Prevent School Bullying: Bullying can damage people for life

Bullying remains a key issue at most schools today. Everyone needs to feel that they belong.

Many teenagers cry themselves to sleep, aching to fit in.

I have personally walked through John Gray High School and seen a few incredibly lonely and vulnerable young students stifling to fit into an environment that seemed too harsh for their delicate natures.

Or the all-important school cafeteria, where yet again I see lonely wall flowers with their heads down, sometimes birched at the end of lunch tables pretending to be invisible.

In contrast, there will always be the cool kids, who appear to have it all, the obviously smart kids, the eccentric but wonderfully creative kids etc.

Please note that I have nothing against the age-old stereotypes or groups that you will ultimately find at any school; what I do have a problem with is bullying in our schools.

I have not been blessed as yet with children of my own, but it is my intention to assist with the reduction of the number of cases involving bullying in our schools.

It is my hope that in this process, I am able to assist with the creation of a more cohesive environment which is healthier, kinder and overall more tolerant of those who are different by enriching the hearts and minds of this generation and the generations to come.

So how can we as a nation, renowned for our kindness, counteract issues of discrimination in our schools, bullying and different types of biases in relation to gender, ethnicity and class?

How can we as World Leaders, Politicians, Preachers, Teachers, Students and every hardworking community leader facilitate the needs of our fellow pupils in spite of their class, ethnicity or gender?

How can we become champions for this great cause, known as “Preventing School Bullying “when we consider each of our schools policies and classroom procedures?

Well, I don’t pretend to know these answers right now, but I am ambitious enough to do my research and analysis and share my findings as I have started to do as seen below:

Jodee Blanco

Jodee Blanco is one of the pre-eminent voices on the subject of bullying.

She is a survivor, expert and activist as well as the author of The New York Times bestselling memoir, Please Stop Laughing At Me… One Woman’s Inspirational Story. A chronicle of her years as the student outcast, the book inspired a movement among bullying victims everywhere of all ages–in middle and high schools, on college campuses, at the workplace, and at home.

She is also a youth advocate and the creator and executive producer of the critically acclaimed It’s NOT just joking around! anti-bullying program.

Her advice for students

  • If you’re a victim of bullying, remember, there’s nothing wrong with you.  It’s everything that’s right about you that makes you stand out from the crowd. Don’t change for anyone.  It is those who put you down and exclude you who need to change.
  • Never ignore the bullying and walk away.  You must look the bully in the eye without any emotions or fear, command him/her to stop, and then stare them down long enough for them to know you mean business. Sometimes this works! Always defend your dignity and  your  pride. Remember, standing up for yourself nonviolently in the moment that abuse occurs is your basic human rights. Seeking vengeance later on is the mistake.
  • Don’t suffer in silence. Confide in an adult you trust that you’re being bullied and need help.
  • School doesn’t have to be your whole world even though it may sometimes seem that way. Seek an alternative social outlet like the public library, local park, or various community centers.
  • If you see someone being bullied and don’t want to be a bystander, you have two options.  Intercede on the victims behalf and tell the bullies to stop or devise a clever excuse to pull the victim away from the situation.
  •  If you think you may be a bully or an Elite Tormentor, recognize that it’s not just joking around. You may be damaging someone else’s life for a lifetime. Stop and think about that for a moment. The next time you abuse or shun another classmate, or the worst of all, treat him/her as if their invisible.
  • Always remember that bullying isn’t just the MEAN things you do, it’s all the NICE things you never do on purpose.
  • Another thing, If you see a classmate is struggling to fit in or being maligned (means to have someone say unpleasant, vicious and untrue things about someone), tell a teacher or counselor. It could change that person’s life and it could save yours. You never want what happened at the Columbine High School or Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newton to happen at your school too.
  • Don’t be afraid of professional help. Be honest with everyone, including yourself.  Your not crazy!
A school bus passes a makeshift memorial to the victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting as it takes students to Newtown High School December 18, 2012 in Newtown, Connecticut. Students in Newtown, excluding Sandy Hook Elementary School, return to school for the first time since last Friday’s shooting at Sandy Hook which took the live of 20 students and 6 adults.

AFP PHOTO/Brendan SMIALOWSKI / AFP / BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI (Photo credit should read BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)
  • Pay attention to other classmates who may be experiencing some of the same loneliness and rejection you are experiencing and reach out to them in friendship.  You could end up forging bonds that will last a lifetime.

What is “Academic Bullying “?

That’s when a student or group of students purposely make it difficult for a classmate to perform academically.  For example, if your assigned a book report and another classmate checks out the book you need and keeps it just so you can’t have access to it for your assignment, that’s academic bullying.

What role does ethnicity play in school bullying?

When ethnic groups bully each other, it can be hurtful and infuriating, but at least “intended targets” can lean on others within their own group for support.  It’s damaging however when the members of an ethnic group turns on one of their own, because that person is now not only bullied from the outside but also shunned on the inside. Wow!

Cases like these frequently have long-term emotional and psychological consequences.

Can sibling rivalry have an impact on school bullying?

Jodee Blanco also states that sibling rivalry can be the early breeding ground for bullying behaviors. It’s important that parents do not allow sibling rivalry to flourish, because if children don’t learn compassion early on, in the home, they will bring that same lack of empathy to school.

Simba idolizes his father, King Mufasa, and takes to heart his own royal destiny on the plains of Africa. But not everyone in the kingdom celebrates the new cub’s arrival. Scar, Mufasa’s brother — and former heir to the throne — has plans of his own. The battle for Pride Rock is soon ravaged with betrayal, tragedy and drama, ultimately resulting in Simba’s exile. Now, with help from a curious pair of newfound friends, Simba must figure out how to grow up and take back what is rightfully his.

Generation K (True Lies)

Everyone lies at one time or another including me. Lying is a universal talent. Some people can do it rather well. Most little kids start practicing the skill as soon as they master language.

When you look at it objectively it seems the ability to lie is part of everyone’s kit of survival tools, a side effect of possessing language skills. There are a lot of situations in which the ability to lie is extremely useful.

For instance, there are times when you might have to lie to protect yourself or someone else. Or you might have to lie just to defend your personal privacy. People lie all the time to diffuse a tense social situation or to avoid hurting someone’s feelings or even to calm someone who is frightened.

The way I see it, if people couldn’t lie, they probably wouldn’t be able to live together in groups, at least not for long or with any degree of sociability. The bottom line is- if humans could not lie, civilization as we know it would cease to exist.

http://noreena.com/generation-k-what-it-means-to-be-a-teen-today-what-this-means-for-you/

According to Noreena Hertz, an author and commentator who, among other roles, advises world leaders on strategy, economics, geopolitical risk and artificial intelligence, stated that Generation K, sometimes referred to as Generation Z, has been fundamentally shaped by technology and spends a third of their day on different social media platforms online.

As the keynote speaker at the Royal Fidelity Cayman Economic Outlook Conference held on February 28th 2019 at the Kimpton Seafire Resort + Spa, Ms. Hertz offered insights into this generation, which she says will make up approximately one third of the global workforce by the year 2022.

“Generation K” is made up of people born between 1994 and 2003. The “K” originates from the film franchise heroine with whom the generation’s members most identify: Katniss Everdeen of “Hunger Games”.

They have also been shaped by the worst recession in recent years, the financial crisis of 2008, job insecurities and a lack of financial optimism. Not to mention existential threats forged by the Manchester and Paris terrorist attacks, the rise of Al Qaeda and Isis, several terrorist attacks and multiply school shootings in many of their home cities.

Unfortunately, this generation has been desensitized from an early age to violence due to the repetitive and constant exposure experience in various ways as they grow. She states that it is not that the world had all of a sudden become garbage, but now many children and young adults’ own smartphones which never leave their side.

Unsupervised access to the internet, grants children many opportunities to bully others and be bullied. To view explicit videos and information and sometimes encounter sinister recruitment websites.

Ms. Hertz believes that because this generation saw the world as unequal and harsh, the impact is now making them extremely anxious. She says, statistics show that in the US, more than one in five high school students had contemplated suicide, and in the UK, there had been a threefold increase in the number of teenagers who self-harmed.

Although her research was primarily focused in the United States and the United Kingdom, she has also conducted limited studies in other western European countries as well.

Cayman Islands
https://teneishajohnsondream.wixsite.com/dreamcreator/the-intelligent-person

She continues to state that this generation strongly believes in equality. Economic, educational, racial, gender and social equality. They also are concerned about global issues like global poverty, global hunger and climate change.

Generation K has had to master the art of true lies in order to survive.

Also visit Joint Action Against Homophobic Bullying Project (JAAHB) at the following link: https://www.intercomtrust.org.uk/

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Sunset Lovers

Flowing with the Rhythms of a Woman’s Desire: The Art of Loving and Respecting Another

Some women feel unseen and invisible.  They feel like their taking care of everybody else, but nobody is taking care of them.

Most women can barely get through the day, let alone find time for pleasure or intimacy.

Elizabeth Davis is an author, women’s health care specialist, educator, consultant, and Certified Professional Midwife (CPM). She is a resident of Sebastopol, California and a mother of three children.

Author Elizabeth Davis states that women of today are beyond busy. They precariously (love that word!) juggle the demands of work, their primary relationships, their children, their friendships as well as their personal needs.

In her book as seen above, she also highlights the additional duties included in a woman’s household.

  • Running errands
  • Paying bills
  • Purchasing groceries
  • Shopping for clothing for the family
  • Supervising household repairs
  • Cooking
  • Doing the Laundry
  • Helping with children’s home work

These are just a few of the many responsibilities in a home for a woman.

However, imagine also adding a full-time job to that ever-expanding list of responsibilities. I’m flustered just thinking about it. Lol!

Even if a woman is blessed to have a loving and supportive partner, it usually takes two wage earners to make it in today’s economy.

Equality

Equality, this is even more difficult in a society that may refuse to grant women equal rights and privileges to those of men.

It is therefore now extremely stressful and frustrating for women as the society has already precast their gender roles.

Men as a group have a higher pay scale, greater benefits, more travel and free-time  and more opportunities to play than women.

On the flip side, women’s role as “Servant to all” in our social structure is greatly evident in the institutions of marriage, education, health care, business and even religion.

For years we women have been taught to be the peacemakers, to soothe and heal the emotional problems of others to the exclusion of our own.

We are constantly being accused of being angry and reactive and let’s not forget “thin skinned”.

However, how many of you realize that our angry really stems from inequality, injustice, being overwork and maybe an unsupportive social structure?

For men, society is basically supportive and therefore they are not the target, but we women frequently are.

See my previous article:50 shades of Play: Happy Valentine’s day for other examples of unreported, malicious behaviors and what you can do about it.

Rape is a prime example of this as well as the promotion of violent pornography.

The stress of competing in a man’s world has led some women to adopt male characteristics almost to the exclusion of their own.  Women no longer want to be stereotyped as weak, indecisive and irrational.

The Estella Scott-Roberts Foundation was set up on 31 October 2008 by the husband (Rayle Roberts) of the late Estella Scott-Roberts.

He created the foundation with the intention that it will carry on her work of creating a country free from violence and the advancement and empowerment of women.

Mr. Roberts has requested that any initiatives being formulated by individuals or groups that are considering using Mrs. Scott-Roberts name or image in relation to their project to contact the foundation prior to finalizing any plans.

For more information on the foundation, call 938-6300, email: esrfoundation@gmail.com or mail correspondence to P.O. Box 84 Grand Cayman KY1-1501, Cayman Islands.

Becoming Lover’s not Fighters

I take great pride in being a lover and not a fighter. I also have great respect for the many  roles that men play in our society today.

It is my intention to remind my readers about the positive features of a woman and why God made us the way he did.

Let’s remember our sensitivity (which is so needed in our society today), our flexibility and our creativity to discern and chart our own course.

I strongly believe as a mature woman that it is time to reincorporate those feminine aspects back into our way of life, our approach to problem solving and our intimate relationships.

The Art of Loving Another

People are different. In practice however, we do not fully acknowledge that people are different from us. Instead we are bent upon changing one another.  We resent, resist, and reject each other’s differences.

We tend to demand that the people in our lives feel, think and behave as we do. When they react differently, we make them seem wrong or invalidate them. Many times we try to fix them when all they really need is understanding and nurturing.

What is Love?

Some people believe that love is only the acceptance and appreciation of a person only when they have fulfilled our expectations.  Some people also believe that love is the act of changing a person into what we want them to be rather than what they choose to become.

Is love caring for or trusting a person because they think and feel the way we do?

It may feel like love to the giver but not to the receiver.  Real love is unconditional.  It does not demand but affirms and values.

Unconditional love is not possible without the recognition and acceptance of our differences.  As long as we mistakenly believe that our loved ones are better off thinking, feeling and behaving the way we do, true love will always be obstructed.

Once we realize that not only are people different, but they are supposed to be that way, the obstacles to real love begins to fall away.

To love someone is to acknowledge the goodness  of who they are. Love is also a connecting feeling.  Love relates you to another. It says you are like a part of me. Love is an attitude that embraces another as one would embrace oneself.  It upholds, nurtures, and supports.

I strongly believe that whenever we are truly feeling loved, there will also emerge a selfless desire to serve the well-being of the loved one.

What is Love in the Bible? The Greatest Gift

1 Corinthians Chapter 13

13 If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10 but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. 11 When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. 12 For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.
13 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

Unity in Diversity

According to author John Gray Ph.D., accepting our psychological differences frees us to experience an underlying oneness that permeates our relationships.

He believes in an abstract way, we are all the same. He also believes that in every spiritual teaching is an acknowledgement of that oneness.

Deep within we feel a spiritual oneness with our fellow humans. When we read of children suffering from hunger, we feel in our hearts the pain we would feel if they were our own children.

Dr. John Gray also believes that the quest to open the heart takes a variety of forms:

  • The path to enlightenment
  • The quest for God
  • The dream of a happy marriage
  • Finding one’s soulmate or
  • Creating a loving family

The Seeker of Enlightenment

The Seeker of Enlightenment is drawn to a teacher because the teacher embodies something within the student that the seeker is to realize. Through loving and understanding the teacher or the teaching can indirectly assist the seeker in loving and accepting those very qualities within themselves.

Gradually the seeker finds what they seek within their own being. In this way, they are inevitably drawn to that which they need to awaken within themselves.

Union with our Soulmates

Dr. John Gray also believes we may seek to find yet a deeper union with our soulmate, a special person with whom to share our lives, as if ordained by the heavens.

We are drawn to this person not because they are similar to us but because they are different.

He believes our soulmate embodies qualities and attributes that we unconsciously seek to find within ourselves.

Through loving this person, we begin to accept and awaken those same qualities hidden within our own beings.

This discovery of self brings us greater fulfillment.

Attraction: White and Sizzling Hot!

Intense attraction to someone is a sign that there are many differences to harmonize and many conflicts to resolve.

We are drawn to that which is different.  Therefore our challenge is to understand, accept and appreciate those differences.

Who we find ourselves attracted to is beyond our control. We can be sure we like a person, but when there is attraction; rest assure that there are lessons to learn and discoveries to be made!

Let’s talk about Men

His complexion

Fair, dark, ruddy, pale as the moon, dark as the night or caramel, men come in many shades and flavors that are appealing to various women.

Do not despise what someone else may celebrate!

His Hair

Now they all have different textures, lengths and colors of hair.

I  find it fascinating sometimes to watch a beautiful head of hair being set a fire by the sun’s morning light.

Sometimes their course textures are artfully designed and inspiring.

Or we may prefer the rich, silky waves that are tenderly groomed.

His Body

Let’s be real, we all have different parts of the body that we like. Me especially! My thing is to accentuate the positives and downplay the negatives.

He may be tall, short, pleasantly plump or athletically slender.  A man who is confident in himself knows how to work with his God-given package.

I find a confident man to be very attractive.  Almost irresistible.

He’s Enjoying Life

Everyone loves to see a parade. To go to a party. To share a joke or to just enjoy life.  Everyone wants to be a part of a celebration.

When a man enjoys life, it is the greatest way to attract interest.  From the simple pleasures to more complicated delights, a man who embraces opportunities and experiences that put a spark in his eye and a bounce in his step is intensely appealing.

Joy is irresistible! Everyone is always seeking more, and if you have a surplus to pour out, believe me, someone will come for a drink!

Joy speaks of more than the ability to amuse yourself.  It speaks of wholeness, confidence, a settled heart that is comfortable.

Sean John Combs (P. Diddy)

Puff Daddy, also known as ‘Diddy’ or ‘P. Diddy’ is a three time Grammy Award winning American rapper, record producer and entrepreneur. He is one of the biggest names in the American music industry, who has successfully carved out a niche for himself. Born in Harlem, New York, tragedy struck his family when he was still a child. He lost his father who was shot dead and was later raised by his single mother.
After dropping out from Howard University, where he was studying business, he later established the Bad Boy Records, a record label, which launched the careers of many successful artists in the music industry. After a series of successful productions, he came out with his debut album titled, ‘No Way Out’, which became a massive hit. With the success of his debut album, he reached the pinnacle of his music career and went on to produce more hit albums and also launch his own albums. Some of his albums include, ‘Forever’, ‘The Saga Continues.’, ‘Press Play’ and ‘Last Train to Paris’. He also owns a clothing line.

F.Y.I.(411)

P. Diddy’s birthday is on the 4th November

Joy acts like a magnet, drawing others to itself.  When a woman sees joy in a man’s eye’s, this is translated as promises or pleasures that have yet to be revealed.

Promises she will be determined to discover.

His Originality

Even though there are many men out there, they are all different.  The question is how do they stand out?

Everyone should embrace their originality, especially men.

There are unexplained  things that every woman likes in a  man, from the way he unconsciously  rakes his fingers through his hair, to the colorful and fun-loving socks he wears.

Why? Because his quirks make him unique. There is no one else like him, and every other man now seems boring in comparison.

His Willingness to Grow

Don’t expect perfection from him, we are all unfinished products.  It is the experiences in life and our interactions with others that cause us to grow and become better people.

Accepting a man for who he is, seeing his vast potential, and allowing him to grow into it is a rare gift that delights a man when he finds it.

Why? Most men are not really expecting this.  They have grown used to women and even the society judging them. Their judged by what they do and what they have acquired.

If he is already wealthy, they society might not be as supportive of his dreams of acquiring more wealth. Many may even be deceitfully envious.

If he is highly intelligent, they may not understand his continuous need to acquire more knowledge.

If he is a philanthropist, they may scrutinize and critize his motives for all his charitable deeds.

The bottom line is most men want to build a future filled with all the people and things they desire and a life they can share.

Testamentary Capacity, Holographic Wills and Living Trusts vs. Wills

A few years ago I acquired more information regarding making a valid will in the Cayman Islands.

The execution requirements for making a valid will in the Cayman Islands are set out in the Wills Law (2004 Revision).

It is also a requirement of Cayman Islands law that a testator must have testamentary capacity at the time of creating his or her will.

The test for testamentary capacity, known as the “golden rule,” was first explained in the English case of Banks vs. Goodfellow and it remains good law in the Cayman Islands today. Here are the facts:

(a) Does the testator understand the nature and effect of what he/she is doing;

(b) Is he/she aware, broadly, of the extent of his/her estate;

(c) Does he/she appreciate the claims of those who might reasonably expect to benefit from his/her estate; and

(d) In considering (c), is there any disorder of the mind or insane delusion that will influence the disposition of his/her property or poison his/her affections such that he/she would make a disposition of property that he/she would not otherwise have made.

In summary, the Wills Law provides that a will must be in writing; it must be signed by the testator or by some other person in his/her presence, at his/her direction.

If the latter, the testator must acknowledge such signature in the presence of two witnesses present at the same time.

If the former, the testator’s signature must be attested to by two witnesses present at the same time in his/her presence.

Subject to only two exceptions for soldiers and sailors on active service, the execution requirements must be complied with; if not, it will be invalid.​

Holographic Wills

Unfortunately, the Cayman Islands law does not, as a general principle, permit holographic wills.

Holographic wills are documents that are usually handwritten and do not comply with the strict requirements for proper execution as a will but have nevertheless been written as testamentary documents, often in extreme circumstances.

​Famous Holographic Will

The most famous holographic will was that of Cecil George Harris, a Canadian farmer who in 1948 suffered the misfortune of becoming trapped under his tractor and fearing that he was about to die, carved a will into the fender which read, “In case I die in this mess I leave all to the wife. Cecil Geo. Harris.” The fender was submitted to probate as his valid holographic will.

Testamentary Capacity

Apparently in the common law tradition, testamentary capacity is the legal term of art used to describe a person’s legal and mental ability to make or alter a valid will.

This concept has also been called sound mind and memory or disposing mind and memory. Cool!

I also learnt that Testamentary intent refers to a testator’s intention with respect to a particular instrument that functions as his/her last will.

Testamentary intent is required for a will to be valid.

Then we have to consider the person’s legal capacity to enter a contract:

Here is a definition and example:

One of the elements of a contract is capacity. Capacity means that a person is legally able to enter into a contract.

There are several things that make a person legally able to do so, including age and state of mind.

A person who is in the end stages of Alzheimer’s disease probably does not have the requisite capacity to sign legal documents.

However, a person with a diagnosis of dementia may very well be able to sign legal documents. Generally speaking, capacity is usually analyzed situationally.

The other way to change your will is by adding what is called a codicil. A codicil is like an amendment or addition to your will.

Use a codicil to revoke part of your will or add a new provision.

To be valid, they must be dated, signed, and witnessed just like a legal will.

I learnt that it is extremely important to keep your will updated. As life changes, so do potential beneficiaries and heirs.

Updating Your Last Will and Testament

If you do not keep your last will and testament updated, it may not reflect your wishes given your new circumstances. The following are good situations in which changing a will may be wise.

  • Marriage:
    • When you get married, both you and your spouse should each create a new will.
    • Most states have laws that award a percentage of your estate to your spouse upon your death.  
    • However, if you want to devise your will differently, you should specify this in your will.
    • Furthermore, adding your spouse to your will may change the percentage of your estate, or of a specific asset, that another beneficiary or heir was previously written to receive.
    • Changing a will should reflect this new proportion as you see fit.
  • Common Law Marriage:
    • The following information was all I could find that would classify eligibility:
    • Any person who has been married to a Caymanian-

v      for at least five years immediately preceding the application, where the marriage took place prior to the 1st January 2004; or

v      for at least seven years immediately preceding the application, where the marriage took place on or after 1st January 2004

v      whose marriage is not a marriage of convenience;

v      who is not living apart from his spouse under a decree of a competent court or under a deed of separation;

v      who has not lived apart from his spouse for an aggregate period of three months

v      out of the five years immediately preceding the application where the marriage took place prior to 1st January 2004; or

v      out of the seven years immediately preceding the application where the marriage took place on or after 1st January, 2004.

v      who is legally and ordinarily resident* in the Islands immediately preceding his application; and

v      who has not in any country been convicted of an offence for which a sentence of imprisonment not exceeding twelve months has been passed other than for non-payment of a fine unless-

1.      the conviction has been quashed on appeal or has been the subject of a free pardon;

2.     the act or omission giving rise to such conviction would not be an offence if done or omitted in the Islands in similar circumstances; or

3.     the conviction is one which, in the interest of justice, the Board directs to be ignored for the purposes of this section,

  • Obtaining a new partner, without marriage:
    • Only if married will your partner automatically receive assets from your estate.
    • So, if you find yourself with a new loved one, changing a will to reflect what you would like to leave that partner is necessary.
  • Divorce:
    • Upon divorce, some states revoke any gifts you leave your spouse in your will. Other states do not.
    • Changing a will upon a divorce is very important.
    • You will want to either specify what you want to leave your former spouse, or else specify how those gifts should now be distributed.
  • A new baby:
    • There are laws in some states that give children some portion of your assets upon your death.
    • However, not everyone wants their property to be distributed the way the state laws specify.
    • If you welcome a new baby into your family, be sure to specify what gifts, the baby shall receive, by changing a will.
    • Perhaps more importantly, be sure to appoint a guardian for the baby.
    • This will be the person who will care for your baby should anything happen to you.
  • New stepchildren:
    • Stepchildren are not automatically entitled to inherit a share of your property in many states.
    • Therefore, if you would like for your stepchildren to inherit any of your property, be sure to specify your wishes by changing your own will.
  • Moving from a community property state to a common law property state:
    • The laws governing what each spouse owns vary depending on whether the couple lives in a community property state or a common law property state.
    • Therefore, if you are planning on moving to a new state, check that states laws.
    • If it differs from the one you currently reside it, be sure to change your own will, according to your new property ownership status.

i.e.    Persons of independent means:

The Cayman Islands Government offers five Immigration products for wealthy, private investors and senior executives who are seeking long-term residence in the Cayman Islands.

1.      Certificate of Permanent Residency for Persons of Independent Means (Form R5) – Persons who invest a minimum of two million Cayman Islands’ Dollars in developed real estate in the Cayman Islands may apply for a Certificate of Permanent Residence for Persons of Independent Means.

As the Certificate title denotes, a holder has the right to reside indefinitely in the Cayman Islands.

A holder will also have the option of seeking naturalization as a British Overseas Territories Citizen and, thereafter, the right to be Caymanian.

A holder and his spouse may also have their permission to remain varied to allow the right to work in the Cayman Islands.

2.      Residency Certificate for Persons of Independent Means Form R2 – This facility is for persons who wish to reside long-term in the Cayman Islands without the right to work.

Applicants will be required to demonstrate that they have invested a prescribed minimum amount in developed real estate in the Islands and that they meet certain financial standing requirements.

A successful applicant will be granted permission to reside in the Islands for a period of 25 years (renewable). This residence type cannot be varied to allow the right to work.

3.      Certificate of Direct Investment Form R8 – The Certificate of Direct Investment is for persons who invest, or propose to invest, a minimum prescribed amount in a licensed employment generating business in the Cayman Islands and in which he/she will exercise substantial management control.

An applicant must demonstrate a substantial business track record or an entrepreneurial background, including specific professional, technical and other knowledge relevant and necessary to carry on the business.

4.      Residency Certificate (Substantial Business Presence) Form R6 – This facility is for persons who invest in, or who are employed in a senior management capacity within, an approved category of business in the Cayman Islands.

A successful applicant is granted a Residency Certificate valid for 25 years (renewable) which entitles him to reside in the Islands and to work in the business in which he has invested or is employed in a senior management capacity.

  • Changing your mind about heirs: Of course, things can happen in life that cause people to change their minds about the way in which they’d like their property distributed. Changing a will to reflect these new wishes is important.
  • New or disposed of assets: Perhaps in your will you would like to leave all of your property or a percentage of your property to your heirs, then what you own changes and there is no need to change your will. However, if you have willed certain gifts to people in your will, and you no longer have those properties, be sure to remove said property from your will. Additionally, when you acquire new property, be sure to account for that in your will.

Ways of changing a will

The easiest way of changing a will is simply to make a new will. It is imperative that you revoke the old will.

To do this, simply write a statement in the new will that states that you revoke all wills and codicils that you have previously made.

This is sufficient to revoke any previous wills, but it is wise to also destroy any of your previous wills in order to avoid confusion or challenges to your new will.

The other way to change your will is by adding what is called a codicil.

A codicil is like an amendment or addition to your will. Use a codicil to revoke part of your will or add a new provision.

To be valid, they must be dated, signed, and witnessed just like a legal will.

Codicils were an efficient way of changing a will before there were computers and printing was a hassle.

Today, codicils should be avoided wherever possible. They can cause confusion, be lost, and are sometimes even a means to challenge wills.

That information is definitely worth remembering!

Changes to other estate documents

Much of your property passes by law to beneficiaries, despite what your will says.

Property such as retirement proceeds, life insurance proceeds, joint bank accounts, payable-on-death bank accounts, and stocks registered with a transfer-on-death form all pass directly to a specified beneficiary.

If you change your mind about who the beneficiary should be, change the names using the forms on which you named the original beneficiaries.

Do not change the named beneficiaries through your will, for it will have no effect.

Living trusts are also not affected by the terms of your will. If you decide to change the terms of your living trust, add an amendment to the original trust document. Then, transfer property in or out of the trustee’s name, accordingly.

You do not need to worry about having to revoke a trust and create an original one, like when changing a will.

Living Trust

What Is a Living Trust?

Aliving trust is a legal document, or trust, created during an individual’s lifetime where a designated person, the trustee, is given responsibility for managing that individual’s assets for the benefit of the eventual beneficiary.

A living trust is designed to allow for the easy transfer of the trust creator or settlor’s assets while bypassing the often complex and expensive legal process of probate. Living trust agreements designate a trustee who holds legal possession of assets and property that flow into the trust.

KEY TAKEAWAYS

  • A living trust designates a trustee to manage assets for the beneficiary, while the grantor is still alive.
  • Trustees with fiduciary duty manage trusts according to the beneficiary’s best interests.
  • Living trusts can be either irrevocable or revocable.

How Living Trusts Work

Living trusts are managed by a trustee who typically has a fiduciary duty to manage the trust prudently in the best interests of the trust’s beneficiary or beneficiaries designated by the trust settlor, also called a grantor. Upon the death of the settlor, these assets flow to the beneficiaries according to the grantor’s wishes as outlined in the trust agreement. Unlike a will, however, a living trust is in effect while the settlor is alive and the trust does not have to clear the courts to reach its intended beneficiaries when the settlor dies or becomes incapacitated. 

Types of Living Trusts

Living trusts can be irrevocable or revocable.

Living Revocable Trust

With a living revocable trust, the trust settlor can designate himself or herself as the trustee and take control of assets within the trust. However, this stipulation means the assets in the trust remain a part of the trust settlor’s estate, meaning the individual may still be liable for estate taxes should the estate be valued beyond the estate tax exemption at the time of death. The trust settlor also has the power to change and amend trust rules at any time. This means the trust settlor is free to change beneficiaries or undo the trust altogether.  

Irrevocable Living Trust

With an irrevocable living trust, the settlor relinquishes certain rights to control over the trust. The trustee effectively becomes legal owner, but the individual would also reduce his or her taxable estate. Once the trust agreement for an irrevocable living trust is made, the named beneficiaries are set and the settlor can do little to amend that agreement. 

Wills and Trusts

Wills and Trusts are both estate planning documents used to pass assets on to beneficiaries at death. … Here are five ways in which a Trust is better than a Will to pass your estate to your beneficiaries. A Trust can be used to Avoid Probate – a Will cannot.

When you die, this creates a change of beneficiary or beneficiaries. The person or persons you named in your trust documents to inherit from you become the new beneficiaries upon your death. They now own the assets you placed in your trust, according to the terms you decided when you made it.

Advantages to using a Trust over a Will

Wills and Trusts are both estate planning documents used to pass assets on to beneficiaries at death.  However, there are distinct advantages to using a Trust over a Will.  Here are five ways in which a Trust is better than a Will to pass your estate to your beneficiaries.

  1. A Trust can be used to Avoid Probate – a Will cannot. Probate is the process of changing the title on assets when someone passes away.  Assets that are owned in a deceased person’s individual name and for which there is no named beneficiary are no longer accessible once the owner of the asset has died. In order for family members to gain access to accounts or other assets in the deceased’s individual name, they must file a petition with the probate court and wait for the court to approve the Will and appoint the Personal Representative.  This can be a long and costly process during which bills cannot be paid and assets cannot be managed.  A Trust is an excellent probate avoidance tool because assets that are owned in the name of a Trust are immediately accessible to the trust-maker’s designated successor.
  2. A Trust can provide Creditor Protection for the Inheritance you Leave to Beneficiaries – a Will cannot. Many people worry that the inheritance they leave to their children will be lost to their children’s creditors such as a divorcing spouse, unpaid credit card bills, a bankruptcy, a business loss, or a lawsuit.  Sadly, this is often the case when assets are distributed to beneficiaries via a Will.  A Trust allows the maker to safeguard an inheritance from the reach of the beneficiaries’ creditors by keeping the assets out of the name of the beneficiary.  Ownership of the assets remains in the Trust.  The beneficiary will have access to the assets in accordance with the directions you leave in your Trust. You may also allow your beneficiary to serve as Trustee, allowing the beneficiary to manage her own inheritance.  By leaving assets to your beneficiaries via a Trust rather than outright via your Will, you can ensure that the assets you worked so hard for will be available to your children and future generations.
  3. A Trust can Protect Governmental Benefits for a Person with Disabilities – a Will cannot. If you have a child, grandchild or other beneficiary with disabilities, then a Trust is a must.  If you leave assets to a person who receives needs-based governmental benefits via your Will, it will place your beneficiary in the difficult position of either losing those benefits, or transferring the inheritance into a Trust of which the state must be the beneficiary at the beneficiary’s death.  Unless the inheritance you are leaving is so significant that the monetary and medical benefits available to the person through programs such as Social Security and Medicaid are no longer important, then making sure that those governmental benefits continue to be available is vital.  Leaving assets to a person with disabilities via a Trust is the best way to ensure those governmental benefits are preserved and that the inheritance you leave will be available to pay for expenses that are not covered by these governmental benefits, which while vital to many, are limited in their scope.
  4. Trusts can Reduce Estate Taxes – a Traditional Will cannot. Many married couples have so-called “I-love-you” Wills, which leave all assets outright to the surviving spouse upon the first death.  If you have an estate of more than $1,000,000, then using “I-love-you” Wills means that money you think you are leaving to your beneficiaries will in fact be going to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in the form of estate tax payable at the surviving spouse’s death.  If you would prefer that your assets pass to your family, create Trusts to reduce estate taxes.  Estate tax planning via Trusts for married couples is standard planning and permissible under both state and federal tax laws.
  5. A Trust can Administer Assets for Minor Beneficiaries without Court Intervention – a Will cannot. Leaving money directly to a minor creates an administrative nightmare because the law provides that a minor does not have the legal capacity to receive assets. The parent of the minor also does not have the ability to act as the child’s legal representative until the court says so.  As such, if you die with a Will that leaves money to minor beneficiaries, the court will need to appoint a Conservator to receive that inheritance for your children.  The Conservator will be required to report annually to the court and the court will appoint an overseer (guardian ad litem) to make sure the Conservator is doing his or her job for your minor beneficiaries.  This means huge costs and long delays in administering funds for minors.  It also means that when the minor turns 18, he or she will be entitled to receive all of those assets and will be free to do with them as he or she wishes (think fast cars, spring break, and lots of shopping).  Creating a Trust to receive assets passing to a minor, or even to a young adult beneficiary, is the best way to ensure that the court is not involved in the process, that the person  you want to manage assets for the beneficiary is able to do so, and that the beneficiary can use  the assets only for purposes you decide are important and/or at ages that you dictate.

These are just five ways in which a Trust is superior to a Will.

When There is no Will

According to Robert Mack, HSM Chambers, most people know that making a will is the “adult thing” to do, especially when children and other dependents are involved.

However, like most unpleasant things in life, we tend to put it off for as long as possible.

In some tragic cases life can end suddenly and unexpectedly, or a person can be struck down by illness and lose their mental capacity which would otherwise prevent them from creating a valid will.

So, when there is no will, what is the way?

See the Journal’s  link below for more details:

Where there’s no will – there’s a way

Digital Assets

Let’s also not forget that digital assets fall into two broad categories: valuable and sentimental.

Valuable digital assets include such things as cryptocurrencies, online investment/bank accounts, online store credits, intellectual property, and anything else which has a tangible dollar value attached to it.

Sentimental digital assets, on the other hand, include photographs, personal videos, blog posts, social media accounts, and information held in email messages.

So how can a Will manage these two distinct types of digital assets?

See the Link below for more details:

Are you ready to be the next Hero? How are you represented on the Bell curve around the World?

Nobody really wakes up and say, “Today I am going to save the world!”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tg52up16eq0
Bitten by a radioactive spider in the subway, Brooklyn teenager Miles Morales suddenly develops mysterious powers that transform him into the one and only Spider-Man. When he meets Peter Parker, he soon realizes that there are many others who share his special, high-flying talents. Miles must now use his newfound skills to battle the evil Kingpin, a hulking madman who can open portals to other universes and pull different versions of Spider-Man into our world.

Are you ready to be the next Hero? The Bell Curve around the World

Many of us are just too tired, stressed-out and ridiculously annoyed with various affairs in our life to add additional duties to our ever-expanding list of community goodwill. Lol!

Don’t get me wrong, I like to acknowledge people in our community who clearly are deserving of recognition, but I know many of them were not doing it for recognition in the first place, they were really just being who they inherently were created to be.

Many times, in life we might have committed to do something in our community and our commitment started with a “bang” but along the way we encountered obstacles like discouragement, rejection, suffered poor self-esteem, sickness, financial struggles or even spiritual warfare.

Renewal of Ezekiel’s Call as Watchman (Ezekiel Chapter 33: 1-20)

33 The word of the Lord came to me:

2 “Son of man, speak to your people and say to them: ‘When I bring the sword against a land, and the people of the land choose one of their men and make him their watchman,

3 and he sees the sword coming against the land and blows the trumpet to warn the people,

4 then if anyone hears the trumpet but does not heed the warning and the sword comes and takes their life, their blood will be on their own head.

5 Since they heard the sound of the trumpet but did not heed the warning, their blood will be on their own head. If they had heeded the warning, they would have saved themselves.

6 But if the watchman sees the sword coming and does not blow the trumpet to warn the people and the sword comes and takes someone’s life, that person’s life will be taken because of their sin, but I will hold the watchman accountable for their blood.’

7 “Son of man, I have made you a watchman for the people of Israel; so hear the word I speak and give them warning from me.

8 When I say to the wicked, ‘You wicked person, you will surely die,’ and you do not speak out to dissuade them from their ways, that wicked person will die for their sin, and I will hold you accountable for their blood.

9 But if you do warn the wicked person to turn from their ways and they do not do so, they will die for their sin, though you yourself will be saved.

10 “Son of man, say to the Israelites, ‘This is what you are saying: “Our offenses and sins weigh us down, and we are wasting away because of them. How then can we live?”

11 Say to them, ‘As surely as I live, declares the Sovereign Lord, I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that they turn from their ways and live. Turn! Turn from your evil ways! Why will you die, people of Israel?’

12 “Therefore, son of man, say to your people, ‘If someone who is righteous disobeys, that person’s former righteousness will count for nothing. And if someone who is wicked repents, that person’s former wickedness will not bring condemnation. The righteous person who sins will not be allowed to live even though they were formerly righteous.’

13 If I tell a righteous person that they will surely live, but then they trust in their righteousness and do evil, none of the righteous things that person has done will be remembered; they will die for the evil they have done.

14 And if I say to a wicked person, ‘You will surely die,’ but they then turn away from their sin and do what is just and right—

15 if they give back what they took in pledge for a loan, return what they have stolen, follow the decrees that give life, and do no evil—that person will surely live; they will not die.

16 None of the sins that person has committed will be remembered against them. They have done what is just and right; they will surely live.

17 “Yet your people say, ‘The way of the Lord is not just.’ But it is their way that is not just.

18 If a righteous person turns from their righteousness and does evil, they will die for it.

19 And if a wicked person turns away from their wickedness and does what is just and right, they will live by doing so.

20 Yet you Israelites say, ‘The way of the Lord is not just.’ But I will judge each of you according to your own ways.”

The Holy Bible
Spider-Gwen (Hailee Steinfeld) in Sony Pictures Animation’s SPIDER-MAN: INTO THE SPIDER-VERSE.

But how many of you know that with the Holy Spirit you can make it?

I have learnt that unclean spirits, without exception and regardless of their names or where they act, are all agents of death.

But how can you distinguish between the Spirit of God and the spirits of the devil if many of them talk about love, light and good works?

Gwen Spider
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lsoomc53c14

Are you ready to be the next Hero?

Here is one clue:

• Demonic spirits always cause problems that deprive people of any joy, especially on special occasions. In fact, they never allow their followers to have peace. The Holy Spirit, however, is peace. He rejoices when we are happy. It is written,


“For the joy of the Lord is my strength” Nehemiah 8:10

The Holy Bible

We must learn how to bind the strong man in our lives.

Jesus gave us his authority over the devil and his evil cohorts, yet I have learnt that we must be motivated to use it if we want to see results.

Let us consider what Jesus taught his followers:

In the book of Matthew Chapter 16:19, it says, “I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.”

To bind evil spirits means to restrain them by addressing them directly and forbidding them to continue their destructive activity.

Through the power of the Holy Spirit, our words will weaken or remove the person from the enemy’s bondage and in prayer we then ask the Holy Spirit to minister to his or her needs.

Our prayers should then be directed to God, and our warfare at the enemy.

According to the authors, Quin Sherrer & Ruthanne Garlock of A Woman’s Guide to Spiritual Warfare, this tactic of binding evil spirits is especially effective when praying in agreement with a prayer partner.

Are you ready to be the next Hero?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lsoomc53c14

The following is a hypothetical story to illustrate how we can become more effective in our everyday life:

Cadia is a spiritual warrior who’s learned to use this important tactic. One day she went to visit her twenty-year-old daughter Lisa, who had gone away to college. Not finding her at her designated residence, she went on in.

Appalled at the mess she found, she began to clean the apartment-straightening, dusting, sweeping, and scrubbing. She even cooked a meal, then washed all the dirty clothes lying around.

She knew her daughter was still adjusting to college life, but she was shock that her normally tidy and preppy daughter would have allowed her apartment to be reduced to such a deplorable state.

While putting things in order, Cadia found a bundle of torn and bloody undergarments amongst a small bag of “unknown substance” beside a used syringe and a small hand gun. It had one bullet in it.

At that moment, Cadia knew her daughter’s intent was to shoot herself and based on the evidence, the reason was obvious.

As a mother in the natural, she was devastated, but as a prayer warrior in the spirit, she was furious!

At that very moment, Cadia began to do serious spiritual battle for her daughter’s life.

She said,

“Thank you, Lord, for giving us authority to use your name to set captives free. I plead the blood of Jesus over Lisa, and ask you to protect her life.

I come against the strong man of rejection operating against my daughter, and bind your power over my daughter in Jesus’ name.

I come against the spirit of suicide, you will not have my daughter.

I come against the spirit of deception and psychosis, you will not have my daughter.

I bind all spirits of rejection, madness, hate, anger, murder, and suicide, in Jesus’ name.

I bind all unclean spirits associated with drug abuse, rape and chaos, and cut Lisa loose from past hurts and from unhealthy relationships.

I command the spirits that are binding and controlling her to release her, in Jesus’ name.

Lord, let your peace permeate her apartment. Show Lisa how much you love her and desire to set her free from the bondage of the enemy.

Thank you, Lord, for protecting her life and drawing her into fellowship with you in Jesus’ name.

Amen”.

Cadia then began singing and filling the apartment with praises to the Lord as she continued to cook and clean.

Before leaving that day, she left a note:

“Lisa- I did this today because I love you. No strings attached. Mom”.

A few weeks went by before Lisa decided to visit her mom in person and upon arrival her mother noticed she had lost weight and seemed nervous.

But Cadia did not judge or harass her daughter because she knew if she had not prayed for her daughter’s deliverance and shown unconditional love, her daughter might not have been alive today.

Perhaps one day her daughter will find the courage to share her story and seek professional help.

For now, she was glad Lisa had come home for the holidays. Cadia also knew she was greatly missed by her friends in the community and at church.

Many people go to church just for the service- the feast, or ceremony- and some go to meet with God.

Some go only for the lavish worship while some truly worship by the Spirit of God.

Some people go to church because they like the pastor’s eloquent and obviously gifted way with words, while some people truly need to hear from God.

I have learnt that sometimes God remains silent and withholds communication in order for Him to receive the glory once a promise has been fulfilled.

Have you heard of prophetic jealousy?

It’s similar to professional jealously and I believe it exist among those who have a reputation for being gifted with a word of knowledge, or prophecy.

I strongly believe that people who are known for their prophetic gift sometimes are placed under pressure to perform and maybe also pressured to deliver ‘a word from the Lord’.

After-all the people expect it!

Then after a while their followers or the people in the congregation take it for granted and if someone other than their leader has a word that doesn’t include them – or confirm them- they are often ungracious or downright hateful.

Many may say, “It can’t be from God, or I would know”.

God was powerfully at work in Jerusalem and Jesus was the center of it all.

Not even his own parents- or those who knew him best- were aware of what was happening.

Hear me when I say, God can use you yesterday, but remain silent today.

He can use me today, but speak through someone else tomorrow.

It may be someone everybody has heard of- but don’t particularly like or even someone who no one has heard.

Why? God is sovereign.

Being used by God does not require any of the following:

Ed.D. – (Doctor of Education), Th.D. (Doctor of Theology), Ph.D. (Doctor of Philosophy), LL.D. (Doctor of Laws) or any other sophisticated titles we all have sacrificed to attain.

See my previous article: Are you wasting your time? (The Age Clock Concept: In Time with your Lifespan)

I believe it’s important to have a purpose in life and as soon as you have figured it out-get moving!

The Bell Curve

The Bell Curve, Richard J. Herrnstein and Charles Murray

The Bell Curve: Intelligence and Class Structure in American Life is a 1994 book by psychologist Richard J. Herrnstein and political scientist Charles Murray, in which the authors argue that human intelligence is substantially influenced by both inherited and environmental factors and that it is a better predictor of many personal dynamics, including financial income, job performance, birth out of wedlock, and involvement in crime than are an individual’s parental socioeconomic status. They also argue that those with high intelligence, the “cognitive elite”, are becoming separated from those of average and below-average intelligence. The book was controversial, especially where the authors wrote about racial differences in intelligence and discussed the implications of those differences.

According to my recent studies, the normal curve, also known as THE BELL CURVE because of its unique shape, is said to be shaped like a bell and is often the way in which certain characteristics such as intelligence, weight or height may be represented in the population.

The highest point on the curve typically represents the average score in any distribution.

Now distributions aren’t always normal in shape, just like people! Lol!

Some distributions are described as skewed. This occurs when the distribution is not even on both sides of a central score with the highest frequency.

Instead some scores are concentrated toward one side of the distribution.

For example, we might observe a study of people’s water drinking habits and it eventually reveals that most people drink between 4 and 8 16oz bottles of water daily, with no one drinking more than 8 bottles.

So, you may be asking, how does the above information tie into my message?

Well, if we were to start sieving through an enormous pile of professional profiles of people in our community who have been nominated for awards on Heroes day next year, one of the requirements should be- how have they used their intelligence to make a difference in their community.

Cayman Islands

The Cayman Islands

National Heroes Day is a public holiday celebrated in the Cayman Islands on the fourth Monday in January.

Unlike other National Heroes Days in the Caribbean, the same people aren’t always celebrated on this day each year.

Instead, a committee comprised of public and private sector representatives meet to choose the theme for the following year’s holiday.

Different award categories are then established and the public is then allowed to nominate suitable individuals.

The National Heroes Day committee is then entrusted with the awesome but serious responsibility of deciding on all who are deserving recipients of the awards. Cool!

The theme chosen for 2018 was sports, with members of the public being invited to nominate people in the community who had made outstanding contributions to sports in the Cayman Islands.

The theme chosen for 2017 was Tourism, honoring the important role that the business sector plays in the economy of the Cayman Islands, and the 2016 theme was agriculture with over 300 people being honored for their contribution to farming in the Cayman Islands.

National Heroes Day has been a public holiday in the Cayman Islands since 2003.

Jamaica

Jamaica Flag
Are you ready to be the next Hero?

https://www.teneishajohnson-dream.com/statue

Every third Monday of October is National Heroes Day in Jamaica. This public holiday is dedicated to the memory of Jamaica’s seven official national heroes.

Next year Monday, it will be on the 21st October 2019.

On National Heroes Day, six heroes and one heroine will still be remembered for their heroic deeds that led to greater freedom and economic growth and prosperity for their homeland.

For example, Alexander Bustmante was Jamaica’s first prime minister. Three other heroes were hanged after leading revolts against oppression and “social injustice”. And heroine “Nanny of the Maroons” led a group in resistance and raids against the British colonialists. Wow!

See the following link for more information: https://jis.gov.jm/information/heroes/

However, that was then, this is now.

Modern day heroes will also be recognized and given awards on National Heroes Day 2019.

This is in accord with Jamaica’s government-run “honors system” that is meant to encourage all noble and heroic deeds in its citizenry. Cool!

There will also be many special, festive events on National Heroes Day, including musical performances, dancing, cricket and soccer matches, art and craft exhibits, agricultural shows, and more.

Oh, the excitement of it all!

Rwanda

Rwanda Flag
Are you ready to be the next Hero?

Guess what else is happening around the world?

Every 1st February is National Heroes Day in Rwanda and it is a day selected to remember numerous officially designated national heroes who lost their lives in the cause of their country.

Rwanda’s previous flag was a red-yellow-green tricolor with a large black letter “R” (to distinguish it from the otherwise identical Flag of Guinea). Derived from the flag of Ethiopia, the colors green, yellow, and red represented peace; the nation’s hope for its development; and the people.

What does the Rwandan flag mean?

Now the green is symbolic of the country’s prosperity, the yellow is symbolic of potential and real economic development, and the blue is symbolic of happiness and peace. The sun and its rays are said to represent enlightenment. Awesome!

I have learnt that Rwanda is a country with a diverse culture and rich heritage. The Rwandan cuisine is famous all-over East Africa, with its signature East African dish – Ugali and vegetables. Yum-Yum in my tummy!

How wealthy is Rwanda?

Rwanda is reported to have the 35th-highest Gross Domestic Product (GDP) at Purchasing Power Parity (PPP) among African countries (20.32 million International dollars).

The top 10 African countries by GDP (PPP) are: Africa, Nigeria, Egypt, South Africa, Algeria, Morocco, Angola, Sudan, Ethiopia, Tanzania. Wow!

France

According to Encyclopedia Britannica, the flag of France (French: Drapeau français) is a tricolor flag featuring three vertical bands coloured blue (hoist side), white, and red.

It is known to English speakers as the French Tricolour or simply the Tricolour (French: Tricolore).

The Tricolour has become one of the most influential flags in history, with its three-colour scheme being copied by many other nations, both in Europe and the rest of the world.

The royal government used many flags, the best known being a blue shield and gold fleur-de-lis (the Royal Arms of France) on a white background, or state flag. Early in the French Revolution, the Paris militia, which played a prominent role in the storming of the Bastille, wore a cockade of blue and red, the city’s traditional colours.

According to French general Gilbert du Motier, Marquis de Lafayette, white was the “ancient French colour” and was added to the militia cockade to create a tricolour, or national, cockade.

This cockade became part of the uniform of the National Guard, which succeeded the militia and was commanded by Lafayette.

The colours and design of the cockade are the basis of the Tricolour flag, adopted in 1790. The only difference was that the 1790 flag’s colours were reversed. A modified design by Jacques-Louis David was adopted in 1794.

The royal white flag was used during the Bourbon restoration from 1815 to 1830; the tricolour was brought back after the July Revolution and has been used ever since 1830.

The Brandenburg Gate in Berlin

The Brandenburg Gate in Berlin was one of many world landmarks illuminated in the French flag colors after the November 2015 Paris attacks.


Hundred Years of War

During the Hundred Years’ War, England was recognized by a red cross, Burgundy, a red saltire, and France, a white cross.

This cross could figure either on a blue or a red field. The blue field eventually became the common standard for French armies. The French regiments were later assigned the white cross as standard, with their proper colours in the cantons.

The French flag of a white cross on a blue field is still seen on some flags derived from it, such as those of Quebec and Martinique.

The flag of Joan of Arc during the Hundred Years’ War is described in her own words,

“I had a banner of which the field was sprinkled with lilies; the world was painted there, with an angel at each side; it was white of the white cloth called ‘boccassin’; there was written above it, I believe, ‘JHESUS MARIA’; it was fringed with silk.”

Joan of Arc

Joan’s standard led to the prominent use of white on later French flags.

From the accession of the Bourbons to the throne of France, the green ensign of the navy became a plain white flag, the symbol of purity and royal authority. The merchant navy was assigned “the old flag of the nation of France”, the white cross on a blue field.


The Panthéon

The Panthéon is a building in the Latin Quarter in Paris, France. It was originally built as a church dedicated to St. Genevieve and to house the reliquary châsse containing her relics but, after many changes, now functions as a secular mausoleum containing the remains of distinguished French citizens.

The Panthéon

The Panthéon houses the ashes of Les Grands Hommes de la Nation. Illustrious French citizens from all walks of life – politicians, writers, defenders of the nation – are buried here upon approval by the French president.

In 1885, when the ashes of Victor Hugo were brought there in honor of that great man after the national outpouring of emotion caused by his death, the Pantheon became the final resting place of those who have become known as Les Grands Hommes (The Great Men).

The Panthéon is also home, in its immense entrance hall, to Foucault’s pendulum, named after a French physicist, designed to demonstrate the Earth’s rotation in relation to a frame of reference by Galileo. Cool!

72 illustrious personalities reside there today:

Among them:

– Jean Jaurès (1859-1914), the father of French socialism, assassinated in 1914.
– Emile Zola (1840-1902), an important writer and journalist.
– Jean Moulin (1841-1941), a hero of the French Resistance during the Second World War.
– André Malraux (1901-1976), writer and minister for Culture, whose ashes were brought there in 1996.
– Alexandre Dumas (1802-1870), an important popular writer, whose ashes were brought there in 2002.
– Jean Monnet (1888-1979), a politician who worked to create the European Community in the wake of World War II.
– René Cassin (1887-1976), the spiritual father and principal author of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights adopted by the UN in 1948.
– Pierre (1859-1906) and Marie (1867-1934) Curie, Nobel prizewinners for physics for their work with radium.

What was the Pantheon used for?

Roman Pantheon. The Roman Pantheon is the most preserved and influential building of ancient Rome. It is a Roman temple dedicated to all the gods of pagan Rome. As the brick stamps on the side of the building reveal it was built and dedicated between A.D 118 and 125.

What is the pantheon made of?

The Pantheon that Hadrian created is a circular temple made of concrete faced with brick, with a Greek-style façade and a magnificent dome rising from its walls. The most striking feature of the building is the 27-foot circular hole (the oculus, or eye) atop the dome.

What does the pantheon symbolize?

The Pantheon is still discussed today as a building clouded in mystery. The original purpose of the building is unknown. Although the temple is dedicated to all Greek gods the scale and size of the temple emphasized power and Roman duty. There is also celestial symbolism present in the temple.

What does the pantheon say above?


Above the entrance, carved in stone, are the words M. AGRIPPA L. F. COS. TERTIUM FECIT which is translated, “Marcus Agrippa, son of Lucius, in his third consulate, made it.” This basically says that “Agrippa built the Pantheon.”

Here is some history that I was pleased to locate:

In 1744, Louis XV decreed the building of a prestigious basilica in honor of Sainte-Geneviève to whom he attributed his healing after a serious illness.

The architect Soufflot was awarded the project in 1755. This project was also part of the political will of Louis XV. The basilica had to rival that of Saint Peter’s in Rome and above all re-establish the prestige of a divided church.

Soufflot placed the basilica in a monumental square in the very heart of the area of religious contestation, where the Jansenists officiated at Saint-Médard.

The architecture of the basilica is a sign of the architectural renewal and experimental research that was prevalent at the time and during the centuries of the Enlightenment.

Indeed, the ornamental vocabulary and the central plan in the shape of a Greek cross were inspired by ancient Greek architecture, the lightness of the structure of the vault is evocative of gothic art and the dome speaks of the Renaissance. The light entered through forty-five tall windows.

During the Revolution: the basilca become the Panthéon National.

In 1791, the basilica became the Panthéon National to house the ashes of the nation’s great men: Voltaire in 1791, Jean-Jacques Rousseau in 1794, great men from the century of Enlightenment whose writing contributed to the changes wrought by the Revolution.

The high windows were also sealed to emphasize its role as a tomb. Very interesting.

When all is said and done, I like learning and I like sharing what I have learnt.

I only hope and pray that the above information may prove useful to someone considering an exciting role as another one of our nation’s heroes!

Are you ready to be the next Hero?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tg52up16eq0

God Bless!