Weekly Nugget – Children should be Seen and Heard

In this part of the world many of us were raised with the notion that
children should be seen and not heard‘, which meant that a child must not speak until spoken to. It also indicates a certain behaviour standard, especially in the company of adults.
This upbringing probably must have contributed to the way some of us:
  1. Lack the ability to communicate and articulate our thoughts effectively.
  2. Find it difficult to question our faulty national systems.
  3. Have outsourced our brains, and are used to not thinking before acting.
  4. Are not confident.
Children are to be seen and listened to. This is how they learn more, build  their communication skills and confidence level.
Our advice this week are:
  • Give your children the opportunity to express their views.
  • Let them join in some of your conversations.
  • Let they be free and confident to talk to you about anything.
  • Give them the opportunity to ask you question without shushing them off.
  • Listen to them.
  • And above all, seek feedback from them and ask for their opinion on matters.
We all benefit when we do things right.

Wait Your Turn – Showing Respect to Others

Some time ago, the question popped in my head “what crosses the average person’s mind when they arrive at a queue?”

I was pushed to wonder what goes through peoples’ minds when they see a line. Living in Nigeria as an adult for the very first time in my life has exposed me to a variety of daily experiences. Some are so shocking that I am left speechless and some drive me to want to make a change. One of the questions I have asked myself is why do Nigerians have a tendency to misbehave when they need to join a queue?

Occasionally, one would see a respectable-looking person walk into a fast food restaurant. Immediately they see the queue, they quickly look for a means to get ahead quicker, this may mean squeezing in or pretending to have been on the line previously. Often this kind of behaviour results in a big rancour when other people on the line refuse to be cheated.

My latest experience was at the head office of one of the major banks in Marina, Lagos. This is a grand building which can compete with any of its kind in the other financial districts of the world. The ambiance is enough to make most people put on their best behaviour. Or so I thought!

Having recently visited the building, I was pleasantly surprised to see the new metal scanners and duly obliged by proceeding to hand over my bag to the official at the machine. Just as I was about to place my bag on the moving belt, I was shocked to see a gentleman come from nowhere somehow happened to be faster at handing over his belongings to the guards for scanning. Here I was waiting for my turn to have my bag scanned and before I could do so, someone faster than me had come from behind to do exactly the same.

Needless to say, I was bewildered. This was a man who had clearly ignored me, passed items almost over my head and taken my place on the queue. And it is almost impossible that the man did not see me.

Below are a few questions which may help you identify your attitude to waiting in line:

Do you feel more important than the people you meet on a queue?

Do you assume you are in a legitimate hurry whilst the other people on the queue may be in no rush at all?

Do you assume your time is more precious than the next person’s?

Do you feel so important that you often don’t see the people standing around, who may also be waiting their turn?

Do you feel it is demeaning to wait in line for your turn?

In considering this big problem, I have come to a few conclusions and recommendations:

1. Respecting one another is what makes the world go round. Respect begets more respect. The golden rule everyone should live by says: “Do unto to others as you would have them do unto you.” This truly sums up all that needs to be said. If we put ourselves in other people’s shoes, we would think twice before taking certain actions.

2. Waiting your turn shows that you respect other people on the line.

3. Joining a queue says you are self-confident. Only confident people are able to admit there are others in front of them and wait their turn.

4. Never assume that you or your time is more important than the people queuing in line. This assumption is likely to impair your judgement.

5. Life is so complicated that we need not complicate it further for one another. Waiting your turn in a queue in a post office, wherever, ensures everyone is served fairly in order of arrival.

6. Don’t act like you may be bigger than people queuing even when it seems obvious that you are. It is better for people to recognise and honour you than to be told off for jumping a queue.

As you go about your business each day, please consider this old saying ‘what goes round comes round.’ Let’s do things right remembering that it is in doing right that we will change the landscape of our beloved nation.

Photo Credit: Dejagaban.com

Menu! Menu! Menu! – the scramble for food

Photo credit - biscuitboneblog

Ignoring his many shenanigans, I really like King Solomon. He appeared to me to be a very intelligent and smart guy. In his writings, he stated that one of the four things that were too wonderful for him to understand was the way of a man with a woman i.e. the way of a young man with a young woman. I am sure the male readers will understand what he meant – how you leave no stone unturned to get a date with a woman. Trust me, I know, I am a woman.

For me, one of the many things wonderful for me to understand is the way of a Nigerian with food at parties It’s a huge mystery that I would love to unravel.

In Nigeria, Item number 7 is the ‘menu’ stage and probably the most important at many events. It is smartly embedded between the many other events on the agenda, yet stands head and shoulders above the others in the minds of guests. Failure at Item number 7 is failure for the host and the event. Curiously, at Item number 7, you will see the words ‘Menu, Menu, Menu’. I still haven’t figured out why menu is written thrice. Perhaps it is a reflection of our attitude towards food.

The important issue about Item number 7 is that it sometimes shows the true colour of party guests as it has an uncanny way of bringing out the best or worst in people. Sometimes, you see top people with the means to commission the most sumptuous meal in their homes behaving badly and losing their inhibitions when they come across food at a party. It makes you wonder why Item number 7 has such an overwhelming impact on a lot of people, both rich and poor.

At other times, you see people jump the buffet queue, or pile their plate so much that you ask what on earth a person is doing with pounded yam and salad on the same plate. The fact that it is a buffet and you may go back for seconds does nothing to temper the greed of some people.

I have seen fights break out or people get very angry and abusive towards unarmed waitresses for no other reason but food; often because their table has been skipped by the waitresses at a party. Sometimes this is a case of cronyism on the part of the chief hostesses, but oftentimes, it is simply due to the overwhelming demand for food by so many people.

I am sure many of my readers have been to parties where the food is finished by the time it gets to your turn on the buffet line. In cases like this, you may be surprised to find out that the food was prepared for double the number of people present. No doubt most people will salivate at the sight of the spread of various kinds of delicacies but is a persons’ dignity and self respect not worth more than food?

My husband and I were once invited to celebrate the Nigerian Independence day at the High Commissioner’s House in London. After the formal part of the event, we were invited to proceed to the tent set out for the well-laid buffet. One peep into the tent sent us back as the very distinguished guests were rather unruly, crowding over what we figured out was the food service point. There was no way we were going to be part of the scramble for food.

If you find yourself at a buffet, the following points will serve you well:

· Allow the guest of honour, the elderly or the disabled to go first.

· Do not overload your plate.

· While serving yourself, only take an adequate portion keeping in mind those who are in        line behind you.

· Do not return to the buffet line until everyone has gone through once.

· If you are desperately hungry before you go to a party, eat before you leave home.

We all benefit when we do things right! EtiquetteBank


10 Common Sense Guides to Using Social Media

Social media is fast becoming one of the most popular form of communication. The following are sensible and common sense suggestions to make your online presence as trouble free as possible.

1. Ensure that whatever you send makes sense and cannot be misconstrued. Remember, communication involves transmitting meaning.

2. Avoid sending or forwarding messages with racist, sexist or any other offensive content or language.

3. Furthermore, do not post, send or forward anything you may regret in the future. If you do not agree with a comment on social media, ignore it, rather than posting abusive words against the writer. The watchword is ‘think first’ before posting any item or even sending an email.

4. It is important to note that almost everything posted online is permanent and can potentially be seen, copied or downloaded by 7 billion people. Therefore be careful with the information, pictures and images you post on social media or anywhere online.

5. Beware! Employers and potential employers may also check your online profile for information about you. Ensure none of these can embarrass you.

6. Avoid sending daily messages or videos to people. Daily messages, however motivational can be overwhelming for most people.  Even if you think your messages are exceptionally wonderful, remember you may be crowding peoples lives with too much advice and you may in fact become a nuisance.

7. Do not send or forward messages that require the receiver to type ‘amen’ or to copy others in order to receive a miracle. This is playing on peoples’ emotions, and it is clearly a form of bullying.

8. If you are starting a group, it is more appropriate to first send out an invitation. Include a small introduction giving the objectives of the group, and guidance on what can and can not be posted on the platform. In other words, give people the option to opt in or out of a group and avoid adding people’s contact into a group without prior notification and approval.

9. If you belong to a group, do not abuse the platform by posting any messages or information outside of the objectives of the group.

10. Remember that tone and perception matters! Because culture differs even within a country, a well meaning message may in fact be misconstrued and considered offensive by others, perhaps because of its tone. Check meaning and consider how your message may be perceived before you send it.

We all benefit when we do things right.