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Cultural Preservation is Our Right

With no say in preserving your local and national culture what is the point of being a U.S. citizen?

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The presumption that anyone who seeks to control immigration, and to maintain the key facets of their culture, is automatically racist or xenophobic is beyond absurd. In 2015, Europe received one million migrants on top of a massive influx that had already arrived.

The 500 million population of Europe can, perhaps, absorb such waves but many communities are unduly impacted. One long-standing community in Germany, totaling 102 people, braced for 750 asylum seekers.

This bureaucratic blunder represented nothing less than the desecration of that town’s mini-culture. As the New York Times reported, “The influx is testing the limits of tolerance and hospitality.” In essence, those who don’t have the background, language, or customs of the long-standing villagers, or even any empathy for them, de facto were granted the capability to overrun the town.

‘Progressive’ Cultural Destruction

What terms are there for such cultural destruction? Who said that wanting to keep things relatively the same is an evil human characteristic? Do the Japanese not wish to maintain their culture? Or Thais, Finns, or Ethiopians?

Going back three generations, Turkish immigrants invited to Germany as workers have not assimilated, and if anything, have grown more apart from the surrounding host culture. Did Germany seek this? In massive enclaves both in North America and throughout Europe, particularly Denmark, Sweden, England, and France, little assimilation is occurring. Many immigrants make meager or no effort to learn the host language. Many do not adhere to the quintessential values of the existing culture.

In the United States, was it reasonable to go from 9.1 million Hispanics in 1970, to 35.3 million in 2000, to 61.0 million today (of which 15.7 million are illegal)? Suppose they’re all good people and productive citizens who make a solid contribution to society: Their sheer numbers contort society and we never had the chance to vote on the issue.

With refugees flooding Maine, did the state’s citizens choose to have a mini-culture of Somalis? In limited numbers, such immigrants certainly can add character and flavor to communities. In overwhelming numbers, they swamp the culture, often in undesirable ways, leading to cramped schools, higher crime, and bursting budgets.

Assimilation, Fast and Slow

One could make the argument as Arthur C. Clarke did in Childhood’s End, a science fiction book no less, that in the future all countries would be hosts to all types of immigrant populations because assimilation around the earth was inevitable. When such assimilation occurs over 200 years, existing norms and structures can endure. When it happens within a matter of weeks or months, and even years, it has proven to be too fast, depending on the numbers.

In California, where Hispanics now outnumber Caucasians, income and education levels have not significantly risen in decades. Hispanics do not populate the honor rolls of integrated high schools and do not go on to top colleges on par with their Caucasian classmates. Disparity still exists. One can offer a variety of assertions about socioeconomic status and so on, but after many years, the results speak for themselves. While California was not flooded overnight, the larger culture has nevertheless been irrevocably altered.

Off-the-mark Bromides

What society does not have the right to protect its culture, and to bar those who would not assimilate or respect the laws? The zeal with which some people support unbounded, uncontrolled immigration prompts others to think that they are insane.

The immigration zealots issue off-the-mark bromides about “melting pots” and “nation of immigrants,” but they do not understand the short as well as long-term ramifications of flooding societies with people from different cultures who, in many cases, will never assimilate. This is cultural suicide and the phenomenon confounds those to the right of center.

Some people, left and right, regard unfettered immigration as pure madness. As a U.S. citizen, if you do not have any say in preserving your local culture, as well as American culture in general, what is the point of being a citizen?

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Jeff Davidson is the world's only holder of the title "The Work-Life Balance Expert®" as awarded by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. He is the premier thought leader on work-life balance, integration, and harmony. Jeff speaks to organizations that seek to enhance their overall productivity by improving the effectiveness of their people. He is the author of Breathing Space, Simpler Living, Dial it Down, and Everyday Project Management. Visit www.BreathingSpace.com for more information on Jeff's keynote speeches and seminars, including: Managing the Pace with Grace® * Achieving Work-Life Balance™ * Managing Information and Communication Overload®



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Business

Delegation: An Ongoing Phenomena

Failure to delegate effectively often happens because team leader don’t trust the people with whom they’re working

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For most of your career, you’ve read or heard that one of the key approaches to getting things done is to delegate effectively. This presumes that you have others to whom you can delegate. In my contact with more than 950 organizations over the last two and a half decades, I’ve found increasingly that people have fewer resources, a lower budget, and less staff people. If they want to get something done, often they have to do it themselves!

Assuming you have others to whom you can delegate, the first or second time you personally tackle a particular task yields useful information. You learn more about the nature of the task, how long it takes, and whether or not you enjoy doing it.

By the third time, a task of the same ilk as those you’ve handled before often becomes best handled by someone reporting to you. Such tasks could involve updating a database, completing an interim report, or assembling meeting notes.

All that You Can

On the path to getting things done, your quest is to identify all those things that you can possibly delegate to others and then prepare those others so that they have a high probability of succeeding. In the course of your workday there may be only a handful of things that you alone need to do because of your experience, insight or specialized knowledge. Everything else that can be delegated should be.

Some people feel they have to take care of everything themselves and to this day haven’t been able to break the habit of “doing it all.” If this someone is in your seat right now, recognize that as a category of one, you can only get so much done.

Many managers and supervisors fail to delegate effectively because either they don’t fully trust the people with whom they’re working, or they’ve always been get-it-all-done-by-myself types.

Take Time before You Assign

Prior to delegating anything to anyone, take the time to actually prepare your staff for delegation. This would involve assessing an employee’s skills, interests, and needs. You could even ask people what new tasks and responsibilities they would like to assume. You might be surprised at the wide variety of responses you receive. There may be people on your staff right now who can help you with tasks you’ve been dying to hand off to someone but didn’t see how or when you could put them into play.

While you want to delegate to staff people who show enthusiasm, initiative and interest, or have otherwise previously demonstrated the ability to handle and balance several tasks at once, sometimes you have to delegate to someone who has not exhibited any of the above. In that case, delegate on a piece-meal basis.

Ensure that the staff person is able to effectively handle the small task or tasks he’s been assigned and does not feel swamped or overloaded. When the staff person demonstrates competence, you can increase the complexity of assignments and even the frequency with which you delegate.

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Multi-tasking: More Harm than Good

In this day and age, where so much competes for our attention, it is easy to stray!

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I belong to a local health club, and while I was there one day, I saw a woman get on the Stairmaster. I watched as she whipped out an mp3 player and started listening to music. Then, to my surprise, she reached into her gym bag, pulled out a book, and placed it on that ledge to read. I almost asked her if she would like a piece of gum!

Today, when so much competes for our attention, it is easy to stray! More often than we care to pretend, in the office and at home, we invite more than we can handle, and then act as though we didn’t. As individuals, throughout society, we are trained to believe that the ability to multi-task is a great attribute. Unfortunately, that’s a big mistake. Here’s why, and how to avoid multi-tasking in the future.

First Things First

What’s the fastest and easiest way to handle six tasks competing for our attention? Identify the most important task, second most important, third most important, and so on, then tackle the first and finish it all the way, move on to the second and complete it, then move all the way down the list.

Any other way of tackling those items, whether they are tasks for home or work, is simply not as efficient. The catch is, any other way is more psychologically satisfying.  Why?  It’s almost as if juggling projects, switching gears unnecessarily or abruptly, or leaving a job unfinished to start a new project gives you the opportunity to say to other people, “Hey, look at me! Look how involved I am! Look at how busy I am! I’m great at multi-tasking.” A multi-tasker, however, can’t compete with others who tackle their to-do list, one item at a time.

What about doubling up as a procedure for tackling a number of routine items or very simple tasks? You can eat dinner and read a book at the same time. Eating and reading at the same time is relatively harmless.

How about driving and talking on the cell phone at the same time? Driving requires your sharp attention, as does carrying on an intelligent conversation with someone else who is not present; doing both at the same time spreads your attention too thin, with often disastrous results. The same is true for projects you’re working on that require your best thinking.

Tips:
* give yourself 5 to 10 minute intervals to focus on the task at hand
* safe-guard your immediate environment to avoid interruptions
* acknowledge yourself whenever you stick to one task and finish it
* repeat all the above, often, knowing that ‘more often’ is better!

Your Undivided Attention

When you’re working on a new task, brainstorming, engaging in first-time thinking, or doing creative work, it’s vital to offer your complete and undivided attention to that one task before you. To dissipate your attention or otherwise stray means you are not going to do your best work.

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