Who is the Victim?

Photo by cottonbro

What a pity that the weakest link crafted a plan without knowing that because he is the weakest link, he gets to be the victim in the end while reading the whole thing in reverse. Well, that maybe is the point of being stubborn or not being of sound mind.

But before you suspect me of speaking in tongues, what exactly is a victim?

There are a few definitions from Thesaurus.com that interest me:

  • someone sacrificed
  • object of ridicule
  • a person who is fooled
  • fall guy
  • stupid or ridiculous person
  • a person who takes blame for another action

With these few definitions, who would ever want to be a victim?No one, of course. Unless one does not know he, or she, is a victim.

But is that possible that a person may not know that he, or she, is a victim? Without being attentive, one could be used to take the blame for the misconduct of another person, for example. 

An unsound person can become the fall guy, an easy target for the charlatans. The rationale is that some human beings are evil, and the victim does not even know they are.

Some people use other people for their ulterior and evil motives. Believe me, they exist. Quite a handful, actually. This is why we misconstrue that intentions are most often harmful. 

We all share the good and the bad, no exemption, only that there are people with convictions higher than the rest.

But to victimize or prey on others’ weaknesses is unimaginable. It is like murder, a pre-meditated act of crime.

It’s the Life in our Years

Photo by Yan Krukov

In the end, it’s not the years in your life that count. It’s the life in your years. – Abraham Lincoln

Aging is inevitable. I saw a list of the signs of aging somewhere. I picked some in the list that seems easy to remember as indicators:

  1. If you lose your SENSE OF HUMOR, you KNOW you are growing older! (Good grief! Thankful I have not lost it yet. Thanks to those who still laugh at my one-liners.)
  2. Muscle mass decreases on average about 7 lbs per decade. .. this loss accelerates after age 45. (Oh, my, I am past 45! Wonder how much of my muscle mass decreased.)
  3. Fat increases as a percentage of body weight. (All I am thinking now is BMI! It says I am overweight.)
  4. The strength, energy, and speed of the body decrease. (Uhmm… I dread the day that it will take me 10 minutes to walk from the door to the sofa.)
  5. Blood pressure increases. (I was hypertensive for more than a decade now.)
  6. We lose neurons in the brain. This leads to Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and Senile Dementia. (I worry about this. My father had Alzheimer’s disease, and it was not easy for the people around him to deal with it.)
  7. Testosterone in men, and estrogen and progesterone in women, drop. (Believe me, it is not big of a deal.)
  8. Sexual desire drops. (Sadly.)
  9. Sense of hearing drops. (It dropped a notch, but I survived!)
  10. Sense of taste drops… “everything tastes the same.” (I dread the moment I cannot appreciate good food.)

I stopped reading. It scares me to read more. I will be growing old someday. That is a fact. 

Of course, there will be ways to slow it down or remedy some symptoms. But it is inevitable.

It is not the years, Abraham said. It’s the life in our years. The question we need to answer is – do I have a life? I did not get to become filthy rich but compared to my life when I was younger, I consider myself rich. Being prosperous and successful is subjective anyway. Life, I believe, is not about achievements and success but what we did and are doing with our success and achievements.

Life is not about the multitude of ‘friends.’ Life is about the impact we cause our friends. The numbers do not count, but the quality of friendship with our friends.

Life is about family, of consanguinity or affinity, that basic unit in the society where we belong. It is what defines us; it is our reflection. The many things in our family embody us; it is our constitution.

Life is how we play fair in every aspect of our lives. It is about how we chose to keep silent when we wanted to talk; it is about how we did not speak instead of fighting against someone who tried to bring us down. It is how we believe that things end and that justice will always be served in whatever form the One above chose to be.

I do not know when my candle will extinguish. Here’s hoping that the remaining years of my life will be fruitful and of quality. 

The Honied Tongue Has Its Poison

Photo by Markus Spiske

Said an unknown writer.

I have encountered several flatterers. Bolero is the Filipino adjective. It does not have a direct translation in English, but the nearest is the noun flatterer. Other people associate it with playboy, too.

I would like to describe them to you as per experience.

The description is apt as they seem sweet but have poison in their honied tongues. Depending on the motive, some people may understand the flatterer’s persuasion. Depending on the character of the people they interact with, they can go unnoticed with their manipulative behavior.

Some boleros, though, are harmless. They do it just for fun.

I had one awkward encounter with a bolero who praised me by comparing me to an actress. For some reason, I felt offended but replied casually that the actress would be insulted. I felt offended because I know the person has this penchant for praising others without being sincere, and it felt more like sarcasm than praise.

I did not waste my time discovering the motive. But the thought hung for a moment. I could have brushed the ‘praises’ off if it was somebody I know who loves to joke around.

As confident as they seem, one has to be careful of slighting a bolero‘s delicate ego or triggering their resentful selves. You become a potential target for character assassination. Or an appetizer in one of their juicy stories.

But one noticeable trait of these boleros- they cower from confrontations. They even rally incognito with others to slander those that frown at their masquerades. Why? Because of guilt.

Against the Pitter-patter of Raindrops

Photo by Aline Nadai from Pexels

There was a night weeks ago that the rain came unexpectedly. It came after a warm morning and afternoon. It did not come with just pitter-patter but a dash that overflowed. There was a puddle in our room after.

This is not the story for today. The story is about how I feel about the rain. Some people are happy when it rains. Not in my case.

There was an instance I wrote about the rain, being overwhelmed with utter loneliness.

As I hasten against the pitter-patter of the raindrops on my way home one evening, my mind also races against many concerns. I have to do this, I have to finish that, I have to prepare this, I have to complete that, etc.

The list goes on and on. The list does not seem to end. Maybe that is why I get lonesome when it rains. The pitter-patter of raindrops reminds me of things that still have to be finished or completed. They remind me of work to be done. They remind me of my limitations, my lack, or my incapability.

The pitter-patter also reminds me of the not-so-good. The raindrops make me think of the worst happenings, fear, want, loneliness, rejection, and neglect.

Funny, they also remind me of some people, those that wounded my heart and soul, those that made the heartbreak, and those that had stung then left unforgettable scars.

Pitter-patter, pitter-patter, falling softly…

I Can Read People’s Faces!

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels

I am not someone who studies people. Currently, there have been studies of facial expressions they call microexpressions. I do not think I have the skill to read facial expressions.

It is just a conscious effort to read the faces of people. You know the trying-hard exertion to know what other people think or feel with the way they twitch their faces or arc their brows or sniff their noses.

There is a genuine smile when I talk to somebody warming my heart. But there is a smile that has a hidden meaning to it. It just does not feel right. There is something behind it.

When people look me in the eye, I feel sympathy over something I vent about or am happy about. However, there is that look of doubt, disdain, or hatred.

Watch the mouth. Have you ever tried to watch the mouth? How one’s twisted smile gives way to an evil intention or backward to a simple smirk that tells you of disbelief. Have you ever witnessed how a smile can turn into a pout? Have you ever almost listened to the anger from tightened lips? There is always that wide grin that tells how funny you are.

My brows always give me away. One of them has an arc that moves when I am pissed or in doubt. I watched someone move their brows to emphasize things they tell. I see both brows move upwards when someone is so happy narrating a funny story.

It is almost always so easy for me to read people’s faces. Then I learned that face reading is an ancient art from China for fortune-telling.

Should I try fortune-telling?

Would You Still Send Young Daughter to School After Getting Pregnant?

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In my early years of blogging, I joined a discussion forum. The members can earn money from the discussions and the comments they get.

Here’s what I posted:

A relative was devastated because her daughter got pregnant while still in college. The mother vowed that she would not let her go to school anymore. She was apprehensive that she might get pregnant again.

I told her that it would be better if her daughter goes to school again after giving birth.

Will you heed my advice if something like this happens to you as a mother? And if you are a young teen or a young woman who committed such a mistake, are you going to pursue your studies and dreams?

Most of the comments agree that the daughter should continue her studies. The rationale they gave are the following:

  • She needs to study not only for herself but for the child.
  • She will learn from her mistakes after what she has been through.
  • She can have a future by educating herself and getting a reasonably-paying job afterward.
  • She can be able to take care of and provide for her child.

Some commenters argued that the girl can still go to school even if she is pregnant. They said that if the girl still wants to go to school, the parent should allow her to go to school.

I couldn’t agree more if the situation is ideal. But in the Philippines, the young girl has to deal with a culture of social stigma. Even with the changing views on out-of-wedlock pregnancy, the young girl will still bear negative consequences.

As a parent, I cannot give my blessings to my young daughter and be the object of ridicule while going to school as a pregnant student. I believe a teenager still living with her parents had to listen to their parent’s suggestions.

It’s not a question of ‘Why hide?’ It’s more about protection for my child.

Also, a young teenage girl is still a child. She is still not equipped to handle the situation. The health risk dealing with social and school work stress is detrimental to a pregnant young woman.

Of course, it would be a different story if my young daughter insisted on going to school. It would be difficult. The situation would affect everybody in the family.

It is also a different story if the family is poor. Even if the young pregnant woman still wants to go to school, the probability is low. This would be an added burden to the parents who would find ways to take care of their grandchildren even if it should not be their role anymore.

Thinking of My Own Mortality

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In 2011, a fellow employee died. He was only 35. He was stabbed many times in his home with wounds on the face, neck, back, and feet. The villain had the intention to kill.

My fellow employee’s decision of letting a stranger into his house was a wrong decision on his part. But who would’ve thought that a moment’s desire could kill?

The poor fellow was almost 6 feet tall, and who would’ve thought that he could be defenseless unable to protect himself from the attack. He’s not only tall but thickset. He had muscular limbs.

Mortality defines the human condition.

– Drew Gilpin Faust

It’s an old-time story, and you may be wondering why I suddenly thought of it.

This afternoon I went to visit a doctor. I brought him my APE results, and he wanted me to get additional laboratory tests because of the initial results from the annual APE.

Just like the story above, getting myself tested makes me think of my own mortality. Life is transient.

Before, I think of preparations before my ‘own’ candle extinguishes. I realize nobody can be prepared. My beloved husband expressed his desire to die because of the pain and suffering from his illness. But with good health, who would want to die?

While we all have our beliefs and faith, death still brings a gloomy thought.

But I refuse to give in. I wanted to be happy despite the loneliness that sets in from time to time. I want to be there for my children and the other wonderful people in my life.

When the time comes, I hope I can still smile.

Common Sense, Sometimes It’s Missing

Photo by Ekaterina Z. on Unsplash

It’s been five years.

I remember during those days, I couldn’t go to sleep without thinking first about what to write the following day. It was an exciting experience for me. Discovering a platform that I could use to write my thoughts gives me euphoria.

Writing in this personal blog is a therapy for me. I write whatever there is to write, what comes to mind, without thinking so much about reactions from the audience. I wasn’t even aware of the audience.

It was, I think, in 2005 when I started this blog. I met a lot of bloggers, talented, amazing ones. I learned a lot from the experience of communicating, keeping in touch through comments, and reciprocating their visits.

Before I forget about the topic, I have to cut the story short. There will be more stories to come anyway.

This morning, our help (kasambahay in the Filipino language) told a story about her experience with a neighbor. We talked about the danger of fire in a neighborhood where houses are made of light materials and roughly built.

She caught the 8-year-old boy playing with fire for some pieces of paper trash using a lighter. Our help told the grandfather about the incident. Unexpectedly, the grandfather got mad and whipped the boy. He got a piece of wood nearby and used it to beat him.

I cannot recall the following lines of the story because I had to dress up for work. But while inside our room, I was thinking about where the grandfather’s common sense went. Sure, he was pissed at what the boy did but whipping him hard with a piece of wood did not make sense.

More so, what if the poor boy incurred an injury because of the blows? Can they bring him to the hospital when money is scarce? Or is there money to even treat the wounds when there isn’t enough food on the table?

The family is poor, and the mother tries to make ends meet. I know we need to remember the ‘don’t judge’ rule. But I can’t understand the application of senseless beating when the grandfather could have talked to the boy and explained the danger of playing with fire.

Most of us homo sapiens experience these episodes at one point in our lives where common sense is missing. Of course, we always tend to escape from the harshness of the truth or the reality. We justify our deeds and deny that our common sense is missing. Our insecurities get the best of us, so we redirect the anger or frustration to another individual.

Some of us don’t even know that common sense exists. The need to get what some of us want the easy way most stupidly transforms us into beings without common sense.

Or maybe some of us are beaten by the circumstances in life. That can be understood, but there’s an exemption. If individuals engage, for example, in embarrassing or undesirable situations repeatedly, where is common sense?

My former boss used to say, “You know common sense is there, but sometimes, it’s missing,” shaking his head. This was when he was feeling frustrated with incompetent subordinates.

It may be a boring read, but I felt the need to write as I fear the looming downfall of a nation because of the lack of common sense.