ENTITLEMENT AND ARROGANCE – THINGS YOU SHOULD BE BITCHING ABOUT

I really do try and stay away from negative social media or blog posts, but more and more I’m seeing comments and viewpoints around a recently held charity drive on the interwebs that are, quite frankly, getting my goat.

The event in question: THE 702 SUN INTERNATIONAL CEO SLEEPOUT. You can read the full blurb over on the site, but in a nutshell a CEO donates a minimum of R100,000 to spend an evening on the street on one of the coldest nights of the year in Sandton CBD with other business leaders, in a fund raising drive for Girls & Boys Town South Africa

I’ve been listening with interest on my drive home over the past few weeks to various business leaders that signed up for this worthy cause discuss why they took up the challenge, and I can tell you that the concern and empathy in the brief discussions I heard are genuine, not contrived.

I’ve seen so much hatred spewed at this it’s ridiculous – from stating that the CEO’s themselves are the reason’s we need charities to begin with, to accusations that they took part merely to gain advertising for their business or make powerful business connections.

Yes, capitalism is flawed. Yes, the salaries that some business leader’s earn in a month is more than some of us will see in our entire careers. Yes, spending a night out on a street that has been cordoned off and patrolled by Metro Police in a safe environment, being fed and knowing you can go back to your warm luxury home straight after, is not getting to know what the homeless face on a daily basis. Yes, our wealth distribution in South Africa (and around the globe) is, for the most part, obscenely skewed.

But I feel the dissenters of the #CEOSleepOut project are missing the goddamn point here. This event raised over R24 million. TWENTY FOUR MILLION RAND. Let that digest, would you? I bet you that’s more than Boys & Girls Town have seen in the last 24 years (probably an exaggeration, but hey, you get my point I’m sure).

I don’t feel that applauding the money raised in any way condones the many injustices Capitalism is indeed guilty of, but for crying in a bucket, could we just appreciate what has been achieved instead of jumping up on our high horses and condemning every CEO, and painting all business leaders with the same tar brush?

I’ve also seen various comments on specific CEO’s – those that refuse to raise the low salaries of their employees yet took part in this drive, etc. Hypocrisy? Of course. BUT. Dare I say it – THEY ARE NOT ALL THE SAME. How about you try and single out the CEO’s who do good. Those that contribute regularly and have a genuine interest in the welfare of society and all those in it. I bet you you’ll find the good far outweighs the bad. Because you know what? A company doesn’t exist in isolation – business 101 folks – without a customer, there is no business, and trust me when I tell you that any CEO worth his or her salt knows this. I know exactly what you’re going to say – again, the “charity” aspect is actually self serving – they only help the less fortunate to ensure that they still have a customer base in the future. Well, of course – that’s how economies work. The end result is still achieving upliftment for those who need it.

Have a look at Richard Mulholland – his company donates 10% of their monthly turnover to charities, and he still doesn’t feel like he’s doing enough. And he was at the #CEOSleepOut. He’s driving change – he actually puts his money where his mouth is, as you can see for yourself in this TedX talk he did in 2009 in JHB:

Richard understands the fundamental issues facing most economies world wide, and something that people overlook far too often – first, if you desire change, drive it. Secondly, there can never be change without education. He is not alone in this view; many CEO’s there that night feel exactly the same way, and take active steps to achieve these goals.

You are NOT driving change by blanket slamming initiatives or our Capitalist economy that you think is responsible for all the woes of the world.Give suggestions for change; BE the change. VOTE for change. Instead, many sit on their high horses loudly decrying the wealth imbalances and condemning the wealthy for making what they perceive to be token gestures to alleviate their consciences. This solves nothing. It’s also a hellishly narrow view.

The computer / phone / tablet you are currently reading this post on – you can thank Capitalism for that. The car / bus / taxi that got you to work today? You can thank Capitalism for that. The job you are currently doing that keeps you and your loved ones sheltered and fed? You can thank Capitalism for that. The broken arm you got as a kid that has healed perfectly with no lasting disability? Yep, you guessed it – Capitalism. Capitalism drives invention – FACT. We’re simple reward driven creatures – you perform a task for a result and with expected gains on completion. If my expected gains for 7 years worth of studying are the same as my neighbour who grows tomatoes to feed the village, guess what, I’m not going to study. I’m also going to grow tomatoes. Yes, a simplistic way of putting it, but it’s true.

You really want something to be pissed at? How about the fact that the leader of our country continuously and flagrantly ignores, and even promotes through his actions and responses, the gross corruption that is eating away at our economy like a Stage IV Cancer.

How about getting pissed that Sanral tell us we must move closer to our destinations if we cannot afford eTolls, while the department of transport overpaid a company to handle the eNaTis system, who had an illegal contract to begin with, by R2 billion? And Nasir Ali got a pay increase of R332k back in 2009 – who knows what he’s getting now.

Get pissed at the fact that the councillors our tax money pay are deliberately sabotaging water sanitation upgrade and maintenance plans because they make money from their owned water trucks then supplying water short areas.

Get pissed that our government not only ignored an ICC directive, but also ignored a court order from OUR OWN COURTS, and then gave the weakest excuse in the book as to how Bashir left the country, further highlighting the fact that our ruling party thinks the populace a bunch of dimwitted jerks who will buy the drivel they continuously feed us – or, more likely, that they just don’t give a fuck what we think because the interest of the people is NOT the interest of our leaders.

Get PISSED that the tax money the government takes from us every month (and at much higher rates for the CEO’s you’re slamming, I might add) is NOT being used for service delivery of even the most basic of needs. Get PISSED that our education system is a joke, our country cannot keep its lights on, our hospitals make rape victims wait 6 hours before being attended to, that our law enforcement is more interested in lunch money than actual law, that we have accepted that taxi’s can drive where and how they want, that we’ve accepted that crime is now violent by default, and its increasing daily.

THOSE are things to get on your high horses about.

CellC summed up the state of our nation better than any previous address ever has:

Me, I’d rather have any one of the CEO’s that were at the SleepOut run our country than what we’re saddled with now. Then you’d see change and a move towards a more balanced wealth distribution. Richard for President!

Liebster Award

Thanks to Abigail Holden, who blogs as Triangular Room, who nominated me for the Liebster Award! This award can be found all over various blogs – it’s a nice way of sharing cool blogs with others and to answer some fun questions.

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The Liebster Award rules work like this:

Thank and link the person who nominated you.
Answer the questions given by the nominator.
Nominate about 11 other bloggers, who have less than 200 followers, and link them
Create 11 new questions for the nominees to answer
Notify all nominees via social media/blogs

(Above taken directly from Abi’s description 🙂 )

The questions that Abi gave me:

Favourite movie/s
The Cornetto Trilogy (adore Simon Pegg), The Crow, Eternal Sunshine of a Spotless Mind, Django Unchained. Too many really, and my answers are usually subject to my current mood 😛

Favourite TV show of all time
Hannibal

Favourite current(ish) TV show
The Walking Dead

White, milk or dark chocolate?
Dark

If you were a fruit (or vegetable!), what would you be, and why?
Avocado; smooth, creamy, good for you, and filled with good fats (hehehehe)

Favourite game (board/video/tabletop – anything!)
Paper Mario and the Thousand Year Door

Favourite book/s
These too change quite frequently, but Stephen King’s The Stand with the Captain Trips chapter being a long standing favorite for me. Currently devouring all things Neil Gaiman.

Favourite character – book, movie, TV etc.
Probably Silk from Edding’s series The Belgariad.

If you could choose one fantasy universe to exist (e.g. Middle-earth, Hogwarts, a galaxy far far away etc.), which one would you choose?
Terry Pratchett’s Discworld.

Favourite place in the whole world
I haven’t had much opportunity to travel… Of places I have been to, probably SIngapore. Of places I want to go to, Aztec ruins in Mexico.

Best super hero/magic/etc. power you would want for yourself
A psychic ability that I can turn on and off at will.

And now for me to nominate some people to join in the chain fun. These are blogs I find interesting written by people who interest me, for whatever reason – and unfortunately in spite of what the rules say it’s less than 11 nominees (whata bloody odd number), and some of them do have over 200 followers, but heck, including them anyway, and you should check them out 🙂

Bloggsy Malone I turn stumbled-upon venues into destination resturants. I’m driven by the simple, beautiful indulgences life has to offer – good friends sharing heartfelt conversations over great food. I write about and take photos of the best food experiences and the phenomenal sights I get to see every day in South Africa.

Cupcakes & Sailors featuring Cupcake Mummy & Fysh “tattooed illustrator •mum to a boy fysh •vegan aspie with borderline personality disorder •cupcake obsessed hedgehog owner •book reading tea lover •blogger •boxer •puddle jumping camera slave…”

The Blessed Barrenness – Sharon doesn’t have a 3 liner copy paste for me (cue me yelling Sharooooooooooooooooooon in Ozzy’s voice), so I’ll just tell you she’s my work bestie who is a tattooed mom that rocks to two beautiful adopted girls, and she makes parenting, being a wife, runner, LCHF and Banting look like a breeze – constant inspiration for love, life, fun and fitness!

Calling Through The Fog I am a columnist, screenwriter and sometime novelist, living and working in Cape Town, South Africa. This blog contains pieces I’ve written for The Times, Business Day Sports Monthly, and whatever else takes my fancy. 

Why-Ed.com Why Ed was created out of the ashes of late nights and early morning drinking.Hi my name is Ed if you didn’t know already, I enjoy long walks on the beach, poetry and poking dead things with a stick. Party weekends will always be on the cards. And before I forget, I have a co-writer, friend, gamer and metal-lover named Tank that will also be contributing constantly.

Antiredcap Random posts from around the internet.

And now, for the nominees that haven’t already answered a million questionnaires from other bloggers and who may be interested in teaching your reading public more about yourselves, here are my questions for you:

  1. Your best childhood memory
  2. An incident or time in your life when you were most afraid / that scared you the most
  3. The favorite food stuff to smash in your face (if it has a calorie count, it counts)
  4. Your favorite vocalist
  5. Do you like people?
  6. The pet you’d have if law, fear of your own personal safety, and reality were not considerations (example: Falkor the luck dragon would be mine)
  7. Your favorite celebrity, and why
  8. Share a joke that you still find funny today, even after hearing it a thousand times
  9. Something silly and stupid that irritates you unreasonably, that you know really shouldn’t
  10. The single most important thing that has happened to you in your life to date (defining – good or bad)
  11. I liked Abi’s question, so I’m using it too 🙂 What super power would you want?

#28DaysLighter – conclusion

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My self made #28DaysLighter challenge for February has been quite successful overall. Two of 4 assignments of my BCom studies done, the BIG MOVE completed, and I’m 4.3 kg’s down as at last week Friday through the Ladies That LCHF course.

This past weekend also marked the first weekend of having the other half’s sprog (he turns 8 end of March) with us since I’ve moved in. Happy to report we get on well, and while I’m certainly not born mother material, things seem to be going okay so far with the newness of me no longer just visiting for a few hours, but living there. My first task Friday when I got home was to put a temporary tattoo he picked out on for him – this seems to have become somewhat of a ritual and something I find quite sweet – I have tattoos and he wants them (albeit temp ones); I love Yoshi and it’s now his favourite Nintendo character; while studying this weekend I got interrupted on a few occasions so that he could share a funny anecdote with me – it’s great that he wants to communicate and spend time together as opposed to me just being “dad’s girlfriend who he has to put up with”. This weekend was a challenge as I had to get a Quantitative Modelling assignment done (think the maths you hated in school and multiply by 1000%…) so I couldn’t spend much time with him, but looking forward to the next weekend visit as assignments due now will be out of the way and we can do a koppie walk which we all enjoy greatly.

Re my pooches – I was greatly concerned about them moving into the new place – the other half’s mom’s garden is beautiful. We’re talking House & Home cover beautiful. Basil likes digging. A LOT. So far though, he’s been rather well behaved aside from using various flower beds as hiding spots and short cuts which has resulted in some plants being uprooted 😛 A fence goes up this week on Thursday too which essentially gives them their own courtyard within the garden that leads off from the sliding door at the house – no more stressing about the family coming in and out with cars during the day (Basil is also quite fond of running to say hello to other dogs, of which there are many in the neighborhood), so I am looking forward to that. I’ve also booked training sessions with a “train at your home” dog trainer for my schmodel dog (Basil – all looks no brains 😉 ) through a company called MiDogz, and the sessions start next week Tuesday and carry on for 6 months. The beauty? The trainer goes in on her own and works with Basil at the house every week, and I only attend the last training session. I’m not entirely sure how that works and will apparently be sent instructions / updates each week on what he has been taught and how to reinforce it, but I think it can only be of benefit when all is said done, so greatly looking forward to that as well.

So that’s it from me – self imposed challenge resulted in getting a lot done and dusted during February, and in the process I’ve cultivated a lasting drive to get things done and be proactive in all areas, so I’d say MISSION SUCCESSFUL!

Here’s wishing you all the best in all endeavours you take on today and in the days to come – as the other half quoted last night during the Spurs vs Chelsea game – “You miss 100% of the goals you don’t try for”

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Third of the way through my #28DaysLighter

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And it’s been pretty good so far, I’m pleased to report.

Studies

I’m more behind than I’d like to be given the timetable I created for myself and the fact that first assignments due are a mere 2 weeks away, but this morning I got stuck into one of them for 2 hours and am finding it fascinating. What I thought was going to be a “wishy washy” module has actually got me interacting with other students via the UNISA hosted forums and expressing my opinion on ethical and moral problems – most who know me know how much I love opinions, and giving them 😉 The course title is Sustainability and Greed – and honestly I thank #SONA2015 for giving me a basis to reflect on just how much of an important aspect of leadership and management ethics really is. Old showerhead should have been forced through this course. You’ll probably be hearing more of my thoughts on the blog in future on this – it’s an interesting discussion topic in general and it’s always good to see how others perceive what we may take as standard. Anyway, actual fun in studies? SCORE!

Material stuffs

So I’m taking a big step and moving in with my other half this weekend – I’ve been stressing like hell on getting everything done in time and it forced me to take stock on my many MANY things and get callous – so much stuff has been thrown out / donated and sorted; I’m thrilled! A daunting task at first and I cannot tell you how sick I am of moving after having done it at least 5 times in the past 6 years, but it feels good to get rid of clutter (material and emotional), and I’m looking forward to building a home with him; with all the fun and challenges that come with that 😛

THE MOVE

Carrying on from above – it’s an odd thing when you don’t live together. Even though he spends 90% of his time at my house, I still always have that feeling of “well he’s visiting and our time together is limited so I won’t do this task now or that task now, etc. On his side, it’s difficult to get any tasks he needs to get done as he’s in my space, with my things, and not in his comfort zone, so similarly he doesn’t get to do what needs to be done. Moving in together affords us both the opportunity to actually get our shit done, so to speak, while still knowing that at the end of the day we’re together, in the same space 🙂 I’m looking forward to actually getting routines in place and it will help me greatly with ALL aspects of both of our planning / routines and tasks I think.

Health

And all that encompasses – we’ve been on a strict LCHF / Banting eating plan since Monday this week, and it’s a 6 week program. Again, living apart makes this quite tricky at times; this morning I had to pack all raw ingredients for him to make sure he has everything he needs to make the right dinner this evening. Living together means we eat the same, all the time, and together. It’s always easier when you’re both on the same journey in each other’s space and sharing it every step of the way. Same goes for exercise and any other activities we want to do – walking the dogs, using of the treadmill etc – all things we tend to neglect or not do for fear of missing out on time spent together when he’s “visiting”.

So, with the move scheduled for tomorrow and life hopefully being fully settled by the end of the weekend, I’m looking forward to a new chapter of GETTING SHIT DONE!

19 of my personal #28DaysLighter challenge and we’re tracking along nicely, I think 🙂

BOOYA! UCT Import and Export Management short course done and dusted!

Not stellar results, but as it’s been at least a good 12 years (giving away my age here…) since I’ve had to study anything, I’m fairly pleased with the outcome, and thrilled I did it in between the madness that was our busiest release season to date at work along with the late nights and operations nightmares that entailed, on top of having to do the final three modules as my UNISA semester started. Pat on the back, meet self 🙂

UCT Grades

Things I’ve learned from this? I can achieve my goals even under the most stressful of situations, and you can teach an old dog new tricks 😉

#28DaysLighter – Fight Off The Hoard!

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It’s a new year, and you’ve made all sorts of resolutions, and possibly are even still sticking to some of them, but in the rush for new things and new adventures we often lose sight of neglected tasks. Simple, silly things. Your clothing cupboard is overflowing with items you don’t even remember owning, let alone have touched in over 6 months. The great books your thoughtful partner bought you are on top of a pile of 16 other books you’ve been meaning to read. That 27th cute coffee cup your kid bought you is stuffed behind all the previous cups that haven’t been used in 7 months and are sporting chips that would probably result in needing stitches if you sipped on any of them too absent mindedly.Your unfinished (or, in my case, completely unplayed) stack of Xbox360/PS3/3DS/WiiU games has somehow spawned offspring and grown to such a size that they’re now holding weekly meetings to address the state of the nation in the absence of power to actually be played.

So, that lead me to thinking of a twist on the advent calendar – the ACTIVITY CALENDAR!

The idea is simple – make a list of 28 things you have been putting off due to the sheer mundane concept of the task or just been neglecting because you never seem to have enough hours in the day, and use each day in February to actually do them. Write each activity on it’s own piece of paper, chuck it in your chosen receptacle, and each day in February we’ll take one out at random and make time to complete it before the end of that day.

Now, don’t make the tasks mammoth ones – as you need to complete them before the end of the day they need to be something you can realistically get done in the time you have. So, completing the entire collective works of Shakespeare – bad task. Defrosting your freezer – good task. Attempting to change the view of an online Troll with reasoning – bad task. De-weed your herb garden that now resembles a marigold farm – good task. Finally do that 3 day Otter Trail hike you’ve been dreaming of for years – bad task. Take a half hour walk / jog in your neighborhood – good task. You get the point – fight off the horde, be it clutter or extra weight, make every day a small victory!

Some days will lend themselves better to some of your tasks than others, so you’re allowed ONE swap a day. That’s it, just one. If the second one is even more taxing than the 1st you chose, my thoughts are with you 😉 GET ON WITH IT.

As all things are more fun as a community and seeing others progress helps us stick to our own goals ourselves, share your task each day with the hashtag #28DaysLighter and tag me on Twitter or Instagram. Have your 28 tasks done and ready for action by the 31st January, and let’s have fun with it! I’ll be taking a picture every day to show what I’m up to during #28DaysLighter, and I hope you will too 🙂

Let me know below if you’ll be joining, and share your lists or specific tasks; inspiration always comes from external sources so it’s good to share 🙂

Credit to my awesome other half for the header image creation 😛

Carry on carrying on

A week and a day back at work and the holiday’s are a fading distant memory… My part time studies have kicked off again as of yesterday; 4 modules left until my current short course is complete and I’m still maintaining higher than class average, so quite chuffed with that. First payment for UNISA was processed by work yesterday as well, so I’ll be ending UCT online course and going right into UNISA…. I often wonder what mental pills I’m on when I’ve made these decisions 😉

I seem to have gotten the wheels back on the LCHF wagon overall, though it’s still early days indeed – 8 to be precise since starting again on the eating lifestyle change, and it hasn’t been without it’s challenges. I *may* have eaten three baby potatoes and two teaspoons of custard at a braai with the other half’s family on Saturday… and I continue to be addicted to Tab, which is not good from an artificial sweetener point of view at all, but overall my eating habits are drastically improved from 2 weeks ago. I’m inching my way back to the weight I was before December. And then the REAL work starts hahahahahahahahahahaha!

I was going through my Instagram pics last night and I’d forgotten how many cool dishes I used to make and really how simple it is to stick to LCHF without getting overly fancy. It’s good to have reminders I think; we often get bogged down in the challenge of the now and forget that we are capable, and in many instances in fact, have proved so before. Dust yourself off and get on with it 🙂

Keeping with simple, I must share with you one of my new favourite Nomu products – their Cajun Rub. OHEMGEE. I bought unseasoned plain chicken wings yesterday, tossed them with olive oil and the Cajun Rub and lordy were they super delicious. The rub has a slight bite to it (I like hot stuff so don’t take my word on the fact that it’s mild, but if you can tolerate the green tabasco this stuff won’t make you sweat), and an underlying sweetness that is just delicious. I coupled that with a salad that took me two minutes to prep and voila – LCHF friendly, simple, delicious supper.

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My treadmill has also been seeing regular use and has as yet not turned into a clothes horse. I need to keep track of a consecutive record I think to motivate myself on days it is used – create a button or something. Anybody have any ideas? It’s the odd things like that that remind us we’re making progress and helps keep us accountable at the same time.

That’s it from me today, have a kick ass day!