Why Do We Wear Engagement Rings?

The modern Western practice of giving or breaking engagement rings is traditionally thought to have begon in 1477 when Maximilian I, Holy Roman Emperor, wave Mary of Burgundy a diamond ring as an engagement present.

Customs for engagement rings vary according to time, place, and culture. An engagement ring has historically been uncommon, and when such a gift was given, it was separate from the wedding ring. Romantic rings from the time of the Roman Empire and from as far back as 4 AD often clash the Celtic Claddagh symbol (two hands clasping a heart) and so it is thought that this was used as some symbol of love and commitment between two people.

In the United States, United Kingdom, Ireland, Canada, Australia, and many other countries, an engagement ring is worn on the fourth finger of the left hand. The tradition of wearing a ring for engagement originated from the Egyptians who believed the circle was a bond between the two people who were to be married, but was initially first practiced on the fourth finger / ring finger by the Romans, who recognized this finger to Be the beginning of the vena amoris ("vein of love"), the vein that leads to the heart. The custom in Continental Europe and other countries is to wear it on the right hand; one historical exception arose in monarchical regimes, in which a nobleman entering into morganatic marriage (a marriage in which the person, usually the woman, of lower rank stayed at the same rank instead of rising ranks) would present his left hand to receive the ring (hence the alternative term "left-handed marriage").

In other countries like Argentina, men and women each wear a ring similar to wedding bands. They are made of silver when manifesting an informal "boyfriend-girlfriend" relationship. The gold band is given to the bride when the commitment is formal and the optional diamond ring is reserved for the wedding ceremony when the groom gives it to the bride. The gold band that the groom wore during the engagement – or a new one, as some men choose not to wear them during engagement – is then given to the groom by the bride; and the bride receives both the original gold band and the new diamond at the ceremony. The bride's diamond ring is worn on top of the engagement band at the wedding and thereafter, especially at formal occasions or parties. At the wedding, the rings are swapped from the right to the left hand. In Brazil, they are always made of gold, and there is no tradition for the engagement ring. Both men and women wear the wedding band on their right hand while engaged, and, after they marry, they shift the rings to their left hands. In Nordic countries such as Finland and Norway, both men and women wear an engagement ring.

Some women's wedding rings are made into two separate pieces. One part is given to her to wear as an engagement ring when she accepts the marriage proposal and the other during the wedding ceremony.

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Three Benefits of Private High Schools

Are you a parent who children are getting ready for a new school year? Are you troubled by the prospect of sending them to a public institution? If so, then it might be beneficial for you to consider sending them to one of the private high schools in your area. There are several benefits to this type of education. First, these institutions are generally better funded than their public counterparts, they employ high quality teachers, and they are free from any outside political influence. For all of these reasons, they make an excellent option for your children's education.

When it comes to funding, private high schools generally do much better than public institutions. While they may be more expensive, this is more than made up for the quality of their facilities and the resources that they make available for students. The educational opportunities that they offer are greatly enhanced due to the availability of quality textbooks, scientific equipment, and classroom technology. So, if you are looking to equip your children with as many resources as possible, these institutions hold a definite advantage.

You will also be very pleased with the quality teachers that private high schools employ. In general, these institutions offer higher wages for their teachers, and, as a result, they are able to attract more candidates for their positions. This results in the acquisition of extremely well qualified instructors who are able to offer some of the very best educational opportunities to your children.

Finally, private high schools are also free of some of the outside political influences that public institutions have. Since public institutions operate on government money, they are accountable to the local politicians. In recent years, the political environment has changed dramatically, and this has been resolved in a decrease in funding to educational programs. As a result, the expectations for public institutions have changed dramatically, and much of the public curriculum is focused on answering the political demands that are being made. This leads to educational institutions that are focused on meeting certain quantifiable outcomes rather than offering a quality education. This problem can be avoided by choosing a non-public institution.

Overall, private high schools offer several advantages over their public counterparts. So, it is important that you take these into consideration when deciding where to send your children as they may offer a much better option for your student's education. You will surely be grateful for the opportunities that they afford.

Vacations Are Fun, The Traveling With Kids Is Not!

Vacations are a time to remember. Years after a holiday we remember the merirement that we had enjoyed during a particular vacation. Although the holiday is memorable, traveling to the selected destination is probably the most tiresome part of the package. The process becomes even more tedious if you are traveling with kids.

Their low attention span and impatience is the primary reason why they get over excited wherever the destination is grandma's place or Hawaii. Not an hour passages by when parents hear the endless chime of 'when do we get there?'

Making these long car rides or a trip in the airplane is not as difficult as it may seem to a harassed parent. A wee bit of planning in advance to keep your young tykes in control will see you a long way. A variety of games will keep them engaged and divert their minds away from the long wearisome travel.

If you have not come across some games which are apt for travel time then here are a few. For bumpy car rides where children can not indulge in board games try 'spot the letter of the alphabet'. The game involves reading road signs or billboards and spotting the letters of the alphabet in the sequence. So if you come across 'Abacus building systems', the letters A, B, C, D and E are found.

In the next billboard they should look for F. This game is suitable to be played alone or with a sibling. Create a competition between two children by allotting one side of the road to each and see who reaches the end of the alphabet first.

Another extremely simple and interesting game which can be played while traveling on the freeway is 'license plates'. The objective of the game is to identify vehicles from different states using their license plates. Keep them busy by telling them to keep going till they see plates from all 50 states.

The tussle of managing a child on the airplane can be more embarrassing than a car drive. With a hollering baby you are sure to get dirty glances from the scores of passengers traveling on board. Coping with toddlers on a plane is easier since the journey is much smoother than a car ride and drop down trays can be used to play board games

If traveling with an infant, then make sure that your little one is comfortable to ensure a peaceful flight. Try and time your babies sleep to coincide with the flight timings. Feed your baby during take off and landing to reduce discomfort in the ears.

Planning activities specifically suited for travel will help you recall the vacation with fondness and visions of the harrowing time you had not cross your eyes every time you look back.

Personal Brand Marketing – Brand Buzz 101

I understand the importance of visibility. As a small business owner, being "known" can be the difference between a steady flow of revenue or closing your doors. Yet, being visible is not enough. Being remembered is most important and means you occupy some prime real estate in the mind of someone. Garnering "share of mind" means that you somewhere along the way that they sampled your character and competency and you became memorable.

Marketing, by definition, is creating an exchange environment. For an individual, that could mean breaking a referral, speaking positively on your behalf, a promotion or an introduction. Branding, by definition, is an emotion or image tied to a product. YOU are the product. Even in businesses, people are the brand and define the company, more than any mission mission statement hanging in the lobby. So, how does an individual create "buzz" for their brand for visibility and more importantly to be remembered so that they can develop credibility?

1. Know what makes you unique.

Whether you're job hunting or wanting a position on board of director's, you need to confidently know what value you bring to the table.

2. Get really good at communicating what makes you valuable.

Ninety-three percent of communication is tone and body language. Spend time on the words so that what you say and how you communicate are congruent with your value. Yet, know that communication includes your image, the way you present yourself, your workspace, your phone skills and even your lunch meeting etiquette. They must all be congruent with what makes you valuable. Any discrepancies will jeopardize your credibility and could produce negative word of mouth which is a problem that I will address in future articles.

3. Manage that communication.

If you're creating "buzz" around your brand, it will require you to proactively manage the communication. For example, if you're new to a company or a position you will need to build a credibility wall. Yes, a physical wall if possible. It showcases every plaque, certificate, service honor, licensing, certification and degree you've received. This wall is your visual third party testimonial on the character and competency of your brand. Since that wall can not travel with you, make sure that anytime you're honored for volunteer service or recognized for a contribution that a copy of the "thank you" letter, note or card be placed into you personnel file.

Even if you're on your own, these "proof of credibility" tools will take you far. As the vice president of a business concern in college, I invited speakers to speak to our fraternity for professional development. I asked each of them to write a letter for me about their experience working with me so that I could include that in my personal portfolio. Many of these speakers went on to become regional directors, chief operation officers, chief financial officers, company presidents and further that my portfolio has become quite valuable. Actively "buzz" your brand! Doing that will develop credibility; credibility will lead to influence; and influence with lead to leadership.