So many people say ‘I don’t have time for that’. And it has been said numerous times before me that we have time for what we make time for. But. What if some of us don’t have the basic required means to do what we really would like to do? And I’m not talking about luxury experiences here. Taking a day off to relax our mind might not be possible for someone who works 7 days a week in an undeveloped country for such a low wage that is barely enough to cover survival needs. Going for dinner in a restaurant? Out of the question for these people. Yet they have such strength and calmness. They do not worry what tomorrow will bring because they only enjoy the present day. They’re grateful to experience today. Then another today and another until years have passed. These kind of people are scared to dream.
How can they develop an ambitious mindset when they don’t see any opportunities getting lost when suddenly coming their way? These people truly embrace every 24-hour, every moment, every millisecond. They cherish life. Their 24-hour feels longer. No, not because they are suffering, not at all. These people might live in poverty or a near poverty environment, yet they are happy. They appreciate the smallest things that most of us walk by. A genuine smile, the taste of ripe fruit, the smooth breeze on our skins, an honest conversation. Being fully present and fully experiencing every moment what extends their 24-hours.
Instead of a long inspirational message to women this year, I’m speaking to men on International Women’s Day. Why? Because so many women have already woken up my friends and they’re doing their thing: being outspoken, achieving their goals and dealing with everyday sexism without whinging. Simply we’re getting on with what we want and dusting off our shoulders after facing challenges. Keep on going ladies!
I’m grateful to those of you who treat a person as another human being despite their gender. Those of you who are not afraid to speak up when sexism takes place. Those of you who raise your daughters making sure she can become whoever she wants to be, encouraging her to get her full potential. Those of you who stand by your sisters and mothers to get their voices heard. Those men who are capable of adapting to change and realise that for a very long time women were repressed. They have started to rise only 100 years ago. That’s not a very long time considering that we’re writing 2018…I’m thankful that there is a change taking place and I can live in an era to be part of it. As this change is still ongoing and even though we have come a long way there’s still plenty of space for improvement.
Complete equality means to me, personally, that we all get to play this game, called life, with the same opportunities no matter what your gender is. No anger towards each other but instead why not collaborate and lift each other up? Who cares what was the ‘norm’ for men and for women?
I say, every living person should have the freedom to do what they want. Doesn’t matter what that is and whether you’re a woman or a man. We need to have the freedom of choice to decide how we want to live our lives. Excuse my language but fuck gender associated ‘norms’! Go get out there and do your best based on what YOU want. And that’s that.
While it is great seeing that I have connections with generous people whom are posting about the donations they are making towards charities during this period, it makes me wonder: why is it that we need a reason like Christmas to do this? And before you call me hypocrite, yes I am just as guilty as they are. It was only this morning that I transferred some money to a bank account of a charity supporting people with mental health issues. It makes me question myself as well: why don’t I have this urge to give back in May? In August? I could now stand up for myself and say that actually I do, which is true, however I have to admit that I am definitely more generous this time of the year. I wish we could somehow drag this attitude out to last 12 months rather than 2 weeks per year.
So for those of us who plan our goals for the following year: how about using this inspiration we feel right now to reflect in our next year’s plans? How about making a conscious decision that instead of the peak of our giving-back in December to be spread over 12 months? Maybe it won’t make a huge difference…at first. But! If at least some of us will start this new habit, eventually others will follow as we have the power to influence by showing an example.
So I start. I hereby publicly declare that from 2018 onwards I will be paying more attention to helping out the ones in need. It doesn’t matter how we do it: either by paying for someone else’s meal, donating our time to a charity, helping out someone with a challenge, telling someone how wonderful they really are, getting behind a volunteer organisation’s objective or simply letting someone jump the queue because they can’t miss their flight. Whatever it is, if it will make another person smile for a while then it is worth it.
My personal goal for 2018 is simply to bring more smiles into this world. Because it will just make it a better place to live in for all of us 🙂
If you agree with this then I encourage you to spread the message. And I don’t mean just by sharing this. Yes that would help getting this out to as many of us as possible so I will be grateful if you do it, but I also encourage you to at least try to adapt a similar attitude that suits YOUR life. #timeforchange
Gender pay gap – yes, yes you’ve heard it all before, you know women get paid less than men and you know that feminists are angry about this. So what can we do to make things better?
If you don’t feel your blood boiling because of the fact that some people put less cash in their pocket for doing the same job, then let me put it this way to you. Your sister / mother/ closest female friend working for 7 years will get 1 year less salary overall than a male colleague. Is it fair? No. Can we speak up? Hell yes. Let’s not be victims but be the ones who turn things around.
Here’s what you can do: as a female don’t feel guilty for asking for a pay rise. Men are likely to earn more money because they won’t over-think telling their bosses that they want a higher salary. Asking for your pay package to reflect your hard work is not bitchy. It’s smart, so do it. As a male please realise that women are smart and creative business partners and they are not there to make you coffee or organise your files. They are employed to be heard, so listen.
This is not about feminism, it’s about fairness. If men were paid less than women I would stand by this cause the exact same way. So speak up ladies, and listen gentlemen!