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Dr Amina Blackwood-Meeks Delivered at Sistas of D Ankh & Ma’at Sisterhood Circle

abm8 Dr. Amina Blackwood-Meeks

MONTEGO BAY, JAMAICA- March 5, 2021 – The renowned international storyteller, Dr. Amina Blackwood - Meeks delivered a message which shifted perspectives at the Sistas of D Ankh & Ma'at Sisterhood Circle on February 28, 2021 at 1:00 P.M.

The virtual attendees were welcomed one by one on zoom to witness Dr Blackwood-Meeks’ powerhouse presentation which focused on using storytelling to rebuild, educate and transform the African community.

 

Amina Blackwood-Meeks explored the importance of defying ‘sick stories,’ like the story of Rapunzel which, based on her interpretation, is a story representing the over sexualization of our children. She pointed to a European perspective on the story which looked at the devastating reality of the kidnapping of children who aid in their victimization. To cement her point, she quoted a Nigerian philosopher, Ben Okri, who in a book of essay told us that “People are as healthy and as confident as the stories they tell themselves. Sick storytellers can make their nations sick and sick nations make for sick storytellers.” Therefore, be mindful of the stories that are told.

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Bask in the Moment

Stocksy-woman-fresh-air-Michela-Ravasio

We live in a world where we are constantly on the go. We are adamant about getting our tasks done as quickly as possible so that we can start the next thing on the list and this becomes an endless cycle. We are so caught up in our daily lives and all the things that we need to get done that we hardly ever take the time to just stop and bask in the moment. We hardly ever embrace the necessity of rest and this has proven to be detrimental to our mental and physical health. Why is this so? Our culture tells us successful people are multi-taskers who are constantly engaged, accessible and fast reactors. However, there are countless issues that arise when we function like this. We are burnt out, drained and miserable.

 

Life would be so much more fulfilling if we intentionally choose to just pause and embrace the little things. The sweet smelling flowers we briskly walk by every morning and evening, the beautiful wall art on the side of the road that we drive pass every day or even the sunset and the peaceful ocean we pass quite often after a long day at work. It is understandable that human beings strive off routine and because of that, we can get distracted or even be blind to the more meaningful things in life but the little things will make us realize that this is what life is about, this is what it means to be alive. These are the things that allow our minds to be renewed, restored and be more productive.

 

It is imperative that in whatever we do, we take the time to soak it all up. Every second we spend with the people we love, every minute we spend completing a job that we are passionate about, every hour of the day that we are gifted with life should be acknowledged and cuddled with an appreciative heart. Pause to acknowledge the fulfillment and joy these little things bring to you and others. Pause to embrace the satisfaction of the process it took to get it all done. As Jim Elliot posits, “Wherever you are, be all there.”  Do not just be there for the sake of getting the job done or being around people because you were invited. Be present, be engaged, we owe it to ourselves to enjoy the beauties of this life in any and every way we can, while we can.

 

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A Note to the Couple and the Guests

Marriage-Blog

To those who have attended a very modern wedding, particularly one of the latter parts of the last decade, you may agree that weddings have truly been revolutionized, allowing guests to have an even grander time. These weddings are mirroring closely to international events like the BET Awards or the shenanigans of the Grammy Awards (I might be exaggerating, but I hope you get the point). From the fog and sparklers that adorn the dance floor, to the gleeful release of sky lanterns, in an attempt to add flare to an evening that some hope to be the beginning of forever and their happily ever after. Interestingly, even the very first dance of the couple bears a different face, one far from the conventional waltz, to fully choreographed moves. Admittedly, it is quite a spectacle to behold.

However, after that spectacle has ended, what’s next? Recent reports from family boards and media houses about the deterioration of some marriages, have confirmed that the fairy-tale captured in some wedding ceremonies, will one day pause or come to an end. Lately, the mettle of many marriages has been severely tested. Judging by the reports, the ‘test’ has been attributed to the increase in the time couples are compelled to stay in the same space, coupled with the unforeseen ‘dent in pockets’ that Covid -19 has brought on, all of which can lead to emotional distress.

To get through these challenging times, it necessitates use of olive branch. Therefore, it dawned on me that careful consideration must be given in the selection of wedding guests. Do you choose from a place of guilt and belief of obligation to relatives and childhood friends, or do you choose from the premise of those who love and support the longevity and joy of the relationship? This selection is an important responsibility for those who will be ‘tying the knot’ because guests must be cognizant that as there is a privilege to witness a start of a marriage, there must be some responsibility on them as the witnesses.

My point is, when you are creating your wedding list, choose wisely. These persons are not only to be witnesses of the wedding, but also supporters of the marriage. How practical is it to hold guests to this responsibility when the invitation was borne out of a sense of obligation to persons with whom no bond really still exists? How willing will these guests be to support the marriage, knowing that they only acted on the invitation they received? To the weds, choose wisely, to the guests, support the marriage.

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2020: The Year of the Internet

2020

2020 is an unprecedented year to say the least, from the near World War III nearly started to the year that saw that earth’s lung, the Amazon experience a horrific wildfire. Nothing however could be compared to the introduction of the Corona Virus also known as COVID-19. This saw a complete worldwide paradigm shift and along with it, the death and devastation to many. People became more dependent on the Internet to access many of their daily activities. The 2020 year plunged persons into utilizing the Internet to carry out tasks such as banking features, education and to a great extent, for major entertainment events.

The education system was forced to take the classroom into the online space as a means of reducing the spread of the virus. The education system was forced to utilize platforms such as: Google Classroom, Zoom, Microsoft Teams and Blackboard Collaborate. Even though some schools have started to reopen, Jamaican parents are slow in returning their children to the physical classrooms, many of which has been retrofitted to COVID-19 standards.  Schools such as the University of the West Indies will primarily be online (or distance learning) for the remainder of the school year. This dependency on the Internet has caused telecommunication providers to up their system in an attempt to cater to the intense need of the population. Also, many persons have seen the need to introduce the Internet into their homes and offices and also purchase smart devices to move along with the paradigm shift.

The financial sector as also shifted as there has been a reduction in the number of documents needed to open an account. Many banks such as Sagicor and the National Commercial Bank have limited the documents needed for a National ID, TRN and the minimum financial equipment. Banks such as Scotia Bank have also gone digital and many physical locations will turn digital locations in 2021. One such bank is Falmouth Trelawny. Customers are now required to conduct majority of their transactions either online or using the Automated Banking Machines (ABM). This digital switch is as a result of the pandemic and now more than ever citizens are forced to become familiar with the technology and the Internet.

The entertainment sector is also not excluded from this shift as we have seen where the ‘dancehall’ has gone virtual. Parties have now been moved to Instagram and Zoom and this has become the mode of operation for persons within the entertainment industry. Large events such as Reggae Sumfest and even Reggae Sunsplash were forced to move into the digital arena. In 2021 the return of the Jazz and Blues Festival (formerly known as Air Jamaica Jazz & Blues Festival) will also be seen online as large events are no longer safe.

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Ten Commandments of Email Etiquette

Email_Eiquette

The world has changed into a more digitalized era, in which the use of technology has increased. The very mode through which we communicate has also changed and emails have now become increasingly popular. More and more persons are utilizing various messaging platforms to send emails, but while these are increasing, we must be mindful to follow through with correct email etiquette. The following article will look at ten important email etiquettes that we must all bear in mind as we use this platform to communicate. 

Commandment One: Include a clear and direct subject line. The purpose of the subject line is to tell the prospective reader what the content of the email is about and therefore a subject line should be clear and not vague. Keep in mind also that the subject line should not have the entire content of your email placed there. A clear and concrete subject is sufficient to inform the potential reader of the general essence of what the email contains. 

Commandment Two: Use a professional email address. An email address is a direct representation of an individual. Without seeing you personally or knowing anything else about you, many persons draw assumptions based on your email address. With that being said is it most beneficial to all parties involved if email addresses are kept professional. You can never go wrong with using your name. An email address says a thousand words, without you even opening your mouth. Allow your email address to speak volumes for you, by creating a professional one. 

Commandment Three: Choose an appropriate email salutation. In the virtual arena, we may not always be aware of the persons we are talking to or with. We, therefore, must be mindful of the salutations we use and ensure they are appropriately used. Refrain from using conversational salutations such as ‘hey’ or ‘what’s up’. Instead, use more professional salutations such as Good morning Mrs Brown or Good day Mr Campbell. A great salutation goes a far way and an inappropriate one might stop the potential reader from going any further, so let us get it right from the start. 

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Stress How To Manage It

Stress Stress Management

 Stress is a natural part of our daily lives, once you have to make a decision, some level of stress is felt, whether it's deciding what to wear to work, what to eat, what mode of transport to take etc. These stresses are called good stressors, they do not or should not leave an individual catatonic and unable to move.

It is important that stresses are not exacerbated and taken so out of context that it takes you over and render you helpless, hopeless ready to give up! There are a number of ways to ease the stresses of life!

Take a breather:

There are times when you are faced with lots of things that require your attention, as a result making you feel overwhelmed. If at any point in time you are not able to find solutions, or there is just too much to do.

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Book Review… A journey into Practical Philosophy

Glenville_Ashby_Book_Review Dr. Glenville Ashby THEOism Book Review

Book: Theoism – Understanding the Universe Within
Author: Theo Chambers
Critic: Glenville Ashby, PhD

Insightfully engaging is ‘Theoism,’ the latest work of Caribbean thinker Theo Chambers. Written in his signature unorthodox style, Theoism reads like a codex reserved for esoteric societies. But this hardly takes away from its pragmatism.

Chambers forays into a pastiche of timeless questions, none more than the nature of being. His is a philosophy of science, measurable and determinable, an ontology arguably stripped of creationism. He trumpets social responsibility and filial piety, his Confucian principle weaving through much of his literary fabric. 

Not that the First Cause is absent in our daily lives, far from it. It’s a matter of interpretation, according to Chambers. “The creative intelligence (God) who empowered our parents’ egg and sperm with the human creation blueprint, laid out the human creation process, and does not interfere with that process under any circumstance,” he argues.

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Multipotentialites

Multipotentialites Officeninjas

Do you know what you want to be or to do when you grow up?!!! “Umm, yes, no, I want to do a lot of things, I want to do everything as long as it makes me happy!”

If you find yourself being uncertain of what you want to do in life, what career path you want to follow, what your life purposes are, or you just simply want to do a lot of things,  you are what is termed a “multipotentialite”, you do not fit into any normal way of life or even thinking! Do not despair, you are not ALONE, or even weird!

The use of term is not popular, but I have heard one other person from Jamaica use it, Tami Chin, who has identified herself as a multipotentialite,  I was actually elated that I heard the word being used here, so I didn’t feel so alone with my knowledge!

Visit: Puttylike

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