GIVING: The NOISE factor and its effect

Have you ever stopped to think about the flood of information that comes your way? Have you ever really taken the time to seriously try to filter all the information that deluges your brain? Just looking at, or thinking about, the sheer volume of information may make this an exercise in futility! But, come to think of it our inbuilt mechanism, whatever or however it operates, is already doing a good job because of the plethora of information that come our way, we do conscientiously store that which we want to store. Those that we do not punctiliously store may be stored anyway – in our sub-conscious mind.

The information that we absorb gets to our brain via our 5 senses.

There is the information that is garnered via ones sense of touch. Who can forget the accidental burning of their fingers because they failed to heed mums or dad’s warning not to touch the stove or a glowing piece of charcoal? Or who can forget the soothing feeling of cool or tepid water running over their body-standing under the shower or bathing in a stream-after a hard day’s work? Not to mention the masculine embrace of your father or the softer hug of your mother. Think of others, the information gathered through touch is endless!

Of course information reception will not be complete if we overlook those gathered by means of one’s sight. The colours, the people, the buildings, the trees, the sky, the animals and insects that one sees all add up to the ultimate decision one will make regarding a flower they may want to pick or people they may wish to befriend down to the pet they want to keep. You may not totally appreciate this information gathering avenue until you become blind

One cannot by pass the taste factor in this discussion! Unless you taste your mum’s or girlfriend’s cooking your assessment of its deliciousness will not be complete! You can only decide if food is salted adequately if you taste it. Taste is an essential part of information gathering!

The sense of smell complements ones taste factor. Something may smell good and in your mind’s eye you think it must be a mouth-watering dish, but that can only be confirmed upon you tasting it. The pungent smell of ammonia or the sweet smell of a flower or the smell of anything for that matter all go towards your overall judgement of the world around you.

And then there is noise! The information that enters our brain via the sense of hearing can also be overpowering!

I will make a clarification, re sound and noise, on the outset. I know that people, those in the know, make a distinction between sound and noise but I will leave that to them. I am going to blanket all sound under the umbrella of noise for purposes of this discussion. Having qualified that, let’s continue.

I once read of a small child from Lebanon who went to live in a country outside of Lebanon after war had ravaged his homeland. Starting from day one, in the tranquillity and peace of his adopted home he cried incessantly every night much to the consternation of his guardians. No one could fathom the reason for his nightly bouts of crying until a week or so had passed. They found out that he cried because he could not stand the silence! He was so used to the chatter of gunfire and the explosion of bombs not to mention the screaming of powerful fighter jet engines and swoosh of rockets that the silence was alien to him. Yes there is the noise of war.

There is also the noise of suffering. The cry of an abused child or mother or girlfriend! The anguish in the voice of one undergoing torture or the pain in the wailing of somebody who has lost a loved one. It seems you can actually feel their pain even though you are merely hearing the sound of their suffering.

Take a walk or drive through a thriving metropolis on any given day and the cacophony of sound that hits your ears is both numerous and varied. Car and truck engines! Blaring horns. Construction jackhammers. Construction drills. Shopping mall music. Cinema music. I have not even exhausted this list but I think you catch my drift.

Even in the humble villages from which some of us hail you will be bombarded with noise! There is the noise of hens clucking, birds chirping, children crying, children laughing, brooks gurgling, fathers scolding and dogs barking. Noise coming from different sources but noise none the less!

What’s with this prolonged discussion on ‘noise’ you may ask? Hurry up and get to the point already! And yes it is pretty lengthy and I can still keep going but to satisfy your question I have a point to make!

You see this is the fifth blog I have written and all the blogs have had one expressed aim; that of inviting, even imploring, you to financially support the flood victims of the April 14, 2014 floods in the Solomon Islands. Here is the link: https://www.youcaring.com/fundraiser-widget.aspx?frid=165377

Now let’s go back to your ‘why the noise discussion’ question.

I am a tad afraid that all this ‘noise’ may be distracting you thus hindering you from giving to this appeal. Let’s face it a big percentage of all this ‘noise’ is advertising ‘noise’. The kind that is trying to get your attention to buy a product or go watch a movie or travel to some tropical clime for ‘that much deserved holiday’ that you have been putting off for so long. So much so that this medium of information transfer, that I am using-sight-is maybe, being shut out!

I am honking the proverbial horn again via this blog to bring your attention to the plight of my fellow Solomon Island citizens who suffered during the floods. Help is getting there but they need all the help they can get, so why don’t you give to alleviate their suffering. Here is that link again; https://www.youcaring.com/fundraiser-widget.aspx?frid=165377

Go to and make a donation you do not know how much it will mean to them.

In fact it is imperative that you help now since the life of this appeal site is coming to an end shortly. The link is: https://www.youcaring.com/fundraiser-widget.aspx?frid=165377

Enjoy whatever the time of day, or night, it is that you are reading this. I wish you well!

 

GIVING: Lessons learnt from the Dead Sea and the Tibetan Plateau Lakes…

We human beings are social beings. How do I know? Well it is pretty obvious since we live in villages, towns, cities and even countries. We get married. We have social clubs; all female ones as well as all male ones and yes, we do have mixed ones as well. We have religious leanings, we have sects, we join sports teams, we go to co-educational schools, our tribes communicate in languages known only to us, we read books and we even try to learn other languages to try and improve our relationships- not only our communication skills.

I also know that we are social beings because the elements who try to deny the social aspect of the human race-like recluses and hermits-comprise a negligible percentage of the global population.

As the old adage goes, ‘no man is an island’.

We thrive in our social cliques by relating to each other through giving, loving, selling to each other, talking to each other, playing with each other, having compassion for each other and singing to and with each other; of course the list does not end there.

In fact there is a feel good factor in society when somebody or someone gives to another. Case in point; the New York police officer, Lawrence DePrimo, who in November 2012 was photographed by Jennifer Foster giving a brand new pair of boots to a homeless, barefoot man in Times Square!

The two million Facebook viewers and 28,000 comments overnight say it all! We are social beings! We thrive when we interact with each other!

Notice how our social groupings, society if you like, succeed? Each individual has an ‘outlet’ of some sort and the group to which each individual belongs has some form of ‘outlet’ as well. Of course for each ‘outlet’ there is always an ‘inlet’. There is this interdependence that underpins our existence. In fact I will go as far as to boldly say that without this symbiosis or interdependence our social groupings will cease to exist. They will no longer be alive!

Remember the flowing waterways I alluded to in my last blog? When those waterways have an ‘outlet’ or when they continue to flow their environment and the waterways themselves thrive!

What do the Dead Sea and the Tibetan Plateau Lakes have in common? Well for starters they are both saline bodies of water. They are part of the 0.008% of the total saline bodies of fresh water that exist on this planet. They do not support any meaningful flora and fauna apart from maybe some frogs and insects that adapt. The most glaring commonality is they do not have any ‘outlet’. They have ‘inlets’ but no outlets. In other words they receive but they do not give!

It is for this very reason that they do not live or are not alive! And because they are ‘dead’ they do not support life! When we live with and for each other we ensure our survival! It pays to both give and receive!

I can emphatically say that this interdependence or act of giving and receiving is very good for our individual and collective sanity and wellbeing! They are what make our communities thrive!

It would be worth our/your while to get rid of all semblances of the Dead Sea and Tibetan Plateau lakes – receive and receive. You need to receive and give! It is good for your individual wellbeing! Healthy individuals mean a healthy community!

Why don’t you be like the flowing waterways and give to the Solomon Islands April 2014 flood victims by clicking on the link below?

Don’t be like the Dead Sea and the Tibetan Plateau Lakes! They receive but they do not give so they are virtually dead! Click on the link below and give!

 

https://www.youcaring.com/fundraiser-widget.aspx?frid=165377

 

GIVING BECAUSE YOU HAVE TO; lessons learnt from flowing waterways…

Giving and flowing waterways – waterways in this discussion refer to rivers or streams; where’s the connection? Or does ‘giving because you have to’ and lessons learnt from flowing waterways confuse you more? Let’s try and unpack this.

I have been hearing negative vibes about the government’s taxation department and its tax schedule ever since I could understand adult speak. The department is called different names in different countries but their modus operandi is uniform regardless of ones’ home country; that of taking a percentage of individual or corporate earnings to assist the government in the running of its affairs. So like it or loathe it, each law abiding citizen has to pay taxes; or in other words one ‘gives’, more like is forced to give, because they have to. One’s take-home-pay is the amount left after taxes are deducted! Any familial or individual expenses are calculated based on this take-home-pay!

The bulk, if not all, of the people who ‘give because they have to’ are the taxpayers the whole world over. In this category there are those who do not mind giving and there are those who do mind giving; in fact they would opt not to give if given the choice.

Notice that I have blurred the lines here between ‘paying of taxes’ and ‘giving’ and some people would love to split hairs over their differences, and you are free to do so although I will not be drawn into any argument on this, suffice to say that the mindset at which the givers part with their money – ‘give’ if you like – serves the purpose of this discussion.

Now to the waterway analogy!

I liken those who do not mind giving to, a waterway that freely flows out to sea providing water and nutrients to plants and animals that live along its banks. If you have personally frequented the banks of such a waterway you will see a sparkle in its waters; you will see unmatched greenery in the plants growing beside it; you will see healthy fauna; you will see humans drinking from it without the need for its treatment. Natives of such places call these types of waterways ‘live waterways’. In fact the relationship between the waterways’ dependents and the waterway itself is symbiotic; not only are the flora and fauna healthy but the river itself maintains its health.

There are waterways that flow out to sea incessantly as well but there is no sparkle in their waters. Their flow is sluggish and although they provide water and nutrients to flora and fauna beside them, humans do not freely drink from them. The relationship here is also symbiotic but somehow there is an air of dolefulness inherent in this relationship; it is as if the waterway seems unwilling to give and therefore even if it gives health to others it does not enjoy the same state of health itself. These waterways correspond to those who reluctantly give.

Psychologists and people in the know re human behaviour can go into the nitty gritty of the connection between giving and ones’ overall demeanour but from personal experience I can tell you that I have always felt a sense of accomplishment each time I have given in some small way be it financial or otherwise; my outlook on life post-giving is always positive!

The common denominator for both types of givers is that they both help their government provide for domestic well-being via the establishment of roads, hospitals, parks, etc. And when their government extends its arms in AID to developing countries they have both assisted people in those countries, which include the Solomon Islands; and that, without evening conscientiously thinking about their giving!

Some parallel lessons that one can glean from the waterway analogy is that they both did not know, like the two givers in consideration, who or what they were benefiting by their giving but they continued to give anyway and like most givers the waterways maintained a daily fresh lease of life as they continued to give. Additionally, they did not know the flow-on effect of their giving – like the two givers – via the carbon sink they helped maintain or the oxygen source they helped sustain or even the potential medicinal drugs from the plants they helped water, but they kept on giving.

Imagine for a minute if the major waterways of the world stopped ‘giving’! What would become of our carbon sink and our oxygen source not to mention other things like food, medicines and the likes?

I’d like to submit here that the message these waterways want to portray is encompassed in the words of a song my mother taught me when I was a child. One of the lines went something like this: ‘Give said the little stream, give oh give, give oh give; Give said the little stream as it hurried down the hill; I’m small I know but wherever I go, give oh give, give oh give…….’.

Why don’t you take to heart the message of the stream and give to a worthy course by clicking on the link below and donating in some small way?

This appeal is scheduled to close in about 18 days’ time! Please donate before it closes!

https://www.youcaring.com/fundraiser-widget.aspx?frid=165377

GIVING: Lessons learnt from the movement and/or non-movement of water…

In my last blog I made a layman’s attempt at describing ‘desperation’ as perceived through the eyes of a working mother in the Solomon Islands who lost her children and father during the recent flash flooding of the Matanko [Matanikau] River, in Honiara, on April 4, 2014.
I also made an attempt, albeit feeble, to excite the inherent benevolent characteristic that may lay dormant in some of you. Let’s face it some people lack compassion; so much so, that regardless of how you approach them they will not give in any way, shape, or form!
As an extension of that discussion I will try to address the concept of giving in terms of the people that give.
Giving is defined as ‘parting with something without expecting anything in return’.
On the onset I will make an empirical categorisation of the different kinds of givers that I see and will address each one in the next series of blogs that I will be writing. All with the aim of trying to drum up financial support for the victims of the said flash flooding and general flooding right around the island of Guadalcanal, a province of the Solomon Islands.
You already know that the monies that the governments of developed countries-donor countries- around the world give or donate to developing countries come from the pockets of their citizens. In fact according to http://www.unmillenniumproject.org/press/07.htm, industrialised countries around the globe have pledged, since 1970, 0.7% of their gross national incomes (GNI). GNI is a measure of any country’s income that it receives both domestically and from abroad.
The monies the industrialised countries give, are formally called ‘official development assistance’ (ODA), and range from 0.13% of GNI (Greece) to as high as 1.00% of GNI (Luxembourg) (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_governments_by_development_aid). The main countries that officially assist the pacific region include Australia, New Zealand and Japan. Their percentages are 0.28%, 0.28% and 0.17% respectively (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_governments_by_development_aid) . To them the citizens of the Pacific region at large and Solomon Islands specifically will be forever grateful!
However, I am not interested in the big picture I am more interested in the citizens who give to enable their governments to give in return. They make up the first category of givers for purposes of this discussion; those who give because they are obligated to. They are analogous to rivers that flow incessantly down to the sea. More of them in the next blog!
You may not fall under this category but your assistance is still very much needed by the victims of the April 4, 2014 floods in the Solomon Islands. Will you help? Click on the link below to do so.

https://www.youcaring.com/fundraiser-widget.aspx?frid=165377