Posts from — December 2009
It can be so easy to quit. Life seems hard, bills are pressing in, you have family issues, the job or business isn’t going the way you want it.
You just want to curl up into a ball and hope the world passes you by.
I’ll be first to admit it. I’ve been in this place many times over the last 6 years.
There I would have remained, like so many people in the world except for one
You, dear reader, may well have been there too. Maybe you’re there right now.
If so, take heart. It’s never over till the final siren sounds.
Now I am not advocating that you never stop doing something you don’t like. By stopping before you’ve given it everything, you’re likely to miss out on some really
good stuff that could be just around the corner.
So what is Perseverance?
It can be summarized this way, “Winners never quit and quitters never win”.
Patience is a skill while perseverance is an art.
Every day I ask God to help me so that I don’t quit, but that He will help me understand the opportunity when I see it.
So what’s the secret to success?
The famous song, “wish upon a star to make your dreams come true”, may be fine in theory. But in the real world, you need perseverance and fortitude. You need to hang in there till the final siren goes. You need to get up one more time than you get knocked over.
Don’t be afraid to give your best to what seemingly are small jobs. Every time you conquer one it makes you much stronger. If you do the little jobs well, the big ones will tend to take care of themselves.
Vitality shows in not only the ability to persist but the ability to start over.
Cynthia M. Steer
December 29, 2009 1 Comment
It’s been a tough year for many of us and although the economy has shrunk and many businesses have closed their doors, my small business Strokes & Slants on the other hand has increased tenfold.
Because fraud has increased tremendously.
The biggest scam artist of all being Bernie Madoff.
While most of my cases are not of the magnitude of Bernie Madoff’s Ponzi Scheme there has been enough work to keep my company afloat. Many do not realize how a signature or a change of a letter can alter a person’s integrity.
Over the past year I have looked at dozens of documents, Wills have been altered, pages added , signatures forged, checks with changed numbers, documents tampered with and land transfer claims distorted. An extra zero here , an initial or signature in dispute - Families divided and trust is completely lost.
I work hard at providing a good service, and quiet recently while out shopping I found at the bottom of my shopping cart an Angel card with the word “Integrity” .
I took the card home with me and it has been sitting on my coffee table ever since. I felt this word spoke to me – because during these hard times it is so easy for anyone of us to pick something that doesn’t belong to us, change something that you may feel may not be noticed. Your inner voice should tell you to step outside of your conscious self and do the right thing.
I sit over these documents with magnifying glasses and micscropes examining and diciphing each letter and symbol to be sure that my opinion is correct, because attached to my opinion someone’s life will change forever. They will either loose the contents of the will that they thought was so clearly in their sight or may even end up in jail for fraud.
I once told a potential client who could not afford to hire me – “It’s not whether you can afford to use me but whether you can afford to lose what’s in the will if you don’t use me?”
Your inner voice should be whispering to you to STOP because when you get caught it is a stain on your character that is not easily erased which will have a lasting effect on your career and your personal life.
- Integrity – is never second guessing yourself of who you really are.
- Integrity is honoring your word and holding tight to what is right.
- A gift that we must value every single day because better days are ahead for sure.
- Tough times do not last forever only tough people with Integrity!!
Beverley is a leading authority in handwriting analysis and a two time bestselling author. Her books are:
- Finding Mr. Write - A New Slants on Selecting the Perfect Mate
- Reaper of Souls – a novel of the 1957 Kendal Crash.
Find her online here:
Christmas Blessing to each and every one of you!!!
December 24, 2009 No Comments
The grip of old man winter has begun to tighten his icy noose around the souls of those who are tropic-centric.
The symptoms are rapidly blanketing the Northern hemisphere.
During the blizzard on the US East coast the week before Christmas, I received requests to showcase the gift of warmth. I received explicit hints such as pictures of beach scenes. Some desires have become more stark. Folks are commemorating going from the “oven to the freezer”!
It would be easy if we could just be whisked away to our favorite paradise spot. But for a variety of reasons, we may not have that option.
Is there any relief for the tropical soul?
I know it’s salivatingly savoring and low cal to boot, but stop licking the picture!
Seriously, like a skilled anthropologist, editor Grace Cameron scours the globe to capture the rhythm of soulful living of people of the Caribbean, and share her findings with a warm vibrancy.
Grace Cameron, Editor of JamaicanEats
In this her latest edition she serves up a sumptuous meal that will take away the winter blues of even the Eskimos.
Her umbrella theme is Cool stories, hot recipes.
Some of the stories covered are:
- A feature story of Blue Mountain coffee
- The second coming of Jamaica’s bobsled Olympic team
- She got he inside story of the chef that fed our glorious athletes that blazed into the history books of Berlin.
- A sizzling bowl of pepper pot soup
- and much more
Want to feel your soul with the warmth of the Island, you are only a few clicks away!
When you can’t get away, let JamaicanEats take you away!
December 23, 2009 No Comments
During a very cold wintry night, I dared to take a journey to the mall to look for a special gift for my grand daughter.
From birth, I have exposed her to books, not taking for granted that she may be an avid reader in the near future. While out in the cold, I reflected on the times in my life when on Christmas day, I expected something grand and spectacular from my parents (aka Santa Claus). Yet, each year I was disappointed in the gifts because they didn’t really last and left no memorable impression upon me. Christmas time was just a season and opportunity to be with family, and for that I was grateful.
By the time I was 12, that expectation that I would receive a gift seemed to fade because the gifts became more about my changing relationship with my parents verses the hunt for a present to impress or one-up my siblings. As I reflect on those gift exchanges, the principles my parents sought to convey had nothing to do with the gifts we gave. But they did have much to do with building my character, self esteem and respect for family. Because of this, I became more knowledgeable about where my true gift in life lay.
Freedom and the Reformer
One of the most important skills in life that we tend to take for granted, is the ability to read. Reading is the difference between freedom and slavery. The have & the have-nots. Leaders and followers. Success and failure. In 1855, the book “My Bondage and My Freedom,” a slave narrative was published by Frederick Douglass., John Stauffer writes for the 2003 Modern Library paperback edition,: It was [is] a deep meditation on the meaning of slavery, race, and freedom, and on the power of faith and literacy, as well as a portrait of an individual and a nation a few years before the Civil War.” As his narrative unfolds, Frederick Douglass—abolitionist, journalist, orator, and one of the most powerful voices to emerge from the American civil rights movement—transforms himself from slave to fugitive to reformer, leaving behind a legacy of social, intellectual, and political thought.
This gift of literacy is a powerful tool and should not be taken for granted. The legacy that lead to a nation of readers, thinkers and generations with the ability to transform a race of people proud of their heritage, communities, economic and social status’, is the same legacy we cannot fail to pass on to future generations.
As you give at Christmastime, and especially during Kwanzaa, remember to give our children books that entertain their minds, enlighten their knowledge and elevate their self-esteem. Books do not necessarily have to be reflective of us, because we don’t live in this world alone. However, we mustn’t forget to include exposure and knowledge of other cultures. Lest we forget , “Out of many, we are one”.
During the holiday season, plan to increase your family involvement in reading together by sharing a passage from your favorite book or one that you are reading now.
Talk about your feelings, reflect with your children and use those opportunities as teachable moments. They will not forget. Give praise to your ancestors who maintained the spirit of Africa in the Caribbean and America. Reflect on our fore brothers and sisters who have helped to bring about awareness of our cultural differences and heightened the Caribbean contributions in America.
And at Christmas time, remember Kwanzaa. Kwanzaa means “first fruits”. We celebrate harvest- the harvest of food, of love and of good deeds and friendship. Kwanzaa begins December 26. This would be a great opportunity to find out more about Kwanzaa if you are not familiar with it. Allow your children to participate in the various phases of preparing for Kwanzaa. This will give them a sense of responsibility in being a part of your family tradition.
As I watched my own children grow up, I watched many toys break. The gift of literacy gave them something to hold on to—a healthy imagination, a genuine interest in reading and an increase in general knowledge. I was able to teach them the value of knowledge. What you put into your mind cannot be taken away. It lasts a lifetime. Reading is a tool; a way to find out how to do something to gain knowledge.
Many people read to find out how to make money, others read to improve their relationships and yet writers of spiritual passages read to bring understanding and peace into their lives and the lives of others. The pursuit of knowledge should be to improve your future and the future of your family, or your community. Reading is practical. Only when you do not use what you learn does it become a waste of time.
Ways to tell if a book is worthwhile
Ask yourself the following questions:
- 1) Is it interesting – did you enjoy it? A good book should always be one that you enjoy reading.
- 2) Did the book leave some clear pictures in your mind? A worthwhile books usually leaves some pictures in your mind. You can see things almost as if you had been there when they were happening.
- 3) Did you learn something new? —about adventure, travel, history, invention, science, religion, art, people, fairy tales, or many, many other things?
- 4) Are the people in the book like real people? – whether good or bad?
- 5) Did you enjoy the way the author used words?
During the holiday break, set aside an hour or two to take your child or family members to the library. With the increased use of computers, we have decreased our opportunities to allow our minds and imaginations to wander or gather from the wealth of information available in these free public repositories.
Give the gift of literacy
Over the past five years, the Read Across Jamaica Literacy Project has played an important role in gifting children’s books and educational materials to 30 schools throughout Jamaica. The Literacy Project is an initiative effort to help strengthen literacy services and improve reading instruction for all ages. Guided by its motto: Share a book with a child and you have given illiteracy a dose of cure…”the primary focus of its hands-on approach has been encouraging children to view reading as a form of entertainment.
You can help the Read Across Jamaica Foundation (RAJF) continue its work in disadvantaged rural communities of Jamaica by giving the Gift of Literacy.
Your tax-deductible contributions to RAJF help facilitate their program across the island.
Become a Member.
Sponsor a School.
Ja’nice Wisdom, Project Coordinator
Go to http://www.readacrossja.com/ for more information or
contact Ja’nice Wisdom at (202) 285-4673.
Become a Literacy Ambassador
Share a book with a child and give illiteracy a dose of cure…
December 22, 2009 1 Comment
“History repeats itself because no one listened the first time.”
I read this quotation and wondered if there’s a part of Jamaica’s history that keeps repeating itself.
Jamaica has branded itself as a country of athletic and cultural excellence, however, there is a vexing side of our culture that seems to have a choke hold on us. Crime.
Do you think that it would make a difference in the crime rate if one of the trademarks of our country was listening?
With such a trademark Jamaicans would be branded as exceptional listeners.
A group of people who, as the poem says, “listen without interrupting, without prejudging, without discounting, and without second guessing.” Jamaicans would be known as people who “listen with attention, with respect, with patience and with understanding.”
Does being exceptional listeners means we would have a silent country? Of course not. It means that we would have a balanced style of communicating. It also means that children would listen to parents, and parents to children; leaders would listen to followers and followers to leaders; and most of all, there would be many listening role models for the young to emulate.
We would now have a balance between the use of the carrot and the stick, as well as a balance between nurturing and accountability.
Listening is a core value that girds the underpinning of other essential values such as love, respect, engagement, collaboration, networking and many more.
Interestingly enough, listening is a team sport. Just like our athletes we need to practice this sport with vigor and discipline. I agree that listening is a complex skill that takes a lifetime to hone but it can be done.
The benefits of listening out weighs the challenges and after all, we are JamaiCANs.
Let’s not wait for the government to endorse listening, the musicians to sing about it, the schools to teach it. or the ministers to preach it from the pulpits. Let’s be proactive about our personal listening habits. In doing so, here are some questions for our reflection.
Are we born good listeners or do we have to learn how to become one?
Who has had the most significant effect on your listening skills?
How would becoming a much better listener change your life?
Can you identify the good listeners in your life?
Can you identify the annoying listeners in your life?
Where would you put myself on any of these lists?
How did you feel the last time when someone really listened to you?How did you feel the last time someone when someone interrupted or second guessed you?
Acknowledging that we all have listening challenges, what am I going to do about my listening skills?
During this holiday season give the gift of listening. It is a guaranteed way to help someone experience some of the greatest human needs, that is to feel understood, valued, and appreciated. Jamaicans uniting around the core value of listening is a sure way to start the release of the choke hold of crime and to write a new page in our country’s history book.
Sunday, May 16, 2010 is the 5th celebration of I Love to Listen Day. Join us!
She conducts listening workshops.
Contact her at email@example.com
Quotations in the article are from the poem, “Today I Will Listen.”
December 21, 2009 1 Comment
If you live on the East coast of the USA as I do this last week-end before Christmas is smothered by a major snow storm. You are probably snuggled into some warm spot in the house savoring a cup of your hot favorite beverage, wishing you were in Jamaica.
If you are a business owner, you are having heart palpitation as this the busiest shopping day of the season has been wiped out in a blizzard.
Snowy Saturday has replaced Super Saturday.
In a weak economic year, when you are struggling to make it into the black , you see the legs of your balance sheet slipping like a cartoon character on the icy side walks.
Can this week-end be redeemed?
One of my spiritual mentors shared a story that may provide us with a fine possibility.
A wizened old man found himself next to a young lady on a bus. In his hands were a fresh, beautiful bouquet of flowers . The young lady had a longingly stare at the bouquet.It was quiet evident to the old guy that the young lady coveted his gift.
At the next bus stop , the old man placed the flowers in the lap of the young lady, and muttered “I know my wife would have wanted me to give you these.”
With that said, he stepped off the bus.
The shocked young lady looked back to see where her benefactor was heading.
He was slowly entering the cemetery gates at the out skirts of town.
Sharing love takes a lot of courage. We come up with catch phrases such as luv u to share a sentiment, but it is devoid of much depth. It is particularly challenging for us men as we are not into this “mushy” stuff.
Can you imagine two guys saying I love you without tongues wagging?
But the irony of it all is that sharing love makes one vulnerable, and it takes lots of courage.
Want to give a gift that will be most memorable this Christmas?
Give the gift of courageous love. It will be remembered for a lifetime.
You actually would be in good company as, that is the essence of Christmas.
God took on the vulnerable form of a baby to express his love.
But before you think I am preaching rather than blogging, let me share this means of remembering what love is all about.
The authorship of this piece is Dennis Waitley.
L – Listen when another is speaking
O – Overlook their petty faults and forgiving all failures
V – Valuing other people for who they are
E- Express your feelings in a practical manner.
Yes, courageous love is the most priceless and rare gift
December 20, 2009 2 Comments
Just imagine if the inheritors of the Biblical Wise men were going to travel to Jamaica instead of Bethlehem.
They too will look to the heavens for guidance, but this guidance would be delivered in a new way. They would take advantage of the Caribbean’s first GPS navigation system, dubbed JAMNAV.
These wise men would avoid having to run into the criminal element, and they would be able to find houses of faith , along with their favorite foods, gas stations, ATM, and all the amenities needed for safe, comfortable travel with no unwanted drama.
These wise men would have a a special team of Jamaicans to thank for putting in place the capability. These are the folks from the Mona GeoInformatics Institute. This is a team that sparkle with the ingenuity of any silicon valley brain trust.
In ascending row order: Dr Parris Lyew-Ayee, Karen McIntyre & Dr Ava Maxam, Letitia Jacob & Shaniqueka Grant, Rochelle Branche, Lisa-Gaye Webb, Keisha Josephs & Rhona Wills, Alexander Grennell, Valerie Hoo-Fatt, Cedric Palmer, Jean-Mark Wright, Robert Robinson, Paul Greene, Cecil Reid
Paul Greene, GPS Navigation Systems Specialist
I had the distinct privilege to find out the details of this amazing system with Mr. Paul Greene , GPS Navigation Systems Specialist. Mr. Greene took some time of of his busy day to share how his team put in place JAMNAV©.
I was interested to see how folks were responding to this new capability. See what Vincent Miller, Chief operating officer of MBJ Airports Limited had to say about JAMNAV©.
“Wow, you sure have great customer service. This is great! Thank you again for all your help. Your customer service skills are second to none. Very much appreciated. more friends will be purchasing
JAMNAV© soon. JAMNAV© works great!!!”
Rules are for the obedience of fools and the guidance of wise men.
December 18, 2009 1 Comment
It has been said that laughter is the best medicine. But be cautious with that adage as Joan Hutchinson usually will have you in stitches!
However, there is much brawta in her presentations as she also delivers a high sense of cultural heritage and pride like no other.
But let’s not underestimate Joan as “just a comic” – although she certainly is one of the most prolific Jamaican humorists of all time.
Joan Hutchinson is a fantastic entrepreneur who is building a profession on the strength of her personality, intuition, innovation, drive, and determination.
In addition, she presides over a business encompassing authorship, professional
speaking, plays, and television projects fueled by her incessant invention of self and boundless creativity.
The latest demonstration of her ingenuity can be found in her latest work,
Kin Teet Kibba Heart Bun
The book and the CD document the creative and resourceful practices of ‘not so well off’ Jamaicans in the past, as they found interesting ways to survive and raise their families on a shoe string budget.
The book and CD will be released a few days before Christmas.
Many Jamaicans who grew up ‘poor’ did not realize that they were supposed to have been poor, until later in life they realized what they did not have.
The experience of growing up with people who knew how to ‘tun yuh han meck fashion’ and ‘tan pon crooked cut straight’, taught us all how to survive hard times, skills which are proving very useful at this time.
Jamaican parents wasted nothing, and were guided by the principle that everything has a second purpose. We carried half exercise book and half pencil to school, used newspaper to stuff big shoes and then cut out the toe when they became tight, used and reused tea bags, converted butter tubs and plastic containers to dishes, ate condensed milk and bread, and learnt very early to make our own toys.
Girls whose parents could not afford dolls converted a coconut, an ear of corn, a tuft of grass or a mango seed to their ‘dolly baby, and boys made fish tanks from old car batteries, raced board horse in dirty water and played cricket with coconut bough and green orange.
Do you think you can learn a thing or two from Joan?
If you are wise you would send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and reserve your copy today!
December 17, 2009 No Comments
As you bustle through the shopping centers these days, you may just hear the Jackson Five, the Carpenter’s , Nat King Cole, singing this sentimental favorite
- “Chestnuts roasting on an open fire
- Jackfrost nipping at your nose
- Yuletide carols being sung by a choir
- And folks dressed up like Eskimos
- And So , I’m offering this simple phase
- To kids from one to ninety-two
- Though it has been said many times, many ways
- Merry Christmas
- Merry Christmas
- Merry Christmas to… you
This song is filled with a secular hope that buoy our spirits during the holiday season .
However, we know to have enduring hope we need to nourish our spirit on substance that is more enduring.
This is where the old adage, life is tough, but God is good comes in.
One of the means in which we get this substance is through the practice of prayer. People of faith practice conversing with their God, find strength for the journey and renew their hope. Sharing this discipline with our children is one of the most critical legacy one can pass on to our children.
The Bible contains several famous prayers that involves children. The boy Samuel, and who can forget the teenager Mary who shared her heart in the famous prayer we called the Magnificat.
We can do the same for our children. For those of us who are looking for a great resource to aid us in this endevor, there is great news.
Hazel Henry, a praying grandmother has developed a resource, entitled “Transform Your Child’s Prayer Life in 30 days“.
Hazel Henry, Prayer Warrior
Hazel has an abiding faith in prayer, and faith that God answers all prayers.
The Lord has used her to teach her children, grandchildren, and church youths, thus, passing on the knowledge and practice of how to have a relationship with God through prayer.
December 16, 2009 No Comments
“Human beings yield in many situations, even important and spiritual and central ones, as long as it prolongs one’s well-being.” shared the late Alexander Solzhenitsyn.
Well, we are blessed within our Jamaican community to have a young physician who is dedicated to the well-being of the Island through his dedication to using his extraordinary gifts to tackling some of the toughest health challenges our people face.
Marshall Tulloch-Reid, MD, MPhil, DSc
Dr. Marshall Tulloch-Reid is a Physician and Endocrinologist certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine. He is a lecturer in the Epidemiology Research Unit, Tropical Medicine Research Institute, UWI and Director of the Clinical Research Programme at the Heart Institute of the Caribbean.
Dr. Tulloch-Reid has also published several papers on obesity and risk factors for type 2 diabetes. His current research projects include The Classification of Youth Onset Diabetes in Jamaica and Cardiovascular Disease in adult Jamaicans.
We caught up with him in Washington DC, where he had made a presentation earlier at the National Institutes of Health
Excellent health is perhaps your most precious possession. It is more than just physical well being. It is a condition of the mind and spirit to be fully whole. Do all you can to attain, maintain, and enjoy optimal health.
Beloved, I pray that in all respects you may prosper and be in good health, just as your soul prospers
3 John 1:2
December 15, 2009 1 Comment