Interesting articles about insurance

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Where to find inspiration in daily life

I have always been more of a “make-an-effort” rather than a “galvanised-by-revelation” type of person. I find motivational speakers inordinately depressing. Those great tales of overcoming are riddled by bravery and epiphany and all those things I lack.

It is also the little things in life, (the small challenges like a relationship pattern that is boring or the ‘flu), that rob one of energy. Enthusiasm is so irritating! I want to smack people that are relentless eager beavers. I stand by my cultivated adolescent ennui; I mutter “keen bean” disdainfully and have a drink.

Every self-improvement course I have ever attempted has driven me to find an excuse to do the dishes. I know my reaction is childish and perverse, but my philosopher of choice is Oscar Wilde, and he said: “All advice is bad, but good advice is lethal!” I get a lot of that. People seem to feel I am sorely in need of advice. All that zeal has the opposite effect on me – there really should be a term for that; hopelessness and despair do not quite explain it.

Unlikely sources

Ah, but inspiration is a different matter. It sort sneaks up on me and catches me unaware. I do not exactly go into nature to find it, but suddenly one looks up and sees the orchard to the left is a Renoir this autumn. I once travelled by bus through the Karoo and saw the midnight landscape, with no sign of human intervention, bathed in silver moonlight. It inspired me at a time when I thought I was beyond inspiration.

The dad in the queue in front of me in the supermarket is carrying his little child on his arm. The child is sticky with pink lolly goo but they gaze at each other with such trust and adoration that one cannot but marvel at the unconditional nature of love. Now I admit that little dimpled arm draped over an adult shoulder limply, rather predisposes one to sentiment, but still…. I am inspired to be my higher, or at least more tolerant self for the rest of the day.

Of course beauty uplifts the soul, but inspiration that prompts creativity, is often found amongst squalor and suffering. It has something to do with the essential dichotomy of the human condition. The tramp asleep on the park bench is dirty and hardly a symbol of success, but he is clutching a tartan handkerchief in his hand. I had seen him before, washing his hankie in the fish pond,  reaching through the railings. Somewhere, long ago, there was a mother that loved him enough to teach him about hankies. That inspires me.

I went to the Picasso exhibition in the National Gallery, and learnt that to reach utter simplicity that is meaningful, is a long process that permits no short-cuts. This understanding was so liberating (because I always thought that I was getting it wrong, that the process did not have to be so painful and long) that I sat on the steps of the gallery and wept. That experience inspires me still.

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Organ Donation

Consider Organ Donation

Perhaps no-one close to you was saved from untimely death, because someone was registered as an organ donor and that someone died. Because of organ donation a young father of two young sons and the husband of a young wife, received a new heart. Because of organ donation that family continues their dreams for a bright future. Together!
Perhaps you should consider becoming an organ donor and save a life some day.

Facts About Organ Donation

• Many people die every day while waiting for a transplant.
• 1 organ donor can save 8 lives and change the lives of over 50 people by donating tissue and eyes.
• Almost anyone can be an organ donor, regardless of age or medical history.
• If a person is hospitalized, the medical staff provides the best possible care, regardless of organ donor status. Donation is only considered after a patient has died.
• Donors are needed for all races and ethnic groups. Transplant success rates increase when organs are matched between members of the same ethnic background.
• Thousands of people are desperately waiting for organ transplants.
• Organ donation is not only about life saving as many people need life improving tissue such as heart valves, cardiovascular tissue, bone, musculoskeletal tissue and skin.
• The factors that determine who receives an organ include severity of illness, time spent on the waiting list, and blood type. Status plays no role in determining who receives an organ.
• A donor’s body is never disfigured and donation does not interfere with funeral arrangements.
• If you’re a donor, your family pay no money related to donation.
• The success rate for organ transplants is between 80 and 90 percent.
• The need for organ donors has never been greater. You can help.

Benefits of Organ Donation

Perhaps you wonder why you should consider organ donation. Well, here’s why:

– Organ donation Save Lives and you can Make a Difference
– A recipient gets a second chance at life.
– For some, an organ transplant means the end of dependency on costly routine treatments to survive and the return to a normal lifestyle. A recipient may see again or recover mobility or be free from pain.
– Though it is always difficult to lose a loved one, many grieving families of organ donors take comfort in the fact that their loss may help to save a life.

Organ donation is a charitable act that costs nothing.


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Violence at schools: Fifteen year old arrested for stabbing

The recent stabbing and death of a school boy near a secondary school in Wellington was reported with the usual mixture of sensationalist terms and bland comment. While one is grateful that the learners, teachers and witnesses will be receiving counselling, it hardly seems the pertinent point. Reports stated that the Department of Education had arranged for this. I salute them, but since when is it their responsibility to deal with crime? Lazy and un-caring teachers will always find ways of doing the minimum. Overloaded and responsible teachers are bowed under the workload, the absurd amount of admin, the constantly changing curricula, the increasing numbers of pupils that lack discipline and the desire to learn. More and more is expected of educators, while parents shrug and blame.

Parental Influence and Violence

Recently a police warning was broadcast that crystal meth dealers were targeting a certain area. I walked past the primary school at close of the school day, and exactly three parents were waiting to walk their children home. On my way there I had passed umpteen homes where adults were; some merely sitting. The litany of complaints about unemployment is endless. Why, I wonder, do unemployed parents not rally together and at the very least take turns to accompany children to and from school? Has this too now become the responsibility of the schools? How easily we absolve ourselves! The primary example of how to behave is in the home. Children do not disappear into a vacuum before and after they attend school. Whatever they experience at home and on the streets is brought into the classroom with them. Many teachers have many faults, but this one cannot be laid at their door.

The dad hits his son because he has just hit his sister. However, the boy did it because the night before he had seen his father hit his mother. The cycle of violence continues because children always follow the example they grow up with. We can never say to a child to ‘do as I say, don’t do as I do’. The imprinting is much stronger than the reprimand. Parents need to look seriously at their own behaviour. Telling a child not to use drugs is less that worthless if we use the odd recreational drug ourselves. Screaming at a child to not use drugs is more likely to make him/her feel a nuisance and go into the street to find ready-made ‘feel good’ substances because certainly love and acceptance is not to be obtained from the people he/she is supposed to get it from. If the child sees ‘his’ adults regularly indulge in cigarettes…. why, tik is just another thing to smoke! The wrestling channel on T.V. is daily fare in millions of homes. The deification of brutality is in our homes. Aggression, destruction and cruelty are admired. The sheer volume of blood and violence that pours into children’s souls desensitizes with deathly effectiveness. And parents watch and cheer it on! These are the heroes we uphold to our children. We need to be rigorous with ourselves before we blame the school, the police or the gangsters.

Our Violent Society

What was really disturbing was that facebook responses called for a return to corporal punishment. Some people actually criticized Madiba for abolishing it! Desperate as I see teachers are, as they have to perform miracles yet have no recourse, hitting children is surely not the answer. School may be the only place in some children’s lives where they see adults (hopefully) treat each other and children with respect. Surely hitting pupils will only hit home the message that hitting is right. If educated people with the impulse to uplift others do it, why not do it too? If violence in schools is sanctioned, we have no guarantees that tired, over-worked educators will always use it conscientiously.

Police brutality has reached appalling levels, but the police also come from this same society, and people under stress resort to what is familiar. Add to this a position of authority and the protection of a group dynamic, and the misuse of power is a temptation to us all. Yet, once a crime has been committed, it is surely the responsibility of the police to implement the criminal justice system with integrity.

Politics and Violence

Teachers, doctors, nurses, social workers, the police have extra moral imperatives: They have to be more thoughtful, more responsible, and have more self discipline than other professions. It comes with the territory. The same applies to parenthood of course, but the element of conscious choice is not so central to this job!

However, what makes things murky is that people ‘get away’ with being violent. Violence is so acceptable in our society that the wrongness of it is often not questioned. The Cape Flats is a criminal hotbed, but hardly because it is in the DA ruled Western Cape. Yet the glee that accompanies reports on crime in the Western Cape obscures the issues we should all be concerned about, wherever they occur. The public should have free access to crime statistic everywhere, as we had better get real about it! To exploit victims of crime for political purpose is lower than low. Let us not do this, please!

FAS and other facts

Foetal alcohol syndrome has a wide range of symptoms. Degrees of lack of consequential thinking is but one; the real life implications are too complicated to contemplate in this context. Another symptom is the inability to distinguish between phantasy and reality. Imagine the world inhabited by the child who does not separate what he sees on television and what is acceptable behaviour. Surely we have enough studies done on juvenile criminals that offer, as explanation as to why they had perpetrated the horror, “I saw it on T.V.”

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