Announcement culture: a 21st problem with an age-old solution

Announcement culture: a 21st problem with an age-old solution

Announcement culture: a 21st problem with an age-old solution

person sitting on the floor and working on laptop
Ruby Cooney

26th May 2021

 
 

Grace Beverley, founder of fitness brands TALA and Shreddy, recently posted to her one million Instagram followers asking the question “Do you think announcement culture exists?” In her own words, she explained that announcement culture is that ever-growing need to announce everything we’re doing, resulting in the perpetuation of our anxiety over having something to announce in the first place. She brings up the point of announceable goals and our tendency to judge our success and that of others on the quantity of announcements made rather than quality. We can all relate to the validation we get from ticking off something on our to-do lists, as well as our human need for instant gratification, which is one of Instagram’s more attractive qualities. Still, Beverley suggests that this can make us prioritise easy work over actual profound progress. 

 

Grace Beverley recently became a Sunday Times #1 bestseller with her book Working Hard, Hardly Working, which she describes as a productivity blueprint to show how to actively work hard. Beverley initially launched her fitness app Shreddy in her first year of Oxford University while maintaining a social media presence. She then launched her second business TALA two years ago, a month before taking her final exams, which has since made over £10 million, selling sustainable and affordable fitness clothes. Winner of London’s Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award, Beverley is only 24 years old and has made it onto Forbes30 Under 30 – Retail and eCommerce” list. Beverley’s book covers how to maximise productivity, minimise burnout and teaching yourself to rest, which are very appropriate to present pandemic life.

 

“While technology had already forced work life to begin merging with home life, making it challenging to build boundaries, since the onset of the pandemic, boundaries between work and home life become even more blurred than before.”

Beverley talks of internalising this idea that we need to be working all the time. Hustle culture is the unhealthy societal standard that means you can only succeed if you exert yourself to the fullest, devoting all and any time to working. Working from home can make people feel unproductive. They can often overcompensate with working too hard for longer hours than they would have when working in an office, causing people to miss early signs of stress and lead them to burnout. While burnout isn’t a clinical diagnosis, it is a well-known concept, with symptoms being an increase in anxiety, low mood, difficulty coping, and health issues. Psychotherapist and author, Owen O’Kane, say that “bedrooms, kitchens and garden sheds have fast become the office space of 2020, and the situation has been aggravated with school closures leaving many people juggling work, childcare and everyday chores all at the same time.” He states that “For many it’s been a recipe for a meltdown in lockdown.” Signs that someone may be suffering from burnout when working from home is a change in moods and sleep pattern, an increase in anxiety and unhealthy habits, withdrawal from everyday life and physical health changes. Beverley points out in her book that “people see this extra time from lockdown as a time to be working, but we should use it to be a human and just do human things. 

 

In early April, Tánaiste Leo Varadkar signed the Code of Practice on Right to Disconnect. The Right to Disconnect allows employees to switch off from work outside of regular working hours, which includes the right to not respond immediately to emails, phone calls or other messages. The three rights enshrined in the code are the right of an employee not to have to perform work outside their regular working hours routinely, the right not to be penalised for refusing to attend to work matters outside of regular working hours, and the duty to respect another person’s right to disconnect. The new code hopes to strike a better work-life balance for employees and to allow them to switch off outside of normal work hours no matter what their job is. Leo Varadkar stated that “it offers an opportunity to make permanent changes for the better, whether that’s working more from home, having more time with the family, or more flexible working hours.”  

 

Grace Beverley says that to manage our work-life balance efficiently, we need to know ourselves well. “From my personal experience, to manage time successfully, you need a method – how to work out what to do first, where the important things go, how to stay sane. It needs to become second nature, so that the instant you start to feel that wave coming, you automatically step back and figure it out so you can surf it rather than be pulled under.” She says there is “a new view that you have to absolutely love every second of your work, but you can actually just be really good at getting the work done, do really well at that, and enjoy all the other things in your life, too.”

 

 

 

 

 

Featured photo created using Canva

This article was supported by: STAND Opinion Editor Olivia + Programme Assistant Rachel

 

Root causes of the Israel-Palestine conflict

Root causes of the Israel-Palestine conflict

Root causes of the Israel-Palestine conflict

free Palestine protesters
Emily Murphy

25th May 2021

 
 

The Israel-Palestine conflict is one that has dominated global news for decades. The tensions between both sides run deep and the world is divided in its support. However the situation is not as clear-cut as most people believe, and the timeline is much greater than many realize. To understand the conflict it is important to look at the entire picture. 

 

The area where violence is occurring is better known to many in the west as Judea, the historic and biblical homeland of the Jewish people. The name Palestine is a variation of the name ‘Syria Palaestina’, given to the region by Roman Emperor Hadrian as an act of colonization after the ‘Bar Kolchba’ revolt (132-136 CE). This event, more commonly referred to as ‘The Third Jewish-Roman War’, was a result of the Roman occupation of Judea, and the eradication of Jewish laws, rights, and religious freedoms. Emperor Hadrian massacred many Jews and banned them from Jerusalem. The diaspora was further dispersed by religious persecution and ethnic cleansings throughout the following centuries. However, the Jewish people have never forgotten their bond with the promised land. 

 

The Arabization of the region occurred with the expansion of the Arab Empire in the first millennium. This was most significant in the 7th century during the Muslim conquest of the Levant. Until the 11th century both Muslims and Christians lived together in the region, however, the population gradually converted to Islam. The population remained relatively small with approximately 250,000 inhabitants at any given time, until the 19th century when rapid population growth occurred. 

 

At multiple points during the past several centuries, many notable leaders have attempted to establish a nation for Jews in the promised land, including Napoleon in 1799. The most successful attempt began during the First World War. The British government issued the ‘Balfour Declaration’, which supported the establishment of a “national home for the Jewish people”, within the then Ottoman region. Five years later, in 1922, the League of Nations approved the mandate. Between 1929 and 1946 numerous uprisings occurred in Palestine protesting the immigration of Jews into the region. In 1947 the United Nations passed Resolution 181, calling for the partition of Palestine into Arab and Jewish states.

 

“When the State of Israel was formed in May 1948, conflict erupted once again in the region, as 110,000 immigrants arrived. Since then conflict has continued sporadically in the middle-east, however, the Israeli state has formed peace agreements with many of its neighbours, including Jordan, Syria, and Egypt.”

On 7th May 2021, in the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound/Temple Mount, a site sacred to Muslims and Jews, clashes began between Muslim worshipers and Jews celebrating an Israeli holiday. Afterward, Hamas the Palestinian militant group (classified as terrorists by the EU, US, and others) that control the Gaza strip issued an ultimatum to Isreal: withdraw its forces from the compound, or face attacks. On 10th May, as the deadline passed, Hamas fired seven rockets at Jerusalem. Israel responded with airstrikes on Gaza. Between 11th and 18th May airstrikes and protests on both sides continue. More than 232 people in Gaza have been killed however thanks to Israel’s ‘Iron Dome’ missile defense system and air-raid bunkers only 12 Israelis have died. After 11 days of conflict, Israel and Palestinian armed groups, Hamas, and Islamic Jihad agreed to a ceasefire. Two delegations of Egyptian security have been sent to Tel Aviv and Palestinian territories to “monitor implementation and procedures to maintain stable conditions permanently”. While this is welcome news, the question remains, is there a permanent peace solution in sight? 

 

In 1974 Yasser Arafat, leader of the Palestinian Liberation Organisation began moving towards a two-state solution, an idea that has been pushed by successive Israeli prime ministers. Although Arafat was unsuccessful at the time, he did aid in the establishment of a Palestinian Authority in the West Bank and Gaza. Since 1974, Israel has offered this two-state solution to Palestinian leaders on five separate occasions, each has been refused due to disputes over land distribution. It is the goal of Hamas to achieve a one-state solution. They want the 400,000 Jewish settlers in the West Bank to leave, voluntarily or forcibly. This is incredibly unlikely. Residents on both sides of the border have, in many cases, lived in the region their entire lives, many can trace their ancestry back several generations. Despite the regular conflict and clashes, this section of the middle-east is the home of thousands of people, Muslims, and Jews. The future is uncertain but the global powers continue to push for a two-state solution and the world hopes that this time peace is long-lasting.

 

 

 

 

Featured photo by Aveedibya Dey on Unsplash

This article was supported by: STAND Programme Assistant Rachel

 

The Irish Language: Need for constitutional reform?

The Irish Language: Need for constitutional reform?

The Irish Language: Need for constitutional reform?

old map of Ireland and Britain
Orla Leahy

19th May 2021

 
 

With the centenary of the Anglo-Irish Treaty later this year, it can be regarded as a fitting time to review provisions for Irish and other languages in our constitution, as the Treaty was the incentive for our first constitution of 1922. What provisions currently exist for languages and how does our constitution compare with that of other countries?

 

There are three primary Articles concerning our official languages in Bunreacht na hÉireann 1937. These include Article 8, 25.4 and 25.5. Interestingly, the provisions concerning languages changed dramatically from the constitution of 1922. In 1922, Article 4 provided for languages and stated that both Irish and English were the official languages of Ireland, with Irish being the national language. Languages were moved down the line slightly to Article 8 in 1937, just after the national flag. France also places the national flag next to languages, as well as the French anthem and motto. Irish was placed in Article 8 as the “first-official language” with English as the “second-official language.” The Article continues on to acknowledge that special provisions may be made for exclusive use of either Irish or English by the State. 

 

The official languages are again referred to in Article 25.4, where it is clarified that legislation shall be published in both languages, and where it is produced in both, shall be signed by the President in both. This suggests that the national languages are on equal footing. However, 25.4.6° and 25.5.4° provide the understanding that the Irish language shall have precedence where there is conflict between firstly, two legislative texts enrolled in the Irish Statute Book and secondly, where there is conflict between the Irish and English versions of Bunreacht na hÉireann. Indeed, there have been court cases throughout our recent history where there has been a delay in producing statutes in Irish or where a conflict occurs between the two texts, either statutory or constitutionally. 

 

Similarly, Canada has two official languages, English and French. As well as the State’s obligation to produce legislation in both languages, like Ireland, there is the additional provision for right to trial by jury in either official language. While Ireland is currently unlike Canada in this regard, as we do not have the explicit right to trial by jury in Irish, perhaps we need to look west and adopt a similar provision to ensure the existence of Irish in the courts as well as in the legislature? To facilitate such litigation procedures through Irish, we may need to see the emergence of more bilingual judges. A recent case in 2019, Ó Cadhla v. An tAire Dlí , Cirt agus Comhionannais, [2019] IEHC 851, highlighted the lack of bilingual judges at district and circuit court level.

 

“Should there be the readoption of an Irish language exam, similar to our former exam upon civil service entry, as in Norway, where judges must hold a certain degree of fluency in Norwegian, to facilitate such an emergence?”

On an international scale, Ireland is the only country in which the native language takes precedence over another official language in the constitution. This is indicative of the importance of protecting and promoting Irish. The need to ensure the survival of it is still evident today from the recent Official Languages (Amendment) Bill 2019 and the new Irish Language Scheme for the Office of the Comptroller and Auditor General 2021-2024 which aims to improve the provision of services in the Irish language and to introduce new sectoral language standards. 

 

Like Ireland, Spain recognises the need to offer certain languages special protection. In their constitution of 1978, it is recognised that Spanish (Castilian) is the national language, that everyone has the right to speak it and an obligation to know it. 

 

On a European Union level, there are currently 24 official languages, Irish being one of them. This means that there are teams of Irish lawyer-linguists working to produce official documents, such as judgments and opinions in Irish, alongside teams of lawyer-linguists working in the other 23 languages. On March 17th, the first ever judgment was handed down in Irish for a case taken in Irish in the Court of Justice of the European Union, Case C-64/20 UH v An tAire Talmhaíochta Bia agus Mara, Éire and An tArd-Aighne, EU:C:2021:207. Irish in the Union is going from strength to strength, should we not aspire to see improved developments for the language in our constitution also?

 

Language provisions in Bunreacht na hÉireann have never been revised, yet the provisions of the 1922 constitution were revised a mere 15-years later, when Bunreacht na hÉireann was being drafted. The breakdown of linguistics is not the same today as it was in 1937. The Irish language requires preservation and it is imperative that the status given to Irish in our constitution is not only upheld, but improved upon. Perhaps we ought to adopt similar provisions to other countries, such as jury trials in both official languages as in Canada?

 

 

 

 

Featured photo created using Canva

This article was supported by: STAND Business + Politics Editor Megan + Programme Assistant Rachel