Friday, 4 January 2008

If we could shrink the earth's population

I also found this which I hope will make you think and reflect on how lucky we all are...

"If we could shrink the earth's population to a village of precisely 100 people, with all the existing human ratios remaining the same, it would look something like the following. There would be:

  • 57 Asians
  • 21 Europeans
  • 14 from the Western Hemisphere, both north and south
  • 8 would be Africans
  • 52 would be female
  • 48 would be male
  • 70 would be non-white
  • 30 would be white
  • 70 would be non-Christian
  • 30 would be Christian
  • 89 would be heterosexual
  • 11 would be homosexual
  • 6 people would possess 59% of the entire world's wealth and all 6 would be from the United States.
  • 80 would live in substandard housing
  • 70 would be unable to read
  • 50 would suffer from malnutrition
  • (ONE)1 would be near death;
  • (ONE)1 would be near birth;
  • (ONE)1 (yes, only 1) would have a college education;
  • (ONE)1 (yes, only 1) would own a computer.

When one considers our world from such a compressed perspective, the need for acceptance, understanding and education becomes glaringly apparent. And, therefore . . .

  • If you have food in the refrigerator, clothes on your back, a roof overhead and a place to sleep, you are richer than 75% of this world.
  • If you woke up this morning with more health than illness, you are more blessed than the million who will not survive this week.
  • If you have money in the bank, in your wallet, and spare change in a dish someplace, you are among the top 8% of the world's wealthy.
  • If you can attend a church meeting without fear of harassment, arrest, torture, or death, you are more blessed than three billion people in the world.
  • If you have never experienced the danger of battle, the loneliness of imprisonment, the agony of torture, or the pangs of starvation, you are ahead of 500 million people in the world.
  • If you hold up your head with a smile on your face and are truly thankful, you are blessed because the majority can, but most do not.
  • If you can read this message, you are more blessed than over two billion people in the world who cannot read at all.
  • As you read this and are reminded how life is in the rest of the world, remember just how blessed you really are!"

I always try to count my blessings and understand how fortunate I am. This rather puts it all into perspective in 2008!

What I learned in life

I found this on the internet over Christmas...

"I've learned -that you cannot make someone love you. All you can do is be someone who can be loved. The rest is up to them.
I've learned-that no matter how much I care, some people just don't care back.

I've learned-that it takes years to build up trust, and only seconds to destroy it.

I've learned-that it's not what you have in your life but who you have in your life that counts.

I've learned-that you can get by on charm for about fifteen minutes. After that, you'd better know something.

I've learned-that you shouldn't compare yourself to the best others can do.

I've learned-that you can do something in an instant that will give you heartache for life.

I've learned-that it's taking me a long time to become the person I want to be.

I've learned-that you can keep going long after you can't.

I've learned-that we are responsible for what we do, no matter how we feel.

I've learned-that either you control your attitude or it controls you.

I've learned-that regardless of how hot and steamy a relationship is at first, the passion fades and there had better be something else to take its place.

I've learned-that heroes are the people who do what has to be done when it needs to be done, regardless of the consequences.

I've learned-that money is a lousy way of keeping score.

I've learned-that my best friend and I can do anything or nothing and have the best time.

I've learned-that sometimes the people you expect to kick you when you're downwill be the ones to help you get back up.

I've learned-that sometimes when I'm angry I have the right to be angry, but that doesn't give me the right to be cruel.

I've learned-that true friendship continues to grow, even over the longest distance. Same goes for true love.

I've learned-that just because someone doesn't love you the way you want them to doesn't mean they don't love you with all they have.

I've learned-that maturity has more to do with what types of experiences you've had and what you've learned from them and less to do with how many birthdays you've celebrated.

I've learned-that you should never tell a child their dreams are unlikely or outlandish. Few things are more humiliating, and what a tragedy it would be if they believed it.

I've learned-that your family won't always be there for you. It may seem funny, how people you aren't related to can take care of you and love you and teach you to trust people again. Families aren't always biological.

I've learned-that no matter how good a friend is, they're going to hurt you every once in a while and you must forgive them for that.

I've learned-that it isn't always enough to be forgiven by others. Sometimes you have to learn to forgive yourself.

I've learned-that no matter how bad your heart is broken the world doesn't stop for your grief.

I've learned-that our background and circumstances may have influenced who we are, but we are responsible for who we become.

I've learned-that just because two people argue, it doesn't mean they don't love each other And just because they don't argue, it doesn't mean they do.

I've learned-that we don't have to change friends if we understand that friends change.

I've learned-that you shouldn't be so eager to find out a secret. It could change your life forever.

I've learned-that two people can look at the exact same thing and see something totally different.

I've learned-that no matter how you try to protect your children, they will eventually get hurt and you will hurt in the process.

I've learned-that your life can be changed in a matter of hours by people who don't even know you.

I've learned-that even when you think you have no more to give, when a friend cries out to you, you will find the strength to help.

I've learned-that credentials on the wall do not make you a decent human being.

I've learned-that the people you care about most in life are taken from you too soon.

I've learned-that it's hard to determine where to draw the line between being nice and not hurting people's feelings and standing up for what you believe. "

Powerful stuff and worth remembering as we enter another crazy and challenging year where undoubtedly we will get things wrong and screw up but hopefully continue to make a real difference for children and young people across Leeds.
It is a difficult, yet exciting, time to be in education...

The challenges remain driving up secondary standards, improving the very low secondary contextual value added, addressing the needs of young people achieving very little after eleven years of statutory education and tackling those not in education, employment and training. The real challenge is how do we bring our collective energies and efforts to bear on the task of improving learning for all our students? And how do we create the conditions that prompt and enable our provision to deliver significantly better learning outcomes?

Everyone expects so much... of headteachers, of governors, of teachers and of colleagues who are assuming formal or informal leadership responsibilities; of Education Leeds colleagues who are operating at some distance from the classroom... but all of us facing the same relentless pressure, the same high expectations, along with the increased and increasing demands of driving and guiding the school system in Leeds towards improved performance and better outcomes for every child and very young person... whatever it takes!

This climate of higher and higher accountability increases the weight of the expectations facing all of us and as always the stakes are high. The biggest challenge lies in how we build learning leadership; connecting leadership practice with student learning, and then mobilizing the energy and commitment of all relevant partners and stakeholders. This challenge involves not only us as individual leaders, operating from our respective vantage points in a highly complex system, but all of us together... the power of TEAM!

We must re-imagine our systems, processes and provision and be brave enough to ask ourselves the difficult questions about why things are currently not working and what we can do to ensure that there is step change in outcomes for all young people here in Leeds.

As always, I'd welcome your views and comments.