As we enter the Muslim’s holy month of Ramadan, we look forward to the great blessings that are bestowed upon us every year and which we thank the Lord for as we are reminded of them daily. We are reminded of the poor’s feelings of starvation through our fasting and thus we thank the Lord for our financial status which enables us to purchase the basic foods, at least, that will allow us to sleep with full bellies.
We are thankful for our families who are happily gathering around the table at the time of breaking our fast and we are reminded of the many people who have lost their loved ones (may God bless and have mercy on their souls.)
We are thankful for not being at war. For having shelter above our heads and peace in our minds before our bodies.
And also, we are thankful for our mothers. Our mothers who look forward to this month to have us all sitting together as a family before we all got busy with our lives. And I don’t know about you, but my mother shows her love through food.
She infuses her dishes with love. Every single dish coming out of her kitchen smells of her. Every single dish has the sense of her soul. She use all her senses combined to produce a vast array of dishes that are loved by us all. She slaves away in the kitchen, replacing last year’s dish set with a brand new one as Ramadan’s blessings, just to make us smile. And instead of resting while she fasts, she chooses to go the extra mile and make my brother his kebabs because he just loves them.
And as if that’s not enough giving, she hand picks mint from her herb garden to infuse it in our tea, alongside love.
A big thank you to my mother who had a tiring day, you make Ramadan what it is. xoxo
All you need is one second. A pause where you can regain your strength. A pause to gather your nothingness into the empty shell of the person you once were. All you need is a pause to stop your tears from flowing. A pause to get out of the reality of darkness to the fantasy people call life.
A pause to push back the monster eating your insides, to stop your knees from buckling under you, and to avert your eyes from the innocent eyes of the children who see all. You smile in defiance of the energy building inside you. The volcano of anger banging in your head anticipating a chance to erupt. A pause is all it takes to put things into perspective, into the control you learned so long ago to master.
To turn your inner shell into a happy smile. A soulless puppet you always were, reluctant to move its limbs without the guidance of the puppeteer. A pause to gather your wisdom and hide away the strings attached, no strings attached.
A pause is all it takes to stop yourself from crumbling. From losing yourself into yourself and from seeing the true you. A pause to put on the mask, to stop the tears and start the smile. A pause to calm the tempest you so adore. The tempest that makes you who you are: filled with anger, rage, passion. A pause is all it takes to forget yourself and succumb to the chains of your imprisonment.
Effective communication in the workplace is very important. Employees usually work within teams and thus it is very critical for them to be able to communicate their ideas to their colleagues clearly and effectively. Any shortcomings could lead to vast losses in organizations; thus training centers are glad to provide companies with great effective communication and team building workshops. An ideal workplace with effective communication leads to one clear of misunderstandings, problems, and issues that could have been avoided.
How many times did you look someone and ask, “why didn’t you just TELL me?”
That was the issue.
Lack of communication. The inability to find the recipient. The inability to find the method to communicate. The inability to formulate and articulate the words to be sent. Messages in bottles thrown at sea, a woman waiting for a telegram from her fiance, a mother not knowing her daughter is giving birth because no-one was there to run out and tell her, dates arranged weeks in advance, and letters written and sent out by messengers on horses.
In effective communication is not just an issue at work, it is also an issue at a social level; be it between spouses, friends, a parent and her child, and so forth.
So with the introduction of Emails, companies embraced Blackberries and were glad to invest in a device for each employee to ensure that they can be reached at all times. That was the end of work-life-balance for a lot of people. Managers took for granted the sacred home of employees and thought themselves entitled to time away from work. The whole idea of leaving work’s issues at the doorstep of your home ceased to exist.
Enter the smart phone and social networking apps.
The line between work and home got so blurred there is no line! Work gets taken home, the employee’s mind keeps thinking of issues at work while he’s on the dinner table with his family, checking his email because, come on, China’s market just opened and the middle east work on Sundays. Globalization going viral, pressing pause is no longer an option.
Or is it?
The amount of words coming at us from our device is astounding! The emails, the messages, the social chats, the game requests (aaargh!!), the friend requests, the Youtube subscriptions, the podcasts, birthday notifications, meeting notifications, any notifications!! Where…did…my…time…go?
We no longer work an eight hour day, we don’t even have a continuous hour at work without being interrupted. We no longer focus at work, we no longer focus at home, we no longer have vacations without checking our mail because our spouses are being “unreasonable” for asking us to be out of sync with the world.
But are we in-sync when we go for our devices or are we in-sync when we ignore them?
Over communicating. Don’t accept it and stop doing it.
I do not need to see your every meal. I do not need to see what decision you need to make when it comes to your nail polish. I do not need to know what you did last week at work and what you will be doing this week, I am not even in your department. I do not need to see your children run up the beach, YOU need to see your children run up the beach. You need to be focusing on the project. You need to be focusing on the numbers. You need to be ignoring spam emails. We need to uninstall these wonderfully time-consuming instant messaging apps. We need to keep the phone in the car and go out with our friends. We need to filter over communication and keep the place quiet. Our minds are not used to being wound up all the time, we need some time to think, to meditate (which is why meditation is so popular nowadays), we need some time to breathe. To speak to people who we need to only.
Please stop over communicating. This is going out of control and we are allowing it.
At a certain age, we are all sucked into the idea of fashion and what is fashionable vs. what is not. I remember my first interaction with fashion was in the 7th grade when bell-bottoms were a hit. I had to beg my mother to get me a pair of, interestingly, cotton bell-bottoms and I was so happy wearing them on the free dress day in school. Back then, I didn’t get what was fashionable through the internet but through girls at school who probably got their fashion ideas from their parents or other sources such as magazines. At then, I never questioned the “in” girls, I just wanted to be “in”.
Or basically, not be “out”.
The next fashion statement we had in school were the Docs: Dr. Martens shoes. For those of you who don’t know what those shoes are, you can google them online and imagine little girls and boys wearing the boots version to school in very hot weather. It wasn’t the prettiest sight but no-one questioned fashion. In addition, they cost a lot of money but who was I to question them?
We grew older and realized that the “in” girls and boys weren’t as “cool” or “hot” or whatever word in currently used by this generation to show how hip a person is. I started not caring when they were wearing skirts instead of the boring serious uniform pants I chose because I started realizing who I was. By the way, even books were in or out of fashion so at that stage everyone was the same which really isn’t what school should be about.
Now this makes me wonder why our teachers weren’t so keen at making us understand that individualism was important and that each and every one of us is unique in a certain way? Aren’t teachers supposed to be our mentors who would guide us into understanding life better? What about our volleyball/basketball/soccer coaches? Weren’t they supposed to be closer? What about the counselor? Shouldn’t he/she help us go through the difficult time when we were all lost teenagers?
Well, I stayed away from fashion and the cabbage patch dolls and chose to pursue other matters. I realized that it doesn’t really matter what you wear as long as you’re fine with it and accepting it. You won’t see me wearing something out of this world but I can say that I have always dressed decently to never look back at a photo and cringe.
You know those photos, don’t you? The ones where you want to scream at your younger self “what are you thinking?!?!” Well, I do have some pictures with black lipstick but never again will I make that mistake.
Benjamin Franklin said, “eat what you like, but dress for other people.” I completely agree if people are normal and don’t come up with insane ideas. This will probably get me hated by many fashionistas who make a living by trying on, checking out, assessing, blogging (seriously I don’t know what they do but I’m sure it’s important because who am I to disrespect their work). Alright, yes fashion designers come up with some insane ideas sometimes but I think it’s society and the “in” girls who make it a trend.
Who is today’s fashion icon?
For example, a few years ago eyebrows were ridiculously thin that you could draw them using the eyebrow pencil. Next, eyebrows were cut in half where the outside half would be removed because, apparently, girls only need half an eyebrow. This was the “Chinese eyebrow” phase. Nowadays, eyebrows are thick but shapely. Interesting what people do to waste their time.
How much blusher is just enough? What’s up with the makeup contouring nowadays, we never had a problem with how our faces looked without it all those years, so why do we need to look sculpted all of a sudden?
Now comes the serious part. If you were invited to a birthday party with people you know are better dressed or more fashionably dressed than you, accessorizing and making sure all their bling was evident to the eyes of the beholder, and you were a mere guest, would you have the guts to dress the way you want? In our society, many women are covered so if you were a covered woman and were invited to a party with uncovered women (which is very normal), would you be expected to change the way you dress?
And do you allow fashion to take up a lot of your time? If so, why? Does it really matter what you wear or how happy you really are? Where is YOUR point on the spectrum of fashionable-unfashionable? Where are you content with yourself and not ridiculed by others. Image is important, but how important is it?