It all started when we had the Uno, my sister and I would fight who would get to put their Diet Pepsi can in the mesh holder, the person driving usually won. Then it became and even bigger obsession when I would run out the door on my way to work with my coffee mug still hot and drink my coffee on the way to work or when I’d buy a latte from the next door Cilantro. I wanted a car with cup holders then, and I still do. I don’t go to work and I only drink coffee early in the morning if my daughter is still asleep and I never take my coffee with me and I almost never buy coffee when I am out. Coffee is hot and is also a magnet for little curious hands that still do not fully understand the concept of “hot” even though she does know the word “2oh2ah” which roughly translates to “so5na”.
Then why on earth do I still think about cup holders? Perhaps we become so obsessed about things at a given point in time that it becomes imprinted in our unconscious? My only use for a cup holder in a car right now would be to put my daughter’s sippy cups, which she usually wants to hold during any journey in the car anyways.
How many things have you bought or even just wanted even though they no longer made sense? How many things do you still own that you have no need for, but can’t let go of because of some long forgotten emotional bond? As humans we tend to get attached to things, ideas and people. We can’t let go or won’t let go because of the emotional investment in them. Even when we fully comprehend that we no longer believe in these things.
I am part of a wonderful group of girls who are part of a book club. Most months we vote to choose which book will be our required reading book to be reviewed at the end of the month. This month the choice was between two books, one I had already read and one I was already planning to start reading. Here is my real question is democracy a good thing? Most people chose the book I had already read so that’s the book of the month. A democracy by definition is where the majority of the people get to choose what everyone (including the opposing minority) should do. Is that fair? What if you are always part of the minority, does that mean the democracy to you is just another dictatorship only led by a group of people instead of one person? I am of course in no way saying that iron rule is a better idea but what if the book was chosen say by randomly picking out its name from a hat? At the end of the day reading is not such a big deal, you could always find one where people are mostly like yourself so you will end up reading mostly books you like, but again is that a good thing? Isn’t diversity a better thing? There are cultures where they have a group of “elders” who decide the clan’s fate, but that is not a good idea all the time, the elders might be out of touch with the rest of the population or just out of date or might not always be able to reach the best decision for whatever reasons. I know this should probably be listed under byzantine discussions but I still can’t decide which is the best political or choice system out there and could easily argue for or against any system. In the end the best option is always where the benefits outweigh the drawbacks.
What do you think?
I had this whole serious and organized post in my head about the statistics and numbers regarding poverty, but then decided to do something else. You can do 3 things today and everyday to help get rid of poverty in the world.
Spend just two days on less than 2 dollars. You should count in the money you spend on food, coffee, internet, phone calls. I am sure we all surpass that 2 dollars by a lot every day. Millions of people have less than that. It creates compassion and understanding. Even spending no money at all you still have a home, warmth or AC depending on where you live, nice clothes, an education and so much more.
Give thanks. Say Al 7amdullillah alathi 3afana wafadalana 3ala katheeren men 5alkih. It is not by your own doing, it is a great bless from Allah. Remember that.
Donate to the charity of your choice. Give away extra food to your nearest food bank. Give away the clothes you no longer wear to charity. Donate money to a charity in need. Volunteer some of your time to a charity or teaching poverty stricken children something useful so they can monetize that skill now or later on in life.
We all live in excess. We are lucky but we must never forget others around us. Living in a third world country poverty can be easily seen around is in the beggars in the street and in the slums alot of our fellow citizens live in. We eat more than we need, spend more than we need and definitely own more things than we need. I am by no means suggesting that we become misers but on the contrary, let’s all become more generous, compassionate and pro-active.
Another day of happy blog hopping got me to Colorless Turtle’s post on Principles of Success- Becoming a Person of Integrity on values. So I thought hell, that’s easy I have lots of values and principles in life, not to mention millions of opinions but that’s just another post. Being the ever so annoying person that I am I wanted to make sure what I thought of as “values” were really values. My favorite definition comes from wordnet.
beliefs of a person or social group in which they have an emotional investment (either for or against something); “he has very conservatives values”
I have emotionaly invested in many ideas and beleifs but I guess these are my top 5.
Faith, faith that Allah is great. That is a great big one and it affects lots of my other values but I think that faith sums it up nicely.
Acceptance, acceptance of myself, others and things that come. I wasn’t always an accepting person but I think with age it becomes easier to accept things.
Hope. Without hope the world would be a dark dreary place. Hope that things will get better.
Fairness towards others and myself. If we are not fair then we can never be right.
Care, because if we care about someone or something we can do all of the above. We will have faith that things will turn out better. Acceptance becomes easier because we care about it. We will work for a better future and create hope. And we will do our best to be fair.
I think they are all interrelated and that one can not exist wihtout the others.
Buy a house on the beach, not a summer house, an all year house. With big balconies and verandas. With windows that let the sun and summer breeze in. I’d plant a little garden with tomatoes, apples and oranges. I’d also want a tree house and a swing.
Beach House Balcony
I would buy my mom a BMW X5, she would look cool in one and despite for serious no nonsence exterior she’s very energetic and fun loving.
I’d start a women training center, teach them all kinds of important life skills like weaving, sewing, cooking and child rearing.
I don’t think the money will be enough but who cares! It’s my blog and I can imagine if I want to.
Being the geek that I am, I was looking for El 3ashera Masa2an website in search of more information on something I had seen. A powerful TV show like that should have a website right? Apparently the big folks at Dream don’t think so. I am not sure why? Actually I am not sure if their site even qualifies as a decent site. Starting with their flash intro which reminds me of the pre-Web 2.0 era, the ugly blues and the horrible music and moving onto the dancing girl screen-shots that fly all over the intro. First a countdown sequence with beep beep beep, like it is going to blow up now, then woman’s scary voice greets you with “Welcome to Dream TV”. And then lots of lovely flashes from video clips, they are of course all of women scantily clad and dancing.
I don’t get it, Dream has a lot of interesting and serious shows but they choose to portray themselves as a musical channel in their intro? Elmohem; I am still looking so I decide to ignore the intro. The site itself is ugly, has horrible navigation and just feels so wrong. I click on the link for the show and find a two liner that describes the show, a link to Mona El-Shazly’s profile that has nothing but her name and a picture.
A complete television magazine starts at 10 o’clock with the days great event and each day a new issues is discussed relaying on the real shots when possible Broadcasted from Saturday to Wednesday at 10:00PM CLT
Ok all geekiness aside, this is just zero business sense. Here is a program that is screaming cash cow and they are doing nothing to gain from it. With millions of viewers all over the world they could be getting so much money from this show alone and it is all going to waste. Ad revenue, promotional space and sponsorships all to waste.
Why don’t they have a schedule for the comming shows with their guest list.
A listing of all archived shows and their content.
References that they use, such as newspaper clippings, sources whatever.
When they have a guest they should list his credentials someplace
Transcripts of past shows
A forum or discussion space where people can discuss current events and shows
The ability to comment online during a show which is being aired so that people are offered more interactivity and the ability to give direct feedback.
Video clips of the best shows if not all of them.
Where are the RSS feeds so people can subscribe to all of the above
Where are the blogs written by the reporters or Mona El-Shazly herself?
And that is just off the top of my head. Where are the designers? Where is their facebook page? Where is the ability to share clips? The multimedia?
The world has moved to web 2.0 , social networks and new tools and these people are still stuck in 1998′s version of the internet.
El Mehwar’s 90 minutes is much better but could still use some imrpovements, but that’s a totally different post.
I think the Egyptian Educational system is crap. Excuse my French but it really is. I was lucky enought not to be exposed to it except for 3 years in middle school. My first years of education were spent in the American system, followed by the British system then those 3 horrible years, then IGCSE then finally I ended off in a private University. So I consider myself very lucky. However, I think it needs a serious overhaul and quickly.
Home Economics should make a comeback. Home economics should probably be the most important subject taught in today’s schools. In the current state of the economy the ability to cook, sew and handle finances should not be taken lightly. Having the knowledge of how to prepare healthy, cheap and nutritious meals should be something every student learns at school. Learning how to budget should not be taught to Business majors, but to elementary school students, it is a skill that is vital to everyone. If you think I am joking, read this article.
Universities should limit the number of students they are accepting. 342,902 students graduated in 2002 ( Source World Bank EdStats Query). Do we need all of those doctors, engineers, nurses, etc? How many graduates do we really need? No statistics are really available but by judging the percentage of unemployment in 2001 for University graduates was 14% (Source Employment and Unemployment in Egypt: Conventional Problems, Unconventional Remedies ) which means that the demand is less than the supply. The exact market demands should be studied with 5 year projections and should also be aligned with the governments plan for reform as well.
Universities should not be free. Although I do believe that education should be free abd available to everyone but that should stop at the secondary level. I am not being cruel or mean to people who are poor or who do not have the financial means to go to college not go. On the contrary I think the gifted should be offered scholarships that would cover their full tuition. The problem is in the scientific colleges, that need immense fundings to keep labs, classes and professors up to date, the cost is just too high for the government to be taking all of the responsibility. Projects should also be set up so that big corporations help in the funding and sponsorship of university programs.
Polytechnic institutes should be updated and students should be more encouraged to join. There is a high demand in fields like nursing which are not being met. Students should be encouraged to enter these fields so that instead of holding a degree to which they can not get a job with, they can have a degree that is useful.
Majorly increase the salaries of our teachers and professors. If we no longer offer university for free, we can actually pay our professors more and thus be able to get more from them.
Give it some time. We need at least a full generation before we see any kind of significant improvement so if we start change now, we need to be patient for the next decade or two at least. Patience is a virtue.
That about sums it up, maybe my ideas are not very smart or maybe just one or two changes could cause some major improvement. Please let me know what you think.
Something totally different this post. I came across Bill Gates’s speech at the world economic forum in Davos on YouTube where he talks about corporate responsibilty or as he named it “Creative Capitalism” and how we should think in a more socially respobsible matter.
I beleive social responsibility is not only something unique to big corporations but should be in everyones thoughts. Big companies like Microsoft have alot to offer like the ability to use their research and development centers to solve problems, or give away software and hardware to poorer nations. But social responsibility affects all of us.
Employees should be encouraged to come up with ideas to help the community. Every business can help and should. Even entities which are not profit oriented can help and need help. Schools can offer education for illiterate people which can be sponsored by big publishers. It’s a win-win situation, with more people who can read, more books can be sold and everyone is happy. I used to work for a software company that sponsored University Graduation projects, it helps steer the students towards the real job market and helps us tap into the future job applicant pool before they have even jumped in it. Again it is a win-win situation. I can think of so many other great examples.
How about on the smaller scale? I think as individuals our responsibility comes in the form of charitable work, giving money, being more environmentally friendly, volunteering time to help with needy causes and the most important one of all is parenting. Parenting is a social responsibility, raising children which are more aware of their responsibilities towards the rest of the world.
In today’s capitalist world, the rich keep getting richer and the poor keep getting poorer. What are you or your company doing to help, I really would love to know, please leave a comment and let me know.