Posts Tagged ‘Coca Cola’

So, in January, I was selected as one of 70 young people from America, Asia, and Africa to attend a 4-day conference organized by Hope XXL at The Hague, The Netherlands.

One word? Incredible! Meeting people from countries I’d only ever heard of, learning bits about diverse cultures, listening to our keynote speakers, deliberating on articles for the Liemer’s List (please allow Google the option of your friendship) was just incredible. I feel so blessed!

There are two keynote speeches I really enjoyed, and I made a few notes. Wanna see?

Leo Bormans wrote ‘The world’s book of happiness’ and he told us about the two kinds of people, ‘green buttons and red buttons’.

Green button Red button
Talk about ‘us’ Talk about ‘me’
Talk and seek ‘solutions’ Talk and see ‘problems’
Look to the ‘future’ Look to the ‘past’

Trust and equality are major determinants of how happy a country is. Denmark, Norway, The Netherlands lead on the happiness index, even though they are not the richest countries. Why?

Happiness can be summarized in two words – other people. (Here he asked us to think about the four happiest moments in our lives and then crossed off money, surprises, other people, and family as the thing behind our happiness).

Here are a few more thoughts on why happiness ranks higher than money and accomplishments

  • The best-selling meal on earth is McDonald’s Happy Meal
  • Nike, Danone, and Coca Cola’s  slogans play on a smile. Wristwatches  always appear in ads set to 10 past 2pm – that’s a smile. Would you buy a ‘frowning’ watch? (To be honest I’ve made it a point of duty to take a closer look at adverts from now on!)
  • Coca Cola has moved from ‘Enjoy’ to ‘Open happiness’, even Lipton Iced Tea has become ‘drink positive’. Like there’s any way to drink negative. 

He also talked about ‘realistic hope’ which is hinged on these three:

Survival – resilience

Attachment – trust

Mastery – goals

He also took time explain the meaning of ‘Namaste’ to us. It means three things: I see you, I recognize something positive in you, and I bow to it.

And then he wrapped with, “To a man with a hammer, everything is a nail. To a man with a telescope, everything presents an opportunity to be viewed from different angles. I wish you a telescopic life!”

For more from Leo Bormans, visit www.worldbookofhappiness.com and/or www.leobormans.be

Another session that really spoke to me was the one on chemical weapons presented by Mr. Michael Luhan, head of communication at the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons. They received the Nobel Peace Prize in 2013 for their extensive efforts to eliminate chemical weapons.

OPCW was founded in 1997 and so far, 109 countries have signed up to the OPCW, and there are 8 countries declared/gave up their stash of chemical weapons. And so, far, there haven’t been any ‘challenge inspections’ – where the OPCW doesn’t believe a country has surrendered all they’ve got, and decides to challenge their declaration.

Really interesting to hear of the devastation chemical weapons cause, and more importantly, to learn of the extent of brilliance and wickedness the human mind is capable of.

We spent the rest of the day identifying the countries we came from – check out the sexiest country of them at the top – Nigeria!!

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Right at the top baby!!

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I think this group was classed as the people from AAA but living in Europe…

 

Whoop!

Then we went to dinner, and then it was off to our accommodation, Hotel Studio, and bedtime! The evening and the morning, the first day!

 

 

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I woke up one day in the earlier months of 2013 knowing I wanted to volunteer again. It’d been about two years that I volunteered with Read International and joined a bake sale at BCU (that was a lot of fun)!

And so I said I’d join the Red Cross, partly because I knew my mum’s been a member since forever, and also because I’d read (several times) of the various ways the Red Cross helps to make lives in difficult situations easier.

I guess the time wasn’t right then because a few things went south soon after (talk about the universe aligning to royally screw a person), and so I shelved the idea after I’d sent the first email asking for the procedures.

2014 rolled by, and with that, a deep desire to do things I’d never done before, get over as many fears I can get over (because I’m scared of a lot of things), and read very widely.

And then the urge to join the Red Cross came back, even stronger than before. I knew I’d go ahead with it this time, especially since I’d seen an accident recently and I felt hopeless because I couldn’t do anything to help.

And that’s how I picked up on the thread of emails from the year before, attended an interview with the lovely Hannah, and after a welcome session, guess who became the newest member of the British Red Cross, Kent and Gravesend area? Moi!

I must say, attending Monday meetings and training sessions have been a blessing. I’m grateful for the privilege to interact with the very lovely members of my team, for the space to ask the dumbest questions (and not feel silly or judged), and for the privilege to learn.

Here’s a video telling the story of the birth of Red Cross, pretty impressive to note that simple care/love/regard for the next man was at the heart of this massive body we have today, 160 years and still going strong!

A few bits and bobs about the Red Cross flags (and so far there are three). I took notes on our induction day

  • The flag with the cross is just the Swiss flag inverted and is the third most recognized trademark symbol in the world, next to McDonald’s and Coca Cola.
  • The Flag with the crescent is the Turkish flag inverted and was adopted because Islamic countries felt the movement was originally Christian (and it is not).
  • The flag with the star was adopted in 2005 because Israel, followers of the Star of David, refused to use either of the two already existing symbols.

With a 100 million members and currently in 189 countries (of the 208 recognized by the UN), we (yes o) are the largest humanitarian organization around today. Whoop!

From identifying and catering to various appearances of trauma and injury, to building my confidence, and the satisfaction that comes from knowing I can provide First Aid (I’d mention I’m now a certified First Aider but I’m much too modest for that), I’m grateful I yielded to the nudging to get up and sign up already!

A few photos off our training nights…

Learned how to fit neck braces safely and securely...

Learned how to fit neck braces safely and securely…

Bumped your head? Let me wrap it up for you!

Bumped your head? Let me wrap it up for you!

Sling day... Decent, safe, and secure enough to prevent further injury...

Sling day… Decent, safe, and secure enough to prevent further injury…

To be honest, there are some Monday nights I’d rather be curled up in bed, at the movies or some other fun activity (especially during the winter) but the time and money sacrificed to get to and from my meetings always leave me feeling satisfied, a little wiser than I was at the beginning of the day. Plus there’s always a hot cuppa something to take the bite off!

So, do you volunteer anywhere? Officially or unofficially? Share what it’s about in the comments section. What excites you about it?

And for the children of God reading who currently not volunteering anywhere, I’m greeting you o! Lol. I’m not judging o (God forbid) but I’d encourage you to give your time and energy to a cause you’re passionate about. It doesn’t have to be the Red Cross (wherever you are obviously), but find something you’d be happy to commit to and inconvenience yourself for every now and then. Will you? Let me know when you do!

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