Meeting Busters, Come On Play Nice

Meeting

The Wall Street Journal (16 May 2011) had a interesting portrayal this week of the various types of people that tend to spoil meetings.

From low to high on nuisance level, these were as follows:

1) Jokesters–“cracks jokes, appropriate or not.”

2) Ramblers–goes on and on and often off topic.

3) Dominators–dictates to others with their opinions.

4) Naysayers–derails progress with negativity.

5) Plotters–passive-aggressive undermines decisions.

From my experience, I would add a few others (in no particular order):

6) Politicians–focuses on coming away looking good instead of on resolving issues.

7) Positioners–vies for a bigger piece of the pie, whatever flavor it is.

8) Honorees–comes to take all the credit, and politely thank everyone for their support.

9) Bystanders–shows up, but can’t or won’t contribute anything of value.

10) Bewildered–unsure even why they are here, but were told to just show up.

11) Malcontents–they are unhappy and they show it, so who cares anymore.

12) Socializers–shares personal tidbits and whispers about where they want to go lunch or for happy hour afterwards.

For all the meeting attendees out there, life is not a box of cherries, but you don’t have to make it the pits! 😉

(Source Photo: here with attribution to Voka – Kamer van Koophandel Limburg)

Democracy Built On More Than Hoya

There is a funny joke that is timely for election season, and it goes something like this…

“It was election time and the politician decided to go out to the local reservation and try to get the Native American vote.

They were all assembled in the Council Hall to hear the speech.

The politician had worked up to his finale, and the crowd was getting more and more excited.

‘I promise better education opportunities for Native Americans!’ The crowd went wild, shouting ‘Hoya! Hoya!’.

The  politician was a bit puzzled by the native word, but was encouraged by their enthusiasm. ‘I promise gambling reforms to allow a Casino on the Reservation!’  ‘Hoya! Hoya!’ cried the crowd, stomping their feet.

‘I promise more social reforms and job opportunities for Native Americans!’ The crowd reached a frenzied pitch shouting ‘Hoya!  Hoya!  Hoya!’

After the speech, the Politician was touring the Reservation, and saw a tremendous herd of cattle. Since he was raised on a ranch, and knew a bit about cattle, he asked the Chief if he could get closer to take a look at the cattle.

‘Sure,’ the Chief said, ‘but be careful not to step in the hoya.'”  🙂

So when candidates get on their soapboxes and promises are being made on the left and on the right, you can only but wonder what is a promise that is sincere and will be kept and what is a promise that is for garnering votes and will be ignored.

When the mic is unknowingly on and you hear something you weren’t meant to hear, it is hard not to wonder about true intentions.

The New York Times calls these “moments of political candor,” while the Wall Street Journal (30 March 2012) calls it “moment[s] of political contempt.”

The Journal asks why we would not be told the truth about intentions with the implication that it is something that the candidates do not want us to know or that we would not approve of.

Who are these candidates really? Does anyone really know when words are but bargaining chips for winning elections, rather than true commitments of the heart.

It is scary, when the truth is obscured by empty words that change with the audience, and then votes end up based on false promises, vagaries, and disappointments.

When it comes to elections–Is the truth out there? Does it exist?

People deserve candor, sincerity, and to know where candidates really stand on the issues, so they can vote for what and whom they really believe in.

Democracy is built on more than rolling hills and valleys filled with hoya–the truth is it’s foundation.

(Source Joke: here and Source Photo: here)

 

What Are People Hungry For?

Katniss_salute_to_the_people

In the Hunger Games, the storyline is of the common people being punished for rebelling against “The Capital” generations ago, by having to put up male and female “Tributes” (kids age 12-18) from each of 12 districts to fight it out to the death, while the rich and powerful in The Capital watch, laugh, and enjoy the equivalent of the gladiators in the Coliseum.

The Games offer a restricted hope to the people–as hope is seen as “the only thing stronger than fear.” In this movie, the hope for winning the games is supposed to displace the fear of the central authorities over their subjects as well as any real hope of change, equality, and justice for the masses.

What the kids and adult fans of this movie seem to be lining up and cheering wildly for with this box-office smash hit is the main character Katniss Everdeen who defies the corrupt politicians and affluent capitalists by fighting not for her life in The Hunger Games as much as for the dignity of the common people in the districts.

From the beginning, Katniss become the first ever to volunteer for the games to take the place of her less adept, younger sister, Primrose, who is selected from District 12; Katniss put her life on the line to save her sister’s life.

And all along during the movie, Katniss refuses to be a pawn in the game and simply kill or be killed, but she rises above the fight and acts all the time with humanity, caring for other tributes and generally refusing to hurt others, unless her life is threatened and she literally has no choice.

For example, she cares for a younger girl from District 11 who eventually is speared to death by another tribute hunting them. Also, she cares for her companion from District 12, Peeta, who is injured, and she risks her life to get medicine to save his.

At climax, Katniss is ready to commit suicide, rather than continue playing to the evil dictates of the authorities.

Katniss comes from the poverty and ordinariness of the district people. However, her fighting spirit, humanity, and ability to outwit not only the other tributes, but the evil leaders–who play the tributes (and districts) off each other for their own power, permanence, and punishment of the lower class–makes her a hero among the masses who are at the ready to revolt at her simple salute to the people.

What I thought was going to be a kids movie that would put me to sleep, turned out to be an uplifting experience watching an old, familiar theme of Rocky the fighter win against all the odds, but in this case with the added twist of defying a corrupt government and elitist culture.

I think this movie is appealing to people at exactly a time now where the 99% are simmering and fed up with the shenanigans of the 1% and elements of both the Occupy movement and Tea Party are looking for principles of freedom, justice, and dignity to be restored.

The Hunger Games is not just about the dystopian future society that doesn’t exist today, but rather about a historical perspective of people who are craving for the proverbial “dirty politicians” and “greedy capitalists” to put aside their games, agendas, excuses, and pots of power and gold for a more utopian society where all people are created equal and treated fairly with hope anchored in reality.

(Source Photo: Adapted from here)