Have you done something kind today?

worldkindnessday

Today is the World Kindness Day celebrated annually on 13th November. On this day, participants attempt to make the world a better place by celebrating and promoting good deeds and pledging acts of kindness, either as individuals or as organisations.

World Kindness Day was first launched in 1998 by The World Kindness Movement, an organisation formed at a 1997 Tokyo conference of like-minded kindness organisations from around the world. There are currently over 28 nations involved in The World Kindness Movement which is not affiliated with any religion or political movement. The mission of the World Kindness Movement and World Kindness Day is to create a kinder world by inspiring individuals and nations towards greater kindness.

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Have you done something kind today?

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The world is how you see it…

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Photo by Sagui Andrea on Pexels.com

The world is how you see it
You’re free to choose your sight
To look for love and goodness
Or dim your inner light.

The world is how you speak it
You’re free to make your choice
To tell your braver story
Or punish with your voice.

The world is how you feel it
You’re free to sense your tribe
Tune in to your emotions
Or disconnect your vibe.

The world is how you dance it
You’re free to move your way
To let your passion guide you
Or let your fear play.

By Irina Latis

 

 

Change your story, change your life…

You might have seen a video of this gifted LA subway singer that went viral. A truly beautiful lady with a tragic story. Given up for adoption at two, a gruelling Soviet childhood and a violent marriage…

Domestic violence often features in such tragic stories, often shapes such tragic lives… I had my personal experience with domestic violence. In my experience domestic violence is much more complex than historical example described by Dostoevsky more than a century ago. And not only ‘peasants’ are affected. My sister-in-law’s nose was broken once by her ex – he was a medical doctor by trade. ‘First do no harm’ says the Hippocratic Oath of ethics historically taken by physicians – yeah right…

Domestic violence knows neither geographic nor cultural borders.

Looking back I can see how my personal experience with domestic violence started shaping my life, shaping my story, leading to a bad end… Luckily I had a wonderful friend who made me stop, read and re-shape my story

Every day is an opportunity for you to change your life, to change your story. Change what you do not want in your life. Change what makes you unhappy. You have the power to change your thoughts and your thoughts have the power to change the story of your life….

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Credits: Image from Change your story, Change your life.

Is YOUR VOICE heard and respected at home?

Marriage

“My wife sent me to the supermarket to buy a fabric softener. Well, actually I was told to take a photo of the shelf of softeners and send it over: apparently, I am not qualified to choose which one to buy. So I came up to the shelf and started taking photos. Suddenly a man nearby pointed at me with his phone and said, “I can send you my photos of all the softeners here. With WhatsApp. I have a full gallery. Each bottle is a close-up from both sides.” I replied, ”No, thanks. I was just told to send the full shelf without close-ups.“ ”Clear. Lucky man…” I laughed, “Something like that, but thanks for your offer anyway. Great idea with WhatsApp.” The man smiled and said, “Sure, but the idea is not mine. See that man taking photos of detergents? He sent the photos to me. And my photo session of baby food starts now. Have fun!”

From 15 Overheard Life Stories Charged With Optimism

 

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It is very well known that men generally do not like to ‘sweat the small stuff’. Therefore they are often happy to leave routine domestic decision-making to women and are often putting a great deal of their energy into placating the women in their lives in order to keep their world manageable.

Celia Lashlie however identified some areas of concern in her book “He’ll be OK”:

“The principal told me again and again that when two parents come in for a chat because their boy’s in trouble, it’s the norm for the mother to do all the talking. The principal looks towards the father and it’s obvious he has something to say, an opinion to offer, but she won’t shut up long enough for him to actually say it…. I thought it might be an overly prejudiced view, so decided to investigate a little further. The opportunity to do so arose when I found myself in front of a group of fathers.

‘Listen guys, I just want to check something out with you. Apparently when you and your wife are in the principal’s office because your son’s in a spot of bother and you’ve been called to the school, you’re really quiet, you just don’t talk.’

‘No,’ came the reply from one man.

‘Why not?’

‘Because I’ll get it wrong.’

Somewhat naively, I replied, ‘No, you can’t get it wrong, he’s your boy.’

‘Oh no,’ he said, looking straight at me, a now-familiar look of resignation on his face, ‘I’ll get it wrong… and I’ll get a pull-through when I get home.’

As he said this, several heads in the room nodded, the men seeming to relish the fact that someone had identified a situation with which they were all very familiar…

After a bit more discussion on this topic with the men, I headed back to talk to their wives and partners and, as I did so, I found myself thinking that the views expressed by the men were probably a little unfair and would offend the women I was about to talk to. I couldn’t have been more wrong.

‘The guys have just told me that when they’re in the principal’s office with you, they don’t talk because they’ll get it wrong.’

One woman didn’t even hesitate; she looked straight at me and without the slightest hint of the embarrassment I was expecting, she said, ‘He will.’

‘And he reckons he’ll get a pull-through when he gets home?’

‘I won’t wait that long – I’ll get him in the car.’

There seemed to be universal agreement with her comments and the conversation continued with one woman saying, ‘I take him to parent-teacher evenings, but he just won’t talk.’ By this time I was thinking, Yes, and I think I’m beginning to see why, so I said, ‘Well, there’s one possible solution.’

‘What’s that?’

‘You could send him by himself, then he’s going to have to talk.

At that moment the entire group of intelligent, articulate middle-class women looked as if I’d just asked them to eat a snake. (No power and control issues here, I thought to myself!)”…

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Is YOUR VOICE heard and respected at home?

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Cows vs pigs OR gender-based dehumanisation of humans

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Dehumanisation is the process of depriving a person or group of positive human qualities. Dehumanising always starts with language that degrades humans to animals, vermin or various objects.

For centuries dehumanisation has been used as a technique for creating false excuses and justifications for immoral behaviour, violence and abuse. You’ll see dehumanisation at work in most large-scale atrocities or genocides committed by governments, armies, or terrorists. The main purpose is to get people to accept or even engage in behaviors that they know are wrong. Once we see people on “the other side” as morally inferior and less human, the conflict starts being framed as good versus evil…

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As Kayla Williams noted in her book “Love my rifle more than you: young and female in the US army”, “The first thing any soldier did in a combat situation was learn to dehumanize the enemy. In prior wars we called them nips or chinks or gooks or krauts or slopes. In Iraq we called them… towelheads, ragheads, camel jockeys… Words that ensured that we didn’t see our enemy as people – as somebody’s father or son or brother or uncle…”
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Dehumanisation is not limited to political issues, however. Any time someone reduces a human being to a single characteristic, especially a negative one, they are dehumanising. “Alcoholic,” “addict,” “diabetic,” “schizophrenic”, ‘”cow”, “pig”, “sausage” all rob people of the full complexity of their lives and reduce them to a symptom, disorder, animal or body part.

When we engage in dehumanising rhetoric, sharing dehumanising jokes or promoting dehumanising images, we are promoting disrespect and cruelty against those groups of people. When we reduce other people to animals, men to sausages and women to cows, it tells a lot about our own integrity, values and attitude to other people. Why caring about others, respecting their feelings and treating them well if they are just cows with boobs and pigs with sausages?

Pigs and cows

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