CommonSense (CS) Campaign (1) – People are important

common sense

Photo Credit: melissaagnes.com

People are important. Period.

Therefore treat everyone you meet with dignity and respect irrespective of their social status or financial muscle.

It is almost foolhardy to mistreat people. It is certainly unwise to be rude to anyone.

In this new year, make it your resolution to speak kindly to people, and to treat everyone fairly and decently. This should include but not limited to your subordinates, spouse, maids, servants, friends, superiors, children and parents.
Remember the popular saying: people may forget anything but they never forget how you treat them or how you make them feel.

We all benefit when we do things right.

ParkRoyal’s Phonetic Alphabet


Today is Nigeria’s 55th independence day.

We would like to wish all our Nigerian readers a happy celebration.

The picture is ParkRoyal and Lagos Finishing School’s phonetic alphabet.

We can make Nigeria great when we all do our individual bits.

This phonetic alphabet is to get us thinking in that direction.

We all benefit when we do things right.

How to Avoid a Feeling of Entitlement


Some people believe they have a right to their brother, sister, fellow congregant or friend’s money.

This is usually not a direct claim but an implied one. Some people believe that if a friend or family member is financially better off, even, if only slightly, he must of necessity dole out money to them, set them up in business or assist with their grand wedding or parent burial plans.

Oftentimes, people are bullied with incessant telephone calls or text messages requesting for assistance. To them, it does not matter whether the perceived benefactor has his own overwhelming responsibilities.

The result of this belief of entitlement is that resentment sets in from both sides, leading to a breakdown in relationships. Some so-called benefactors may even draw back from family if they are unable to meet up with the obligations expected of them.

In order to avoid this problem, we advice the following:

1. The starting point is that no one has a right to another person’s money.

2. Financial assistance from a friend or family member is therefore a privilege, not a right.

3. It is presumptuous to expect someone to simply dole out money they have laboured and kept sleepless nights for.

4. While financial support from family members has become our own form of welfare/social security system in Nigeria, there should be no feeling of entitlement from recipients.

5. Frequent telephone calls and text messages are bullying tactics and can give a feeling of stalking. They should be avoided.

We all benefit when we do things right.

14 Trivial things you should never get upset about

In our part of the world, people easily get upset about trivial matters. Relationships are broken, often about issues that don’t really matter. Some of these triggers are bewilderingly stupid or at the best comical, yet they create such huge problems.

This article looks at some of the things you should never get upset about. However tempted you are, do not use these to judge others. They are for you, the reader, to reflect on how you measure up, and hopefully assist you in choosing to build relationships rather than getting upset over trivial matters.

1. Don’t be upset if someone gives or receive something from you with their left hand. This may not be an attempt to be rude; it is possible that the person is left-handed. Why get upset about what someone has no control over?

2. Don’t get upset if you weren’t invited to an event/celebration. Space may be limited or they may simply not want to bother you. Even if it is an act of forgetfulness, why create a huge storm? Are people not allowed to be human? Let go, don’t get upset as your doing so will make life unnecessarily difficult for others.

3. Don’t be upset if someone can’t make an event or party. However odd it may seem to you, accept the regrets. Put a positive spin on it; it’s one less mouth to cater for.

4. Don’t be upset when an invitation is not as early as you expected. It’s incredible that some people expect that they should be the first to know whenever a family member or friend is planning an event. Even when they are given a long notice, some would still kick against not being informed sooner. The advice is stop getting too important!

5. Don’t be upset if someone did not inform you they were travelling out of town or fail to inform you they’d just arrived in town. I have often telephoned people after arriving on holiday only to be asked the dreaded questions: When did you arrive? Why are you just calling now after four good days? It’s like they need to know before you even plan or set out on your journey.

6. Don’t be upset if a family member or friend did not inform you she is pregnant. She may just want to keep it quiet. Give her the respect and space to so do.

7. Don’t be upset if someone cannot buy the aso ebi (family uniform) for your party. Some people do not like aso ebi; some people may not have the money, some budget how they spend to the last penny, some are not allowed by their husband or wife to buy aso ebi. The question to be asked is when did buying aso ebi become the measure of true friendship or appreciation? Or rather when did aso ebi become aso gbogbogbo? (free-for all uniform)

8. Don’t be upset if someone did not give you the respect you feel you deserve. Instead, give them the respect not accorded to you. You may succeed in turning the person around. It’s much better to earn someone’s respect than to be seen or smelt demanding it.

9. Don’t be upset if someone younger or junior relates with you on a first name basis. In other words, they do not prefix your name with ‘brother’, ‘sister’, ‘mummy’, ‘daddy’ or use sir/ma when they communicate with you. Be professional, don’t create a scene, and play the bigger person even if you believe the person is deliberately being insulting. Life’s too short to be a ‘hater’. After all, we refer to Jesus by his first name most, if not all of the time.

10. Don’t be upset when someone gives you a gift you feel is too little. It’s possible that the person gave what he could afford at that moment. It is a sign of good manners and good breeding to always appreciate a gift.

11. Don’t be upset when someone commits a major faux pas against you. Cultured people are very accommodating and do not usually put people down in the public glare.

12. Don’t be upset when someone did not curtsy, kneel or prostrate to greet you. Not doing any of these doesn’t always correspond to disrespect or lack of proper breeding. Doing any of them does not mean a person holds you in high esteem either.

13. Don’t be upset because someone did not respond to your email or social media messages quickly. The person may be busy at the time or may have specific time allotted to responding to messages. The expectations of social media can be overwhelmingly paralysing, and no one should be pressured into this technological servitude.

14. Don’t be upset if someone fails to thank you or adequately appreciate what you have done. Some people do not know how to articulate their appreciation, though they genuinely are.

We all benefit when we do things right!

4 Phrases you need to say more often

Relationships are destroyed not always by what people say, but often by what they neglect to say. In other words, relationships that could have fruitfully endured are sacrificed at the altar of in-utterance, or perhaps, indifference. In many cases, by the time people find out that there is a problem, it may be too late. The aim of this article therefore is to highlight a few phrases that everyone needs to say more often. Use them and you will improve on your interpersonal skills, nurture existing relationships and extend your sphere of influence.

Phrase No 1 – I APPRECIATE YOU
The way to show that you appreciate someone is certainly not by keeping mute about it. It is by saying it, and saying it often. It is common knowledge that people are most appreciated after their death. At funerals, people suddenly have a light bulb moment and realise all the good the deceased had done. Usually at these times, it is too late as the person is no longer able to hear the powerful words used by their loved ones to appreciate them. Our suggestion is don’t wait until your father, mother, wife or husband dies before you let them know how appreciative you are of the part they have played in your life. Do it today. Don’t just show it; say it. Plan an appreciative event and tell your loved ones what they really mean to you. Don’t wait till they die. Do it today. Appreciate each demonstration of love, every kindness shown and every help rendered. Appreciate the impact they have on your life.

Phrase No 2 – THANK YOU
Saying ‘thank you’ is a form of appreciation. Not saying it is rude and can be damaging to your personality. According to a popular Yoruba saying, the feeling is that of being robbed when a favour is done without a thank you. Say thank you each time a favour has been done, a job has been done or an assignment carried out even when it is that person’s legitimate duty. Say ‘thank you’ to your driver when he drops you at work, and to people who serve you food at a restaurant or at the cinema. Say it to children, spouses, work colleagues and friends. Don’t delay. You will differentiate your self from other people and command loyalty and love.

Phrase No 3 – HOW ARE YOU?
Although it is generally often the case that many people respond to this question with a swift “fine, thank you” answer, however, this is the case when the phrase is perceived as a form of greeting.

Don’t assume people are OK because they have not broken down or suffered stress related health issues. Ask your friends, family members, colleagues how they really are from time to time, especially if you detect they appear troubled or not their usual self. Asking people how they are is proof that you are interested in their well being, and may be an opportunity for them to discuss issues they may be facing. An African proverb says given that all lizards lie on their belly, it is not easily deducible which of them has a tummy ache. I suppose, in the case of humans, the way to find out is by asking how they are.

Phrase No 4 – HOW CAN I HELP?
It is not enough to find out how people are without going further to ask how you can be of help. Some people may need some form of assistance, yet lack the confidence to ask for it. Perhaps this may be because they are afraid they may be ridiculed or considered to be demanding. These often are family members who do not need more than a reassuring pat on the back. You will make things easier for them when you ask how you may help.

We all benefit when we do things right.

Image courtesy of kenokel.com