Although French philosopher, VOLTAIRE 1694-1798 says that: IT'S DANGEROUS TO BE RIGHT WHEN THE GOVERNMENT IS WRONG, there is no harm allowing our Supreme Council officers time to give serious thoughts on the appeals sent by Sirs Ray of Hawaii, Sir Tony of Connecticut and Sir Manny of Canada which is primarily aimed to putting an end to the impasse in such a way to break the "SILENCE" on the pending issues that former Supreme Commander Hilario Davide failed to act and to usher in a "GREAT EXPECTATION" from the rank-and-file members who longed to see tangible "SUCCESS" from his successors,in the meantime, we might as well spend time reading the article below.
NOTHING FASCINATING AS HISTORY, WORDS AND PHRASES
People are bored with names and dates to appreciate history. But writing or telling history is like singing a song. Much depends on the style or approach and delivery. Much also depends in the use of picturesque words and phrases. We often hear this cliché, “it’s the singer and not the song” so is the historian and the storyteller’.
Here is a way to get crazy with history by quoting selected writers: Let’s begin with Philip Elmer-DeWitt of Time Magazine who said: “SOME PEOPLE MAKE HEADLINES WHILE OTHERS MAKE HISTORY.”
Did not Winston Churchill, author of “The History of the English Speaking People” correctly predict the judgment of history? when he said:
“HISTORY WILL BE KIND TO ME FOR I INTEND TO WRITE IT.”
Here are more famous names who are not strangers in you readings.
“HISTORY IS THE WITNESS THAT TESTIFIES TO THE PASSING OF TIME, IT ILLUMINES REALITY, VITALIZES MEMORY, PROVIDES GUIDANCE IN DAILY LIFE AND BRINGS US TIDINGS OF ANTIQUITY.” … Cicero 106BC-43BC
“INDEED HISTORY IS NOTHING MORE THAN A TABLEAU OF CRIMES AND MISFORTUNES” --- Voltaire 1694-1798
“HISTORY IS INDEED, LITTLE MORE THAN THE REGISTER OF THE CRIMES, FOLLIES AND MISFORTUNES OF MANKIND.
Edward Gibbon 1737-1793
“TO UNDERSTAND THE HISTORY OF THE PEOPLE, IT IS NECCESARY TO OPEN THE BOOK OF ITS PAST” --- Jose Rizal 1861-1896
THOSE WHO CANNOT REMEMBER THE PAST ARE CONDEMNED TO REPEAT.”
George Santayana 1863-1952
”TODAY’S NEWS, IS TOMORROW’S HISTORY. ”Today’s rock is tomorrow’s classic” … Anonymous
What about Dr Jose Rizal for using famous political or biblical quotes, cliché, dictum when you read the NOLI and FILI as translated by Leon Ma Guerrero?
ALL THAT GLITTERS IS NOT GOLD: Simply meanssomething which seems valuable at first but later on may turn out to be worthless. Example: "Be careful when shopping for your new car; all that glitters is not gold!" Just because something appears valuable does not mean that it really is valuable. In the NOLI while Crisostomo was in a calesa ride around Manila recalling the days before he left for Europe he passed by a hill in Bagumbayn only to remember the old priest who was Father Jose Burgos warning him whatever he sees as “new” should not easily convinced him because “all that glitters is not gold”
SPARE THE ROD, SPOIL THE CHILD: We often hear this advice but it has a reversed psychology in modern philosophy of education. In Chapter 19 in the NOLI dramatized the trial and tribulation of a schoolteacher whose conscience is in conflict with the school policy guidelines. Summoned and reprimanded by the parish priest, the schoolmaster complained: "Soon it became known throughout the town that I was sparing the rod," The Parish priest sent for me". "He said that I was spoiling the children, that I was wasting time, that I was not doing my duty, that the father who "spared the rod spoiled the child"
IN THE KINGDOM OF THE BLIND A ONE-EYED IS A KING: In Chapter 32 in the NOLI Father Damaso used simile to impress his audience saying,."there is no great merit in the moon shining at night; in the kingdom of the blind, the one-eyed man is the king".
GREEK TO YOU appeared in Chapter 36 in the NOLI. One incident is where Father Damaso noticed a Spanish half-breed leaving the sacristy while he was delivering his sermon. When confronted the student replied, " I do not understand Tagalog". Then Father Damaso shouted and dealing him a blow, "Why did you try to be funny and say it is “Greek to you”?
CHARITY BEGINS AT HOME. This cliche' appeared in Chapter 36 where Don Filipo sighed bitterly after the mayor observed how the friars and the rich are united while the natives or Indios are divided and poor. "That is the way what will happen as long as that is the way we think, as long as prudence and fear mean the same. We give more importance to a possible evil than to an essential good. We meet an emergency with panic, not self-confidence. Everyone thinks of himself alone, nobody thinks of others, that is why we are all helpless".................... "Have you never heard the saying, charity begins at home?" The same cliché' resurfaced in the FILI in Chapter 15.
“VOX DEI VOX POPULI”. In a free society the epitome of the people's choice is best illustrated in election results equating that “the voice of the people is the voice of God". This phrase appeared in Chapter 27 in FILI. Is this not the standard measurement? It is an acceptance of the rule of the majority in any democratic society.
SURVIVAL OF THE FITTEST AND THE ELIMINATION OF THE UNFIT: Under the heading of chapter 7 “Simoun” comes Rizal’s way of echoing Charles Darwin’s evolution theory of Origin of Species and the struggle for existence, “Let the unfit perish and the strongest survive”
”RENDER THEREFORE UNTO CAESAR, THE THINGS WHICH ARE CAESAR’S AND
UNTO GOD THE THINGS THAT ARE GOD’S”: As in the Bible, a look at a FILI character in Chapter 14, there was Sandoval trying to convince fellow students as he appealed to their senses and said, ”But let us give to Caesar what belongs to Caesar.”
”MIGHT MAKES RIGHT” is no more no less the equivalent of a ‘bullying tactic’, a deceitful advice and trickery attributed to Nicollo Machiavelli from his treatise, The Prince. It did not escape the writings of Rizal when his FILI character Isagani lectured on Juanito Pelaez saying “the end justifies the means” you can find this line in the latter part of Chapter 14.
”THE GREATEST GOOD FOR THE GREATEST NUMBER” s the penultimate goal of an ideal society aspires to accomplish happiness. In this context, Rizal was fully aware of the socio-economic and political ideas of 18th century thinkers John Stewart Mill, Jeremy Bentham and the Utilitarians. In Chapter15, Mr. Pasta, the old lawyer was dispensing advice to Isagani, a medical student, “Always remember that charity begins at home. Man, as Bentham says, should not seek more than the greatest happiness for himself”.
”BETWEEN THE DEVIL AND THE DEEP BLUE SEA”: There is a passage from Chapter 27 in the FILI, as the ensuing argument between Father Fernandez and Isagani. “But like yourselves, we must follow the tune we are “between the Devil and the deep blue sea".
CHEERS AND HAVE A NICE WEEKEND!
Jose Sison Luzadas, KGOR
Scarborough Chapter, CANADA