Fishtank

Wednesday, 3 September 2014

The Elephant in the Room

















I often wonder why it is that people do not, or cannot, speak openly about Depression or Mental health issues. If you walk out your door any day of the week you will meet people who will openly tell you about their Operations, Procedures, Bunions, Gout, Cysts, or whatever plethora of what ails them! They don't shy away from showing you their scars, spots, nips or tucks, but what about those emotional and mental scars which remain hidden, such as Depression or Mental illness? why is it, that even in 2014 we are all so afraid of talking about this Silent killer?

I wonder if it has something to do with our relationship and great fear of the Unknown? Human beings have a tendency of shrinking away from such uncomfortable matters, which they can neither see nor feel. Is it the fear surrounding loss of control? The concept of losing control of ones' Mind or sense of Self in any way, shape, or form, surely is terrifying to many.  Possibly the last frontier the human race has yet to explore more comprehensively, yet this can only be done through awareness and education. It is also interesting and worth questioning how different cultures perceive Mental illnesses and Depression within society. This can also determine or affect what treatment or support is supplied, but indeed can stigmatize the illness further.

The judgement for so long has been on those who suffer from mental illness or depression, that they are somewhat weaker than those who do not directly suffer, their inability to cope with life, sometimes seasoned with a little blame by society. Nobody wants to admit to this if they believe they run the risk of being labeled as weak in some way. It should not be the Elephant in the room. It has just as much to do with those who do not suffer directly as it does with those who suffer. In a Utopian world nobody would suffer in silence. Why are mental illnesses, such as Depression not perceived the same way as physical illnesses and disabilities? What the eye cannot see somehow seems to equate to a whole different perception- if we cannot see you are bleeding, then how can you claim to be hurt ?

We All suffer from some form of Depression at some stage of our lives even if not chronic or clinical. According to the World Health Organisation" It is estimated that one in four people in the world will be affected by mental or neurological disorders at some point in their lives" that is a phenomenal statistic! "with an estimated 350 million people affected by depression " and " Around the world, almost one million people die due to suicide every year, and it is the third leading cause of death among young people ".  (WHO http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs369/en/ )

Depression comes in many forms, ranging from the mild which most people suffer from at some stage in life, due to difficult life situations which bring them down,will cause mood fluctuations, loss of interest in things and appetite, becoming withdrawn etc, to the more serious chronic  forms of depression which causes a physiological change in the body, such as Clinical, Bi-polar, SAD etc..
Some may not even be aware they are suffering from depression . Telling someone to 'snap out of it', or to simply 'get a grip' or 'toughen up' is always counter-productive. We have all heard it bandied about, some of us may even be guilty of uttering those very words!  It usually stems from ignorance and a lack of education, awareness and experience, or in a minority of cases a lack of empathy.
I believe none of us are perfect, therefore, before criticising another think! As the old Native American Cherokee proverb goes :  Don’t judge a man until you have walked a mile in his shoes".
  
Many people struggle to understand how highly intelligent, well educated, outgoing, creative, successful people could possibly struggle with any of the above? Yet, it moves in all circles and can affect each and everyone of us !

In the aftermath of the death of Robin Williams, we should all question our attitudes towards Depression and Mental Illness. Is there a lesson to be learned here ?

When a loved one dies of cancer, what do we do? We often get angry. We raise money. We hold fundraisers and events to highlight awareness and yell, "Fuck you, cancer!  We're not taking this lying down! You're not going to take another one of our family or friends!"

So why can't we do that for Depression? and Depression is definitely one demon that needs to have its Ass kicked! So, with this in mind let me leave you with these thoughts - Let us please take depression very seriously, in ourselves and in others. If in ourselves, let us speak about our pain openly, let us not be limited by childhood conditioning into hiding our anguish, or of being shamed into silence. And if in others, let us find the patience and compassion to hear that pain, to invite it to exist without judgment and without blame. Share it on. Lots of love.  - AM

Thursday, 22 August 2013

"There's more than one way to skin a cat ! "




An old man in Miami calls up his son in New York and says, "Listen, your mother and I are getting divorced. Forty-five years of misery is enough."

"Dad, what are you talking about?" the son screams.

“We can't stand the sight of each other any longer,” he says. "I'm sick of her face, and I'm sick of talking about this, so call your sister in Chicago and tell her," and he hangs up.

Now, the son is worried. So he calls up his sister.

She says, "Like hell they’re getting divorced!" and calls her father immediately. "You’re not getting divorced! Don't do another thing, the two of us are flying home tomorrow to talk about this. Until then, don't call a lawyer, don't file a paper, DO YOU HEAR ME?” and she hangs up.

The old man turns to his wife and says "Okay, they’re coming for Christmas and paying their own airfares.

Friday, 21 June 2013

From Hope springs Confidence


A Business Executive was deep in debt and could see no way out of his worrying predicament.

Creditors were closing in on him. Suppliers were demanding payment. He sat on the park bench, head in hands, wondering if anything could save his company from bankruptcy.
Suddenly an old man appeared before him. “I can see that something is troubling you,” he said.
After listening to the executive’s woes, the old man said, “I believe I can help you.”

He asked the man his name, wrote out a cheque, and pushed it into his hand saying
“Take this money. Meet me here exactly one year from today and you can pay me back at that time.”
Then he turned and disappeared as quickly as he had come.
The Business Executive saw in his hand a cheque for $500,000, signed by John D. Rockefeller, then one of the richest men in the world!

“I can erase my money worries in an instant! ” he realised. 
But instead, the executive decided to put the uncashed cheque in his safe. Just knowing it was there might give him the strength to work out a way to save his business, he thought.
With renewed optimism, he negotiated better deals and extended terms of payment. He closed several big sales. Within a few months, he was out of debt and making money once again.
Exactly one year later, he returned to the park with the uncashed cheque.
At the agreed-upon time, the old man appeared. But just as the executive was about to hand back the check and share his success story, a nurse came running up and grabbed the old man.
“I’m so glad I caught him!” she cried. “I hope he hasn’t been bothering you. He’s always escaping from the rest home and telling people he’s John D. Rockefeller.”
And she led the old man away by the arm.
The astonished executive just stood there, stunned. All year long he’d been wheeling and dealing, buying and selling, convinced he had half a million dollars behind him.
Suddenly, he realised that it wasn’t the money, real or imagined, that had turned his life around. It was his new found self-confidence that gave him the power to achieve anything he went after.

Wednesday, 8 May 2013

How to Make a Beautiful Life



Love yourself.
Make peace with who you are
And where you are
At this moment in time.
Listen to your heart.
If you can’t hear what it’s saying
In this noisy world,
Make time for yourself.
Enjoy your own company.
Let you mind wander among the stars.
Try.
Take chances.
Make mistakes.
Life can be messy
And confusing at times,
But it’s also full of surprises.
The next rock in your path
Might be a stepping stone.
Be happy.
When you don’t have what you want,
Want what you have.
Make do
That’s a well-kept secret of contentment.
There aren’t any shortcuts to tomorrow.
You have to make your own way.
To know where you are going
Is only part of it.
You need to know where you’ve been, too.
And if you ever get lost, don’t worry.
The people who love you will find you.
Count on it.
Life isn’t days and years.
It’s what you do with time
And with all the goodness and grace
That’s inside you.
Make a Beautiful life…
The kind of life you deserve.



- Unknown.

Wednesday, 1 May 2013

Know your Worth......Priceless



A motivational speaker began his seminar by holding up a $20 bill. He asked, "Who would like this $20 bill?"

Hands started going up. He said, "I am going to give this $20 to one of you, but first, let me do this."

He proceeded to crumple the $20 dollar bill up. He then asked, "who still wants it?"

Still the hands were up in the air.

Well, he replied, "what if I do this?"

And he dropped it on the ground and started to grind it into the floor with his shoe. He picked it up, now crumpled and dirty.

"Now who still wants it?"

Still the hands went into the air.

"My friends, we have all learned a very valuable lesson," he said, "no matter what I did to the money, you still wanted it because it did not decrease in value. It was still worth $20."

Many times in our lives, we are dropped, crumpled, and ground into the dirt by the decisions we make and the circumstances that come our way.

We feel as though we are worthless. But no matter what has happened, or what will happen, you will never lose your value.

Dirty or clean, crumpled or finely creased, you are still priceless ... and especially to those who love you.

The worth of our lives comes not by where we've been or what has happened to us, but by WHO WE ARE.

"You are special - Don't EVER forget it."

~by Unknown Author

Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Where there's a will there's a way !







A jobless man applied for the position of “Office boy” at Microsoft.
The HR manager interviewed him then watched him cleaning the floor as a test.
“You are employed.” He said.” Give me your e-mail address and I’ll send you the application to fill in, as well as date when you may start.”
The man replied “But I don’t have a computer, neither an email.”
I’m sorry”, said the HR manager, “If you don’t have an email, that means you do not exist. And who doesn’t exist, cannot have the job.”
The man left with no hope at all. He didn’t know what to do, with only $10 in his pocket.  He then decided to go to the supermarket and buy a 10Kg tomato crate. He then sold the tomatoes door to door . In less than two hours, he succeeded to double his capital.
He repeated the Operation three times, and  returned home with $60.
The man realised that he can survive by this Way, and started to go everyday earlier, and return late, his money doubled or tripled every day. Shortly, he bought a cart, then a truck, then he had his own fleet of delivery vehicles.
Five years later, the man is one of the biggest food retailers in the US . He started to plan his family’s future, and decided to have a life insurance.  He called an insurance broker, and chose a protection plan. When the conversation was concluded, the broker asked him for his email. 
The man replied, “I don’t have an email”. The broker answered curiously, “You don’t have an email, and yet have succeeded to build an empire.  Can you imagine what you could have been if you had an email?!!”
The man thought for a while and replied, “Yes, I’d be an office boy at Microsoft!”
Moral here is, if people let you down, don't believe in you, or refuse you a helping hand, don't lose hope, dig deep, the best person you can always rely on is "YOURSELF". Where there is a will, there's always a way !









Confidence is having Faith



A business executive was deep in debt and could see no way out.
Creditors were closing in on him. Suppliers were demanding payment. He sat on the park bench, head in hands, wondering if anything could save his company from bankruptcy.
Suddenly an old man appeared before him. “I can see that something is troubling you,” he said.
After listening to the executive’s woes, the old man said, “I believe I can help you.”
He asked the man his name, wrote out a cheque, and pushed it into his hand saying, “Take this money. Meet me here exactly one year from today, and you can pay me back at that time.”

Then he turned and disappeared as quickly as he had come.
The business executive saw in his hand a cheque for $500,000, signed by John D. Rockefeller, then one of the richest men in the world!

“I can erase my money worries in an instant!” he realised. But instead, the executive decided to put the uncashed cheque in his safe. Just knowing it was there might give him the strength to work out a way to save his business, he thought.
With renewed optimism, he negotiated better deals and extended terms of payment. He closed several big sales. Within a few months, he was out of debt and making money once again.
Exactly one year later, he returned to the park with the uncashed check.
At the agreed-upon time, the old man appeared. But just as the executive was about to hand back the cheque and share his success story, a nurse came running up and grabbed the old man.
“I’m so glad I caught him!” she cried. “I hope he hasn’t been bothering you. He’s always escaping from the rest home and telling people he’s John D. Rockefeller.”
And she led the old man away by the arm.
The astonished executive just stood there, stunned. All year long he’d been wheeling and dealing, buying and selling, convinced he had half a million dollars behind him.
Suddenly, he realised that it wasn’t the money, real or imagined, that had turned his life around. It was his new found self-confidence that gave him the power to achieve anything he went after.
_ Unknown.

Moral of the story here is simple : have confidence in yourself, never give up, and keep going even when the odds seem stacked against you, this confidence will give you the courage and strength to carry on and have faith that in the end everything will work out .

Monday, 24 September 2012

An 'Apple' a day keeps the doctor away


Yes folks, it's that time again ! " Apple" are rolling out their new iPhone 5, and the scramble has begun.
Applemania is once again taking hold, and habitually rational people are once more going a little gaga and frothing at the mouth at the prospect of owning this new next must have.

We have seen the reports of said fashion victims, setting up camp outside the prospective shops which will be selling them.
The status of this Gadget has achieved a  cult like following. The allure being so strong that some are willing to sleep rough for days just to get their hands on one, or to say they were the first .

Hat's off to Apple for being capable of making grown men cry at the very prospect of owning a mobile phone with a logo of an apple on the back ! Their hypnotic powers have cast such a spell, that leads me to wonder where will all this end? Oh yeah, more than likely, an upgraded version next year or the year after, and the madness will restart.

As per my previous posting, I would like to question what the human cost is of our never ending love affair with the next Avant-garde Gadget.

Apple outsources the manufacturing/production of the iphone to Foxconn in China.
With the demand and release of the iphone 4 we saw suicides rocket inside these factories. As workers were put under such intense pressure to produce the goods for us in the west, they could no longer cope with the stringent quality control, the relentless push to achieve and meet orders, under poor conditions, soon things began to take it's  toll on the mental health of their working drones.

With the mounting pressure to once again meet demands for the release of the iphone 5, there have been reports of more trouble breaking out at Apple's chinese manufacturing plant Foxconn today.

Back in March, reports trickled out about riots within the factory due to poor working conditions. Today, more riots. Over 2000 workers involved in the production of the iphone 5 within the Foxconn factory in China were rioting over similar grievances. Over 5000 state police were called in to quell this uprising, and reports of over 40 people were hospitalised. Demand for the iPhone 5 is so high that one Foxconn factory, in Zhengzhou, Henan province, had to recruit an additional 200,000 workers.

According to the Sunday Telegraph: "The riot, which started on Sunday evening as a dispute between a worker and one of the plant’s 1,500 security guards spiralled out of control.
Witnesses claimed that thousands of workers streaming off their shifts joined the fray. They began battling the security forces and each other amid fury over pay and working conditions. It took four hours for the police to bring the situation under control. On Monday, the 79,000-worker factory was shuttered while at least 35 police and paramilitary trucks remained parked outside the front gate."

If you are still unconvinced of the human cost our demand is causing, I would recommend reading the following article. Cyril Chang, an experienced journalist from 'The Shanghai Evening Post' went under cover working at this factory..his findings were pretty shocking to say the least.

http://micgadget.com/29723/the-undercover-report-on-how-the-new-iphone-5-is-made-inside-foxconn-factory/

In a country that has a terrible human rights record,where most average chinese people don't have a choice when it comes to working, they must work or starve, most send money home to their families in rural areas, so they are wide open to exploitation. Reducing human beings to mere working machines can never be a positive thing.

It's high time that Apple and all similar companies start to take some corporate and ethical responsibility, practice transparency and fairness, not pass the buck, indeed I think the time has come, when we as consumers should demand it ! Don't you?