The Different Shades of Brilliance

via Daily Prompt: Brilliant

What would you consider intelligence? People have different definitions. Does it mean being a straight A student with the proven ability to memorize anything under the sun? Does it mean being the leader everyone looks to for direction? Does it mean being that quick witted person who can come up with a response to anything? Meet the different shades of brilliance.

Here’s my favorite shade: I love the brilliance known as flexibility. The ability to get along with anyone; the ability to bounce back no matter what kind of adversity life throws your way; the ability to dance to whatever music you hear.

Someone once said: success isn’t about never falling down, it’s about being able to stand up again no matter how many times you fall. Nothing impresses me more than the fortitude of the human spirit.  To me that is brilliance in its purest form – a clarity of one’s purpose in life that is so distinct, so committed to its end game that nothing can get in the way.

Many people in this world do not have the means to get a degree – it doesn’t mean they cannot get an education.

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The Last Victim, a novel by Kevin O’Brien

The Last Victim was a psycho political thriller which reflects the depth of human perversity, and the length some people will go to achieve their goals.

Twins Brad and Bridget Corrigan, Cheryl Blume, Olivia Rankin and Fuller Sterns are about to graduate from high school. As a means of memorializing the occasion, they decide to commit vandalism. Unfortunately, they are caught by the authorities, thanks to high school outcast Mallory Meehan ratting on them. To seek revenge they lure her to Gorman’s Creek and throw her down a well where they leave her for dead. The high school friends then make a vow to never speak of their crime, severe ties with each other to seal the deal and go their separate ways.

Fast forward twenty years later, Brad Corrigan is running for senator of Oregon. Olivia Rankin, Fuller Sterns and Cheryl Blume all die due to mysterious accidents. It turns out Brad hired people to eliminate anyone aware of his crime, including his sister’s husband turned X, to whom Bridget made a full disclosure to before their wedding.  Brad eventually wins his seat in the senate, but not without his twin sister Bridget severing ties with him and their family. Bridget pulls away upon learning what Brad did to cover his crime. To make matters worse, Bridget also learns this was with the full backing of their father whose dying wish was to see his son win a senate seat.

Blood is (not always) thicker than water, as the character of Bridget Corrigan suggests. As humans, we all have flaws. But there is only so much we can tolerate. What happened in high school was a prank that went too far and immaturity may have been an acceptable excuse. But what Brad Corrigan pulled as an adult reflects a total lack of moral fiber which may justify his role in politics, but does not justify murder. Bridget had no reservations on severing tie with her twin brother because of what he did, and the rest of the family for supporting him.

Ambition corrupts, and the corruption can invade at full speed when it is driven by popular support. Brad Corrigan insured his senate seat by making sure no one could speak about his past crime. He had a father and a wife who made sure the cover up was a success, even if it came to be at the expense of other family members.

Birds of the same feather, flock together – bluntly put, rotten people deserve rotten company. Unknown to Brad, his pregnant wife is not carrying his kid – she’s carrying his brother…go figure!

REFERENCE:

https://100vampirenovels.com/pdf-novels/the-last-victim-207578-by-kevin-obrien-free

 

 

Destiny Awaits

Childhood passes by so quickly. I realized this in my first job, that first time I received a sounding off from a higher up and knew whining and crying would make me look like a fool. I remembered this the first time I had a bill to pay and knew it would be improper to pass it on to my parents since I had my own money. I think one time or another we all face responsibilities​ so overwhelming you’ll wish you were a kid again.

But facing adulthood is important. Everyone was put on this world for a reason. Discovering and fulfilling one’s mission may require us to be plucked out from our comfort​ zone. To resist such a development would be wasting one’s life as well as the talent and skills that go with the package.

Allow yourself to be plucked out of your comfort zone and allow the rest of the world to benefit from what you have to offer.

Slow Down and Enjoy the Scenery

Everyone today is always in a rush. A rush to get to that meeting, a rush to get home to feed the family. A rush to get to school for a major exam that starts in five minutes. Seriously, everyone seems to be moving like every move is a matter of life and death. And, it can be – you can be a heart attack waiting to happen if you don’t start to loosen up.

Life goes on even if you miss that meeting. Your kids won’t starve if dinner is a few minutes late. Flunking an exam isn’t going to stop the sun from rising tomorrow. Of course, delay has its consequences – the end of the world isn’t one of them.

But living life on the fast lane will take it’s toll. Not only is it stressful, you miss out on all the good stuff along the journey to where you’re headed. Slow down and enjoy the scenery.

 

The death penalty dies a natural death

The long time attempts to revive the death penalty in the country was given a glimmer of hope in the lower house as the House of Representatives managed to get a bare majority through on the second reading of the bill. However, the said bill died a natural death in the upper house as the Senate failed to unite with a single voice for its revival.

There is no need to reiterate the long debated issues on the morality (or the lack of it) of the death penalty, human rights, the right to life, and the list goes on of the repeated arguments to trample the most brutal form of capital punishment. Nor is there a need to dwell on the emotionally charged arguments raised by human rights victims and their advocates, the main theme pointing to the ease of fighting for the rights of criminals until you, or someone close to you, become one of their victims.

What is seriously wrong with the Philippine version of the death penalty is its focus on drug related crimes, at the neglect of all other heinous crimes plaguing the nation. The drafted bill that made it past the lower house was clearly an attempt to validate the controversial extrajudicial killings which have made the current administration notoriously popular with the international community.

Laws should be based on reason and they should be made to address long term problems of the whole nation – and not just to satisfy the whims of a current administration. Laws should not single out a certain category of crimes when there are other crimes equally deserving of the same penalty.

The death penalty is not wrong per se – there is just something wrong with the Philippine version.

 
REFERENCES:

http://www.philstar.com/news-feature/2017/05/12/1699242/where-nations-stand-ejks-death-penalty-philippines

http://www.philstar.com/headlines/2017/03/12/1680336/senate-asked-dump-death-penalty-revival

http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/868760/8-senators-express-opposition-to-death-penalty

RELATED ARTICLES:

The possible rebirth of the death penalty
https://aml1205.wordpress.com/2016/05/29/the-possible-rebirth-of-the-death-penalty/

Reciprocal death penalty
https://aml1205.wordpress.com/2015/04/26/reciprocal-death-penalty/

Justice, Davao Death Squad style
https://aml1205.wordpress.com/2015/06/14/justice-davao-death-squad-style/

The Smoke Screen for Reality

via Daily Prompt: Denial

We’ve all been in that situation where we choose to turn a blind eye to what is right in front of us. Either because reality hits too close to home and facing it becomes a terrifying prospect. It could also be because reality is forcing us to confront something we’re just not ready to deal with.

Some people live life pretending everything is okay, then go home at night and cry in the privacy of their solitude – a place where there is no need to put on a front to fool other people, a place where one is stripped naked of the veneer of denial that there is nowhere left to hide.

They are everywhere – the macho gay neighbor who prefers to keep his lovers inside the closet, his parents who pretend not to see the longing look their son sends to the family driver, his wife who prefers to believe his excuses not to hold her at night. It could also be your other neighbor who used to own a house and a car, who now borrows a few bucks from you now and then, who you’ve seen holding solo pot sessions after a declaration of bankruptcy.

Living in denial is the fastest way towards hitting rock bottom. Refusing to face problems won’t make them go away – they continue to grow in the backyard of your reality. And, one day, you realize the problem has become too big to ignore. Much better to face problems early and nip them in the bud.

No Man is an Island

via Daily Prompt: Devastation

Devastation is such a sad word with such a strong impact that you cannot ignore the onslaught of sadness. But to put things in perspective, a totally shattering experience in life is a test to the fortitude of the human spirit. The human ability to rise above challenge, and to adapt to the ever changing seasons of life.

Sadly, there are no guarantees that a devastating experience can be surpassed successfully. Some of us are strong enough to move foreward. Some need other people to cope. Some refuse to take the hand reached out by other people and sink inevitably into oblivion.

There’s a saying that goes: no man is an island. Sometimes life just gets too difficult to stand alone….and sometimes, even the strongest among us, need a helping hand.

Its good to reach out to others – they may just need a hand.