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Dying for a paycheck (3mins Read).

Dying for a paycheck…

Ranti Esprit has come again I hear you say!

In a recent survey in the US, it was noted that around 120,000 deaths occurred each year due to job stress and about 13,000 in the UK annually. These are staggering figures in the modern age, with all the technology gadgets we have today.

Of course, there are some hazardous jobs out there of which accidents does occur on rare occasions when health and safety breaches lead to death, and then there are even more dangerous jobs such as the ‘wild crocodile eggs collectors’ in Australia outback where the animals are reared and used for designer items. Imagine distracting a 20-feet long saltwater crocodile with sticks in order to steal her eggs. Insane right!

Our generation were raised with high education standards with the expectation of attaining good grades and enter the labour market, let us blame the parents. I can confirm that attitude is changing where lesson have been learnt as my niece and nephews were now been raised to be innovators with entrepreneurial flair and understanding to determine their own future.

The question now belies for those of us in the field – how to debunk the ‘dream job’ myth that may eventually kill you. Jeffrey Pfeffer (Stanford University) offer a clarion call for a social movement focused on human sustainability in his latest book ‘Dying for a Paycheck’ asserting that the environment we work in is just as important as the one we live in; thus, our workplaces must become healthier and better. In Mckinsey Quarterly, it was noted that to increase employees’ health and wellbeing, we must focus on job control and social support.

My emphasis illustrate that lack of job control lead to stress, employees have gone through all kinds of rigorous training and educational achievements, thereby we must trust them to make informed (or contributory) decision about the business they work in.

One of the most notable research efforts in this area was the Whitehall Studies, conducted by British epidemiologist Michael Marmot and his team, which examined employees within the British Civil Service. Marmot’s team discovered that the higher someone’s rank, the lower the incidence of and mortality from cardiovascular disease. Controlling for other factors, it turned out that differences in job control, which were correlated with job rank, most accounted for this phenomenon. Higher-ranked British employees, like higher-ranked employees in most organizations, enjoyed more control over their jobs and had more discretion over what they did, how they did it, and when—even though they often faced greater job demands.

Additional Whitehall data related work stress, measured as the co-occurrence of high job demands and low job control, to the presence of metabolic syndrome, a cluster of risk factors that predict the likelihood of getting heart disease and type 2 diabetes. Employees who faced chronic stress at work were more than twice as likely to have metabolic syndrome compared with those without work stress.

Work – related ill health 2016/17

Graph showing stress depression and anxiety is the leading type of work-related ill health

Lost working days 2016/17

Chart showing stress depression and anxiety is the leading cause for working days lost due to work-related ill health at 49%

Other research has also found a relationship between measures of job control and health. A study of 8,500 white-collar workers in Sweden who had gone through reorganizations found that the people who had a higher level of influence and task control in the reorganization process had lower levels of illness symptoms for 11 out of 12 health indicators, were absent less frequently, and experienced less depression.

In summation, please note that jobs that provide individuals more autonomy and control serve to increase their motivation, job satisfaction and performance – this make employees healthier and live longer. In addition, being socially integrated and having your own social support (family and friends) to count on is equally important.

Let me know what you think. Thanks for reading my piece. Peace be with you.

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Happy Birthday… A grateful 💓 heart.

It is few days to my birthday, he is still 21 years old I hear you concur. Well, I am not. I no longer use that line, I just say that I feel younger after adjusting my diet to kale, spinach and chia seeds even though the six packs have refused to come out as intended. I guess at this age, it’s about keeping healthy, but I must also stress that I felt the pressure when I saw an array of Adonis well-sculpted bodies at Platja de Mar Bella beach in Barcelona few weekends ago. Dare I say it, those guys looked good phew!

Image result for marbella beach barcelona

I have been unusually calm as the last day of August approaches, I am not panicking as in previous years where some goals were met or missed. I still have my eyes on the prize, but I am eternally grateful for what I hold in my possession, and for other immaterial things I have no control over.

I am thankful for life.
I am thankful for health.
I am thankful for family.
I am thankful for friends and colleagues.
I am thankful for jobs.
I am thankful for ventures.
I am just thankful.
Thank you, Lord, for all.

 

I leave you with a quote from “Tryst with Destiny” by Jawaharlal Nehru – “the ambition of the greatest man (and woman) of our generation has been to wipe every tear from every eye”. Therefore, I implore you to reach out to others and touch them at their sore points for solutions and a life of joy.

God bless you all. Thank you for reading.

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Wild Boars… International Cooperation at its best!

The answer to the various issues encountered by government administrations all over the world is simply to foster more international cooperation.

In recent years, ideology has shifted towards the left, we have witnessed the rise of nationalism that ends up caging their citizens in economic and social quagmire. The events of the last few days has gripped us all; not the world cup. I am referring to the young Thai football players – the Wild Boars. Our imaginations have been captured by their discovery and eventual rescue of the young lads, we have all said a little prayer for their safe rescue and recovery. There is definitely a Hollywood movie in their story as it invokes human spirit and endeavour at its best – a human togetherness I’ll call it.

Image result for wild boars football

It mirrored the rescue of the 33 trapped Chilean miners in 2010, it underlines that international cooperation can be a blessing; meaning that diverse collaboration shows that nations work best when they work together. We must praise the Thai government for seeking assistance for where other nations have special expertise. It did not insist that it could do everything itself.

My point is emphasised as follows – in a competitive world, nations (even individuals) must avail to take advantage of other nations’ skills to supplement their own in the face of adversity as the Thais have done in the successful effort to save lives. Let us pause for a moment, would we have a different outcome if the Nigerian government (in 2014) had called for help in rescuing the abducted girls from Chibok instead of the incompetency and ineptitude shown which has left the girls families in never-ending anguish.

Image result for chibok

Moreover, we must agitate for the government albeit a different administration to seek international assistance from other beef producing countries such as Brazil and Argentina to drum up solutions to the incessant killings and conflicts between the herdsmen and farmers in the middle-belt of Nigeria. We must find a way to live together in peace and security.

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First blog post

This is the post excerpt.

This is my first blog.

Family/friends, acquaintances and colleagues generally seek my opinion and contributions across varied topics such as business, raising a family, investments, life and fitness (I am still a young man, but I guess I have had my fingers burnt a few times – as the proverbial says ‘once bitten, twice shy’.

I always bring a lot of positive energy into my daily interactions; a smile is ever ready on my face, a helping hand to guide someone, always willing to lend support and open doors that can lead to profitable engagements.

Based on these facts, I have decided to create a blog space to share and collaborate with others i.e., an esprit community to discuss ideas and formulate solutions together.

In my next few articles, I will focus on a subject that people have engaged me on recently. I bumped into an old friend of mine, an American on Brompton Road on Easter Sunday and we have not seen each other since I last holidayed in Charleston, South Carolina in the summer of 2007

She was like, Wow!!! Have you lost weight and went on that I am almost in the shape I was in when we first met in Harlem, NYC in 2002 – we went on to discuss yoga, diets, carbs (good & bad), lack of sleep, calisthenics, work-life balance, start-ups, tech gadgets, children and other aspects of life that has a significant impact on our health and well-being.

In a nutshell, I believe that you can grasp that being healthy and in shape is my thing!

Please subscribe to this page and lets esprit de corps together.

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Raising children in a confusing city – London

Parenthood is not for the faint-hearted

After a week of full fatherly duties, I mean being in charge of bathing, feeding, homework, school runs, sporting activities, doing endless washings I told the boys that being a parent is not for the faint-hearted. I must admit that it is a tasking job. I can honestly say that I did not sit for a minute or two. I had thought that I’d catch up on some Netflix or start writing my essay on ‘whether capitalism needs creative destruction?’ The gym and Spotify was a respite for me as I needed to rebuild my energy source and listen to some podcast plan for the future or bask at the moment. (I am currently listening to ‘redefining wealth’ by Patrice Washington on Spotify.

As a parent, it is essential to plan even if the path for the future is unclear. Without being deductive, raising a family in this current climate of London issues is frightening, especially with young black children with its composition. Recently, I was having a discussion with other parents at the children football (soccer) practice, and we were talking about how to navigate our kids from the harsh reality of racism that especially counters young black males on their journey in life.

There is no doubt that the primary responsibility lies in both parents being present and effective in their lives, not just when they are attaining success. Our impact is felt and meaningful while young, not when they fled the nest. One of the parents recanted a story that he took his son on a steep uphill ride, and when the boy was tired from lactose acid in his quads, he impacted some life lessons in him that in life you must never give up and that you must fight diligently to reach the top.

As a father to young black kids, well I am doing my best to impart values and to guide them with knowledge, but I cannot change the entire discourse of society that allows or tolerates youth crime to persist. We need strong leadership in this city that was once renowned for excellence and safety; at least for children. We cannot tolerate living in a society rifled with criminality and indiscipline; I want a strong mayor in my city of birth. Yes, we live in a liberal society where everyone has a voice, but we need a stronger voice that advocates for parental assistance and responsibility through tax cuts, not welfare. We need a community that allows black fathers to be present in the lives of their children; we need to move beyond the subtle and overt racism that greeted the ‘Royal Baby’.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this piece; it’s been a while I know. I hope to bring more topical issues to your attention. Remember that a child’s development irrespective of race is dependent on their surroundings and socio-economic background. As parents, we must strive, but equally, those that occupy the official capacity must protect communities from disintegrating and degradation — the path to follow to ensure that my beloved London remains a welcoming innovative capital.

An Ode to the NHS…

If I was a celebrity this is when I bring out the cheque book!

You must know me by now, even though it’s been a while I have shared any stories. This is because my life have become so routinized of late: go to work, do gym, attend evening classes, just doing the everyday mundane things but with the same vigour of a twenty year old. Consequentially, I am not twenty-something anymore and as Africans would say; ‘body no be wood’. Albeit, an adjustment is needed as you get older.

This is my thankfulness to the countless NHS staffs both seen and unseen. I can honestly say that I am a happy taxpayer, well done to HMRC for this mandatory collection from my monthly pay. What would have happened to someone like me who rarely falls sick if I happened to be in Alabama without medic insurance or in any of the great states of Nigeria without basic health infrastructure after mis-use of trillions of dollars of oil revenue. Britain is not without fault, but the NHS is a prized asset. A national treasure where diversity thrives, where everyone is treated with dignity, where all kinds of people irrespective of colour, class or creed utilised their optimal best for us all under budgetary constraints, under shortage of beds.

It is too late for me to become a neurologist. On this note, I hope to contribute my taxes for many years ahead in health and wellness. And who knows, I might still become a celeb!

Thank you to Zainab, Zeinab, Elizabeth, Fidilia, Sally and the entire team of doctors and staff on the AMU Ward @ NorthMid Hospital.

God bless…

What happened to my beloved London? I can’t wait to elope from my place of birth…

I was woken by the blip sound on my phone this wet morning, only to watch the gruesome stabbing of a young man on my Android device, he later succumbed to his injuries. May he rest in peace! We must respect the dead and I pass no judgement on how he lived his life but what a waste of life and countless others that has died unabated for at least a decade. This really became a phenomenon in the mid-2000s. Perhaps, there are linkages to the recession I don’t know at this stage. But what I can deduce from this London area tragedies are the change in culture for the worse.

I left Britain for Africa at the tender age of five only to return at Eighteen for university education, what stood out to me on my return was the amount of freedom people had or perceived to have, but a notion instilled in us at boarding school was freedom should not be taken lightly, it should be valued. Hence you won’t find me committing any vices at least I try (not a saint though), I believe that freedom without restrictions is not freedom, it is a fallacy. I clearly understood that we live, work, retire and (naturally, hopefully) die in a tolerant society. However, even in a (neo) liberal society, companies and organizations are still subjected to rules and regulations. The emphasis here is that the state cannot afford to turn a blind eye to misconduct or failings in various parts of society based on fear of being labelled racist and so on. Yes, the state have to remove and tackle institutions rooted in discrimination towards a segment of society.

Race is a factor in this context because the community predominantly affected are blacks, and for the sake of argument I will group the community as Africans. But, I highly place the blame at African/Carribbean authorities, they are too silent on this salient topic.

My take on this is that Africa as a state or entity must seek at an international level to challenge Britain to ascertain what is going on. There are no official responses, it shows that African governments are not concerned about black welfare outside their jurisdiction (or even within I hear you say). Without a doubt at the micro level it is parental duties to raise their children with good expected standards, good policing, engaged social services that unite families rather than divide and, investment in education and affordable housing etc… We are a product of where we come from, and we need our countries of origin to influence us positively. Britain can’t do this on her own, this is not a domestic issue it is international because of its global ramifications. This is domestic terrorism, this problem will not go away with Britain’s ‘smack on the wrist’ reaction to these killings. It damages the black community in immeasurable ways, it reduces the positive contributions of black community to Britain and beyond. In essence, it damages the black brand which is beyond music and sports as conveniently presented in the media, but includes professionals and academic careers such as nurses, bankers, accountants… What was the Chinese airline advise to Chinese tourists last year? It instructed them to avoid ‘black areas’, if young educated Chinese students cannot interact with other culture such as blacks, how would they portray Africa as a continent to do business rather than a continent to extract resources to build their own economy. Oh somebody, get me in to authority! As you can see we live in an interdependent world, hence our values and problems must be shared and solved collectively.

Some of these kids are black and may not have visited Africa (Britain perceived them as Africans or foreigners), if the black community in Britain is damaged or deduced to be violent…who looses out? Africa and Britain. I am calling for international focus on this London plague.

*** This is an emotive topic. Please pardon my ignorance if I had touched a nerve. In addition, share your thoughts and your view which is not just a London issue, it is happening in Chicago and other inner cities around the world.

Thank you for reading!

My mind on French Philosopher – Jean Jacques Rousseau 1762 ‘The Social Contract’

French philosopher Jean Jacques Rousseau wrote these words before the French Revolution in the ‘Social Contract’ to find ways to untangle man from the feudal bondage. In today’s world, what is holding human beings back from forward-progression? Why are there conflicts? Are technological advances enabling our lives or not? Do organizations have too much hold over our lives? What is inhibiting man, despite all the data in the cloud? I want to hear from you.

#rousseau
#humanprogress
#technology