Monday, April 18, 2005

It must hurt to be a woman.

Yes. It must truly hurt to be a woman.

My recently married brother in law sidled up to me, with an all-knowing look - "My wife complains that I talk too much. It is crazy. She is the talker!". He smirked and said, " You know what all women are like!!".

I honestly did not know, and said so.

He looked confused and I spoke again. "In this family we never talk ill of people, especially by virtue of their gender or any "classification." We respect each other".

I now never talk badly of women, to men. Because, if I do, I then talk badly of the love of my life, Arthie. Equally I will never talk negatively of all men. If I do, I include myself.
"Just think?" I said to him. "Who do you love? Who do you go home to? Who have you chosen to spend the rest of your life with?"

"My wife," he answered, as he sheepishly looked down.

"So why on earth do you choose to bring her, your mother, your sister and all the women in the world down?

"You’re right," he said and he has never again spoken poorly of women, at least to me. It is fantastic because we can now have meaningful discussions.

This is not just something my brother in law did. It is perpetuated on a daily basis, by certain women - about men and some men about women. (And by many people about humans from other races...)

Arthie and I celebrate our humanness everyday. We never globally attack any person, group, gender, culture or religion. We are all human and all one race - the human race. So it was strange to be on the other side of gender-based comments, at a recent conference for women.

A speaker, pumped up to be speaking to an audience of "her kind", identified the two men in the back of the room. In her opening greeting, she noted, "Oh, I see that we have two "Y chromosomes" here."

I was shocked and cut to the quick. From being a participating supporter of the entire conference and its concepts, I was now an outsider. Not a human any longer, just a thing.

It really hurt me that day to be called a "Y" chromosome. It was painful to hear such a disparaging, distasteful and isolating comment from a woman, targeting all men. Me included! And unfortunately she was not alone. A number of speakers got in their jabs.

And suddenly, in that room, I was no longer a human - I was a just a "man." A mean and negative creature. A non-woman.

This set my mind on a path of looking at the issue from the "other side."

How have most women felt as they are, and have been, abused for their falsely perceived lack of skills, hair colour, weight, age, intellect and even physical strength? All based on a "male" perception of the genetic abilities of the feminine gender!

Most of us have had the fortune to be raised by our mothers. After incredible discomfort and pain, they have nurtured, raised and loved us.

And then we become the boys, and later men, who learnt from their peers and their dads to be disrespectful.
Some of us reach the lowest levels of taunting and demeaning women. Some take it far further and physically abuse them.

And some men make "generous and patronising" comments like, "Behind every successful man is a woman." In fact, many members of the feminine gender say the same, and some even fling negative "female" comments at other women.

I personally believe that families are teams and no-one person is superior in all matters, skills or talents. We all add to each other. Male or female - big or small.

In our wonderful relationship, I support Arthie and she supports me. She has never walked behind me, or been any less than me. She is my equal and we stand side-by-side. Her success is my success and mine is hers.
We are there for each other and we are there to build each other. Always working from love and respect.

So that little jab, at this over-sensitive man, may have hurt. It certainly shocked me. But it is nothing like the everyday pain that most women endure at the hands of disrespectful, unaware and abusive boys and men.
Yes. It must really hurt, at times, to be a women.

I am so sorry. Because I too have not always been respectful. My actions and my attitude have not always been as they are now. And I apologise to all the females who I have hurt, or caused to be, hurt.

And I wish that I could personally apologise for all of the disrespect, that so many men have shown to women - through the ages. I can’t, so I will ensure that I personally treat all humans with respect and know that, at the very least, my son will learn from my positive actions.

Brian V Moore© May 2005

The Celebrating Humanity© Legacy

An article about the exciting results that are being created through the Celebrating Humanity - transformational team-building programme.

It is great to have similar views and visions to those of your life’s partner. It is just as fantastic to wake up each morning knowing that our joint daily actions, will make a huge difference in the world.

And in the lives of many other people.

It is always good to know about the changes people are making in their lives. Changes that have been catalyzed by our life’s work and are now being solidly cemented by our delegates and learner facilitators.

(Arthie recentlyattended the National Diversity Conference in Connecticut and visited Times2 Academy in Providence RI and New York City.)

Our new facilitation teams

Arthie and I are in a more celebratory mood than usual, at the moment. On the Ides of March (15th) 2005, our Celebrating Humanity© programme gave birth to a new team of facilitators. The potential facilitators from Ethekwini Municipality took their first scary steps towards facilitating the Eye-Opener solo.

We were most fortunate and grateful to be awarded, amongst others, the Ethekwini Municipality Diversity programme. The focus of which was to run a pilot programme and train a training team from our client, to roll-out the programme to 18500 members of the council.

The Celebrating Humanity© programme has united delegates and city councillors from different political, cultural and ethnic backgrounds, as never before!

It has been an exciting process and for various reasons, many of the would-be facilitators have fallen out of the Celebrating Humanity© train-the-trainers programme.

Yet a dedicated and committed few have stayed the testing course and we have all grown through the process. We now have a respectful facilitation team with it’s own peer-agreed and managed code of conduct.

Each person is experiencing South Africa, and people, in a totally new way and is undergoing incredible personal transformation. This is what Sonja Wright had to say after her first experience on 16/3/2005 as a Celebrating Humanity© facilitator:-

“I am still so overwhelmed and it is Friday (2 days later) -- I feel so different /renewed and GOOD that I could be part of a wonderful process of helping people to experience a taste of understanding human beings.

I am so excited and feel so different-- I look at people in the bus, taxi, shops and everywhere else, with a whole new attitude. A deeper meaning to the process, and the (train-the-trainer) training finally makes sense now.

How do you express the gratitude and love that I feel today. My daughter also is so different now and we developed a new beginning to how we deal with each other and started better communication skills and acknowledge that each member at home is different and unique...

Thank you---Fazal, Phumi, Siyasanga! (Her facilitation group.)
Thank you Brian and Arthie! (Celebrating Humanity training team.)

Creating Workplace Harmony

The Celebrating Humanity© contribution to building relationships and respect in diverse workplaces is seen in the feedback from Jan Greyling of Eskom - Central Region:-

“Prior to the (celebrating Humanity Harvest©) program, for a period of eight months, the work atmosphere was an absolute nightmare. Nobody wanted to be here. People took sides and there was very visible hostility.

There were nine formal grievances. More than 100 people days were lost. The bill from lawyers amounted to R75000.

Post the program we have not had one workplace conflict incident.

In terms of the programme, I believe it is fantastic. The topics are 100% applicable and very comprehensive - dealing with issues we never think about. What I like most is the program which is put in place to sustain the training.

The resultant outcomes.

I can only describe it as great.

Our Year end function was incredible – the whole team danced together - what a sight!”

And the harmony now in place in SunCoast Casino, which Celebrated Humanity© with us after a lengthy strike is observed by HR Manager Million Mbatha.

“We have received an overwhelming response from our employees that the training has touched various souls and enlightened various participants in understanding our unique Rainbow Nation’s cultures, heritages and customs. This has created the required level of respect and harmony in the workplace.

I have no doubt in my mind that this intervention will go a long way towards creating an environment in which equity in the workplace is not seen as a threat but as an opportunity to diversify our workforce and improve skills.”

Celebrating Humanity Internationally

Our work has fortunately taken us to the USA and other areas of Africa. The programme content is as different as our delegates and we are still getting great results!

Ralph Taylor – then Dean of Dreams at Times² Academy in Providence - Rhode Island, USA, had this to say:-

“You have left a permanent impression and a loving legacy here.”

The Bank of Zambia delegates were equally transformed:-

“Apart from sitting in boardrooms as a group, this is the first time in + 8 years, that we have sat freely discussing. This is the first time we have interacted as human beings. Solutions actually lie within ourselves. The answers are here though Brian and Arthie brought and used international ways and process to get us to that point.”

And, “You have helped me to open up and approach people more, understand people better, share advice and challenges. Now we are human, not just corporate workers. Now I will be more open and aware of peoples’ feelings and input.”

Yes, it is fantastic to wake up each day knowing that we are on a continual path of growth and learning and that each day brings us in contact with new humans and their new ideas.

It is fantastic to be able to Celebrate Humanity© as a couple and to know that our living legacy is now spreading through other like-minded people!

Brian V Moore - 22/3/2005

Call now or e-mail us to book your Celebrating Humanity© session! +Int. code 27 (0)31 2053668 or e-mail:

For more info on the Celebrating Humanity programme – South Africa – email: and International email:

Or visit: for more info, articles and human and workplace diversity stories

We have passports, current and valid USA visas and are willing to travel anywhere in the world!

True Leaders know that we ADD to each other!

A story on the power that leaders and their organisations gain,
when they understand the true value of diversity in teams.
And we are ALL leaders!

It hit me like a flash! In order to be true leaders, we have to accept that other people add to us. And we have to ensure that their unique skills, knowledge and wisdom to be integral parts of our teams. In Zulu it is said “Inkosi yinkosi ngabantu” - a leader is only a leader by virtue of her/ or his people - the meaning was becoming clearer by the minute.

I have always understood that my son and my wife bring unbelievable value and add to me. Now I knew that people who disagree with me also add to me. People who are different, or who have different views and opinions, bring great value to me.

And perhaps they add to me far more than those who always concur with me. And 19th Century Poet Laureate, Lord Alfred Tennyson knew it, when he said, “I am a part of all that I have met.”

And in a second burst of light, I realized that I also add to other people. That I too am valuable.

If only I had learnt this as a child, as a teenager or even 10 years ago. It would have stopped my rightness and my need to defend my opinions. I would no longer have had to “win arguments.” And as a consequence lose my friends and break relationships.

It was so simple. All people in their varied histories, religions, education, cultures, skills, experiences, pains and joys make us more human. And can, if we are open to their uniqueness, help us to build our lives, families, teams and organisations.

So diversity is a good thing. Not something to be feared but something to be sought out. Not something to be judged but something to learn from. Not something to be contradicted but something to be built upon!

I then realized that the more inclusive and diverse our teams are, the more we win! And, conversely, the more we follow the old proverb of “birds of a feather flock together”, the more we separate and stagnate. And the more we confirm our stereotypes and prejudices.

But how did I come to these realizations?

In leading and developing Celebrating Humanity©, our international transformational team-building and diversity sensitivity training programme, we needed to find a way to get people into diverse teams, without marginalising them.

Obviously to send people to their teams, as we perceived their skills, talents, genders and cultures to be, was manipulative. When people come to the programme they are often angry, in pain and very divided. And we have been told, on numerous occasions... “Mention race once and we will leave the room, and never come back.”

In our first 2 sessions, we tried placing the delegates’ manuals at the various tables, and asked the delegates to sit wherever they found their manuals.

We would guess by their names and surnames, where they “should” be. It was a time-wasting exercise and one that only partly had the effect that we wanted. People still felt as if they had been pre-judged. And it was true.

Once we had defined the teams, in this way, we would then get each person to introduce another, on a human level. Many of them knew little or nothing about their fellow team members. This was a good part of the exercise and there was good benefit. But the pre-selected teams did not truly gel.

Arthie and I took a step back and looked at the opening of the programme and we realized that the delegates had to select their own teams.

We know that people normally choose the people they are most like, or with whom they are most comfortable. If this were to be the case, they would not fully experience each other as human beings. Nor would they understand the value of diversity and the value of “different” people.

We then developed the team selection principle of “who adds to me.” In order for this to work, we honed the interview questions to be more in line with the programme outcomes, the competitions and the team points system.

Before the introductions, we advised the teams that they would be in competition and we told them of the bases of the competitions.

In South Africa, this included eating habits of various groups, proverbs, cultural knowledge, language, traditions, religion, drawing skills, dance skills and hula-hooping skills. We also advise teams to get their gender split right, as there is much wisdom to be found in all people.

Internationally, we work with the artistic/ dance, hula-hoop, talents, experiences, local knowledge and the qualifications of the teams. For example, with the Bank of Zambia, one aspect of the team competitions, drew upon individuals’ knowledge of international financial markets. Management delegates at Lake Kariba, said:- "Very well received, a unique delivery technique.", " Delivery standard - World Class.", "The course has broken interpersonal barriers."

One of our Ethekwini Municipality (Durban and surrounds) delegates had this to say... “Change goes deeper than a cross on an election ballot, or learning a “black” language, or being able to live wherever you choose, or even affirmative action... From President to petty thief, and city manager to general worker, we are all unique and yet all the same. We are all humankind - the South African way.”

Another delegate closes off his feedback, on his personal transformation, with... “We have a country rich in people who are unique in their variety. Our uniqueness is special. If we open our hearts to it we will all grow and become more special. Let us all embrace the uniqueness and utilize it to shine brighter for us all.”

Our change in Celebrating Humanity© team selection methodologies had multiple effects. Here are four...

Firstly, delegates now listen very carefully to the introductions. They begin to know each other better, from the earliest possible moment. A delegate from SA Container Depots... “Now I know my team members. For past 10 years I have walked right past them without greeting. Now I have friends who I know. I will greet them all in the future.”

Secondly, they chose their own team members, in a totally new and aware way. Because they add to each other, they almost always get the diversity right. When they do not, it shows up in their team’s lack of points. Delegate Luanne Schmidt, says.. “The experience has left me with a sense of joy that if each one of us in our wonderful "Rainbow nation" takes the time to really get to know and understand the traditions and cultures that make this such an exciting country to live in, we truly will become a nation to be envied.”

Thirdly, they began to experience the power of sharing wisdom and working together in diverse teams. This is extending outside of the training room. Another Ethekwini delegate had this to say... “I have accommodated all these people and other cultures in my heart, in a similar way. All of them are so important in my life. There is a lot that I can learn from them about my personality, their personalities as well as my country.”

And point number four, they begin to understand their own multi-faceted value and their marvellous uniquenesses! A once fearful, and now newly-trained, Celebrating Humanity facilitator in the Ethekwini Municipality Diversity Training programme... “Truly we are catalysts of change. We have the power, the ability, the training, the desire and the courage!”

They had taken the first step towards realizing that diversity and uniqueness in team members creates greater opportunities for learning, growth and success.

They also took the first steps towards becoming the leaders of tomorrow. Leading with each other, for each other - together.

And through them, we begin to lead and leave our legacy for the future!

Brian V Moore© 13/4/2005
“At the level of respect all people are equal”

There are many such simple yet innovating aspects to the numerous Celebrating Humanity© programmes. “The Celebrating Humanity© programme is not simply a “programme”, it is not just a “course”. It is a “cause.” - Celebrating Humanity Facilitator - Ethekwini Municipality.

And now something valuable at no cost to you!

Articles and Stories, PLUS information on the Celebrating Humanity© programmes, can be found on:-

“Never doubt that a small, group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” Margaret Mead.">