Thursday, December 11, 2014

Rankism, lets stamp it out

Somebodies and Nobodies: Understanding Rankism

Ever feel like a Nobody? The reason may be rankism.

What is rankism? First, a specific example; then, a general definition.
An executive pulls into valet parking, late to a business lunch, and finds no one to take his car. He spots a teenager running towards him and yells, "Where the hell were you? I haven't got all day."
He tosses the keys on the pavement. Bending to pick them up, the boy says, "Sorry, sir. About how long do you expect to be?"
The executive hollers over his shoulder, "You'll know when you see me, won't you?" The valet winces, but holds his tongue. Postscript: That evening the teenager bullies his kid brother.
The dynamic is familiar: A customer demeans a waitress, a boss humiliates an employee, a principal bullies a teacher, a teacher mocks a student, students ostracize other students, a parentbeats a child, a coach bullies a player, a professor exploits a graduate student, a doctor insults a nurse or patronizes a patient, a priest abuses a parishioner, a caregiver mistreats an elder, executives award themselves perks and bonuses, police

Most such behaviors have nothing to do with racism, sexism, or other discriminatory isms. Yet perpetrators of these insults, like racists and sexists, select their targets with circumspection. In every case, a disparity of power and rank figures in the choice of target and higher rank shields perpetrators from retaliation.
Rank signifies power. Sometimes rank is abused, as in these examples, but often it's simply an organizational tool used to get a job done in a timely manner. Many bosses, coaches, doctors, priests, and professors interact with their subordinates without insulting or exploiting them. Yet in the hands of a sadistic bully, rank is a cudgel if not an instrument of torture. What can victims of rank abuse do to protect their dignity?
Those abused on the basis of color unified against racism. Women targeted sexism and the elderly took aim at ageism. By analogy, "rankism" denotes abuses of power associated with rank. Once you have a name for it, you see it everywhere. More importantly, once you call it by name, everyone else will see it too, and perpetrators will find themselves on the defensive.
"To have a name is to be," said Benoit Mandelbrot, the inventor of fractals. As "sexism" gained a foothold, men's desire to avoid being labeled "sexist" caused them to modify their treatment of women. Likewise, the desire of perpetrators to avoid being labeled rankist will cause them to think twice about insulting the dignity of subordinates.
Rankism is what people who take themselves for "somebodies" do to those they mistake for "nobodies." Whether directed at an individual or a group, rankism aims to put targets in their place and keep them weak so they will do as they're told and submit to being taken advantage of.
In the examples above, rankism consists of abuse of the power attached to rank. Another expression of rankism occurs when the abuse lies not in how rank is used, but in the very fact of ranking in the first place. There are lots of hierarchies whose only purpose is to justify privileging one group over another. Then, high status is used by the creators of these fabricated hierarchies to rationalize the privileges they've arrogated unto themselves. Contrariwise, the inferior status of the less powerful is invoked to justify their on-going exploitation. The irony is that while the less powerful are forced to serve as benefactors to those of higher rank, they are routinely depicted as dependent and inferior.
Examples of rankism based on pseudo rankings include the illicit hierarchies maintained by racism, sexism, ageism, classism, ableism, and heterosexualism (or, homophobia)--in short, the familiar isms that plague societies and that, one by one, are being discredited and dismantled.
Like abuses of legitimate rank, the use of illegitimate rank is a source ofhumiliation and indignity. Both expressions of rankism are indefensible violations of human dignity. Rankism is simply an umbrella name for the many ways that people put others down to secure advantages for themselves. All forms of rankism have their roots in predation and have evolved from the practice of slavery.
The relationship between rankism and the specific isms targeted byidentity politics can be compared to that between cancer and its subspecies. For centuries the group of diseases that are now seen as varieties of cancer were regarded as distinct illnesses. No one realized that lung, breast, and other organ-specific cancers all had their origins in cellular malfunction.
In this metaphor, racism, sexism, and homophobia are analogous to organ-specific cancers and rankism is the blanket malignancy analogous to cancer itself. Rankism is the mother of all the ignoble isms.
Now that rankism has a name, we must learn to say it aloud. It was not easy to use the word "sexism" at first. Men utterly refused, and women demurred for fear of seeming "uppity." As we overcome our reluctance to be uppity nobodies, and gain the confidence to stand up for our own and others' dignity, rankism will become insupportable.
The demise of rankism in all its guises will mark the dawn of something new in human affairs--dignitarian societies. In a dignitarian society, no one is taken for a nobody and, regardless of role or rank, everyone is accorded equal dignity.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Violence against women

More people, in particular men, need to step up and support the movement that is gathering to support non-violence against women.
Violence against women in any form whether it be physical, emotional, psychological and spiritual is not right. 

Creative Quote of the week 

“Most men fear getting laughed at or humiliated by a 

romantic prospect while most women fear rape and death.” 

  Gavin de Becker, The Gift of Fear: Survival Signals That 

Protect Us from Violence

Recognising Charm Syndrome Man

'The men who abuse women may be dustbinmen, accountants, bus drivers or film producers.
'What they have in common is they are invariably the last people anyone would suspect of abusing their partners,' says Sandra Horley, Chief Executive of Refuge and author of Power and Control: Why Charming Men Can Make Dangerous Lovers.
'Charm Syndrome Man is always charming at first. He uses this charm to gain control over a woman. Once he has achieved that control, Charm Syndrome Man may or may not continue to charm his partner. But what he will always do is assert and reinforce his control by emotional and sometimes physical abuse.'
Controlling techniques
'As soon as a woman commits to him, his charming behaviour will change. He uses controlling techniques: criticism, undermining his partner's confidence, or jealousy. Because he flies into a jealous rage whenever she sees anyone close to her, she gradually sees friends and family less. Eventually, her dependence on him is complete.'
At this point, miserable though she is, a woman's confidence has been sapped to the point where she feels unable to leave. And, because Charm Syndrome Man sometimes reverts to his old charming self, the one she fell in love with, many women even feel that the abuse is their fault, that there must be something they've done to make it happen.
What Charm Syndrome Man needs most is to feel completely in control. So his outbursts of emotional or physical abuse occur when his control feels threatened.
'Of course it is possible for a man to be charming yet not to abuse women,' Sandra Horley continues. 'But in the case of Charm Syndrome Man, he uses his charm to the ultimate, because it is control over his partner that he really wants.'
Is your partner controlling you?
Sandra Horley asks women to answer these questions :
• Do you feel you have to change your behaviour to please him?
• Has your partner ever threatened you, or intimidated you by using violent language or smashing up the furniture?
• Does your partner make it difficult for you to see family or friends? Does he expect you to be with him all the time? Is he jealous or possessive?
• Does he insist that the home and children are your responsibility, and refuse to help out, even if you both have full-time jobs?
• Does he get over-involved in your life, solving all your problems in a seemingly caring way, such as getting your car repaired, filling in the tax forms, making your decisions for you - until he has undermined your independence?
• Does he frequently humiliate and embarrass you, show you up or put you in the wrong - often in front of family or friends?
• Do you feel that whatever you do you cannot seem to please him - that you cannot seem to win?
• Do you feel as though he is always trying to catch you out?
• Does he always turn conversations around to centre on himself?
• Does he always have to be right? Does he constantly criticise and blame you or others for everything that is wrong in his life, rather than accept that he might have made a mistake?
If you recognise your relationship in this checklist, then your partner is emotionally abusing you by trying to control your life.

Claim some of your life back by embarking on a creativity course with me in the new year. 

By committing to doodling and writing every day for a month and taking some time out for yourself you may be able to find some freedom.
If not, you will at least have some time out.
Email  for a list of  prices. 
Monday to Wednesday and Friday mornings. 
Mosaics, painting, drawing, doodling, writing and creating. 
Janet keen Mosaic and Painting School 
374 Clayton Road, Rotorua
New Zealand. 

Friday, October 31, 2014

Encouraging Creativity, stolen from another website

"I have stolen this content for your internet  for your digestion.  I hope you enjoy it and that you find it absorbing, interesting and  ultimately inspirational.
 I am available to run  creativity classes for individuals or groups. 
So feel free to enquire." Janet Keen, Creativity Queen.

"The intuitive mind is a sacred gift, the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift." - Albert Einstein
We do not need to teach creativity, but rather inspire its daily practice. Somewhere along the way, we simply forgot to honor this innate gift and how to access its power. Our role as educators is to encourage learning experiences that increase the ability to recognize and listen to our inner voice.
Let us begin by shifting emphasis from finding the right answer to creating school cultures that encourage risk-taking and embrace ambiguity. Psychologist Carl Rogers believed that we repress and even hide creative talent if our working environment is not psychologically safe or grounded on unconditional acceptance and empathy. Building a culture of trust is the first essential ingredient for an innovative community of thinkers to emerge. In order for innovation to breed, we need to feel safe enough to get out of our comfort zone, embrace uncertainty, take chances, and effectively collaborate with others. Together we can build ways to enhance rather than undermine creative thinking. No app, nor piece of technology, can produce this. It grows from the hearts, hands and guidance of a caring community.

The Idea Catcher

We can start by using note-taking apps to encourage observation and reflection. Have you ever noticed how ideas suddenly occur while going on a walk, taking a shower, driving or daydreaming? When our mind wanders between subconscious and conscious thought, we indirectly find ourselves working on ideas. Digital journaling can help us to tap into the flow of our internal conversations and then recognize and archive these moments. With regular practice, we begin to view the world through new eyes, and turn on the creative switch within us.

Tricking the Muse

A strategy often used to help generate ideas is brainstorming. An essential cornerstone of this technique is an understanding that creativity thrives when criticism is absent. It is essential that during brainstorming all judgment of ideas, whether negative or positive, be postponed for a later decision-making stage. We must also hold on loosely to ideas, to keep the process moving forward and be more willing to revise concepts later. Brainstorming sets us out in search of a parade of ideas while simultaneously harnessing our natural inclination to focus and identify solutions. 

Let's Get Visual

Doodling is also a powerful format for generating ideas. Again, this process needs to remain fast, fluent and flexible. The challenge here is to select a drawing app that reduces the desire to spend time creating art. The minute a thought becomes precious, the flow of ideas is repressed. The goal is to keep sketches open and unfinished, so that revision and modifications are easier to embrace later.

Paul Torrance defined creativity as "the process of sensing problems or gaps in information, forming ideas or hypotheses, testing, modifying these hypotheses and communicating the results. This process may lead to any one of many kinds of products -- verbal and nonverbal, concrete and abstract."
In order to innovate, we must have the capacity to redefine problems and frame questions. The formation of essential questions or need statements will direct and shape discovery-based learning. These questions are constantly referred back to, revised, used to establish criteria and regain focus during the decision-making process. Learning to write an inquiry question is a bit like peeling the layers of an onion; with every iteration, we get closer to the central issue.
When generating problem statements/questions, we need to adopt a flexible process that will promote the articulation of several versions. 

Be Brave

We need to demystify the creative thinking process and model how to tune into its power. Before questioning why thoughts, images, or sounds that resonate within us are important, allow time and space for unusual ideas to exist. Since the direction of this learning path can take unpredictable and seemingly random detours, it will require bravery on the part of both student and teacher. Do not be afraid to relinquish control. Use creative energy to spark the desire to learn, realize self-fulfillment, and fall in love with dreams. It will be worth it!

Enrol your child on a Janet Keen Creativity set of after school painting and mosaic classes and see his or her creativity soar using hands on techniques that are fun and lovely
Phone Janet Keen 346-3435 or email . Enrolling now for next year and school holidays 

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

One Hundred days project continued.

I am now up to number 90 and have 10 more illustrations to  go before I finish. 
These should be finished by the end of the week. 
I am late I  realise but this was due to unexpected interruptions and (possibly) time management issues. 
But the main thing is I have not given up and I will get there. 

 Day 25.  "Fly away to a land far away for a holiday and live the dream." Janet Keen 

This was created on the plane flying over and is an affirmation that I  am going on lots more overseas holidays. 

I have had a holiday, and I'd like to take it up professionally.

Kylie Minogue

Day 26. "Appreciate the little things in 

life, for they could well turn out to be the 

big things," Janet Keen.

Creative Quote.
Love is not just tolerance. It's not just distant 

appreciation. It's a warm sense of, 'I am

 enjoying the fact that you are you.'

This was made while I  was sitting at the table in the luxurious apartment enjoying the view of the sea and anchored ships on the horizon.

 Day 27. "Find time to play and feed the birds and you will be rewarded with love," Janet Keen.

Creative quote
 Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in, where nature may heal and give strength to body and soul.

 This  was made after we went along the beach around Glenelg and saw the boats, seagulls and buildings along the seafront. 

Day 28. "Enjoy the fishing for the fresh sea breeze, anything you catch is a bonus," Janet Keen

 Creative Quote

The charm of fishing is that it is the pursuit of what is elusive but attainable, a perpetual series of occasions for hope.

Day 29. "Feel the freedom of the sun on your back while you dream." Janet Keen

Creative Quote

“Yours is the light by which my spirit's born: - you are my 

sun, my moon, and all my stars.” 

 E.E. Cummings

Day 30. "As I create I  am closer to my source of power." Janet Keen.
Creative Quote 
 “Breathe in that vital connection to the life source and 
sensual beauty everywhere. Feel loved and strong.” 

 Jay Woodman

Day 31. "Wishing on stars is never a waste of time as long as you let your closest friends in on it." Janet Keen  


Creative Quote

“I imagine what would happen if everyone turned their 

regrets into wishes, went around shouting them.” 


 Nina LaCour

Day 32. "Always trust in the beam from your lighthouse, it can save your life." Janet Keen.

Many people spend too much time trying to be the captain

of someone elses boat. 

Learn to be a lighthouse and the 

boats will find their way.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

5 Ways To Manifest Your Reality With The Power of Visualization

Actor Jim Carrey is famous for parking his car on Muholland Drive every night before anybody knew about him, and visualizing becoming the Hollywood star that he inevitably became. He even wrote himself a ten million dollar check for a movie deal, and dated it five years from that very day. Can you guess what eventually happened? Not long before that date came along, he secured ten million dollars to star in the movie Dumb and Dumber.
The power of visualization has been instrumental in turning dreams into reality for not only folks like Jim Carrey, but elite and successful people in every field: professional athletes, business CEO’s, speakers, singers, and performers.
Replaying the mental vision and image of where or who you would like to be is the key catalyst in swinging your vision from a mere day-dream into reality!
Remarkably, science has also demonstrated that your brain cannot tell the difference between a visualized image and reality. A Harvard study taught two groups a simple 5-fingered piano melody; one group physically practiced the melody for 2 hours a day over 5 days. The other group merely visualized playing the melody. As you can probably guess, the new neurological wiring that took place were almost identical between the two groups.

Here are 5 ways you can begin to use visualization to start living the dream:

1. When visualizing your dreams, involve all your senses:

Touch, sound, sight, even smell and taste. Involve your emotions, laugh, smile, and celebrate the victory.

2. Take on different perspectives:

See yourself accomplishing your goals beginning with your own 1st person lens, then 2nd and 3rd person, be in the crowd and look upon yourself succeeding in your dream.

3. Begin to live as if you have succeeded in your goal:

Begin to dress, talk, and look like the person you want to be.

4. Use self-talk and affirmations together with your visualizations:

As with taking on the different perspectives with the mental images, likewise in 1st, 2nd, and 3rd person, say the things that would like to be said about you as if you have already achieved your goal.

5. Put together a dream collage: 

This can be physical on a cork-board, posted on your desk or wall, or compiled on your computer. Use words that describe the person that you desire to become, pictures of the victories that you desire to experience.
Be sure to look at these images on a daily basis.

Attain your dreams through the power of visualisation by taking a 
Visualisation Workshop by Janet Keen. 
Book your space now Monday to Wednesday and Friday 

Call 346-3435 or email  for details.