time for our government officials to try something outside the box…as their Emirati counterparts have clearly had the foresight to do. In the meantime, while we await the injection of conscience for our leaders, we can each be our own Chief Happiness and Well-being Officers, taking stock of the contribution we are making to the happiness and well-being of our fellow country folk? How about a little more compassion and empathy for ALL Jamaicans, non-judgement of those outside our circles and a refocused perspective of hope for starters? Wouldn’t hurt us, neither on an individual nor collective level right about now.

 

 

Radical changes do not have to come from revolutions by fed up citizens. Should, perchance, the collective conscience of our government officials, led by our current commander in chief, give rise to a commitment to work towards the happiness and well-being of EVERY citizen…(more) bloodshed may just be averted. I’ve been called the eternal optimist a few times in my life, so should you at this point scoff at my lofty idealistic notion of putting government and conscience in one sentence, my only retort at this point is …”God nah sleep”. Mystical magical manifestations were not confined to the biblical era.  Let your consciousness be focused on the positive attributes of our land, the many possible solutions and Love. We will always attract what our powerful collective minds dwell on most. It’s divine order.

 

 

While the state of ‘Wakanda’ is being brought from fiction to reality, for now, I’ll continue to assess my relationship with Jamaica and determine whether or not we need to take a little break or work to re-ignite the passion!  What do you think?

 

Happiness, Wellness and Plenty Blessing!

 

Jun 5

CHANGE YOUR LIFE STORY…OR NOT.

 

CHANGE YOUR LIFE STORY…OR NOT!

 

 Image result for LIFE STORY

 

Over many years, as a result of multi-level conditioning/programming, I, like many of you would have arrived at the belief that the events of our lives are mapped out well before we arrive on the planet. Fate. Destiny. Call it what we will, we give in to the twists and turns of the life journey on the collective understanding that we cannot change the events in our lives. ‘Our Story’ is written in the book of life and we are mere spectators to the unfolding.

 

Well, after many years of observing and experiencing life intently, I no longer hold that belief. After all, ‘belief’ is simply a series of thoughts that we continue to think’…until we change them, right? So, if you will indulge me, allow me to explain why I know that we create our future, as ordained by our Supreme Creator, through our thoughts.

 

MIND OVER MATTER

 

Image result for mind over matter

 

My interest in the human brain has revealed some amazing facts that continue to inspire me with awe. My deep fascination started when I trained as a Neuronet Therapist, as a means of supporting my son’s early learning. I also became a Learning Performance Specialist, sharing exciting brain facts and learning strategies with high school students across England and Wales. When I coach students in the practices of right/left hemisphere integration for better learning outcomes, I love the look on their faces when we apply the theories and prove that their shift in both thinking and specific right-brain integration practices, positively impacts their ability to learn and remember stuff! Once the students understand the correlation between their thoughts/mind practices and their grades, they are more ready to learn. Further, sharing with them that in one day, all the cell phones in the world cannot generate the same level of electrical impulses as their individual brains, usually gets their attention. Yes, I’m talking neurons firing! Giving off impulses as they connect with other neurons making up the billions forming networks in each of our magnificent brains.

 

BRAIN WAVES

 

Image result for brain waves

 

Now, imagine if these neurons, when firing, could emit ‘waves’ that travel outside of our physical bodies. Well, they do. Scientists have measured waves, akin to micro and wifi waves, from the brain of humans, feet away from the head of the subject. The same pertains to the human heart, but that’s a different story.

 

Imagine now, that these waves go out into the atmosphere and alter matter. Yes, that’s what I said. Changing matter external to the body.  Not only is matter altered, but matter is magnetized to you on the basis of the signals contained in the thought-waves. Literally mind over matter! Let this important point sink in a little, because the magnitude of this fact forms the basis of my assertion that YOU control and create your future life events, based on what you think, consistently, about any particular ‘matter’. Good or Bad. So, for example, if you wake up each morning and your first thought is ‘mi salt’…’nothing is going on for me’, it is important to know that your transmitted thought wave has gone ‘out there’ and will be matched with the magnetized confirmation of your statement. Have you noticed how the people that constantly state how sick they are rarely heal? The women that sing the sankey that ALL men are bad, generally repeat a cycle that affirms their belief and predominant thought, time after time attracting ‘bad men’.

 

It boils down to the fact that we are vibrational beings. Yes, we are full of vibes. The physics students amongst you will be able to relate to the fact that all beings and objects are matter, vibrating at differing speeds and frequencies. The human being included. So when someone says, they don’t like your vibe, it is a loose reference to the vibrational energy they are picking up from you within their vibrational zone. And visa versa.

 

LAW OF ATTRACTION

 

Image result for LAW OF ATTRACTION

 

Anyway, I’m not the first person to reach the above conclusions. Google is there for all of us to fatten our factual reserves. I simply chose to share this fundamental information with you on the premise that if it works for me, why not have others out there achieving balance in their lives through the ‘The Law of Attraction’? There are many writings and videos for you to listen/watch on the topic. I, for the most part, am paraphrasing what I have gleaned. In short, that we magnetise our life experiences based on the thoughts we entertain and the vibrations/waves we consequently send out into our universe. Watch the video called ‘The Secret’ and mull over the evidence presented.

 

You literally have to manage your thoughts on a daily basis to keep your life boat sailing smoothly. It doesn’t mean that life won’t rock your boat or the water won’t get choppy from time to time (those are the contrasts of life at play), but the key is, in recognition of what you don’t want showing up, is to adjust your thinking to smooth out the future journey.

 

Since we’re using the analogy of a boat. The other point is that we have been led to believe that life should be about struggle. What if we simply had to focus our minds and thoughts on what we WANT to see/happen/have and not sing endless sankies about what we wanted to eliminate. Close your eyes and place your thoughts (and consequent feeling) on abundance, in place of daily moans about being broke! Instead of lamenting the fact that you are single and can’t find a good man/woman…[after first ensuring that you are reflecting all the positive things you desire in a significant other],… emit those vibrations through positive thoughts of love and a mutually gratifying union. Feel it till it’s real! Anything you push against, fight or resist, creates a tension that creates more of what you are resisting against. Again, the law of attraction. Instead of fighting for peace, why not be peace? The wars on drugs, terrorism etc. in actual fact gives more energy and momentum to the very things not wanted. Why, because when the collective vibrations are emitted, the magnetism can only bring that to you/us/them, what is being focused on…e.g. war, crime…Trump!

 

GO WITH THE FLOW…DIVINE FLOW!

 

Image result for BLACK MAN ROWING BOAT

 

So rather than rowing your life-boat upstream, allow your life-boat to go with the downstream flow, guided by our divine source, for smooth sailing. The Rastafarians call the inner higher self the I in I. We are indeed Spiritual Beings having a Human Experience. I like this perspective of reality as it celebrates the God essence in each and every human being, regardless of location or station in life. It also encourages us to be kinder to one another, resolving that EVERY life matters! So allow your boat to float merrily, merrily, merrily merrily, gently down the stream, rowing only when and where guided (compass = feelings and intuition, as they are free of human ego interference)…and life will indeed be ‘but a dream’.

 

Image result for powerful mind

 

The mind is powerful! Our natural vibration is harmony of mind, body and spirit. Well-being, Modern lifestyles and dysfunctional cultures have unfortunately eroded this natural order and I, like many like-minded around the world, am passionate about guiding others to a more harmonious life. Happiness is our birthright!

 

So, since our thoughts (and feelings) do indeed become our reality, if you don’t like what keeps turning up in your life…change your mind and create YOUR NEW STORY!

 

ONCE UPON A TIME… 😉