Wednesday, December 30, 2020

What does the future hold? Hope or Hardship?


If there's one thing that can be said, 2020 has been a year that made everyone pause and take stock. It wasn't because we were curious nor good planners, but simply we were forced into a state of reckoning. 

There were severe losses, where in many cases it, arguably, needed not happen. Many paid the ultimate price with their lives, and those who are remaining are in awe and wondering, Why?!?

Despite the hardships faced by everyone, the different attitudes of people shone through. People relied on their default values for survival. Not necessarily because they are/were uncaring, but simply because their hand was forced by the circumstances they faced and could not explain. 

Did these situations begin in 2020? A pause for reflection would reveal - NO! They began before this particular year. What happened in 2020 was that the harvest of all that we were sowing came in, and in many cases it was not what anyone would have hoped to have to deal with. 

The value systems of many may have caused their demise because of the choices they made. Some were reckless others were caring, the result however were the heavy costs that impacted - life, the economies, jobs, homes, coping mechanisms like disaster recovery, having to pivot to maintain a livelihood, and the list goes on. 

We saw many politicians and many leaders in their true light. Their behaviors make their followers bold to express their various opinions, even if they seemed far-fetched to other population segments. 

Many prayed and developed relationships with their God that was unprecedented. Why did it have to take a pandemic and other disasters/mishaps for us to make use of what was available to us all along - grace and favor. 

As we stand on the precipice of the unknown future, are we ready for 2021 or are we resigned to 2020 won? As we tend to say here in Barbados, you plan for the best and prepare for the worst. One thing is certain, where we face hope or hardship, we do so knowing that we are resilient as we were made that way. Let's expect that we will come out on the other end of the new year - capital, conquering our environment in which we are the ones who were given dominion from the Genesis of time. 

Wishing you an abundance of blessings in your future. 

Saturday, December 5, 2020

The private/professional connection


In life, we see people living and working daily almost with the expectation that they can comfortably compartmentalize their lives. It seems like almost an expectation of the employer and fellow employees. Yet, on close examination, is it really realistic?

Do we take the opportunity to learn/understand what may be happening with the lives of people? They have fears, concerns, uncertainties, and challenges beyond measure that come in various forms. Many of these situations may be high with emotional content, yet the individuals are expected to conceal/downplay their personalities in order to be considered amenable by those around them. 

How can we create/is there a way to create an environment that caters to both the workers and the customers being served; where they are allowed to be human and yet cope within a professional environment?

So where does private stop and where does professional begin? There have been talks about drawing imaginary halfway lines between home and work. It doesn't work all the time. What can we do realistically that won't trivialize the entire process? 

Do you realize that privacy pertains to your profession life as much as it pertains to your personal life? Are you confidential? 

When I was growing up, there was an older person who used to call me "Secret Order", reason being they realized that I was the type of individual that I would not repeat everything I saw nor heard, especially if I wasn't told to relay a message. If I learned aspects of someone's business, it remained just that, their business. 

To this day, people seem to feel inclined to share elements of their lives they are never shared elsewhere. They never seem to think I would tell another, because I don't share experiences of others with them. Sure you would edify someone, but seldom if ever discuss anything negative. It does no one any good. 

Nowadays, it seems that with a mobile phone that has cameras and recording software has generated a movement of un-certified news hounds. People who seem willing to share for no reason other than to gossip. The information conveyed is seldom to help everyone improve, and often can seem damaging; adding stressors to already volatile situations. 

In certain work roles, you would have to manage information that people entrust to your care. It may be your role to handle that kind of information. Be careful and be CONFIDENTIAL. Do not share your work information at home and do not share your home information at work. You are an individual with many components, treat yourselves as such. As I would say while growing up, "Be a Samsonite not a cheap valise that scatters ones contents out in public". 

This is not to say I've been perfect, none of us are. We all make mistakes. As we grow from school to the world of work, we learn the differences about privacy along the way, and hopefully how to apply it in a professional setting. 

We generally tend to think of the best responses to what we should have done, after we have already taken action. Let's use the power of the pause, since it can save a lot of misunderstanding and mishaps. 

When we have moments to reflect on elements of our lives in its completeness, what would we remember? How do we think we will be remembered? Would we be able to say we are satisfied or would we have regrets? Let's look at our private/professional connections and see if we are making a positive difference in the lives of those around us. 

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