ARE YOU AN ONLY CHILD?

Last night, as we snuggled up to read your bedtime story, you asked me the question Daddy and I have been half expecting. With a slight ripple across your brow and your blue eyes wide, you said: ‘Mummy, why don’t I have a brother or sister?’

Are you an only child and did you know why you became one literally? Perhaps it is a health or a financial circumstance beyond parent’s control or unfortunate situation of loss of parent making it not possible to have siblings. The parents of an only son have written a letter to him explaining their choice and decision to him alone. The letter stated that mother found out ‘last night, as we snuggled up to read your bedtime story, you asked a question Daddy and was half expecting. With slight ripple across your brow and your blue eyes wide, you said: ‘Mummy, why don’t I have a brother or sister?’ I kissed the top of your head, squeezed you closer and momentarily panicked about how on earth to answer. At four years and four months, you are clearly starting to notice many of friends at nursery talk of siblings or babies. And thankfully this time, you gave me a reprieve turning your attention straight to dinosaur story read to you.’ Last night, as we snuggled up to read your bedtime story, you asked me the question Daddy and I half expected. With a slight ripple across your brow and blue eyes wide, you said: ‘Mummy, why don’t I have a brother or sister? But I know one day the ‘why’ will become more persistent. Daddy and I are far from alone in deciding to stop at one child. Apparently by 7years, half of all families in this country will only have one offspring. Not that it stops me from feeling occasional pang of guilt. I know there will be many positives to decision like our undivided attention for starters so you never know a prickly adjustment period when a new baby arrives. How about sibling rough and tumble you’ll miss out on? A constant companionship for better or worse? I cannot pretend it hasn’t been a real dilemma. Yes, there have been moments when my resolve wobbled particularly as you get closer to starting school so baby no more. Who doesn’t get broody when they see a tiny newborn enfolded in a mother’s arms. But deep down, I know we’ve made the most responsible choice. I just hope, as you grow older, you agree. The truth is Daddy and I would loved another child but quite simply are too old. We liked the idea of two or maybe more, Daddy even hoped for twins! We imagined you all together and nobody ever short of a playmate, bundling you all into the bath after a day at the beach or the park. Sometimes I do wonder if we left it too late to start our little family. After all, we’ve been together for 19 years. Will you wonder what we were doing all that time? know many positives to our decision of undivided attention, helps you thrive. But I turned 44 last year, a day you and Daddy helped me devour the birthday cake I’d made. ‘That’s REALLY old!’ you exclaimed. In terms of having another baby, you were right. More women are have babies well into 40s and beyond but risks proven to be grater for mum and baby not least Down’s Syndrome or other birth defects. I wonder if we left it too late to start family. After all, we’ve been together for 19 years so wondering what we were doing all this time? We met through mutual friends in our mid-20s, drawn together by similarities: we’re both driven, determined, sociable and aspire to wring the most from life. But like many of our generation, chose naively it turned out to let time slip by. Distracted by careers, Daddy as a chartered surveyor and board director, and me as a journalist, we saved like mad for our future, bought property, played hard and enjoyed exciting holidays all over the world. Sometimes I do wonder if we left it too late to start our little family. For 19 years prepared in advance for your arrival. Family and friends badgered us about settling down but we felt buying a home together was the greatest commitment. I know there will be many positives to our decision — all that undivided attention, for starters, and you’ll never know that prickly adjustment period when a new baby arrives There were the more important things paying off a mortgage, for example than a wedding to spend money on. As for having a family, conscious of getting older, of course, honestly didn’t think leaving it to late 30s was a problem. After all, many friends in a similar situation. And in February 2011 of 12 years together, finally married at a beautiful country house in North Yorkshire. By then we were financially secure, happy, had bought a spacious barn conversion and wanted nothing more than to have a little family. But three months after our wedding, early one cool, grey May morning, my own beautiful, adoring mummy your granny died. She’d had cancer for four agonising years, and in the end the doctors and nurses couldn’t do anything more to save her. If I had just one wish in life it was that Granny had lived to meet you. She would have been besotted by your mischievousness, love of being silly and making people smile traits you share with her. Losing her made me all the more desperate to become a mum. I wanted to love and nurture another little person the way she’d always loved my brother and me. I longed to watch her warmth, wisdom and trademark cheerfulness live on in her grandchild. Grief stricken, I barely ate or slept for months.Grief stricken, I barely ate or slept for months. I ran for miles at a time as a coping mechanism and lost a lot of weight despite being slim anyway 

I ran for miles at a time as a coping mechanism and lost a lot of weight despite being slim anyway. Perhaps we shouldn’t have been surprised when, after almost two years of trying to have a baby, doctors confirmed that the shock of losing Granny had caused my body to shut down. I was almost 40 by so we referred for IVF. That’s when something magical happened against all the odds. In late January 2013, I went to fertility clinic in outskirt of Nottingham for some initial scans before starting a treatment. After minutes, sonographer took off her glasses, wiped a tear from her eye and said: ‘You’re not going to believe this you are already pregnant!’ I was around five weeks, but there you were on the sonographer’s screen, a microscopic dot. I cried, and couldn’t wait to tell Daddy. We were elated you arrived in September that year by a planned Caesarean section. I adored you in an instant with your cute little face and love of a cuddle. When I delve into my handbag for a lipstick and instead pull out a toy car or a dirty twig from the park that you’ve put there, it makes me smile 

But I admit I struggled emotionally for a long time. Within a space of under two and a half years went through the two significant events in a woman’s life losing my mum and having a baby of my own. Not having Granny around at that time was heart-wrenching. During the three days that you and I were in hospital, I longed for my mum to walk in, beaming and saying: ‘Aren’t you a clever girl? He’s absolutely gorgeous!’ When Gramps came alone to meet you for the first time, he hadn’t seemed more solitary since Granny’s death. In the months that followed, I’d take you for seven-mile walks in pram along the canal paths and country trails close to our home and tears would roll down my cheeks as I daydreamed about Mum walking by my side. When I delve into my handbag for a lipstick and instead pull out a toy car or a dirty twig from the park that you’ve put there, it makes me smile  What I’d give to have just one photograph of her cuddled up cheek-to-cheek with you. Daddy was wonderfully sensitive and supportive. But at times I felt very alone, as many women do after having a baby. The impossible sadness was juxtaposed by the unrivalled joy you brought to Daddy and me.I know that watching you with a little brother or sister would be a delight. But another baby now? I was 40 by the time I had you. We quickly decided it was more important to enjoy you, rather than focus on trying for another simply because the clock was ticking 

You make us laugh uncontrollably often every day with your funny little ways and your constant chatter and wonder at the world around us. I was 40 by the time I had you. You’re as affectionate and loving as you are boisterous and wilful, destined to be strong-willed given our own personalities! And even when you’re throwing a tantrum we wouldn’t want it any other way. I know watching you with a little brother or sister would be a delight. But another baby now? I was 40 by the time I had you. We quickly decided it was more important to enjoy you, rather than focus on trying for another simply because the clock was ticking. After all, there are so many couples who’d give anything to have just one child. And who’s to say it would have happened a second time, given how long it took us to have you? Plus, at what point do you draw a line under the disappointment of trying and failing? Besides, we’d found being a family of three suits all of us. I am still able to do a job I love while you’re at nursery three days a week. More importantly, Daddy and I are able to focus our attention on you rather than feeling torn between more than one child. Your energy knows no bounds and I have to run you like a dog every day to expend it. I’m not sure I could cope with another little one fizzing with such effervescence. You have always loved your sleep, too: And imagine if you had a sibling who wailed all night for months. That said, I can’t deny the occasional well of sadness: the ‘what ifs’ and fear you’ll miss out on the fun of having a sibling. If I had just one wish in life it would be that Granny had lived to meet you. She would have been besotted by your mischievousness, love of being silly and making people smile — traits you share with her Since I’ve always been so close to my own little brother your uncle Robbie, 42, who loves to tickle and dangle you upside down. Daddy and I have often looked wistfully at our friends with four kids: they’re never without a ready-made playmate. On the other hand, we know siblings who fought terribly as children and barely speak as adults. We know lots of gloriously happy, and well grounded, sociable, selfless children including your brilliant cousin, Saffron, who’s five years older than you. It was adorable watching you playing together on the beach and in the pool on a recent family holiday in Spain. How I chuckled listening to the two of you animatedly discussing favourite or not vegetables in back of car. Nobody ever questioned our decision although there are friends who still tell us: ‘Go on, have another!’ Some people assume things of an only child that they are spoilt because they don’t learn to share. Or they miss out on so much. But Daddy and I will ensure you never feel isolated or become spoilt. Bracing ourselves to hosting lots of play dates sleepovers. We’ll do everything to encourage you to continue to be sociable caring confident little boy you already are. What I’ve realised more than anything is there is actuala much shorter answer to your question. Quite simply, Daddy and I feel enormously fortunate to have one healthy, happy, hilarious little boy who fills our lives with magic every day. We have never been left wanting more.

 

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MANKIND’S ROBOT FRIENDS

VOLVO SWEDEN FORDMankind faces upheaval of robot trends in hotels, airports, hospitals and homes. There is a strong argument in favour of advantages of using machines that now replace people in industries, factories or personal carers at home. The shortage of staff in underpopulated regions with the aged requiring care are some of the arguments used. Modern trend demand people adapt and get used to machines or miss out. In 1998, Kodak had 170,000 employees and sold 85% of photo paper worldwide. Within a few years their business model disappeared and they went bankrupt. Interestingly inventor of digital photography in 1975 Steven Sasson worked for Kodak but Kodak ignored the new technology and in the process ignored their future!! Some say what happened to Kodak will happen in a lot of industries in the next 10 years and most people don’t see it coming.e1c03d62f4da47159d5a9dff9c2af2bdDid you think in 1998 that 3 years later you would never take pictures on paper film again? Yet digital cameras were invented in 1975. The first ones had 10,000 pixels, but followed Moore’s law. As with all exponential technologies, it was a disappointment for a long time, before it became way superior and got mainstream in a few short years. It will now happen with Artificial Intelligence, health, autonomous and electric cars, education, 3D printing, agriculture and jobs in the 4th Industrial Revolution. So the Exponential Age, Software will also disrupt the most traditional industries in the next 5-10 years. Uber software tool does not own cars but the biggest taxi company in the world. Airbnb is the biggest hotel company in the world, although they don’t own any properties.12945Artificial Intelligence Computers said to be exponentially better understanding the world. This year, a computer beat the best Go player in the world 10 years earlier than expected. In the US, young lawyers not getting jobs. Due to IBM Watson you can get a legal advice so far for more on a basic stuff within seconds with the 90% accuracy compared with 70% accuracy when done by humans. If you study law it is good to immediately think about areas of specialisation. People say there will be 90% fewer lawyers in future so only specialists will remain. Watson already helps nurses diagnosing cancer, 4 times more accurate than human nurses. And Facebook now has a pattern recognition software that can recognize faces better than humans. By 2030, computers will become more intelligent than humans.Ishiguro-721161 (1)Autonomous Cars: in 2018 the first self-driving cars will appear for the public. Around 2020, the complete industry will start to be disrupted. Some don’t want to own a car anymore since you will call a car with your phone, it will show up at your location and drive you to your destination. You will not need to park it, you only pay for driven distance and it can be productive while driving. Future kids may never get driver’s license and never own a car. So it will change cities, because will need 90-95% fewer cars for that. So can transform former parking space into parks. 1.2 million people die each year in car accidents worldwide. It says one accident in every 100,000 km, with autonomous driving that will drop to one accident in 10 million km. That will save a million lives each year..Most car companies may become bankrupt. Traditional car companies evolutionary approach builds better cars, while tech companies Tesla, Apple, Google will do the revolutionary approach and build a computer on wheels. A lot of engineers from Volkswagen and Audi are said to be completely terrified of Tesla.unnamedAAEAAQAAAAAAAAeeAAAAJDEwNTkzOWQ3LWRlZDktNDM4NS1hZTI0LTdjNzZlYjdmOGZkMQInsurance Companies will have massive trouble because without accidents, the insurance will become 100x cheaper. Their car insurance business model will disappear. Real estate will change since you can work while you commute, and people will move further away to live in more beautiful neighbourhood. Electric cars won’t become mainstream until 2020. Cities will be less noisy because all cars will run on electric. Electricity will be incredibly cheap because now Solar production has been on an exponential curve for 30 years so will see impact. In the last year, solar energy was installed worldwide than fossil. So price for solar will drop so much all coal companies may be out of business by 2025. Cheap electricity means cheap and abundant water. Desalination only needs 2kWh per cubic meter. We don’t have scarce water in most places, we only have scarce drinking water. Imagine what will be possible if all can have as much clean water as wanted without cost.hqdefault (1)Health: There will be companies that will build a medical devices called the “Tricorder” from Star Trek that works with phone, takes retina scan, blood sample and breathed into. It analyses 54 biomarkers that will identify nearly any disease. It will be cheap, in a few years everyone on this planet will have access to world class medicine, nearly for free. 3D printing price of cheapest 3D printer came down from $18,000 to $400 within 10 years. At the same time its 100 times faster. All major shoe companies started 3D printing shoes. Spare airplane parts already 3D printed in remote airports. The space station printer eliminates the need for large number of spare parts used in the past. By end of this year new smart phones will have the 3D scanning possibilities. You can then 3D scan your feet and print perfect shoe size at home.science0_2315587bIn China, already 3D printed completed 6-storey office building. By 2027, 10% of everything that’s being produced will be 3D printed. Business Opportunities now mean if you think of a niche you want to go in, ask yourself: “in the future, do you think we will still have that?” and if answer is yes how can it happen sooner. If it doesn’t work with phone, forget the idea. And ideas limited in design for just success in the 20th century is doomed in to failure in the 21st century. Workers with 70-80% of jobs will disappear in the next 20 years. There will be a lot of new jobs, but it is not clear if there will be enough new jobs that time. Already unemployment is rising in terms of the people getting appropriate relevant job.AAEAAQAAAAAAAAXlAAAAJGE3YjYwMzdkLWNkYjgtNGMwZC1iODk5LTRkMGIyNTA1MTMyNgAgriculture will have $100 agricultural robot in future. Farmers in 3rd world countries can then become managers of their field instead of working all days on their fields. And agroponics will also need much less water. The first Petri dish produced veal is now available and will be cheaper than cow-produced veal in 2018. 30% of all agricultural surfaces are used for cows so imagine if we don’t need all that space anymore. There are several startups to bring insect protein to the market shortly. It contains more protein than meat. It will be labeled as ‘alternative protein source’ because most people still reject the idea of eating insects. There is an app call “moodies” which can already tell in which mood you are. By 2020 there will be apps that can tell by facial expressions if one is lying. Imagine debates displayed when people tell the truth or not. Bitcoin will be mainstream and might even become the default reserve currency. Right now, average life span increases by 3 months per year. Four years ago, the life span used to be 79 years, now it’s 80 years. The increase itself is increasing and by 2030, there will be more than one year increase per year. So we all might live for a long long time, probably way more than 100. By that time the elites will have a secondary Brain embedded close to both sides of their fronto-temporal scalp it stores information about their experiences books they read what they heard etc through a High Def Camera below the eyelids. Those who can afford it forgetfulness is a past phenomenon.videoblocks-robot-helping-man-at-home-kitchen-table-desk-doing-office-work-walks-and-hands-man-pen-artificial-intelligence-and-future-robotics-technology-with-humanoid-cyborg-futuristic-Advanced stem cell technology will also allow “choosing” own organs or replace defective ones early. Life expectancy will be around 115 to 125 yrs in most of developed world and around 100 years in the rest of the world. Education: The cheapest smart phones are already at $10 in Africa and Asia. Until 2020, 70% of all humans will own a smart phone. That means, everyone has same access to world class education. Are you ready for the future. With so much benefits of progress agreed, question is what shall be done with the unemployed humans displaced? Some say the available free time means all will all be on holidays. It will indeed be wonderful to put feet up to let hair down to enjoy life. So robots and machines do all the work and serve humans. A few humans program these robots so intervene when required. Yet the reality of the mass unemployment without income and zero hour contracts is of concern that must be addressed. It is important to reflect on these matters because people have become homeless, unable to afford homes. People still pay bills, eat, pay cost of travel, student fees, rent, mortgages, taxes, etc. Whether one earns income or not bills get higher and higher. Artificial intelligence deliberate tactics based on the Georgia guidelines in America like 10 commandments is to reduce world population to 250million. GettyImages-521719874-e1477257469619Creating starvation, deprivation, lack of resources, burying tons of good food in the soil while people starve. This is all part of that strategy so few people own everything, living in luxury while the rest are dealt a bad hand. On paper all these sounds fantastic yet the reality is the MAJORITY of humans suffer as a result. Robots in industries mean loss of jobs, starving and poverty but is not dealt with in the news. Since privileged few already have enough on their plate they are not too keen or interested in plights of those displaced unemployed. It is absolutely true robots are essential today in some fields, save lives, drones deliver goods. However if one truly and honestly analyses overall cost of longterm investments in robots, the machines deprive workers of jobs. .artificial-intelligence-will-man-be-ever-replaced-by-machine-5-638In addition, they do not raise children, feed families, pay tuition fees or rents and mortgages. On one hand robots are necessary but on the other hand too it is important to ensure humans are not all replaced by machines. The humans now globally have no jobs, resources or land in the hand of a few. Most investments and the profits go to shareholders who benefit not the staff laid off on the dole. Trillions of dollars are invested globally to create robots with zillions of electric wattage used to run them. But it affects electric power and oil supply needed to generate electricity. Alternative to fossil fuel like wind turbines still need electric to power them. Now when a problem is solved it creates lots more problems not foreseen by inventors. When Tsunamis, tornadoes, floods, wildfire, thunders or toxic waste burnt trickle into soil to shut down whole neigbourhoods, nothing is done to rectify problems. As long as the rich share holders are happily making more money they do not care about the damage done to the earth. The rush to overproduced cars, gadgets with inbuilt obsolence means products are changed for cosmetic or aesthetic reasons than functions. This creates disposable waste of tons of plastics that natural speed of human working hours would curb.man-vs-machine-consolidated-39-638 The rat race constantly produces more items than realistically purchased so is shredded or buried in landfill that could be used for housing. A greedy excessive love of materialist products consumer habit damages planets with pollution. It is industry driven to produce faster, get to places faster and faster because it is easier to do so than work in tune with nature. The passion for wanting things yesterday to meet demands results in a need for the faster production methods beyond human abilities. That is why the robots are man’s friends to help them to accomplish their wants faster. It is good to be able to enjoy life and live a little yet longterm damage climate change is irreversible. The world already pays the price of sufferings from global turf wars over natural resources fuelling robots. It peaks beyond measure with plans for all future living mechanised by robots, people are displaced and frustrated. The young people graduating all over world feel the robotic trend of displacement. aibusinessAIPostJS91501769hqdefaultterminator-outdated-future-robot-nod32-eset-wallpaper-black-background2560 x 1600 ESET NOD32 ANTIVIRUS ROBOT HD Computers,NEW,hd wallpapers,widescreen wallpapers,high defination,widescreen,Robot,Latest,Apple,google android,laptop,iPhone,iPad,iphone 4,netbook,Cell,scifi,phones,ipad 2,iphone 4s,eset,nod32,antivirus,i robotIMG_20171230_135010bicentennial-man-artificial-intelligence-misconceptionswalle11Man and robot meet and handshake. Concept of the future interactThe good news is when things peak God will intervene by Rapture to restore earth to organic natural wholesome beauty again like paradise. God owns chariots, wheels in wheels technologies and a great designer of unique human intelligence. Technology displaces the workers but life in general improved. Machines replaced, outmoded, causes toxic waste in landfill sites buried at or burnt to destroy archaic old technology. Humans still need to program robots but must work alongside humans. Lots of businesses, companies are shut down or gone bankrupt due to changes. And online businesses affect direct human personal touch interaction on a daily basis. These issues must be addressed as much as debates in favour of using the robots and machines. The world is now reaching tipping point of inability to sustain these design using solar power or nuclear power. The pursuit of more power to maintain robots damages use of natural resources diverted by hydro power displacing communities. Many farms and food production destroyed by the seizure of generational family lands. The hybrid genetic modified foods often lack rich natural nutrients for organic food remedies created by God. Limited land use of the area means depending on imported foods than local produce. Robots are useful and helpful but must not be allowed to displace and destroy humans in the process. Both must live alongside each other with dignity of human life not dehumanising people.

HAPPY NEW YEAR TO YOU

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THE BEST & WORST GIFTS

bad_gifts_m_(416x288)Jesus received gold, frankincense myrrh gifts from three wise Maggi kings from the East setting pace to exchange gifts at Christmas. The local shepherds brought sheep so family and friends give gifts to contribute to cost of raising baby Jesus. The giving of gifts is popular in so many cultures including gifts of clothes, shoes, fabrics, foodstuffs, some donate time and money to help out. Others visit the family to bring unique gifts from exotic places to bring awareness of the world. 5508df5cd97c0-girl-unhappy-with-present-s3Gifts have become a part and parcel of Christmas celebration season so many scramble to finish the holiday shopping before big day. While some put thought into finding the perfect gift others leave it last-minute by grabbing whatever is available. This means those looking for gifts often try to find out the best items suitable to each person to surprise them. Others do last-minute holiday gifts, than find the inspiration from gift guides or the mall displays. The 4 types of gifts according to science best given this year and three you should not give.Sad-Child-Christmas.jpg

Don’t how off flashy gifts

Most admit giving gift based on person’s interest from clearance sales research suggests it’s the item so not the price tag that matters. Other gift-givers say their choices are better if more expensive but research published in the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology did not back that. No clear correlation between present price and recipient satisfaction.

Don’t Give Gift for others

Giving a charitable donation for friends or family member’s seem like a perfect gift: Spending goes to a worthy cause so recipient gets gift they feel good about. A 2015 study published in the journal: Organizational Behavior and Human Decisions, disputes that theory. Close friends, family members appreciate a responsible gift, researchers find casual acquaintances feel slighted because the selection focuses “on symbolic meaning of gift,” rather than on the recipient.sad_child_empty_stocking_medium

Don’t: Dress Up Bad Gift.

If a gift is unsuitable it may be tempting to overcompensate with big bows, fancy wrapping paper but data from Yale’s Association for Consumer Research says strategy may backfire. When people get a gift liked, researchers find attractive trappings slightly enhanced experience. If gift is unsatisfactory science research documentary says purposes wrapping worsened recipients’ perception of the gift because expectations didn’t match reality. It is even worse when the giver can afford the most luxurious presents for themselves and scraps for others.

Give Gifts People want

A study published in the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology found gift-givers overestimate the impact of a surprise gift. The study showed people appreciate the gifts specifically asked for than unsolicited presents. So make your life easy to stick to their list.

Do: Pick a gift card.

Gift cards surveys have found they’re actually popular among gift recipients. A survey conducted by the National Retail Federation, they were the most requested gift. So some keep it simple as other research has found people are perfectly happy to receive cash as a gift.

Give Appropriate Gifts 134127111

A series of studies published in Journal of Experimental Social Psychology found recipients prefer gifts that reflect own interests and hobbies. Researchers found “givers and receivers report greater feelings of closeness to a giver when gift reflects giver’s and receiver’s mutual deep interests. Among favourite gifts are Sharing favorite book garment or keepsake with a loved one, makes strongest impact in the long run.

Give gifts that last longer

Quality long-lasting gift items that meet needs like kitchen gadgets or wardrobe, staples, gifts shows in a study published in Current Directions in Psychological Science people prefer present to use for months and years than gifts that makes statement right away but useless.MAIN-Christmas-gifts

What To Do With Unwanted Gifts

If possible, smile kindly and politely and remember it is the thought that counts. Wait a few days and quietly pass gift on to others. Do not to look at annoying gift in misery. Negotiate with store if there is a receipt and the packaging intact for refund or exchange with another item. Buy a similar or exact item if too small or too big then give gift away to charity. Do not offend giver by letting them know it is another item you paid for yourself. If an understanding person first thank them, appreciate gift before complaining about shape or size if gift is unsuitable or useless to you.celebrate-the-gift-of-jesus-christmas-presentation-for-congregation-3-728Jesus-Perfect-Gift6439651153_347574b8e7_bIMG_20171227_0016048df7b55e0d62ef4d40583dc2fef94b6f--christmas-poems-christmas-things102d3ca895dd94e9c1ab973ce2778325--christmas-quotes-christmas-time

If not a meaningful gift to you let giver explain intention and reason for a gift. At times, you may not immediately see a value of a gift until years later when you understand life better. So let giver explain choice, size, colour, preference, if already owns too many, swap item together in a shop. It is not necessary to blame or take offence to put anger on a giver for your disappointment. It is also important to realise nobody is perfect. People may not fully know you well enough to read your mind so tell them or write down gift to understand you better. If a person cannot afford a gift you like do not use it to blackmail them. Realise it is not good to live above your means in debt for the rest of your life for moments happiness. A person’s life, real true identity, innerself strength comes from within as Jesus said. Do not measure your standard of living by gifts you receive or give to others. the-best-gift-at-christmas-is-easy-to-see-its-not-wrapped-in-paper-or-under-the-tree-cos-the-best-gift-at-christmas-and-all-the-year-through-is-having-someone-as-special-as-youYou are the best Christmas present from God so be happy and reason for giving gifts is to bring happiness, joy and love, help to others not for selfish reasons. So remember Jesus said it is better to give than to receive. The most sentimental gifts are unique, one of a kind, made by you so do not necessarily cost money. Think of gifts to help ease the burdens of others like helping them shop, clean, do laundry if unwell or unable to do so due to health, disability. Regift the gifts to other people through online freebies in Gumtree by sharing or exchanging them. If giving food gift ensure dietary needs, allergies taken into consideration to understand religious restrictions not to cause offence by good intentions. And vegans or some vegetarians do not eat food containing animal products leather or pork so be aware when giving gifts. Above all do remember that Christmas is about love of God to celebrate Jesus Christ not just swapping material gifts. Love and appreciate your gift in Christ.

EXPELLED FOR HUGGING?

The 16-year-old who was expelledAn Indian teenager was expelled from school for hugging a schoolmate after a stage performance in a play. The 16-year-old boy said its congratulatory with no other motive behind it. This hug between 2 teenagers in southern India snowballed into a national controversy after their school expelled them for a “public display of affection.” The BBC’s Ashraf Padanna spoke to them. After she had sung on stage in a competition at St Thomas Central School in Kerala, the 15-year-old asked her friend, a boy of 16, how she had done. He hugged her, congratulating her on the performance. The hug lasted for a second or two, said girl who did not want to be in a photo. 1cff2fa1a1c4dde739eea72ab350b6fe

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no_pda_-_playbuzz-dot-com.width-800There were lots of students and teachers around and did not feel did anything wrong. One of the teachers reportedly complained to the principal and, in the girl’s words, “all hell broke loose. “The following day, on 22 July, the pair were suspended indefinitely. Four months later on 22 November the boy expelled. Neither was named in media. Schooling is about reformation of child,” principal Sebastian T Joseph told the BBC. “Was given him chance to apologise but told parents did nothing wrong. So boy said he apologised “immediately.” Girl never rejoined school because according to a school record she was not enrolled. She recently moved from Dubai, where her father was working so joined St Thomas school in June. The paperwork related to her admission was incomplete when the hug sparked a furore. Both students were asked to appear at a disciplinary committee school formed to investigate the “charges against them.”The St Thomas Central School

The school drew criticism for decision to expel the students for hugging. The BBC has a copy of a charge sheet drafted by the school accusing the two students of engaging in “indecent, immoral and undisciplined public display of affection in front of other students and teachers. It alleges their personal blogs Instagram accounts included the “conversations and photographs” of “intimate, explicit, vulgar, obscene, objectionable.” And as  Instagram account is private followers see stories,” the boy told BBC. “There’s nothing vulgar or obscene as mentioned in charge sheet.” He said he responded to the allegations by explaining the hug was congratulatory so no other motive was behind it. The girl said committee members had copies of photos they had posted on Instagram and called them abusive names. “An official on the panel called her a bitch in heat,” she said. And by time committee found them “guilty” already missed 4 months of school.School children in Kerala

The girl said the school has violated her right to education. During that time, the boy’s parents appealed to Kerala child rights commission, which ordered the school to revoke suspension. But school petitioned the Kerala high court, which upheld order expelling the boy on the grounds that the school had the right to protects its “standard and reputation.” His parents waiting for court to reopen after annual Christmas vacation so they can appeal. “We are pinning our hopes on the judiciary,” said the boy’s father, who has not been working since his son was suspended so he could be home to sort out problem to support his son. He said school officials were not among his son’s or girl’s followers on Instagram he alleged, they somehow saw the photos, made copies and submitted it in court. It seems they were snooping on them?” he asked, adding they would raise the issue of privacy in court. His wife’s concern is their son will miss exams at end of the year, which would affect his chances at gaining admission into college since this is his final year of schooling. Yet the boy has not attended school 4 months now.The 16-year-old who was expelled

School authorities told BBC they allowed the boy to transfer to another school so central education board independent body decides if he appears for exam. In the mean time, the school is criticised for being peculiar with harsh response. On Thursday, the boy received a letter from principal inviting him to meet on 3 January to re-examine “issue.” The girl’s situation is unclear. Her parents are not sure if they will approach court. Although she doesn’t want to continue studying at St Thomas school, she said she hopes they will let her write annual exam so she doesn’t lose a whole year. “I want to study on a better campus in a safer environment, where they won’t treat you in a demeaning manner,” she added. She said she already applied to another school but denied admission because of the “incident.” St Thomas school ‘violated’ my right to education and my right to privacy,” she said. The school policy must boldly print notice on all school walls warning pupils: NO BODY CONTACT BETWEEN PUPILS OR THE STAFF UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES IN BOLD CAPITAL LETTERS IN SCHOOL ADMISSION LETTERS, BILL BOARD ADVERTS IN CORRIDORS, ON STAGE, IN SCHOOL POLICY NO HUGGING, NO KISSING, NO DATING IN THE SCHOOL PREMISES. NO PUBLIC DISPLAY OF AFFECTION IS ALLOWED.House-Rules_girlsln some societies hugs, kisses show love and public display of affection so in Europe it is acceptable. Though it may seem callous or cold some people in other places are not encouraged to show or demonstrate affection publicly as proof of love. Films inundate children with romantic love without teaching intimacy is a private sacred matter though on bill boards. So children see one thing displayed by the adult world without WARNING NOTICE banning public display of affection. The solution publish school posters to train, instruct pupils in advance to pay more attention when out and about in foreign countries. The liberal views of Europe is forbidden in strict countries so officially in beaches or pubs, restaurants, Temple among others you cannot hug even your wife, husband or own family members in mentioned public places. This must be understood to comply in context of each country or community.  There are unwritten rules for not leaving children home alone yet free to meet up in parks with friends among drug dealers, total strangers. Ask about the rules of each country, do not assume dating rules are the same or acceptable in all countries. Including office behavioural conduct in workplace rules, interactions between men and women. So do not rely sorely on online opinions to make the personal decisions in life. Be careful even if your spouse when abroad on holidays.holding_hands_prohibited2

 

 

 

 

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Pupils must be taught again and again high values of sacredness of intimacy so not to copy or mimic actors hired to play happy family in TV drama. This generation is bombarded by seductive images on TV, adverts, soap operas and magazines targeting them. They lack a FRONTAL CORTEX brain to understand adult world and fantasy in films. Many look for friendship in each other but do not know STI risks and consequences of intimacy. The world misleads teenagers at 16 years old they are adults free to date and indulge in sex with consent in a relationship. So schools must educate children that real relationship is hard work and requires support of FAMILY and friends or loved ones, it’s not secret online chat between bored teenagers. Education policy must redress the mixed message to teenagers on one hand they are adults free to have intimacy by law yet schools expel them for ‘dating.’ So world confuses teenagers and parents have moral duty to care as primary carers to honestly teach or talk about appropriate messages on proper intimacy without embarrassment. It is better to teach teenagers NOT TO BE naive and ignorant of consequences of actions modelled on a fantasy TV acting or chatroom prowls unaware of danger lurking online. Proper education is the key to teach them in early years from 5 years onwards repeated again again.

 

RELAX & ENJOY CHRISTMAS

BanDtmdIAAAqQ9GRelax and enjoy Christmas as a time of year to recount your blessings and to celebrate Jesus. Remember to thank God for sustaining your life and providing for you throughout the years. Enjoy this time of year which puts much pressure on people to spend more than ever. It is a good time to reflect and take stock of the year to assess what worked well and how to improve life next year. christmas2Above all it is good to keep in mind that Christmas is about love and the birth of Jesus Christ to save mankind. The whole world takes time to celebrate Jesus and give thanks to God for our families and our friends. Enjoy without fussing over the perfectionist details and obsessing over materialistic image, instead value the joyful festive season and be grateful and thankful for life itself. As the world gets worse it is necessary to appreciate favour of God not just material details. Christmas Day can be very difficult day for young care-leavers,” Sissay says.“For some going home for Christmas, painful and there’s arguments and dysfunction. There are young people with nowhere to go feeling sad on their own that day so feel a greater sense of loss. “It’s about making people smile to let them know they matter especially on that day.”

1400975012648So many people are homeless, or live in squalor, poor, cannot afford privilege of safe environment, in dangerous region of war zones. Thank God for the Prince of Peace Jesus and do not hurt family or friends and colleagues over your selfish bizarre stubborn behaviours that ruins the festive season. The weather affects some so can trigger unusual reactions too. With abundant alcohol and substance use can get some situations out of hand. Yet the purpose of Chtistmas is to bring joy to the world, goodwill and peace on earth. Human relations are challenged as families out of touch assemble under one roof with many shenanigans. And emotions and feeling severely tested it is good to hold tongue for sake of comprise and peace. Woman-wrapping-gifts_cejaisFun-ways-to-wrap-gifts.jpgAsk for help or advise if not sure about presents or gifts to give each person as Jesus received gifts relating to his life, call and destiny. Gifts must be relevant and meaningful to the receiver not just what you insist on giving them whether they like or want it or not. Remember the golden rule of gifts to yourself and how it makes you feel. Be kind-hearted especially with the innocent children around do not to ruin the day for them. If physically present be a part of family or rather stay distant and send presents.Dear-Tired-Mama-Its-Time-to-Relax-and-Enjoy-Christmas-1 instead of stressing all. Some might cite Christmas as a cause of breakdown of a family and their marriage. By fighting each year over Christmas among other issues toxic relationships can reach the tipping point at that time. Yet those who listen, change, adapt to enjoy Christmas but the stubborn ones continue ruining it for loved ones. Without an awareness over behaviour that the obsession with achieving that one, symbolic or perfect family causes misery not merriment. In the Bible, Jesus said in Luke 12:15, Take care and be on your guard against all covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in abundance of possessions.

407d518n663One person described themselves as a tyrant in family festive season. Fretting over every last detail for weeks ahead in a bid to make it all extra special. And refusing to delegate anything even the decorating of the tree or laying the table since none else ever got things right in their opinion. Determined everything goes according to their plans only as the control freaks the atmosphere in family home is more fearful than festive. So it seems more like a dictator than a Father Christmas sharing love, joy, happiness and kindness. Looking back, realised its not worth fussing over nitty gritty silly unnecessary details so enjoy Christmas. 

RETURNED CHIBOK WOMEN

_92117174_yola_afpThank God that the long-expected good news happened concerning some Chibok girls, turned women’s return. Some freed or escaped back in education. But one had amputated limb and was walking with crutches, an injury sustained, according to what Mr Mustapha was told, during the Nigerian military air strikes against Boko Haram. The girls all ran with joy when told, “You are free today,” said Mr Mustapha to the 82 women after all the names were called out. They all smiled he said, despite a subdued reaction as a result of the presence of the militants all armed with guns or in army camouflage uniforms and boots. Mr Mustapha took some photographs with the women._96078257_chibokhi039356204 The militant’s video camera recorded events and ICRC vehicles eventually arrived. So told to go to cars they ran, Mr Mustapha said. Immediately they entered vehicles, they started singing for joy. Some shed tears.” Mr Mustapha received a number of accolades for his work with Future Prowess School. He was a finalist for the 2016 Robert Burns humanitarian award given to those who save, improve enrich the lives of others or society as a whole, through self-sacrifice, selfless service, hands-on charitable or volunteer work, or other acts”. He was also given a 2017 Aurora Prize Modern Day Hero award for those whose “life actions guarantees the safe existence of others.” _96078650_chibokhi039356085He said handing over the 82 freed girls to Nigerian government is “the highest point in my life felt he did something worth saying to the world that I have done this,” he said. But in the series of letters from African journalist Adaobi Tricia Nwaubani this happiness is tainted with the sadness as some Chibok women are yet to return, or refuse to return or even go back after being freed. Looking at why some Nigerian women have gone back to the militant Islamists who abducted them is very complex and puzzling to many people. _92110166_reutersWhen news emerged that some Chibok schoolgirls, abducted by Boko Haram in 2014, had declined to return home with the batch of 82 freed in May, the world found it difficult to believe. Not even the release of a Boko Haram video showing some hijab-clad, Kalashnikov wielding girls saying they were happy in their new lives, was enough to convince the people. “They must have been coerced,” some said. “It is Stockholm syndrome,” others said. What else explains why any girl or woman, would choose to remain with such horrible men? Yet, some of the women rescued by the Nigerian military from captivity are willingly returning to Boko Haram’s Sambisa forest hideout in north-eastern Nigeria to be with these same horrible men.map

‘Fairytale life’

In January, I met Aisha Yerima, 25, who was kidnapped by Boko Haram more than four years ago. While in captivity, she got married to a commander who showered her with romance, expensive gifts and Arabic love songs. A fairytale life in the Sambisa forest she described was suddenly cut short by appearance of the Nigerian military in early 2016, at a time her husband went off to battle with other commanders. When she first interviewed Aisha, in the government custody for eight months she completed a de-radicalisation programme run by psychologist Fatima Akilu, the executive director of the Neem Foundation and founder of the Nigerian government’s de-radicalisation programme. “I now see that all the things Boko Haram told us were lies,” Aisha said. “Now, when I listen to them on the radio, I laugh.”

The pull of power?

A handout picture released by the Nigerian Army shows an insurgents' camp being destroyed by Nigerian military in the Sambisa forest (archive pic)Image copyrightEPA Image captionThe Nigerian military have been battling Boko Haram since 2009. But, in May, less than five months after being released into the care of her family in north-eastern Maiduguri city, she returned to the forest hideout of Boko Haram. The past five years, Dr Akilu worked with former Boko Haram members including some commanders, their wives and children and with hundreds of women who were rescued from captivity. “How women were treated when in Boko Haram captivity depends on which camp a woman was exposed to. It depends on the commander running the camp,” she said. “Those who were treated better were ones who willingly married Boko Haram members or who joined the group voluntarily and that’s not the majority. Most women did not have the same treatment.” _97056835_blurredAisha had boasted about the number of slaves she had while in the Sambisa forest, the respect she received from other Boko Haram commanders, and the strong influence she had over her husband. She even accompanied him to battle once. “These were women who for the most part had never worked, had no power, no voice in the communities, and all of a sudden they were in charge of between 30 to 100 women who were now completely under their control and at their beck and call,” Dr Akilu said. “It is difficult to know what to replace it with when you return to society because most of the women are returning to societies where they are not going to be able to wield that kind of power.”_96080364_mediaitem96080363

Still in shock

Apart from loss of power, other reasons Dr Akilu believes could lead women to willingly return to Boko Haram include stigmatization from a community which treats them like pariahs because of their association with militants, and tough economic conditions. Dealing with the aftermath of release is a struggle for some of those who were abducted. The “De-radicalisation is just one part of it. Reintegration is a part of it. Some have no livelihood or a support built around them, Dr Akilu said. The kind of support in de-radicalisation programmes does not follow them up when they leave. So come out successful in de-radicalisation programmes but struggle in community and it is that struggle that leads them to go back. Recently, visited Aisha’s family, still in shock at her departure, worried about her wellbeing.Chibok schoolgirls are reunited with their families in Abuja20/05/2017 Image copyrightREUTERSImagecaption. Her mother, Ashe, recalls at least seven former Boko Haram “wives” she knew, all friends of her daughter, who had returned to the Sambisa forest long before her daughter did. “Each time one of them disappeared, her family came to our house to ask Aisha if she heard from their daughter,” she said. That’s how I knew. Some women kept in touch with Aisha after they returned to Boko Haram. Her younger sister, Bintu, was present during at least two phone calls. “They told her to come and join them but she refused,” Bintu said. “She told them she didn’t want to go back.”

Life on track?

Unlike some of the former Boko Haram “wives” met, who are either struggling to survive harsh economic conditions or dealing with stigma, Aisha’s life seemed to be on track. She was earning money by buying and selling fabric, regularly attending social events and then posting photos of herself all primped up on the social media, and had a string of suitors. “At least five different men wanted to marry her,” her mother said, pointing out that there could be no greater form of acceptance shown to a woman, and presenting this as evidence that her daughter faced no stigma whatsoever from the community. “One of the men lives in Lagos. She was thinking of marrying him,” she said._90811551_nigeria_portharcourt_adamawa_borno464But, everything went awry when Aisha received yet another phone call from the women who had returned to the forest, informing her that her Boko Haram “husband” was now with a woman who had been her rival. From that day, the vivacious and gregarious Aisha became a recluse. “She stopped going out or talking or eating,” Bintu said. “She was always sad.” Two weeks later, she left home and did not return. Some of her clothes were missing. Her phones were switched off. She took the 2 year-old son fathered by commander in the Sambisa forest, but left the older one she had with husband she divorced before her abduction. “De-radicalisation is complicated by the fact that we have an active, ongoing insurgency. In cases where a group has reached settlement with the government and laid down their arms, it is easier,” Dr Akilu said. “But, when you have fathers, husbands, sons still in the movement, they want to be reunited, especially women.” Asta, another former Boko Haram “wife”, told me that she has heard of many women returning to the group, but has no plans to do so herself. However, the 19-year-old described how terribly she misses her husband, and how keen she is to hear from him and to be reunited with him. She insisted that she would not return to the forest, not even if he were to ask her. “I will tell him to come and stay here with us and live a normal life,” she said. But as with Aisha, the desire to be with the man she yearns for may turn out to be more compelling for Asta than the aversion to a group responsible for the deaths of thousands of people in north-east Nigeria, and for the displacement of millions who are struggling to survive in refugee camps.


More from Adaobi Tricia Nwaubani:Adaobi Tricia NwaubaniImage ADAOBI TRICIA NWAUBANI


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