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Stories, lists, and essays that will tweak your mind and pinch your heart

Gluttony in a World Full of Hunger

Last Christmas, I had the chance to watch with the kids the 2009 animated movie, Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs. I am a food lover, and surely, I can relate to the theme of the story. What a wonderful world it would be if it would be raining all kinds of food just like ordinary rain from above. You need not go hungry again; and on the altruistic side of things, the citizens of Earth will not ever be wanting for food again. I am all in support for the invention of the machine (oops, spoilers here) that can produce a delicious meal from a mere drop of water. With such invention, world hunger will finally be solved and eradicated.

Meatballs

Imagine if you need not look for food, that you would not have to work in order to pay for a delicious and decent meal 3x a day or more. You will just look up to the clouds in the sky and wait for them to rain the food you want, which will give you nourishment and strength for the rest of the day. In the Bible, we see Yahweh (how God is addressed in Hebrew) providing manna, the bread from Heaven, each day to the Israelites when they were in the desert after their great escape from the slavery of Egypt (read Exodus chapter 16).

You take it for granted


Bread, Work of Human Hands
Most of the time, when our needs and wants are readily satisfied by just a touch of a finger, we tend to be complacent and abusive of the situation. In the Scriptures, we see the Israelites grumbled against God and Moses because they were not given anything else other than manna (read Numbers chapter 11). In the movie, the island citizens of Swallow Falls became lazy and gluttonous; and when you embrace laziness and gluttony, you become fat, demotivated, and negligent of your health. In such case, being big is not so great.

It is a good thing that we still have the capability to search for food. There is a benefit to both the soul and body when we work hard for the meals we consume daily, which will nourish and strengthen us in our day to day undertakings. The problem of world hunger is not just an issue of scarcity - Mahatma Gandhi has put it more bluntly yet succinctly, "(The) Earth provides enough to satisfy everyman’s need but not enough for any man’s greed."




Photo credits:

Conquered Meatballs c/o ChrisHumphrey / Pixabay

Bread, Work of Human Hands c/o Public Domain / Pixabay
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Your Work's Results Matter the Most - Some Do Not Agree

There is always the temptation on managers to count the performance of their employees based on the number of work done or how difficult it was performed. We all know that results matter more than the amount of work, that quality should be always above quantity, and that working smarter is preferred over working harder. Yet, in practice, these concepts are so gullible to be ignored.

Idea, Plan, and Action

When the results have been achieved and the output has been seen to be excellent, some managers tend to be critical of such if the work that was done was easy and simple. In a way, these managers do not encourage working smarter. The complex planning of the objective is more important to them rather than the witty and intelligent implementation of the plan.

Some managers worship detailed planning. The presentation of the plan is given more glory than the actual application and achievement of the desired result. Somehow, this leads us to the belief that failure and disappointment is just so inevitable because we do not give credence to achieving worthwhile output through simple yet smart ways of doing things.

How do you measure your own productivity? Is it the number of things you worked on during the day? Or do you measure them based on the satisfaction you get from the results?



Photo credit:

Idea, Plan, and Action c/o Public Domain / Pixabay
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3 Reasons Why Tennis Players Train to Be Superheroes

Serena Williams
It is a fad that a lot of people are getting hooked on superhero stories and superhero themed items nowadays. Whether you are a kid or a kid at heart, you cannot seem to escape the bandwagon. There was a time when superheroes were a hobby for boys only, but now, even girls have gotten into the cult.

No, I am not here to talk about the many characters of the superhero genre or to review their shows, movies, and stories. (I want to leave that topic for another post some other time.) You are here reading this article to read about Tennis and how Tennis players are honing themselves to be superhero-like athletes. Not that they will acquire superpowers and some freak abilities, but as popularly known, the likes of Batman, Green Arrow, Black Widow, and even Zorro for that matter, rely only on their human strength and athletic prowess.

Many sports reviewers and even superhero enthusiasts might say there are far better games that can train a man or woman to fight off evil as a masked hero. Maybe they would prefer fencing, gymnastics, or archery. But you know what? There are personality skills among tennis players that we somehow overlook but are the traits of great heroes – and not just the fictitious superheroes but the ones that live in real life.

1. They run to chase


Any hero has an objective of why he chooses to be a hero. In every adventure he is into, the hero has an aim to go for – especially when he is running after bad guys.

Tennis players are chasing their aim every after a minute each time they play. Whenever the ball reaches their side of the court, it becomes a “do-or-die” scenario just to go after it and running with the goal of not letting it pass their territory.

Once the ball passes over the net to the other side, their eyes are still fixed on the aim. Their legs are ever ready to run the chase and hit the ball hard again.

2. They hit hard


When you go after bad guys and once you catch them, you got to hit them hard lest they hit back and escape your clutches. This is how Tennis players are trained to do. Once they have the ball within their reach, they really do hit it hard, not just to prevent it from getting past their territory, but to make sure the ball will go against the will of their opponent.

3. They can do both solo and team play


In other sports, you either play it alone or you play as a team. This is what we all love about Tennis, you can play it solo and yet you can also play doubles. Superheroes know when to go on a quest alone and when to join a squad of other heroes in the pursuit of a formidable goal.

When Tennis players do play in a team (or should I say in doubles), the manner of attack becomes “hit and let hit” – give and take – in order to defeat the opponent at hand.

Lastly...


People can dream big and people train to achieve their dreams. To my mind, when people play Tennis and become experts on it, they gain the skills of someone who can be great and be hero to many.

Andy Murray



Photo credits:

Memes of Tennis players created/edited by Antennor Squad
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Pre-Christmas Blues - The Irony of Exchange Gifts

Modern tradition has it that, in every Christmas party you attend, you should participate in the exercise of exchanging gifts. It is the practice of a group of people giving gifts to each other and receiving gifts from each other in return. This practice is either called "Exchange Gifts" or the more popular "Kris Kringle."

Most of us are familiar with the famous saying, "It is better to give than to receive," a scriptural quote from Acts 20:35. I believe this is supposed to be the spirit of the gift-giving tradition during Christmas. The irony of the matter in the practice of exchanging gifts during Christmas parties is this - you do not receive a gift if you yourself did not give a gift - like the gift you will receive is the reward for the gift you will give.

Christmas Present

A funny yet true story


A group of girl friends made a pact to always have a reunion every Christmas time, some sort of a mini Christmas party for their "gang." Never did they put a halt to this annual party, even if most of them were already married and had children.

In their recent reunion party, the ever exciting Kris Kringle tradition was not missed (of course), and the theme of the gift-giving was about something soft and fluffy yet hygienic and useful. So there they went, each one gave her gift to her "baby" (as what the receiver of the gift is called in a Kris Kringle). Afterwards, everyone unwrapped the gift she received, and VOILA, all of them (yes, ALL OF THEM) received the same type of TOWELS.

Surprise! Surprise! They were all thinking of the same object when they were planning on what gift to give for their Kris Kringle. Of course, it was not the actual gift that matter (or so they say), it was the fun and the thought that count.

To be honest, though: Didn't it look like each one just bought a towel for herself and put it inside a box with a Christmas design paper wrapped around it?

No exchange gifts during the first Christmas


Let us remember that the first Christmas was about a family whose mother was in labor and about to give birth, yet there was no inn to welcome them. Because of this, the father had no choice but to bring them into the only available shelter at that time; and so the mother gave birth to a baby boy in the company of farm animals. This baby boy would grow up to be the Reason we celebrate the Season.

How ironic it is that the Christmas of our era is so extravagantly different from the simplicity and austerity of the first Christmas.




Photo credit:

Christmas Present c/o PublicDomainPictures / Pixabay
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