Thursday, March 31, 2011

Politeness For ESL Speakers

One of the dangers of practicing a new language like English is the unfamiliarity with the nuances that can make you come across rude or impolite, even without meaning to. These tips should help you communicate more politely, without stifling your ability to express your ideas.

If you're using a good English language learning software, you might have previously trained in this manner of communication. Consider it a refresher - it's one of the most important English tricks you can learn.

1. Preface demands with "Please." and end with a "Thank you."

Making demands, especially when your tone and phrasing aren't the best, can sound rude. If you can't avoid it, preface it with "Please," as in "Please submit the paper tomorrow. Thank you."

2. Rephrase demands as questions.

Instead of saying, "Send me the fax immediately," you can say "Can you send me the fax immediately?" It comes across softer and less harsh, while requiring them to implicitly agree.

3. Use modal verbs.

Modal forms of verbs are those that incorporate words like would, could and might. Used in sentences, they immediately turn commands into diplomatic please. Instead of saying "Be here at 9AM so that we can start early," you can use modal verbs as in, "Perhaps, you could come at 9AM so we can start early." Modal verbs are a very simple tweak to your English speaking that can work wonders.

4. Use qualifiers.

Adding qualifiers (such as "slight," "somewhat," "a bit," etc.) can make problems and issues sound less serious, without trivializing them. As such, they're a great way of presenting rejection and similar bad news.

Instead of saying "Your report is incomplete," you can carefully mention that "Your report is slightly incomplete." One simple word does make a difference.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Politically correct MS verbiage

Note to readers: This blog posting contains words that may be offensive to some people living with MS.

Note to my editor: They’re sure to read it now…

I have noticed in a few comments scattered here and there a distaste for certain “language” in the MS community - a hesitation, if you will, to accept the common vernacular for the causes and effects of this thing we live with. I’m writing today not to apologize for the use of these words, but rather to explore why it may be that we are sensitive to them or sensitized by them.

I can understand why words like cripple or crippled would cut to the core of someone living with MS. I also see, however, that some of us refer to those “mountain climbing” with MS as the “Super Crips.” I’ll admit I laughed kind of hard at that comment when it came through.

Some have even balked at living with the moniker, “disabled.” Not sure if that is a defense technique that people employ or just taking political correctness to the far edge. My editor even mentioned to me that some of you don’t particularly like your MS deemed a “disease” but rather call it a “condition.”

I’m sorry if it ruffles a few feathers, but I could really give a damn about that part of the conversation. On most days I’m a pragmatist, and I guess I don’t have time to think about it too much.

Now I know what you’re thinking…I’m the one who laid down the rule about being respectful. I would not use the most offensive of the debilitated lexicon, but I’m not going to tiptoe around on eggshells to make sure we offend no one, either. I live with MS too!

Someone even approached me over the weekend and said that she didn’t like the term, “live with MS.” It made her, “Feel like that’s all I do, live with this thing.” I assuredly never meant that phrase to mean anything but “getting on with a life with MS in it.”

Goes to show that no matter what your intention, someone is going to have another use for the semantics to make them feel better. I’m okay with that. Just don’t expect it from me.

How do you feel about the language of multiple sclerosis? What about the language around MS? I remember a comment where someone told of their MS and got the reaction, “Oh, how terrible!” Or the girl told by her mother that she was just being, “lazy.” Let’s head into the weekend with a thought or two from you about MS verbiage.

Wishing you and your family the best of health.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Politics, Religions and Cults

It is of pure hypocrisy on society's side, who is directed by politics and politicians who always create holocausts and mass massacres, under advocacy of the senseless mob, to harass cults and classify them as the most horrible thing that can happen to humanity. Beyond hypocrisy, it is indeed an intellectual hooliganism that clings to the weak and is deeply concealed within its hiding place from the forcible - the politics, of which all is afraid but keep silent at best, or enthusiastic about it in the worse case. Cults are indeed a despised and terrible trend that takes advantage of human weaknesses and unbalanced people, I agree with that, but the normal human being who criticizes and slanders - justifiably - the cults' phenomenon, has to observe their own face well, that same foolish and flighty, cowardly and scummy face, who participates in the democracy celebration and crowns butchers who are directly responsible for wars, ruination and destruction of any sort and type.

It isn't the politicians' lack of responsibility alone; this is the voters' exclusive irresponsibility, all of them, everywhere! They are members of the global cult, the worst of them all - the cult of politics! Those, the most hypocrite of mankind, complain about trivialities such as spiritual cults, which are mostly harmless, or very slightly harmful.

However towards politics, there is a dumb, apathetic consensus that allows politicians an absolute reign that produces physical and spiritual holocaust.

Long live the normal and hypocrite puniness! Which is the substructure of evil that causes humanity and man detriment and ruination of incomprehensible proportions, and they, masses of pseudo intellectual human failures, pretentious to disgust, drown and drown everything in rabble-like assertiveness, direct the propagandist firing machines at full fire power against a disease (the cults) that is practically a flu instead of directing them against the real cancer - the politics.

Therefore, next time you're exposed to anti-cults propaganda and feel a strong need to support it in order to feel over-norm and ultra consensus, I ask of you to return and read well the aforesaid: it's preferable your support will be given to the extermination of an immensely destructive plague which is politics, that sentence man to devastation. Instead of focusing energies and power against petty and marginal symptoms, that indeed require an appropriate tending to, it is necessary to focus the maximum power and action against the abusive political lapse and affliction that tortures and destroys the body, and situates the soul of life in hell.

Look at religions: mass cults with ridiculous beliefs which throughout history lead man to cruel journeys of murder and massacre, detestable regime over the souls, and exploitation of any sort and type; they, which have become a consensus enthusiastically supported by the foolish masses who need a rule and order in the life of chaos; they are the ones that establish organizations that condemn and slander what they call cults, as absurd as it is. They, who sabotaged and sabotage humanity without a flinch and without mercy, that turned the paradise of life into a hell of dying and death, out of abysmal wickedness; and a cynical exploitation of simpletons and innocents, out of futile beliefs and the poison of intoxication of power; they, who turned history into a tragic and sardonic theatre, persecute, slander and intimidate people away from neutral ideas compared to the evilness of their blood dripping religion and belief. Go out and see who stand behind those delegitimizing campaigns against sorts of harmless groups and organizations, or harmful in a small manner; judge their way by their deeds, "for in their fruit you'll know them", by their history, and only afterward find the time to deal with all sorts of marginal and minor, ephemeral organizations. Cults are a passing seasonal disease, but religions are a persistent cancer that threatens to annihilate humanity in its whole. And you find the time and energy to focus and deal with trifles instead of rooting out the true evil from within you?!

The violent and harmful cults can be counted with the fingers of both hands, but what about politics and religions leaders who committed murders of an incomprehensible scale? Could we estimate the multitude of the exploitation and its severity, the brainwash and despoliation of souls by these leaders, which are regarded legitimate? Yes, cults are poison and an expression of assorted mental illnesses, and there is a need to confront the phenomenon, but shouldn't we initially confront the real monsters, the religions and politics? As long as we approve of holocausts, massacres, repressions, a great exploitation by politicians and religions leaders, what would we complain about? About a small number of murderous and violent cults? We exist in a world where psychotic leaders and psychotic religion ministers embody their insanity and malice in broad day light, as a consensus, but wear a grinning expression and are skilled in manners, and no one makes a sound. The fear from them is too great and paralyzing, therefore the clinging to cults satisfies the pangs of conscience that provoke the need in them to deal with evil, however evil thrives unhindered in the entire human society and the people are as though helpless, hypnotized brain infected zombies in a psychological jail that was founded and built by the entire human society throughout history. Man sanctifies psychotics and evilness, murderousness and bloodlust, narcissism and groveling idol-worship in a massive and extensive manner on a permanent basis, but pay your attention to this, all of this in a normal fashion! That is acceptable by public opinion. Crusades? Accepted by public opinion. Jihad? Accepted by public opinion, holocaust and genocide? Accepted by public opinion. Cults? Not accepted by public opinion. Am I defending cults by my sayings? Of course not, I present the potency of human stupidity, the characteristics of the average person, the normal, the partaker in infinitely monstrous phenomena, more monstrous than any violent murderous cult ever known to man.

Firstly, "cult" is a term the normal average person uses in order to scare the multitude. When a person says "cult" they mean to say "watch it!" "Danger!" and the people instantly share the fear of the strange threatening predicate. It's society's way to delegitimize foreign voices, inconvenient voices, which aren't compatible with the prevalent comprehension. The human propaganda demonizes a person who isn't walking according to its path. Thus works the mentality of most people: people are ruled by emotion, fear mostly, and it is too simple and easy to set them in motion through use of fears, and nourish those frequently. This is a visible and common knowledge, nothing new here; the entire history was formed on these foundations of fears and hatred.

After these words I'm required to say how amusing it is how some people mistake and think I lead a cult. It's been said before: "no prophet in his own town", but in the modern age there is no prophet in his own generation. The age of Internet transformed the world to a small town and the spirit of this time is deaf and dying in countless errors. A foreign voice is instantly being enunciated and classified as a threat. Just to clarify and put things in order, I say beforehand: I have no intention to lead anyone anywhere. On the contrary, I encourage people to take personal responsibility on their own life. Why my whole teaching is summed up in one sentence: "less and less human voices, more and more alone, independence, more and more life, Divinity". Cults disgust me and completely contradict my world-view and my guidance. I have no congregation and will never have one. Communality totally contradicts the essence of my words, my world view and my guidance.

I express a matter in a way that makes it difficult to accept or listen to, I'm aware of the manner of which my words are heard by the normal average person, and how they're being perceived in their imagination. In spite of that, my fate is to share the wisdom of truth and spirit, and there are also a few solid visions blowing on my heart that I wish to pass on to you. You'll have to read all my articles in order to properly understand my approach and to feel my spirit, and even that might not lead to the thorough understanding of my words, as my spiritual experience and my knowledge are mine, not yours. Every interpretation will necessarily sin to the truth. You're eligible to love me or to hate me, to accept my words or reject them, however if you will still wish to define me as a cult leader it would be an absolute fallacy, defamation and a faulty act that its purpose is to delegitimize through demonization that arouse negative connotations in the gusty human brain. If you still want to entertain yourself with these terms and colorful theories of this kind, you're free to do as your mind pleases. At the end of a day, it is not of my concern what the prevailing opinion is, the opinion of littleness and narrow mindedness, the prevailing opinion will shatter into pieces the day the wheels of truth would meet with it. And I guarantee that this day draws nearer and nearer.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Handling Office Politics

Working in an unbiased manner at your office and remaining neutral to the political opinions of your colleagues is extremely difficult in reality. You will observe that in every office, politics is part of parcel of a person's professional life. Sometimes a person performance in office depends on how a person handles office politics.  

There are certain guidelines which might help you in skilful handling of office politics. Never try to involve yourself in political affairs prevalent at your workplace even if you are aware of its existence. By no means promote or intensify the matter. Avoid indulging in tittle-tattle and if the other person is doing so, respectfully leave the place. Gossip is like a communicable disease which spreads much faster than a wild fire. So, remain extra cautious in this regard.

Bear in mind that genuine grievances especially in office must be articulated to the management via suitable conduit instead of directly accessing the topmost authority.

Whatever task you accomplish in your office must be documented substantially so that you can furnish that substantiation at the time of need.  

After spending a certain amount of experience in office, you must learn to handle colleagues of contradictory temperament. Some people in office might behave nastily purely because of insecurity felt by them due to your presence. Even if you have any argument with any of your colleagues then don't take it to your heart and try to dismiss it as a minor issue. 

There is no harm in appreciating good works of others as who knows they might applaud your work in return. Don't permit yourself to respond to the provocation unnecessarily as it will direct your attention from your real objective of performing stupendously and sincerely in the office.

There are many people in office who are greedy for imposing their supremacy over their colleagues.

Get to know such kind of people because they would be accessible to you and your thoughts if you aren't browbeaten by their personality. For instance, if you are attending an office meeting and anyone makes an attempt to challenge you, remain calm, daring as well as self-confident in putting forward your response.

There are also some people who are overpoweringly cognisant of their professional judgment, so in turn they endorse politics in office for their benefit. 

Reliability, commitment and faithfulness are three virtues of succeeding in office. Religiously follow the official code of conduct and don't break them either at the instigation of others or for your benefit. Add more qualifications or skills associated with your job so as to brighten up your chances of promotion on merit basis. Never blow your own trumpet. Allow your work to speak for yourself. Under any circumstances, don't cling to the feeling of bitterness or revenge as these negative emotions can prove harmful for you.

If during work, you have committed a mistake, accept it boldly and try to improvise on that mistake. Never be in a denial mode or put blame on others. It will only add fuel to the fire of office politics.






Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Moral Political Debate

I am struck at the lack of substantive issues being put forth in the debates and on the campaign trail. Oh, yes, they are talking about the economy, terrorism and tax policy. But where is the discussion of moral politics? The difference is so clear between these two candidates when we examine the heart issues, Take abortion. McCain is pro-life. Obama is not only pro-choice (above his pay grade) , but would kill a human being born alive on a botched abortion. That is murder. And Obama stands by partial birth abortion, again, murder. And how about the judges each will appoint. This is perhaps the greatest legacy any president leaves. So, do we want Ginsbergs and Souters or Roberts and Alitos? Finally, we need to know that our president knows right and wrong, good and evil. McCain has no trouble defining and seeing either. Obama stutters around these heart issues.

On what basis does each candidate decide these issues, absolute truth or relativism?

The economy is in shambles, to be sure. But, the question is: Who has the moral underpinnings to lead us? We are on a precipice. It will take a person with proven moral integrity to stand on the edge and keep us from going over. We cannot turn our backs on the moral issues as we face an uncertain world in chaos. In times of chaos people want strong, clear, moral courage and leadership. Why did the churches fill up after 911? And in Bush's finest hour, he showed the moral compass and courage our nation needed. We are here again.

The lines are clear, the real issues at hand, but no one will speak them forth. Please, John and Sarah, turn the campaign to these issues and highlight the line drawn in the sand. America is looking for moral leadership in uncertain economic times. Please!