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Archive for December, 2012

Take Care of Yourself – Access Your Skills and Build Upon Them

Posted by Admin On December - 20 - 2012 ADD COMMENTS

Take care of yourself! Learn how to access your skills and build upon them.

Soap Box Rants/WEEKLY COLUMN to CopyLine Magazine
By Pamela Bratcher-McMillan
President, Chair & CEO, of PETAL et al.

In the past year, I’ve met quite a few people sweating it out because they can’t find a job. They cite various reasons for failing in their efforts to find a job such as “I can’t find anything in my field” to “They only hire young people to work.” Yet, young people feel that a lot of jobs they would have been able to get are now being given to more displaced, experienced workers.

Questions have also arisen about the apparent lack of adherence to equal opportunity employment, and “what happened to affirmative action?” And at times some question why some seem to be struggling in their communities while other communities appear unaffected by the cruelness of the current economy. And it’s apparent that the lack of spending in those communities most affected is affecting businesses everywhere. The malls that were once filled with people and noise now resemble quiet places one might go for a walk or sit and reflect on what they will do today or tomorrow.

So what’s a person to do? Well, you can start with feeding yourself or at least supplementing what you buy from the grocery store with your own-grown fruits, vegetables, herbs, spices, etc. If you don’t have a yard, borrow one. Chicago is a forerunner in community food gardens. If you don’t know how to grow or where you can grow food, start with a search engine. There is an overwhelming amount of information and organizations to get you started.

You can also ride a bike or take public transportation. This may not be easy for routes where there is no public transportation or is just too far to travel on a bike. But if you can bike, consider it is good for fitness tool for getting around. You don’t have to add gas, pay a car note or auto insurance. This is another way to save money and the environment at the same time.

Communes, yes “communes!” You can find friends or family that share the same interests and help each other build something. Young people do it all the time. They seem to find a way to be happy while broke. That’s because they share and look out for each other. They haven’t accumulated a lot of things. If you’ve ever been away for college or lived with a young family or roommates, you know what I’m talking about. If you have no money to contribute, then barter. Clean up the place, do some handy work and cook dinner. Don’t take advantage or you’ll just get lazy and end up going nowhere or doing anything! When you have material things holding you down, it’s hard to focus and move on. It may be time to let some things go. The beauty of material things is that you can buy them again some other time. When you’re ready, you will probably want new stuff anyway. It is trying to hold on to things that bring people misery. Sometimes, we have to start over again. Mobility makes it easier to do that. You can go live with a friend, associate or family member outside of town and test the prospects of living somewhere else. One town may be saturated with your skill set and another one may have a demand for those skills. Instead of focusing on an ending, focus on a beginning. Many have built their companies when the odds seemed stacked against them being employed by someone else’s company.

There are countless numbers of people who lost it all and got it back. Many have lost way more than some could imagine. The point is to access your skills and build upon them. Find groups of people that share your passion and interest. Who knows? You may find your next business partner or job by getting out. You certainly run the risk you won’t be found if you’re just using the internet and staying in the house passing time waiting to hear something as a result of submitting a resume online. The phone may never ring. Instead, why not pass time building your own business. It doesn’t have to be a multi-million-dollar business. It can be a business that brings in enough for you to take care of yourself comfortably. And if you do have an idea, take advantage of organizations like SCORE.

Pamela Bratcher-McMillan is a technology Expert and President, Chair & CEO, of PETAL et al.

Can't Afford the High Cost of Education? Well, There is so Much Free Education Resources Available Online

Posted by Admin On December - 13 - 2012 ADD COMMENTS

Soap Box Rants/A WEEKLY COLUMN
By Pamela Bratcher-McMillan
President, Chair & CEO, of PETAL et al.

If you are one of those people who constantly bicker about the high cost of education, guess what? You are still living in the previous millennium. There is so much free education online. And no one should have an excuse for not knowing anything about worthwhile things. With websites like udacity.com, khanacademy.org, memrise.com, coursera.org and the thought-provoking topics on ted.com, anyone can be a person of interest. Why waste time on watching mindless television when you can become a blooming intellectual? I have often thought how it would better serve humanity if we spent more time learning things that could help improve the world and quality of life for its citizens.

Imagine a world where people would focus on life improvement when meeting at the coffee house, utilizing skills they learned online. Online, you can learn anything from start to finish. First, come up with an idea, find people that are passionate about the same things you are, be a mentor and get to work. Don’t know any? Well, as a starter you can search meetup.com for a group that shares your interest. Go to a meeting and identify people you would like to spend some offline time with. You may even find your mentor there.

Now you’re probably thinking, I spend all that time learning and developing, not sure I want to be self-employed. I would prefer to work a job, and they want me to have a degree. Well how about a free online degree in Business or Computer Science. Yes a free degree from the University of the People (uopeople.org). You say an online degree is not a real degree? Think again. This university has the support of institutions like Yale and New York University, United Nations and Hewlett Packard. Ever hear of them? We are living in the computer age where many reputable and prestigious institutions are providing online degrees or accredited classes that can be used toward a degree.

Don’t have a computer? Try your public library. Not only are many libraries providing access to the internet with computers, the quiet is welcome. You don’t have distractions that usually take place at home. You are there to just focus on learning. Even better, you have books, trade magazines, DVD’s, CD’s  on the shelf you can use for reference or check out of the library for further study. I bet you’re now thinking, why do I need a book when I can search online for information? My answer to that is, no matter how much time I spend on the web, there’ nothing like having a book in my hand, reading it and the smell of the pages take me back to times when things were a little more sane and unrushed. I feel relaxed. A book is portable, and I don’t have to worry about the battery running out, but I digress.

Remember, we are living in an information age. There is no excuse for not knowing anything. Each day I learn something I didn’t know yesterday, and tomorrow I will learn something I don’t know today. While I love books and the library, online access and the knowledge that can be acquired 24 hours a day via a few clicks on the computer keyboard are invaluable. Start learning something today so you’ll have something to talk about tomorrow!

Pamela Bratcher-McMillan is a technology Expert and President, Chair & CEO, of PETAL et al.

Gone of the Days When Family, Friends and Neighbors Could Sit Safely Outside and Enjoy Each Other

Posted by Admin On December - 6 - 2012 ADD COMMENTS

Escalating crime on city streets instills fear in people and keeps them behind locked doors

Soap Box Rants/A WEEKLY COLUMN

By Pamela Bratcher-McMillan, President, Chair & CEO, PETAL et al.

Long gone of the days when one could walk down the street and see people sitting on the porch talking and laughing with their family, friends and neighbors.

What happened to this culture that was so prevalent back in the day when people felt somewhat comfortable being outside and enjoying interaction with family, friends and neighbors?

I remember a time when kids and teenagers played double-dutch (jump rope) and other street games which were instrumental in developing their social skills and, yes, giving them an overall sense of fair play and patience; like ‘my turn, your turn, your points, etc. – Your turn to turn the ropes, my turn to pitch the ball, Or, you have to draw the Hopscotch board today, I will draw them tomorrow.’

During the summer, neighborhood kids patiently drew on the sidewalk with chalk or small rocks and jumped rope, played ball, etc. until the Sun went down.  This was done all in the safety of one person or more sitting on their porches watching the kids while socializing perhaps with another friend or neighbor. If there was an argument or fight, it was ceased immediately, by the adults, of course, and the kids or teenagers were given a lesson on showing kindness to each other, learning how to get along with each other, showing compassion for each other, and how to treat friends fairly.

Today, they go back and forth with each other forgetting that there is a human being with feelings, a desire to be accepted and fit in…and loved. You cannot get that feeling with a machine between you. How can people share their experiences if they aren’t experiencing anything? It is certainly limited on a computer. You can’t see their facial expressions. You can’t hear the tone of their voices. You can’t see that they are crying or that you hurt their feelings. Words without feelings are left to the discretion of the person receiving them and based on their perception of how you feel about them.

Studies have shown that in neighborhoods where there is a presence of people sitting out on the porch after work usually don’t have as much crime as those of people who go home and close the curtains until the next day when they go back to work or school. The bottom line is that criminals do not want to be seen.

Imagine if everyone would have their curtains open or sit on the porch during hours that people are getting home from work and school. It could help to deter crime. While we do realize that in some areas the porch may not be the safest place to be, there are other ways to monitor the area safely. Computer surveillance equipment can play a key role in keeping the area monitored. With a small camera strategically placed in your window, you can monitor areas while you watch TV or have a window open on your computer while you cruise the internet.

Bottom line: We need to go outside and get to know our neighbors…each other, thereby, looking out for each other, forming a relationship dialogue with each other, and making good friends in the process.

Pamela Bratcher-McMillan is a technology expert and President, Chair & CEO, PETAL et al.

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Welcome to CopyLine Magazine! The first issue of CopyLine Magazine was published in November, 1990, by Editor & Publisher Juanita Bratcher. CopyLine’s main focus is on the political arena – to inform our readers and analyze many of the pressing issues of the day - controversial or otherwise. Our objectives are clear – to keep you abreast of political happenings and maneuvering in the political arena, by reporting and providing provocative commentaries on various issues. For more about CopyLine Magazine, CopyLine Blog, and CopyLine Television/Video, please visit juanitabratcher.com, copylinemagazine.com, and oneononetelevision.com. Bratcher has been a News/Reporter, Author, Publisher, and Journalist for 33 years. She is the author of six books, including “Harold: The Making of a Big City Mayor” (Harold Washington), Chicago’s first African-American mayor; and “Beyond the Boardroom: Empowering a New Generation of Leaders,” about John Herman Stroger, Jr., the first African-American elected President of the Cook County Board. Bratcher is also a Poet/Songwriter, with 17 records – produced by HillTop Records of Hollywood, California. Juanita Bratcher Publisher

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