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Easy on bird talk

Professor Henry Fraser

Professor Henry Fraser

Independent Senator, Professor Henry Fraser, this afternoon likened tweeting and texting to communication by dogs and birds.

Fraser was delivering the main address at the Administrative Professionals Day 2013 seminar and luncheon, organised by the Barbados Association of Office Professionals, at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre.

Using the theme “Sharpening the Saw – Encouraging Academic Success” as his foundation, the retired Dean of the Faculty of Medicine at the University of the West Indies, was offering the professionals guidance on balancing all aspects of human life.

When he referenced texting and tweeting, he was at the time providing tips which contributed to the happiness and well being of the whole human person such as their mental, social, spiritual and physical make up.

Pointing specifically to one’s mental health, the prominent proponent of living well, urged participants who wanted to sharpen their wits and skills to adopt habits such as reading, learning, writing, teaching and professional advancements for academic success.

“Notice I include writing and teaching, because we need to write, whether notes in a diary, articles for a journal magazine or a newspaper, or letter or email communication to a friend, and I don’t mean a text or a tweet of a few words, abbreviated or slang words – that’s not writing, that’s signalling; that’s what dogs and birds do,” he declared.

“So very few people can write properly any more. I mean real writing, proper writing, because that consolidates what you read and learn.”

For their social health, Fraser recommended meaningful connection with others and gave as examples, smiling, greeting, complimenting and general interaction.

As far as the physical health was concerned, the founder-director of the Chronic Disease Research Centre, advised regular exercise, eating all foods in moderation and regular sleep habits.

“More fibre and fruit and fitness. More fat and sugar and sickness,” asserted the author of many health books on such subjects as hypertension and obesity.

His address, punctuated by speech modulation that created a sense of hush and profoundness, the well recognised national orator, concluded by turning to the spiritual element of a balanced life.

Fraser, dropping his voice to almost a whisper, noted that promotion of ones spirituality, inspired ones academic life.

“A life without God, is like an unsharpened pencil – no point,” he counselled the office professionals. He also left them with seven habits of human life, which would result in balance: being proactive, beginning with the end in mind, priortising, striving for mutually beneficial solutions, trying to understand and then be understood, team work and keeping ones self “sharp”. (EJ)


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