(Editors Note: The following is a contribution from Krishann Briscoe.)
As a mother I am passionate about investing in my babies. I realize that they will grow up become contributing members of society. They might grow up to be leaders, innovators, and philanthropists — agents of change.
The potential I see in them is limitless.
And yet the same potential I see in them can be seen in the faces of children across the globe. Because I know that my children will not grow up and walk the world alone I realize the value in investing in all of our children not just the ones we tuck in bed at night. And by investing in all children I am investing in the future.
April 25 is World Malaria Day 2013. It is a day in which a worldwide effort is made to reflect on the advancements made in the efforts to prevent the spread of malaria and other infectious diseases. And with reflection comes the desire to look ahead to a future, concurrently developing a plan of action so that the time might come when malaria is no longer a threat to the lives of our children.
According to WorldMalariaDay.org, malaria deaths in Africa have been “cut by one third within the last decade” and in numerous countries impacted by malaria there has been a case reduction by 50%. Additionally in countries where access to malaria control interventions has improved most significantly, overall child mortality rates have fallen by approximately 20%.
That information is huge and filled with hope and promise much like our world’s children. However, with less financial support for malaria control the advancements made are “under threat.”
That means that there is still so much work to be done in order to ensure that the goal to eradicate Malaria becomes a reality.
When we see that change is being made and statistics seem to be in our favor it is easy to get comfortable and pull out of the fight; however, the threat is till very real and the desire to keep fighting ever present. How you fight, is up to you.
Whether it be raising awareness and/or donating funds there are numerous ways we can unite with the world April 25th and after as we look to the future, a future in which all children have the chance to grow up and carry the torch for the various nations that make up this amazing planet we all call home.
For more on World Malaria Day visit worldmalariaday.org.
“Parents just don’t understand.” Remember that jam? Yah… me either.
But seriously, DJ Jazzy Jeff and The Fresh Prince knew what they were talking about when they rapped, “Parents just don’t understand” – and over two decades later, the same sentiment rings true for Millennial’s, or Gen Y.
Since becoming fascinated with generations, bridging the communication gap between them, and helping my peers find inner peace, I have been bombarded with article after article all reflecting on the same thing; Gen Y’s negative traits. There is a major lack of understanding where those traits are concerned because the authors of said articles are often coming from a space of generation bias, or from lack of experience actually interacting with members of Gen Y. It shocks me how my peers are like fish in a fishbowl, the outside world constantly looking in- fast food chains trying to win us over, insurance companies sorting our needs…
This morning in particular I read an article from Women’s Agenda, “Why the millennial generation may be lacking drive”. The author of the article Marina Go shares information derived from a global study of teenagers sharing hopes and dreams of their futures. Go states, “Of most concern to me was their belief that they wouldn’t succeed, before their careers had even begun.” She worries that rather than laziness, Gen Y’ers are lacking “drive” to succeed.
A few ideas immediately flooded my brain, and the most prominent was that disconnect between generations in the definition of success. I’ve written about this before, but it bares repeating.
To me, success looks different – and I think it does for many Gen Y’ers.
When Millennial’s Boomer and older Gen X parents were starting their careers they may have been more successful, sure. The reasons for this vary from the lack of necessity to have a University or College degree, to the thriving automotive industry, to the steady increase of “real wage” which stopped in the 70′s, etc… Many family members and in-laws are examples of this. Good white collar careers, great pensions.
Success is relative, and there are layers to it. Too often we say successful and really mean materially or commercially successful. As a work-from-home parent, this concerns me. By this definition my sons will surely not see me as a success, simply because I choose to care for them instead of work outside of the home.
There is no question that the employment situation in North America is shifting and many Millennial’s don’t know where to turn. But, let’s not assume that because we are not doing something the same way as previous generations, that we may be in trouble. That our traits are not serving us well.
Millennial’s are entrepreneurial – we’re resourceful – and my favorite thing about this generation that makes me be proud to be a member is that generally, we care about the greater good. With the right guidance and mentoring from older generations, members of Gen Y may just be the most suited generation yet to take on some of the global challenges we face as we move into mid-life (thanks to many of our positive traits).
That said – I truly believe this can only happen with that collaboration and mentor support.
Perhaps instead of questioning how Millennial’s will fare – Boomers and Gen X’ers should reach out and share knowledge and experience. The world would do well with a service, much like a dating service, that matches Mentors and Mentees.
I’d sign up for sure – true community at work.
I’ve had a lot on my mind lately. Things that can at times, feel overwhelming. It probably doesn’t help that we’ve had the longest winter here in Ontario than we have in quite some time (I’m seriously considering packing up the family and heading out West next winter). Some days the overwhelm can get you.
I’ve got this little thing on my thyroid that is probably nothing – a tiny little nodule is all – and my six month old has been plagued with eczema for about 6-7 weeks. The two are intertwined and I’ve been feeling oh so disconnected from my spirit.
My eyes feel heavy. My mind is racing. I can’t focus on a single task.
Sure signs that it’s time for some re-connecting.
I spend so much time writing about spirituality and personal growth that sometimes I feel frustrated that I’ve veered off course – I’ve lost my way.
But, I truly believe it happens to all of us. It’s a part of the human experience. Challenges are presented to us to force us to grow and when they arrive it’s time to first step back, and then dig deep and get to the real root of the challenge.
I am not enlightened, but I like to think I’m evolving.
I’ve been feeling it lately. The invisible pressure is there and it’s only a few months away.
What am I referring to?
My thirtieth birthday.
The lists are popping up all over the place; 30 things travelers should do before they turn 30, or 25 things to do under 25. It has seemed a bit daunting as I chose to have a family young (or, fill in the blank with your own experience) and didn’t have the opportunity to climb Mount Kilimanjaro yet.
Just this morning I came across an article about the Millennial/Gen Y obsession with Youth. So… I’m not alone. What a relief.
My main issue with all of this hype and all of these lists is that they are cementing in this idea that turning thirty is the end of our youth, and that’s bad.
But, I know a lot of thirty-somethings, and they seem pretty content. More free even? Definitely comfortable in their own skin.
So… instead of attaching ourselves to this idea of “lost youth”, I vote for embracing the new decade and welcoming it with open arms. I’ve come up with thirty helpful ideas on how we can make our thirties our best decade yet.
We can make it a decade of nourishment for our minds, bodies and spirits.
1. Question your Beliefs -Wayne Dyer said it best when he said, “A belief system is nothing more than a thought you’ve thought over and over again.” We become so attached to a certain way of thinking we close ourselves off to the wonders of open-mindedness. Start with your strongest beliefs, they may be the most rooted in fear.
2. Listen to Talk Radio – If you don’t already, spend a little time each day tuning in to NPR in the US or CBC Radio 1 in Canada. Empower yourself by learning about interesting people and important situations you may not otherwise hear of.
3 . Start getting regular therapeutic massages – Most of us sit with computers on our laps or in front of us, and spend just as much time looking down at our phones. We need to do ourselves a favor and prevent damage to our bodies now – a good therapeutic massage can help with this. I swear by them.
4. Eat Clean – I don’t have to tell you guys about the terrible food system. I know you’re conscious of it (and McDonald’s is shaking in their boots.) But – make a commitment – eat mostly clean if you can. Whole, fresh foods. (Click here for some suggestions.)
5. Start or Join a book club – Ask your friends and family if they know of one, and if you can’t find one to join, start one yourself. (And think outside the box. I just joined one on Instagram using a specific hashtag that we all follow. Love the medium!)
6. Become a better Listener – I recently shared 4 reasons why we should try to become better listeners. The reasons include raising others self-esteem, and becoming more present. Read them all over on Beliefnet.
7. Say Goodbye to Envy – I just wrote about envy yesterday and its relation to social media. But it doesn’t just end there. Read my friend Michelle’s take on Comparison which I believe is an extension of envy. It’s a “Thief of Joy.”
8. Keep Judgments at Bay – There are many reasons why judging others not only hurts them, but hurts us as well. Read more here about how (and why) you should try to stop judging others.
9. Get to know the Ocean – Nature has healing properties yes, and I’ve never met a problem that the ocean couldn’t help solve. This vast mass of water has an energy field that cleanses and heals. Make an effort to visit it as often as you can (which may be once every few years, but it’s better than nothing).
10. Get your Hands Dirty – A while back I wrote about the idea that when we grow plants, they have the exact nutrients and minerals in them that our specific bodies require, (this idea comes from Dr. Christiane Northrup). So – get your hands dirty and start planting some food. (Kale is one of the most popular veggies these days and so easy to grow!)
11. Act without Motive – When you choose to do something for someone else, NEVER expect anything in return. The same goes for work. It may seem unnatural when it comes to the work side – of course you want that raise, but don’t expect it.
12. Take walks without music – I love listening to music while I walk, but take a couple of days a week to just listen to silence. It’s an easy way to train your mind to quiet down if you are struggling with meditation or just beginning.
13. Read one of these books – Trust me on this.
14. Be the Change – Don’t let the passion you feel for a certain cause or social issue go to waste, turn it into action. Start by researching what is lacking and what is needed and go from there. You don’t have to be a billionaire to change the world.
15. Watch the sunrise once a week - this is a simple act that can help to ground you and serves to remind that we are, as Rumi said, a mighty ocean in a drop.
16. Eat dinner outdoors regularly - Mealtime has become something we “get through” during our otherwise busy lives. Eating outside slows things down and allows us to experience some presence in our day.
17. Take a solo trip - Have you taken a trip alone? If not, be sure to make some time to do so. You learn a lot about yourself when you do.
18. Make a vision board of your dreams – Turn your dreams into something concrete with a vision board. It can help you to become more clear on what you really want. Let your spirit take the lead on this one and you will be pleasantly surprised with how it turns out.
19. Question Your Definition of Success – I wrote about success recently and how you define it. Do you define it by your career? Read on…
20. Learn to Meditate – Or unlearn to think. Here is a great beginners guide… It all starts with a candle.
21. Close Your Eyes & Leap – Take a chance on a business, or relationship. Step out of your comfort zone. This is where the magic happens.
22. Merge Passion with Business – Make decisions in your career to get you to your dream – each move a step closer. The most successful businesses stem from passion. This simple choice will help you live a life of true happiness.
23. Let your Intuition Guide You – If you can become more familiar with the quiet side of life, you will also tap into your intuition. Decisions flow much more easily when they come from this space.
24. Embrace your uniqueness – I know, I know… this sounds like typical Gen Y jargon, but since we are coming of age in an era of narcissism – it’s important to address this. We’ve been masquerading as a group full of self-esteem that is actually quite insecure. Let’s truly embrace what makes us unique and run with it.
25. Put Grudges to Rest – Let the life-long (thus far) grudges fall silently to the wayside. High school, college, first jobs – they are far behind now. The ability to forgive is an important element to overall well-being. Start your thirties with a clean slate.
26. Let Go Of Broken Friendships – The ones that are hanging on by a thread. Just let it go. We are constantly evolving and sometimes those old friendships have served their purpose and are holding us back from our own growth. Silently wish them the best them and move forward.
27. Make Time For Quality Friendships – On the other end of the spectrum, we can get so caught up in our busy lives we often neglect our wonderful friendships. Our time together is precious, and we never know how long we have with this person, so make time.
28. Contemplate Life – If you haven’t already, spend some time reading the great philosophers of our day. Mix in some modern spiritual gurus.
29. Face your fears – I wrote about facing the fear of death at length with some tips on how to address it here. This goes for all fears.
It’s Day 4 of Non-Judgment week, and today Wisdom Wednesday is dedicated to this subject.
Many of you have signed up and taken the pledge, and since some of you are bloggers, I wanted to offer a link-up for you to share your thoughts on Judgment.
Please link up below – and tell me, how is your week going?