Tag Archives: Cultural values

What is important?

Mary Ann Niemczura, born in Massachusetts, reared in Colorado and now living in Upstate New York, looks at three things which she finds  important to her and were she grow up in Massachusetts and in Colorado: Family, Faith, and Education.

In this world were morals, ethics and values are gone it is not bad to stand still for a moment and to wonder what made us unto what we are today.

Let us never forget those who are behind our making process, our parents, teachers, guides, and all the material which came under our eyes (books, theatre pieces, films, artefacts, …)

Like me she grew up in a time when education was still valued and probably the teachers still respected. At a new years dinner for municipal staff I was questioned about the use of musical education and playing an instrument. In the past that was considered as an asset and helpful to have the brains growing in a good way. The gift of music and diligent practice are very much helping the brain to develop so that there is gain on different fronts for other schoolsubjects as well as analytic and creative thinking.  The author has good reason to

belief that children who play a musical instrument including voice have a better chance of success in school.  They learn to listen and to read as well as to memorize more quickly.

Also the religious upbringing may help to create a decent personality which is respectful to nature and all those living on this globe. Learning from the Holy Scriptures not only gives a good formation for our relationships with others, it also shall make us a better person, not only believing in the Creator but also believing in the self, which shall give more confidence to tackle certain tasks and to withstand certain counteraction or thwart.

To have hope for the future we have to work at it that others also come to understand the reasons why we should have certain values, cherish and nourish certain morals. Like in previous times it is still important to be involved with those around us, to read to the children, to give ethical and/or religious education and to practice faith with those who are near to us. Parents and educators do have to send a very clear message that education should be at the top of the list after family and faith.

Then we might have fewer morally bankrupt persons in society.

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Additional reading

  1. Too many pupils for not enough teachers
  2. A learning process for each of us
  3. Passion and burn out of a teacher

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Dr. Mary Ann Niemczura

Three things are important to me and were growing up in Massachusetts and in Colorado.

Family-we had the luxury of a stay at home mom which I believe made all the difference in growing up.  We did not have babysitters come in.  My parents were simply always there for all of us children.  These were simpler times in the 40s and 50s when families made do with less.  I remember my parents growing most of the fruits and vegetables we needed.  My mother canned a lot for the winter months.  We kept potatoes in cold storage in the basement in Massachusetts.  We were happy and well fed.  Our mother sewed most of our clothes as well.  We knew we were well loved.

Faith-we attended church regularly which formed a strong foundation for our character and beliefs. We participated in religious education at church as well.  Parents who give…

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Filed under Cultural affairs, Educational affairs, Knowledge & Wisdom, Lifestyle, Re-Blogs and Great Blogs, Religious affairs, Spiritual affairs

Refugees At The Border- A Blessing Or Burden?

We may wonder, why the ex-Communist Central European countries display such an intolerant, negative and rigid approach to the plight of the refugees. KTG was one of the first to question the ex communist EU states approach even though on the example the lack of solidarity of Eastern Europe towards Greece’s debt crisis.

For sure the fear of having an other culture taking over theirs is ungrounded when each of the asylum taker states is fierce in making it clear those coming into their country have to accept the values and way of life of the guest country.

Lots of fear in our regions is by not knowing enough of the other culture and not by understanding the real actual facts of the inhumane conditions that ISIS creates, against Koran teaching.

Revealing themselves to be intolerant, illiberal, xenophobic, and incapable of remembering the spirit of solidarity that carried them to freedom a quarter-century ago, the Eastern European countries should seriously reconsider their position they want to take in the European Union, which has to be one of democratic liberty and solidarity.

Europe is a mixture of different cultures, people and tiny states. It has to look for an consensus, finding a way so that all those different cultures, religions can live together without harming each other or standing in the way of the other.

Debates like the one in Belgium taking place know by the complaint of the commission of equality that burkina’s should be allowed in the swimming pools are not helping to the matter. When this would be allowed women’s right could be in danger again for Muslim women. The same nudist should then have the right to demand being able to swim naked in the public baths at any time.

All sorts of religious, philosophical and ethical groups should find a way to have everybody respecting other ones thoughts, but knowing that in the private sphere everybody should be able to do what they want, as long as they do not bring damage to each other, but that in public places all have to put water in their wine, allowing a way of life where the majority can find itself at ease.

Therefore no yelling from mosque towers at the rising or setting of the sun, and no bell ringing from Catholic or Protestant churches early in the morning.

On the examples of Hungary’s government “mistreatment of thousands refugees in front of the eye of the entire world” and Poland’s storm of comments full of hate towards the refugees, we should ask with urgency to those ex-communist countries:

“Have Eastern Europeans no sense of shame? For centuries, their ancestors emigrated in droves, seeking relief from material hardships and political persecution. And today their leaders’ heartless behaviour and callous rhetoric play to popular sentiment. “

Throughout millennia people have been hoovering all over the world to find liveable pastures, let those who claim to be Christians show the right Christian attitude worthy to be called after Jeshua, the Messiah, Jesus Christ, who preached love and openness for each other.

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To remember:

  • flow of people from war torn regions of the world in particular Syria, North Africa & Afghanistan is continuing this week and is likely to continue over the next few weeks
  • refugees will go to the region where they are likely to find employment and a better livelihood
  • millions have moved within the middleast to Africa and to South America
  • struggles within Europe = dominating the headlines
  • Southern Europe has been seen to carry out harsh tactics against the suffering people > tear gas, blocking routes, laying down barb wire
  • previous slogans of “open Europe” seems like a distant memory
  • many European countries are squabbling with each other on how many and where the suffering people should go to
  • Europe’s population is near the five hundred million mark, even if there was one million people entering Europe this would be only 0.02% of the population, hardly a huge increase in numbers.
  • Europe’s economic output represents close to 25% of global output.
  • reluctance is founded in a enshrined principle that the identity needs to be protected regardless
  • arrival of the suffering people are seen as a threat to its identity
  • the “defend your culture and identity by no interaction or leave your culture at the border policy” isn’t working
  • allowing refugees in => interaction, discussion, exchanges of views and opinions => beneficial for everyone
  • culture good for one group of people = good for all groups of people
  • worry of compromising their culture and closing the borders = weak position
  • world sees it as outdated and Europe needs to move on.

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Preceding articles

Poster: Please Help The Refugees

The World Wide Refugee and Migrant Crisis and a possible solution for it

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Additional articles of interest:

  1. Sharing a common security and a common set of values
  2. Cognizance at the doorstep or at the internet socket
  3. Faith related boycotts
  4. Mocking, Agitation and Religious Persecution
  5. Economic crisis danger for the rise of political extremism
  6. Americans wrongly informed about situation in Europe
  7. Fitting the bill in the North and in the East
  8. Continues Syrian conflict needing not only dialogue
  9. Can We Pay The Price To Free Humanity?
  10. Are people willing to take the responsibility for others
  11. If Europe fails on the question of refugees, then it won’t be the Europe we wished for
  12. State of Europe 2015 – Addressing Europe’s crises
  13. Schengen area and Freedom for Europeans being put to the test as never before
  14. Europe’s refugees just follow the ancient routes for the peopling of Europe in the Neolithic
  15. Why Russia backs Assad: a view from Russia’s anti-imperialist left
  16. Meeting to focus on humanitarian issues for Syria
  17. Propaganda war and ISIS

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Filed under Activism and Peace Work, Being and Feeling, Cultural affairs, Juridical matters, Lifestyle, Political affairs, Re-Blogs and Great Blogs, Religious affairs, Social affairs, Welfare matters, World affairs

The natural beauties of life

When we look around us we should be able to see all the beauty of nature. But many of us live in cities where we are surrounded by buildings and not much green.

The beautiful nature is given to us freely, but not many people do respect that free gift as such. We, as human beings are also not so keen to use it properly and to take into account that many after us still have to be able to enjoy as much as we did or even more. Often terrible things have to happen before we as human being want to think about what is going on or what our responsibility should be for making sure lots of people can enjoy those treasures of earth.

In many Asian countries several people are already seriously feeling the effects of the industrial revolution and the technical progress of the last two centuries. People may be happy the world advanced so much and that we do have a lot of gadgets which make life so much easier. But in many poor countries those people do not enjoy such modern domestication? Several families  by powerful storms found their riverside home destroyed already more than once. Millions have already lost more than the modest roof over their head. Millions spend their days collecting cow dung for fuel and struggling to grow vegetables in soil poisoned by salt water. They live on borrowed time in a vast landscape of river islands, bamboo huts, heartbreaking choices and impossible hopes.

Government representatives and scientists on Tuesday March the 25th opened a five-day meeting of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) to finalize a report assessing the impacts of climate change on human and natural systems, options for adaptation, and the interactions among climate changes, other stresses on societies, and opportunities for the future.

The meeting, the culmination of four years’ work by hundreds of experts who have volunteered their time and expertise to produce a comprehensive assessment, was to approve the Summary for Policymakers of the second part of the IPCC’s Fifth Assessment Report, checking the text line by line.

The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) wants to achieve a stabilization of green-house gas concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that would prevent dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system. Such a level should be achieved within a time frame sufficient to allow ecosystems to adapt naturally to climate change, to ensure that food production is not threatened and to enable economic development to proceed in a sustainable manner.
All of us should be aware that limiting the effects of climate change is necessary to achieve sustainable development and equity, including poverty eradication. At the same time, some mitigation efforts could undermine action on the right to promote sustainable development, and on the achievement of poverty eradication and equity. Consequently, a comprehensive assessment of climate policies involves going beyond a focus on mitigation and adaptation policies alone to examine development pathways more broadly, along with their determinants.

We all should also know that we have to take a collective action because we are speaking of problem at the global scale, because most greenhouse gases (GHGs) accumulate over time and mix globally, and emissions by any agent (e.g., individual, community, company,country) affect other agents. International cooperation is therefore required to effectively mitigate GHG emissions and address other climate change issues.

Social, economic and ethical analyses may be used to inform value judgements and may take into account values of various sorts, including human well-being, cultural values and non-human values. But all people should be informed how much they themselves also can contribute to the global effect, even when their personal impact may be very small it is important that everybody does his or her own bit for the protection of the earth.
Awareness and appreciation for the environment is very important, so we should help to get others to be more concious of the importance to safeguard the earth’s future and the future of our children their children.
We would like to present a website where the beauties of nature are nicely presented but where one is not afraid to see behind all that beauty the danger of vanishing worlds. We have evolved far away form the snapshots that have served as surrogates, except perhaps for one surrogate which continues to grow, namely the extended reach of the body’s comprehension of the world.
Doing so more insistently than did other forms of mimetic representation, photography seemed to stand in for the direct, bodily experience of the individual, its lens becoming the roving eye of the beholder. Most obviously one sees this in travel and expeditionary photographs of the nineteenth century, for which skilled professionals travelled forth from Western Europe and the eastern USA to record and bring back views of sites as various as India, the American West and the Middle East. {Oxford Companion to the Body }
Photography, you could say, is the visual medium of this modern world, were events can be captured for the future, but were stories of the past can be a witness of the things human beings did or because they did not want to see, refusing to hear the signs, have been lost for the next generations.
As a means of recording, and as an art form in its own, photography pervades our lives and shapes our perceptions…

A private photobook collector and trader, living in the Netherlands, who has sold many photobooks online (Ebay.nl, Marktplaats.nl & Boekwinkeltjes.nl/Bint) and therefore has also set up a devoted website (see http://bintphotobooks.googlepages.com/)& his Blog (see http://bintphotobooks.blogspot.com/) brings us a variety of artists worth viewing.

We do know that:
“Perception is relative and selective”…If the presenter does not clarify a message, then the receiver imposes his own meaning drawing from his/her experience, needs and expectations.

On his website we can find many beautiful photographs which clearly tell a story which has to be heard by many. Therefore we also like to introduce you to it. Our world is much to important to have it been destroyed by the greed of our consumerism.

The one looking through the lens may capture a whole story in one click and make it easy for others to see that what is behind the picture. Every photographer may put his own statement in the way he looks at things. Behind the pictures may be told also a whole story and the writer of Bint photobooks may carry us away along the threads of reality which often stay hidden for those who live in the cities of the Western world.

In Kadir van Lohuizen: Putting stories into perspective for example we can learn that the celebrated Dutch photographer Kadir van Lohuizen feels that there are many big stories around the world that need to be told and that it is his responsibility to tell them in the right way. He brings us with his camera from the North to the South, from Greenland to Kiribati and Fiji, close to Australia, passing by Panama but also showing us the problems of cities in the United States, like Boston, all places where they feel the rising sees. On the net we also can find some other interesting photographs of professional photographers, like Mitch Zeissler, and non-professional photographers, who do have a very good eye, like Cindy Barton Knoke who is willing to share that what she encounters on her many travels. Having such people willing to share the beauties they managed to see others are allowed to enjoy them too, which is great. This way people who are not in good health or do not have the money or no means to make such trips to far away places can receive their dreams by such bloggers.

Having lots of people living between the structures of living quarters and offices, often confronted with the fumes, dust and pollution, they may value such beautiful countrysides, animals and by Cindy Barton Knoke also beautiful art, which give richness to the world. Those living in countries with wide fields, like in the United States perhaps do not see any sign of pollution in their region, and do think perhaps everything is exaggerated, but when they can see and hear the witnesses of those who can move around, come in different places or do scientific work, they perhaps come to believe that it is really time we do something to protect what we still have. In Belgium we are confronted with pollution and climate change nearly every day, so perhaps the Belgians do feel the urge to look for solutions more than some other citizens.

Climate-Greenland-slide-BJBO-superJumbo.jpgClimate-Greenland-slide-YDQV-superJumbo.jpg
Icebergs in a channel between Greenland’s Eqip Sermia glacier and Ilulissat Icefjord, the most active glacier in the Northern Hemisphere and so many other pictures Bint presents with his article on Kadir van Lohuizen is only showing us the figurative and literal top of the ice sheet melting as a result of climate change.

In 2012 van Lohuizen started project looking into consequences of sea-level rise in the world. Therefore he went to different regions that have been or will be affected quite soon by the rise, and researched where people will have to relocate.

The 50-year-old photographer said he started the project after visiting a delta area in Bangladesh around three years ago, where he was struck by the apparent impact of rising sea levels and noticed that Bangladesh expects to evacuate 30 million people by 2050 due to rising sea levels.

He is also aware that the issue is more urgent than most people assume

“it’s very much knocking on our doors.”

The world has waited already too long before taking the matter serious. Like in most places there has to happen something serious before people do something.

“Too often we start to think about the problem when it has happened, but not before.”

Bint writes

Aiming to raise awareness in the general audience, Kadir hoped that the message would also reach politicians and policymakers.

and gives the word to van Lohuizen who says:

“It’s going to be the biggest problem of the century. It’s not just islands disappearing but also sea water seeping into the mainland, causing soil to become saline, rendering people unable to grow crops and having more difficulty accessing clean water.”

We better make sure others get to know the beauties of nature but also show how endangered the species and our own environment is. We clearly have to share the message of the importance to keep our world in good health.

The "burning embers" diagram above w...

The “burning embers” diagram above was produced by the IPCC in 2001. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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