This House – Original Poem

house1

This house is breathing

No one is here

The floors creak and the walls moan

Voices of strangers echo off in the playfulness of darkness; dancing and singing to the folk hymns of yesteryear

All around, carvings of poetic verse knifed into the wooden beams

Forever messages of love

Silently the words speak; once alive and filled with the essence of life, now immortalized

 

This house is alive; humbled and free

It stands the test of time and stores our footprints for the next guests

Seeing us enter and leave Earth’s house is its fortunate tragedy

Each connection must go

It must leave and all that remains is the dust of memories

 

This house has the soul of a child

It is old and cracked

Aged and worn

Still seeing and feeling all

 

This house was built for all of us, past, present and future

It is a resting place; a shelter; a comfort zone; a home

It is you and I

Through the mirror we feel the laughter of great-grandparents so young

We receive hints of a past never written in history books

house2

 

This house teaches

Messages of hope and faith

 

This house is a reminder of the cleanliness we are born into

Softness of virtue

Bright big eyes seeing the world head

 

This house stands

 

 

 

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A Treat for all the History Buffs: Microhistory of Employee Benefits and Compensation in the United States, 1636-2009

Direct URL:

http://www.hewittassociates.com/Intl/NA/en-US/KnowledgeCenter/ArticlesReports/ArticleDetail.aspx?cid=2414&tid=45&stid=6633

Did you know . . .

The first private pension plan was developed by the American Express Company in 1875?

Massachusetts passed the first minimum wage law in 1912?

The first major medical group insurance contract was issued to General Electric’s management personnel in 1949?

The microhistory linked to below highlights the major events and legislation that Hewitt Associates believes influenced the growth and quality of employee benefit plans and compensation practices in the United States from 1636 to 2009. Historical sources are sometimes contradictory and unclear and, therefore, this timeline may be imperfect. However, this list provides a valuable tool to examine developments and trends in employee benefits and compensation over the past 350-plus years.

Full Report:

http://www.hewittassociates.com/_MetaBasicCMAssetCache_/Assets/Articles/2009/Microhistory_Employee_Benefits_and_Compensation_092009.pdf

International Women’s Day – March 8 (100th Year Anniversary) – How Did You Celebrate?

How did you celebrate International Women’s Day around the world. Please share your stories in the comment section and share all the positive experiences and emotions with others.

http://www.internationalwomensday.com/

2010 Theme:

Equal rights, equal opportunities: Progress for all

History:

International Women’s Day has been observed since in the early 1900’s, a time of great expansion and turbulence in the industrialized world that saw booming population growth and the rise of radical ideologies.

1908
Great unrest and critical debate was occurring amongst women. Women’s oppression and inequality was spurring women to become more vocal and active in campaigning for change. Then in 1908, 15,000 women marched through New York City demanding shorter hours, better pay and voting rights.

1909
In accordance with a declaration by the Socialist Party of America, the first National Woman’s Day (NWD) was observed across the United States on 28 February. Women continued to celebrate NWD on the last Sunday of February until 1913.

1910
n 1910 a second International Conference of Working Women was held in Copenhagen. A woman named a Clara Zetkin (Leader of the ‘Women’s Office’ for the Social Democratic Party in Germany) tabled the idea of an International Women’s Day. She proposed that every year in every country there should be a celebration on the same day – a Women’s Day – to press for their demands. The conference of over 100 women from 17 countries, representing unions, socialist parties, working women’s clubs, and including the first three women elected to the Finnish parliament, greeted Zetkin’s suggestion with unanimous approval and thus International Women’s Day was the result.

1911
Following the decision agreed at Copenhagen in 1911, International Women’s Day (IWD) was honoured the first time in Austria, Denmark, Germany and Switzerland on 19 March. More than one million women and men attended IWD rallies campaigning for women’s rights to work, vote, be trained, to hold public office and end discrimination. However less than a week later on 25 March, the tragic ‘Triangle Fire’ in New York City took the lives of more than 140 working women, most of them Italian and Jewish immigrants. This disastrous event drew significant attention to working conditions and labour legislation in the United States that became a focus of subsequent International Women’s Day events. 1911 also saw women’s ‘Bread and Roses’ campaign.

1913-1914
On the eve of World War I campaigning for peace, Russian women observed their first International Women’s Day on the last Sunday in February 1913. In 1913 following discussions, International Women’s Day was transferred to 8 March and this day has remained the global date for International Wommen’s Day ever since. In 1914 further women across Europe held rallies to campaign against the war and to express women’s solidarity.

1917
On the last Sunday of February, Russian women began a strike for “bread and peace” in response to the death over 2 million Russian soldiers in war. Opposed by political leaders the women continued to strike until four days later the Czar was forced to abdicate and the provisional Government granted women the right to vote. The date the women’s strike commenced was Sunday 23 February on the Julian calendar then in use in Russia. This day on the Gregorian calendar in use elsewhere was 8 March.

1918 – 1999
Since its birth in the socialist movement, International Women’s Day has grown to become a global day of recognition and celebration across developed and developing countries alike. For decades, IWD has grown from strength to strength annually. For many years the United Nations has held an annual IWD conference to coordinate international efforts for women’s rights and participation in social, political and economic processes. 1975 was designated as ‘International Women’s Year’ by the United Nations. Women’s organisations and governments around the world have also observed IWD annually on 8 March by holding large-scale events that honor women’s advancement and while diligently reminding of the continued vigilance and action required to ensure that women’s equality is gained and maintained in all aspects of life.

2000 and beyond
IWD is now an official holiday in China, Armenia, Russia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Bulgaria, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Macedonia, Moldova, Mongolia, Tajikistan, Ukraine, Uzbekistan and Vietnam. The tradition sees men honouring their mothers, wives, girlfriends, colleagues, etc with flowers and small gifts. In some countries IWD has the equivalent status of Mother’s Day where children give small presents to their mothers and grandmothers.
The new millennium has witnessed a significant change and attitudinal shift in both women’s and society’s thoughts about women’s equality and emancipation. Many from a younger generation feel that ‘all the battles have been won for women’ while many feminists from the 1970’s know only too well the longevity and ingrained complexity of patriarchy. With more women in the boardroom, greater equality in legislative rights, and an increased critical mass of women’s visibility as impressive role models in every aspect of life, one could think that women have gained true equality. The unfortunate fact is that women are still not paid equally to that of their male counterparts, women still are not present in equal numbers in business or politics, and globally women’s education, health and the violence against them is worse than that of men.
However, great improvements have been made. We do have female astronauts and prime ministers, school girls are welcomed into university, women can work and have a family, women have real choices. And so the tone and nature of IWD has, for the past few years, moved from being a reminder about the negatives to a celebration of the positives.

Annually on 8 March, thousands of events are held throughout the world to inspire women and celebrate achievements. A global web of rich and diverse local activity connects women from all around the world ranging from political rallies, business conferences, government activities and networking events through to local women’s craft markets, theatric performances, fashion parades and more.
Many global corporations have also started to more actively support IWD by running their own internal events and through supporting external ones. For example, on 8 March search engine and media giant Google some years even changes its logo on its global search pages. Year on year IWD is certainly increasing in status. The United States even designates the whole month of March as ‘Women’s History Month’.
So make a difference, think globally and act locally !! Make everyday International Women’s Day. Do your bit to ensure that the future for girls is bright, equal, safe and rewarding.

The Importance of October 28th

One day before the 84th Anniversary of the Stock Market Crash of 1929, and for many this week seems to be working in that direction, I would like to take this opportunity to present a historical evaluation of the importance of October 28th.

For the true conspiracy theorists in the audience this may blow your mind. Not as much as “Paranormal Activity” but a close second.

Many significant events transpired on this hallowed day in history but the unprecedented significance is almost mind boggling. Truth be told, I wanted to use the phrase “mind boggling” for some time and could not find a true fit until now.

Let me outline and then explain my discovery:

1 – October 28, 1636 – Harvard was founded
2 – October 28, 1793 – Eli Whitney filed for a patent for the cotton gin
3 – October 28, 1886 – The Statue of Liberty was dedicated in the New York Harbor by President Grover
Cleveland.

Many other significant events occurred on this day including the end of the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962, Benito Mussolini taking control of Italy in 1922, and the first Macy’s Department Store opened in New York City in 1858 but the critical importance of these three events on the same day in history is truly amazing.

Harvard is considered the foremost pinnacle of higher education, setting the standards for the entire country and the world. Setting the bar for ethics, morals, educational standards and reputation has made Harvard a reputable giant in the world of academia.

Eli Whitney is considered by many historians as the Grandfather of the Industrial Revolution. The cotton gin created a breakthrough in mass production tooling and process. This invention would open the doors to the world we live in today.

Finally, the Statue of Liberty. Lady Liberty needs no introduction. For millions that landed on Ellis Island to call America home, this is the symbol of liberty, freedom and democracy. The Statue of Liberty is a symbol of honor, respect, loyalty and most importantly all the freedoms we celebrate each and every day.

As one observer, I am truly taken back by this new found knowledge. Three events that paved the way for education, industrialization, and freedom all began their reign on October 28th.

Too Academic excellence, modern industry and democracy….Cheers!