Taking a Look at Censorship

Candice

Censorship is one of those controversial topics which many of us try and avoid. In fact, it ought to be included with the three other forbidden topics: religion, politics, and sex. Recently there have been strongly opinionated posts and comments surrounding what should or should not be censored on LinkedIn. Candice Galek has been at the subject of many.

She is a young entrepreneur who has grown her passion into a successful company. Bikini Luxe has become a major online store featuring women’s swimwear, accessories, and most recently added menswear to its offering. The self-proclaimed “Bikini Geek” wants to help women feel luxurious and tasteful every time they adorn one of her garments.

My first reaction was to jump on the censorship wagon but after writing three blogs specifically about Millennials, I decided to investigate further. What was her thought process and how did she reconcile her controversial marketing. To my surprise, she responded to my inquiry and here are some of her responses:

John: The video was very sensual, do you mind if I use the word sexy? When selling to women, does that type style work well for females?

Candice: Ok well, we try not to use the word sexy or nude (even the color!) on the website as we don’t want the Google bots thinking our website has anything to do with anything connected to porn. The video posted was not mine, but rather one posted by a supporter who wanted to draw attention to what was happening. It is a music video by Nazareth May The Sunshine. As social media is constantly streaming at us it is important to not make snap judgements. Take a few moments to click on someones profile before you blurt out whatever is running through your mind. Remember the internet is forever, and you should always guard your reputation with your life (http://48laws-of-power.blogspot.com/2011/05/law-5-so-much-depends-on-reputation.html) This is especially the case when you are on a business networking website.

John: I understand men are now buying their girlfriends bikinis and that may be a reason you are using this style, but –  and I say this truly with all due respect – some of the women’s movements  were quite sexual in nature. I can understand how some may be offended (of course, they can always stop watching the video) but do you think there is a bit of exploitation there? Maybe exploitation is a bit strong but I am really interested in learning from your viewpoint. Is there a way to be as effective without being that suggestive?

Candice: If my business were anything other than Bikinis and swimwear then of course I would agree with you. But being as what it is, no I do not feel the Women are being exploited. The human body is a beautiful thing, and while there is a fine line between art and “pornography” for lack of a better word. There is most definitely a line. The products are shown as they would be seen on the beach. It boils down to intention and context. Perhaps we Millennials are somewhat desensitized due to social media. Whatever the case, personally some of my best friends are 50 and 60 years old. They seem to be who I connect with the best. I feel that they have something that I can learn from and if there is one thing that I aim for in life it is to always be a student. Maybe I am not a normal Millennial, but whatever the case  when it comes to a one on one situation I would much prefer to sit an listen to someone 20-30 years older than myself and learn from their experiences and stories.

Call it what you may, I say these are intelligent, well thought-out responses and not someone looking to make a quick buck on a trendy fad. It is a perfect example of each generation learns from the other. It is how we make a better world in which we all partake. Thank you Candice. I wish you the best of success!

 

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Mending The Gap

Running water

Photo by Klara Pospisilova

In my previous post (https://wordpress.com/read/feeds/12268181/posts/970448668) I had the privilege of discussing generational gap concerns with a fantastic young Millennia, and I can’t stop wondering if it is one which every generation has faced for centuries. The one that Baby Boomers currently face with Millennials may not be too dissimilar from what we faced in our twenties. However, it was handled in a much different manner.

Millennials tend to speak their mind more freely while we were a bit more observant to the wishes of our parents. However, I believe that the biggest issue we Baby Boomers have is that Millennials are handling it differently. We didn’t have the internet or cell phones and that made us more responsible. There weren’t all these modern conveniences making life easy and they should experience some of that. Well my grandparents didn’t have plumbing in their home and this week, my plumbing was out for only one day. I have no desire to go back to my grandparents days!

We must realize that things are different; just as things were different for us from what our parents had. Telling Millennials life was more difficult twenty years ago isn’t going to give them brilliant insight on what they are currently facing. The Millennials ARE the future and we need to work with them so theirs is a better world when they reach our age. Let’s embrace the differences and work through the struggles. That is how each gets a better understanding of the other. That is how the relationship is strengthened.

And yes, you Millennials; you will also need to embrace the differences. There are times when you may need hold your tongue and work a little harder at showing courtesy and respect. You can learn from our wisdom and refine it so that it works for you. As in any relationship, there will be difficult times, misunderstandings, and even exchange of heated dialogue but the victory of working through the struggle is a greater love and understanding. That is the legacy we should leave with our children. That will make the world a better place for us being here. I would love to hear your thoughts.

Bridging the Gap

Small lake

Photograph by Klara Pospisilova

After reading my post about the Generation Gap, I was delighted to receive questions from 23-year old, Soumya Gupta. It was an honor to hear her thoughts and questions. Here is part of that conversation.

(Soumya) Hi, John! I read your post: The Perpetual Generation Gap and I liked your perspective toward the millennials. However, can you give me one such contrasting example of parent-child relationship? You state that “instead of finding reasons to criticize them, we should be conversing with them to get a greater understanding of who they are…They will never do things the way we did them because it is a different world!” Correct me if I am wrong, but I see two points here. “Understanding of who they are” – Does this imply parents should allow their children to take up profession they care about, howsoever unusual? And second, “they will never do things the way we did” states millennials have unconventional methods to tackle situations. Is it so?

 

(John) Allow me to start with your second point. It’s not that the all their methods are unconventional, it’s the way problems are approached are with a different type of thinking.

Baby Boomers were often shamed into “believe this way or else”. We believed because we “had” to. Millennials consider things. I believe your generation does not respect how we approached solutions because we were not more open minded.

What Millennials need to understand is that is how generally things worked. We listened, followed, and obeyed. Which isn’t necessarily the best way to do things but it was how it was.

Both generations can now sit together and talk about it. Accept how each approaches issues and find a solution together. You can learn from our experience and we can promote a healthier relationship by being more accepting. It is a broad generalization but I hope you get my gist.

(Soumya) Yes, makes perfect sense. Thank you for taking out time to explain me.

(John) Regarding a profession. In a perfect world, everyone does what he or she wants. However, there is this thing called reality.

(Soumya) True! 😅

(John) I believe your generation is jaded by how much greed and the attraction that money brings to my generation – no matter how often we hear that money doesn’t buy happiness.

Millennials want to enjoy life and not fret so much about the gaining of money. Of course, there will always be those who think money is power and will usurp it in any way possible but for the most part, millennials aren’t being sold by the capitalist greed that sometimes haunts the US.

(Soumya) I hear you. Because that’s what we have been made to believe by everyone.

(John) And that is the fault of our generation. We have grown up with the philosophy that our parents want us to do better and our children to do better than we. But what is doing better?

Happiness is internal and while money may help in some ways, we must  seek to be happy in whatever state we find ourselves; rich, poor, overweight, too thin, etc.

As humans, it is inevitable that we judge others. Yes, we probably shouldn’t but we do. However, we use our own life as a measuring stick for others. That is where the problem lies. You won’t find happiness the way I do but I shouldn’t condemn you because you don’t (i.e. most religions and cultures)

No religion or culture SHOULD EVER feel bad about who they are.

Thank you to Soumya Gupta. She lives in Kolkata, India and aspiring to for a career in writing. Let’s all wish her the best!

The Perpetual Generation Gap

Charleston

Every generation is told by the one before it a multitude of reasons why they do things wrong. My peers were told by our parents; they were told by theirs and so on back to the very first generation of the human species. If each generation gets lazier and more entitled then why haven’t we all gone to hell in a hand-basket yet?

This Baby Boomer believes that it’s time to change that way of thinking. Instead of finding reasons to criticize them, we should be conversing with them to get a greater understanding of who they are. After all, they are the future.  So much of their disillusion comes from our archaic way of thinking. They will never do things the way we did them because it is a different world!

If they are disenchanted, it is by our stubbornness to prove them wrong. It is much more logical to work with and compliment them; teaching them with our experience and wisdom rather than condemning them for their indifference. If we expect greater things from them, they no doubt will strive to exceed our expectations. I have had the pleasure of working with several Millennials and they thrive on positive feedback.

Our world is changing and in this digital age, it mutates at a much faster rate. Before long, the Millennials will be  having this same conversation with their younger generation and I hope they will learn from our positive example.

Get Out Of The Way, Part II

Tree

One of the most difficult things in life is to be able to discern our own faults and weaknesses. At times we are rather keen on seeing the faults in others but somehow lack that ability when it comes to our own shortcomings. Here is a simple test. Look at those around you and especially those with whom you interact regularly. Choose of 3 or 4 of them who have aspects of their character or personality which could definitely use improvement. Whether it is a particular blatant failing or a minor flaw, take a mental note about them and how puzzling it is that they are not able to see it.

Be very honest about how correct your observations are and then ask yourself this question, “How many people are making the same conclusions about me?”

You may be thinking that it doesn’t matter what people say about me, and yes that is ultimately true. But if we are quite certain about our critiques of others, what makes their observations any less correct about us?

Finding shortcomings in others is not difficult at all but when we try point that finger at ourselves, the critical eye of discernment is not quite so quick to judge. Why is it that we effortlessly find the problems with others yet struggle to find our own? I believe that many of us have developed patterns which cause us to make decisions that can be deliberately punishing or sabotaging and the first step toward this is simply coming to that realization. How this can be undone is a remarkably healing step; to be discussed soon.

Get Out Of The Way!

Dimensional MirrorFrequently there are hurdles in our way while we strive toward achieving success. Advice flows freely from experts who are supposed to help us overcome these challenges but that doesn’t mean their instruction shouldn’t be questioned. It is often said, “Don’t let the negativity of others drag you down” or some sort of packaged version of that expression. While it’s true, you shouldn’t allow that to happen, I am offering a little different point of view.

Instead of pointing the finger and blaming someone else, we should first examine ourselves. Sometimes – as in the case of the picture above – the hurdle can be a mirror.

Take a good look at yourself and see what can be improved. Expecting change from others and not demanding it individually is frankly hypocritical. Trying to change anyone might be a futile attempt but if we all change ourselves, that will make the world a much better place. My advice! Take a good look in the mirror. It may be painful at first but the outcome will be miraculous.