Entries from September 2009 ↓

Reflexion Dominicale

Evangile de Jésus-Christ selon saint Marc 9,30-37.
Jésus traversait la Galilée avec ses disciples, et il ne voulait pas qu’on le sache.
Car il les instruisait en disant : « Le Fils de l’homme est livré aux mains des hommes ; ils le tueront et, trois jours après sa mort, il ressuscitera. »
Mais les disciples ne comprenaient pas ces paroles et ils avaient peur de l’interroger.
Ils arrivèrent à Capharnaüm, et, une fois à la maison, Jésus leur demandait : « De quoi discutiez-vous en chemin ? »
Ils se taisaient, car, sur la route, ils avaient discuté entre eux pour savoir qui était le plus grand.
S’étant assis, Jésus appela les Douze et leur dit : Prenant alors un enfant, il le plaça au milieu d’eux, l’embrassa, et leur dit :
« Celui qui accueille en mon nom un enfant comme celui-ci, c’est moi qu’il accueille. Et celui qui m’accueille ne m’accueille pas moi, mais Celui qui m’a envoyé. »


Au lieu de discuter pour savoir qui était le plus grand, Jésus nous enseigne : « Si quelqu’un veut être le premier, qu’il soit le dernier de tous et le serviteur de tous. » Plus encore, Jésus nous demande d’accueillir en son nom un enfant. Que représente l’enfant ? Un être dépourvu des biens avec le potentiel de grandir ? Un être qui est dans le besoin et qui est dans l’impossibilité immédiate de te rendre service. Accueil d’un enfant serait il pour nous mettre dans une position d’exercer notre don d’amour inconditionnel ?

Cette Évangile, me demande de déplacer mon regard vers le service des autres et les démunis.

Donne-moi Seigneur Dieu d’avoir l’esprit de service qui convient pour penser et accueillir les autres et plus particulièrement les démunis.

Coaching Marshall Goldsmith

Last night, I spent two hours listening to the recordings I took during the eye opening seminar I attended by a Philosopher. The material was so dense that I had to stop the recording on and off to reflect thereon. I then mentally reassess my position in the light of Bertrand Vergely point of view. By so doing, I found that by using an ‘observer’ perceptual position, I could better judge the position to take, in melting some of the good sense that Bertrand Vergely was driving to some of my own convictions. I totally adhere to the thesis of Bertrand Vergely on Primary Intelligence (reptilian) and Creative Intelligence which was for me a new way of defining the type of intelligence.

Today whilst reading, an article of coaching it was suggested that one could be one’s own coach by imagination and the use of our creative intelligence. In NLP, we call this the ‘what if’ frame. This is at least how Marshall Goldsmith & Patricia Wheeler start off their script on Coaching.

The best coaching advice you’ll ever receive in life comes from a wise old person. Listen carefully:

First, take a deep breath. Now, imagine that you are 95 years old and about to die. Before you take your last breath, you are given a wonderful, beautiful gift: the ability to travel back in time and talk with the person you are today. The 95-year-old you has the chance to help the you of today to have a great career and a great life.

The 95-year-old you knows what was really important and what wasn’t; what really mattered and what didn’t; what really counted and what didn’t count at all. What advice does the wise “old you” have for you? Take your time. Jot down the answers on two levels: personal advice and professional advice. And once you write down these words, take them to heart.

In a world of performance appraisals, this may well be the one that matters most. At the end of life, if the old you thinks that you did the right thing, you probably did. If the old you thinks that you screwed up, you probably did. At the end of life, you don’t have to impress anyone else—just the person you see in the mirror.

Four Recurring Themes

When a friend once talked with old people facing death and asked them what advice they would have given themselves, their answers were filled with wisdom—and four themes:

1. Take time to reflect on life and find happiness and meaning now. A frequent comment runs along these lines: “I got so wrapped up in looking at what I didn’t have that I missed what I did have. I had almost everything. I wish I had taken more time to appreciate it.”

2. Look to the present. The great disease of “I will be happy when…” is sweeping the world. You know the symptoms. You start thinking: I’ll be happy when I get that . . . BMW . . . promotion . . . status . . . money. The only way to cure the disease is to find happiness and meaning now.

3. Don’t get so lost in pleasing the people who don’t care that you neglect the people who do—your friends and family. You may work for a wonderful company and believe that your contribution is important. But when you’re 95 and on your death bed, very few of your fellow employees will be waving goodbye! Your friends and family will likely be the only people who care.

4. Give it a try—follow your dreams. Older people who tried to achieve their dreams were happier with their lives. None of us will ever achieve all of our dreams. If we do, we will just make up new ones! If we go for it, we can at least say at the end, “I tried!” instead of, “Why didn’t I at least try?”

When we interview high-potential leaders worldwide and ask them: “If you stay in this company, why will you stay?”, we hear the same answers: “I’m finding meaning and happiness now.” “The work is exciting, and I love what I am doing.” “I like the people here. They are my friends. This feels like a team—like a family. I might make more money if I left, but I don’t want to leave the people here.” “I can follow my dreams. This organization gives me the chance to grow and do what I really want to do in life.”

To make a new beginning in life or in your leadership, look ahead to the end and then decide what to do.

Growing Into Success

Why do some people reach their creative potential early while equally talented peers don’t? We’ve all seen the near-misses: people who have talent to spare but never quite make it; and those, like the tortoise in Aesop’s fable, who enjoy eventual success that once seemed out of reach to most observers.

If you believe you are born with all the smarts and gifts you’ll ever have, you tend to approach life with a fixed mind-set. However, those who believe that their abilities can expand over time live with a growth mind-set—and they’re much more innovative.

As coaches, we encounter people who have a stellar track record, off-the-chart IQ, great technical expertise, and a track history of success—but who then reach a career plateau. In contrast, we work with individuals who, despite a rather pedestrian early track record, lack of Ivy League pedigree, surpass those who appear to be the “chosen ones.” How does this happen—and what can you do about it?

This is good news for those who do not grow up feeling chosen or special. Feeling much more like the tortoise than the hare, you may stumble along while others seem to sail through life easily and successfully—or so it seems.

In reality, the pampered and pedigreed are often the ones who stumble, due to adopting a fixed mindset. We’ve all seen folks who were tapped as stars early in life. Cheered on by doting, praise-lavishing parents, they develop the sense that their talents are God-given qualities that they can count on for future success.

What’s the problem with this? They feel entitled to succeed and become risk-avoidant, fearing the embarrassment of failure. They deal with obstacles by giving up, feigning disinterest or blaming others. Or, having enjoyed so many early wins, they keep on doing what made them successful, despite all the changes around them—not a great recipe for ongoing success.

Mark was a bright, results-oriented VP in his company and yet he offended his peers with his brusque style and impatience. His manager doubted that he could, or would, change. And Mark had no patience with fluff. He needed a clear business case for making any behavior change. Once he understood that listening more and increasing his patience would lead to better buy-in from others and improve his department’s product, he embraced the change enthusiastically. Mark implemented his development plan diligently with great results—to the astonishment of his manager.

What propelled Mark’s progress? He embraced a mindset of growth. Never a natural star or charismatic presence, he’s a regular guy who approached challenges with curiosity and saw roadblocks as signs that he needed to change strategy, increase effort, stretch himself, or try new behaviors (high emotional intelligence).

In our early meetings, Mark took a learner’s approach to his 360-degree feedback. Although surprised with the negatives, he didn’t deflect or blame his stakeholders. Although a very private man, he faced his fear of disclosing more about himself to others to enhance his leadership. In other words, he embraced the possible.

You can adopt an attitude that enables you to grow and change.

First, listen to yourself—to the internal music and lyrics that you hear inside your head? Are you telling yourself to give up? That your challenges are the fault of others, less wonderful, less “enlightened” people? Or do you tell yourself that you can figure out what abilities you need to grow or stretch toward to succeed? These belief systems are the underpinning of the success—and failure—of many.

Second, create a regular time and space to reflect on who you are—your beliefs, your vision, your inner dialogue. This will be unfamiliar and uncomfortable for those who value speed and are used to a track record of stardom. My advice: do it anyway.

Third, find a partner to serve as “spotter” and dialogue partner as you grow. This could be a trusted colleague or an experienced executive coach. They’ll help you leverage your strengths and stay out of the way of your blind spots.

Recently, Mark described how he now observed patterns in meetings. “Now that I know myself better,” he said, “I see how other people use different behaviors to manage stress. I’m less impatient with them because I know what they’re trying to do, and I don’t let it get to me.” In fact, Mark now uses his new knowledge in developing and mentoring others. His department is delivering results more effectively, and other leaders are asking him and his team to participate in highly visible and strategic projects.

So what started out as a simple self-improvement project by an ordinary guy has turned into a big win for his company—largely because he has a mindset of growth.

Bertrand Vergely

Somme tout, j’ai eu une journée éprouvante physiquement mais combien réconfortant au point de vue intellectuel. Un jeudi matin avec un réveil matinal à 6 heures et un départ précipité vers Port Louis pour éviter la circulation afin d’arriver à l’hôtel Le Labourdonnais avant 7.30.

Un vrai bonheur de rencontrer le conférencier philosophe Bertrand Vergely et de vivre avec lui quelques heures le partage de sa passion : la philosophie. Sur le thème de ‘Sens de Vie’, il nous explique en 6 bonnes heures en termes simples le pour quoi et comment homme fait sens des sa vie. Il est certainement d’une positivité que le monde d’aujourd’hui pendant ces moments de crise financière, a besoin d’entendre. Un baume que beaucoup qui voit un monde assombri dans l’avenir devrait entendre. Une lueur d’espoir !

Je le plaisir de présenter ce matin un exposé de Bertrand Vergely sur la vulnérabilité.

La vulnérabilité : une opportunité ou un danger pour l’entreprise ?

Bertrand VERGELY est ancien normalien et agrégé de philosophie, il enseigne à Sciences Po à Paris et à l’institut de théologie orthodoxe de Saint-Serge (fondé à Paris en 1925).

En préambule, Bertrand Vergely définit la philosophie comme la lumière qui éclaire la vie, qui permet d’ouvrir les yeux sur les signes cachés, qui permet d’avoir une vision et un univers parlant.

Elle peut s’appliquer à la vie quotidienne car l’existence est originale et surprenante. Elle offre une vision ternaire parce que l’Homme est un être transcendant, il n’existe pas d’opposition par le fait qu’il y a de la place pour tout. Enfin, elle permet de sentir de l’intérieur car on ne demande pas à l’Homme d’être intelligent mais d’être vivant.

La question de la vulnérabilité, c’est celle des passages, celle de sortir des blocages dans lesquels nous sommes enfermés.

Nous sommes à cheval entre le monde matériel et spirituel et nous devons transformer nos faiblesses en force pour entrer dans la liberté. L’essence du monde est harmonie.

Etre vulnérable, c’est être blessé, atteint dans ce qui fait perdre la médiation entre l’intérieur et l’extérieur. L’humanité est blessée. Pourquoi la vie qui est si belle peut-elle être si douloureuse ?

Ce qui est beau dans la vie, c’est la force de se défendre, d’être capable de faire la guerre comme la paix. C’est l’état intérieur de quelqu’un qui sait ce qu’il veut, qui est déterminé. Car la vie est un rapport de force dans laquelle l’énergie doit être maîtrisée pour qu’elles deviennent intelligentes et transcendantales.

La blessure est une hémorragie de force, une mauvaise gestion entre l’intérieur et l’extérieur, (je me laisse impressionner par l’extérieur). Rester fort, c’est rentrer en soi même, un grand art de la vie, le contraire de la blessure. La vraie force, c’est l’Homme déterminé moralement et mentalement. Etre fort, c’est assumer cette force, le côté masculin qui construit le monde. Mais il est important de dire aussi que la vulnérabilité est magnifique par son côté féminin. C’est l’aspect de celui qui a enlevé la cuirasse, de celui qui arrête de se protéger dans une citadelle. Etre dans sa vulnérabilité, c’est accepter sa limite personnelle, sa fragilité devant l’infini, sa sensibilité faîte de douceur, de légèreté, de délicatesse. Car  les hommes aiment leur vie, recherchent le bonheur par l’expérience de la sensibilité.

Autant que le masculin et le féminin, le Ying et le Yang, la vie a besoin des contraires sans être contradictoire, une introduction du 3ème tiers, celui de l’équilibre, de l’harmonie.

La vulnérabilité, constituée de 2 opposés, un aspect négatif, une faiblesse dangereuse  et un côté positif, le plus haut état de la vie.

Etre vulnérable, c’est être dramatiquement faible. Mais qu’est ce qu’être fort ou faible ?

La force est la capacité de l’homme à établir un équilibre entre l’extérieur et l’intérieur. Si l’extérieur dévore l’intérieur, l’homme devient  esclave d’une situation, dans le cas contraire, il devient  tyran mais dans les deux cas, il renonce à lui-même. Inconsciemment il est séduit par ces relations de tyrannie et d’esclavage qui sont pourtant contraires à ses intérêts. L’homme vulnérable est donc un homme victime d’un phénomène d’emprise contre lequel il n’arrive pas à lutter.

Comment sortir de cette vulnérabilité ?

Les êtres forts sont les êtres qui ont trouvé en eux même les ressources qui leur permettent d’avoir confiance en eux indépendamment des circonstances, et de résister au renoncement. Il importe donc de tout faire pour trouver ces ressources intérieures et pour établir cet  équilibre entre le monde intérieur et le monde extérieur.

La vulnérabilité positive : le plus haut état de la vie.

S’ouvrir au monde, c’est sortir de soi même, s’avancer « nu » face à la vie, sans préjugés ni méfiance, afin de vivre toutes les expériences, de capter toutes les informations, qui seront ensuite autant de matière à la créativité.  S’ouvrir au monde, c’est aussi manifester haut et fort son désir, choisir et qui dit choisir dit aussi renoncer et donc entrer en conflit. Il importe donc d’assumer cette situation de conflit, et de se mettre dans cette position de fragilité qui est compensée par l’immense potentiel de vie que cette dynamique permet.

Nous sommes donc en face d’un paradoxe :

Pour être fort, il faut fuir la vulnérabilité négative et lutter contre les tentations de renoncement à soi. Mais il faut aussi chercher l’état de vulnérabilité positive, et ce afin de pouvoir découvrir et utiliser nos propres sources de vie, nos énergies, qui sont extraordinaires.

Passer les 3 épreuves

– Passer l’épreuve du masculin, celle de la maîtrise de la force, du goût du pouvoir, de celui qui blesse. C’est aussi s’approprier la vie, d’être capable de se battre et de se défendre, de construire le monde.

– Passer l’épreuve du féminin, celle de ne pas se laisser absorber, se perdre, se laisser fasciner par le fusionnel. C’est également avoir le sens des détails, l’attention à l’autre, l’écoute, l’accessibilité et la subtilité des liens entre les évènements.

– Tenir en équilibre le féminin et le masculin pour répondre à la question de la vie et de la mort, pour développer un équilibre créateur.

« Si vous voulez diriger une entreprise, ne faites rien », ou du moins mettez votre pouvoir de côté, trouvez votre place pour devenir le collaborateur des forces qui agissent dans l’entreprise, vivez en paix avec vous-même pour le bonheur de votre entreprise.

Etre vulnérable, c’est combiner les forces et les faiblesses, c’est être humble et maîtriser son charisme en acceptant ses limites pour rassurer les collaborateurs en revenant à la réalité.

En étant sensible, l’Homme découvre l’autre partie de son intelligence, vivante et dynamique et qui peut lui poser problème par un manque de maîtrise. Vouloir dominer, c’est refuser qu’à chaque jour suffit sa peine alors qu’il conviendrait de faire confiance en demain, dans les courants de la vie.

L’intérêt de réunir les forces et les faiblesses dans un équilibre n’est pas de s’endormir mais de pouvoir commencer, car rien ne peut débuter dans le malheur. Il existe des épreuves négatives qui nous épuisent et d’autres qui sont créatrices.

Dieu, Descartes, La Fontaine et Pascal :

La foi est dans un principe ternaire, Dieu – L’Homme – La vie

Descartes développe la philosophie de la vulnérabilité, celles des limites.

1ère règle de morale : Le respect de la loi et de la religion de mon pays

2ème règle : Vouloir n’importe quoi plutôt que de ne rien vouloir. Avoir la volonté car c’est la générosité

3ème règle : Changer mes désirs plutôt que l’ordre du monde. Ne pas demander l’impossible, la limite, c’est la réalité dans laquelle nous vivions.

4ème règle : Méditer tous les jours les 3 règles précédentes.

La Fontaine parle lui aussi des limites dans le chêne et le roseau.

1er principe : Il vaut mieux être faible ou adaptable parce que l’on ne casse pas

2ème principe : Il n’y a pas d’opposition entre force et faiblesse mais entre la folie et l’orgueil et le bon sens.

3ème principe : C’est parce que le roseau a renoncé à la folie qu’il peut être dans sa grandeur.

Pascal et le roseau pensant.

L’homme est le plus faible de la nature mais il en a conscience alors que le monde ne le sait.

L’homme n’est rien dans l’univers mais aussi, il est tout parce qu’il peut penser sa position dans l’univers.

Descartes, La Fontaine, Pascal  font confiance au bon sens et peut être pourquoi pas Dieu aussi.

En conclusion :

N’ayez pas peur de faire des choses simples, parce que c’est là que se trouve les trésors cachés de la vulnérabilité. Ce n’est pas une affaire de solutions mais de vie. Nous sommes forts lorsque nous avons accepté ce que nous sommes, nous sommes vulnérables lorsque nous n’avons pas accepté nos limites.

Les Hommes sont faibles lorsqu’ils ne sont pas reliés à eux-mêmes.

Self- Esteem to Empowerment

Together with a team of social workers when and where I had the wonderful time working with the poorest of the poor of the Mauritian society, I discovered in practice, one of the main issues that keep these poor humans from moving to improve their conditions. They were not only the rejected of the society: they were themselves rejected by themselves. The poor Worthless! The non Humans!

The team at Caritas, after much thinking and reflection put up a program to boost up first the team of social workers to boost up their self esteem to initiate in them their capacity to take charge of themselves. The larger picture or objective was to put Caritas in the mode of Empowerment. The way to  empowering the organization, Empowerment of the social workers there in and Empowerment of the poorest of the poor was the new mantra.

Looking back 5 years after, I am amazed with the work accomplished but more importantly pleased with the positive effects that the impact of the program on the society. The government through IVTB is now asking the Caritas program to run some programs. Under the new branded name ‘life skills management’ a good team of voluntary social workers are now deploying training programs to empower the neediest of the society.

At source, building up the Self Esteem of the individual is the prime objective and the initial spark. Learning to love self before sharing love. Was given to me last night by a friend an audio course by Nathaniel Braden which I found most interesting.

The Psychology of High Self-Esteem

By Nathaniel Branden

1. The Importance of Self-Esteem

Self-esteem, key to success. How poor self-esteem is a root cause of every known psychological malady. The two components of self-esteem. What growth leads to. Nurturing self-esteem. A victory in the evolution of consciousness.

2. Self-Concept Is Destiny

Self-concept defined. Withdrawing your investment in false values. Is it wise to “tap into” the child-self that dwells within? What happens when the child-self is integrated? Exploring your own feelings toward the child you once were. The story of Charles. Eva’s story.

3. The Question of Selfishness /
Living Consciously

Social consequences of high and low self-esteem. The vices of a person with a weak ego. Ethics of rational self-interest. Humoring the self. Living consciously. The core biological fact of your existence. A commitment to awareness. Examples of living consciously and unconsciously.

4. Living Consciously

The different paths people take, as illustrated by the stories five men and five women tell, taken from actual case histories. Intellectual independence. A pen and paper exercise. Taking responsibility for starting.

5. Self-Acceptance

The challenge. Why self-acceptance is required for growth. Respect for reality. The alternative to being at war with yourself. Handling fear. A way to explore the world of self-acceptance. More actual case histories.

6. Self-Acceptance (Cont’d)

A powerful technique for enhancing self-acceptance. What accepting yourself entails. Facing what you dread. Why self-acceptance is a truly heroic act. Experimenting each day with new instances of self-acceptance.

7. Assessing Behavior / Liberation from Guilt

Feeling guilty because we choose to, or because we think it’s what society expects. Valuing your judgment over that of others. Is it really guilt, or is it undealt-with resentment? Or fear of self-assertion? Behaviors that undermine your sense of integrity. Why people become attached to guilt. The internal drama.

8. Integrating Our Younger Selves

Can you embrace and “forgive” the child you once were? How current rejection could have roots in your past. What do you want for your child-self—assimilation and integration into the total self … or alienated oblivion? Ways to befriend and integrate your child-self. Meeting and dealing with your teenage-self.

9. Living Responsibly

Why you must hold yourself responsible for matters within your control. Self-responsibility as an exhilarating and empowering experience. An exercise for those serious about increasing self-esteem. What you must grasp to enjoy an active orientation to life.

10. Living Authentically

The lies most devastating to your self-esteem. What high self-esteem demands. The incorrect teachings and admonishments of our elders. Basic issues to confront for living authentically. What to do if you feel you are presently living lies.

11. Nurturing the Self-Esteem of Others

Lessons from top psychotherapists. How effective therapists conduct themselves. What we must do to understand others. Inspiring the best in others. The value of presenting them with a rational impression of reality. By honoring the self, we help build a community of persons with healthy self-esteem.

12. The Difference It Makes

Living up to the supreme value of your life. Protecting your self-esteem. Serving self-esteem by living benevolently. Six behaviors to raise your self-esteem. Why growing in self-esteem may mean leaving your comfort zone and striking out for the unknown. Expect a sense of disorientation. Why some regress. The rewards of this program.

The Last Clan

I learned that the release of a film on the Hakka is planned for mid September 2009.

Below is the short synopsis of ‘The Last Clan’. I am looking forward to view the film.

They are a model of socialism. Living as a collective and as equals in a family-based commune. They are the Hakka from the mountainous region of South East China. Their home is a fortress-like structure, called the Tulou, where as many as five hundred family members live together, sharing an ancient way of life. The Tulou is one of the world’s most unique buildings. But as China modernizes and its cities expand, life in the Tulou is slowly disintegrating. As the young move away to find work, only old family members are left to endure the hardships of rural life.

One man chooses to avoid extinction by transforming his Tulou into a popular tourist hot spot. The trend grows and the Hakka are quickly flooded with strangers walking among their homes. They soon realize that tourism is a two-headed monster that brings promises of wealth but threatens to destroy their ancient culture.

I have yet to find out how far Tulou Fukien is from my hometown Mei Xian? I do recall that Fukien Hakka migrated earlier to the South than Mei Xian Hakkas. I had the chance to talking to Fukien Hakka during my past trip to Singapore. I would understand them their language which sounded a bit different from mine.

The characteristics of the houses in Tolou whilst looking different from those typical constructions of Mei Xian have the same purpose: the whole family clan under the same roof, united to ward off the bandits.

Reflexion Dominicale

Mc 8,27-35.
Jésus s’en alla avec ses disciples vers les villages situés dans la région
de Césarée-de-Philippe. Chemin faisant, il les interrogeait : « Pour les
gens, qui suis-je ? »
Ils répondirent : « Jean Baptiste ; pour d’autres, Élie ; pour d’autres, un
des prophètes. »
Il les interrogeait de nouveau : « Et vous, que dites-vous ? Pour vous, qui
suis-je ? » Pierre prend la parole et répond : « Tu es le Messie. »
Il leur défendit alors vivement de parler de lui à personne.
Et, pour la première fois, il leur enseigna qu’il fallait que le Fils de
l’homme souffre beaucoup, qu’il soit rejeté par les anciens, les chefs des
prêtres et les scribes, qu’il soit tué, et que, trois jours après, il
Jésus disait cela ouvertement. Pierre, le prenant à part, se mit à lui
faire de vifs reproches.
Mais Jésus se retourna et, voyant ses disciples, il interpella vivement
Pierre : « Passe derrière moi, Satan ! Tes pensées ne sont pas celles de
Dieu, mais celles des hommes. »
Appelant la foule avec ses disciples, il leur dit : « Si quelqu’un veut
marcher derrière moi, qu’il renonce à lui-même, qu’il prenne sa croix, et
qu’il me suive.
Car celui qui veut sauver sa vie la perdra ; mais celui qui perdra sa vie
pour moi et pour l’Évangile la sauvera.


« Si quelqu’un veut marcher derrière moi, qu’il renonce à lui-même, qu’il prenne sa croix, et qu’il me suive. »

Nul doute je veux marcher derrière toi Seigneur Jésus. Me renoncer à moi-même est un exercice ardu qui me demande un effort continu. Comment contrer mon EGO ? Comment le contenir car je pense en avoir besoin pour mon estime de moi-même ? Est-ce là le mauvais vers qui a déjà pénétré mon être ? Les paroles adressées à Pierre résonnent : « Passe derrière moi, Satan ! Tes pensées ne sont pas celles de Dieu, mais celles des hommes. » Qui prétend qu’il faille avoir un peu d’estime de soi ?

Si je vis dans le Seigneur et pour le Seigneur et que je renonce à moi, aurai je encore besoin de moi ? C’est lui qui vit en moi, tout autre n’est que de trop. Prendre sa croix veut aussi dire prendre sa souffrance, le poids de son fardeau.

Dans mes moments de souffrance physiques et autres, de croire qu’IL est encore là, présent pour nous soulager n’est pas facile. Es-ce un test de ma Foi et de mon espérance ? Je te prie Seigneur dans ses moments là fait grandir encore plus ma foi et espérance en Toi. Donne-moi l’allégresse de porter ma part de Ta croix.

Edith Stein écrivit :

L’union avec le Christ est notre béatitude et l’approfondissement de
notre union avec lui fait notre bonheur ici-bas. L’amour de la croix ne se
trouve donc nullement en contradiction avec notre joie d’être enfants de
Dieu. Aider à porter la croix du Christ donne une allégresse forte et pure
à ceux qui y sont appelés et qui le peuvent ; ceux qui participent ainsi à
l’édification du Royaume de Dieu sont vraiment les enfants de Dieu.

Democratisation of the Mauritian Economy

I just had last night the enjoyable moments of watching AMY CHUA’s interview in ‘Conversation with History’. That interview followed the publishing of her book ‘World on Fire’.

The essential message of the book is: How exporting Free Market Democracy Breeds Ethic Hatred and Global Instability.

In Mauritius, it is a fact that the economy is controlled by the 7 odd families of the same ethnic group. The present government has initiated a democratisation of the economy programme. Implementers of the program could well learn from the book and be warned of the possible dangers, -social unrest, and resentment from the majority,- whilst the 7 odd families be also be warned of the dangers and the need  to dilute faster their ‘ sweet wine’  by allowing opportunities to the majority to flourish faster, in the light of what has happened elsewhere.

The book review of the book issued by the British Guardian discusses the content of the book but the interview named above supplement largely AMY CHUA points of view on the subject.

World on Fire
by Amy Chua
346pp, Heinemann, £12.99

There is a plethora of books about globalisation, many saying roughly the same thing. This one is different. It is rare, indeed, to read a book about globalisation where ethnicity is at the core of the argument. That must have something to do with the fact that the great majority of authors of such books are white and from the west. The author of this book is a Chinese-Filipina. That is also surprising because, alas, there is little Chinese writing on ethnicity either. But this book is a gem. It is not that everything Amy Chua argues is correct – it is not – but her theme is different, rich and compelling.

Her starting point is that in many developing countries a small – often very small – ethnic minority enjoys hugely disproportionate economic power. As she points out, this is not true in the west: on the contrary, we are accustomed to small ethnic minorities occupying exactly the opposite situation, a very disadvantaged economic position. The classic case is southeast Asia, where the Chinese, usually a tiny proportion of the population, enjoy an overwhelmingly dominant economic position. In the Philippines, the Chinese account for 1% of the population and well over half the wealth. The same is true in varying degrees in Indonesia, Burma, Thailand, Laos, Malaysia and Vietnam.

As Chua argues, rich and powerful minorities attract resentment everywhere: but when those minorities are ethnically different – and highly visible – then that resentment can carry a dangerous charge. “In the Philippines, millions of Filipinos work for Chinese: almost no Chinese work for Filipinos. The Chinese dominate industry and commerce at every level … all of the Philippines’ billionaires are of Chinese descent. By contrast, all menial jobs … are filled by Filipinos.” There is very little social intermixing and virtually no intermarriage. And the disparities, Chua argues, have grown more acute with globalisation and western-inspired market reforms.

Southeast Asia is an acute but by no means isolated example. Throughout Latin America, a small white elite has traditionally enjoyed both economic and political power, as well as cultural and racial pre-eminence. However, while in east Asia anti-Chinese sentiment has long been a powerful political force, in Latin America, at least until recently, there has been little ethnic – as opposed to class – resentment against the white elite. The dominance of a small white elite has long existed in southern Africa. Although the black majority now enjoys – as do their counterparts in countries such as Indonesia and Malaysia – political power in South Africa, economic power remains firmly in the hands of a tiny white elite. In east Africa, that economic elite is largely Indian; in west Africa, it is often, though in a less extreme form, the Ibos. The picture that emerges is that in much (though not all) of the developing world, economic power is largely concentrated in the hands of – to use Chua’s phrase – a “market-dominant” ethnic minority.

She argues that this disparity between the economic power of a small ethnic minority and the disadvantaged position of the majority ethnic group is a source of great political instability. Ethnicity, as we know, is potentially a highly combustible issue. “That ethnicity can be at once an artifact of human imagination and rooted in the dark recesses of history – fluid and manipulable yet important enough to kill for [Chua’s aunt, who came from an extremely rich Chinese family in Manila, was murdered by her Filipino chauffeur with the complicity of her Filipina maids] – is what makes ethnic conflict so terrifyingly difficult to understand and contain.” As Chua rightly argues, the mass killing of Tutsis by the Hutus in Rwanda in 1994 and the grievance felt by the Serbs towards the Croats in the Balkans were partly related to the economic advantage enjoyed by the Tutsis and Croats respectively, and the deep rifts that this engendered.

One of the difficulties faced by many developing countries is ethnic diversity of a scale utterly unfamiliar in the west, even the United States. Africa is the most extreme example. The major exceptions to this are China, Japan, South Korea and Taiwan, all relatively homogeneous, ethnically speaking, and very successful economically. Chua argues that globalisation has exacerbated the ethnic disparities in wealth in many countries, with the “market-dominant” ethnic minorities, for a variety of reasons, enjoying disproportionate rewards, thereby fostering growing instability. This is liable – as happened in Indonesia with the fall of Suharto and the anti-Chinese riots – to boil over at any time.

Further, she suggests that the western mantra of free markets plus democracy is ill-conceived and a recipe for disaster in such circumstances. Here the author, in challenging such a verity, not to say cliché, of modern western discourse is on powerful, if heretical, ground. The western assumption is that democracy engenders a more liberal and tolerant society, but where that society is marked by a profound ethnic cleavage, the reverse may be true. There is no doubt that the anti-Chinese riots in Indonesia reflected the sentiments of the majority; similarly, in Zimbabwe, Robert Mugabe’s desire to appropriate white farms was not least a populist appeal to the overwhelmingly black electorate. For Chua, free markets exacerbate ethnic divisions and, furthermore, democracy can act as the vehicle for a huge ethnic backlash by the majority. She believes that the idea that the two somehow form some kind of virtuous circle is wrong. Historically, this was never the case in the west: the rise of capitalism and the market long predated the achievement of democracy. And when democracy was achieved, the market was rapidly attenuated by redistribution and the welfare state, the antithesis of the kind of market policies preached and applied to the developing world by the Washington consensus.

One of the refreshing aspects of this book is not just the centrality of ethnicity, but the honesty with which Chua treats the issue. She doesn’t shy away from talking about ethnic divisions or racial prejudice. She is also thoroughly realistic about their tenacity and endurance. The roots often reach back centuries, as in the case of the Chinese in southeast Asia.

In the latter part of the book, Chua widens the geographical reach of her argument beyond the nation-state and suggests that the Middle East conflict should, in certain respects, be seen as a regional conflict between a “market-dominant” ethnic minority, the Israeli Jews, and the overwhelmingly larger Arab majority, far poorer and getting relatively poorer all the time. Finally, she considers the position of the United States in the post-cold-war world and argues that its global position is akin to that of a market-dominant ethnic minority (overwhelmingly white and perceived by others as such), which helps to explain the tidal wave of resentment against the US since September 11 and the sympathy for that event among many in the developing world.

In the western world, we are still largely in denial about the importance and potency of ethnicity. That is basically because the western world stands in such a privileged position towards the rest of the world, a situation that is intimately linked to colour: whites rarely, with the obvious exception of Jews, experience systemic prejudice. Rather they mete it out and enjoy the benefits of racial advantage. It is a pleasure to read a book that presents ethnicity as a fundamental organising principle of the era of globalisation.

· Martin Jacques is a visiting fellow at the London School of Economics Asian Research Centre.

Presenting Skills

Giving a good presentation has always been one of the assets of a good leader. It has become even more important in this modern and present age where competition is fierce. We would need good presentations to sell your products, to have the buy in of your team, to communicate with your shareholders, to ensure that your bankers follow you and use your presenting skills in so many other instances. Power point presentations are the present most popular tool but it is not enough to convince your audience.

I found this below  text which I feel  gives the essence of what no to do to have a lousy presentation. Again Toastmasters club activities help you to practice the art of presenting and to hone your skills. I have to confess that my Toastmasters practice runs help me to improve greatly in this field; the learning was great and the feedback from the audience who you know are present to help you to improve further. Since I have become a great fan of collective intelligence learning.

How to Give a Lousy Presentation

Fifteen ways to make a bad impression

By Carmine Gallo

Giving truly great presentations requires skill, work, and practice. Giving catastrophic presentations is far easier. So if you want to take the easy way out and look like a rank amateur, here are 15 surefire tips to guarantee that you leave a really, really bad impression.

1. Misspell words. Failing to check the spelling on your slides shows a complete lack of care. If you don’t care enough to proof your presentation, your audience will care less about you and your message. It’s the easiest way to look unprofessional.

2. Create distracting color combinations. Blue on green is especially hard to read.

3. Use inconsistent fonts. Professional PowerPoint designers will use no more than two, perhaps three, font styles in an entire presentation. But why stop there? There are thousands of typefaces available. See how many you can incorporate into your slide show.

4. Use a really small font size. If you really want to drive people crazy, say something like this: “I know you can’t read this, but if you could, here is what it would say…”

5. Insert improperly sized photos that are stretched to fit the slide. Images used in PowerPoint slides should be at least 900 pixels wide by 720 high. Designers start with larger images and shrink them to fit the slide. If you really want to look bad, however, find much smaller thumbnail images, say 200 x 300 pixels, and simply stretch them to fit the slide. They will look blurry, cheap, and bush-league.

6. Look completely and totally disinterested. I attended a conference in which the keynote speaker hadn’t even bothered to create a presentation and had a few handwritten notes in front of him. That’s fine, if you can pull it off. This speaker could not. He shuffled through his notes, lost his place several times, and twice asked the organizer, “How much time do I have?” The people in the audience—influential venture capitalists—found this so appalling that they started looking at each other and laughing.

7. Look disheveled. If you really want to leave a bad impression, wear faded blue jeans, worn, dirty shoes, and a stained shirt.

8. Read every word of each slide. Better yet, turn your back to the audience and read your slides word for word.

9. Don’t bother with a backup plan. If you need a live Internet connection to demo a site, don’t bother making a screen shot of the site in case the connection doesn’t work. That way, you’ll be at a complete loss for words when the connection fails.

10. Don’t practice. At all. Practicing a presentation out loud takes work and will make you look far too polished. Just wing it.

11. Call attention to your mistakes. If you want to show a complete lack of preparation, say something like “Oops, I have no idea how that slide got in there.”

12. Open with an offensive or off-color joke. Half your audience will walk out immediately and you’ll have succeeded in making a really bad impression right out of the gate.

13. Use wild animations. Letting text simply fade into a slide is way too straightforward. Especially when PowerPoint offers you the bounce, the boomerang, and the dreaded “neutron,” which makes letters circle wildly. All are effective at giving your audience a headache.

14. Use cartoon clip art. Why spend $3 on high-resolution photos from a stock photography service such as iStockphoto when there are plenty of cheap-looking and free cartoons that will make your presentation look like a sixth-grade project?

15. Use ancient presentation software. PowerPoint 2003 served its purpose (I used it for years). But there’s no comparison with PowerPoint 2007, which is simply a better, more robust tool. Says Darla Wigginton, an expert PowerPoint designer and creative director at eVision Design in San Francisco, “When [PowerPoint] 2007 came out, it scared the design world because the average user could now create some impressive-looking work.” Why scare professional designers? Stick to older versions of the software and leave the slicker presentations to others.

I hope you find some of these tips memorable enough to avoid them at all costs. But make no mistake, these presentation “techniques” are alive, well, and thriving. Just when I think I’ve seen or heard it all, someone has one more observation to add to the list. Feel free to use the comments section below to add your own experiences. We look forward to hearing from you.

Illustrated Classics


During my secondary schooling period, though I was never a great reader of books, I have to recognise the benefits I derived from reading ‘Illustrated classics’ has contributed very largely to my general knowledge and to my openings to literature. Otherwise, just as many of my friends, we were reading comics of the like of PIPO, Tin Tin, Blek Roc or Pim Pam Poum. Later, I read regularly the ‘Readers Digest’ which was the recommended monthly reading of my English teachers.

I feel that it is a fun way to acquire knowledge and to be initiated to reading for adolescents.

I would love to reread these classics or at least to hold copies of them.

Luxury is a elusive description?




I like the definition of luxury pertaining to hotels in Mauritius as reported by an analyst of a fund manager of Anglo Mauritius financial services (AMFS).


We were invited to the NMHL analyst meeting at Dinarobin hotel in Le Morne. So have you ever wondered what two finance maniacs discuss from Port-Louis to Le Morne? After our usual rant of the length of the journey we started to wonder why they organized this meeting at Le Morne. Obviously the aim was for us to visit the revamped luxury hotel at a cost of Mur 200 m. A series of questions barged into our mind. Why such a massive amount? What is Luxury?How is it determined? How is the demand created?

We are sure that the many stockbrokers present have already forwarded you the outcome of the meeting in terms of financial and outlook as prescribed by NMHL’s management but we aim to provide you something different including some sometimes under-rated aspect of the hospitality business by financiers.

Here is a synthesis of our thoughts and visit:

There are no precise definitions of luxury. In fact, the least that we can say is that Luxury definitions are blurring. Luxury comes in many guises and defining a luxury hotel is challenging. As in the past, luxury is constantly evolving and means different things to different people. For some it may be a hotel offering simplicity, privacy and spiritual well being whereas for others it may be 24-hour butler service or a personal shopper. Needs may differ according to the nature and purpose of the trip, the origin of the guest and the location of the hotel.To add to the confusion, some operators have taken to calling themselves ‘7 star’ to imply an Uber luxury product. Even at the high end though there are varying degrees of luxury. This means that Luxury is a moving target. There are only a few who really have the “Midas” touch to spot these trends and exploit them. NMHL has a demonstrable past success in this endeavour. Overall, luxury is generally regarded as a combination of facilities and style and something you don’t normally experience at home.

Demand drivers- Motivation for buying luxury goods in general

Clearly the demand drivers for luxury hotels varies with the type of property and is influenced by factors such as location and whether the hotel is an urban, resort or destination property, on the size, style, on-site facilities and so on. But why do consumers buy luxury goods and services? Five main reasons are:

1.         ‘Treat factor’
2.         Perceptions of luxury delivering better quality
3.         Brand image (especially important for younger consumers)
4.         Self indulgence
5.         ‘Showing off’ – this typically lead to marketing via word of mouth

In Dinarobin….

We were tour guided in the hotel where we saw a stunning hotel that really made a good use of a breath-taking site, in particular the Le Morne peninsula. During our tour visit, we saw the famous Clarins brand. Here we realize one important reality of the hospitality businesses in Mauritius: Consumers value spas. Many luxury hotel companies are pursuing out-of-room revenue growth opportunities, including potential food and beverage outlets and spa growth opportunities in specific properties. Increased awareness of spa experiences as rejuvenation exercises, diversification of spa products to include hiking, yoga, dance classes and other multi-generational products, increasing level of branding within the spa industry in hotels and increasing disposable incomes, are some of the factors that will drive the spa component growth in hotels in future years. Those we spoke to agreed that a spa is an essential facility and revenue generator, not just added as a differentiator. Dinarobin has annexed sauna as well as hammam to complete the pleiade of services offered. We also saw the joint golf course between Dinarobin and Paradis as a massive differentiator.

At the end of the tour, we realized that the main aspect of NMHL is that it owns trophy assets located in prime spots. This explains the ability of NMHL to preserve its pricing power even at the time of crisis. NMHL has not barged into cutthroat competition. This we believe showed into the financials.

But in view of the recent world economic plague, is this stock undervalued? Are there better opportunities ahead? How will the forex environment develop? What is the state of barriers to entry? Should you invest your total savings in the name? At what time should you buy it if yes?

At AMFS we have a team of committed and experienced professionals with their minds constantly directed towards finding solutions to these dilemmas. Our expertise range from strong fundamental and technical analysis with the aim to add value to the portfolio we manage. We study business in-depth. It is something that we are passionate about.

Un quote

An NLP practiotioner would ask you: “what do you mean by a luxury hotel? Please specify the term luxury?”