Shaken

“Come on! You’re not in the 90s, man!”

With a loud nagging voice, that was the end part of my dream this morning. :)

Funny how old memories came back when we least expected them. Surreal, if you ask me.

Perhaps, the marking point began yesterday when I unearthed an old T-shirt, faded with age, with patterned holes I did know existed. I never recalled placing it in the rags box, its sentimental value was worth more than its future use.

I opened the closet, checking if there were still similar types of clothing I had forgotten I owned. A weird idea came over me that I should wear them just for old time’s sake, reminiscing those times I was still able to jump and kick with utter joy and abandon.

Well, my blue denim pants was still there, the knees’ sections were partially slit, again with holes that I specifically recalled my own doing. With the shirt, the get-up was complete.

Alas! I did not factor in time, those years that added flesh to my former slimmer physique, that at present was a stark reminder I did age physically. Mentally and emotionally were another matter altogether. :D

As I tried my tiresome best to fit in in the clothing that would not stretch to its limits, I can’t help but laugh at myself for doing those things I did during my ‘grunge’ phase. I was so different then that no one would probably believe I was transformed into a boring soul today. :D

Young people do a lot of wild escapades that as we grew older we viewed as risky. But back then, when we were at the same age, we viewed old peoples’ shaking heads as biased to safe conduct.

I could partially conclude that generations’ gaps will not be bridged. Unless of course we as old timers accompany young ones to a rock concert, banging our heads like they do, shrieking like banshees without inhibitions. What a sight that could be!

Yeah, right! Wake up, man! :D

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Sentiments

Whenever we wake up in the morning, especially in our mature age, various emotions linger within our hearts that makes us wonder if everything we have done was worth it.

We could see today as it was that could never be again.

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Killing Spree

Can you be considered a good shepherd if your followers misinterpret your guidance?

Ever heard something like this?

“By all means, kill. That’s what you should do!” the shepherd said with raised voice. “Do it! If you are bent on it, go out and look for your target!”

The crowd, including you, would be shocked at first. But since you respected his vision and beliefs, you would shout your agreement in unison with the others. Like fanatics, your spirits would be one.

“Kill poverty,” he shouted. All of you yelled your consent loudly, drowning the rest of his message, “not poor people.”

“Kill homelessness,” the same thing happened, “not the homeless.”

“Kill hunger,” similarly approved in the same fashion,  “not the hungry.

“Kill discrimination,” again for the fourth time, “not the discriminated.

A heightened sense of hysterical self-justification engulfed your being. Killing was the operative word that it brainwashed the good in you.

Much later, whenever your shepherd enumerated the ills of society according to his understanding, you could automatically connect the word killing as a permanent solution. There’s no need to convince you because you have convinced yourself beforehand.

You are now prepared to take matters in your own hands. You believe in your heart that your shepherd commanded you.

The maddening influence of religious leaders on their followers parallels such scenario. Even if they do not incite them to take a life, their constant incantations of who is the enemy push their members to the edge, their subliminal wishes fulfilled when the killing begins.

History showed how the purported good could be used as basis to kill. All that was needed were ill-minded shepherds and like-minded supporters, on either sides of conflicts.

After the smoke clears, with dead bodies all around, no one could claim that the good prevailed. More likely the good died when innocent victims suffered horrific fates.

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Race

An hour ago, I had to step outside to disturb my serious thoughts. As you have gleaned in my earlier posts, the political and social sides of my outlooks were trying to take charge of my day. I would not want to end up ranting through my next posts. That would be a frightening idea. :)

So, there I was at the outer tip of my site, collecting firewood from fallen branches of mahogany trees. Even the wooden shell of their fallen fruits could be used to start a fire. Being prepared had its rewards.

The southwest winds had been blowing since morning, keeping the temperature below the normal of 30 degrees Celsius. The temptation to work outside was high but I balked at the idea: it was nearing lunch.

I saw the dark clouds on the horizon. They massed as one, forming a blanket of darkness, inching towards my direction. Staring at it from afar gave me instant wonder how Nature could be so full of natural change.

I closed my eyes while my nose sniffed the freshest of air. In a matter of seconds, it cooled down. The signal was present: I learned of it from experience.

Placing the firewood in a sack, I lugged it on my shoulder, rehearsing in my mind how to run the quickest route back to the house. About a hundred yards, with calamansi trees as living obstacles, I could make it.

Here it is, I told myself. The faint sound was a few kilometers away but approaching very fast. The blackness faded into whiteness but still moving towards north.

I ran, the sound ominously creeping behind my back. It would seem it could overtake me. I had to run faster.

Five meters from the house, I felt slight wetness as small droplets of rain penetrated my thin shirt. No more than a few feet left and I would be safe.

I knew I won the race just in time, when the howling winds echoed maniacally, escorting the diagonally-falling rains, unsettling the peace of leaves on trees and plants. Everything outside felt the short period of Nature’s fury.

Figuratively, so did I.

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Better Aid

Not all people wishes to transfer to a developed country. Based on the adage, there’s no place like home, people would more likely stay in place if they feel safe and comfortable.

Young adults are more prone to be adventurous and look for their future somewhere. I had this very idea when I was in my mid twenties. With all the allure of the new sights and exciting activities found in the West, who would not be mesmerized and be pulled towards it?

If and when they successfully reached their destination, some of their expectations was not satisfied. Then, when everything was not going well, that ever-haunting call of home would overcome one to a realization: I should be back where I truly belong.

I shared such thought. I concluded back then that all I needed was a place to live in peace and have food security. All the rest that I wished to possess was secondary to the primary purpose of existence.

In my opinion, there are solutions to prevent unnecessary mass migration. We only  have to see the other side of the coin, the obvious answers we have nowadays seem to fail.

More developed countries should channel their efforts to technology transfer especially in agriculture to help poor countries produce more food. Locals could raise their standards of living, bypassing ideas to look for greener pastures.

Preserving peace will follow once people do not feel threatened by inequality and injustice brought about by poverty. It is widely believed that individuals who are contented with their lives do not seek for trouble.

As they say, “Do not give a man fish every time. Teach him how to fish.” And to add my own view, “Give them peace while they are fishing.”

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