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♫ You will learn a thing or two ♪ Making sense is up to you ♫

Bad Habits that Can Gain You Friends

Friends and Bad Habits
When you notice a person surrounded by a lot of friends, you probably might say, “Oh, that guy must have some admirable traits that makes him likeable to people.” There is often this notion that, for a person to have many friends, he must have pleasing traits such as avoidance of bad habits and vices. How you wish this is 100% true! All of us will agree that the good heart of a person is a magnet for friendships and worthwhile relationships. However, our modern world with its redbrick necessities and excesses has dictated unusual norms on how to get in the crowd and get a piece of influence.

Sticking to old-fashioned values and time-tested advice is your grandma's best bet to succeed in life. Sadly, going against the tide of modernity can limit your capacity to widen your circle of friends and influence. Oh no, I do not want to refute your grandma's wisdom. As mentioned, her advice is time-tested, it is prudent to listen to it and test its validity in your daily living. What I am going to state here are my observations among people at work, high school and college communities, and even folks along the neighborhood.

These are facts and observations of reality, and you are not encouraged to follow them. Rather, they are for you to think about and to reflect if our society is going the right way.

1. Cigarette smoking


Government warning: Cigarette smoking is dangerous to your health!

You see that all the time in ads and on the packages of cigarettes, sometimes with scary health graphics too. Why wouldn't you? It is a government mandated policy for cigarette manufacturers and promoters to show such warning to their buyers. If you are a smoker, do you even bother to take a notice of it? I leave that for you to answer on your own.

Do you know that, in most offices and work communities, close knits and cliques of people are formed because of smoking? If you have been working for sometime now, I guess this occurrence is something that you have noticed. Within this inner circle of smoking buddies, conversations and stories are exchanged, establishing rapport and linking their minds altogether.

I know of a boss who makes use of smoking sessions to gather his team for the purpose of harnessing the creative geniuses of his members and to brainstorm for ideas. If you are a non-smoker and you have him for a boss, that is OK because you are allowed to settle for a cup of coffee instead. Lucky you if peer influence has no power over you... but I have seen how ramparts crumble.

A person who has not tasted a puff of tobacco even in his college years would succumb once he has reached the premises of office life. He would not want to be left alone in his cubicle while his colleagues are talking their way with their boss at the smoking area where connections and influence are built and knotted.

2. Binge partying


Attending parties and joining events are wholesome ways to have fun and to get connected with friends. What makes it a bad habit is when partying becomes binge – the nightly parties at the expense of a healthy sleep and the solid bonding time with your family. You become a slave to drinking, eating, dancing, and karaoke all night long while your loved ones at home languish in vigil for your arrival. No worries! You are solidifying your relationship with your friends and, as a side effect, you are meeting new ones. What a groovy justification, isn't it? :)

A friend of mine who worked as a medical sales representative shared to me that one effective way to close deals is to never reject event/party invitations from clients. You must attend those events, and talk your way through with the client during a happy mood conversation. Indeed, you may say that...

Arrogant Rich Man

3. Lavish spending


Generosity is a virtue no one can abhor on a friend. I sure am certain that you appreciate that neighbor or colleague of yours who gives you gifts in season and out of season. Who does not love a lavish giver?

Let us turn the tables around. You want to gain more friends and you want to build favors on your already existing friends. Why not try using your money to buy them out, maybe not in the literal sense, but by doling them out and bribing them with gifts? Also, I suggest you never refuse a request for a loan, even if it means getting that hard earn savings inside the well-kept chest box.

Money has two sides, so let us look at the other side of the coin. You see the guy in school, always wearing the latest fashion on branded clothing. Oh, before you forget, he also drives a Mustang. Who do you think would not want to be tagged along by this cool and well-groomed dude in his fancy car? I bet friends are running after him like ants to get a portion of the photo shoot.

Everybody loves a winner, and what obvious winner to our eyes than the gallant rich man in our dreams. So why not start getting some money? Spend it to attract friends and gain influence, even if it means depleting your bank account.

4. Rumor mongering


News have wings and gossip hops from one place to another. Yet, the person who owns the hottest gabfest is the king or queen of the show. He/she is the captain of the ship who maneuvers the direction of the conversation. Why, who is not interested to hear the latest news and info about what is going on with regards to some popular people around the corner? Seeking ears are always on a quest but will yield only to the mouth that can emit smoke even without the fire.

It is said that, if a person gossips about someone, do not be surprised if that same person makes rumors about you as well. I do not doubt that the rumor monger has a lot of friends, but his/her friends may not recognize that he/she is the hidden enemy who can sabotage reputations and destroy relationships. His/her word is a sweet poison to any willing ear. But who cares? He/she can gain friends by just a flick of the tongue.

Lastly...


To gain a friend is to gain a treasure, but such treasure should be authentic and loyal enough that you find it worthy to keep, cherish, and love. Is having a lot of friends important to you? Does making new friends make you happy? Read this quote from an anonymous source.

The world is full of fake people. Don't be afraid, it is better to have few friends than fake ones.

As a final treat to entertain and shake you up, my dear Reader, I share with you an animated video from Youtube user “notebookbabies”. Enjoy and be touched!




Photo credits:

We Want to Be Your Friends c/o geralt / Pixabay

Arrogant Rich Man meme created by Antennor Squad via memegen.com
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Respect is the Greatest of Charity

Allegory of Charity
Anthony Van Dyck's allegory of Charity as a mother with three infants
Majority of people think of charity as something about alms-giving and donating money to foundations dedicated to provide goods and services to the destitute and underprivileged. Even the word “charity” is coined to be associated with such organizations; the phrase “giving to charities” is understood to be donating money to these foundations.

Charity in the real sense is actually “love” - the love of neighbor. Yes, charity is a manner of how love is expressed, but not the love that is often abused by young men and women which leads to heartbreak, quarrel, and loneliness.

I find it sad that there is only one word for love in the English language. You use this word to describe how a man expresses his affection to a woman (and vice-versa), whether pure or just plain erotic. You also use the word love when you want to ostentate your care and concern for your family and friends. It is funny how we connote the phrase “to make love” as having one meaning – and that is just to have sex. :)

Language differences


With the limitation of English on the word love, at least you can console yourself on the idea that other languages have different words to depict affection, care, and concern for the people whom you LOVE.

In the old Greek language, for example, love is not just one word and these different “loves” differ in their meanings based on how they are expressed and to whom the love is given.

Eros – the love you feel when you desire the person of the opposite sex. It is the love that starts on physical attraction and which, in time, will progress into physical intimacy. This is the passion or romance two people in an exclusive relationship feel for each other. That is why we call sexual love as “erotic love.”

Phileos and/or Storge – the love you give and receive from friendship and family relations. In a way, you can call it pure because it is devoid of physical and sexual desire. So when you say you love your mom, your pop, your bro, your sis, and your pal in school, at work, or in the neighborhood, you are not a stranger to phileos and storge.

Agape – the greatest of the kinds of loves, because this one is not a mere feeling. It is the love that is seen as a decision which leads into action. Sages believe that this kind of love is the one which God has for mankind and His creation. Anyone can experience agape if he/she chooses to do so because it has no limitations. This is the love that the stories and tales of old have taught us to be the most powerful force in the universe.

The Filipinos, too, have more than one different words to define love.

Pagmamahal – the most general of all loves, you can use this definition of love when you express it to people, animals, and things. In fact, this is so general that Filipinos just exercise the utterance of this word to express love all throughout in all occasions.

Pagsinta or Pag-irog – similar to the old Greek, Eros, pagsinta or pag-irog is the love a man feels for a woman (and vice-versa). These 2 words are seldom used, though, unless you watch a black and white Tagalog movie or read a classic poem from the textbooks.

Pag-ibig – the heaviest translation of the word love in the Tagalog language, it evinces both Divine and human love. This word is so deep that you will only read it in literature or hear it in speeches and sermons.

Of course, other languages in cultures and countries around the world may also have multiple translations for the word love. What I want to show here is how I find it unfair and sad that English uses just one word for love when there are a lot of facets involving this emotion. In fact, many wise men will say true love transcends emotion – it is a decision. Just like agape, love should be treated as a verb – an action word.

Going back


An Apostle once said, “And the greatest of these is love...” Oh yes, it is... and most of us believe so too. Yet, I may have to deal with the one-word translation limitation of love in English. Maybe I just have to be content with the use of the word charity, which is really about love of neighbor. The thing is, using charity as a synonym for love may not allow me to bring my intended point.

The main title above says that the greatest of charity is respect, and so it is with love (not that there is such a difference). The most basic yet the most effective practice and experience of love is to RESPECT the person whom such affection is attributed to.

Giving alms is good, sending gifts is sweet, but showing respect as an expression of love is not so easy at is seems. Yet, by practicing it to your neighbor, to your significant other, and to your closest of kin can make you more loving and caring than ever. I guess what made the practice of respect to fellowmen so difficult is the overused concept that...

Substitute Teacher

So should you respect only those you see has earned it?


If that is so, who would be the judge? You? What will be the basis of your judgment? I say that this is a dangerous idea of respect – your standards might be influenced by your bias on whom you like or do not like, what is convenient to you and what is not convenient to you.

You do not praise a colleague for a good work done because you think you are better than him/her.

You put down a subordinate because you are the boss and you think you have the right to do so.

You do not encourage your son or daughter because the college course he/she wants to pursue is not something that you like.

You turn down someone's attention because you think that person is not someone important.

Guess what?


Even gifts without words and gestures of respect are not capable of showing that you love the intended recipients of those gifts.

Hear me out, dear Reader: The most obvious way your respect to people is noticed is through your facial expressions, your gestures, and most importantly the words you speak on them. Yes, your words go a long way. Restrain them if they will only cause demotivation, release them if they carry inspiration.

Generosity is one thing, but the most charitable and loving person has his/her way with words... Words that will stick in your memory for good...

Motivational speaker and self-help book author, the late Dale Carnegie, wrote in one of his books...
"Be hearty in your approbation and be lavish in your praise."
As a final treat, here is a Youtube video from "Everyone Matters" entitled...

If We Could See Inside Others' Hearts


Would you be generous with your respect for people if you could see through their hearts?



Photo credits:

"Van Dyck - Charity" by Anthony van Dyck - http://www.nationalgallery.org.uk/paintings/anthony-van-dyck-charity. Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons - http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Van_Dyck_-_Charity.jpg#/media/File:Van_Dyck_-_Charity.jpg

Substitute Teacher on Respect - meme created by Yours Truly via memegenerator.net
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Internet Trolls Love Careless Online Authors

One of the most hurtful comments you will get on the Internet as an online writer or blogger is something that ridicules you because of a wrong spelling or grammar in your work. As a human being, you are prone to commit mistakes; no one can argue against that. However, publishing a work of literature without rereading, reviewing, editing, and proofreading your product is a big NO-NO. In the online world, you surely do not want to be humiliated by an Internet troll just because of a missed-out spelling and/or grammar mistake.

Forbidden Trolls

Most publishing companies, including online ones, have proofreaders and quality assurance teams to make sure no typo gets published. However, whether you are self-publishing or submitting your work to another publisher, it is obligatory for you to proofread and edit your writing before it gets read by people from all over the world.

For most article writers, rereading their work right after writing it up is second nature to them, with the aim of reviewing the sense of the article and looking for spelling and grammatical errors. However, rereading the article just immediately after finishing the write-up may not be effective if your objective is to proofread and correct the unwanted mistakes. Sometimes, you get too excited and proud of yourself for accomplishing a feat that you miss a lot of typos out. These typos remain in the article for all people to see once it gets published.

If I were you, do not be satisfied by just rereading after finishing your write-up. Follow these simple recommendations so you can get rid of typos and save your face from being humiliated by Internet trolls.

1. Sleep over it


Let us admit it, when you are proofreading, your goal is to search for errors and then correct them. It is a 180o antithetic to your objective when you are writing an article, which is conveying a message to your would-be readers.

When you abruptly change your mindset from writing to proofreading, your performance of the latter may not be efficient and effective. My advice is to get your writing off your head first before attempting to proofread. So why not have a doze-off after scribbling? By the time you wake-up, your brain has been refreshed and made ready to perform an effective proofreading – making yourself a grammar and spelling Gestapo of your own piece.

2. Do something else


If you do not want to sleep, why not do some other stuff for a couple of hours or so? Once you are done with your prose, get up from your writing seat and cook, watch TV, jog, talk to a friend, or stroll around the neighborhood. Again, your goal in doing this is to have a fresh reboot so that, by the time you get back to your write-up, your brain will be ripe to review, proofread, and edit your work.

3. Ask a willing companion


It should not hurt to ask the help of a friend or loved one in proofreading your article. Most of the time, what you missed when you are the one reviewing your own work can be spotted on by a trusted person. This is the reason why quality audits are assigned to third parties.

Here is a caveat, though: Make sure your third party is indeed willing and competent enough with English grammar and spelling. Otherwise, it will just be a waste of time for you and your companion.

Lastly…


My best suggestion is to do all the 3 listed above. The more stringent the proofreading and editing methods are, the better. Your article becomes a repellent for online trolls whose mission is to make fun of authors who publish their work carelessly. Also, I believe that there is a benefit if you reread your article and try to look for errors even after you have published your work online.

What is an Internet troll?

Youtube video courtesy of AVbyte



Photo credit:

Featured image c/o OpenClipartVectors / Pixabay
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