Monthly Archives: May 2009

GG Ate Some Seal – So What??? Connect with Cultures

There has been a lot of talk about Canadian Governor-General Michaelle Jean partaking of some seal’s heart on her trip to the North Inuit culture. Some people feel that she is great, for honoring the unique and important Inuit culture. Others think it is animal cruelty, or that this act is clearly not an accident, in that it was a political stunt to show solidarity with the Inuits and the rest of Canada in the face of the European Union ban on seal products recently.

I am not a politician, just a small-town Canadian man who has travelled a fair bit and who works with immigrants here in Toronto everyday. What do I think, dare you ask?

I say good for her. Whether it was political or not, she honored her guests with a very old tradition. To not partake of the meat would be offensive, unless you are a vegetarian.

When I lived in China for 2 years, I ate dog meat. More than once.

Will I do it again? Probably not. I love dogs and grew up with them as pets. But when in Rome, do as the Romans do. I had been ‘in-country’ for at least 6 months, and I lived in a really small community (Tongren city, Guizhou province). I tried my best to fit in. I spoke Chinese, ate their food and followed their customs where possible. In turn, they learned about Canada from me. I was an unofficial ambassador!

When I was in Thailand I ate a flash-fried cockroach to win a bet. I got a free ‘Leo’ beer!

When I was in Japan I ate horse sashimi. Yup. Raw horse! Even though I love Japanese food, I think that will be the last time I eat horse sashimi. Not my cup of tea. The point is, I try. I follow my hosts and I learn about the culture. As Canadians we expect our visitors and immigrants to do the same for us, so why not do the same for them, especially when the culture is right inside Canada!

Here is an article about our brave GG.

At the bottom there lists some other ‘politically-charged meals’ for others.
Bon Appetit!

How Do You Speak to Yourself?

I know it is a rather odd question, but it is an important one. People like myself who study NLP (neuro-linguistic programming) understand that repeated words and phrases, no matter how innocent or simple they may be, may be interpreted by the brain as a command.

Yes, be careful what you say to yourself. Our self-talk conditions us subconsciously just like water torture. (No, I don’t mean water-boarding!) Water torture is when you let a drop of cold water hit a person’s forehead. After a few of these you may be thinking this is ineffective torture – it’s just water drops. But after a hundred, a thousand or more, it is like a spike being hammered into your skull! So is the result of a negative or self-defeating comment said to you by someone else or by yourself (self-talk) on a regular basis. For example, if you say these things: “I’m getting fat. Do you think I’m getting fat? I’m too fat.” Or if you hear “you look fat” etc. then what do you think will be the result? Your conscious brain will program yourself to believe you are heavier than you actually are and that everyone must think the same. Can you see how dangerous this is? We all fluctuate in actual weight and appearance of weight daily, depending on meals, water, mirrors, scales and choice of wardrobe. You are no different!

Prevent this negative programming. Stop yourself when the negative self talk comes about.  For help with this, check out other blog entries here (especially under the ‘confidence’ category) or take a look at my popular ebook (based on a popular coaching program!) called “Communicating Confidence Inside & Out – how to build confidence, be assertive and succeed!”