Sunday, 11 December 2016

Positive thinking?

When I read that eleven year old Cruz Beckham had released a Christmas single to raise money for charity my first thought was not how lucky that young person is to have parents who could facilitate such a thing but surprise that the Beckham daughter was eleven years old. And then I remembered that Cruz is in fact an eleven year old boy not an eleven year old girl.

Cruz is a girl's name in Spain and I seem to remember that the Beckhams were living in Madrid when he was born. Does he even know he has a girl's name? Do his parents know? Somehow I don't have David Beckham down as one to give his son a girl's name just to toughen him up, like in the Johnny Cash song "A boy named Sue".

The Beckham daughter is called Harper, another silly name to my way of thinking. But then the two older boys are Brooklyn and Romeo. Enough said!  just a good job they don't have to go to the kind of school where they might be teased and bullied for having odd names. Little Harper apparently has her own fashion blog. That's pretty impressive for five years old!

I have no real objections to the Beckhams. They seem to be quite a happy family unit. It must be the power of positive thinking. Although being successful and having plenty of money undoubtedly helps. I have read that there is research that shows that positive thinking is good for you. Optimists are more likely to remain healthy and live longer.

Catherine Bennett, writing in today's Observer, suggests that maybe optimists in the modern world are just more deluded. Funnily enough Eva Wiseman, writing in that newspaper's magazine section says more or less the same thing; she wants to stay in her own "echo chamber", her comfort zone, her little bubble of world where everyone she meets thinks as she does and she does not have to confront the problems of the modern world and people who disagree with her.

Faced with a situation where Russia seems to be quietly taking over the world, I must say we all could do with a bubble of optimism to escape into. First there has been the "corruption" of the 2012 Olympic Games: athletes winning doping-assisted medals. Then comes the suggestion that they interfered with the recent American elections. One article I read even implied that they could have manipulated the UK referendum. And there I was, worrying that we might be faced with government by social media, little suspecting that social media could be used quite so effectively to decide WHO will govern.

The world is an odd place at the moment!

More cheerfully and less seriously, in the midst of everything I found an item about Starbucks, the coffee shop that has taken over the world. One of the co-founders of the Starbucks chain said this:

"My friends Gordon Bowker, Jerry Baldwin and I used to throw around terrific ideas for businesses; we wanted to make a change in our lives [Siegl was a history teacher] and do something that could have impact and be meaningful. We began meeting every few weeks to kick around ideas and one day when we were having lunch we ordered an espresso, which turned out to be really bad.

It came up in that moment that two of the three of us had ordered fresh roasted coffee in other cities, but there wasn’t anywhere in Seattle. There weren’t any coffee bars in the US in 1970, so we put coffee roasters on the list of business ideas."

And so they put that idea into practice, thinking they might have two or three stores, little thinking that they could go global.

How astounding! I find Starbucks' coffee pretty unpalatable, just my personal opinion of course, and spend time hunting for somewhere that will sell me a good cup of coffee, such as I find in Spain and Italy. And yet Starbucks came about in part from the search for a good cup of coffee!

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