We The People

People

 

Imagine a school playground thirty years ago. A girl in a white blouse tucked into a maroon skirt, shares an opinion with four others dressed like her. One of them starts to make fun of her accent, mimicking her speech. The others laugh and join in. The girl soon realizes that raising her voice to defend herself prolongs the caricature. She stomps off to a corner. When they walk down the corridor to class, she lingers a few paces behind. Her classmates are still giggling and acting as they enter the classroom. They incite the whole class to uproarious laughter.

Fast-forward to today. Same incident, only that one kid would have recorded it with her smart phone and then shared it on social media. This time, as the girl walks down the corridor, there’s more laughter and pointing as students look down at their phones and up at her. She would eventually watch the video and her sympathisers would assure her it isn’t that bad. Compelled by curiosity, she would read comment after comment and die a second death.

Humans are the common denominator in both stories. In a previous post, I suggested that maybe technology is neutral; it just amplifies who we already are. There are humans behind the inanimate internet. Give a fool money and you magnify his ability to do foolish things, but money isn’t the real problem. The internet can provide a breeding ground for our worst impulses to flourish.

In his 2015 TED Talk, Jon Ronson begins by pointing out, “In the early days of Twitter . . . voiceless people realized that they had a voice, and it was powerful and eloquent.” He then tells how people used their power to effect change, saying, “This was like the democratization of justice. Hierarchies were being leveled out. We were going to do things better.”

However, the major part of his talk centres on our own misuse of privilege, the opposite of democracy. He traces how one ill-advised tweet by Justine Sacco, a former New York PR officer with 170 Twitter followers, incited a Twitter storm that not only made her the worldwide number one trending topic on Twitter, but also cost her, her job. His talk is titled, How One Tweet Can Ruin Your Life.  

Sacco’s story isn’t new to me. But, Ronson’s story telling made me uncomfortably aware of how gleefully we applaud another’s fall. According to Ronson, our desire to be seen to be compassionate is what led us to commit this profoundly un-compassionate act. Although I did not participate in the Sacco mob action, there was no moral pump fisting from me. I could picture myself in another time and setting, in a white blouse and maroon skirt.

Social media is now and the future. It is the platform where I share my thoughts with the world and interact with a wide circle of friends and acquaintances. Because the rules of engagement continue to evolve, talks like Jon Ronson’s hold my interest. Kudos to those raising their voices against social media shaming and calling for better internet policing. But who is going to police the place where it all begins, that is, the human heart?

I share details about Ronson’s talk and other innocuous social media faux pas with a friend. She says, “You see, that’s why I’m not on Twitter and hardly do Facebook.” I nod but after she leaves, I think about how Ronson concludes his talk, “The great thing about social media was how it gave a voice to voiceless people, but we’re now creating a surveillance society, where the smartest way to survive is to go back to being voiceless.”

Surely, abandoning social media isn’t the answer?

 

©Timi Yeseibo 2015

Jon Ronson’s TED talk is shy of 18 minutes. If you’re reading this, you do social media and listening to it is worth your time.

 

 

Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Timi Yeseibo and livelytwist.wordpress.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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Portraits of Motherhood [1]

motherhood 1

Bye Bye Guilt

Working forty hours a week means I’m the mom who can’t always be there. Quite often, I miss school events and after-school activities. Sometimes I have to sacrifice evenings and weekends with my family.

I felt so guilty but I shouldn’t have because during the summer months with long, light evenings, I made an effort to get home early. However, my reward upon returning home was lots of kisses. Then off my kids went to play with other children on the street, coming back only to eat when darkness fell.

That they didn’t ‘have time’ for me was my wake-up call to make time for myself.

I went to Paris with a friend who was leaving Europe for India, her home. I did miss the little darlings, but upon my return home, I realised they had survived without me, and I without them.

My children make choices to be with their friends at certain times yet I often pass up opportunities to go out with mine because I worry about leaving them. And so guilt swarms and swamps, as though my having a life lessens my love for them. They, on the other hand, go away with friends but I never doubt their love for me.

So now, taking care of Number One is top of my list. Shortly after this dawned on me, I began writing a food blog, chronicling my kitchen escapades. Through it, I have found me in the leaves of green vegetables and the pages of cookbooks. For you it may be gardening, walking, or Zumba. Whatever it is, do it, because nothing liberates the spirit as much as finding personal purpose, over and above being everything else, even if it doesn’t pay the bills.

For if you aren’t full, how can you fountain? 

Read full article

Ozoz is passionate about food in its entirety – cooking, eating, dreaming, writing and photographing it @ Kitchenbutterfly

 

Milk Milk Milk

At the airport, shiny floors, blinking signs, and morning-rush people captivate my daughter, even though she hasn’t slept enough. She points at everything and says, “Wow! Pretty!” before letting go of my hand and breaking into a run. Her giggles drown in the orderly mayhem.

I grab her and we sit down to wait for our 10 a.m. flight to Italy.  Opposite us, a couple neck as if it is their last time together. When he gropes her breasts, I imagine they will soon pop out from her low-cut blouse.

“Mummy, what’s that?” my daughter taps me and points at them.

I look around. People calling, texting, and iPad-ding.

“It’s nothing.”

“No, mummy what’s that?” She is still pointing.

How do I explain? The man’s face has lowered; it is closer to the woman’s blouse now.

“Mummy look, milk! I want milk!” She tugs at my top.

“No, not now, later okay?”

“Milk! Milk! Milk!”

I look around. People still calling, texting, and iPad-ding. So I cradle her in my arms, undo my nursing bra strap, and pop my nipple in her mouth, no flesh exposed. As she suckles, I feel as though I’m being watched. I look up to meet cold stares from all directions.

I should be used to it, but this time I will not let them get away with it. I lock eyes with one woman and say, “This is my two-year-old daughter and yes I still breastfeed her! Do you have a problem with that?”

She looks away and so do the others.

Women are the ones most offended with people like me—mothers who breastfeed in public, mothers who breastfeed longer than six months, mothers who still breastfeed toddlers. They tell me, “You’re actually the one enjoying it and not the child. Oh your poor husband, how is he coping? Once the child can walk up to you and help themselves, you are abusing the child because God made your breasts for your husband.”

I’m giving my child milk for sustenance and that man is sucking the life out of his partner. Why am I the one getting the evil eye? Are a woman’s breasts for sexual pleasure or breastfeeding or both?

Afi Boboye is a wife and a mother who is passionate about breast-feeding.

 

The Aliens in Your Nest

We have five children, eleven grandchildren, and seven great-grandchildren. Each child is incredibly different. And while nurture has some impact, they come into the world as varied as wildflowers. The key to the fine art of mothering is recognizing and valuing their differences.

Every personality trait has an upside and a downside. The stubborn child that drives you to anger management class by resisting any parental authority may well persevere to become your hero. In our family, that child and I had the most conflict, because he was the one most like me. It was a case of irresistible force meeting immovable object.

This beautiful child, who charmed the world, knew unconsciously how to push all my buttons. It took some years, but we can finally relate without being like two porcupines trying to dance. In fact, he is my hero. He currently teaches at an orphanage for children born HIV positive, in Cambodia. Got to love God’s sense of humor.

I am sure my mother thought I was an alien. Sadly, our dissimilarities were barriers to close connection.  Learning about personality differences opened my eyes and heart to her gifts. While caring for her during her years of struggle with Alzheimer’s, I recognized her language of love. We never got a chance to enjoy each other, but I learned how to love her unconditionally.

My only daughter and I are also opposite personality types and although we express our spirituality through different religious preferences, it is our deepest shared value. Because of this, we have a much better relationship than I had with my mother.

Our family is a sapling with variegated leaves spread around the world. Each Christmas, thirty-plus of us gather. Love, and our warped sense of humor—one trait we all share, make it a high point. At seventy-seven, I take delight in all the ‘aliens’ in my nest.

Eileen O’Leary Norman is a consultant on the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator. She blogs at Laughter: Carbonated Grace

 

 

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The Price of Shame

hour glass

The price of shame is seventeen years. Seventeen years is the interval between when Monica Lewinsky’s affair with former US president Bill Clinton became public and when she received a standing ovation at the end of her TED talk. The period following the disclosure was a time of intense disgrace for all parties involved, Mr and Mrs Clinton and Miss Lewinsky.

The media rehashed the stories to the point that the name Clinton is perhaps indelibly linked to Lewinsky and vice versa. Hilary Clinton’s political career, Bill Clinton’s public speaking and humanitarian work, and now Monica Lewinsky’s advocacy for victims of online humiliation and harassment, notwithstanding.

Seventeen is the number of years it took for Lewinsky to mount a public podium and declare, “it’s time . . . to stop living a life of opprobrium; and time to take back my narrative.” And so far, over 2.5 million people have viewed her talk.

Why did the TED audience rise and clap at the end of her talk? One reason may be her opening question, which hit home: “Can I see a show of hands of anyone here who didn’t make a mistake or do something they regretted at twenty-two?”

I am reminded of a meeting I attended where the preacher, speaking on the importance of a wholesome thought life, asked how many people would like the contents of the thinking they had done the previous day to be displayed on a billboard in Times Square. Every hand remained down, including that of the preacher.

She admits that she deeply regrets what happened. Whether the affair was for love, in love, through love, or about love, affix any preposition to love, and we still say wrong, wrong, wrong. However, by throwing stones at her, the ensuing spectacle of derision that has continued, with radioactive endurance, for a decade and a half, have we become like the people who brought only the woman caught in adultery to Jesus?

As I watched Bill Clinton reinvent himself over the years and become to my mind, charismatic Bill, the notion that it is a man’s world concretized. Yes, I can only imagine the PR machine behind such a powerful figure. But we live in a male-dominated culture, a patriarchy, where men are hailed for sexual adventures and women are shamed.

The positive press Lewinsky has recently received indicates that perhaps after seventeen years, we have become magnanimous—okay Monica; you may go and sin no more. But being human, suspicious, and armed with conspiracy theories, we point two fingers to our eyes and then at her: We. Are. Watching. You.

Talking openly about shame, especially the modern cyber variety, how it can cripple, destroy, and lead to suicide is good. Broadening the conversation to include honour killings that assuage family shame is welcome. We do well to adopt a more empathetic response to public shaming.

And yet humiliation, a synonym for shame, in small doses, can be a wake-up call. A few years ago, I finally scored an interview that I’d been angling for. It couldn’t have been scheduled at a worse time. Exhausted from travelling, I slept with my notes (which I was reviewing for the first time), on my chest Sunday night. In the flurry of Monday morning, I had no time to revise and little time to get to the venue.

I hoped to bluff my way through. I could not. I read the impatience in the interviewer’s hands as he flicked through my résumé while listening to me. I perceived his thoughts, rubbish; I cannot believe she came highly recommended. From that moment on, the ability to think on my feet deserted me. Shame made me forget things I knew.

The memory of that humiliation goads me to over prepare for interviews. I have other memories, secrets, too painful to share, which still stain my cheeks red. My shame has filled my compassion vaults, so now I have compassion to spare for others.

Although you and I haven’t endured public humiliation, we are acquainted with shame and its incapacitating effect. There exists the looming danger of a single story if we remain paralyzed. Not of shame, but of regret being our single story.

I think that to change any narrative from shame to glory, we must do time. No, not seventeen years, but a season away from the ‘limelight,’ burrowing underground to learn lessons from humiliation. In time, we may re-emerge with fresh purpose and tell inspiring new stories.

 

©Timi Yeseibo 2015

 

Photo credit: Nile/pixabay.com/en/hourglass-time-hours-sand-clock-620397

 

Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Timi Yeseibo and livelytwist.wordpress.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

 

The One-Night Stand Conversation

conversations

 

Emma introduced us, but fate made us exchange phone numbers. Although I liked you and felt drawn to you—tenderness accompanied my memories of you—I did not expect to hear from you soon. When my phone rang at 10:33 p.m. and I saw your name, warmth tickled my face into a smile. To my “hello,” you responded with sobs and to “what is it?” with, “I’m leaving him.”

I knew who him was.

Two weeks prior to your call, you and I chatted that evening, as we stood near the balcony sliding doors. Bunched-up voile curtains escaped their brass holders, lilting whenever the breeze beckoned. Behind us, opinions on politics and football clamoured for superiority. If I had to pick a winner, it would have been the music, a persistent fusion of hip-hop and jazz. Fear of losing our voices propelled us outside.

It was as if we knew time was short. We dispensed with pleasantries and raced to your heart. The story you told had many holes and so I averted my eyes so you would not need to avoid mine. Did you know that I had once been fragile too?

When him came to check on you, you replaced your shadow with sunshine. You introduced us, listing my credentials first, and I saw what his approval meant to you. Him was impressed, just as you had hoped, and then he whisked you away to the music we feared.

I knew who him was.

That day, your sobs unleashed mine. But, I put ice in my voice and said sensible things like, are you alone? What about the kids? Don’t make decisions while emotions are high. Should I come over? I had my hair in huge rollers under a net and two white spots on my face marked my struggle with acne.

You did not want me to come over. Instead, we sampled the height, depth, and breadth of your anxieties until 1 a.m., when exhausted from reasoning, you let me go. But not before agreeing to check in later in the day.

I did not sleep. I turned your problems over in my mind. I prayed. All day long, I waited. I debated whether to reach out. I sent a couple of texts. I called. You didn’t respond. Later never came, not that day or the next or the next month.

 

I am watching you and him in the supermarket. He leans so you can whisper in his ear. His eyes light up and you both laugh at your secret. I choose this moment to bump into you and him, and I wear my surprise well. The three of us make small talk but you overcompensate for lull with details. Your voice is on display, bouncing off the shelves and rolling down the aisle. When him leaves us girls to catch up, awkwardness settles over us and silences you.

“How are you?” I ask.

“Everything is fine, very fine, and you?”

I believe you because you radiate sunshine. I wait for your explanation so I can stop editing your manuscript in my head, no in my heart. I have been reading it since that night. Question marks and ellipsis muddle its chapters.

Nothing.

Him bursts in and whisks you to even greater sunshine and I am left with the music I fear, strains of bewildered happiness.

Perhaps I was to escort you around your shadow and no further. Did I assume a role that wasn’t mine? Was shame the unintended consequence of our sudden intimacy? Or did you need to find your way yourself? No matter, every book deserves an ending, and you cheated me of my slice of the sun.

I should not have left things unsaid.

 

 

©Timi Yeseibo 2015

 

Photo credit: longleanna/ http://pixabay.com/en/talking-phone-mobile-telephone-560318/

 

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An Open Mind . . . Really?

open mind

This thing about having an open mind, sha . . .

 

So, my friend is twenty. When I visit her blog, I find only photos.

“Oh, I don’t really write stuff, I just post photos of people who inspire me.”

Lupita, Serena, Flo-Jo. I understand. She has a British passport, her parents are of African descent, and she grew up in The Netherlands. Her toned calves and arms speak of her devotion to track and field events.

She points, “I like this photo of Lupita, makes me feel that my arms aren’t too muscular.”

I understand. A long time ago, I used to clip photos of Naomi Campbell.

 

Many people I know surround themselves with images, words, and people who validate them and the choices they make. In a world of conflicting ideologies, without an anchor, one could find themselves on a raft in the middle of the ocean. It is harder to make progress while rowing in uncertainty.

I live with quotes, poems, photos, books, videos, and people who feed and reinforce what I believe. This invisible baggage, I carry with me wherever I go. Through this prism, I navigate my world and often it pits me against those who think differently, if I let it, if they let it.

 

In most of our human relationships, we spend much of our time reassuring one another that our costumes of identity are on straight.  – Ram Dass

 

It is natural to run towards information that makes me feel warm and fuzzy inside, so I can do a fist pump, “Yeah, I was right!” Certainly, it is difficult for me to shell twenty Euros on a book by an author who trashes what I hold sacred, but you’ll find me online reading his viewpoint free of charge, like someone with an “open mind”.

Reading opposing viewpoints gives me a broader view of the world. It challenges me to question what I believe and in that process, exposes what I really believe. It stretches my thinking so I can deconstruct the author’s argument one by one and thereby hold on to mine.

Is there such a thing as reading with an open mind? Perhaps for those on a raft in the middle of the ocean and not for those on a ship anchored in the harbour.

 

The human brain knows many tricks that allow it to consider evidence, weigh facts and still reach precisely the conclusion it favors1.

 

©Timi Yeseibo 2015

 

  1. Gilbert, Daniel. “I’m O.K., You’re Biased” Published: April 16, 2006 www.nytimes.com/2006/04/16/opinion/16gilbert.html?pagewanted=print

 

 

Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Timi Yeseibo and livelytwist.wordpress.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

 

And The Mountains Echoed

 

and the mountains echoed

 

Out beyond ideas
of wrongdoing and rightdoing,
there is a field.
I’ll meet you there.

Khaled Hosseini’s book, And the Mountains Echoed, opens with this poem by Jelaluddin Rumi. When I finish reading, I think I know what informed his choice. But what do we really know about each other?

Two sisters, Masooma and Parwana, are sitting on a branch high up an oak tree, their feet dangling. Parwana has always lived in the shadow of Masooma’s exceptional beauty. Life is like that, we are not gifted equally. Beauty is an enormous, unmerited gift given randomly, stupidly1. Parwana is in love with a boy who is in love with Masooma. Life is like that, the heart often wants what it cannot have. Love isn’t always requited in the measure it is given.

When Parwana discovers that, the boy she secretly loves plans to marry Masooma, she shakes the branch and Masooma slips off it. In those seconds of clarity we all have after we set an impulsive destructive course in motion, Parwana tries to save Masooma. Too late. Masooma loses the use of her legs and becomes an invalid. Parwana’s penance is to care dutifully for her sister in rural Afghanistan in the forties. It is gruelling work. Her devotion is one long unspoken apology.

Betrayals play out in different forms in the book. There are tsunamis of cause and effect sweeping through generations. Hosseini, in my view, shows us what is in the human heart. He shows us that . . . human behaviour is messy and unpredictable and unconcerned with convenient symmetries2. I find myself suspending judgment each time. When I read these words, something clicks.

I have lived a long time, . . . and one thing I have come to see is that one is well served by a degree of both humility and charity when judging the inner workings of another person’s heart3.

In each scenario, I ask myself what I would have done. Without the pressure of the moment and with the benefit of hindsight, I weigh my options and choose noble actions. This game I play, read and reflect; it is easy. My life has not been a journey of reasonable actions. I understand every character’s dilemma. I understand their choices even when I don’t approve of them.

Eventually Masooma decides to give Parwana a gift, freedom. She decides to die in the desolate endless expanse of sand and mountains, abandoned on the ground under the darkened sky, cold, and drugged out on a potent mixture from the hookah, with Parwana’s help.

I ponder the nature of Masooma’s gift—freedom, at what cost to Parwana’s conscience? Although she presents it as self-sacrifice, I wonder if it is not self-serving. But such is Parwana’s devotion that she leads Masooma to her death. Of course, the man who Parwana loves, who was in love with Masooma, (but married someone else), is now looking for a wife, having been recently widowed. Can unspoken wishes twist the hand of fate or are we master chess players?

After Parwana reluctantly leaves Masooma to die, trudging back home, she hears something, maybe the wind calling, “Don’t leave me, sister. Come back.”

I tell myself I would go back. Parwana does not. She reasons that nobody will know, just as no one knew about the branch of the oak tree. She has lived with secrets all her life.

For nearly 500 pages, Hosseini shows us the subtexts of our hearts, the subplots that drive our actions, like an onion, he peels layer after layer exposing, in my opinion, our capacity for self-deception. Even with a moral compass, anyone can make black white. The characters are achingly familiar to me.

And the Mountains Echoed, is not about Parwana and Masooma alone. If I have made it seem so, I have done a disservice to Hosseini’s masterful story telling. It is about Saboor, Abdullah, Pari, Nabi, Suleiman, Nila, Idris, Timur, Roshi, Markos, Thalia, and many others, including you and me, a collage of stories linked by strong and weak threads. They have had their time. We have ours now. When the mountains echo, I hope we heed its silent meaning.

Out beyond ideas
of wrongdoing and rightdoing,
there is a field.
I’ll meet you there.

Does such a place even exist?

 

 

©Timi Yeseibo 2015

 

  1. Hosseini, Khaled, And The Mountains Echoed, (London: Bloomsbury, 2013), 378.
  2. Ibid., 378.
  3. Ibid., 124.

 

Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Timi Yeseibo and livelytwist.wordpress.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

 

Let’s Just Agree to Disagree

And there it was again at the end of a well-written piece by an African-American about how his trip to Africa changed his worldview; the insults and tacky comments. I did not agree with what in my opinion were romanticized notions of Africa, and I intended to say so. I scanned the piece for points of agreement to acknowledge, so I could begin commenting. However, the vitriol in the comment section from those who agreed and disagreed, whether with the post or the ensuing comments, put me off. It would not be easy to defend myself from people like sixpackpower and beautifulbetsy. Moreover, my gravatar is a photo of me my boss would recognize and my name is Timi Yeseibo.

Is anonymity on the web like mob action? Normal people abandoning good sense to loot, rape, devalue, to the beat of crazy songs sung by thousands high on hysteria like LSD? Does an IP-address unshackle responsibility from freedom?

 

dignity&anonymity

Beyond anonymity as gasoline for cyberthuggery, in a world of six billion people how can we all agree? Someone said, if only everyone were like me. I say no. Biko, do not populate the world with more people like me—do you know how boring I am? Our differences are not to be feared, but harnessed. You stretch my thinking and make me re-examine what I believe. In the end, we may find common ground, or you remain on the right and I on the left, all with respect. Can we just learn how to agree to disagree? Must web discussions on politics, sports, entertainment, religion, in other words, life, bring out the devil in us?

Sadly, some websites promote these kinds of verbal boxing matches and just as in ancient Rome, people troop in for a good fight, to watch gladiators at work. At its worst bystanders careen into the ring and die.

Our challenge is to find the compassion for others that we want them to have for us. That is emotional correctness. – Sally Kohn1

A few days ago, I read an engaging post advocating several candidates for political office in the 2015 Nigerian elections. To broaden my knowledge, I sought out opinions in the comment section. Two brilliant minds with opposing views held my attention. As the comment thread lengthened, their commentary lost substance and devolved into name calling as if their intellect had come to a full stop. When commenter one accused commenter two of shouting in capitals, commenter two defended himself by pointing out that his magnanimity was on behalf of the visually challenged.

 

turn off caps

I laughed until I belly-fulled, then navigated to a less popular political website, where comments are permanently closed, as if to say, “Read, finish, carry your trouble and go!”

 

 

comment moderation

Hieroglyphic symbols may have sufficed eons ago, but since the web is predominantly text-based, our ability to decipher tone, mood, and body language is limited. Emoticons only go so far.

After trading points for a while, a friend and I deadlocked on the value of prayer. He said, “Let’s just agree to disagree.” I nodded although I thought a couple more points would push him to my side and a consensus. His hands, folded across his chest, told a different story.  If he had written, let’s agree to disagree, in the comment section and put a smiley at the end, would I have stopped?

 

 

Let's agree to disagree

 

Having a quick wit and a repertoire of words at my disposal meant as my mother used to say, before you talk one, Timi has talked three, oya, go and study law, that is, winning arguments mattered more than winning hearts. Here’s something I’m learning that has lost me several arguments, but gained me friends or acquaintances and kept the discussion open longer: let the other person save face. Argue passionately for what you believe to be right—strip your “opponent” of logic, but leave his dignity intact. The converse is true, save your own face, don’t comment, even when you are right—walk away with dignity.

Despite our best efforts, we may be misunderstood because people read and process through filters. It helps to first suspend judgement and then seek to understand.

Finally, if you must insult me, if my post or comment inspires your disdain then confound me with your intelligence, charm me with savoir faire. At least do it with style.

 

@frankdefreak

 

©Timi Yeseibo 2014

 

1. “Sally Kohn: Let’s try emotional correctness” YouTube video, 4:25, posted by “TedTalks,” on Dec 4, 2013. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NCJTV5KaJJc

 

Photo credit: © Francis Otuogbai on Twitter: @frankdfreak (used with permission)

Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Timi Yeseibo and livelytwist.wordpress.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.