opinion

WORRYING WOULDN'T HELP ...

April 7, 2018

Life is better than ever, so why does everybody seem to be unhappy? As regular reader of this column, you surely remember this topic which I already raised several times.  Whenever I hear people saying that things turned so bad nowadays, I think of my late LOLA, born in 1899 (!) into a really awful world in Germany and its surroundings. Also the so-called "Golden Twenties" between two World Wars have been everything but golden for her and my former relatives. Lola never complained, even during the sorrowful times in the former East German, the "German Democratic Republic". Lola reached the ripe old age of almost 86. We hardly count our blessings. We enjoy counting our crosses. Instead of gains, we count our losses. We don't have to do all that counting - computers do it for us. Information is easily had. Facebook to and fro, back and forth, there and back - how many posts and comments have been posted already with sadness, loneliness, boredom strikes, problems, worries ... . Just remember this: Opportunity doesn't just knock - it jiggles the door-knob. and "your social media online-friend" - the worrier, is with you day and night, at every corner, following your every step. Complaining and grumbling are good excuses, right? Is social media bad for us? Three billion people, around 40% of the world’s population, use online social media – and we’re spending an average of two hours every day sharing, liking, tweeting and updating on these platforms, according to some reports. That breaks down to around half a million tweets and Snapchat photos shared every minute. Stress, mood, anxiety, depression, sleep (or better non-sleep), self-esteem - Overall, social media’s effects on well-being are ambiguous, according to a paper written last year by researchers from the Netherlands. However, they suggested there is clearer evidence for the impact on one group of people: social media has a more negative effect on the well-being of those who are more socially isolated. Imagine, we have time and opportunities to do almost anything. So why haven't we done it? We have the freedom of bondage or restraint, every one of us in his or her very special unique way - but, we're still our old inferior selves. The job is boring. I don't get a good job. The house is an un-pleasend mixture of tidy and dirty things. It's a mess. I'm not in the mood to arrange my garden. I can't afford a gardener. That's life. How sad. No, it's not my fault; or course not. The whole world is an awful place filled with dreadful and horrible negativism. Yes, I confess, I'm also surrounded by many worriers who put their fears into me. Politicians, i.e., many times love to search for some grave alarm that will cause individuals to abandon their sperate concerns and act im concert, so that politicians can wield the baton. Calls to fatal struggles and fights are forever being sounded. The over-bearing person, who tyrannizes the weak, who wants to domineer and to bluster, is simply nothing else than a worrier, who claims to be a friend. But he isn't. Really not! The bullying of fellow citizens by means of dread and fright has been going on since Paleolithic times. The night wolf is eating the moon. Give me silver and I'll make him spit out. Well, when will we start counting our courage and not our fears, or enjoy instead of our woe? Worrying itself is pointless.Of course, no society has achieved perfectly rules of law, never-ending education or unique responsible governments. Let's seek out the worries but avoid the worriers, because they try to avoid liberty. If you are still worrying right now about something, try to read Jeremiah 29:10-14 or Revelation 21:1-8, just to mention these two. It works. Email me: doringklaus@gmail.com or follow me in Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter or visit www.germanexpatinthephilippines.blogspot.com or www.klausdoringsclassicalmusic.blogspot.com .

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WAR AGAINST INNOCENTS

April 2, 2018

No need to explain headlines and daily news! Killing in every part of the world is unceasing! Warriors go and fight prepared to kill and to be killed with no fear. In the forests, in the streets, a lot of them are found dead bodies spread-eagled. In the rivers and oceans, a lot of them are found floating if not eaten by the hungry sharkes.   But what about those innocent lives who are just victims of war atrocities? Are they prepared to die in such a horrible state? It is sickening to realize that those people are killed within just a flick of a finger by those war-oriented people. Moreoften, we can learn through media about numbers of people dead and injured caused by building and streets bombings, chemical poisonongs (!), and nuclear power testings. Killings - yes, there will be always killings! Because the Super Powers are in a race to put as many weapons as possible into their allies' hands. The Arm producers are urged and more encouraged to make more weapons and explosives. As the Great Powers never stop intervening in these small countries' affairs, there will be more casualties. Wouldn't it much  better for them to help the Third World countries economically than supplying them with weapons? How many more innocent lives shall we find scattered in the streets? How  many more of them will be seen floatingin the open seas with shattered bodies? And how many more young and old people will be buried innocently at the bottom of the sea leaving their loved-ones to suffer pain and extreme grief? War is hell and the world has had enough! When will stability prevail in this world? In one of my previous columns in this corner, several years ago, I asked "Cold War - Hot War?". It was the time, the Ukraine crisis began. Today, let's ask ourselves the same question. And? Homo sapiens - quo vadis?  Email: doringklaus@gmail.com or follow me in Facebook, LinkdedIn or Twitter or visit www.germanexpatinthephilippines.blogspot.com or www.klausdoringsclassicalmusic.blogspot.com .

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Humans play role in climate change

March 24, 2018

Already in 2013, the UN climate panel blames humans for global warming and warns of rising temperatures and says global warming could have devastating effects as the risk of heat waves, floods and droughts increases.  Rather than debating the facts of climate change, oil companies in the dock in California are questioning how long a climate consensus has existed. Two cities are suing oil companies for costs related to global warming. An attorney for the Chevron oil company acknowledged in federal court that the company agreed with the scientific consensus showing humans are responsible for global warming. But Chevron attorney Theodore Boutrous told the court in San Francisco that the scientific consensus on greenhouse gas emissions was not fully formed until the past decade. "The notion that we know today of a dynamic changing climate is relatively new in human understanding," he said. San Francisco and Oakland are suing the five oil giants — Chevron, Exxon Mobil, ConocoPhillips, Royal Dutch Shell and British Petroleum — seeking to set up an abatement fund that would force the oil companies to help the cities pay for flood damage and preventative measures they say are the result of global warming. To clear the air city by city - might this be possible?  Despite Chevron's admission, the oil giants asked the court to dismiss the case, in part because Congress has given regulatory agencies authority over the production and discharge of greenhouse gas emissions. US District Judge William Alsup said he wants to strip away the politics and "stick to the science" behind the issue. He called on both sides to present "the best science now available on global warming." "This is a serious proposition to try to educate the judge," Alsup said. Legal experts said they have never seen a judge holding a tutorial on climate change, and they are eager to see how the oil companies explain global warming. Chevron's Boutrous said the oil giant backs a 2013 report by the United Nations' Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which concluded it was "extremely likely" that humans are contributing to global warming. The Artic sea ice thins as polar bears shed pounds. But Boutrous insisted that earlier reports by the IPCC were less certain. When Alsup asked Boutrous if the other four oil companies agreed with his presentation, Boutrous said he was only speaking for Chevron. The attorneys for the other four oil firms generally acknowledge the reality of man-made global warming, but none of them answered questions during last week's court hearing. What does that tell us? To say it neutral but very clear: people are keep on passing the buck to others. They keep on leaving others to hold the baby, while our planet keeps on dying. The five oil companies argued in court papers filed last Tuesday that they should not be held liable for the effects of global warming, which is caused by "billions" of parties and "complex environmental phenomena occurring worldwide over many decades."  Trying to make some excuses? Or is it the naked truth? Despite the wide scientific consensus, US President Donald Trump has turned US climate policy on its head since taking office 14 months ago. Trump, a Republican, has pushed to increase fossil fuel production and announced that he was withdrawing the United States from the 2015 Paris climate accord, which aims to reduce emissions. And, sad to say, but Trump's growing cabinet is a cabinet of climate deniers. US President Donald Trump's decision to appoint hard-line climate denier Mike Pompeo as secretary of state is a death knell for US climate leadership. Can anyone fill the vacuum?    Email: doringklaus@gmail.com or follow me in Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn or visit my www.germanexpatinthephilippines.blogspot.com or www.klausdoringsclassicalmusic.blogspot.com .

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SEASON AND HOMESICKNESS

February 8, 2018

A  little bit more than two weeks. Christmas again.    Much could be told or written about all the wonderful places worldwide. A lifetime would not be enough to discover the whole world.  Millions of Filipino migrants are still working and living in many countries all over the world. But those  Filipinos are so occupied and tired with work, that on a half-day of not working, they don't even have the energy to go out anymore. They prefer to rest instead. They work until dawn. There's even no more time letters or send emails anymore. They get up early next day  to do the same activities. Again and again...  They fail to appear on dates or appointments even schedules were already set. On the last minute going out on a free half-day, but suddenly guests arrive who need to be served for example. All these and more make it difficult for the OFW's to find time for themselves.  Christmas time should let us remember and remind of our beloved ones somewhere out there. Being "there somewhere abroad" is something like being in a garden of roses. Everybody is free to pick up flowers, but surely everybody will not find that easy because the roses are on top of the thorns. Being abroad is even more complicated then that. Indeed, much has been written and talked about homesickness of mind and heart - especially during Christmas season and the time between "yesterday and tomorrow".  Many Filipinos stay in countries, where deep winter is reigning right now. Wearing three jackets a day, warm winter clothes and, from the start one must be always in top form, not only lively but also elegantly. Homesickness usually attacks, when "your people abroad" receive unpleasant notices from home, as I heard many saying before :"Problema at magpadala ka ng pera!" The loved ones oversea even try to save a little amount for airfares just in case they need to come immediately to their families in the Philippines. Many times they consider the difficulty and complication in sending money home. Many times they can't afford to visit the Philippines for a long time... . Homesickness comes, when we hear that one if the boys at home doesn't want to go to school anymore. Homesickness comes when misunderstandings between husband and wife or closed friends arise.  How about me? Sure, homesickness comes also for me, especially during this time. Even living in the Philippines for good since 1999, I am still missing my home country Germany and many people there. Even or especially a cold Holy and Silent Night with deep snow while walking to midnight mass. Season and homesickness... . Email: doringklaus@gmail or follow me in Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter or visit www.germanexpatinthephilippines.blogspot.com or www.klausdoringsclassicalmusic.blogspot.com .

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CHRISTMAS IS JUST AROUND THE CORNER

February 2, 2018

Christmas evokes memories and sentiments that travel with us treasured gifts of our hearts. It is the time for reflection of the year past, of things we've done to make a difference in the lives of others. It's indeed a time for thanksgiving for the blessings received, and for the trials and pains that helped shape, strengthen, and mold us to become better persons. "Hay nako" - the typical Philippine expression, I adopted many times since living in the Philippines for good. What on earth am I here for? The more I look around the world, the more people I'm able to observe: stranded people, but many still having the optimistic smile on their faces. People, who are losing more and more of their bearings and are getting muddled in their lives.  If several political leaders globally confuse us more instead of leading us on the right way, we cry out for a satisfying answer through the institution church. It doesn't matter what season we are in: wars, climate change with natural disasters, helpless politicians at the present G20 - conference trying to portray a positive outlook with their picture taking... . Yes, "hay nako" ...! Modesty will never get them what they actually deserve. Charity and brotherly or sisterly love, as the bible teaches us, are becoming foreign terms. moral and human values are badly needed to drive and out energy and vigor in our daily life as we stroll into painful indifference and peppered egoism.  Our daily ill feelings regarding all parts of our life can't be or can't remain as a permanent state of affairs. Incompetent and incapable leaders, who are still being able to continue in their own monstrous, unhindered and impertinent style are every country's poison and reason for decline. During the last weeks I received innumerable religious and philosophical literature and invitation from several institutions. I must confess, that I have been confused many times. I am sorry and I really wish to apologize, if I reject most "of this stuff", and, if I decide NOT to answer such emails or text messages. Sure, it's is Christmas time, but... . May the love and humility the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ signified remain etched in our hearts. Let not the frenetic gift-giving and seemingly endless merriment becloud the pristine message that Christmas imparts. Email: doringklaus@gmail.com. Visit: germanexpatinthephilippines.blogspot.com or www.klausdoringslcassicalmusic.blogspot.com  or follow me in Facebook, Linkedin or Twitter .  

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How to Recognize the Well-Managed Schools

October 16, 2017

Besides the best curriculum and the best teachers, other hallmarks for measuring whether the school is well managed or not need to be discussed for public topic. Along time ago, all schools were recognized by public through the printed media. But, today it is not enough. The shift of old paradigm into the new one has become very important to know by the policy makers and the leaders of any schools anywhere. In Indonesia, for example, the private schools almost have the same status, even the private ones that have been well-managed have higher level of quality, in terms of public-point of view: their image. Thus, building the schools’ image is the most important strategy, after all the fulfillment of requirements of the schools’ best criteria. A school which is well-managed can be indicated by their established curriculum and their best quality of the teachers. Besides that, the well-managed schools include their infrastructures related to the teaching-learning media. However, it is not enough. They have to get well known by public, even the world public. To do so, the school leaders should make their schools recognized by public. The way to make them well-recognized by public is by exposing their specific characteristics, especially their best corporate culture. They can build their best image through media such newspapers, magazines, and the related media that can boost the image through the digital society and community. Holding seminars and workshops can also be done by the schools. They can collaborate with other schools for holding such academic activities. Then, they can also expose all these to public. The news media can cover all the activities to make them exposed, not only their best curriculum, teachers, but also their varied ways of academic activities. This can make the schools well-recognized by public. The leaders of the schools must be versatile in doing any activities, being the model for other teachers but also being the best communicators for the schools. This can be done by making the schools exposed, showing the best activities, learning strategies, and infrastructures facilitating the learning process to the world public. This is a must for the private schools, and also for public schools. All these need to be exposed to media. There are some activities that needs to be exposed to public. First, it can be the best practice of the schools’ learning process. This is related to the most beneficial activities such as the students’ winning the competition in the schools’ areas. Being the winners of any competition in any educational activaties is also important to be recognized by public. Second, it can be the teachers’ activities joining the seminars or workshops. After going back to schools from the workshops, they should write a report and then expose it to public through media. Another activity is the school’s events, such as the school may hold a seminar or workshop and then expose it to the media. By doing such a public exposure, the schools can be recognized by public, and preferably the best practices can be well-known. Dr. Djuwari Sarkawi is the managing editor of the journal and book division, STIE Perbanas Surabaya. He is also the guest lecturer at Ottimmo International Master-gourmet Academy, Surabaya; The advisor of Indonesia Association of Press Practitioners/ Journalists in East Java province (HIPSI), Indonesia. He is also the president of the International Association of Scholarly Publishers, Editors, and Reviewers (IASPER)].

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