Anti-jerk campaign

Yesterday I saw the video for “The mask you live in” campaign, which is based on idea that boys should not be forced to wear a mask of “being a man” and that we need to change the way in which we educate boys in order to not force them to hide their emotions, as this causes severe behavior problems in the later stages of life.

Although there is a general believe that it is more acceptable for girls to express their emotions, I think the problem goes a lot deeper than just gender separation.

I’ve thought about this many times, because I’ve often found myself in situations in which expressing who you are or what you think/feel (and I am not talking about ideas which offend others!) is not only not acceptable, but it usually opens the door for other people to step all over the “piece” of you that you just shared.

I don’t know when our world got so twisted that being open, sharing your thoughts, passions and emotions or asking for help triggers in others this almost automated response of mockery.

I don’t know when people who have enough emotional intelligence to actual be in touch with their feeling and emotions ended up being “the broken ones”…  while others spend ridiculous amounts of money on self-help books, therapy or yoga in order to connect with their inner selves.

Walking around with an open heart has become more dangerous and embarrassing than crossing a highway at peak traffic hours, naked!

I like the idea behind the campaign, but it’s only the tip of a huge iceberg. What we need is an “anti-jerk” campaign, aiming to change not just the way in which boys are educated, but the way we interact with each other, on a daily basis, starting with our homes and friends circles and continuing with our work and public behavior.

Jerks should be the mocked ones and they should be the ones feeling embarrassed by what they say… but that’s never going to happen, because as it is with each problem, you need to acknowledge it first and it takes too much intelligence and courage to admit you are a jerk!

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Being an international student – Becoming a communicator

Being an international student is definitely a life-changing experience! I think that anyone who has spent so much as a semester studying abroad can relate to my previous statement so I don’t need to argument it, right?

It changes you as a person, it adds and builds character in such a way that nothing else will ever do and all that… But though I could preach about the general benefits and also give opposing arguments to studying abroad, I am not going to do that. Not now, anyway…

Still, as a future communicator, I can’t help but think of how important it is to be in an environment that opens our minds and challenges every day.

It has already been said, we live in a “global village”. Now, more than ever, we need to understand our clients, no matter where they come from! And we absolutely need to understand our public if we ever plan on being successful in our jobs!

Easier said than done, isn’t it? For some it might be harder than for others, but I would always say that the best way to do that is to study abroad (if you can, of course).

Be the “Foreigner”, the “Traveller”, the “Weird International”. Break your boundaries and exceed your limits (don’t we all love clichés!?).

Learn how to listen to other cultures and adapt to them!

Be a kind guest to your new home, no matter how temporary it might be!

Be a business card for your own culture, but also let your new one embrace you!

You will see how much easier it gets to face a challenge or adjust to any new working environment. You will also find it a lot easier to understand those who are different. You will know how to listen to people, whether they are your colleagues or your clients, because you’ve actually done it before!

And these are just a few of the “perks” of studying abroad…

How can all that not help a future communicator? I think it does!

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