Category: Getty Insider

Can we be less insensitive?

I shared something on my social media page that made me realise that it is very easy to forget to be sensitive, especially during these times we are presently living in. COVID-19 has some people working from home and others are just at home practising social distancing, but they are not working. It is very tempting to think that everyone, all of a sudden, found themselves with time on their hands and as such, they must come out of this with something meaningful, a new skill, a business, etc. The post below is what I shared without thinking about the many people who may not be having the same reality right now:

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I have seen a lot of posts like this one in the past weeks and while the message is meant to be encouraging, it may also be really insensitive to others. I thank God for friends who call me out every time I say something that is completely off or insensitive. It did not take too long for my best friend to send me a message saying that the post is too harsh. He reminded me to think about the many people who are going through so much right now that the last thing on their mind is starting a side hustle or beginning a new course. At the time, I got defensive and responded that I am not the person who wrote the post, but I later realised that by sharing it, I may have shown that I subscribe to the message. Subconsciously, I had agreed with the sentiment without giving it much thought.

Another good friend saw the post and wrote to me that there are many people, particularly in Wuhan, where he is based and where the virus began, who are struggling with mental health issues at the moment. Some are thousands of miles from their families and cannot go home. Those in high-risk areas such as Wuhan, Milan or New York cannot even think about being productive at this time because they are dealing with deaths every single day. My friend warned against the dangers of a single story, the assumption that we have all been blessed with plenty of time and energy to do those things we were always putting off prior to this. While this may be true for some, it is definitely not the case for everyone. Knowledge is power!!

They say 'Knowledge Is Power.' But, more powerful than knowledge ...

May we be more sensitive when we post during this period. What we think may be good advice to get through the lockdown in our respective countries and/or lives may not apply to everyone. Consider also that some people have lost their only source of income and they may not even see a tomorrow at the moment.  I am ashamed to admit that I was insensitive, but I have learnt my lesson and will do better from this point on.

What about you? What do you think about the messages that people should start a side-hustle, new course or learn a new skill? What other lessons are you learning in this season? Let’s share below, I always enjoy hearing from you.

Stay safe and be mindful.

GG

You take nothing with you when you die.

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I attended my aunt’s funeral last week and as I reflected on her death, I realised that there are key lessons that could be learned from her passing. I do hope that as I share the lessons that I took from losing a loved one, someone reading this may also relate. Here are the key things I have learned:

You take nothing with you when you die

We are often so consumed with amassing wealth and material possessions. Death is the perfect reminder that none of those things matter the way we think they do. When you die, you will go with the one outfit and nothing else. It made me wonder what the point is to our existence. I was sad to realise that our time on this side of heaven is nothing but a short stay in which we must make sure we live purposefully, otherwise what else is there? Does this mean we stop buying clothes and other material things because when we die we leave with nothing? In my reflection and after reading for the umpteenth time, the book of Ecclesiastes in the Bible, I concluded that we must be content with less. Our aim should not be in gathering material possessions but should be on building relationships and leaving a legacy worth remembering. There are more important things than having the latest clothes, bags, cars, etc.

Make your life make sense while you still have the chance

Death makes life seem meaningless. I had so many questions and I honestly wondered about my whole existence. What is the point? Are we born to suffer for a couple of decades (if we’re lucky) and then die? The moments of joy are so fleeting while the pain and suffering seem endless. As I reflected, I thought life does make sense if you live with purpose. You have to find your purpose and the joy will follow. Often, we live one day at a time, merely existing and going with the flow. When you think about dying and leaving it all, you will realise that every second of your life counts and you must make it count. What does this mean? It means that every single day must be lived as if it were the last day. It means not spending too much time wallowing in misery and negative feelings because you only have that one life to live. It means forgiving quickly because tomorrow is not promised. It means taking those chances and using up all the resources inside of us while we still can. The time is now.

All roads lead back to God

My aunt’s death also made me realise that all roads lead back to God. At least for me. The confusion, the search for meaning and purpose…it is only God who can help us make sense of it. Without faith, there would be a void and I am even worried to contemplate what my life will be like without it. The Lord is my source of comfort and my refuge when the world makes no sense.

What about you? What event made you sit back and reflect on the meaning of life?

Failure to adult…it is one of those days.

Today I woke up feeling all of my 34 years of age. I just could not do this adulting thing because I was feeling the full weight of it. I was feeling all kinds of different emotions, maybe it is adulting or PMS or both. All I know is that I was not feeling fine, had zero motivation for work and I just did not want to engage.

But, I managed to remind myself that a bad day does not mean a bad life.

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Now that the day is almost over, here I am still wishing:

…it was Friday already.

…I could have a full day or weekend off.

…I could have days to relax and not have to worry about all the things I have to do.

I prayed more than usual today because I know that worry is not from God. I went to God and cast all my cares onto Him. My faith was being tested for a few hours, but I remembered that God never promised us perfect days in which everything flows without stress, but He did promise that He will never leave or forsake me. I held on for dear life to that promise.

What kind of day are you having? How do you deal with a bad day?

He doesn’t ask for much, just obedience

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God is good and He wants to give us good things. I experience Him as that Father who finds it hard to say no to his little girl, no matter how big the ask is. As I grow older and continue my walk with Christ, I question my motives in asking God to grant me some of my desires. Am I asking for something that will please me and not glorify Him? Am I living in obedience to Him and His will or I am simply asking because I want those things. He is so faithful that He will listen to us whenever we go to him, but like David, we should be able to stop and say

Search me, O God, and know my heart;

Psalms 139:23a

The lesson for me today is to stop and question my motives. By going to God and asking for Him to help me deal with my issues, I ask myself if I am living right? Have I been obeying Him and following His word? I know that God does not give according to our actions, otherwise, I would not deserve anything due to my constant sin. God gives according to His grace and mercy towards us. But, are we the kind of people who are satisfied to simply ask and never give anything in return?

1 John 2: 3-5 says:

Now by this we know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments. He who says, “I know Him,” and does not keep His commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoever keeps His word, truly the love of God is perfected in him.

What this does for me is that it takes the focus away from the need I had to Him who made me and loves me with the greatest love. He already knows all my needs, so if I shift the focus to loving on Him, my joy is restored and I trust that He is handling all things on my behalf ❤️

Confronting my ageism…

ageism
/ˈeɪdʒɪz(ə)m/
noun
  1. stereotyping, prejudice or discrimination on the grounds of a person’s age. “ageism in recruitment is an increasing problem”

I am going to start with a few questions for you.

  • Is it always important for you to only hang out with people your own age?
  • Do you only consider dating in a certain age range and never step out of that range?
  • Do you only accept the views of people in your own age range and view others on the outside of that range to be “uninformed” about your experiences?

If you have answered yes to one or both of these questions, you might be an ageist. Well, that might be a strong statement, so let me rephrase. You might have practiced ageism knowingly or unknowingly.  I recently had to admit that about myself and it was only after taking some time to reflect on it and research on what ageism is all about that I realised just how limiting this mindset can be. The extreme forms of ageism can lead to people being overlooked for job opportunities or being discriminated against in society. However, I am going to describe my own experience with ageism, from how I have come to understand it.

The first time I came face to face with my own prejudice related to age was a little while back when I went on the GPS Gateway Camp . This was the first time I admitted to having stereotyped people according to their age and I felt really ashamed to have done this. The funny thing is as I was busy making stereotypes about people based on their age, it did not occur to me that I was also making those same stereotypes about myself (judging myself as old).

Here is how it happened:

So, we arrived at the camp on the first day and it was a Monday afternoon. I registered as an individual camper which meant that I would be part of a team of people who will be meeting each other for the very first time, unlike those who registered as a group. So, you know how it goes when you have to make introductions… The conversation went like this:

“Hey, how are you? My name is ….and I am from (insert country of origin),  how old are you?”

I was fine answering the first part of the question, but the last part I found myself feeling oddly uncomfortable. For some reason, I felt uneasy answering the question about my age. The reason being that the people in my team looked really young. I immediately thought, OMG, I am in the wrong team. I am in my early 30s and most of the people in the camp looked like they were teenagers. My reaction was so immediate and sort of subconscious. I  had judged them based on their appearance and made the conclusion that they were young and therefore, I was in the wrong group/the wrong camp.

In hindsight, I am happy to know how wrong I was to have made that judgement because even though the people in my team were much younger, it was the right group for me. Their energy levels and stories made me reflect back on my days as a young adult and also gave me an opportunity to feel like an older sister. 

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These days I am learning to work on my prejudices. I am willing to befriend people outside of my age range and I honestly think that has widened my network a whole lot. I am finding that younger or older people also have a lot they can show and teach me. Even people ten years younger or older than me.  I also realised the importance of having a teachable spirit and not judging a book by its cover.  Funny story…none of the people in my team believed me when I told them my real age, so it goes to show that age is really just a number.

Have you confronted your ageism and in what instances? Drop me a message below, you know that I always love to hear from you.

 

 

 

I have high standards and I know my worth!

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Keep your standards high and your expectations low

This is the lesson of the week!! It is only Monday, but this day has made me think about my standards and what I value most in life. These are lessons I will keep learning as I grow older and experience life. I think what I have been building over the years through personal and intellectual development allows me to say yes or no to certain things.  I really want to stress that in the search for an identity, your place in the world, career or whatever it is, it is very very important to know what you will be willing to stand for and what is a NO NO!!

I am realising that in the process of looking for what is next and in making a transition we are often tempted to take the easy way out. We get impatient and we don’t want to struggle. We want the path of least resistance and this is human nature. But, I learnt today that anything that makes me lower my standards or go against my values is not worth it. Anything that requires me to sell my soul to the devil in order to say I have made it to the other side is definitely not worth it.

If you don’t stand for something, you will fall for anything! ~Alexander Hamilton

My standards remain high because I know what I am worth! There are people out there who are just waiting for the opportunity to tell you that you are not good enough or that you need them to become anything in life.

I have low expectations of this world, such that I am pleasantly surprised when I meet really good and kind people. The world we live in has become such a terrible place, with individuals who are preying on people’s desperation to exploit them for their own benefit. There is no amount of money that is enough to make you lose your value. There are people who might look at me as a person of colour (POC) and judge my worth as less, that is the world we live in. However, if you know the value of what you bring to the table, racism or discrimination must not discourage or bring you down. There will be a handful of people willing to hire you based on your merit and not the colour of your skin, you just have to keep going until you find them. Unfortunately, being black and African in a world that accepts the one narrative of Africa as an impoverished and aid-dependent continent often means that when people meet us, they first want to offer us the bare minimum and we are expected to be grateful.  I don’t know about you, but I am not willing to sell myself short just because someone in a position of power and privilege feels I am only worth as much as they decide I am worth. It is disrespectful to what I stand for as an individual and my core beliefs.

My personal identity, if you have been following this blog you would know that it is first and foremost, that I am a child of God. Everything else is secondary. This identity makes it impossible for me to be tossed around by individuals in this world who seek to take advantage of me and offer me less than what I deserve as a daughter of a King.

I have been reminded to stay vigilant and watchful! Never settle for anything just because it is available.

Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour~1 Peter 5:8

Today I choose gratitude and happiness!

It is amazing how much of a mindset shift can occur when you change your perspective. A change of perspective simply means looking at an issue in a different way, choosing to believe that there is more than one way to understand something. A different perspective!! I want to take this moment to thank each and every person who reached out to comment on my post yesterday, you can read it HERE if you missed it. I got  so encouraged to think in a different way and I am honestly happy to have shared my experience because sharing it showed that there is strength in community. So here is how my day went today:

Today I chose gratitude as a new perspective. Instead of looking at all the things that are not going so great, I chose to be grateful for being here today. As I write this I thank the  Lord for this stage of my life which I am now beginning to see as a period of learning and growth. I choose in this moment to focus on what is going well and not what is on standstill. In this period of waiting and resting, help me to

“turn this pity party into a cycle of praise” ~Pastor Judah Smith

Today I came across my happiness activity journal and I realised that I hadn’t written in it since February this year.

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I really love how it allows me to reflect on what made me happy this week and what made me unhappy. It doesn’t just end there, it then asks me to think about what I will choose to focus on to be happier next week, and has space to share an inspiring quote for the week as well as lessons for that week.

Today I said to myself, no type of schedule (busy or not) should keep me from keeping track of my happiness, although all the evidence points to the fact that I had in fact allowed the craziness of the past few months and my current circumstances, to steal that away from me. I chose to continue writing in my happiness activity journal and just doing that shifted my mood a great deal.

Today I got out of bed and did something useful with my time. I think movement is good. I just wish I was the exercise type, but sadly that is furthest from my mind. I did take a walk and got caught in the rain with my friend. Hong Kong weather has this weird impromptu rain around this time of the year,  that only lasts a few minutes and then it is back to being hot and humid again. When it started raining, we didn’t have umbrellas because when we left home it was not showing any signs of rain. Me and my friend Abi didn’t even bother running for cover, it felt so good getting soaked for a bit, we even held hands and started singing. The rain felt oddly therapeutic, I just hope we both don’t catch a cold. Those are the rare moments of joy that cannot be captured except in our memories.  Who would even have the time to think of taking out their cellphone to take a rain selfie? You would be surprised with the way we humans love our selfies these days. If people can take selfies at a funeral, then anything can happen.

Today was a good day.  This blog reached the 200 followers milestone today.

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See what happens when you count your blessings, you see more and more of them in the least expected places. I am so glad to be able to share this space with all of the people who read and take the time to interact with me. You all make it worth while.

 

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