Dutertenism: The New Revolutionary Ideology That Is Ready to Alter the World We Live in

My first musing on President Rodrigo Duterte of The Philippines was an eye-opener for my conscience on how some leaders continue to stay relevant and capture the hearts of many through their unselfish acts. I find it obligatory to pen my second on this emerging great leader. In my first article, I have coined the term ‘Dutertenism’ mainly profiling his unorthodox, but successful methods in dealing with the maladies rampaging The Philippines for the past 40 years, as a result impeding its progress, unable to keep up the pace with the other South-east Asian nations. The Philippines, with all its resources, both natural and human, deserves better. It has a hardworking workforce and the Diaspora, a learned one and well-proficient in the English Language, had contributed handsomely to its economy. They were deprived of ‘sunshine’ by previous ineffective, incompetent and selfish leaders. I took it upon my social responsibility to highlight to the world that some leaders, of his pedigree, are indeed rare in today’s flight of capitalism.

Dutertenism is about finding a cure for these maladies. It is about one man’s quest to weed out the ‘parasites’ hindering the growth potential of his country. Holistic development of a nation is not only confined to economic growth but also the strength of its safety net for its people. Once safety is concreted, the rest will fall in place. It is an ideology based on what is best ‘for one’s own country’. His priorities encapsulate his focus on the ‘wants and needs’ of the majority rather than the ‘loud painful punishment plight’ of the few. Take the US, which has its own gun laws under its proud cries of respecting human rights, though, in my view, flawed to the core. It is the right of its citizens to own guns for self-protection. However, the free allowance to gun ownership had triggered massacres and ‘trigger-happy’ individuals, endangering the lives of innocent people. Where are the rights for people who just want to stay safe? Where are the rights for the school children who were killed at random by some maniacs and psychopaths? Does the right to own guns come accompanied with the right to shoot indiscriminately as well?

Human rights movements, especially from the EU and the United States disapprove the hard hand tactics employed by the authorities in dealing with the drug menace in the country, calling them ‘barbaric’. What could be more barbaric than witnessing innocent people being lured into the drug scourge that possesses everlasting devastation on youths and adults alike, crippling the entire country into oblivion? Aren’t the youths the pillars of a country?

The Davao experience, an exemplary experience indeed on how a city should be managed, had left the people of The Philippines with only one choice -Rodrigo Duterte. They view him as Godly sent, a savior, and a messiah to save the nation from further quandary. Dutertenism, the way I see it, is an ideology blended into the blood genes of the leader himself, who sees nothing but the need for a total revamp of a mediocre system that had ingrained in every sphere of law enforcement and administration, through identifying the root causes that had caused his beloved country dearly for the past 40 years.

Dutertenism is about being fearless, honest in actions and words and confident. It is an ideology that simply reads – “nation first, self last”. Only through stricter laws and commendable habitual tuning had transformed a tiny nation like Singapore, often known as the red dot below Malaysia, into a world hub for business, commerce and education. In his memoir, the late Prime Minister of Singapore, Lee Kuan Yew had mentioned how the Japanese occupation in Singapore had laid the foundation for his opting to stricter laws for modern day Singapore in order to continuously thrive in a competitive world. Shops left open during the Japanese occupation were untouched as the common man feared to his teeth the hefty, barbaric punishments meted out by Japanese authorities for theft. Theft was unheard of during the Japanese occupation in Malaya (Malaysia) and Singapore. The ‘cleansing’ of vice via fear tactics surely worked. People’s safety was guaranteed; the country survived and look where it is today. Extreme punishments are a prerequisite for a nation to prosper, to reduce crime or to be crime-free.

It is also about being observant yet non-submissive to modern worldly temptations. Modern day temptations, beside the usual wealth, power and greed, also include the disgraceful humble act of kneeling down to dictating superpowers, and being forced, unwillingly, to accord special treatment to them. The Philippines inherited this temptation from time immemorial, constantly pleasing people in power, people in control and people who are submerged in the sea of wealth, be it internally or externally. Duterte had moved away from this status-quo, this lopsided alignment and had embarked on a new quest for his country in order to stay relevant in a globalised world.

Dutertenism is about being hypersensitive towards neighbourly territories – ASEAN, in which The Philippines is an active member. To ensure the safety of its waters and its coexistence, the President despises short-term benefits, and had opted for a more telescopic view, altering short-terms goals for a more holistic, long-term gain mainly in sustainable development, security and peace. The new cordial friendship forged with the awakened giant of Asia – China is an encouraging start, an eye-opener as well. Establishing diplomatic and economic ties with the world’s second largest economy is a boon to The Philippines. The proposed investment between the two countries will spur economic growth for this island nation, strengthening its coffers and provide massive job opportunities for its people.

Arrogance is also part of this ideology. I would term this arrogance as ‘positive arrogance’. Positive arrogance stems from the President who has deep-rooted patriotism and love for his country. This form of arrogance is a direct implication from the heavy responsibilities that he is shouldering at the moment to drive a nation which has long been subdued due to oppression and dictation by his unscrupulous predecessors. His drastic actions are not a result of he being impulsive, but are rather based on his observations. His actions are well-calculated, well-deliberated and planned. These attributes are ready to unleash a massive assault on the previous ineffective system which had long dwarfed the development of this resourceful nation.

It is my humble wish that Dutertenism be made into parts of higher-learning syllabus in The Philippines and in other parts of the world, to be studied and researched for students to master the art of political science and political management. It has to be a research-based discipline made compulsory. In this way, The Philippines will be able to churn out more disciplined leaders in the future hence assured of a constant supply of highly trained individuals who will put the nation first and self-last. We need to dwell deeper into Dutertenism. He is a bundle of emotions and a thorough research ought to be carried out to determine why such emotions had manifested in him. My take would be simple -‘mere love for his people and country’.

Dutertenism is parallel to humanity, the cause for sustaining humanity, the reason to love life, to love others, to love the family, to love the community, to love the society and the icing on the cake would be to have unconditional, unmatched love for one’s country. It is a matter of valuing humanity.

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How to Choose the Right Communication Services Provider for You

Today it’s often the communications budget that’s the first to be slashed when company leaders are looking for ways to reduce costs. Communication teams are often looked at as an expense rather than as an investment. They’re expendable in a corporate re-organization. In many companies, communication teams today are expected to do more with less.

The problem is, today, communicating regularly with your audiences is vital. As they say, “content is king.” Effective, appropriate communication becomes even more essential if your company has a crisis that affects your customers or clients, or the public at large. Communicating effectively is also essential when you’re launching a new product or service, or even when you’re holding a special event. Your brand is everything you do and how you do it-and communication is a vital part of your brand.

Facing the communication conundrum

Most large corporations have in-house communication teams. Many medium, and especially smaller businesses, do not. Neither do many non-profit organizations or associations. And this can leave SMEs and non-profits, more so than larger organizations, in a communication conundrum.

Let’s say you’re an SME with an innovative new product that could change your industry. You’ve got to get the word out. But you’re the product expert, not a communication expert. And you don’t have a communication staff. What to do? A haphazard approach to your new-product launch could have disastrous rather stellar results. You should have a communication plan for every crisis; for every new product launch; for every event. And that requires the right expertise. So does writing your blog posts, news releases, website copy, and a whole lot more. Writing your company’s B2B or B2C communications is not a job to just hand off to the executive assistant. Nor to the sales team.

To hire, or outsource

Hiring a full-time communication person is costly. There’s a salary and benefits package; there’s time and cost invested in recruitment. It can be difficult to find the right person for your organization. And what if the person you eventually hire quits within the first few months, or a year or two? You’ve invested thousands of dollars in the hiring process, and now you have to do it all over again.

More and more organizations today are outsourcing their communication needs. It’s a very viable option for SMEs and non-profits that don’t need a full in-house communications team, or that can’t afford to have a person on staff. And it’s a great option for larger corporations whose teams are overloaded, or that are looking to control costs. Developing a trusted, excellent working relationship with an external communications ally can make it seem as though they’re part of your internal team.

Establish an outsource budget

The first thing you should do is establish a communication budget if you don’t have one already. If you’re hiring an outsource resource on a project basis, for example, it’s likely the first question they’ll ask is, “What’s the budget for this project?”

You don’t want to be saying, “Well, I need this done but I don’t really have a budget for it.” That can lead to a bad situation when you get the invoice. It will also leave your provider with the feeling from the first conversation that you’re not really serious about communication-that it’s an afterthought. They’ll be wary of doing business with you. That’s not a good way to start off when the aim should be to develop a long-term, trusted relationship. For the same reasons, don’t make the first question you ask, “How much do you charge for this?”, or “What’s your hourly rate?” Some communication providers may refuse to even consider doing business with you if the first thing you’re interested in is the cost. That’s because their main interest is in adding value for you, and helping you achieve your communication and business objectives. They don’t want to deal with difficult clients who are more concerned with how much they’re spending rather than the investment that’s being made in helping them.

Outsource options

If you’re looking at outsourcing for your communication needs, there are several options to consider. You can engage a:

  • big agency
  • smaller, or boutique agency
  • “virtual” team
  • professional independent communicator

It really depends on three things: your budget, your needs and your trust level.

    • Large agencies usually have a lot of staff (and salaries and overhead to pay), so their fees are often much higher, and perhaps unaffordable for your communication budget. Think about your needs, and whether you really need a big agency partner to handle them.

 

    • Smaller or boutique agencies usually have a small staff (often anywhere from five to 25 people) and usually focus on a few specific account-industry-areas. This makes them more specialized (more on this in a moment), which can be beneficial for you. Often, smaller agencies focus on working with smaller companies.

 

    • Perhaps you’ll want to look at engaging a “virtual team.” It’s common today for professional independent communicators with different expertise-for example, a writer, a graphic designer, a media relations expert and a web designer-to band together as a “virtual agency” on a project basis. You liaise with one person, and everything comes together in the background. Quite often, these independent communicators work from home offices. Choosing a “virtual team” can be very cost effective.

 

  • If you have minimal or only very occasional communication needs, then you may want to consider a solo professional independent communicator (PIC). If for example, you only need blog posts written regularly, then this makes sense.

Dealing with multiple suppliers

Some companies when they’re outsourcing hire different providers for different services-a writer for this, and a graphic designer for that, for example. But it means you’re managing a host of different suppliers, and dealing with numerous invoices. Sometimes it just makes sense to go “one-stop” and engage either a “virtual team” or a smaller, boutique agency that can provide all the services you need. They may sub-out certain parts of the project, but ultimately you’re dealing with a single supplier and building a relationship with them.

Dealing with multiple suppliers can affect your brand. Let’s take a writer, for example. If you’re outsourcing to more than one writer, it’s essential that they all have a copy of your company style guide. And that they all follow your corporate style. This is because all your communications need to have the same look, feel and tone. If you’re using some really good, experienced writers while others are more junior and the quality of their work isn’t the greatest, it’s going to show. Disjointed communications can affect your brand reputation and perception. Then there’s your frustration factor in having to micro-manage, and polish or rewrite when you shouldn’t be having to do that. You should be able to focus on the operational aspects of your business while your trusted communication ally focuses on that aspect.

Consider these questions

There are some questions to consider when you’re looking at outsourcing for your communication needs:

  • How do I find the right outsource expertise?
  • Should I engage a “specialist”, or a “generalist”?
  • Should I engage a more experienced professional, or someone more junior?

Let’s tackle the first question. The best place to start is by asking people in your network if they can refer you to a communication provider. Take advantage of LinkedIn for this. It’s well known that people are most comfortable doing business with either someone they know, or with someone to whom they’ve been referred because there’s an inherent level of trust in a referral. You can also tap into your local or the nearest chapter of the International Association of Business Communicators. The Toronto chapter (the largest IABC chapter in the world), for example, has an online marketplace where members advertise their services.

Specialists versus generalists

Should you engage a specialist, or a generalist?

Communication generalists usually have diverse experience that may be across a range of industries. A really good generalist who knows how to write effectively for a variety of audiences can easily adapt to writing for your industry audience, in the right tone. If you’re comfortable engaging a generalist, then do it.

But you may want to consider a specialist. The main advantage is that a communication “specialist” with experience in your industry understands it, and the audience. They’ll instinctively know how to write engaging copy for your audience. They’ll also understand the nuances and terminologies of your industry. They can comfortably jump right into your project. A generalist may have to spend more time getting up to speed to learn about your business. With a specialist, you can more confidently “let them run with the ball” once you’ve said, “This is what I need.” You may find yourself spending more time managing and educating your supplier if that person is a communication generalist.

As for experience, it’s the old, “you get what you pay for.” If you’re hiring a virtual team of senior communicators, their project fees will definitely be higher than those of someone just starting out or only a few years into their career. But the advantage of hiring a more experienced virtual team is that you’re hiring their years of experience and expertise, which translates into more value and benefit to you.

Check them out

Once you’ve found the outsource ally with whom you think you want to work, there are a few things you should do before engaging them:

  • Visit their website to learn more about them. If you’re about to engage a writer/content creator and he or she has a “samples” page, download a few writing samples to review them.
  • If they have testimonials on their website, get in touch with three of those people and ask a bit more about how satisfied they were with the provider.
  • Have an initial phone conversation. If you need case studies written, for example, and they involve interviewing a lot of people, ask the person about the kinds of people they’ve interviewed, and their interviewing style.

A word about fees

There are three ways communication providers usually charge:

  • project-fee basis
  • retainer
  • hourly rate

Project-fee basis: Personally, I prefer this. It means everyone knows up front the scope of the project; how much they’re going to receive; and what the invoice amount will be. A supplier who charges by the project may have a fee policy stipulating the project fee basis and what the fee includes, and anything outside that scope will be charged extra and accordingly. If you’re looking at developing a long-term relationship with an outsource communication ally, you can still engage them on a project basis rather than a retainer-fee basis.

Retainer: It may make sense to negotiate a retainer fee if you have constant, ongoing needs. But you don’t want to get into a situation where you’re paying a monthly retainer fee that’s going to budget waste because you’re not taking full advantage of your supplier’s capabilities and services for whatever reason.

Hourly rate: Engaging someone who charges by the hour can really add up and create a shock factor when you receive the invoice. Hourly rates are a hassle for both you and your provider. They have to track every hour spent on your project. You have to pay for every hour spent on it. If a project takes more time than expected, you’re paying for that time. No one knows how much the invoice is going to be until it’s presented. The hourly rate scenario can lead to disputes, which is not good for developing a good, long-term working relationship.

Tying it all together

Probably the most important thing in engaging an outsource ally is, make sure you have a written contract or letter of agreement outlining what’s to be done and by when, and the fees. This will help prevent any misunderstandings or conflicts. Those can end what could’ve been a great long-term relationship before it even gets off the ground.

Outsourcing for your communication needs has a lot of advantages and benefits that can create a win-win for all parties involved. It can help you ramp-up your communications while keeping things cost effective. For communication providers, adding value for you starts with building a great relationship. The right outsource ally will help you achieve your goals to drive your business forward, and be in it for the long-haul with you. They’ll help you survive crises and bumps along the road, and they’ll help you celebrate your successes, too. When you’ve found the right ally, you’ll instinctively know it.

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Putting Philanthropy Into Action the Modern Way

Philanthropy can be loosely described as the act of giving to the needy and being generous. It does not specify how much you need to give in order to be considered as generous. It does not matter if you do not have much to give. Any small act of generosity towards the need can make you a philanthropist. This is especially true in today’s digital age. With modern crowdfunding platforms, your small act of generosity can easily snowball and become substantial enough to make an impact.

Pooling Resources

Crowdfunding and crowdsourcing involve the pooling of resources. In terms of charitable giving, this usually pertains to financial resources. Do not think that having less than twenty dollars to spare is too little. If you get a thousand people to give at least $20 each, you will actually have $20,000. Surely, this money can already be used to fund a worthy cause. Keep this amount of funds coming on a regular basis and you have a stream of income to fund your cause for a longer period of time.

Popular

A popular way to raise funds for causes today is to go online and start a crowdfunding campaign. Traditionally, people collected money for charitable institutions through door to door or direct mail solicitations, telemarketing and telethon runs, and “pass the hat” or coin bank methods among others. With the influx of technological developments and the increase utilization of the internet, there are now more come more opportunities to present a charitable cause to online audiences and generate donations from the digital realm.

Campaigns

With a Google search of crowdfunding advocates, you can find a number of existing campaigns, ranging from wildlife conservation to community infrastructure improvements. Search engines provide exposure and visibility for crowdfunding websites. Potential donors can easily gain access to these websites and decide whether they want to contribute or not. You can make use of the worldwide web to disseminate information about your cause and attract the attention of those with money to spare as well as those who are willing to spare any amount of money.

Social Media

Social media is one of the platforms that connect individuals and create online communities. This is the same way through which crowdfunding works. You simply create a community of people who are interested in helping the same cause and then wait for the donations to come in.

Another Factor

One other factor that makes crowdfunding appealing to potential contributors is the fact that they can monitor where and how their donations are spent. Some platforms also have live money pools that show the growth of donations in real time. There is transparency in terms of information about goods that were purchased with the crowdfunding money, how much money was donated, and what other expenses were paid with the collected funds. Some online philanthropists may want to be assured that what they donated online was really used for the intended causes.

Opportunities

The opportunities provided by technology to people today should be maximized not only in terms of information dissemination, communication, and commerce. More importantly, should be maximized when it comes to the avenues it opens for everyone to help one another through various means. Crowdfunding for charitable giving is a great way to utilize today’s technology.

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Small and Midsized Company Marketing and Marketing Communications – Important Forecasts For 2017

2016 ended with Americans exhausted by emotionally wrenching politics, stories of foreign entanglements and violence at home. Businesses, too, have struggled with modest economic growth and a turbulent stock market. As 2017 begins we all, consumers and organizations alike, face uncertainty in a variety of arenas.

With this as backdrop, businesses still have to develop, plan and execute strategies for profitable growth. After speaking to various colleagues and clients, and reading the comments of a number of pundits and prognosticators, here’s my take on what’s in store for small and midsized B2B and B2C businesses in the coming year:

1. A significant number of marketers – both large and small – will conduct agency reviews in 2017. The current report from Advertiser Perceptions (based on 420 marketers representing about 90 percent of the Top 100 US advertisers) reveals a staggering number of planned reviews:

· 66% plan creative agency reviews;

· 65% plan to review search agencies;

· 64% plan to review media agencies;

· 61% plan to review digital agencies.

Why? Beyond the lack of trust in authorities in society as a whole, rightly or wrongly trust has also been lost between marketers and their agencies. So if you’re feeling concerned about your agency relationship, recognize that you’re not alone.

2. There will be major increases in the number of companies hiring “contingent workers”, i.e., independent contract workers and freelance specialists. Faced with rises in the minimum wage, increases in healthcare costs and increasing payroll taxes, companies are obviously doing everything they can to cut their fixed labor costs. But the ability to hire top notch talent for the short or long term is also a practice gaining much momentum. In fact, a recent survey by Deloitte University Press showed a “7 percent significant increase” plus a “44 percent increase” in planning to hire contingent workers in the next few years.

Keep in mind that these “outsiders” bring fresh energy and fresh ideas to any type of organization while also perhaps providing some savings to your bottom line.

3. Media fraud and ad blocking will increase in 2017. Much was uncovered by the Association of National Advertisers’ eight month investigation of undisclosed rebates flowing from digital media companies to agencies. However, there’s incentive for fraudsters to keep doing what they’re doing because of the ability to circumvent fraud detection systems. This widespread practice can influence agencies’ media recommendations (and bottom lines), while obviously not being in the best interests of clients.

Perhaps more importantly, the stunning growth of ad blocking across markets poses a huge threat to digital media. At least 419 million people worldwide are blocking ads on their smartphones, nearly twice the number blocking on desktops. That’s 22 percent of the world’s 1.9 billion smartphone users (PageFair – Ad Blocking Goes Mobile).

Digital and mobile media aren’t going away but using them effectively is challenging. Find trusted professionals to make sure you get what you bargained for.

4. As customers and supporters are the life blood for any business or nonprofit, organizations will need to significantly increase their efforts to gain insight into their real world wants and needs. A recent McKinsey & Co. study of about 700 senior executives concluded that: 1) only 6 percent of companies felt they understood the needs of their customers extremely well; and, 2) seventy-two percent considered customer insight budgets inadequate.

There has been an explosion in the amount of customer data available, with new software programs mining all sorts purchase and opinion information, including social media. To be competitive, organizations will have to keep expanding their knowledge using this new information. It just doesn’t seem smart to even consider developing a targeted strategy or plan without knowing your customers, so make sure you have the skills to obtain and interpret the right information.

5. Developing and maintaining a positive customer experience will become the new king of marketing. Distrust of institutions appears to be rampant — products are recalled, passwords are stolen, on-line tweets have as much credibility as government agencies. Starting with employees, make sure they have the knowledge and tools to better serve the customer, create a positive experience, and champion repeat purchase and customer referrals.

Trust is the new black. All aspects of a brand’s life should convey trustworthiness, consistently delivered in a believable manner, at every touch point.

6. The acceptance and use of direct mail by millennials will continue to explode. Yes, millennials. And, yes, snail mail. This demographic is the most likely to open and read direct mail. In fact, 63% reported that they made a purchase based on a direct mail piece they opened within the last 3 months (Info Trend Study of direct marketing in the US).

Perhaps their inundation with spam, interruptive advertising and meaningless content leaves them tired of looking at screens and searching for a “new” medium. After all, it’s not about technology; it’s about effectiveness.

7. While media spending on the Internet will tie with television for the largest expenditures in 2017, more marketers will recognize that the majority of major media spending is still accounted for by traditional media (65%). Television spending will increase by 1 percent, out of home by 4 percent, as radio remains unchanged and only magazines and newspapers will show declines (by 5 and 9 percent,respectively). Additionally, the Marketing Services category will increase by 2.8 percent to $237 billion, as led by sales promotion, telemarketing, direct mail and event sponsorships. (Advertising Age)

It goes without saying that determining where to spend your marketing communications dollars is becoming more complex. The key to doing so successfully is understanding the difference between selecting the newest “efficient” tactical tool, and selecting the most “effective” one. This becomes increasingly important for small businesses, who can’t afford costly mistakes.

8. Considerably more time and smart thinking will be put into the development of marketing and marketing communications strategy, positioning and planning. A “Meaningful Brands” study by Havas in 2015 reported that most people wouldn’t care if three-quarters of all brands disappeared for good! Further, most brands haven’t updated their strategies to meet today’s Internet-enabled buyers. These buyers have access to vast amounts of information and have a plethora of purchasing options at their fingertips. It’s more vital than ever that in order to survive, you must continue to keep your brand meaningful to your constituents.

Both for profit and nonprofit brands must make it absolutely clear how they differ from competition, and make their value proposition completely believable at every opportunity. Once your plan is implemented, you must also know what’s working and measure everything.

Value Marketing And Marketing Communications Consultants

2017 brings a considerable number of unknowns and concerns facing your customers, prospects and even your employees. They clearly are more cautious about what to believe and who to trust in the year ahead. All organizations are faced with these issues and the dilemma of how to have a successful business in this climate.

Many small and midsized organizations are partnering with established and independent senior level consultants to help them with marketing and marketing communications budgets, and plans – evaluating, developing, refining and, if appropriate, implementing. If this is something you might consider, look for people with broad B2B, B2C and nonprofit experience across industries and brands. Seek out consultants who are media neutral and aren’t selling one particular discipline. And make sure they’re passionate about analyzing results and willing to “tell it like it us”, so candor will flourish.

Improving profitable sales and marketing communications ROI is a daunting task. Finding the right consultant to partner with you might take some looking, but as Yogi Berra said, “When you come to a fork in the road, take it.”

Gary Kullberg is the CEO of the Kullberg Consulting Group, LLC ( http://www.KullbergConsultingGroup.com ), founded in 1994 to provide companies and nonprofits with strategic and executional marketing communications solutions. The Company consists of sixty entrepreneurially driven senior level professionals, across disciplines, who have worked with over 585 organizations in 21 major industry groups. Because of its unique structure, clients are able to “cherry pick” the specific disciplines(s) to meet their needs, in a timely, cost efficient and unbiased manner. Gary is considered an authority in the B2B, B2C and nonprofit marketplaces. He has served as the outsourced Chief Marketing Officer for three companies, as well as on five nonprofit Executive Boards, one as Vice Chair and two as Chair.

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The Commonest Cause of Marriage Conflict Today

“The best thing you could ever give someone is your TIME, because you’re giving something that you’ll never get back.”
– Author Unknown

The amount of time couples give to each other must be inversely proportional to the amount of conflict experienced.

Time equals communication, and communication means information, and information breeds empowerment for both spouses, as partners have the time they both need for reflection and decision-making.

It suddenly occurred to me recently that couple satisfaction has to correlate with the amount of time and effort they put in with their communication. Take my wife and I as an example of this. Our communication is usually of a great standard, but at times we argue briefly on matters we disagree about, simply because we haven’t spoken about it, when suddenly there’s time pressure to make a decision. Neither of us is in a position of empowerment when a discussion goes awry.

In other words, there isn’t the time to devote to quality communication, so we tell each other what we think. Respect gets dropped for a moment because a thing just needs to be done. And we polarise, and it’s possible that some unlaundered issues can spring out of the closet that we’ve been unconsciously hiding away. Both of us can retreat to our corners, and there’s no resolving the issue from there. Instead of treating each other as cherished and sacred, pressure situations can be the catalyst for tersely conveyed words.

It’s the same in all marriages where there’s commitment and passion, amid pressure for a decision.

Time for communication, on the other hand, facilitates thought and reflection on matters of household business. My wife and I often talk shop on our Tuesday date nights. We both love to plan. Date night isn’t just romantic; it’s also pragmatic. Better to have the communication there, where thoughts on decisions can be broached, before time runs out. And issues always prove that there was a finite life for any one issue. We talk a fair bit daily about the processes of our lives together. But there will always be a matter or two that we didn’t discuss, and that’s generally where the conflict comes from – from what wasn’t discussed earlier.

And, no matter how much communication there is between a couple, there will always be the issue that catches one or both by surprise. We have to learn not to sweat over small issues, for all issues are small in the scheme of things.

Couples who spend time intentional in their communication endure less conflict and experience more contentedness.

Communication needs to be about investing time and the commitment of intention. Respect follows when we’ve prioritised time with our partner.

Good marriage can be as simple as removing unnecessary distractions, slowing down, and spending time with the one we love most.

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You Don’t Have to Be Rich to Be a Philanthropist

It is no secret that a lot of the world’s richest people are also some of the most generous philanthropists. One of the most notable is Microsoft CEO Bill Gates. He contributes to various sectors using the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Apart from his contributions, contributions from other high-profile businessmen fund this foundation. Through this charity, grants have been provided for health care and education initiatives to combat polio, build educational infrastructures, and more.

It’s Possible

While these rich people obviously have a lot of extra money and resources to give to charity, it is not all that impossible for regular people with limited funds to set up and support their own charitable initiatives. The key to being able to run a prosperous charity that you can’t completely fund by yourself is to seek help from other people. This can be done by doing crowdfunding.

Concept

The concept of crowdfunding is, in a sense, similar to crowdsourcing. In crowdsourcing, you obtain donors for money or any other needed resource through the internet. Crowdfunding seeks to raise funds to support a specific program, usually for non-profit initiatives. There are other people like you who are interested in the same causes but also have very limited resources. Pooling contributions from numerous donors will give everyone a chance to share more towards the same advocacy.

Your Project

You can be a philanthropist even if you are not rich. You can initiate a crowdsourcing project through which people like you with limited resources can collectively raise the necessary funds for your cause. Here are a couple of ways through which you can be a philanthropist:

1. Choose a crowdfunding charity and donate regularly – Some people choose to make smaller donations on a regular basis. This works for those who receive income regularly as well. They can include their charity contribution in their budget. There are others who set their own goal and then donate the money when they reach their target amount. Whether you choose to give on a regular basis or in fixed amount increments, your generosity will go a long way.

If you are unable to commit to donating a certain amount, you can still do your share in helping the cause. You can simply share the links of your chosen crowdfunding charities on your social network pages. Promote these to your friends and contacts, and encourage them to donate.

2. Start your own crowdfunding charity – you might think that your small amount of contribution would not really make a big difference to your chosen charity. What you do not realize perhaps is that crowdfunding can actually help you generate a more substantial amount from many others like you who can contribute small amounts of money. In your own little way, you can make an impact and help a specific cause that you are interested in.

Choose a cause or a recipient for which you want to raise funds. Get on a crowdfunding platform and set up an account. Share and promote your cause and solicit help from your network. Most of the platforms used today have online tracking resources that allow you to see how your collective efforts snowball into resources for communities in need.

It is not impossible for someone with so little to make a big difference. Through crowdsourcing and crowdfunding initiatives, small amounts of contributions can make a big impact in the lives of others.

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5 Ways That A Smarter Social Media Strategy Can Grow Your Business

With the advancement in technology, the mass media has soared up greatly in its programs. The television industry in Africa is now featuring numerous programs and airing series of films. Some of these films are very educative, offering the youth with requisite skills and knowledge to face the present and projected future challenges of life. However, other western-oriented films, such as the ever-ascending telenovela shows are negatively impacting on the moral development of the youth in Africa and as such must be monitored or banned entirely.

Prior to embracing colonialism and westernization, Africans had a very rich oasis of entertainment that did not just fill the recreational needs of the youth but also impacted positively on their moral development. Those forms of entertainment sensitized them of relevant cultural values and norms that enhance good communal living. Storytelling or folklores narrated and performed at evenings during family gatherings instructed the youth on social vices like stealing, disrespect, greediness, laziness and so forth. Good and exemplary moral behaviors were glorified in the narrated folklores that were performed for public viewing. These performances were void of degrading and loose moral acts very rampant in western telenovelas aired on African television networks such as unbridled kissing, fondling of sexual parts of the body, sexual intercourse and other disgraceful acts. These are portrayed in the films as normal, without any blemish or whatsoever. This is highly disparaging! The culture of the African perpetrates dignity and sanity for sexual life reserving it for the matured and married in the society. Thus, the youth in indigenous Africa would not dare engage in the talking or fantasizing of sexual acts. Honesty and moral integrity were promoted in the story lines of recreational performances.

Even in the early phase of technological advancement and the ushering in of the television industry in Africa, the same performances were filmed and aired on televisions. Thus, the cultural values and socially esteemed lifestyle were glorified while loose moral life was mocked at in the performances. It is very sad that morally degrading western telenovelas are telecasted on various television channels in Africa today. This is negatively affecting the moral behaviors of the youth negatively. It is no surprise that cases of teenage pregnancy, armed robbery, lying, laziness and other forms of social vices featured in the gory and sexually-incensed western telenovelas are rampant in modern Africa. The youth in Africa spends astronomical hours daily watching television. If the airing of these western telenovelas and other forms of morally degrading films are not censored or banned completely, modern Africa would witness a breed of carefree, morally sick youths who would make life unbearable for all humanity. Exaggerating this projection may seem, it is indeed a likely reality that is about hitting the African continent.

Leaders of the entertainment industries in Africa must act swiftly to ban the watching of these morally degrading western telenovelas. These western telenovelas are alien to the rich cultural heritage of Africa and tutors African youth anti-development social vices. Granted, some western films are charged with positive moral traits that impact favorably on the moral development of African youths. These can be promoted and aired for public viewing. However, strict monitoring and supervision of the story lines of western telenovelas must be carried out by directors of the entertainment industries and television channels before they are allowed to be aired. This would regulate the kind of telenovelas that the youth of Africa watch and thereby impacting positively on their moral development. The various governments and ministries in charge of the entertainment industries in Africa must deem it a priority to constantly monitor the entertainment industries and the kind of programs and films especially the western telenovelas that are aired on television channels. Strict sanctions such as heavy fines and/or a total ban on the airing of any program by television channels that promotes western telenovelas or any other film that is morally degrading and weakens the moral upbringing of the youth must be instituted and enforced.

The youth are the holders of the pipe of the future. Therefore, their moral development must be dear to the hearts of governments, policy makers and the entire public, especially the elderly class who would leave the mantle of leadership in their care. If the moral fibers of the youth become weak as a result of the negative impacts of western telenovelas and/or other television shows and programs, the future of human societies would be doomed. It would be an everlasting sting and shame on the present elderly generation even after their physical passing and a bad account to the Supreme Being and the ancestors who left these feeble youth in their care!

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Web Design, Business and Success in the World of the Internet

The statement, ‘every business needs a website’ may have seemed too fanciful or even unnecessary a few decades ago, but that is not the case not anymore. With the advent of the internet, and especially with the proliferation of personal computing devices and smartphones, website development has become one of the most crucial elements in the ladder of success for businesses worldwide. It doesn’t matter if the business is a startup or a century-old business, a local business or a global one, a small business with just a handful of employees or one with thousands-a website is necessary for today’s day and age.

What makes a website so important?

A website is a medium through which a company communicates with its target audience. Whether it is informing them of new product launches or services, keeping in touch with them generally, or enhancing the brand appeal and brand reputation, there is a lot that a website can do for a business. However, there are literally millions of websites on the World Wide Web today, so if a business wants to differentiate itself from the competition, the most important thing that sets it apart from the rest will be website design.

What are the elements of a good website design?

For a website design to be truly effective and succeed in attracting visitors, retaining them, and encouraging a return audience, it has to be aesthetically pleasing, technically sound, user-friendly, well-organized elements, easy to navigate, and responsive across a wide range of browsers, screens, devices, and platforms. It should have a combination of fantastic design with great content, that will keep the target audience hooked, make them refer the site to people they know, and make them come back for more. Website development that is professional will naturally encompass all these elements to deliver a website design that is truly extraordinary while also reflecting the vision and spirit of the brand.

Advantages of hiring professionals for website development

With so many fly-by-night operators in the domain of website development, it is easy to think that it would be nice to save some money and hand over your website development to such an entity for a smaller price. But there are several advantages to entrusting your site to the experts. For one, they will have the experience and expertise of having worked on numerous projects for different clients, so they know what a business website requires. Also, they will be updated with the latest tools and technologies. This is important, what with technology evolving and getting updated almost overnight. You don’t want to be saddled with a redundant website after paying so much money. A professional website development company will ensure that a business website stays on top of the latest in technology so that no matter what updates are released, it will remain functional in the most optimal way.

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Negative Impacts of Western Telenovela on the Moral Development of The African Youth

With the advancement in technology, the mass media has soared up greatly in its programs. The television industry in Africa is now featuring numerous programs and airing series of films. Some of these films are very educative, offering the youth with requisite skills and knowledge to face the present and projected future challenges of life. However, other western-oriented films, such as the ever-ascending telenovela shows are negatively impacting on the moral development of the youth in Africa and as such must be monitored or banned entirely.

Prior to embracing colonialism and westernization, Africans had a very rich oasis of entertainment that did not just fill the recreational needs of the youth but also impacted positively on their moral development. Those forms of entertainment sensitized them of relevant cultural values and norms that enhance good communal living. Storytelling or folklores narrated and performed at evenings during family gatherings instructed the youth on social vices like stealing, disrespect, greediness, laziness and so forth. Good and exemplary moral behaviors were glorified in the narrated folklores that were performed for public viewing. These performances were void of degrading and loose moral acts very rampant in western telenovelas aired on African television networks such as unbridled kissing, fondling of sexual parts of the body, sexual intercourse and other disgraceful acts. These are portrayed in the films as normal, without any blemish or whatsoever. This is highly disparaging! The culture of the African perpetrates dignity and sanity for sexual life reserving it for the matured and married in the society. Thus, the youth in indigenous Africa would not dare engage in the talking or fantasizing of sexual acts. Honesty and moral integrity were promoted in the story lines of recreational performances.

Even in the early phase of technological advancement and the ushering in of the television industry in Africa, the same performances were filmed and aired on televisions. Thus, the cultural values and socially esteemed lifestyle were glorified while loose moral life was mocked at in the performances. It is very sad that morally degrading western telenovelas are telecasted on various television channels in Africa today. This is negatively affecting the moral behaviors of the youth negatively. It is no surprise that cases of teenage pregnancy, armed robbery, lying, laziness and other forms of social vices featured in the gory and sexually-incensed western telenovelas are rampant in modern Africa. The youth in Africa spends astronomical hours daily watching television. If the airing of these western telenovelas and other forms of morally degrading films are not censored or banned completely, modern Africa would witness a breed of carefree, morally sick youths who would make life unbearable for all humanity. Exaggerating this projection may seem, it is indeed a likely reality that is about hitting the African continent.

Leaders of the entertainment industries in Africa must act swiftly to ban the watching of these morally degrading western telenovelas. These western telenovelas are alien to the rich cultural heritage of Africa and tutors African youth anti-development social vices. Granted, some western films are charged with positive moral traits that impact favorably on the moral development of African youths. These can be promoted and aired for public viewing. However, strict monitoring and supervision of the story lines of western telenovelas must be carried out by directors of the entertainment industries and television channels before they are allowed to be aired. This would regulate the kind of telenovelas that the youth of Africa watch and thereby impacting positively on their moral development. The various governments and ministries in charge of the entertainment industries in Africa must deem it a priority to constantly monitor the entertainment industries and the kind of programs and films especially the western telenovelas that are aired on television channels. Strict sanctions such as heavy fines and/or a total ban on the airing of any program by television channels that promotes western telenovelas or any other film that is morally degrading and weakens the moral upbringing of the youth must be instituted and enforced.

The youth are the holders of the pipe of the future. Therefore, their moral development must be dear to the hearts of governments, policy makers and the entire public, especially the elderly class who would leave the mantle of leadership in their care. If the moral fibers of the youth become weak as a result of the negative impacts of western telenovelas and/or other television shows and programs, the future of human societies would be doomed. It would be an everlasting sting and shame on the present elderly generation even after their physical passing and a bad account to the Supreme Being and the ancestors who left these feeble youth in their care!

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