Tuesday, 28 July 2015

ON SOCIALISM - THINK ABOUT THIS

(from an email shown to me)
An economics professor made a statement that he had never failed a single student before but had recently failed an entire class! That class insisted that socialism worked because no one would be poor and no one would be rich - a great equaliser.
The professor then said: Let’s have an experiment. All grades will be averaged and everyone will receive the same grade so no one should fail and no one should receive an ‘A’.
After the 1st test the grades were averaged and everyone got a ‘B’. The students who studied hard were upset and the students who did little studying were happy. As the 2nd test rolled around the students who had done little studying studied even less and the ones who had studied hard decided they also wanted a free ride so they also studied less. The average for the 2nd test was a ‘D’ and no one was happy! When the 3rd test rolled around the average was an ‘F’.
As the tests proceeded the scores never increased as bickering, blaming and name-calling all resulted in hard feelings and no one would study for the benefit of anyone else. To everyone’s great surprise ALL FAILED and the professor told them that socialism too would ultimately fail because when the reward is great the effort to succeed is great but when government takes all the reward away no one will try or want to succeed!

IN CONCLUSION

1.   You cannot legislate the poor into prosperity by legislating the wealthy out of prosperity.
2.   What one person receives without working for, another person must work for without receiving.
3.   No government can give to anybody anything that the government does not first take from somebody else.
4.   You cannot multiply wealth by dividing it.

5.   When half of the people get the idea that they don’t have to work because the other half is going to take care of them and when the other half gets the idea that it does no good to work because somebody else is going to get what they work for, then that is the beginning of the end of any successful nation!

Sunday, 26 July 2015

RELIGION IN MY FAMILY

My parents and my maternal grandparents were neither overt nor devout nor practicing Christians. I was baptised in a Church of England (Anglican) church in Yeoville, Johannesburg, when I was an infant. My young sister and I were raised by our parents as, what is generally termed, “nominal Christians”. We never said “grace” before meals at home and my father only insisted that we attend church on Good Friday and on Christmas Day. Ironically, my paternal grandfather, Harold Macleod, began his post-school career studying to become a Church of England (Anglican) minister but then changed to law before starting  a small legal practice in Cape Town.


From the time I was around 5 to 7 years old my mother taught my sister and me to “say our prayers” every night before we went to sleep. After I turned 13 and was at high school my father (Gordon Charles Macleod) arranged for me, together with a school pal (who many years later was to become my brother-in-law)  to be “confirmed” at St Saviours Church, Claremont with the Archbishop of Cape Town, the Most Reverend Joost De Blanc, officiating.

Both before and during the last decade of my father’s life he and I used to have long chats about religion. Dad was a deeply “private” person where his spiritual views were concerned. He strongly believed that we should “do unto others as we would have them do unto us” and that all people, no matter what their religious persuasion “would be judged by God according to the way they lived their lives”. He believed in God and God’s commandments and believed that God had sent Jesus Christ to Earth to teach humankind how to live their lives.  
Dad had the utmost respect for people of other faiths and counted many non-Christians (including Jews and Muslims) amongst his best friends and confidantes. He judged all people by the way they treated others and once related how a very kind and compassionate Muslim “Hadji” couple rallied to support his mother (my grandmother) and her four young children (including himself)  by regularly bringing fresh fruit and vegetables to their home after his father died suddenly, at a relatively young age leaving his family
struggling financially.

Dad was no Pharisee because he "walked his talk" and although some may have considered him not to have been the typical example of a “committed, practising Christian” most people who knew him would agree that he lived his life completely selflessly and was always courteous, caring and kind  to people, regardless of their status, creed or culture.  In short, he was regarded by most people as a true role model of how a “genuine Christian” should behave

I have a brilliant ex cousin-in-law, Michael Van Breda, who matriculated at Rondebosch Boys’ High School in Cape Town and who was a top MBA graduate at UCT soon after the MBA programme was first established. He lectured at the University of the Witwatersrand (WITS) before being appointed a Professor at the MIT Sloan School of Management in the USA for 5 years and later a professor at the Southern Methodist University in the USA for 31 years. Prior to his retirement he was a member of the East Dallas Rotary Club and was actively involved in the community and also taught Sunday School at Wilshire Baptist Church and led classes at other churches.

I  admired Michael’s intellect and I asked him on one of his visits to South Africa if he could describe or contextualise the world’s different religions? His answer lay in this analogy he gave me: imagine a pyramid (or multi-faceted mountain) and up each of the slopes people are climbing towards the top and at the top is “God”.  And each slope represents a different religion - Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, etc.

Although I have chosen to follow the Muslim faith what should count most in today’s world of violence, greed, materialism and corruption is for good, decent, caring and compassionate people of all religions to build bridges and to focus, not on what separates us, but what we share in common.  

Regardless of our different beliefs - whether we are Christians (of whatever persuasion), Jews, Muslims, Hindus or any others, including Atheists and Agnostics - we should remember that we are all part of “one big family” and during our mortal lives on this Earth we must be judged according to how we live, what we do, what we think and how we respect and treat this world and all of its inhabitants

Guy Macleod,  26th July 2015

Saturday, 25 July 2015

IS YOUR MARRIAGE OR RELATIONSHIP TRULY HAPPY ?


Failure is only a stepping stone to success if one learns from one's mistakes. 

Tough lessons learned in life are “better learned late than never”! This is often what life's journey is about and what makes one’s life, when looking back (even at a late stage), worthwhile.

It is a generally accepted fact that it takes “two to tango” and that fault is seldom entirely one-sided. After failed previous marriages I have discovered and learned the “key” and essential ingredients that make for a successful marriage and I would like to share these essential ingredients on my blogsite for the benefit of young and old alike.  In today’s fast moving, materialistic and “throw-away” world far too many marriages are ending up on the rocks.

Although it is sometimes said that the first 7 years of any marriage are the most important for laying a foundation for success, I know of many couples who have stayed together (unhappily married) only until their children have grown up and then - some 25 or more years later - decided to separate or get divorced.

A few years ago my son introduced me to an absolutely amazing and incredible series of books, written by Dr Gary Chapman, that I would strongly recommend and urge every couple whose marriage (or relationship) is not “100% happy”  to  read. Gary Chapman is the author of the best-selling “5 Love Languages” series and the director of “Marriage and Family Life Consultants”. He has written special editions for men and for women and travels the world presenting seminars and his radio programmes are aired on more than 250 stations. I found “The 5 Love Languages (Men's’ Edition)” particularly useful for me.  The 5 Love Languages are: Words of Affirmation, Quality Time, Gifts, Acts of Service and Physical Touch.

A “Golden-Thread” that I believe represents a pearl of great wisdom for men and women alike is to understand what Gary Chapman calls “The Secret to Love that Lasts” and to realise that every human being has his/her own unique “love language” and if one partner does not or cannot recognise and understand this - and act and respond appropriately - no marriage can continue to be happy and, over time, will deteriorate and eventually fail. The bottom line is open and honest communication between spouses (partners) and to be able to respect and trust one another and to have a mutual commitment to wanting the relationship to be happy and to last.

Gary Chapman teaches precisely what words and actions mean most to one’s partner and what each partner wants most from the other. Discovering one’s own and one’s partner’s love language/s is an essential step to understand and learn exactly how to respond and act every day of one’s life together.

I have little doubt that had I encountered Gary Chapman’s book many years ago my marriage record would have been completely different. I highly recommend Gary Chapman’s advice. You can only have a truly successful marriage and be truly happy if your partner also is.Take it from someone who has learned some tough lessons in life the hard way but better late than never.

-       Guy Macleod




Friday, 17 July 2015


FIVE MACLEOD GENERATIONS IN SOUTH AFRICA




Charles Macleod, lawyer, born 1838  



        
         Harold Macleod, lawyer, born 1868









Gordon Macleod, entrepreneur, born 1914

Guy Macleod, business consultant, born 1942
Michael Macleod, aspiring entrepreneur, born 1987

MACLEOD CARE  TALK AT ST JAMES CHURCH


Michael Macleod  sheltering from the rain at St James Church
The Kenilworth Parkinsons Support Group invited Guy Macleod  to give a talk on "Macleod Care"  at St James Church in Kenilworth on a rainy Cape winter's morning on Friday, 17th July, 2015.


Guy was  accompanied by his son, Michael, who has helped set up this new enterprise, that was launched in 2014, by designing its web-site and also helping to promote its services.











Macleod Care provides personal help and home care services to young and old and has, since its inception last year, already  established contact with a number of clients (as well as potential clients)  in the southern suburbs - the eldest of whom recently turned 100 !

The audience were very interested in the services offered, which, Guy stressed, were based on "going the extra mile" for clients by focussing on their emotional well-being. "Going the extra mile", Guy said, would also  include  posting  "interesting and uplifting stories" on the internet on behalf of clients so that they can  be shared  with, and benefit, everyone in the world. 



Guy said that retired folk living at Musgrave Park in Diep River and Huis Nuweland in Claremont regularly make use of Macleod Care's services. He also mentioned that his wife, Roshan, is not only a qualified carer but is also a seamstress of note with a growing clientele.

For further information please email roshan@macleodcare.com or visit the website: www.macleodcare.com

Thursday, 16 July 2015

AVAILABLE HELP


NEED CARING, HELP & COMPANIONSHIP ?



Are you living on your own or 
in a retirement home and need caring, help or companionship at times ?









START OR GROW YOUR OWN BUSINESS ! 


Some useful advice about starting up your own business or how to grow your existing business?







WOULD YOU LIKE AN  AN EYE-CATCHING WEBSITE ?


Would you like an eye-catching website and other marketing and promotional help to boost your sales ?



IMPROVE YOUR PEOPLE AND 
COMMUNICATION SKILLS !  


Would you like to improve 
your social,
inter-personal and  
cross-cultural 
communication skills ?


IMPROVE YOUR RELATIONSHIP OR MARRIAGE 


Would you like to improve the quality of your relationship ? 





GET SOUND  LEGAL ADVICE ! 


Get sound legal advice and help from very experienced and capable members of the legal profession, including senior advocates. 


IF YOU ARE INTERESTED IN ANY OF THE ABOVE PLEASE EMAIL 
ggcmacleod@gmail.com  







Wednesday, 15 July 2015

JONATHAN BERKELEY CONSTABLE - A CARING FRIEND

More than 30 years ago a  dashing, impeccably mannered and presentable  Englishman by the name of Jonathan Berkeley Constable ("John" to his friends)  came  to South Africa  and in no small way has left a footprint of kindness and caring in this rainbow nation of ours. 

In his much younger days in the UK John  raced with Stirling Moss and to this day still has a great love of motor cars. He is married to a lovely lady and is an active member of the Crankhandle Club in Cape Town and still spends much of his time helping others.

John Constable & Robyn Macleod
John joined a non-profit organisation, the Robin Trust, in Pinelands (Cape Town) shortly after it was founded. 
The Robin Trust was inspired by, and named after, Robyn Macleod, a little girl who had a terminal illness (see photo at left). Also see the separate blog post entitled "From Tragedy to Helping Others". 

Although now in "retirement", John remains an icon of  good health - matching men at least a decade or two his junior - and still makes time to help friends and acquaintances  in need. For example, he regularly visits or  takes out folk who are recovering from illness or perhaps just in need of companionship for coffee outings and  drivesHe also does voluntary work for St Lukes and other charitable organisations - all of this as he approaches his 9th decade ! 

John is independent of thought, non-partisan, and has a strong sense of fair play and respects  his fellow human beings regardless  of their status, language, culture, religion or ethnicity. Apart from being a "friend in need"  John is always willing  to offer sound words of wisdom and advice.

John Constable - husband, father, friend and companion - is one of life's true, unconditional "carers and givers". 

WHY THE NAME GOLDEN THREADS ?


Although we may differ in language, religion, ethnicity and culture we share the same feelings, loves, hopes, angers, hurts, desires and needs and we have the same destiny in a world beset by so much anger, hate and greed.

This blog-site aims to weave together the golden threads of goodness, kindness, caring and compassion that are inherent - to greater or lesser extents - in each and every one of us by relating uplifting stories, helping others by sharing our experiences and offering help and advice where we can.

And it is in these golden threads that we see the goodness of God's Creation

LIFE'S LESSONS HARD-LEARNED 

BETTER LATE THAN NEVER 

I have personally done  many things in my life of seventy-three years  to date  that would have been done differently if I had it over again. Haven't we all ? 


But as long as one truly learns from one's  mistakes, however late in life that may be, one's  failures  and hard-learned  lessons can become stepping-stones to success and  can also be passed on to succeeding generations  for their benefit. 


- Guy Macleod

Tuesday, 14 July 2015

BRYAN GOLDING  - STILL HELPING OTHERS

Bryan Samuel Golding, 74, grew up in Cape Town and lived in Rondebosch with his parents and two sisters. Nurtured by his parents he developed a strong sense of giving to the community and helping others in his early teenage years.

At high school (Rondebosch Boys’ High) he was awarded “school colours” for his participation in extra-mural school society activities as well as his contribution to the school and his fellow learners. Every Christmas time he and a school friend would visit hospitals in Cape Town to sing carols and bring smiles and cheer to young and old patients alike. Bryan hated apartheid and he supported the Progressive Party when it was formed by Jannie Steytler.

In 1965 Bryan helped found a social club for single people in Cape Town aged between 18 and 35, known as “The Ideal Companions Club”. The club received favourable publicity in an article that was written by newspaper columnist, Fiona Chisholm, and published in the Cape Times. A year later it was renamed “Club 66” with regular social events being hosted by members.

After matriculating and graduating at UCT he began a career in insurance culminating as a General Manager at Liberty Life’s Head Office in Johannesburg. For the last 6 years of his working career he was the South East Asia Regional Director for Cologne Reinsurance, based in Singapore.

On his retirement in 1996 Bryan invested most of his savings in starting up a very successful restaurant, the “Green Jungle”, in Kaohsiung (Taiwan) with a local partner.  Bryan soon developed a dab culinary hand as a self-made ‘chef’. But very sadly his local partner turned out to be dishonest and Bryan lost his share of the business and virtually his entire life’s savings!   Undaunted, he returned to Cape Town where he now lives a frugal life in Plumstead in  the southern suburbs.


Bryan has a sharp wit and a good sense of humour and enjoys cross-word puzzles and despite life’s harsh treatment and having lost his retirement savings and currently suffering from several chronic illnesses still focuses on helping others, young and old alike. 
MICHAEL - A YOUNG MAN WITH A TECHNOLOGY VISION

Michael Macleod, 27, showed his artistic and creative talents from a young age. At high school (Rondebosch Boys’ High) he taught himself 3D animation and started making short movies. After leaving school he decided to further his studies in this field so enrolled at UCT to study “film and media”.

After four years Michael graduated with two degrees, a B.A and a BA (Hons) and in his honours graduation year was awarded the Robin Cohen prize for exceptional effort. He also completed a Dale Carnegie Course in Cape Town and in the same year directed and produced his own short film called “La Chambre” which was screened at the Labia Cinema in Cape Town. “La Chambre” showed Michael’s very good “out of the box” thinking abilities as well as his creative and artistic talent including some clever “green screen” effects and various compositing techniques.

After obtaining his degrees Michael completed a short UCT course on Business and Finance, a Harvard course on Computer Programming and attended a “successful entrepreneurs” seminar in Sandton at which Sir Richard Branson was one of the guest speakers. He has designed and produced some remarkably creative websites and excellent computer graphics for several companies

Self-effacing of nature Michael is gifted with a naturally positive attitude towards life. 
He has a self-motivated, entrepreneurial spirit and regularly explores new ideas for web-based services and start-ups  and he is presently working with a small team of dedicated programmers on a web-based service which he hopes will inspire many people.

Aside from his business interests Michael has also enjoyed ballroom dancing, still finds time for a hard work-out at gym every day as well as occasional  “leisure reading” - in particular, biographies that are inspiring and positive.  


Very recently Michael, together with a university-pal, Matthew Milne, published a book,    “Thumbs Up” - a “fun, practical guide to surviving without your smartphone for 24 hours and loving life at the same time”. It is available as an e-book or can be ordered from Amazon and is a great read for young and old, especially those who are addicted or reliant on their smartphones.
Michael’s dream and mission in life is:-

 “To do something special with technology that will help bring about a change in our thinking that  will ultimately change and shape the world we live in for the better”.


If you would like to contact Michael please email him on mike01.mac@gmail.com

WENDY - TRIUMPH  OVER  ADVERSITY

Wendy Anne Macleod, my eldest daughter, has overcome many adversities in her life including being bitten by a poisonous spider which turned very nasty and left a large scar on her leg to being  diagnosed with dyslexia at a young age and having  to spend her junior schooling at a special school in Johannesburg.

Undaunted and determined to lead a normal life she took up karate, overcame her dyslexia and was eventually accepted by a normal school - Sandown High, in Sandton, where she matriculated. And soon after turning 18 she was awarded her Karate Black Belt - 2nd Dan !

After matriculating and considering a teaching career she enrolled at a teachers’ training college - the Johannesburg College of Education. However she decided to take a “gap year” and go back-packing in the UK and Western Europe instead. This she did unaccompanied and entirely on her own. After returning to South Africa from her trip to the UK and Europe she took up parachuting  and also sky-diving.

However the “travel bug” had already bitten her and, with her small savings, she travelled to Brazil (South America) where she slept in hotel foyers to eke out on her small budget before boating up the Amazon - just by herself and accompanied by a local tour guide. Here she had some unusual experiences including a near escape from a shoal of piranhas after her small dinghy was holed and started sinking and she and her guide had to desperately start baling out water whilst frantically rowing ashore!  

During her couple of weeks in the Amazon jungle Wendy used to sleep in the open, in a hammock slung between two trees in small clearings in the jungle.  
It was here on one occasion that she woke up in the early hours of the morning to find a small marmoset monkey curled up asleep on her chest! This particular incident ignited a burning desire in her heart that her life’s career should be caring for small primates, especially marmosets.  

On her return to South Africa she decided that as she could not afford to study to become a veterinarian the next best thing to do was to teach herself and learn as much as she could “on the job” by helping out at local vets on a part-time basis as well as doing voluntary work at the Onderstepoort veterinary training hospital in Pretoria. In the meantime, to help make ends meet, she got a full-time job with a market research company in Pretoria.

In her mid-twenties Wendy finally took the plunge and decided to give up her full-time market research job and  follow her heart and her dreams. So, "on a wing and a prayer”, she started a full-time small primate care centre just north of Pretoria. A few years later she relocated to Linbro Park in Johannesburg where she had been offered accommodation as well as free space on a small-holding for  her, by this time, several dozen small  cages that housed over 40 small primates, mostly marmosets.  After a few more years, with growing help and donations, she was able to acquire a small property near Kempton Park where she lives to this day.

The success of Wendy’s passion - the sanctuary that she has named “World Primate Sanctuary” and which presently cares for more than  60 small primates - has been due entirely to her energy, dedication and commitment and helped by media publicity, including several TV and radio interviews and numerous newspaper and magazine articles as well as her personal visits to many schools.

Wendy’s “World Primate Sanctuary” has been funded entirely by donations and sponsorships from the public including from individuals and companies and most of the little primates have been given their own names. A special achievement of Wendy’s is her desktop-published, comprehensive and beautifully illustrated authoritative manual on how to look after small primates, which is an absolute  “must” for every owner of a small primate.
In recognition of her success South Africa’s Vodacom Super Rugby chose Wendy’s “World Primate Sanctuary” as one of their “Charities of the Year”.

Wendy is exceptionally kind and caring, almost to a fault  - not only to animals but also to all human beings, many of whom she has helped with loving and caring tenderness  including accident victims and others whom she has consoled during times of hardship or grief. Wendy has absolutely no airs or graces and is a genuinely caring, compassionate and completely selfless human being and is a free spirit who recently adopted the name “Wayne”.

If you would like to contact Wayne or wish to know more about the “World Primate Sanctuary” or would like to help in any way please feel free to email:  monkeymacleod@imaginet.co.za


Friday, 10 July 2015

MACLEOD CARE'S DUTCH STUDENT TEACHER GUESTS

Five of our delightful student teacher guests from Holland
Macleod Care hosted nine delightful Dutch student teachers in two groups this year  - the first group, comprising five, is shown above. 

 


Thursday, 9 July 2015

CHARLES FORD, ONE OF LIFE’S SELFLESS “GIVERS & CARERS

Charles Ford, 81, was born in Cape Town on 23rd May 1934 , the second eldest of seven siblings.

Just after he passed Standard 5 (Grade 7) Charles got a job, as a young teenager, as  a sweeper in a shoe factory to help his family make ends meet and also to help keep his brother at high school. Two years later he obtained an apprenticeship and three years later qualified as a shoemaker and sample-cutter. 

During his long career in shoemaking he made shoes for many local luminaries and in 1966 was sent to London by his employers (Lotus Shoes) to present  a pair of shoes that he had personally made  to  Miss Sweden -  who was soon to be crowned “Miss World”. 
Before returning to South Africa he also did a stint working in Ireland for Tyrone Shoes.

Charles is a Christian with a strong sense of “caring and community” and he has always subscribed to “do whatever you can to help the community”. When he was working as part-time  barman for the Western Province Cricket Club  he met members of the Claremont Rotary Club who invited him to join Rotary as an “honorary member” in recognition for his years' of community work. 



At the Claremont Rotary Club he became an active fundraiser and was ultimately given the “Paul Harris Award” - Rotary International’s highest award in recognition for exceptional community services rendered !



At the age of 25 Charles married his childhood sweetheart, Alma Johnson, from Windermere (near Kensington, Cape Town). They had two sons and were extremely happily married for 45 years. Sadly, Alma passed away eleven years ago.

Nowadays  Charles dotes on his only grandchild, Karyn (aged 9) whilst still leading an active life - even periodically still working as a barman at major rugby matches  at Newlands Rugby Stadium.

Now in his 80’s and the epitome of good health Charles gets up every morning before 6 am to do voluntary “pedestrian crossing duty” at his granddaughter’s school in Retreat (Cape Town).

Charles loves all people regardless of their economic status, culture, race or religion. You will easily recognise Charles by his sincere charm, smile and friendly manner as he walks to catch a suburban train at Retreat or Claremont stations. Charles, who cannot abide unfairness and rudeness, believes in greeting  everyone with a friendly "good morning" or "good afternoon" or "hello" bringing some warmth and cheer into the lives of others. 

In today's world of so much selfishness, greed and lack of courtesy, Charles Ford, who is  one of life’s “selfless givers and carers”,  remains a humble man with a humble background, without any airs and graces.  He is a living  role-model for all of us, young and old, and a beacon of what we all should try and aspire to be.

FROM  TRAGEDY  TO  HELPING OTHERS


Left: Guy’s four children:
Left to right: Priscilla, Wendy, Michael and Robyn 
before her illness was diagnosed.

My second eldest daughter, Robyn, was born  on 16th September in 1983 and lived until 9th July 2002 having suffered  for many years from an incurable and progressive neurological illness (metachromatic  leukodystrophy).
Up until she was about six years old Robin was fit and healthy - a happy, bubbly little girl with an infectious laugh and a cute “wrinkly nose” when she smiled.  

After the diagnosis of her illness she steadily deteriorated until she died on 9th July 2002.

But out of this sadness rose a phoenix-like entity that was inspired and named by her mother, a qualified nursing sister. It was called the “Robin Trust” and is a non-profit organisation based in Pinelands, Cape Town that offers, inter alia, home based care for people no longer able to look after themselves or who need post-operative care.


Caring about the well-being of, and helping, others to the best of one’s ability gives value, purpose and meaning to one’s life, says Guy Robyn’s mother founded the “Robin Trust” in Robin's memory and last year (2014) Robyn’s father helped set up “Macleod Care”, a small family enterprise catering for the caring and companionship needs of young and old.