Snares of relying on spell checkers

I recently read an interesting biography printed in the UK in 1987 which used the place name Johannesburg in one part of the text and “Johannesberg” in another. These days a spell checker would flag the incorrect spelling. (By the way, the Dictionary of Southern African Place Names refers to a burg as being a castle, (hence) town in German while a berg is a mountain.)

Spell-check apps are useful in catching spelling errors but not so with homonyms. A homonym is one of two or more words that are spelled and pronounced the same but differ in meaning. Yourdictionary.com gives the example of the word “pen.” This can mean both “a holding area for animals” and “a writing instrument.” Another example is “book,” which can mean “something to read” or “the act of making a reservation.”

Homophones can trip up spell checkers too. A homophone is one of two or more words that are pronounced the same, but differ in meaning, derivation, or spelling. Examples include to, too, two; great, grate; and bore, boar; write, right, rite; their/there; and no/know.

Mistakes like this can occur: “My dentist gave me medicine to lesson the pain of my aching tooth.”

Here the confusion is between lessen and lesson – Lessen (verb) is to reduce in number, size, or degree, while lesson (noun) is a reading or exercise to be studied by a student.

A homograph is one of two or more words that are spelled alike, but differ in meaning, and derivation. They may or may not have the same pronunciation. Examples include the bow of a ship, bow and arrow and the verb to object and the noun object.

I’ve read through up to ten drafts of manuscripts and still have found mistakes — despite using several spell checkers. Reading a hard copy of the document can help you catch mistakes you miss on the screen.

Proofreading can be hard work but it helps prevent your message being lost or misunderstood.

Small business start-ups flock to the suburbs

Photograph by Chesney Bradshaw

When I was 16 years old I would buy music records at a shop in Cavendish Square, Claremont, Cape Town. I would purchase one or two record and pay for them with money I earned from fishing.

I can still remember the shop where I would go through the latest bands, carefully flipping the record covers to discover what was new. At that time I was interested in bands like Emerson Lake and Palmer, King Crimson, Focus and Yes. I’d take the records home and listen to them on my father’s Yamaha record player.

Today none of those small music outlets are left in shopping centres. The rent is too high and technology has changed so much that even the Musica outlets, catering for wider tastes with CDs, will soon disappear.

Vinyl records, new and second hand, are still available but are only now found in tiny shops in small residential shopping centres or in old shops on the periphery of city centres. Shops located below residential flats have become sought after as specialist retailers flee major shopping centres because of the astronomically high rents and hard-to-get-out-of leases. Even a long-standing art and craft shop recently moved from a major centre after more than three decades there to a local suburb.

With the dramatic fall in the country’s prosperity business conditions are so bad that small business owners have had to think smarter to survive. Employees who have lost their jobs have been forced to start entrepreneurial ventures (like an entrepreneur I recently met who was a retail designer and is now selling coffee from a Tuk-Tuk).

Despite what the entrepreneurial experts say, small business start-ups are shying away from shopping centres and industrial parks. Many businesses are springing up in backyards and even front-of-the-house driveways (such as a brick builder I saw over the weekend). A hairdresser who worked for a salon in a shopping centre got the chop in December and is refurbishing and repurposing his garage into his own salon.

A new attitude or mindset is evident among start-up owners. They’d rather find the most cost-effective way to establish premises for their businesses than become lease prisoners in shopping centres. Gone are the days where shopping centres were key to business visibility. Today social media and the internet can inform customers about their location (including Google Guides).

A rich variety of retail shopping experiences now await customers who are themselves tired of travelling to shopping centres for the same old staid line-up of chain stores. Small business start-ups are bringing their individuality, values and merchandise closer to where you live.

Chesney Bradshaw has worked with entrepreneurs and has had the privilege of advising and mentoring start-ups. He has been delighted to witness start-ups grow from backyards, garages and street selling into going concerns. He remains open and humble towards business venture formation in a dynamic and ever-changing business environment.

Business continuity planning for innovation

A retail business in Cape Town was recently forced to close when a fire damaged part of the building in which their outlet is situated. The staff were only able to access the building for about two hours a day to fulfill orders. The shop reopened after about six weeks.

If this company had a business continuity plan in place, it could have got the business up and running faster — with less revenue loss.

Business continuity planning includes a risk assessment and a business impact analysis. Often when analysing risks, brainstorming is involved in coming up with solutions to potential disruptive incidents. These solutions can have a positive impact for companies large and small.

During the lockdown many businesses were pressurised to come up with innovative solutions to get their businesses running again. Coffee shops, for instance, took to the streets with mobile coffee take-away vans. Some retail outlets went 100% online. Many training businesses rolled out online courses.

The best time to begin your business continuity plan is now. Get your key staff together, identify risks, prioritize them and do a business impact analysis for your highest risk areas.

You could be delightfully surprised how the business continuity planning process can lead to unexpected business innovation.

Tragic state of Kalk Bay lighthouse flashes distress signals

Kalk Bay lighthouse in state of disrepair. Photo credit: Chesney Bradshaw

The red and white lighthouse at Kalk Bay Harbour has served commercial fishing boats for over a century. In the dark the lighthouse, a 5 m round tapered stone tower, signals one long (2.5 seconds) red flash every 15 seconds with a focal plane of 7 m. A comforting light, guiding the boats and their crews from the fishing banks and reefs in False Bay.

On a recent walk along the pier to take photographs of the lighthouse, I was saddened to find it in a state of disrepair. The red is faded to an oxblood brown and the white parts are discolored with rust marks from the metal structure.

I spoke to one of the long-standing fishermen at the harbour about the state of the lighthouse. He was also concerned about its state of disrepair and more so about the light not working anymore.

A professional photographer told me that because the lighthouse is in such a deteriorating state he was forced to use a 2010 photograph of the lighthouse for his 2021 lovely Kalk Bay calendar.

Why does the Kalk Bay lighthouse matter?

The lighthouse’s primary function is to guide commercial fishing boats into the harbour after dark. It has been guiding fishing vessels into the harbour since 1919.

On a broader level, the lighthouse is part of the local heritage of all the small fishing harbours built generations ago to support coastal communities and livelihoods.

It is a tourist attraction along the southern Peninsula for both local and overseas tourists.

The lighthouse is a functional art form with aesthetic and symbolic meaning.

It has commercial value beyond what it cost to build, maintain and repair over the decades.

I have a personal interest in the lighthouse because I grew up in Kalk Bay in the 1970s. It is a beautiful nautical artefact that one can appreciate, take photographs of, paint and show your children and grandchildren.

It is surprising that the public officials entrusted by the public to maintain and repair this working historical artifact don’t seem to understand the functional and commercial value of the lighthouse.

It makes me wonder why the commercial eateries at the harbour, fishing and pleasure boat owners, anglers and residents have not petitioned the authorities for repair and regular maintenance.

Some may disagree that the lighthouse needs maintenance or saving. They see all the decay around them as public officials stuff their pockets with public funds. Let it go, the detractors may say.

Unfortunately, unless connections are seen between the parts (the lighthouse) and life (the community), nothing will be done to restore the lighthouse and implement a regular maintenance plan. It’s perhaps only through recognising the value of something and seeing and its connection with community that people can be nudged into action.

POSTSCRIPT

The Kalk Bay Harbour Master was contacted, noted the concerns, and undertook to investigate whether lighthouse is in working order, would inform Transnet to make necessary technical repairs and will request Public Works to include the maintenance and painting of the lighthouse as part of their upgrade Project.

A brief walk into the past

The Company’s Gardens, Cape Town. Photo credit: Jorge Lascar, Wikimedia Commons

I walk up Adderley Street (1850 -), originally named Heerengracht, after the canal (gracht in Dutch), which ran down its centre, in mid-December from the flower market near Strand Street.

I’m off to the Company’s Gardens. Free at last … to explore and take it all in. I wonder what the gardens look like after several decades when I came here with my mother and two brothers.

As I enter the gardens I see a large wooden structure in front of the entrance. Three workers are doing the electrics for the lighting. The wooden structure looks like the rib cage of a Southern Right Whale.

The sun is shining and it is a warm, bright day as I walk up the pathway towards the gardens, savouring the stillness, the oak trees barely moving, the murmur of insects and the calling of birds. I notice no squirrels scurrying about.

When I came here as a boy in the 1960s both sides of the pathway were packed with traders selling foodstuffs and peanuts in their shells. My mom would buy us packets of nuts in small brown paper bags and me and my two brothers would throw them to the squirrels. The squirrels would take them in their tiny paws and nibble at them until the shells broke open and they could eat the raw peanuts inside.

My mother would take us around the gardens on Sundays while my father worked at a Cape morning newspaper for the Monday edition. Later we would meet up with him and drive back to Clovelly in his black Studebaker Daytona.

Inside the gardens I enjoy looking at the old trees some of which must have stood there for several centuries. As I walk and look, I am amazed that these pioneers created such a lovely space that anyone can still enjoy today. The pioneer settlers planted the gardens, the oldest in South Africa, originally established in the 1650s, with fruit and vegetables for ships rounding the Cape to India and beyond.

The trees are green and the flowers in summer sunlight bring a calm over me after my busy morning visit to the Adderley Street flower market. Birds fly about in the trees. The scent of the trees and flowers smell sweet in the light South-Easter breeze. A young woman sits on one of the wooden benches looking at her cell phone. A young couple take photographs of each other against a backdrop of orange and white flowers. I touch one of the leaves of an old tree.

Then I come into the moment. The gardens draw me in. I can smell the trees and flowers. The warmth of the mid-morning surrounds me and suddenly it’s as though the gardens have reached out and embraced me. I am walking, connected, as if in a dream. The sun plays on the tree leaves sparkling against the greens, yellows and browns. The soil in the flower beds is a burned umber colour against the mauves, reds and oranges colours of the flowers. In the shade, the dark parts of the undergrowth below the trees contrast with the leaves out in the sunlight.

The Dutch and British brought the first development. If you go back and look at the historical accounts, the colony was the worst performing of all the British colonies. It was only partially developed and it took decades to connect the Cape to the emerging inland towns and farming districts.

The pioneer road builders worked under great difficulty to build the mountain passes and struggled with financing because the early Cape was so poor. The British were reluctant to advance money to their worst performing colony.

At the entrance to the Gardens is a large statue of Jan Smuts (1897-1950). Inside the gardens is a statue of Cecil John Rhodes (1853-1902) with his hand raised towards the East and an inscription reads, “Your hinterland is there”. Another statue, of Sir George Grey (1854-1861), stands at the South corner near the old cathedral.

With the eyes of an adult I take in the sight of the houses of parliament with their beautiful gardens and the statue of Queen Victoria (1819-1901). These buildings from a previous era are a reminder of things that once were and are long gone. A striving of people to begin, to build to grow and leave their mark.

This long line of history of the advance of people, of how they lived and what they did arouses my curiosity and wonder. To view it backwards is a privilege of being alive in this moment. In time our times will close and add to that evolving mass of humanity that is largely lost in the past.

I walk down Adderley Street and turn right into Spin Street. There I find a cafe, eat a toasted cheese sandwich and drink a coffee on the pavement steadying a rickety table with my foot. A young couple at a table near me bring me back to the present hearing snatches of their conversation about finances, the death of a family member and Friday night partying with friends.

I amble back to where I parked my car and see a statue of a man. I go look and read the inscription. Jan Hofmeyr (1845 – 1909).

Even the buildings with dates of their establishment are reminders of the past.

Now, the present, intertwined with the past, becoming, receding, a human destiny we are all part of and cannot escape.

As our times are swept behind by the river of life will those who inherit out past find inspiration in what we did and what we left behind?

Does it really matter?

They will still find inspiration from nature – the smell of a fresh new morning at dawn, the rising sun shining gold on the sea, the rock formations on a high mountain, the cool of the Kalahari desert at night with a black sky splashed with stars, the rushing of a swollen river and the tranquility and colour of an ancient garden.

Everywhere was green

Stampriet, Aranos district, Namibia. January 2021. Photo by Chesney Bradshaw

Everywhere was green — as far as your eyes could see.

Green where there was dry, dusty sand and stones.

Green against the mountains that have been dry for years.

Green Kameeldoring trees, heavy with leaves, all the way from the far reaches of the Kalahari in Namibia to Kimberley in the Northern Cape.

Green more than a foot high along the roadside – for at least 1,500 kilometres.

A year ago I traveled the Kalahari (that extends for 900,000 square kilometres, covering much of Botswana and parts of Namibia and South Africa) by road and experienced the dryness of almost seven years of drought. I was caught in a dust storm in the Northern Cape. I could hardly see the road ahead.

Skulls and skeletons of buck and sheep alongside the road that died in the drought.

What a difference water makes.

The water came from the rain that flooded parts of Namibia. A tropical storm, a low depression over Mozambique, moved west over Zimbabwe and towards Botswana, then proceed to Namibia and the Northern Cape.

Towards the end of last year the livestock must have sensed that the rains would come because the number of lambs and calves were plentiful.

On a farm in Namibia we went for walks in the evening and saw the aandblomme. These flowers bloom in front of your eyes before the night sets in. The aandblomme last only one night – the next day they lie dead.

The suurgras (on which sheep and cattle feed) rose rapidly during our stay. Plenty grazing in the months to come.

Walking out in the veldt you notice all sorts of small plants sticking out of the Kalahari red sand. Green shoots appearing everywhere. The wild grass knee-high in places swaying in the wind before the next downpour. The insects crawling all over the place – centipedes as thick as your small finger, dung beetles scurrying about and mosquitoes – tiny little black and white creatures coming out in the humidity searching for flesh to penetrate and suck blood. Vultures hovering and gliding in the sky looking for prey.

I’m very pleased for all the farmers who are benefiting from the rain.

The tragedy of the drought is not over. It will take years to restore the livestock herds they had before the drought.

One could say that farmers are entrepreneurs but that is an inadequate description. They go beyond entrepreneurship mainly because of their love of the land, the people who work for them and their livestock or crops.

The rain has broken the drought – and I hope a new cycle of regular rainfall will begin.

The green in the Kalahari signals new hope for everyone who lives there and makes a livelihood from this isolated but beautiful large semi-arid sandy savannah.

Home-brewed coffee robust as people remain working from home

Kitchen-brewed coffee shows robust growth as office coffee plunges.

FEATURE ARTICLE BY CHESNEY BRADSHAW

Kitchen-brewed coffee strong as people continue working from home. (Photo by Chesney Bradshaw.)

For coffee lovers no beverage beats the rich aroma of freshly ground coffee beans first thing in the morning. The smell of coffee brewing in a plunger or bean-to-cup machine. The taste of coffee on your palette — perhaps a subtle note of berries with a hint of chocolate.

Before lockdown workers got their jitter-juice from coffee shops on their commute to work or grabbed a cup from the office pause area.

Now after long stays working from home during lockdown, people working from home are brewing their favourite flavours in their kitchens.

Local coffee roasters report that employees working from home are even roasting their own beans.

Kirsten van Jaarsveld, owner of Ryo Coffee, based in Cape Town, has seen an increase in home-brew roasted coffee sales.

Bean and machine sales are up at Ryo Coffee. “We’ve found a definite increase in home purchasing,” says Van Jaarsveld.

“People are trying out of variety of roasted coffees at home,” she says. “They’re taking more pride in their home-made coffee. But I’m not sure how long it will continue when more people go back to work.”

Ryo Coffee offers a roasting guide on their website for home education on roasting. People can roast their own beans at home in 15 to 20 minutes in a pan.

The famous composer Beethoven was compulsive about his coffee. He started each day by counting out sixty coffee beans and grinding them. He certainly didn’t have the range of coffees available today to suit many different tastes: chocolate, cherry, blueberry flowery, herbal and nutty flavours or combinations.

A roaster in Blairgowrie, Randburg, who opened during the lockdown reports a big increase in sales to work-from-home buyers.

“We’ve seen an increase in customers buying coffee for home use because many are working from home during the lock-down,” says Francois du Plessis, owner of Roasties88.

He notes that business with coffee shops and corporates has fallen dramatically since the lockdown restrictions.

Before the Covid-19 lock-down coffee shops buzzed with morning commuters enjoying a cup before work. Coffee shops were packed with workers holding meetings or tapping at their laptops. Many of these coffee shops have closed. Coffee shops around the high-rise office buildings in Sandton and Rosebank, for example, enjoy a trickle of customers.

Those workers who went straight to the office began their day at the pause area making machine coffee. They would take their favourite coffee mug — with motivational quotes or smiley faces — to their workstations. They’d open their laptops, stare at the screen, sip their coffee and be charged enough to plunge into their overflowing email inbox. 

Filter coffee was freely available in meeting rooms. Mass-produced coffees with fancy European names jettisoned their loads from large automatic machines. The taste of this coffee appealed to most tastes but a growing band of connoisseurs brought their own coffee and plungers. Teams shared costs for fancy Italian-made bean-to-cup machines.

With the lockdown corporate coffee consumption has plunged. The loosening of lockdown restrictions with more workers returning to offices hasn’t helped corporate sales, according to roasters.

“We’ve experienced a huge decrease in corporate demand,” says Tertia Pretorius of Crater Coffees, also a roaster and owner of a coffee shop in Parys, Free State. “But sales of coffee for brewing at home have increased because many people are not working from offices.” She says household online orders for ground coffee have increased.

Kitchen brewing may slow down with further loosening of restrictions as more workers return to work. But now that coffee lovers have broadened their tastes during the lockdown they might find it hard to go back to the machine-made stuff.  

Look before you leap from career to hobbies

Photo by Micheile Henderson on Unsplash

In these times many people still have money to pamper themselves on luxuries.

We recently visited a new natural foods market and restaurant in the neighborhood. Customers were buying scrambled tofu and toast, halloumi wraps and vegan cheeseburgers. All foods were free from artificial additives, sweeteners, colourants and preservatives. All at jaw-dropping prices.

The patrons at the tables eating natural foods are part of the leisure crowd. They seek places like this to unwind on weekends from their high-gear lifestyles.

They’re dream consumers for these businesses, buying all the stuff they want, and more, to feel good.

Finding enjoyment and relaxation through consuming is ephemeral. It disappears when someone loses their job through retrenchment.

Many people want to prepare themselves for an uncertain future. Life coaches and psychologists tell them to follow their passion and do what they love. Is this realistic?

Let’s put it this way, if you’re interested in something, you’ll want to do it.

Some people resort to uninteresting work when they’ve never explored what interests them. Others have not worked out how to do something about it.

People want to give up their careers to pursue their hobbies. But often they aren’t good at them — or they need to get a lot better at what they do. It’s all well and good to bake cakes, knit macramé planters or dabble in carpentry. But to give up your career for your passion would be foolhardy. Unless you are wealthy and don’t need to work for an income to support yourself or a household.

Hobbies can turn into income sources. But to make a living from your hobby or passion, you need to get good at it as soon as possible. Acquiring skills takes time. You can’t be a counselor, an interior designer or painter overnight. Counseling or coaching may need doing a course or degree before you’re taken seriously.

Some people don’t want to stop working when they retire. They may change gears and work in their profession in a less pressurised way for a few days a week. Or they may adapt their skills to suit a related career. For example, a schoolteacher may become a family counselor). Others who fail to plan will take whatever they can to supplement retirement funding.

How do you start planning a new world of work for yourself? Know your drivers, prioritise your dreams and catalogue your strengths and skills. Then imagine possibilities and come up with an action plan. Support your dreams or interests with your strengths and skills — those you already have or can learn.

It’s easier to adapt what you already know into some activity. You may want to work for wages or work for a fee. But you can also work for me (anything you do for your pleasure or learning) or work for free (volunteering).

At the new natural foods store a woman was selling handmade cosmetics from her stall. This gives her the opportunity to follow her interest and earn income to support herself.

Look around and you’ll find many people who have started something for themselves. Especially now with fewer formal work opportunities. Chat to them and find out how they got started and what makes them tick. It could be you, sooner than you think.

Every time I see them, my heart sinks.

Guest post by Drayton Bird

The words are “human resources”.

I’ll explain why they trouble me in a moment

But first let me tell you a story you may have heard before, for which I apologise, but it is relevant.

David Ogilvy came to see me in 1985.

He wanted to tell me about a client he had found for me.

Here’s a little clip of him talking about this.

I still recall the day he came to see me about that client.

“Let’s go to your office”

“I don’t have one. Nobody has, except the financial director.”

(I didn’t like people sitting behind doors. Give them half a chance and they start feeling important. Not a good idea.)

Anyhow, after he told me about the client he asked about my job.

I wasn’t the managing director, creative director, or the chairman.

What did I actually do?

“I’m in charge of entertainment, David. I try to make everything such fun that people come in early, leave late, and enjoy the intervening period as much as possible.”

Being a Scot he then asked about money. It was lunchtime and everyone was eating at their desk. He asked who paid for the food.

I told him they did, and he patted me on the back.

This is a prelude to talking about an article I started reading the other day. It was written by someone in charge of Human Resources.

It was one of the most boring pieces of pretentious twaddle I have ever read, so I won’t inflict it on you.

In the world of marketing bores have a lot of hot competition, but the piece – full of jargon, long words and pompous glimpses of the obvious – was numbingly dreary.

But it is the words “Human Resources” that concern me here.

People are not just resources. And nobody should think so.

They are fascinating, delightful, dull, infuriating, talented, funny, brilliant, stupid, unpredictable, idle, diligent, dangerous, heroic, cowardly, pretty, ugly, fat, thin, sexy, impotent, loveable, loathsome, miserable, weird, happy, clueless – anything you can think of.

But they are not just resources.

They are your friends and allies, your enemies and threats – almost anything depending on the circumstances.

But above all, once you’ve had an idea for something and how to sell it, the people you work with will either make you a roaring success or a dismal failure.

And that depends on how well you take care of them.

You may have heard a great phrase I shared in a video recently – “Contented hens lay more eggs.”

I am still in touch with people I worked with over 40 years ago.

They were my friends then. They helped make me successful and rescued me when I flopped. I certainly couldn’t have done much without them.

My advice to you is simple. Of all the things you do besides looking for new ideas and ways to sell them, find and cosset the best people, and get rid of the duds.

When you keep people who don’t try, and don’t help, it sends a message to the good ones that you don’t care about quality and people who are no good can ponce off you.

A chief reason that companies fall to bits and collapse is that they don’t believe in the importance of people.

There is a very good U.S. store chain in the US called Nordstrom. I found out the only advice given to a their shop assistants was “Use your best judgement at all times.”

If you trust people, they will, for the most part, trust you and do a good job.

When I ran a big firm I tried to interview everyone for any significant job and promote those who tried hard and had talent, even changing my business to suit them if they were that good.

My job was to help them succeed because I couldn’t do everything on my own.

If you think you can do it alone you won’t get far.

But if you remember the importance of people you can achieve anything.

Do you think the same way as me? Maybe we should work together.

Drop us a line.

Best,

Drayton Bird

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This article has been published with the permission of the author.

Drayton Bird – brief bio

In 2003, the Chartered Institute of Marketing named Drayton Bird one of 50 living individuals who shaped modern marketing. He has worked in 55 countries, with clients including American Express, Audi, Bentley, British Airways, Cisco, Deutsche Post, Ford, IBM, McKinsey, Mercedes, Microsoft, Nestle, Philips, Procter & Gamble, Toyota, Unilever, Virgin, Visa and Volkswagen. His book, Commonsense Direct and Digital Marketing, out in 17 languages, has been the UK best seller on the subject every year since 1982.

When good people are wronged

We watched a movie called in English “Gloomy Sunday – A Song of Love and Death”, (the German title is “Ein Lied von Liebe und Tod) on a recent Saturday night about a woman (Ilona) who was raped by an SS officer in Budapest, Hungary. Ilona had gone to see the officer to plead for a pardon for her husband who was being sent to a concentration camp. The officer promises to not send her husband to the concentration camp but then reneges on his promise. Years later Ilona takes revenge on the officer who is a prominent businessman in Hungry.

This is an extreme example of a good person being wronged in a horrific way. But it brings into sharp focus how in some instances being wronged can hold us captive for all our lives.

A general definition of being wronged includes an injury, a tort a violation of right. In its usual sense, wrong signifies an injury committed to a person, their property or to their relative rights. The general understanding of being wronged is to treat someone in an unfair or unacceptable way.

Psychologists, marriage counselors, religious persons and well-meaning friends and family tell us to let go of the wrong that happens in our lives. Yet we need time to heal from the pain and hurt that we feel when wronged.

What about the things that happen in our lives? A man cheats on his wife having an affair with a younger woman. A mother excludes a daughter from her inheritance because she believes she has been wronged. A company, especially in these times, wrongs a long-serving employee who has been hard-working, honest and loyal by cheating him or her out of a severance package. Those colleagues you thought were like family turn out to pawns of upper management carrying out their orders with malicious precision. Professed company values are practiced in the breach.

Small wrongs can often add up and make a person feel that they have been wronged in a big way. A manager once told me that employees accumulate all the small hurts they experience in a company and carry them through their working lives. These employees feel wronged and have no one who will listen to them.

The immediate impact of being wronged is painful. Blood drains from your face. The hurt person hunches, clutches his or her stomach, feels a weakness in the knee and has a hanging head. Inside the person’s mind races with negative thoughts and they feel a sickness in the bottom of their stomach, an emotional pain that grips them and won’t let go.

After the shock of how they have been treated, people have to come to terms with being wrong and have to live with it. It’s not possible to merely shut out what people in business, organisations, social circles and families have done to you. This is why it is important to learn to let go.

Harold Kushner, author of “When Bad Things Happen to Good People”
says “In the final analysis, the question of why bad things happen to good people translates itself into some very different questions, no longer asking why something happened, but asking how we will respond, what we intend to do now that it has happened.” He goes on to ask whether we are capable of forgiving and accepting in love a world which has “disappointed you by not being perfect, a world in which there is so much unfairness and cruelty, disease and crime, earthquake and accident?”

Unless you let go of being wronged, you will be stuck in the past and people and events will continue to control you. The lesson that life teaches is that we need to learn to endure so that we may become strong for further challenges that lie ahead. We also have to move on with our integrity intact and seek out new opportunities and people who are honest with your interests at heart.

Victor Frankel, a holocaust survivor, in his book “Man’s Search For Meaning”, talks of the bitterness of one fellow inmate in a death camp. “Only slowly could these men be guided back to the commonplace thruth that no one has the right to do wrong, not even if wrong has been done to them. We had to strive to lead them back to this truth, or the consequences would have been much worse than the loss of a few thousand stalks of oats.”

Films that depict revenge for wrongdoings make us feel as though justice has been done, that the wheel has turned and balance has been restored in the world. But in real life the perpetration by the victim on a perpetrator cannot serve you. Bad people who have done wrong must be held accountable and suffer the consequences. But the victims are forced to face the wrongdoing with a different response. In plain language, it’s best to let it go and move on.