“Latin America: Deaf, Dumb, and Blind to Crisis in Venezuela” by Carlos Sabino
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“Latin America: Deaf, Dumb, and Blind to Crisis in Venezuela” by Carlos Sabino
Editorial by Carlos Sabino on the lack of response by Latin American countries to the critical situation in Venezuela. Panamá remains the only country to demand the OAS (Organization of American States) intervene. As a result, Venezuelan President Maduro severed economic and diplomatic ties with Panamá on Wednesday. This was the statement released to the press by President Martinelli of Panamá, in response. It is important to acknowledge, that Venezuela was one of the most vocal countries in calling for investigations of violent suppression of peaceful demonstrations in Panamá, in the mid to late 1980s.
Consequences of Poor Choices in College
Followers of this blog, know I am a PASSIONATE supporter of sorority life for college women. In fact, one of my favorite topics to discuss with parents of college-aged women is membership in Greek Letter Organizations and all its benefits. I am excited whenever a young woman finds her sorority home away from home and creates lifelong friendship. I enjoy submitting recruitment information forms (RIFs) for potential new members as they start their sorority journey. And, I love writing letters of recommendation for graduate school and new jobs for women I watched grow though into themselves through sorority life.
My personal college experience was enriched the day I accepted my Bid in 1989. I joined a group of women who accepted me as I was, but also pushed me to be the best version of myself. Since I attended a large commuter University, Greek Life was my touchstone with extracurricular activities that enhanced my years at college. There were socials, study parties, basketball games and all-night float-building marathons, and yes, keggers, where I learned more about myself and my fellow Sisters.
Together we supported each other through the good and bad times. We were our Sisters’ keepers and responsible not only for following the rules and regulations of the organization and the University, but ensuring that our Sisters did as well. The rules were in place to make sure we had a complete academic, leadership, philanthropic, fun, balanced and safe sorority program. We knew that one bad apple could certainly spoil the bunch, and were cognizant of the greater level of scrutiny placed on sorority women by society – both by folks who wanted us to succeed and those who expected us to fail and take on the worst characteristics of the stereotypical “sorority girl gone wrong.”
Today, the actions of a few bad apples culminated in harsh consequences for the larger group, as the Chi Omega Chapter at the University of Pennsylvania was closed. The investigation of this Chapter was prompted by a series of poor decisions, that were exposed by a deeply offensive event. I was disappointed in these women, not only as their Sister, but as a Latina and a woman. As a former volunteer Sorority Adviser, I can attest to the fact that the collegiate leaders of this group were provided with close, one-on-one mentoring by older Alumnae members who were selected for their professional expertise and trained in how to supervise the activities of a college sorority. These Alumnae very likely advised (and scolded) them repeatedly about appropriate party topics among other teachable moments in the management of risk for a group of collegiate women. This advice was accompanied by sanctions, repercussions and intense education by the National organization, along with a timeline for successful completion of the sanctions and re-education. It was the college women’s decision to follow sage advice, but, as a self-governing groups of adults, they did not have to.
Unfortunately, they chose the worst possible outcome and started the chain reaction that led the National organization to close the Chapter. While I was sadden by the news, I fully supported the difficult decision made by the Governing Council (national executive officers). National Panhellenic Conference (NPC) groups have no tolerance for behavior that demeans, ridicules, or hurts other people and these have been articulated in the Unanimous Agreements, as well as the Fraternity’s Bylaws and Constitution. The governance documents are how we hold ourselves, and each other, accountable. Our goal is to uphold our ideals as we continually prepare women for life after college. In short , we strive to build women up and it is not by accident that so many female leaders are members of NPC groups. We have been doing it for over a hundred years, successfully, because we maintain the highest standards.
My sincerest wish for the women who lost their Chapter, by their own actions, is that they learned the lessons. My heart breaks for those women who tried, in vain, to steer the group, back to a place of honor and class, because I know they did not deserve to lose their Chapter. However, I am a proud sorority woman because we police ourselves. It is these events that remind me why I pledged to honor my Fraternity’s creed and support fellow Sisters. Sisterhood is for a lifetime, not just for the four years of college.
30 Days of Thanks – Day 29
“Experience is what you get when you didn’t get what you wanted.” ~ Randy Pausch
I am thankful to have worked in retail while in college. I enjoyed my jobs and have pleasant memories of flexible hours, great customers and fun co-workers. With one glaring exception – Black Friday. I was left so traumatized by the experience, over 25 years ago, that I never shop on Black Friday, and only patronize small, locally-owned or socially-conscious, green businesses.
Black Friday traditionally marked the beginning of the Christmas shopping season. It was the period of the year where retailers would operate “in the black,” or at a profit, versus than “in the red,” or at a loss. For folks employed by retail establishments, it simply meant earning more money in a shorter amount of time.
Sadly, Black Friday has become synonymous with greed. And violence.
I urge you to consider whether or not those items are dire necessities worth dying for today. Or ever.
In the meantime, enjoy the dulcet, acapella tones of Sweet Honey in the Rock’s “Greed.”
30 Days of Thanks – Day 5
Today I am thankful for the many people who came into my life through Nursing school. We will soon be parting ways, but they will live forever in my heart.
Meg Cabot’s 9/11 Post and My Thoughts as I Remember
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It was a beautiful Tuesday morning. The sun was shining and there were no clouds in the skies over Tampa Bay. The waters were serene and there was a break in the heat and humidity of the Summer.
I was parking my car under the building, ready for another day at my job, which I loved. I was listening to the popular morning radio show at the time. My office was less than a mile from Tampa International Airport.
Then the unthinkable happened as we watched on television. The events were horrific, and yet, they were real.
Unable to form words or thoughts, my co-workers and I either cried together, hugged each other or retreated into a quiet meditative space. I learned that our organization had no disaster plan of any type. As someone who had worked as an Urban Planner, on Emergency Management Plans and helped update our County’s Home Host Program, this was inconceivable. (That organization still did not have a Disaster Plan when I left for other opportunities. I doubt that they have implemented one, to this day).
I received the phone call from my husband. Hubby, my beloved US Army Veteran, was no stranger to terrorism, having been stationed in West Berlin. He immediately began to tell me what safety protocols needed to be activated, because terrorist attacks were suspected. To this day, he cannot explain how seamlessly his Threatcon persona appeared. In the weeks and months that followed, we remembered events from out pasts triggered by the attacks in New York City and Washington, D.C. Hubby helped me understand some deeply buried PTSD of my own (Panama – Operation Just Cause), while he opened up about some of his demons.
Twelve years have passed. Some things remain the same, while others have changed. Unfortunately, the closeness we found in each other, as human beings, in the immediate aftermath of the attacks has been forgotten. Sadly, it has been crushed by intolerance and hatred.
I pause to share the eloquent words of Meg Cabot’s 9/11 post. Meg, a bestselling author, lived in New York City at the time and her words still have the same impact as when she first published them.
It was a beautiful Tuesday morning.
First Word: Manhunt over, suspect captured
The initial tragedy in Boston is over. Now, begins the painful task of picking up the pieces and rebuilding lives. For a couple of days, we experienced what the rest of the world lives with, on a “regular” basis.
Heart Break. Available in Many Forms.
Yesterday, terrorists detonated several bombs at the finish line of the Boston Marathon. My thoughts and prayers are with the City of Boston, the victims and their families and the first responders and investigators who now have the arduous task of finding the persons responsible for this cowardly act.
Sadly, I experienced my own personal betrayal yesterday. It came at the hands of the people I would least expect and that is why my heart is broken. I know I will recover, but those who hurt me probably think they were doing the “right” thing. The “right” thing would have been to look me in the eye and say, “thanks, but no thanks.” Unfortunately, that thankless task was left to a stranger who knew nothing of my history with the people and issued the form letter-type “thank you for your service” response. Insulting and insincere.
I expect that an appropriate back story will be created, that bears no truth. They will say I “didn’t have enough time.” Those who really knew what I gave, know that I reorganized my life (and my husband’s life), in order to give of my time. For many years. My only regret is not being able to see those I deeply care for, one last time, to say goodbye, good luck and Godspeed. That tore my heart out.
I leave them with these cautionary words:
“Watch your thoughts; they become words.
Watch your words; they become actions.
Watch your actions; they become habits.
Watch your habits; they become character;.
Watch your character; it becomes your destiny.”