FLIP-FLOP: Let’s Eliminate the Hyphen

I propose a mission to Flip Flop of all of our citizen designations.  This movement to change how we label people would make us truly culturally diverse, and help eradicate segregation, and racially motivated crimes.

I know that trying to make this happen is akin to trying to move a mountain with a teaspoon. It will, however, bring awareness to how we segregate ourselves. Choices and opportunities would be enhanced; our citizens would have all diverse people to learn from and stand beside them in unity.

FLIP-FLOP

Hyphenated cultural variations are causing a significant divide in our country. Americans are obsessed with labels. We even label our citizens with hyphenated designations.  We segregate groups into ghettos according to these labels. This has a polarizing effect.

Of course “black lives matter”, but so do everybody else.

For a long time I have argued against the hyphen.  It is too divisive. Saying someone is African-American or Mexican- American drives them to closed societies.  Many feel that the only chance they have is to group around similar people to have a comfortable life. Children learn that this is who there are and who they will always be. Hopes and dreams are limited by their circumstance.

An immigrant should still be labeled by their home country.  The first generation may also carry that label, unless they are naturalized or were born here, in which case the new label would apply.  Any generations after that should be American-subgroup. We would all be Americans with honors given to our heritage; for example American-African, American-Mexican, or American-Irish.

We should be aiming at full assimilation and integration, but I don’t see that happening any time soon if we continue using divisive labels.

The mingling of diverse people, their thoughts and ideas make for a richer culture. People living in mixed communities will learn from their neighbors; people would become more open to individuals of different backgrounds; shared learning and activities would help bring people together. People would be able to aggregate their knowledge and strength to help them grow and their neighbors weather their challenges.

The crime rate would invariably decrease because gangs and other trouble makers would not be confined to ghettos with limiting philosophies, but spread out all over town. Education opportunities would improve with diverse mixed classes. Children who do have hopes and dreams would be in a better position to reach their goals.  We would reduce the differences between poor schools and rich schools; the playing field would be leveled for the benefit of all of us.

Cultural diversity was the goal our founding fathers who had a philosophy of equal treatment and opportunity for every citizen, (slavery is another story and fit into the culture at the time). Dividing our nation with hyphens is the opposite of their goals of inclusion and is causing challenges that should not even be on the table.

 

“I never read. I’m always busy doing a lot.”

 

I am appalled.  This quote appeared in Michael Gerson’s column in this morning’s paper that absolutely pushed my buttons.  It said that “I never read. I’m always busy doing a lot.” Shame on you; even if you only read for 15 minutes a day your awareness and insight will be improved.

How could a presumably smart man be so out of touch with reality?  We learn from the past about what did or didn’t work. Not reading eliminates that very important source of information and  new concepts and ideas that may lead to solving problems.

Additionally, what does this say to our children; “if that man can be so successful without reading so can I.”  They are missing the point. They are shutting themselves off from becoming “smarter”.  My first Father-Daughter day involved getting my library card, which I have always treasured; it opened a world which couldn’t have been imagined.

We should all be reading a wide selection of literature, books and magazines, as often as possible. We also should encourage our children to read; read to them, have them read to you, or they can read to themselves, just as long as we are all reading.

 

 

DON’T ANSWER THAT

Cell phones seem to be everywhere these days.  They are helping us stay connected, but they are also breeding a culture of disrespect.

Rudeness and bad manners are increasing and having a negative impact on our society.  Cell phones are a major part of the problem. You can do your part to reduce this impact by being selective about when and where you answer your phone or send text messages.

Do you remember the days before cell phones?  Even before answering machines the caller had to call back to reach you. With the advent of answering machines they could leave a message so you could get back to them. Now days people feel that they might miss something if they don’t answer immediately.

Cell phones seem to be everywhere these days.  They are helping us stay connected, but they are also breeding a culture of disrespect.  We have all seen instances of people dining (not) together where each person is holding their own phone conversations or texting and ignoring the person across the table from them. Whole families do this instead of each of sharing with each other. The first step would be to ban electronics at the dinner table and any other social events; sports, weddings and other gatherings, school should be included. Whatever the situation, the world will not come to an end if you wait to return call or text.

Occasionally answering the phone is unavoidable, but for the most part, we should all learn to let it ring.  If the call is important, the caller can leave a message and you can get back to them at a more convenient time.  For those rare calls that just can’t be ignored, like a parent or boss, it is possible to set distinct ring tones for those numbers. Excuse yourself, and make the call as short as possible.

There have been cases reported of people receiving thousands of text messages per month; they are obviously addicted.  Texting is becoming the preferred means of communication, which makes even little sense than calling. If you are texting, you have a phone in your hand; why not just call the texter and have a real conversation? Text can be handy to confirm an appointment or deliver an “on my way” kind of messages, but long conversations don’t make sense when you can interact personally with the texter.

One trick I do recommend when your rings. If you don’t recognize the number don’t speak first; no hello or anything.  A lot of phone solicitations are voice activated, if you don’t say anything they will just hang up so you don’t have to waste your time talking to a phone solicitor.

Smart phones can be a very useful tool, or they can cut you off from society.  Used responsibly they can help you stay in touch with friends and family; irresponsibly they can pull you down and destroy your credibility. Just as you are responsible in other areas of our life, your cell phone is a responsibility, too.

It Can Happen To Anyone

It can happen to anyone. There seems to be an increase in phishing activity lately; I just got another one of those emails that was “phishing” for information.  It looked like it really came from my bank and when I clicked on the link it took me to a page that looked like the home page for my bank. But it wasn’t.

 

Continue reading “It Can Happen To Anyone”

A Plus for Your Business

 

Hire a Senior

Is your company built on the strength of a diverse workforce? Because of persistent myths, employers are hesitant to hire older workers and quick to jettison their most experienced people in favor of younger people. According to Age Discrimination Employment Act of 1967 it is against the law to discriminate against older workers, but the practice persists anyway.

       The first myth is that older people are set their ways, unproductive, and useless.  The truth is that with experience comes wisdom and they are able to do a great job that incorporates old solutions to new problems.

       The second myth is that it’s too expensive to train older people; they are not going to stay with the company long enough to recoup your investment. In fact, many people have completed and retired from one career and are ready to start another.  They have no intention of going home and sitting in a rocker. They can bring wisdom and insight to your team that is not otherwise available. Because of their extensive work backgrounds they generally need less training than a younger person with no experience;   most have better problem solving skills and more patience.

       Myth number three:  It can be more expensive to keep older workers on staff. Older employees cost too much and reduce profits. Actually, it can cost less.  Anyone over the age of 65 can collect Medicare so that even if you offer a supplemental plan it will be less expensive than full coverage.  Older workers take less time off because they have a stronger work ethic; they value their jobs, and understand the importance of their position to the whole.  Younger workers are more likely to participate in activities and sports that are somewhat dangerous and thus need time off to recover.

       The fourth myth centers on dependability and commitment.  You can usually depend on seniors to be where they are supposed to be, and to be diligent in completing their assignments.  Younger workers are more likely to be distracted by life; and take more time off the enjoy it.  They also do not have the experience to appreciate that they are an important part of the whole and people are depending on them.  Seniors understand that customers are not a bother and every aspect of a project is important; if they drop the ball the entire company is affected. The idea of not hiring older workers because of their capability is stupid.  Older workers can be a valuable asset to the growth of your business.

Another reason to hire senior workers is that they can attract senior customers away from the competition. With the Baby Boomers becoming seniors, the make-up of your customers will be changing.  Seniors may only make up 25% of the population, but they control three quarters of the wealth. Many seniors don’t like to work with younger people; they don’t feel understood.  Your older workers can relate better to your changing clientele and bring you more business from unexpected places.

 

 
Read more: About Age Discrimination | eHow.com http://www.ehow.com/about_4743342_age-discrimination.html#ixzz1Fh2G26s7

 

Powerer in the Palm of Your Hand

Do you worry about getting the best deal when you are shopping? You can spend hours researching and comparing prices both before you go out to the stores and while you are in the stores. Free bar code scanner apps show you info about an item, where to find it, the lowest price, and more about products.  bar-code-qr-code

If you have a smart phone you can download a bar code reader that will tell you just what you are looking at. The information is available instantly to save you time and frustration.

There are dozens of free apps to guide you to the best deals; convenient barcode scanner apps 
are available for both iphone (iOS) and Android phones.

Bar code readers work just like the scanners at grocery stores except they are portable and fit in the palm of your hand. Your smart phone camera “reads” the black and white light pattern on the product code and then the computer in your phone translates it into information you can use to be a smarter shopper.

Having the information you need to make better decisions will save you both money and time. You can also use bar code scanning applications to find out more information regarding products you want to purchase.

Remember knowledge is power; use bar code readers, become a savvy shopper and make your life a little easier.