As within, so without

via Daily Prompt: Interior

Truth doesn’t have to be spoken – it has a way of speaking for itself. Ever tried wearing a mask for an entire day? Most likely, I’m not going to get an affirmative answer here. Coz, most likely, anyone who has attempted this has already died from suffocation. It goes without saying that wearing a mask stops your true self from shining through. Wearing a mask to impress the outside world is fooling no one except yourself. Its just a matter of time until the real you is going to demand to be let out or die trying to get out.

 

Please, no applause

via Daily Prompt: Ovation

Someone once said…gentlemen, welcome to the world of reality – there is no audience. No one to applaud, to admire. No one to see you. Do you understand? Here is the truth – actual heroism receives no ovation, entertains no one. No one queues up to see it. No one is interested.

Sounds cynical but true. And maybe just the way it should be. I mean, is there really a need for applause for one to stick to the straight path that others can admire? Someone also said….character is a reflection of what you do when no one is looking.

Of course, whose kidding who? Anyone who claims not to want an ovation is being a hypocrite. The point is, is it really a necessity to do what is right?

 

A TIME TO SURRENDER

Retreat. The first thought that comes to my mind is taking a step back, or holding off on moving forward. Life in the fast lane can take its toll. Actions are not always right. We all have that inner voice that tells us when its time to retreat because what we are about to do just doesn’t conform with our moral fiber. Sometimes surrender is a necessity. We all come to a point in life when we need to swallow our pride and admit we are wrong. There’s no point in holding one’s ground if, at the end of the day, we have our conscience to battle with. I’d rather sleep peacefully at night.

The Never Ending Story of the Pro-Life vs. Pro-Choice Debate

(an article inspired by the book titled Unplanned by Abby Johnson)

This was a book that chronicled the journey of activist Abby Johnson from being a volunteer for a pro-choice establishment called Planned Parenthood, to crossing over to the pro-lifers under an establishment known as Coalition for Life. The book had a spiritual aspect as Abby Johnson highlighted the events reflecting the hand of God in aid of her transformation. This article aims to focus on the more disturbing implications of her journey that pushed her from one side to the other.

At the beginning, Planned Parenthood’s pro-choice stand was simply to decrease the number of abortions through education on contraceptives and the choice of adoption. The establishment stood on the premise that, if women wanted the option to abort, it would be better to give them the means to do so safely. The establishment clung to the argument that providing safe abortions was a better alternative to condemning women from wanting an abortion and compelling them to resort to underground, unsafe, and maybe even illegal, means to get an abortion anyway. But as Planned Parenthood was a charitable institution, it relied on the funding of supporters and the government. It only charged women what they could afford to pay.

Eventually, the birth control and abortion demands outweighed the public support the establishment could elicit, and funds started to run dry. As the establishment was profiting from the few abortions performed, it geared towards a new goal of not only increasing the number of abortions to be performed, but directing women towards the option. Abby Johnson’s journey towards the Coalition for Life started when her assistance was needed in an actual abortion, and she saw first hand how a fetus was, body part by body part, sucked out of a womb.

The book leads to a realization of how complicated the pro-life versus pro-choice debate really is. Apparently, there is no easy compromise, such as the pro-choice stand is acceptable so long as abortion is not one of the choices. To make issues more complicated, the book points out that the pro-life group not only opposes abortion but also birth control. The pro-life group argues that birth control should also be banned as it prevents life from being created. The pro-life group ignores the argument that prevention is a lesser evil to destroying a life already created. Being against both abortion and birth control justifies the stand of the pro-choice group – somebody has to defend women of their right to have options when faced with an unexpected (unwanted) pregnancy.

The pro-choice versus pro-life debate will never come to an end so long as both sides fail to recognize the need to set their own boundaries. The pro-choice group needs to understand that abortion is the taking of human life, and resorting to technical questions like when does life really begin doesn’t change that fact. The pro-life group needs to understand that there is no life that needs to be destroyed if measures are taken to prevent it from being created. Imposing the need to abstain from sex or resort to natural methods of birth control is not only a limitation on human liberty, it also ignores the natural weakness of the human flesh.

References:

http://www.christianbookpreviews.com/files/pdf/1414339399.pdf

https://sites.google.com/site/bennugerdbook/read-unplanned-the-dramatic-true-story-of-a-former-planned-parenthood-leaders-eye-opening-journey-across-the-life-line-by-abby-johnson-online-download-pdf

Additional reading:

http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2011/januaryweb-only/prolifechallenges.html

http://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2012/03/19/abby-johnson-doesnt-know-what-shes-talking-about/

The truth behind Lights Out, the movie

Lights Out is a horror movie about a mental patient, Diana, who haunts the family of Sophie, another mental patient she befriended when they were in confinement. Diana had a rare skin disorder wherein her skin was oversensitive to light. She died when a doctor, in an attempt to cure her, performed an experiment and over exposed her to light.

Sophie, previously confined for depression, got out of the institution. But her depression recurs as Diana’s spirit continues to follow her and gets in the way of her getting any medication. As Sophie’s depression progresses, so does Diana’s presence in her life as her only ‘friend.’ Sophie is lured into surroundings of near total darkness – Diana’s refuge from even the slightest ray of light which can burn her skin.

Unfortunately, Diana is a friend who doesn’t want to share Sophie with anyone else – including her two former husbands who, Sophie was made to believe abandoned her and her children, but it turns out Diana killed.

Diana’s obsessive grip on Sophie goes too far when she goes after Sophie’s children, Rebecca and Martin. Rebecca, having grown into adulthood, moved out of the house where she grew up feeling Diana’s presence. Martin, her younger brother who still lives with his mother, experiences the same presence she did. Rebecca moves back in and, upon learning about Diana’s sensitivity to light, keeps the entire house lighted to keep Diana away. Diana, refusing to be kept away, sabotages the main power source in the basement. She succeeds in luring Rebecca and Martin to the basement, where they remained trapped until the police came to let them out.

In the end, Sophie came out of the dark holding a pistol to her head. Knowing that she was Diana’s only link to the human world, she shoots herself as the only way to stop Diana from killing her children.

This was an apparently fictional movie which has some touch of reality. Depression is definitely real, and it can create a feeling of such intense loneliness that a victim would rather create an imaginary friend than be alone. No matter how sick anyone is in the head, a mother will come to her senses when her children are under attack and need her protection – nothing fictional about that.

References:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lights_Out_(2016_film)

http://www.avclub.com/review/scariest-thing-about-lights-out-what-it-says-about-239598

CRIMINAL RESPONSIBILITY FOR YOUTHFUL OFFENDERS AND THE QUESTION OF DISCRETION

One of the many issues reignited by the rise of the new administration in the Philippines is the need to address crimes committed by the youth. The law currently sets the age of criminal responsibility at fifteen. Any child younger who commits a crime is not penalized but subject to rehabilitation. Consequently, drug syndicates are using children as couriers knowing that, even if such children were caught, no penalty will be imposed.

On a similar note, youths below fifteen have been caught in crimes like rape, snatching and public fights. Laughably, there was an incident when one of them was caught and presented a birth certificate as evidence of minority and a basis to claim exemption from criminal liability.

The spirit of the law exempting the youth from criminal liability hinges on the presumption that the youth are not mature enough to have developed a sense of discretion, or the ability to distinguish between right and wrong, and the ability to comprehend the consequences of their actions. But who would believe that a youth lacks discretion when, upon being caught in the act, has the nerve to present evidence and an argument to defend themselves?

Criminal responsibility should not be based on age but the ability to understand that one’s actions are wrong, and with such understanding, commits the act anyway.

Criminal responsibility should also be based on the freedom to commit the crime knowing it is wrong. Anyone reading this article was a child once, and armed with the knowledge that it is not always easy to disobey what an adult instructs. How do you make a child understand that stealing is wrong, if they go home to parents who nurture the belief that they have to steal if they want to eat? How do you make a child understand that drugs destroy the future, if they are compelled to deliver the same by an adult who has a gun pointed to their head?

Bottom line: there can be no hard and fast rules to determine criminal responsibility. Some people are intelligent criminals at the age of fourteen, some forty year old imbeciles don’t know exposing themselves to passers by qualifies as a lascivious act punishable by law.

References:

http://www.philstar.com/headlines/2016/06/08/1590859/criminal-liability-age-may-be-lowered-12

http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/794594/alvarez-files-bill-lowering-age-of-criminal-liability

http://www.philstar.com/headlines/2016/07/21/1605076/plan-lower-minimum-age-crime-responsibility-opposed

Private schools back lowering age of criminal responsibility