My Takes

Just my humble opinion…

Archive for the tag “People”

Who Are You?

Do I know you? Do you know you? That may be the better question.  Everyone wants everyone to be like…yes, everyone but themselves. Why can’t you be like so-and-so? As a young kid, my aunt wanted me to be like The Baileys.  The Baileys were our upper-class family friends, quite naturally, their kids were classy and well-mannered.  At least in the public eye.  My aunt didn’t know they farted without saying excuse me.

There is so much conversation on young people being forced or pressured to look and act a certain way.  As parents we resent and discuss this with disgust but in many ways we are guilty of setting the trend.  How many of us ask our halves to be different?  “Honey, why can’t you be like this?  Do it for me.  Wear this…”  I have seen it in friends who were once wild and free with independent minds, becoming zombie-like as they lose their own identity and take on that of their other halves.  They just melded.

Sometimes a change is good.  Your wife finally gets you to loosen up and try something you have never tried before, you did and found out you loved it!  In fact, you are a natural at it!  This does not change who you are.  It just means you have added something new to what makes you.  Kudos to the wifey!  Life is a life-long learning experience.  You sometimes learn that you are not one-dimensional after all!  I for one have found out I like chips after all! Thanks honey!

On the flipside, I have seen my once-funny friends get involved with Debbie Downers and turned into Boring Bobs.  (Isn’t it funny that it rarely works the other way?).  A happy you is the real you are and being anything other than that is compromising or rejecting the very things that characterize who are you.

Don’t be like the Baileys or anyone else for that matter.  Be YOU, but first, find out who you really are.

 

 

 

 

Making Trouble From Nothing

“Carlos, you are just making trouble out of nothing!” Our German International Student, Hanna, used to say to me when I stress over something that she thought was not worth stressing about.  She was, and still is, right though.

You see, I am a stresser, (not really a word). I like to, as Hanna put it, make trouble out of nothing.  I stew over things, no matter how small.  Sleeping for me is work time for my brain.  That’s the time when all of my day’s issues get solved or I devised other ways of dealing with them.  A presentation at work?  When I’m done with it at about 2am, it’s a finely-honed delivery without any hiccups, too bad my audience would never hear it, instead they were privy to the water-down version.  Well it wasn’t that watered down, since I actually did stew on it a few nights prior to the delivery date.  My nocturnal labor has solved worked problems that I was working on and even found lost items! I retrace my wife’s steps to the likely places she could have ‘lost’ her cell phone.

I am an avid sports fan, especially hockey.  When my team loses in the playoffs, it’s time for this fan to break down every what-ifs and near-miss scenarios.  What if the puck hadn’t hit one of our players?  We probably would have scored. How about the breakaway that he missed the open net on?

Maybe it’s a mental health issue and I need to talk to a brain sweeper to clear out the cobwebs that have been taking up residents in my cranial attic. (Wow! Did I just say that? That’s some serious lingo!) My wife insists that I should just shut my brain off and go to sleep. Easier said than done.  Maybe she has a brain switch but I wasn’t blessed with one.

You might ask why don’t I do all that stressing and over-thinking during the day and sleep at night?  Great question! Mind if I get back to you on that?  I just need to maybe…stew on it a bit tonight.

Just My Take!

DST

Image result for daylight savingsIn this hectic world where we wish daily that we had one more hour in our days, losing an hour is a big deal.  When it’s done on a Sunday morning where the next day is the much-dreaded and hated Monday, it’s an even bigger deal.

It’s becoming increasingly clear that this tactic has ran its course but the decision-makers continue to flog this dead horse.  Maybe they just don’t want to admit defeat.  Saying this,  I have a work-around that could make this DST work and benefit everyone.  Make the change on a weekday, preferably Monday, at about 3pm!

How would that benefit everyone?  Well when the time changes on a Sunday, employees show up to work tired and unproductive.  That’s if they do turn up, some prefer to call in sick.  If the time goes forward an  hours closer to the end of their work day, employees get to leave on hour earlier AND start their evening chores earlier too! It’s almost as if they gained an hour! It’s all in the mind of course because really, who doesn’t want to leave work early? Happy employees=production=happy employers.

Thank me later.

Who Are Our Enemies?

Have you heard about the attacks? No, not the attacks in Paris.  Or Baghdad or Beirut for that matter, the attacks on Muslims.  Here’s one such attack.  Yesterday in Toronto, Canada, a Muslim woman was attacked by two men while picking up her young son from school.  They punched her to the ground while calling her a terrorist and telling her to go back home.  That’s’ the attacks I’m talking about here.  Muslims are finding the world very unwelcoming these days but is it deserving? Should we hate Muslims?

I have news for you.  Muslims are not your enemy.  The enemy lurks outside our doors. He is our neighbor, our friend, our family.  We know him but we really don’t know him.  No border security can stop him because he is already within the walls.  In fact, he was born within the walls. He doesn’t wear a turban or even knows the Koran.  The Governments promise to eradicate him and all those like him but how?  They don’t know him. He blends in.  He’s Canadian, French, American.  Then what can we do?  I would say pray but you don’t believe in God.  In fact you protest prayers in schools and think Christianity is the root of all evil.  The enemy outside your door is not a Christian but he is the root of some serious evil!

Many pray for peace, I pray for understanding, strength and faith. Understanding so I can understand why this is happening, strength to cope and faith to stand firm in my belief.  I wish for peace but it’s just a wish.  God’s will must be done.  Again, what can we do?  Love more, Hate less.  Would it stop those terrorists? Probably not but doesn’t hurt to try.

My Take

 

 

 

How Did I Survive?

Sometimes I wonder how the heck did I make it this far.  For instance, as I placed my food into the microwave last night, I thought of my boyhood days.  I would eat cold soup and cold rice without noticing the difference.  The only thing that mattered was that I was eating. I was being fed.  In fact, back then I had no idea that it was even possible to warm up food without putting it on a stove top or an open fire.

I also showered with ice-cold water.  It was like showering with your shower turned to the cold setting.  Try it next time.  I never once thought to myself, “Oh I wish the water was warmer.” On an extremely hot day it did get a bit warmer.  That would be like moving your shower tap half an inch from the cold setting.

How did I rendezvous with my friends back then? I would take a chance that they would be at home and actually walked to their houses.  I had no way of texting to alert them of my visit.  The funny thing was, it didn’t matter.  I never wished for a better way of communicating with my friends so I could know what they were doing and where they were every second of every day.  No, the idea would have seem absurd then.  When we played with a game of war, hiding behind trees while pointing sticks or even our fingers at each other and going ‘bang!’ it seemed as realistic as it could get.  I never wished we could play it in HD on a big television screen, with my choice of sophisticated weaponry.

So how did I survive then when I can barely survive now without these things?

 

It’s Not You, It’s Me

I find that I generally have low expectations of people.  This way when they over-excel and prove me wrong, I am pleasantly surprised and thankful that there are good people out there.  And I like surprises!  Personal experiences have taught me not to expect too much of anyone.  In fact, they taught me to be downright distrusting until trustworthiness is proven.  But don’t worry, it’s not you, it’s me and my trust issues.  And also, MY TAKE

Never Judge A Book By Its Cover, A Classic Example Why.

I believe in the saying ‘Never judge a book by its cover’ but sometimes, I can’t help being human and I make the mistake of judging someone based on their outward appearance.  I know, I shouldn’t and you shouldn’t either.  Here’s a really good reason.

After filling up at a gas bar on the weekend, I went inside a store to pay.  The clerk, a young black man with a mohawk haircut and lines etched in his short beard, was chatting on the phone with his buddy, discussing plans for the evening. I stood for what seemed like a couple of minutes but was actually maybe 20 to 30 seconds.  Granted, he should have put his friend on hold immediately when I got to the counter.  As I listened to his chatter, I deduced from his looks that he was the gangsta-ish type. Why are these people even in a customer service job? I thought to myself. Inside, I was already putting up barriers to deal with this punk.

When he came over to attend to me, he asked if the gas was all I was getting.  The usual generic question. I wasn’t fooled. My barriers were still up. Punk! With no customer service skills whatsoever!  “How is your day going so far?” Asked the punk in a genuinely caring voice. Say what? Maybe it’s just a trick. I was cautious in my response and also asked him how his day was.  We had a small conversation about the day, work, and even Christmas traditions!  He was a nice guy!  With great customer service!  Maybe just a little slow on getting off the phone but other than that, a good punk.

I felt badly as I walked out the store, wondering if he had seen my demeanor when he first approached me.  Could that be why he asked how my day was?  Not so good.  I just judged you because of how you looked.  If only I was judged on my looks sometimes…

So You Want To Free Your Nipples?

I can tell you why but it's kinda obvious

I can tell you why but it’s kinda obvious

I understand that we are remaking and rebranding our society.  I understand that to do this, we need to make some drastic, questionable and sometimes ridiculous changes to what we once held sacred.  We need to be a more accepting society, we need to make everyone happy, change ‘Christmas’ to ‘holiday’, take bibles out of schools, yes, I totally understand.  It’s a inconvenient necessity.

Gone are the days when egotistical men armed with personal agendas opened doors for the ‘weaker sex’.  How rude of them!  Equality for all! We need a non-gender specific world where men and women are free to roam around shirtless. Yes, in fact, we need an non-gender world period! It’s time we get with the times! Let’s raise our sons to be ‘its’ let them wear pink dresses, flaunt their freedom of choices, let our daughters show their nipples. Free The Nipples!

Of course it’s a travesty.  Why shouldn’t women bare their chests to the delight of men?  If Miley Cyrus, Madonna, Rihanna, Nicki Minaj and a bunch of other highly respected celebrities are in on it, then why shouldn’t we take notice?

I am sorry but I can only maintain my sarcasm for so long.  Of course the idea is utterly ridiculous!  I am not against women fighting for some form of equality like equal pay, but sacrificing your self-respect to fight for something like showing your privates in public is definitely not the way to go.  You will get noticed for sure but not the way you want or is it the way you want?  What next? Don’t answer that.  The unification of the bathroom? I hate to break the news to you women but when it comes to gender, the sex detector has determined that you ARE indeed a woman.  Be proud of it.  Accept the difference, yes there is a difference.  Free your mind, not your nipple.  And that’s just My Take.

Our Soldiers Are The Real Heroes

There’s just something about a war veteran that enthralls me.  To me they are like deep vessels containing so much experience. Experiences that would cause many of us to faint. Acts of bravery, seeing their friends blown to smithereens, the sound of incoming rockets, looking into the eyes of the enemy before their bullet pierced his chest…yes, these brave guys have seen it and heard it.

Yet here they stand among us, some barely remembered except for Remembrance Day.  Even the government that sent them out to fight their fights have forgotten about them.  They are the faceless, the nameless and sadly, the homeless.  Our heroes are greedy overpaid hockey players who go on strike for more money.  And get it.  These men were never promised riches yet they were willing to sacrifice their lives for our future, so that we could enjoy a good game of hockey, watching Bobby Orr or Wayne Gretzky.

There are  not too many of them remaining from WWI and WWII but there’s one that shows up at every Winnipeg Jets’ game., Len Kropioski.  He is shown on the jumbotron at the end of ‘O Canada’, his arm raised in salute.  I enjoy watching him and sought him out when I attend Jets’ games.  As I stare at him on the screen, I wonder what he must have seen and wishing I could sit with him while he regales me with his stories.  Did you shoot anyone, sir? Did you see your friend die? How did you feel? Did you ever regret it? Sir, you are the real hero. 

My wife’s grandfather was also a war veteran.  Unfortunately, he took his stories with him when he died.  He never discussed what he saw or did.  One day, my hero at the Jet’s game would fail to show up.  The hero outside the Salvation Army store would not be there.  Some of us would not notice but the rest of us will always remember…

I am a pacifist, which means I am anti-war. This does not mean I would allow myself the ignorance of not recognizing what these brave men and women have done to secure a free world for the rest of us.  They fought battles with enemies they didn’t know or had a beef with.  Many knew not what the fight was about or who started it but off to battle they went bravely.  To countries outside of their farmlands.  Countries they never heard of.  I recognize and salute bravery. Today, I salute these people who served and who are serving. God bless you!

Note:  Sometimes we seem to forget those soldiers who continue to carry the baton. Fighting to maintain peace and keep away the enemies who threaten our peace.  They are heroes too. When we hear of war veterans, we also see the face of an old man but lest we forget, many great women fought and died also.  LEST WE FORGET.

My wife’s Grandpa.

It’s All About Attitude Of Gratitude

An old co-worker always used the term, “It’s all about attitude of gratitude” and I never really grasped the full meaning of it until later.  I grew up in the Caribbean and experienced first hand what it was to be poor. Because of this, I grew up very appreciative of whatever small token I was given, whether goods or services.  I never fail to express my gratitude.  Sometimes I admit that I get carried away and get lost in the thank you’s, repeating it so that the recipient of my gratitude would get the idea that I was honestly grateful.  (Thank you is so generic that I often think my sincerity is lost) I sometimes wonder if maybe I should go a bit lighter on the expressions of gratitude so as not to come off as weird.  Last week at work for example, I was feeling so thankful for my new job that I had a sudden urge to send a thank you email to the HR lady who hired me. I gave in to that urge and thanked her profusely for the opportunity to work for her company.  Yes, I did feel a bit silly afterwards but my heart was in the right place.

Many feel that favors and handouts are owed to them, hence expressing gratitude is not warranted.  Wrong attitude.  Remember, as my friend said, it’s all about attitude of gratitude. At this Thanksgiving time, take the opportunity to reflect on the things in life that you are truly thankful for.  Not the cars and houses but the little things. The job that provides the cars and houses, the HR lady who hired you, the person who holds a door for you, the irritating friend who although irritating, is really a true friend, your family, your spouse, the cashier at  your favorite store who does a thankless job of making your day just by being nice. Thank her.  So many little and seemingly insignificant people working behind the scene, playing a big role in our existence. Thank you, thank you so much. Really really much. Thank you again, really appreciate all you do. Did I say how grateful I am? Thanks!  If you are a Christian, remember to thank the BIG GUY who makes it all possible. Thank  you God!

And you, have a Happy Thanksgiving!

 

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