The cruelest animal…

“People speak sometimes about the “bestial” cruelty of man, but that is terribly unjust and offensive to beasts, no animal could ever be so cruel as a man, so artfully, so artistically cruel.”

Fyodor Dostoyevsky


From http://izquotes.com/quote/285251

* * *

India
2014

A few days ago, two Indian girls were gang-raped and murdered after doing what half a billion women and girls are forced to do every day – go outdoors to try to find somewhere discreet to go to the toilet. Those two cousins were just 14 and 16 years old.

“The father, a 45-year-old agricultural laborer from a low-ranking caste, said in a telephone interview that the two girls were last seen alive on Tuesday evening in a mango orchard, in the company of a man named Pappu Yadav. (The man’s surname is the same as his caste.)

The father said a relative saw the girls with Mr. Yadav and two of Mr. Yadav’s brothers and that, for reasons he did not explain, the relative tried to intervene between Mr. Yadav and the girls. One of the Yadav brothers pulled out a pistol “and put it to the head of my cousin-brother,” the father said, using a common term in India for a close relative. “He got scared and ran away.”

When he heard what had happened, the father said, he went to the local police station and asked that Mr. Yadav’s house be searched. But the police officers, who are members of the Yadav caste, “took the side of the culprits,” the father said.”

The girls were members of the Dalit community, India’s lowest caste once known as the “Untouchables”.

From http://filipspagnoli.wordpress.com

* * *

Russia
1800s

One old nobleman, along with a band of spongers, moved to his countryside estate and took to hunting with hounds. One day, a peasant boy (the nobleman had three thousand souls there) accidentally hit a hound from the landlord’s kennels in the leg with a stone. When he saw that his Nalet was limping, the landlord became incensed and asked, “Who injured the dog?”

The kennel attendants had to reveal the little boy’s identity. They produced the boy. He confessed.

In the morning, the landlord ordered preparations for the hunt in full complement. They went to the field and took their places near the forest, the hounds were let out, and the borzois were held on leads. There they brought the boy. The landlord ordered that the little boy be stripped of his clothes and set loose in the field to run. Then they let out the dogs from all the packs to chase him—literally to hunt him.

The borzois approached the little boy, sniffed at him, but did not touch him… His mother got there in time; she had run through the forest. She clasped her child in her arms. They dragged her back to the village and again set the dogs loose until the little boy was torn to pieces. The mother went insane and died within three days.

From ‘A life under Russian serfdom’


From http://eco-trophy.ru

However don’t put all the blame on men. As history shows, women in power are as cruel as men. Take as an example Darya Nikolayevna Saltykova, commonly known as Saltichikha who made her infamous mark with the atrocious killings of her serfs. She enjoyed torturing and mutilating her victims. Saltichikha was the epitome of boyar abuse of serfs in pre-reformation Russia. She pleaded guilty to the murder of at least 138 serfs at her estate, and the torture of many more. The name Saltychikha became a synonym for bestial treatment of the peasants.

Дарья Николаевна СалтыковаFrom http://russiapedia.rt.com/

I wonder sometimes where such cruelty originates. Is there a template for cruelty laid down in the human brain? Is it something that is unique to our species? Why do human beings find pleasure in deliberately inflicting pain on other living things? And what can we do to stop it because…

“Not much we can do about that,” you might say.

I think we can. The stories presented in this post have one common theme: these cases are the product of certain beliefs (or memes) held in the society. The stories from Russia happened at the time, when surfs were not perceived as human beings – they were perceived as property and therefore their owners believed that they could do anything with them, including torturing and killing them. Russian writers and artists were the first to object that deeply ingrained belief. Book after book, painting after painting, they slowly changed that ‘meme’ and eventually serfdom, like slavery, has been abolished.

This clearly demonstrates that even the most deeply ingrained memes and beliefs can be changed. We just need to keep talking about such cases and spread positive beliefs to combat mind viruses and memes that cause cruelty and violence.

Don’t close your eyes to ‘Hell on Earth‘. As Martin Luther King once said, “The ultimate tragedy is not the oppression and cruelty by the bad people but the silence over that by the good people.”

Martin Luther King Jr. I Have A Dream Speech Quote "Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter." Go here to read the article: http://www.jamiepelaez.com/i-have-a-dream-do-you-have-a-dream/  #InspirationalQuote #MartinLutherKingJr #IHaveADream #MLKQuoteFrom Pinterest

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Dust If You Must…

Dust if you must
From http://myhoneysplace.com

Dust if you must, but wouldn’t it be better,
To paint a picture or write a letter,
Bake a cake or plant a seed,
Ponder the difference between want and need?

Dust if you must, but there’s not much time,
With rivers to swim and mountains to climb,
Music to hear and books to read,
Friends to cherish and life to lead.

Dust if you must, but the world’s out there
With the sun in your eyes, the wind in your hair,
A flutter of snow, a shower of rain.
This day will not come ’round again.

Dust if you must, but bear in mind,
Old age will come and it’s not always kind.
And when you go and go you must,
You, yourself, will make more dust.

From Inspiration Peak

Family playing outdoorsFrom Making Family Bonding a Priority

* * *

I grew up under the despotic rule of cleanies. Everything was supposed to be pristine, tidy and clean 24 hours a day 7 days a week just in case a neighbour or a friend would come for a visit unexpectedly. There was no time or space left for life, smiles or laughter. Everything was completely cleaned out. Expected unexpected neighbours and visitors never came either…

Don’t feel sad, woman from the 1950s! TaskEasy will clean your house for you!From Pinterest

The family I got married into turned out to be completely opposite. It was full of characters, as clearly reflected in their houses.

Messy house

http://www.pinterest.com/

It did not take long for me to realise that the only way of keeping the house clean was by banning from entering the house anybody genetically related to that side of the family (including my own children). Hm, that was not a good solution, was it?

I have discovered the secret to a clean house - never allow your husband or children to enter it!  Xtreme Services Cleaning & Restoration in Shelby Township, MI can help you with all of your household and commercial needs!  Give us a call at (586) 477-9496 to schedule an appointment or visit our website www.xtreme-servicesinc.com for more information!

http://www.pinterest.com/

After a while we worked out the threshold of messiness that our family can tolerate with the whole family sharing efforts in keeping the house somewhere above that threshold. Our house is clean enough to be healthy and messy enough to be happy, with lots of games, giggles and fun. 🙂

My house is clean enough  to be healthy and  dirty enough  to be happy.
From http://www.rottenecards.com

If you have some super neat freaks in your family, give them a hug and point out to them that:

  • Alexander Fleming was teased by colleagues for his disorderly desk. He kept everything – notes, slides, test tubes – in case he had a new idea or noticed a change. He was clearing his desk in 1928 when a dot of mould in an old petri dish led to his discovery of penicillin. May be, your clutter will lead to a world-changing discovery too?
    😉
  • a study by researchers at Columbia Business School found that people who kept a neat desk spent 36 per cent more time looking for things than people who kept a “fairly messy” desk. Filing and retrieving things from files takes precious time.
    😉
  • Albert Einsteins’s untamed hair signified his attitude to neatness. “If a cluttered desk is a sign of a cluttered mind, then what are we to think of an empty desk?” he declared.
    😉

[Einstein.bmp]From http://bp1.blogger.com/

But look at tidy people in history and who do you see? Dictators, secret policemen and oppressors. Hitler was known for his love of neatness and order; Mussolini kept an immaculately tidy desk. Saddam Hussein’s guards have told of the former Iraqi dictator’s obsession with cleanliness – he washed his hands after every handshake.

Besides, what if burglars break into your house? Surely, you would not want to make it too easy for them. 😉

My house isn't messy. Those are just obstacles I've put in place for any burglars that try to break in.

http://www.pinterest.com

A good obstacle course might also help your family to stay fit 😉

Funny Family Ecard: Our house is not messy, we just like obstacle courses.
From http://www.someecards.com/

Last but not least, if your super-freaky-neat-in-laws come for a visit, reassure them that your house was super-freaky-neatly clean… last week. It is such a pity that they missed it 😉

From pinterest

If you are a neat freak living in a messy household, don’t despair. Ignoring the problem won’t work.  You’ll need to face it honestly, but respectfully.

Instead of constantly nagging about everything that needs to be done, identify the chores that are most important to you. For example, if you are most concerned with the living room looking presentable, ask for your spouse’s help in keeping the room clear of shoes, clothes, junk mail, etc. Don’t forget to explain why 😉

Go easy on yourself and your family. Take an objective step back and ask if your average guest would really notice that the baseboards haven’t been dusted recently.

Don’t forget to enjoy life. Allow yourself to relax with your spouse or get out and do something fun. Looking back on their younger years, few people will say, “If only I had spent more time cleaning.” 😉

And don’t worry if you never have that amazing feeling when you got to bed knowing your entire house is super-clean. Neither do I 😉

From http://www.faithfilledfoodformoms.com

Resources:

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Is it OK for all men to be seen as predators?

stereotypesFrom 5 Things To Show That Men Are Daily Victims Of Gender Bias Too

As a society we talk a lot about racism and other forms of discrimination. But when it comes to men and the way they are being stereotyped and discriminated against, no one seems to have much to say.

I was taught from early age to be fearful of men and talk only to women if I needed help. In spite of good intentions of ‘keeping me safe’, that strategy made it only worse by limiting the pool of people I could ask for help when required. In fact, the safest I ever felt as a child was among boys and men.

Father holding daughter at beachFrom Greatest American Dad

For that reason, I get very upset when I come across examples of men being treated as potential predators. Child advocates advise parents to never hire a male babysitter. Airlines are placing unaccompanied minors with female passengers rather than male passengers.

In 2007 Virginia’s Department of Health mounted an ad campaign for its sex-abuse hotline. Billboards featured photos of a man holding a child’s hand. The caption: “It doesn’t feel right when I see them together,” which implies that my dad or uncle could be seen as sexual abusers if they were holding my hand in public when I was a child. How sick is that? What if I gave my dad a hug or a kiss in public, as I naturally did a lot as a child? Or sat on my dad’s lap? What’s wrong with that? Why should children be denied their father’s affection because of someone else’s sick mind?

From http://www.stopitnow.org/virginia

Not surprisingly fathers’ rights activists and educators argue that an inflated predator panic is damaging men’s relationships with children. Some men are opting not to get involved with children at all, which partly explains why many youth groups are struggling to find male leaders, and why there are so few males involved in early childhood education or  teaching in primary schools.

One of my male friends recently came across a lost child in tears in a mall. His first instinct was to help, but he feared people might consider him a predator. So he asked his daughter to comfort the lost child instead. “Being male,” he explained, “I am guilty until proven innocent.”

And that’s not the worst. In England in 2006, BBC News reported the story of a bricklayer who spotted a toddler at the side of the road. As he later testified at a hearing, he didn’t stop to help for fear he’d be accused of trying to abduct her. You know: A man driving around with a little girl in his car? She ended up at a pond and drowned.

Abigail RaeFrom Neglect Ruling in Girl Pond Death

People assume that all men “have the potential for violence and sexual aggressiveness,” says Peter Stearns, a George Mason University professor who studies fear and anxiety. Kids end up viewing every male “as a potential evildoer,” he says, and as a byproduct, “there’s an overconfidence in female virtues,” in spite of disturbing statistics on physical abuse inflicted on children by female perpetrators.

From Messages the Abusive Woman uses to Control her Children

Most men understand the need to be cautious, so they’re willing to take a step back from children, or to change seats on a plane. One abused child is one too many. Still, it’s important to maintain perspective. “The number of men who will hurt a child is tiny compared to the population,” says Benjamin Radford, who researches statistics on predators and is managing editor of the science magazine Skeptical Inquirer. “Virtually all of the time, if a child is lost or in trouble, he will be safe going to the nearest male stranger.”

Society protecting children by treating all men as potential predators is not safe. Just sick.

From Gender and Aggression

Resources:

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Object Objectification of Humans

08 Subject and Object
From Subject, Object and Idea

Mass media exert extraordinarily powerful influences upon the way we think and see the world around us. Unfortunately, media is full of viruses of the mind, which include objectification of humans.

Objectification is a term to describe seeing human beings as objects. Representations show people, not as individuals, but as things to be owned, sold, used, etc., without regard to their personality or dignity. Sexual objectification is the act of treating a person merely as an instrument of sexual pleasure, making them a “sex object”.

Are we living in a culture of sexual liberation as some might argue, or are we being treated and learning to treat ourselves as mere objects?

used( photo by Dmytro Honcharov )

A plethora of research has found sexual objectification to have a range of negative consequences:

“Sexualized portrayals of women have been found to legitimize or exacerbate violence against women and girls, as well as sexual harassment and anti-women attitudes among men and boys,” Hatton says. “Such images also have been shown to increase rates of body dissatisfaction and/or eating disorders among men, women and girls; and they have even been shown to decrease sexual satisfaction among both men and women.”

As Carole Heldman PHD points out, “Women who grow up in a culture with widespread sexual objectification tend to view themselves as objects of desire for others. This internalized sexual objectification has been linked to problems with mental health (e.g., clinical depression, “habitual body monitoring”), eating disorders, body shame, self-worth and life satisfaction, cognitive functioning, motor functioning, sexual dysfunction… Beyond the internal effects, sexually objectified women are dehumanized by others and seen as less competent and worthy of empathy by both men and women.”

Advertising
From Advertising and Society

 Laci Green highlighted some of these points very well in her YouTube video on sexual objectification:

Are women the only victims of objectification? Of course not. Sex sells and as Lisa Wade notes, men’s sexual objectification is on the rise too. Objectifying men alongside women certainly isn’t progress and the forces behind this ‘equality’ have nothing to do with justice. Unfortunately, market forces under capitalism exploit whatever fertile ground is available.

ManFrom Sociological Images

When talking about sexual objectification, it is important to point out the differences between sexy and sexual. If one thinks of the subject/object dichotomy that dominates thinking in Western culture, subjects act and objects are acted upon. Subjects are sexual, while objects are sexy. While most people enjoy being perceived as ‘sexy’ or ‘sexually appealing’ by their loving and caring partners, hardly anyone likes to be perceived as a mere object. We are all humans after all, with souls, minds and feelings.

Kiss
From Fanpop

Sex sells however the purchasing decision is still yours. Choose wisely.

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Frugality for happiness, contentment and liberty

“Frugality is one of the most beautiful and joyful words in the English language, and yet one that we are culturally cut off from understanding and enjoying. The consumption society has made us feel that happiness lies in having things, and has failed to teach us the happiness of not having things.”

Elise Boulding

frugality
from I’m a Frugal Girl

One of my favorite words is frugality – a psychological trait shaping how resources are allocated between consumption, savings and investment over time. As it is pointed out in the ‘Essays on Management’, frugality lies at the heart of good household, business and organisational management. Frugality however should not to be confused with selfishness or “meanness.” Frugality requires a mind-set limiting small pleasures today with a focus on a better future. It implies an eye for micro-detail where decisions to save, conserve or consume matter. It implies observations of both social complexity and ecological systems and how components work together. It suggests searching for the simplest way of doing things.

In personal life, frugality brings simplicity, happiness, contentment and freedom from following the trends of the consumption society. As best-selling travel writer Bill Bryson demonstrates in his memoir “The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt kid”, frugality also stimulates creativity and sense of humour. Check out the following excerpt from his memoir as an example:

“All our meals consisted of leftovers. My mother had a seemingly inexhaustible supply of foods that had already been to the table, sometimes repeatedly. Apart from a few perishable dairy products, everything in the fridge was older than I was, sometimes by many years. Her oldest food possession of all, it more or less goes without saying, was a fruit cake that was kept in a metal tin and dated from the colonial period. I can only assume that my mother did all her cooking in the 1940s so that she could spend the rest of her life surprising herself with what she could find under cover at the back of the fridge. I never knew here to reject food. The rule of thumb seemed to be that if you opened a lid and the stuff inside didn’t make you actually recoil and take at least one staggered step backwards, it was deemed OK to eat…

Both my parents had grown up in the Great Depression and neither of them ever threw anything away if they could possibly avoid it. My mother routinely washed and dried paper plates, and smoothed out for reuse spare aluminium foil. If you left a pea on your plate, it became part of a future meal. All your sugar cam in little packets spirited out of restaurants in deep coat pockets, as did our jams, jellies, crackers, tartar sauces, some of our ketchup and butter, all of our napkins, and a very occasional ashtray; anything that came with a restaurant table really. One of the happiest moments in my parents’ life was when maple syrup started to be served in small disposable packets and they could add those to the household hoard.”

I grew up in a frugal household. Even after having worked his way up to a high level managerial position, my dad continued bringing home various ‘treasures’ spotted in the rubbish container conveniently located nearby our apartment block. With regard to frugal cooking, only Bear Grylls‘ mum (whom he thanked profoundly for developing his unique  ability to eat anything on earth) could outdo my grandma. My grandma’s cooking motto was the famous saying of Jerome K Jerome “What the eye does not see, the stomach does not get upset over”. That kept me well away from the kitchen with all grandma’s behind-the-scene wizardry,  though it did not put me off the frugal lifestyle.

Let’s not be those who do not economize. Then we won’t need to agonize and waste our life on things we do not need to impress people we do not like.

I am

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The Power of Quiet

quietness

From CristinaSkyBox

Have you ever being embarrassed of your quietness or shyness? Have you ever being envious of more outspoken charismatic people?

In spite of zero correlation between being the best talker and having the best ideas, often too much of a premium is put on presenting and not enough on substance and critical thinking. As Susan Cain points out, “Introversion – along with its cousins sensitivity, seriousness, and shyness – is now a second-class personality trait, somewhere between a disappointment and a pathology. Introverts living in the Extrovert Ideal are like women in a man’s world, discounted because of a trait that goes to the core of who they are. Extroversion is an enormously appealing personality style, but we’ve turned it into an oppressive standard to which most of us feel we must conform…”.

However don’t despair if you are quiet and introverted by nature. Be yourself and share your ideas as powerfully as you can. You don’t need to be loud to spread your ideas – ideas can be shared quietly, in writing or blogging. The trick is in learning to be yourself, honouring your own style and personality and not allowing yourself to be swept up by the prevailing norms.

Remember: “Everyone shines, given the right lighting.”

(based on “Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking” by Susan Cain)

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On seeing

“Every closed eye is not sleeping, and every open eye is not seeing.”

Bill Cosby

SeeingFrom AllThingsLearning

“Seeing means perceiving reality as objectively as possible, and things as they are. It means X-ray eyes seeing through celebrities to products being marketed, through a board’s trusted politicians to finances lying hidden (seeing beyound the memes and viruses of the mind).

The greatest poets, scientists, entrepreneurs and managers are so because they see things others don’t, without social norms and herding behaviour blinding them.

Innovation involves seeing possibilities where others see nothing.  Innovation can be a future vision of the unlooked for, longed for event that customers know cannot happen, until it happens.

Seeing involves contrarian spirit and unusual cultural backgrounds.  Fish do not see the water they are swimming in.  Most in mainstream cultures see only what surrounds them and are blinded by it.  People from different cultures (and those with learning or other “disorders”) see different things, or the same things differently, and this gives insight.  Ethnic minorities such as Lebanese, Armenian and Jewish people contribute disproportionately to business, science and creative endeavours.  Nouriel Roubini, of Iranian Jewish descent predicted the bursting of the US housing bubble and the 2008 financial meltdown.

Some people within mainstream cultures do see more clearly than others.  Charles Merrill (who founded Merrill Lynch) anticipated the 1929 crash.  He doubted his own sanity because he disagreed with the collective “group wisdom.”  Merrill could see, and also let others see.  He was a leader in financial transparency, publishing an annual report that revealed his business’s true financial state, and let others see it.

It is important to see the world, not how others have modelled it, and to see the variance and not just the high salient extremes, to see through symptoms to underlying problems.

Seeing also involves granularity; the scale of what is seen, and the ability as William Blake:

“To see a world in a grain of sand,
and a heaven in a wild flower,

hold infinity in the palm of your hand,
and eternity in an hour”

(From “Essays on Management: On Seeing” by Peter Winsley)

SandFrom To see a world in a grain of sand

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