List of Previous Titles

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Malima: Night at the Cinema

The Premier!

The Malima Project is a small charity, of which I am Treasurer, that has been functioning for the past fifteen years in one form or another, to assist the village of Gouria, located in The Extreme North of Cameroon, West Africa. It has been a wonderfully satifying fifteen years, during which a maximum of ten people on the committee in Valencia, Spain, has worked with some pretty fabulous sponsors and helpers to raise money which has translated into education for both children and adults, as well as social programmes covering health, fresh water, and other issues.

It is difficult to explain  how soul satisfying it is to have the feeling you get when you have intervened in people's lives, at their request, and working together, hand in hand with those who are the beneficiaries, to succeed in  making their lives better and more comfortable.

We generally have someone visit the village once a year on an inspection trip. A few years ago a professional documentary maker named Pau Navarra visited the village, along with our present president, Elena Lopez Gomez, and together they collected much raw footage that was eventually brought together in a highly professional production with the simple title, "Malima!"

Finally, it was showtime. I am writing about the event because it was the most significant thing to have happened for me for the year. I now have a fairly good idea of what it must be like for the movie production crowd who have worked on bringing a movie to the screen. There is the red carpet, and the stars, and all the glitz and glamour, and excitement. Their is also the frustration and the stress, which is material enough to make another film. In our case the copy of our film was incompatible with the machinery at our location. We came very close to having to cancel the showing, in spite of an intensive advertising campaign.  However, at the last minute, having kept the faith, that problem was solved. Then we worried whether we would have sufficient people turn up to view the film. We needn't have worried, we had a near full house.

The lights were lowered and the film commenced. It was a full-on professional production that was informative to our sponsors who could see for themselves what life is like in that region; and it was also entertaining with wonderful humour interlaced with fact. For me, the experience of sitting among the audience, having been there personally, and continously working with the people of the region, I felt a rising sense of pride. Those who had worked hard to make this night happen deserve a Malima Oscar-like award.

It was a fabulous Night at the Cinema for El Proyecto Malima/The Malima Project. When things go right, as this did, we find ourselves renewing our committment to carry-on for the next fifteen years.

It's the joy of giving of one's time and talent for the purpose of helping our brethen to enrich their lives. When I know that the people I am helping are enjoying their lives a bit better, I can also enjoy my own. We who work for the good of others all feel the same way.

I urge  you, if you have the opportunity, to reach out and help someone today who needs your help.

Copyright (c) 2014   Eugene Carmichael

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Spain's Two Kings

Spain now has two kings

When something works well it's not a bad idea to do it in twos. The Roman Catholic church has two Popes; Hollywood always follows up with a sequel when an idea works well, and in the case of the abdication of King Juan Carlos I, he has stepped aside in ailing health to bring his son, now King Felipe VI to the throne, who is more than ready to take on the responsibilities.

It may seem that I am being facetious in suggesting that Spain has two kings, but King Juan Carlos retains his title and the right to be addressed as Majesty, while his son assumes the same title and right. These titles and rights are maintained simultaneously. Are we confused? No! Why not is answered in the question:What is a king or queen in these modern times.

Simply put, that office is occupied by the figurehead who stands above the fray, and is not involved directly in politics.
King Juan Carlos has been expected to appear in person on ceremonial occasions when he is having great difficulty in even walking. This has been making life for him extremely difficult and has had the country wondering why not  step down in favour of his son, who was evidently ready to serve? Confusion is avoided simply by King Juan Carlos having gone into retirement, where only those close to him will interact with him on a social basis. The retired Pope has shown how that is done, and it works well.

If it is the system of a country to have a monarchy as the central unifying point, then in having Felipe as our king is a wonderful symbol. I think I read somewhere that monarchies in these modern times are useful anachcronisms. That puts it very well indeed. Even in his installation as king, Felipe was Proclaimed, rather than going the route of a coronation. What is the difference?

In a coronation the incumbent is taking up his or her hereditary right without the people having any say as to whether they give their assent, or not.

However, to be Proclaimed king is an exercise under the Constitution whereby lawmakers, who represent the people give our assent for the new king to rule by the consent of the population.

It seems to be a more democratic way of going about it. Also, as a parliamentary exercise it is a lower key affair and does not call for other monarchs and world leaders to be in attendance. In present day economically challenged Spain this was a very politically correct thing to do. So, we have got off on the right foot!

I personally like the new King and Queen. They are really attractive as Head of State and his Consort. I have no doubt that King Felipe  VI will carry out his duties with dash and aplomb, as he was born to do.

Viva El Rey! Viva EspaƱa!

Copyright (c) 2014  Eugene Carmichael

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Ah! Summer Time. All's well with the World!

This very picture raises our spirits.

The Spanish weather tells us that Summer has come, and hopefully it's here to stay for the whole season. By the change in temperture from cool to warm there occures a shift in our attitudes. We become more civil towards one another by just the fact that the skies are brilliant. Perhaps even those who are so burdened by debt and family problems may find carrying those loads a little easier to bear while the sun bathes us in all its warmth.

This warm weather makes inland dwellers yearn to get to the sea. Rivers serve just fine even though the water never gets warm, but the coastal beaches are like heaven. For those who live on the coast your time has come. You live for this time of year.

 Spanish families have had it right for a long time by celebrating weekends together. Now the noise level rises a bit with time for picnics and paellas. These are people who put quality of life first, so many others would do well to follow their example.

It's time to let the stress go and to relax.  My wife and I have spent this day with family and friends over a pan of paella and delightful conversation. It was a day that none of us were willing to let end. We are looking forward to many more days like this. I can only wish everyone days so wonderful that we all believe that life itself is just fabulous.

Louis Armstrong so ably croons the song, "It's a Wonderful World." In spite of so many other outstanding works of musical art I think this is his signature tune, probably because so many of us feel deep in our hearts that it really is a wonderful place to be even if we only get to enjoy the best that the world has to offer for a very short time.

Usually, the best is free!

Enjoy your Summer!

Copyright (c) 2014   Eugene Carmichael

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Social networkmarketing and FGxpess

People helping People

Call it what you will: MultiLevelmarketing, Networkmarketing or Social networking, the system is as old as mankind. It is where a manufacturer chooses to distribute his products directly to the market using thousands of individuals who all operate their own business. Instead of dedicating money to advertising his products, or placing them in stores to compete with others, he uses that money to compensate individual production.

On the other side of the scale there are no end to individuals willing to sell the product for the manufacturer. For some people these opportunities are a chance  to shine. These are the people who make it to the Gold Club, The Sapphire Club and beyond. I often think that big time drug dealers would be fabulously successful in selling personal lines of legitimate products, but they chose to go in a diferent direction.

Networkmarketing is a numbers game, so to begin with a wide client base is needed. Secondly, the product is all important. Ideally it should be an outstanding and iconic sort of product that appeals to a majority of the world's population. It's true that certain types of implusive products, and particularly beauty products move well. The household companies of Tupperware and Avon were early leaders in this type of marketing. They have been very successful, and they made it a fun way to earn a living for their consultants.

However, the sad truth is that far too many people who begin to distribute a product end in failure. Retail selling is not easy and requires a lot of staying power. It also requires a lot of rejection stamina, because you will get a lot of people to say , "No thanks!" However, you have to get past them to get to the people who will say, "Yes!" So, retail selling is not for everybody.

Now, there is a new kid on the block. This new company has a product to sell, however, unless you are a pharmacy you cannot actually sell the product as it is a medical device. I can only give it away for people to try. It's a patch to apply to the body where pain is being radiated, and the patch usually brings temporary pain relief. It is classified as a medical device and can be bought over the counter, or directly from the company. So, imagine I give you one of these patches that are called a Power Strip, and it works fabulously well.  you are likely to want more. In order for you to get more I have to introduce you to the company so that you can buy your own. If you join the company I receive a payment for introducing you.

Then, if like me you decide to make a business of doing this, I will assist you to grow your business. In so doing, we are exposing a lot of people to a wonderful new product that brings pain relief; and we are finding self-employment for a lot of people who might otherwise be unemployed, or under-employed. Once those people have money in their pocket their lives return to normal and the whole economic cycle heads in an upward direction.

How noble is that? I am 75 years of age, but faced with this opportunity I regard it to be so good, and important, that I have entered into my own business at this time in my life. However, I hope, and expect to be around well past 100 years of age, so there's lots of time to become an overnight success.

You may be a person like myself who has tried over and over to make a success from networkmarketing. I have put in the effort everytime only to drop it. This time I believe this is the one. I hope I am like Mr Seven-Up. I'm sure he  felt like just scrapping the whole idea with his Six-Up offering, which didn't work. Fortunately he tried again.

I think it was Winston Churchill, former Prime Minister of Great Britain who said, " Don't Quit. Don't ever, ever, ever, Quit!"

Good advice!

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Copyright (c) 2014  Eugene Carmichael