Have we lost our individuality?

We live in a time where we are allowed to be ourselves. Now, more than ever we have the freedom to be who we want to be, do what we want to do – when we want to do it and yet, there are so many young people that would rather die than be different.

Rewind to not so long ago and being gay was unheard of, marriage was a MUST and women had no voice.

It is painful to watch my generation go through life. It’s almost as if ever so often there is a wave of something “awesome” that comes along and infects the masses – Dubstep or being a hipster for example.

Yes, we all go through our phases, its part of life but seriously?! Not so long ago half the hipsters of today were at Club Galaxy dancing their asses off to the latest commercial phenomenon to hit the club scene. Not to say that I wasn’t doing the exact same thing but I’m no hipster.

While I’m not saying that people can’t change, I’m just saying that it’s the reason behind the change that matters. You shouldn’t feel the need to become something or someone because that’s what all the cool kids are doing.

You are you, be proud of who you are. Find yourself and find your individuality because that’s what makes you beautiful.

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What is the colour of the wind?

It’s really hard for me to take this topic seriously because right now all I’m hearing (and picturing) in my head is Pocahontas running through the forest and being followed by different coloured leaves as she sings “Can you paint with all the colours of the wind?”

Uhm…

The wind, I would say it has no colour. You can’t really see wind. You can only see the effects of wind. Wind is air in motion, isn’t it? (My matric geography is very blurry – so I could be making that up)

I imagine wind to be the squiggly lines of my pre-school drawings or white because it’s that colour in cartoons.

Another fun way to picture the colour of wind: Imagine yourself in an open space with piles of different coloured powder and then the wind picks up; it comes whirling through the open space. MAGIC.

So, what colour is the wind?

Wind could be any colour really. Let your imagination decide for you.

Small talk is the bane of my existence.

In my opinion, there is nothing worse than bumping into an acquaintance (friends are different), unexpectedly, as you’re going about your day. Seeing as I’m studying Public Relations, you’d think that making conversation would come easily for me – well, not always.

I talk a lot, non-stop actually.  But run into me by surprise and you will get… NOTHING. I hate small talk; it’s so pointless and boring. No one really cares. Small talk is a bunch of predictable lines and questions that are mandatory to ask when you bump into someone you know. So much unnecessary pressure, not to mention that I almost always say something stupid. Why not just smile and wave? Skip the awkward “What do I say now?” thought and go on with your day. Let’s just be honest, we all run out of things to say after “Oh my word, how have you been?” or “So, what have you been doing with yourself these days?” anyway.

It’s just a thought. People always say life is short, why waste it on forced conversation.

[I’m not rude, I promise]

 

If I were the boss?

If I were the boss, I would get rid of all uniforms because they’re boring and no two people are the same. I would allow employees to dress to express rather than impress. We spend most of our day at work; we might as well do it comfortably.

Mornings would start at 10am, because no one can truly function before then anyway – well I can’t, and the boss needs to be on top of their game at all times.

Coffee would be free – and only of the best quality. We like coffee. We need coffee. Coffee keeps us productive.

Everyone would get a pair of earphones because no one can function without music, right? I haven’t thought about how we would hear and answer the phones though – still working on that.

If I were the boss, my employees would work smart and not hard. There would be work time and play time because “all work and no play makes for a dull/unproductive day”.

I would listen to the opinions of my employees and encourage them to have their own opinions too. We are many people working towards a common goal but that doesn’t mean we all have to walk, talk and act the same.

It would be different being the boss, but it would be fun. If I were the boss, I’d do my best to keep my employees happy, because a happy employee is a productive employee.

It’s not enough to sit back and criticise.

South Africa has come a long way since the oppression and dark days of Apartheid. Our forefathers spent their lives, and many even gave their lives, to give US a voice. Freedom is a concept that they could only dream of. It was something they cherished and believed in.

Our democracy is still very young. Our nation is not perfect but a better nation can not be built by government alone.  Too many South Africans are unhappy with the way the country is run, crime, corruption and even their living circumstances. I can not even count the amount of times I have heard negative remarks about this, that and the other.

In my opinion…

Everyone has a lot to say about what they’re unhappy with but not everyone gets up and does something about it.

The question isn’t what’s wrong with our country but rather, what’s wrong with the citizens of our country? You have been given the right to speak up, to vote, to stand up for what ever you believe in – it’s a luxury that many people around the world STILL do not have.

You have been blessed with ‘choice’. Use it.

Two people come out of a building and into a story.

“Why do we always get stuck with the jobs that no one wants to do?” Jane moaned as they left the cool, air-conditioned Absa building. “The joys of being an intern.” Nicole said, as she sighed loudly. Each of them carried a box filled with documents. “Where is this place anyway?”, “Down the road somewhere, I’m sure we’ll find it. Wait, let’s take a break.” Nicole answered, as she dropped her box. “Yeah, su – “, Jane started but before she  managed to finish her sentence a tall man dressed in black ran into her without stopping. Jane’s box came crashing down to the floor. The papers flew everywhere. “Hey!” she shouted angrily after the man as she got up.

They worked together to collect all the papers that had fallen out of the box. Not too long after they had finished putting everything back together, the man dressed in black appeared again. Only this time, he was walking, rather strangely – limping almost. They turned to look at each other, both confused. “What do you think is going on Jane?” Nicole whispered, “No idea”.

The man was getting closer now. The girls were frozen, watching in anticipation. There was no one else around, the deafening silence seemed to go on forever. “He looks…in-injured” Jane stammered. The man was just a few feet away now, “Girls, girls I –“ the man started but he dropped to the floor, mid-sentence. It was only then that the girls noticed that he was covered in blood. Just then, three men appeared in the distance.

Jane dropped her box and turned to Nicole, “RUN!” and without looking back, the two girls ran as fast as they could without stopping. “Jane… stop!” Nicole pulled Jane and pointed to what was in front of them. Strangely, without realising it, they had run in the direction of the Absa building. And now stood in front of it gasping for breath.

Hysterical, the girls rushed inside and collapsed on the cool floors. Immediately noticing how out of breath and shaken up they were, the security rushed to their side “Are you girls alright? What happened?”.

How hard is it to follow instructions?

After completing three posts for my blog I was ready to check out some of the other #smed12 blogs, you know, see what everybody else is doing, etc. Upon reading the first blog I saw that the student had gotten the title for the first blog post wrong (or so I thought). So naturally, I checked more blogs.

After reading through several blogs, I came to the realisation that I was the one who got the title (and subject) for our first post wrong. Ironically, I wrote about “How to follow an instruction” rather than “How hard is it to follow instructions?” – BIGGEST JOKE EVER, right?!

I think I’ve lost the right to comment on either topic.

So how hard is it to follow instructions? It seems easy enough, in theory. Clearly it’s a bit higher grade for some of us (and when I say some of us I really mean me) but if we pay attention to the instructions we are given and they don’t clash with our morals and beliefs, they’re easy enough to follow. It’s a choice really.

I think the main problem with following instructions is that people are lazy. Instructions mean work, it’s kind of off-putting. However, instructions are there to make life easier for all of us I guess, so it’s worth your while to pay attention and get it right the first time (note-to-self).

Goodbye Whitney, goodbye childhood.

This morning I woke up to the tragic news of pop icon Whitney Houston’s death. Yes, I realise that hundreds, if not thousands of people die everyday under less shady circumstances, so why should Whitney’s death be any different?

Growing up, I remember singing along to songs like “I Will Always Love You” and “The Greatest Love of All” loudly; in fact, my very first cassette was “Whitney”. I knew all the words to every song and was willing to perform a concert for anyone who listened. Even now, more than a decade later, I think of my childhood every time I hear her voice. Childhood memories are happy memories; my heart warms up whenever I think back.

Being practically grown up now (or should I say being grown up?), listening to artists like Whitney Houston and Michael Jackson (who also passed away not so long ago) are the only way I can hold on to those memories. Hearing that Whitney Houston passed away legitimately upset me – I cried actual tears. It was just another reminder of just how much things have changed – another piece of my childhood, gone.

In an article posted by the Los Angeles Times, it was reported that Houston was found unresponsive at a hotel hours before she was due to perform at Clive Davis’ pre-Grammy Awards party. It was a sad loss to the music industry; she inspired so many – despite her chaotic personal life.

I know this post may come across as lame or corny but I’m a huge Whitney fan – and slightly dramatic. You can be sure that I’ll be playing her greatest hits album on full blast the entire day and singing along at the top of my voice. Her memory (and my childhood, I guess) will live on through her music.

R.I.P Whitney.

How to follow instructions:

[Instructions helping you to successfully follow instructions]

Instructions come in many different forms; they may be written or oral, simple or complex, guidelines or strict orders – it just depends really. Knowing how to follow an instruction successfully is a vital life skill, it could be the difference between life and death (yes, it can be – if you’re a member of the bomb squad) or the difference between an A and B for an assignment.

Bottom line? INSTRUCTIONS MATTER!

Here are a few simple steps on how to effectively follow an instruction:

  1. READ/ LISTEN TO the instruction(s) carefully.
  2. Take time to PROCESS the instruction(s).
  3. UNDERSTAND the instruction(s).
  4. FOLLOW the instruction(s).

Seems easy enough right? WRONG! If you omit any of the steps above, you have failed to follow four easy instructions TELLING you how to follow instructions (double fail).

Pay attention, understand what you are being asked to do AND THEN do it.

So next time you are handed an assignment brief, a new gadget manual or mom leaves a ‘to do list’ for you, you know what to do.

Goodluck.