Adonis Diaries

Archive for August 2019

What are these ridiculous claims that we are an “Arabic” nation or an Islamic nation?

There are sections in Lebanon (mostly Christian Maronite) advancing the French mandatory alternative of a “Phoenician” ancestors.  Currently, there are Lebanese testing their blood for DNA evidences of any physical “Phoenician inheritance“. It appears, mostly the Lebanese living in south Lebanon have traces of Phoenician ancestry.

A few are wary that they won’t be found to have any Phoenician stain, strain and be caste off as “strangers”.  What a load of crap.

The Phoenicians ruled the Mediterranean Sea in 1,200 BC and the string of their City-States (Byblos, Beirut, Saida, Tyre, Arwaad…) extended from southern Turkey, Syria, Lebanon, up to Haifa in Palestine.

The Phoenicians were famous for maritime trade and commerce and established many trading centers around the Sea, North Africa, Spain, Portugal, France, Italy, Sicily, Greece and most islands.

The written language has been around for 3,000 years, but the Phoenicians in the City-State of Byblos are credited for inventing the alphabet (currently in use with slight modifications.)

Before the Phoenicians and afterward, the Near East region of the Mediterranean (Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, and Palestine) has been invaded by a dozen warrior empires, and many invaded us repeatedly.

For example, the empires in Iraq (Akkad, Babylon, Assyria), Egypt, Persia under various dynasties (at least four of them), Greece, Roman, Byzantium, Arabic, Ottoman, and finally the colonial powers of France and Britain.

All these warrior empires didn’t build anything worth showing as representative of civilization, until they invaded our region and rounded off and hoarded the educated and master craftsmen to their capitals.

We are a region of multiple identities if we have to rely on occupation empires.

How about we identify with education and craftsmanship?  I love this identity.

Let us focus on affordable efficient schooling system; let us encourage technical and craftsmanship schooling system; let us focus on building commercial ships; let us invest in railways and fast communication facilities; let us open up to knowledge facilities all over the world.

I love this identity; let us get to work and planning.

Another sections of Lebanese, mostly Muslim-Sunnis, would like to have an Arabic identity and pushing it too far to claiming that we are from the Arabic Peninsula. Are we Arabs?  What that means?

The Islamic “Arabic” army, led by Arabic nomadic Peninsula “generals”, which came to fight the Byzantium Empire and later the Persian Empire barely numbered 7,000 men of war.  The other three-forth of the army that backed and supplemented the “Arabic army” was constituted from people and tribes living in Syria, Iraq, and Jordan wanting to defeat the Byzantium unforgiving Orthodox Church and domination.

How can we be descendant of the sparsely populated Arabic Peninsula?

The “Arabic identity” group would claim that our culture and civilization is Islamic Arabic. How that?

The cultural development during the Arabic Empire was shouldered by the scholars in Syria, Iraq, and Iran and they were mostly Christians. They would like to rely on the Arabic language as basis for our identity.  Excellent idea.

Let us prove that the Arabic language is a viable foundation; let us infuse a new spirit in that dying language; let us translate the worthy manuscripts; let us invent new terms that have no religious connotation and spread the Arabic language as a universal language, valid to sustaining modern civilization with fresh brains and advanced sciences and technologies.  I will be for it and will support it vehemently.

There are other factions wanting to claim that we are Muslims.  How about the dozen minority religious sects?  Are we to agree on a theocratic identity?

Turkish Ataturk cancelled the caliphate in 1925 and there is no caliphate anymore, anywhere.  Tiny Lebanon has 19 recognized self-autonomous religious communities running our civil life.  Let us get real.

A theocratic State will never pass and will never find unity for identity.

Should we hide behind a reality of disparate communities to establish the concept of plurality community government?  Should 19 wrong identities constitute a valid identity?

What we need is to be unified under the banners of civil rights, human rights, sustainable environment, equitable and fair election laws and regulations, civil marriage, linked to fast communication technologies, access to social platforms, freedom of expression, laws not discriminating among genders, versatile opportunities to jobs and expertise, affordable education system, national health system…

What we need is to unify against any State invading our borders, bombing our infrastructure, humiliating us, destabilizing our society and economy.  

What we need is to unify against any political current that has proven to working against democratic representations, racial demagoguery, sectarian political ideology.

 

 

Impressions from Bruges~

by ~mimo~

 

The greatest part of living in Europe is the proximity of different cities with their varied history and culture and if you enjoy photography and travel as I do, then magic is just a few hours away.

Now being back home in Germany, the short journey feels like a pleasant dream added to my visual diary of this amazing world we live in.

The greatest part of living in Europe is the proximity of different cities with their varied history and culture and if you enjoy photography and travel as I do, then magic is just a few hours away.

Now being back home in Germany, the short journey feels like a pleasant dream added to my visual diary of this amazing world we live in.

 

 

SURGERY WITHOUT ANESTHESIA

Can “Feeling good day” justify incompetence?

“My husband says a conversation with Dan is like surgery without anesthesia.” (During a birthday party for a long-time coaching client.)

People don’t tell leaders the truth. They imagine what you want to hear and tell you that. They want to:

  1. Protect feelings. Feeling good justifies incompetence – when feelings rule the day.
  2. Shield status, both yours and theirs. You don’t bring up the frailties of the queen to her face, especially if she signs your paycheck.
  3. Ingratiate themselves. Power invites groveling from those who seek personal advantage.
  4. Avoid conflict.

Conflict avoidance people:

#1. Change the subject.

When you ask a question, people answer a different question. You might ask, “Do you think I’m too blunt?” The answer, “I think you’re kind.”

#2. Ignore issues.

It’s easier to turn your head than to bring up a tough issue.

When was the last time a team member brought up YOUR poor performance?

#3. Withdraw.

The people you need to hear – front-line employees – are avoiding you.

The person with high position is responsible to move first. You go to them. They won’t come to you.

Self-surgery:

What are you NOT doing that might have negative consequences? Stop blaming and take responsibility.

What are you doing that makes it difficult for people to speak hard truths?

How might you seek input and feedback?

How has input from others caused you to adapt the way you think about yourself?

Illustration:

A coaching client shared what he planned to say to his board. When he was done, I said, “You’re better than that. Let’s try again.”

People rise to challenges.

Encouragement matters. But you go further if you occasionally hear hard truths.

What might leaders do to better hear the truth about themselves?

Bonus material:

The more people prepare for your visit, the more lies you hear. Everyone’s office is clean. The ‘little people’ smile and bow until you leave.

9 Things You Should Know About Liars (Science of People)

How to Tell if Someone is Lying to You, According to Body Language Experts (Time)

Tidbits and comments

Soil is being lost at a rate 10 to 100 times faster than it is being replenished.

Is it the end of the road for the Volkswagen Beetle? Victim of the growing SUV and crossover market?

A scientist baked bread with 5,000-year-old yeast found in ancient Egyptian ceramics. The yeast was more active, and the bread smelled like caramel.

From virtual reality, 3D printing to nanotechnology and advanced robotics, the line between the physical and digital worlds is blurring.

“With clowns you always laugh, and laughter is very beneficial in terms of letting people relax and accept whatever is coming their way. And then hope, because clowns fall, they stand up and try again, and there is always hope in whatever we do.”

In around 200 BC, a bunch of “Jewish scholars” decided to create a history for the bedwin Jews. They wrote an amalgamation of old stories of the neighboring people, along with a bunch of “prophets” and attributed to them a few sayings. Since then, millions are disseminating these myths and faked news on social media. Discussion is pointless with these current “scholars”

In 1860, Giovanni Caselli presents Napoleon III with the “pantelegraph“, the precursor to Fax Machine.” French and Russian leaders put it to use, but the Franco-Prussian War of 1870 destroys the telegraph lines.

“Japan ideograph language provided the demand for fax machine, and manufacturing expertise in consumer electronics provided the supply,” Jonathan Coopersmith, a historian at Texas A&M University, writes in Faxed: The Rise and Fall of the Fax Machine.

It’s the little compromises around people that we cannot function without, and that corrupt institutions add value to the what we seek to create.

Why the most brutal of Olympics sport, the boxing, doesn’t have sensors for scoring as Tak Wan Dou?
The 3 judges role would be to add a few points on fitness and techniques on the sky rocketing total score.

A black hole devoured a neutron star. For the first time, scientists have detected gravitational waves that may have originated from one such collision.

Late Milton Friedman wrote in the 1970s  argued that business leaders who talked about corporate social responsibility, ending discrimination, or curbing pollution were “preaching pure and unadulterated socialism.” His theory made shareholder primacy the rule for generations of executives, held that businesses only needed to fulfill their duty to provide profit to shareholders. Supposedly, Free markets would look after everything else. Except the free markets didn’t hold up their end of the bargain.

This week, the Business Roundtable issued a new definition of the purpose of a company that places responsibilities to customers, employees, suppliers, communities, and the environment on par with the responsibility to shareholders.

Is the cult of productivity killing productivity? Is the cult of constant Growth killing a sustainable environment?

“Courage” is being adopted as a promotional quality for minimum-wage positions, like serving cheeseburgers?. Then, is there any job that would Not require courage to waste your time and energy on?

Whether Americans wish to admit it or not, the US continues to be shaped by the legacy of its slave trade, which began in 1619. Actually, the US colonies took arms against the British to keep their slave trade and laws.

Business Jargon

By Max Mallet, Brett Nelson and Chris Steiner

The next time you feel the need to reach out, touch base, shift a paradigm, leverage a best practice or join a tiger team, by all means do it.

Just don’t say you’re doing it.

If you have to ask why, chances are you’ve fallen under the poisonous spell of business jargon.

No longer solely the province of consultants, investors and business-school types, this annoying gobbledygook has mesmerized the rank and file around the globe.

Jargon masks real meaning,” says Jennifer Chatman, management professor at the University of California-Berkeley’s Haas School of Business. “People use it as a substitute for thinking hard and clearly about their goals and the direction that they want to give others.”

To save you from yourself (and to keep your colleagues and customers from strangling you), we have assembled a cache of expressions to assiduously avoid.

Glossary: The Most Annoying Business Jargon

We also assembled a “Jargon Madness” bracket—similar to the NCAA college basketball tournament—featuring 32 abominable expressions.

Each day, for 32 days, readers will get to vote, via Twitter, on one matchup. The goal: to identify the single most annoying example of business jargon and thoroughly embarrass all who employ it and all of those other ridiculous terms, too.

In the meantime, here are some of the worst offenders Forbes has identified over the years. For a full list of 45, click here.

Core Competency

This awful expression refers to a firm’s or a person’s fundamental strength—even though that’s not what the word “competent” means.

“This bothers me because it is just a silly phrase when you think about it,” says Bruce Barry, professor of management at Vanderbilt’s Owen Graduate School of Business. “Do people talk about peripheral competency?  Being competent is not the standard we’re seeking.  It’s like core mediocrity.”

Buy-In

This means agreement on a course of action, if the most disingenuous kind. Notes David Logan, professor of management and organization at the University of Southern California’s Marshall School of Business:

“Asking for someone’s ‘buy-in’ says, ‘I have an idea.  I didn’t involve you because I didn’t value you enough to discuss it with you.  I want you to embrace it as if you were in on it from the beginning, because that would make me feel really good.’”

S.W.A.T. Team

In law enforcement, this term refers to teams of fit men and women who put themselves in danger to keep people safe. “In business, it means a group of ‘experts’ (often fat guys in suits) assembled to solve a problem or tackle an opportunity” says USC’s Logan. An apt comparison, if you’re a fat guy in a suit.

I had a colleague at a recent job that used pretty much all of these expressions. The missing term here is “added value,” which is to say that we could do something of value, but through the subjective judgement of a boss, it’s not valuable enough to justify doing something. It’s a passive-aggressive way of telling somebody, “I’m the boss and you’re not going to work on that,” without having to own up to it.

Check out the results of our Forbes “Jargon Madness” bracket.

The precarious existence of human species

A few conditions for the emergence of our species.

Observers have identified two dozen fortunate breaks we have had on Earth to create just the living organism. Not to mention the hundreds of conditions for the formation of human species that is Not within this scope.

If the Sun was larger, it would have exhausted its fuel before Earth could be formed because the larger the star the more rapidly it burns.

If we were two light minutes closer to the Sun we would be like planet Venus that cannot sustain life; Venus surface temperature is 470 degrees Celsius and all its water has evaporated driving hydrogen away into space.

If we were 1% further from the Sun we would be like frozen Mars.

If our core didn’t contain molten liquid we would not have magnetism to protect us from cosmic rays.

If our tectonic plates didn’t collide to produce more gases and continually renew and rumple the surface with mountains then we would be under 4,000 meters of water.

If our moon was not large enough, one fourth the size of Earth, then Earth would be wobbling like a dying top with unstable climate and weather. It is to be noted that the Moon is slipping away at a rate of 4 centimeters a year, relinquishing its gravitational hold.

If comets didn’t strike Earth to produce the Moon or asteroid to wipe out the Dinosaurs, or

If we didn’t enjoy enough stability for a long time, human would not be what they are.

The critical mind of Voltaire could summarize an entire philosophical book into a sentence

I just read a tiny story called “Micromegas” of 15 pages that condensed Voltaire highly critical mind.

In short, two men from far away stellar systems, both at least a mile tall and can live over 10,000 years and are endowed with 3 dozen sensory organs… and still Not satisfied and banned from their huge planet, still worried about the nature of their souls…). They haphazardly landed on earth, after boarding comets and earth arboreal light.

They had to look into a microscope to discover that these insects of humans do exist. The two men are interested in figuring out if these “insects” have soul and how different is their understanding of what is “The soul”.

At first, the giants were convinced that earth had no living creatures since they walked it quickly and crossed its shallow oceans without seeing anything that moves.

Actually the giants comprehended French but Not Greek to communicate with these French adventures in the North pole.

The giants discovered that these human insects have vast knowledge in geometry, algebra, and enough adequate instrument to measure their length and the circumference of earth and the distance to the sun…

“Since you know many things of what is external to you, how good are you in knowing what’s inside you?

One French in the boat described the state of human cruelty, of the perpetual wars among the human. Thousands in turbans, under a Sultan who never stepped out of his palace, massacre and burn villages of thousands of soldiers in metal headgear, under another king named Caesar or King and with different religious mythical ideology. And vice versa.

These human Princes are meant to eradicate the human species. Wars that will kill far more humans from famine and diseases for a piece of muddy land. Those barbarous urban oligarchies, who have never knew or seen who is being killed, keep thanking their Gods for their war achievement.

On the definitions of the Soul of a few philosophers of the period, such as Descartes, Leibniz, Locke…

One philosopher mentions Aristotle and his “entelechie”, a reason that extends the power to exist as is, and he quotes in Greek the definition, a language he doesn’t master, but he has to quote in order to impress.

The Descartes disciple claims that the soul is a pure spirit that is formed in the womb, but the person loses its meaning as he starts attending schools. It is then useless to have a soul if we end up totally ignorant about it, as we go on living. “And what you say about the spirit?” It is Not matter that can be divided and measured and described… “You can describe a few attributes of a matter, but do you know the deepest structure of any matter and the consequences of lacking of it?”

A Malebranche disciple claims that it is God that thinks and do everything for him and he doesn’t have to worry about anything. “Then there is no point for your existence”.

A disciple of the British Locke said: “I think only at the instigation of my senses. That there are immaterial and intelligent substances, I have no doubts about them. I hardly doubt that it is impossible for God can communicate spirit to material elements, if He wishes it. I contend that there are far more possible events that can occur and which I cannot think about or fathom…”

Among these insects, there was someone wearing a square bonnet (a Jesuit?) who vehemently repeated St. Thomas claim in the “Somme”:” Every thing in the sky and on earth were created for the humans”. The giants laughed their heart out and had a great moment on hearing this.

The giant from star Sirius decided to write a philosophical book, with as small characters as it was possible for him to reduce, and offered it to the human insects. The scholars at Paris Academy opened the book and discovered it was mostly blank.

Note: I will be reading Zadig by Voltaire and might review this other short story.

 

My bus tour experience in Turkey: 7 days in different hotels

I liked this bus tour and already missed this enduring vacation. I am looking forward to another bus tour to different regions in Turkey.

Note 1: I say it upfront that the worst parts in this tour is to “incarcerate” us in modern malls for 3 hours in each major city. These 5 unnerving visits highly upset me. Maybe many would like to visit a mall once or twice, but many of us would rather be in a zoo (if available) or a park with monster roller coasters., and would have settled for a place with babyfoot (fuzzball) , ping pong and dart throwing…..

We didn’t even visit any old souks where we could buy some items that peple back home wanted, like cotton abayaat and other exotic gifts.

My purpose of taking this “exhausting” trip was to test my endurance, hopefully for climbing the Himalayas (and I could take more physical traumas), but the repeated Malls visits took the wind out of my morale.

Note 2: There is no way to pay in other currencies but in Turkish Lira (TL) or credit cards. If you fail to exchange currencies you die of hunger since no shop would accept dollars or Euros: I think government restrictions are followed, except in touristic sites for buying gift. One person told me that he is using his credit cards for everything. Thus, once all my TL were spent, I bought a cologne bottle by credit for less than $3. And I kept using the card for eating.

Note 3: Truth is, none of the guides (Lebanese and Turkish) attempted to introduce us at the first meeting. I could have made this tour without knowing anybody if I didn’t force myself to introduce myself.

The introduction could be: “It is standard procedure to introduce ourselves at our first meeting, at least with our first name. If you feel uneasy, then say “pass” 

Actually, it was on the last day that I haphazardly knew that 2 groups were from my district and neighboring towns. Truth is that I felt alone most of the tour, like when I arrive early for breakfast /dinner, no one would join my table. And had to mingle without invitation.

Going out does barely change the habits of Not introducing ourselves: this habit of “tarkeez al tarboush”.

We landed in Izmir (Smyrna) on Monday morning around 11:30 am and had a “panoramic” tour around this big city of 3.5 million, stretched around an inlet of the sea. Izmir is an industrial city and the sea was badly polluted from former tanning factories and  is being cleaned up.

Smyrna was a destination to Athens philosophers’ (Protagoras and Anaxagoras) who were banned from the city, mostly  when condemned as heretics, and its close region of Milet by a river. It was a main province during the Farisi empire until Alexander defeated this empire. All the Greek city-states had trade contoires in this city in the antiquity,

We slept at the 5 stars Wyndham hotel and I enjoyed its indoor comprehensive spa.

It was the Adha Eid (the sacrifice in Muslim religion) and Turkish had vacation for 3 days and most businesses and pharmacies were closed. Many Lebanese take advantage to buy very urgent inexpensive drugs,  in large bundle, compared to Lebanon.

Once I entered a pharmacy with the group. I didn’t want to by anything. I inquired what kind of drug I should buy 3 years down the drain. I ended up settling for a B-complex vitamin bottle

We resumed to Ephesus and walked the vestiges of this vast ancient city. Apparently, the Austrian archaeologists barely excavated 10% in the last 100 years. When Austria will run out of funds, the German are in the list to continue the work.

The Turkish government reap the entrance fees without spending any money on the archaeology sites. It was hot and the sloping marble street was slippery and the tour was done quickly at my displeasure. Our Turkish guide for the tour was carrying a Turkish flag on a stick to follow. him I ended up following 3 different groups with guides holding the same flag.

One of the 7th most famous wonders in antiquity, the “Temple of Artemis”, is reduced to a single colon and badly repaired. Apparently, the Christians dismantled this “atheist” temple, as the Muslims later will dismantle Christian sites.

We resumed our drive to Meryemena on a hill, supposedly where Virgin Mary died, based on a dream from a bed-ridden German crippled woman. I strongly doubt this myth, since it was Not possible that Mary, who died at age 56, could reach this remote destination. The most plausible location is in actual Syria and on the seashore.

The next day we drove to Pamukkele and the Hieropark hotel. I enjoyed the open-air iron mud-like pool, watching as in the balcony the night entertainment of music and belly dancing. I then swam in the open-air pool and could Not share the belly dancer in my swimming trunk. I liked this supposed 4 stars hotel more than in the other hotels.

We visited the Roman ancient city of Hieropolis with chalk areas and spring pools and slippery low-level pools. A great visit. I think I experience a sudden kind of diarrhea and barely reached the far away WC. Excellent day to spend in that quaint town.

We resumed our trip to Konia, a 5 hours trip.  At one point I told the guide that there is urgency to stop at the first gas station and Not wait for the “programmed break”. I had to come forward twice for the guide to take my request seriously. Many stepped out of the bus and thanked me for my straightforward move.

The “program” made us visit the Mevlana Museum, a place where Imam Jalal El Din taught his students of dervishes. At night, a bunch of the group spent money to watch an hour of Whirling Dervishes. I had watched them in a TV documentary, which I had cut short. I didn’t like this Hilton hotel with its long corridors that reminded me of old hotel style.

The “program” wanted us to visit the Uchicar castle where disciple John was “buried’. I refused to visit this castle because it was apparent that its crumbling outside walls, haphazardly filled with little stones, were “renovated” with  plain sculpted stones. And it was hot and I was tired for these “archaeological” meandering.

The temple of Baalbak in Lebanon is far more majestic and far more ancient than any temple that exists or ever existed.

We proceeded to Cappadocia where over 150 flying hot balloons is performed about 250 mornings per year . The hot balloon morning was cancelled by the authority for climate  causes and reported for the next morning.

I also refused to share in that experience. 18 of our tour group were crammed in a single “nacel” but they experienced a wonderful event from up there. Our guide refused me to join the group, just to watch the frenetic preparation and procedure for the flight, a decision that has no reasonable foundation at all.

It seems that a ticket for a seat in a balloon is $50 if purchased in Turkey, instead of the $175. It was reported to me by one of the group when walking the main street in Cappadokya (as written in Turkey) , and being more curious than the rest of us. Obviously, if seats are “available”.

It is in this Goreme town that I got lost. The Turkish guide said that we will meet at a Chinese restaurant. I visited the first Chinese place and no one was there. I was told there were 8 other Chinese restaurants. One of them is across the main street, and it was closed. And I ended wandered around and checking on the other “closed” Chinese restaurants (probably they take siesta time?).

I got lost off the main street. Hard to find a Turkish speaking English or French or Arabic… I met a guy wearing a large back pack and speaks English  and he said he is a trekking person. He used his GPS but was of no help. After 30 minutes of walking I re-located the main street.

I was exhausted and it was hot and walked straight to the bus. It was locked. On my way back, I met 3 of our group and were urgently trying to locate a public WC. I told them there are none where they are searching. They ignored me.

I resumed my walk and sat in the first “restaurant” and ordered hot tea (chi) and used their WC.  One funny female member said: “So for ordering a hot tea you are waiting for another hour to go back to the bus?”

We visited several sites of these caves dug in the hills, like the Nevsehir valley, the Goreme Open Air Museum and the Red “canyon”. Our Turkish guide Levant flew his tiny drone to film the valley. I thought he was preparing a documentary on this area that he is most fond of. Apparently, Levant is a “professional” photographer and had exhibited some of his pictures in London.

We also visited this Kaymakliunderground city” of 4 levels, dug in a chain and series of caves and holes. Apparently, there are 8 more underground cities, one of them is of 13 floors deep. Most of them were excavated during the Hittite empire, 2000 years BC. Many claim that Christians at some periods inhabited these cities. I believe that these habitation were reserved for slaves and prisoners.

On Saturday we drove to Adana and were parked in a Ramada hotel, in the downtown, with no facilities, save a tiny gym.

A group were whisked to the Optimum Mall. Later, with nothing to do, I opted to walk 1.5 km to there and returned in the same bus at 8 pm.

A group paid $45 for dinner and for watching Turkish traditional dancing, an event that I opted to ignore: I prefer to participate in the dancing and Not sit and watch.

The group reported that they were invited to the dancing floor and many Spanish and Italians danced: a piece of news that I was not filled with, otherwise I would have shared in that event, instead of spending a much boring night. Actually, I planned to work on my laptop, but I could Not recharge it and the connection failed on me that night.

A video, shared to our Izmir group, showed one of our female members joining the belly dancer. In fact, she ignored the dancer and performed her our “choreography” and the official dancer had to step aside. Our group belly dancer added a section in her dance performance, bowed , bent over (mtayyazi) for a while.

I finished reading a book and then remembered that Maria, a young girl sitting behind me in the bus with her mother, initiated me to YouTube this day on the bus. I listened to 2 hours on these old musics of the 70’s.

On the bus that day, Maria connected me to the Rolling Stones at my request. I was so enthralled with the music that when the guide Natasha sounded on the micro: “I have something to say. Are you listening?” I removed one earplug and replied: “Only with one ear”

The next day we paid a visit to the marina in Mersin and I had bass fish with a large Efes beer.

Actually, two days ago, as we were roaming the streets of the town of Seljuk, in the Ephesus province, for a “free lunch”, meaning with our own money and I spent most of my TL on eating “for fee”, I patronized a small eating place and asked for a local Turkish beer. He suggested a very large bottle of Efes, claiming it was made in Seljuk. Later, the Turkish guide rectified: This beer is made in Istanbul.

We returned to Adana in order to fly from its tiny airport. But before that, we were parked in a mall to wait for 3 hours for the airport departure. That was a grueling ending for a good trip.

Our plane our delayed 2 hours because another plane was hired to pick us and the returning hajjis (pilgrims) from Mecca were hoarding all the available planes back to Lebanon.

My taxi driver had to take a nap in his car and I waited outside, hoping that he didn’t lose patience, but he showed after 15 min of worrisome wait.

(I learned later that mobile phones should be closed when boarding a plane to another country, otherwise, when we land we will not be able to receive contact on our mobile)

Note 4: This sentence “It is Not in the program” is what ire me most. In the last night of our tour, I suggested that all the group go to a club, a karioki club for example, and apply our talents in singing, dancing… The idea was good, but the guide replied: “This event is Not in the program”. We had a night off, even an afternoon off. What then? Extra expenses in gas bus? Extra expenses to the driver? Do you think anyone would Not have chipped in for the additional expenses? An event that would have gathered the group and had a great time to meet.

Note 5: Couples mostly remember to take a taxi to visit an old souk. But single people barely can come up with this ingenious idea. It is the guide responsibility to remind everyone of this possibility to schedule their “free time”.

Note 6: Asian tourists preceded us on every bus stop (break), every touristic sites, every hotel. They were from mainland China, Taiwan, Thailand, Singapore, and even from Kazakhstan (I spotted two goddesses of them and had to investigate their origin). Canadian Asians were there and who were transferred by their companies to Japan, Singapore… and they insisted 3 times that they are Canadians. All of these emerging countries with large middle-classes who are on the move

Note 7: We drove miles in rich fields, trees of all kinds, and fruit trees that have been harvested. A vast country of plenty in the valley between the Taurus mountain chains. And even the dry vast plateau of Konya, where barely a tree could be seen, the fields of cereals were harvested.

Maybe because of the Adha Eid or the fields were already harvested, I didn’t spot a farmer or an agricultural equipment working the land.  Turkey manufacture most of the kitchen industrial products and export them to the EU, products that Europe desisted from resuming production because of expensive workforce. Turkey has many carries, mostly for white marble and extensive construction works for new towns and new building. The guide told us that Turkish “construction companies” were exported to many countries, especially in Libya, Qatar and Asia neighboring countries such as Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan…

Note 8: This is an ongoing updated article. I asked members to add comments so that I make a comprehensive article, but no one contributed or responded. One member wrote that this was her worst vacation and she felt a total stranger among our group. Maybe her feeling is founded.

Lacking a National identity? Is it a big deal?

If almost all national identities everywhere were invariably built and sustained on myths, fabricated historical falsehood, faked stories and adventurer wars decided by the elite “old money”, the oligarch and feudal warlords, the religious clerics and dogmatic hubris…. Do we need to unite under such an identity?

What we need is to be unified under the banners of civil rights, human rights, sustainable environment, equitable and fair election laws and durable regulations,…

What we need is to be unified under the banners of civil marriage, linked to fast communication technologies, access to social platformsfreedom of expression, laws not discriminating among genders, versatile opportunities to jobs and to applying our expertise, affordable education system, national health system…

What we need is to be unified under the banners of caring for our elderly, hospice facilities, decent retirement packages…

What we need is to unify against any State invading our borders, bombing our infrastructure, humiliating us, destabilizing our society and economy, and blocking our daily trade and communication with neighboring countries.

What we need is to unify against any political current that has proven to work against democratic representations, imposing racial demagoguery on the Silent Majority, and disseminating sectarian political ideology.

What identity are we claiming?  

What nation has gained an identity without a strong army, multiple defeats, and suffered millions of soldiers fallen in battlefields, and million of peasants witnessing their home and crops burned, for fictitious claims?

Youth and the poorer classes were sacrificed to institute a Nation and were never taken seriously because they are viewed as just meat for the canon and a burden to a stable political system…

Even a “unified” language in any claimed “nation” was Not feasible barely a century ago.

Restricted communities feel comfortable within their customs, tradition and slang, and only the adventurous soul step out of the boundaries to transfer to urban metropolis and try to mingle with diverse life-styles and working habit.

 

What having Heart has to do with potential success?

The difference between average and extraordinary isn’t power or money – its heart.”

Failing is easy: You are chasing urgency and neglecting priorities.

By Dan Rockwell?

Success is found by passionately doing what matters most. The thing that matters most for leaders is building other leaders.

Who:

  1. Avoid Model T’s. Before driving a Model T you crank it to get it started. If you have to convince, cajole, or constantly crank someone to get them going, that’s all you’ll ever do. You’ll crank them – they’ll sputter – you’ll crank them again the next time. Failing is easy – spend your time cranking.
  2. Passion first. Find the most passionate people available and throw gas on their fire.
  3. Potential second. Potential seduces leaders who are dedicated to developing leaders. You see someone with talent, skills, and/or education and you start drooling like a dog at a dish. Potential apart from passion is constant frustration and ultimate disappointment.
  4. Respect matters. The more they respect you the more impact you’ll have.
  5. Practice trumps theory. Talking is useful but action matters most.Go with people prone to act.
  6. The sandbox principle. How well do they play with others?

The rule of the needle:

When it comes to people, there’s never perfect clarity regarding who to coach, mentor, and/or teach.

Ask yourself, “Are they passionate?” If the needle tips to yes, ask, “Do they have potential in this area?” If the answer is yes, ask, “Are they prone to action?” etc.

The needle determines what or who matters most. It doesn’t point to perfection or create certainty.

Waiting for certainty and perfection wastes time and stalls progress. The needle indicates likelihood of success.

How do you determine what matters most?

How do you identify people you plan to develop?

The difference between average and extraordinary isn’t power or money – its heart.”

“You’re a man with heart. I’m glad to know you.”

Heart means:

  1. Tender heart compassion. When I want to help someone in the community, Doug says, “How much do you need, Dan?”
  2. Truthful transparency. It takes confidence, self-awareness, and honesty to share true feelings.
  3. Profound commitment to service. Every person who fills out a customer complaint, and there aren’t many, gets a call from Doug.
  4. Dedication to people. He enjoys pointing out how long “his people” have been with him.
  5. High standards.
  6. Curiosity. It’s not unusual for Doug to say, “Dan, tell me about your blog.”
  7. Weaknesses. Doug doesn’t pretend he has it all together.

I’ve seen childlike enthusiasm twinkle in his eyes and heard flashes of frustration in his voice. It’s all heart.

People with heart: (From the LF facebook page).

  1. Admit their mistakes.
  2. Understand feelings.
  3. Laugh at themselves.
  4. Protect relationships.

More at: Leadership Freak Coffee Shop.

Losing you:

Losing you is dangerously easy. Leaders who’ve lost themselves:

  1. Are controlled by others. If you don’t know who you are someone else controls you.
  2. Feel pushed around by pressure.
  3. Pursue success rather than significance.
  4. Follow trends rather than principles.
  5. End up crushed by criticism or crushing their critics.

Finding a heartbeat:

  1. Take a walk and think your own thoughts; forget what others think.
  2. Explore your joys. What makes you deeply happy?
  3. Examine your anger. Values often drive anger.
  4. Love deeply.
  5. Serve wholeheartedly.
Richness of life and leadership depend on finding and living with heart.

 How can leaders find heart?

How have you found heart?


adonis49

adonis49

adonis49

August 2019
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