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The Tongue - Weapon for Destruction, Tool for Creation

Deadly Tongue
The tongue, a small part of the body that is used to taste the food and drinks we consume; yet it is also an agent that can be utilized to build, destroy, or heal human affairs. With the tongue, nations have been established, wars and revolutions were instigated, lives have been lost, souls were enlivened, and relationships were either broken or strengthened. Imagine, a tiny piece of flesh can do enormous damage or benefit to the people it affects.

Depending on the character and the intention of the person who speaks, the tongue with the use of words can create havoc as a weapon of mass destruction or can bring about goodness on those who hear it. In this article, my focus is on words spoken orally and not much on the ones wherein mere pen and paper are used to convey them.

1. The torch of leaders

Winston Churchill
Adolf Hitler, Winston Churchill, and Franklin D. Roosevelt, what did they have in common? World War II, you say? Oh yes, the 3 of them were prominent names of WWII. Yet, aside from that, they were great orators of fiery speeches – speeches that roused the emotions of their people in order to reclaim and recognize their dominance in the world spectrum.

Adolf HitlerHitler used his words to bestir the German majority to abhor the Jews and subjugate other nations which they thought should be unified under Nazi rule. Churchill utilized his eloquence to enliven the British people and raise them up from their fear of German invasion, thus invigorating them to defend their country. FDR exhausted his mouth and tongue to make sure the American population rallied behind him as the United States joined the Allies in liberating Europe and the Asia-Pacific and neutralizing the Axis forces.

Franklin D. Roosevelt
Those are just 3 of them. Recall how in the past and in the present, both gruesome dictators and benevolent leaders made use of speeches to either deceive their people or to enable them to rise from their political slumber. Indeed, with its power of persuasion, the tongue can be used as a weapon of war and revolution or as a ship that can bring people together and transport them to their desired destination.

2. The cradle of dreams

Parents, teachers, and elders use their tongue as a tool for learning and a stick to discipline the younger generation. It is through their words that they can instruct the children, hone their character, and even calibrate their ambitions. Through the words these guardians speak, the younger ones can step up and are energized, accentuating their dreams and syncing them up with what they want to do with their lives in the future.

Instruction and education cannot exist and evolve without words, because words are their heart and soul. So whenever you hear your teacher speaks with a croaking hoarse voice, just think of the many dreams that such voice is building among the youth, the future inhabitants of this Earth.

3. The double edge sword

How many times have you allowed your emotion to control you? Whenever you are in a pit of anger and you are mad at a person, it is strongly tempting to utter an insulting word or 2 so you can hurt the person you are angry at. Did you regret it afterwards or did it satisfy your deep longing to damage the person's spirit? Whatever it was, your words punctured a wound on that person and they surely battered your relationship with him/her.

Your tongue is a dagger that can pierce and cut through the hearts of many. Not only that, the wound it causes can linger in the memory of the person who holds it. The pain can disrupt his/her sleep and can invade his/her dreams.

The ironic thing is, the hurt that you have inflicted by your words may gradually transfer to you as well, making you sleepless and even more bitter. Who knows, a real and literal sword might be coming your way to avenge the person whom you stabbed with your tongue.

Be careful and be warned!

4. The ointment for wounds

If the tongue can emotionally hurt a person and ruin relationships, it can also heal a person's feelings and mend broken relationships. Words of humble and sincere confession reciprocated with acceptance and forgiveness are what make a relationship stronger than it was, even before the hostility occurred.

Cats and other feline animals use their tongues to lick and clean themselves up. They even do this on their wounds. I guess God has instructed Mother Nature to make their saliva a natural antiseptic against germs. Humans might not have this kind of privilege, but I believe our tongues can manage to clean and heal wounds of a higher kind – and here God has given us an advantage.

5. The schemer's poison

Aside from the ears, to the gossiper, rumor monger, and schemer, the tongue is his/her favorite part of the body. Man! How he/she cannot spend a day without hearing the latest gossip or secret, and then quickly announcing it to the rooftops. To this kind of character, a whisper is equivalent to a “Shout ♫ shout ♪ let it all out! ♫ These are the things ♪ I can do without,” as what goes from the classic hit song by Tears 4 Fears. When the tongue is used like this, reputations are smashed, relationships are torn, and honor is compromised.

Anyone who has studied English literature more likely is familiar with the story of Othello, a tragedy written by the legendary playwright who lived during the Elizabethan era – William Shakespeare.

To cut the (very) long story short, Othello was an honorable man who destroyed his life and those of his significant other and friend because of the insinuations of an envious fellow. In the narrative, the tongue was utilized to poison the mind of a reputable and goodhearted man – the usual goal of those who belong to the crowd of insidious schemers.

6. The pat on the back

When you are down, demotivated, or soaked in miry confusion, the soothing advice of a good friend or loved one is a sure welcomed word your ears want to receive. The hand is not the only body part that can be used to give a pat on the back (well, figuratively speaking, of course).

Words spoken with wisdom even how short or few they are, if they provide you with a sense of relief, have more worth than a thousand sentences spoken by a fool. The words of a wise man are recorded and compiled so that future generations will also benefit from their power to inspire and uplift the human spirit.

To recap everything, my advice is to take care of your tongue. Not just because you need to enjoy the food you eat and the beverage your drink, but also because it is something that has the power to build and destroy the fabric of society – human relationships. Use it to promote and advance the cause of good. Guard it, lest it betray your humanity.

Here is a wise quote from King Solomon...

"Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruits."
(Proverbs 18:21)

Photo credits:

Deadly Tongue c/o OpenClips / Pixabay

Winston Churchill c/o skeeze / Pixabay

"Bundesarchiv Bild 102-10460, Adolf Hitler, Rednerposen" by Bundesarchiv, Bild 102-10460 / Hoffmann, Heinrich / CC-BY-SA. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 de via Wikimedia Commons - http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Bundesarchiv_Bild_102-10460,_Adolf_Hitler,_Rednerposen.jpg#/media/File:Bundesarchiv_Bild_102-10460,_Adolf_Hitler,_Rednerposen.jpg

"Franklin D. Roosevelt TIME Man of the Year 1933 color photo" by O.J. Jordan (photographer) published in TIME Magazine. Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons - http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Franklin_D._Roosevelt_TIME_Man_of_the_Year_1933_color_photo.jpg#/media/File:Franklin_D._Roosevelt_TIME_Man_of_the_Year_1933_color_photo.jpg
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Stage Fright, The Horror Musical

I did not know there was such a thing as a horror musical (probably because I have not watched a lot of musicals in my life). Recently however, I had a chance to get acquainted with such artistic genre; and, NO, it was not a stage play.

Stage Fright is a Canadian movie directed by Jerome Sable. It stars rock legend, Meat Loaf, and Allie McDonald in the lead role of Camila Swanson. The story is about actor-actress wannabees who were going to stage a play similar to that of the "Phantom of the Opera." In the film, such stage musical was said to be cursed as any player who would be cast might die a violent death at any moment during the show.

The movie is a typical slasher mystery story, similar to the "Scooby Doo" type of who-don-it or who's-doing-it kind of plot. What makes it unique and interesting to me is how it managed to blend music, songs, and dance with the eery and dark theme of the movie. The changes in tone and melodic gestures, which adapted to the horrifying events that would occur every now and then, enabled me to adjust my emotions to what was going to happen next.

In the process of watching the film, the viewer might get an impression that the style is somewhat comedic and funny because of the dances and melodies that may not suit any horror themed movie. Be that as it may, the film is an escape from the usual scary movie or musical (whatever genre you are looking for) since not many movies are done in a combination of such a manner.

Video from Youtube channel Movieclips Trailers

Photo credit:

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Containing Frustration and Disappointment - The 5 Tips

If there is a world where you can never experience disappointments and frustrations, I bet everyone of us will jump into the portal leading to such dimension (and I guess there will be a catch, and it will not be an easy one). Life on this Earth has its ups and downs, and by the “downs” I mean being disappointed and frustrated.

Life has taught me that there are 2 things that can disappoint you. Other than these 2, they all just connect to them – you can trace their roots from the former. These 2 things are people and events; they can disappoint you separately or sometimes they go hand in hand.

Disappointed Man

No… No, I do not mean to encourage you to be anti-social or to avoid situations dealing with people and relationships. That is not healthy! In fact, I am going to push you to be more caring and compassionate to people especially to your loved ones and to your own very self as well.

Besides, people and events are what makes human life purposeful, and the people who love you can give you a sense of belongingness. Family and friends along with the events that go with them are what makes as truly human.

Now, since we all agree that disappointments and frustrations are unavoidable, should we then lay our arms down and wave our flag of surrender? In a previous article, I wrote about laziness and procrastination, on understanding the underlying causes behind them. Sadness and depression wrought about by frustration and disappointment can make us lazy and can steal away our vigor for life's adventures. So, the answer to my question – no, we should not – but then again, it all depends on you.

What I suggest we can do against frustration and disappointment is to contain them, weaken their effects on you, and control your reaction that goes along with them, in order that you may continue living a happy and contented life. I have collated and listed 5 tips based on experience, observation, and the many conversations that I had with wise and more experienced people.

1. Aim high but bow low

How many times have you heard that we should dream big, aim high, and reach for the stars? These people who said so were right to advise us on such. Wouldn't you agree with me, however, that most of your greatest disappointments stem from your own dreams, ambitions, and expectations?

As a human being, you will always have goals. They may be short-term or long-term, minute or grand, but human life as we know it always has goals. Otherwise, there is no point to have a purpose for living.

There is this Filipino fable about The Bamboo and The Mango Tree, wherein the Bamboo is hailed for being resilient against storms and strong winds because it can bend low and not go against the wind. The Mango tree, on the other hand looks sturdy and tall, but it is no match against a cyclone because of its arrogant stiffness and it does not know how to bend low along with the wind.

As the old wives used to say, “Go and fly high, reach the clouds and touch the sky, but make sure your feet still know how to walk.”

2. Start small, do not rush

Spiders and frogs are creatures that can jump, take big leaps, and get away with it. How about humans, are we capable of enormous leaps? Oh yes, humans can take the big leap – but always done with faith – the big leap of faith.

There are those who, armed with their dreams and ideas, become excited and take the big leap, but only to land with injuries and broken bones. The rush is not worth it. My advice: be realistic, plan ahead, and assess the risk before you go ahead.

I guess you are no stranger to success stories wherein the protagonists always start on something with the little they had. Slowly but surely, and so they say, they took the ladder to success one small step at a time.

Look at the tortoise, it moves very slowly but its lifespan can reach to hundreds of years, as compared to other animals who move faster but whose lifespan never reaches 365 days. No wonder the turtle is the symbol of peaceful resilience and persistence.

3. Desire the simple things

Desiring too much can indeed cause tiredness to our spirits. When we put our goals on extravagance and expensive goods, we push ourselves towards superficial objectives. Material things are fleeting and they do not have an enduring satisfaction. Once we acquire them, we tend to desire for more until we become restless and tired.

My late father was an accomplished man. Yet, he seldom bought clothes; they were mostly gifts from family and friends. He never went to fancy restaurants on his own; he would only go there if someone wanted to give him a treat. He was not much of a techie or “gadget man” either. In all of these, I saw in him the face of a happy, peaceful, and contented man.

Live simply, desire simply, never go beyond your means!

4. Do not feed the “green eyed monster”

No, it is not the Incredible Hulk that I am pertaining to. The green eyed monster is the human emotion called Envy.

Incredible HulkYou want to be unhappy with your life? Be envious of others, resent the success of people other than yourself, and continuously compare yourself to your neighbor, colleague, or sibling.

You might have achieved some amount of success already. You might have bought a new house or car. Yet, your neighbor's is bigger, better and “beautifuler” (as Princess Anna from Disney's Frozen would say). So how do you feel comparing your achievement to your neighbor's? You feel unhappy, frustrated, discontented, and maybe even angry at yourself and your fellowman.

Envy is the deadly sin that eats up your soul. It devours your capacity to be happy. It is the monster that can destroy relationships.

5. Surround yourself with encouraging people

Now, this tip can be a little difficult since you cannot choose the parents you are born into and the siblings you grow up with. Besides, family is family. However, what you can choose are the friends that you go along with.

It is a tragic scene if you are surrounded by miserable people, folks who think ill of others (probably because they have issues on themselves that they do not want to be resolved). Not to be contrary to being amiable and sociable, I am on the side of being selective of "FRIENDS", a close knit of people who will be honest with you yet will encourage you to be the best person you can be. They are the people who will not pull you down but will push you up. They will be happy for you the moment you are able to reach the heights.

In contrast, friends with negative thinking will not only cause you frustration and discouragement, but they can also pass on their misery to you. With such scenario, you prove the saying that...
"Birds of the same feather flock together."
Life is too short yet too beautiful to let yourself dwell much on failures, disappointments and frustrations. Move on, those are just passing moments of your own life's story. Surely, it does not end there.

Photo credits:

Disappointed Man c/o geralt / Pixabay

Marvel Comics' Incredible Hulk c/o ErikaWittlieb / Pixabay
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Batman's New Origin Story

I want to reinvent Batman's origin story. I want him to be easier to relate with especially among commoners and "real" people. Bruce Wayne is inherently rich, making his character less common than the normal folks of lower economic status. Batman's character as a man of justice and a hero without superpowers makes him more interesting than the usual costumed super-creature, yet his being a scion makes his story a little bit less inspiring.

Boy Batman
I want to see Bruce Wayne growing up, not as a rich kid of wealthy parents, but as a boy who would see and experience poverty yet would struggle and rise from it with due diligence. His father, Thomas, would be a rescue worker (probably a fire fighter or a medic) and his mother, Martha, a highly skilled seamstress.

His parents dying in front of him while walking along a dark alley would remain as part of the origin plot, but instead of a mere low-level thug doing the killing, it would be a high-end assassin hired by an obscenely affluent crime syndicate. Now why would a crime syndicate hire an assassin to murder a working class couple? Well, there can be a variety of reasons and the Gotham Police would have to find that out. If they would be too incompetent to do that, then someone close and loved by the couple would have to take the initiative.

Little Bruce would resolve to avenge his parents death but his hunger for violent retribution would be trimmed by Alfred, who would not be the Wayne family's butler, but a loyal friend of the parents and an adopted tenant grateful for having his life saved by Thomas Wayne in a prior event.

Young Bruce would study hard. While growing up as a computer whiz kid, he would become an excellent inventor and innovator, and eventually rise up as a wealthy techpreneur. Albeit his dark desire to seek revenge for his parents' death had been toned down by his now guardian and surrogate parent, Alfred Pennyworth, Bruce's thirst for justice would never be quenched. He would learn martial arts and harness his gadgets to enable him to fight against thugs, crime bosses, and super-powered freaks.

Thus, in my reinvention of Batman's origin story, he becomes more inspiring to kids of all social levels; a man who overcomes social adversity and injustice, and not just a fictional hero who fights psychotic criminals.

Below is a "Batman Beyond" short film from DC Entertainment paying tribute to the Dark Knight on his 75th anniversary last 2014.

Photo credit:

Boy Who Wants To Be Batman c/o facebookzaf / Pixabay
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