Queen for Seven Days posters

Young Leaders and the SDGs

Being a young leader doesn’t mean one is powerless, even if certain powers make it seem that way. This past summer I taught a high school leadership class for a summer program with the hope that the students will grow into strong leaders in their own ways and in their own time. I decided to incorporate my studies (IEDP) into my lessons and dedicate some time in discussing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) with my students. It was an experiment in some ways. I wanted to see how they would react to the content and stir discussions that they may not be used to having in their public schools. We centered our discussions on Goal # 4 Quality Education and Goal # 5 Gender Equality.

UN_Sustainable_Development_Goals

The students got a sample of the realities that exist beyond their local community and the challenges of international development. It was very fascinating to hear what they had to say when I showed them stories of youth around the world who overcame some horrific situations, fought for their right to education, and still found the strength to give back to their communities (for some examples see the International Children’s Peace Prize winners). We also discussed the limitations that girls and women face because of their cultural and religious beliefs and how boys and men also play a role in attaining 50/50 leadership. (By the way, the boys were quite supportive of the girls during our discussions.)

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Writing to inform and inspire others to be a blessing in the world. Always exploring ideas, listening to music, and seeking the truth.

Queen for Seven Days posters

Financial Education in the Era of SDGs

Wealth formula-FLM_Social_Media_Infograpics-01There is a general consensus that financial education is necessary. The global financial crises during 2000-01 and 2007-08 pushed the international community to better educate the population on how to manage their finances. Several of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) aim to promote a robust economy while narrowing the socioeconomic gaps within and across the nations. While April is considered as Financial Literacy Month in the U.S., financial education is a lifelong process. After all, the economic landscape is always changing.

The long-term effects of having a financially illiterate population may prove to be more damaging than the recent economic recession if there are no interventions in place. Hastings, Madrian, and Skimmyhorn (2012) highlighted an array of financial mistakes that people have made and continue to make, such as irresponsible credit card usage, inadequate diversification of assets, and failure to refinance fixed rate mortgages during a time of declining interest rates. Individually, these mistakes are already costly; collectively, they create a complex web of economic problems.

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Writing to inform and inspire others to be a blessing in the world. Always exploring ideas, listening to music, and seeking the truth.

Queen for Seven Days posters

Poem: “Stubborn Old Man”

Continuing the theme of aging, I’ll share a poem that I wrote on June 5, 2014. (To my IEDP cohort – this is what I read during my culture share!) I come from a family of healthcare practitioners and many of our friends are either therapists or nurses. My parents and I are very close-knit and service-oriented, which is why we are drawn to our professions. Our business is always about helping others. I wrote this when I was waiting in the nursing home where my dad worked:

IEDP cultural share 2014
IEDP Culture Share

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Writing to inform and inspire others to be a blessing in the world. Always exploring ideas, listening to music, and seeking the truth.

Queen for Seven Days posters

Development Work and Postmodernist Thinking: Is there no absolute right or wrong?

This is a short reflection that I wrote for one of my courses during grad school:

 

“At the heart of postmodernism lies a patent self-contradiction. It expects us to accept, as absolute truth, that there are no absolute truths. We should note this common, fatally flawed characteristic of relativistic thinking: it tries to exclude itself from its own pronouncements” (Lennox, 2015, p. 39).

 

Relativism is an interesting and alluring thought, particularly for us who work in diverse settings. We see more gray areas than perhaps any other color in the spectrum of life. The temptation is to say that one can never truly know what is right or that there is even such a thing as a right action. This thinking will inevitably stumble upon a dead end.

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Writing to inform and inspire others to be a blessing in the world. Always exploring ideas, listening to music, and seeking the truth.