Friendly Enemies Are The Most Dangerous

BY: Dan Phale *

The wise elderly people say that “When there is no enemy within, enemies outside cannot hurt you.” Furthermore one of the most popular music artists in my country – Malawi – once produced a song… in which some of the song words give a caution to the listeners to beware of the unknown enemies… And based on different issues and/or stories enmity develops as a result of bad motives, or as a matter of necessity, whereas the latter is a situation where somebody deserves to be disliked by the other. But whether such an enemy has good reasons to hate you or not is not a question here.

In fact there are statistics which indicate that some people were put in some great troubles and/or killed… And through investigations done by various reputable criminal justice agents it has been discovered that relatives and/or friends might have or had a hand in such fateful happenings. Well this only means that we have to be very watchful so that we survive any of such evil plots… But – no – we are only mortals devoid of such powers to avoid being subjected to such troubles in life. Suffice to mention that it is only very worrisome to note that some people are not reliable friends. Such friends are like snakes in the grass.

In the light of the foregoing, a person’s heart is not a sack open to everybody. And it is further said that it is easier to measure the depth of an ocean than that of somebody’s heart… Well, in this article I would like to make a few references to the some situations in which some people are on record as having faced some tragedies in their lives.

The first one is that of Julius Caesar who was assassinated by those who had been always close to him all the time of his reigns. Those who often surrounded him are the ones who conspired to kill him, which they actually did. Before actually dying he was stunned and shattered by the unexpected Brutus’s involvement in stabbing him.

Of course I should also make mention of Judas Iscariot who betrayed Jesus to the local leaders and the priests to be tried for a wrongs He never committed. And, surprisingly, Judas was one of the twelve disciples of Jesus Christ who had been with Him all the time of His ministry. Suffice to say that Jesus Christ with help of the holy spirit managed to foresee the persecution He was to go through sooner than later; however He let it happen for the sake of mankind.

In the then Zaire (now Democratic Republic of Congo) a political leader namely Laurent Dèsìrè Kabila, was disliked by his people and those who were with him in the governance system. Of course they did not show it in the first time; but as time went on it was clearer than ever before that he was not wanted as manifested by a wider political and social rift… And on 16th January, 2001 he was shot dead by one of his bodyguards. It only transpired that the murdered leader neither knew that his own security detail could no longer be trusted; nor did he predict that one of his bodyguards would one day think of killing him in lieu of protecting him… Surely, other political leaders in the entire world were also murdered in the similar manner by their closest partners.

Of course it is said that “He who eats alone dies alone” but I think it is better to die alone than to be betrayed by a close friend. The above tragic stories make us aware, or remind us, of the fact that it is very simple for everybody to identify a distant enemy. But in a sharp contrast it is very difficult for all of us to realise the adverse feelings which are harboured by the closest friends or allies of ours. The enemy you know is better than the one you don’t know. In a nutshell, friendly enemies are the most dangerous of all enemies. They can kill you softly.

What is required, therefore, is for everybody to keep watching, because the earth is like a beehive where we enter through one hole but we live in different cells. As a matter of fact when you know your enemy you at liberty to do anything possible to diffuse all the impending dangers; even if it means committing the prohibited acts in self defence… In fact, it is better to be a lion for a day than to be a sheep all the time of your life.

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Washing In The Muddy Water

BY: Dan Phale *

This article is published at a time when the OUR LIFE ISSUES blog has clocked its third anniversary. It is, therefore, dedicated to all and sundry who look forward to realising the best out of this life on earth.

Most of the times we wonder as to whether all such people who are, or claim to be, the spiritual shepherds deserve our trust and confidence. Actually, more often than not we observe quite a lot of nasty issues by which their life is hugely characterised; such issues that very negatively affect their positions. When these people are ordained, they are called with various names such as befitting holly leadership amid members of congregations. Some are called prophets while others are known as apostles or evangelists.

In the like manner, we frequently question the integrity of people who are put on social leadership positions… Some are called with names like His or Her Majesty, The Right Honourable, and many more… but their actions and/or behaviours are not in tandem with impression that comes with such names.

The nitty gritty:

Whatever the case, the bottom line is that we bath in the muddy water… The general expectation is that all the spiritual leaders ought to be leading with good examples, as emulating what and how Jesus and all other prophets did when they lived on the planet earth. They were a source of light whenever social and/or spiritual darkness engulfed mankind in a manner that at least life was not harder than in the present era… In fact we even fail to grope for the meaning of having spiritual leaders in our midst by the very virtue of the fact that they act in an unusual manner as opposed to a code of human conduct.

In fact the clergy are recruited or ordained or chosen in order to act as water that can help fellow human beings to cleanse their souls from the evil stains, and to help keep them clean for as long as they live on earth… Thus the detergent is the Holly spirit of God; and what does this mean? The detergent – herein the Holly spirit – will be successfully used to cleanse the stained clothes – herein the spiritually challenged souls – if and only if the water – herein the clergy – are spiritually upright. In fact, the Holly spirit can be manifested through good behaviour and acts of the clergy men; but as the situation is the spiritual leaders are devoid of the power of the Holly spirit. Just imagine the clergy selling blood calling it the holly blood of the old prophets; I mean where does that blood come from…? Today’s clergy men involve themselves in drug trafficking and some other illegal or unnatural dealings… They promote divisive language and/or acts, plunging the entire world into perpetual conflicts or fighting… Yet these clergy men preach to the multitudes about the kingdom of God.

Today’s clergy – whether apostles, evangelists, pastors, prophets – are pathological hypocrites. No wonder, currently there are too many spiritual congregations but the rate of sins is too high.

The Hand That Gives

BY: Dan Phale*

The earth is like an anthill where we go in through the same door, but we stay in different chambers. And it is the naked truth that all human beings under the sky are woven together like a big mat. It fact, a person scratches oneself only where his or her hand can reach… … But only somebody can scratch another person’s back.

Some people are abundantly blessed with such resources that make their life soft. On the other hand other people have very little or nothing to survive on. Yet those who have plenty things do not share with those who are dire need of the same… A moral bombshell, however, is that the rich people have a tendency of distancing themselves away from the poverty stricken ones. They pay less attention to the plight of their fellow humans than to the welfare of their pets, to the extent of making special budget allocations for cats and dogs. Thus, cats and/or dogs are given expensive and delicious food to eat and more comfortable places to stay.

It is high time we learnt that to eat from the same pot with another man is like taking an oath of perpetual friendship. As we live on earth, we do compliment one another. Without fingers the hand is but a spoon; and likewise, without a hand fingers are but sticks. Let us help one another in the fight of poverty alleviation.

Jesus – as per the gospel according to Luke 6: 36 – says “Be merciful even as your Father is merciful.” Furthermore, we are encouraged by the Bible to be generous towards the needy. In the new testament – 2 Corinthians 9:11 – St Paul says, “You will be enriched in every way for great generosity, which through us will produce thanksgiving to God.” This is a confirmation that the hand which gives is blessed than the one which receives.

Giving alms is pious… But the Bible warns us against seeking praises when giving alms; for then we shall not have reward from our Father who is in heaven. Thus when we give alms we should not blow our own trumpet as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets for purpose of gaining praises. In other words, when we give alms, we dont have to let our left hand know what our right hand is doing.

Horrific Levels Of Love

BY: Dan Phale*

It is said that sometimes too much is poisonous. In the like wisdom, it is believed that too much love can kill… This is a story of two brothers, James and Nickson, whereas the former is a commercial vegetable farmer and the latter is a vegetables retailer. Unlike his brother, Nickson lived at the hub of a rural development center.

It happened that two days ago James woke up in the dawn hours… He decided to go to his vegetables garden which lies along the fertile valley of a stream which runs across the village. He picked a pangaknife and a water cane, and started off… Such an early rising was not only aimed at watering the vegetables plants, but also to sell the vegetables on wholesale to some business persons… Almost at the same hour, Nickson rose up to purchase vegetables from his brother, by firstly proceeding to wake up his brother so they they would go together to the garden.

As he was walking along the earth road which also leads to the nearest rural development center, he saw a person riding on a bicycle from the opposite direction. Of course, James was unable to identify the rider; neither was his brother Nickson because the atmosphere was still dark… James quickly recalled the rumours which have always come from his friends that his wife has an affair with a certain primary school teacher. Such an unconfirmed facts indicate that the yet-to-be identified man rides on the bicycle when going to have adulterous coitus with his wife in the dawn hours when he is in the garden. What a coincidence…!

I have always dedicated my time to tirelessly work for the welfare of my family, including my only wife,” James murmured… And in the heat of passion he blocked the passage for the oncoming cyclist.

Nickson felt a grip of fear rising up his neurons when he realised that his passage was suddenly blocked by an unidentified person. He attempted to make a sharp diversion, but he could not manage. And in a fraction of one second, James released his pangaknife, hacking the innocent Nickson on the head… As Nickson fell down, James continued to severely assault him until he fainted.

Later on some passersby found Nickson, lying down in a blood pool, subconscious. They took him to the hospital for medical attention. As soon as he regained consciousness, he narrated the ordeal. Lastly people sent a message to his brother, James, through police about the issue.

James visited his wounded brother in the male ward… And it was at this point in time when the jealous James realised that he had punished an innocent person who, particularly, is his biological brother.

My brother,” James said, adding, “Im very much sorry for what Ive done to you all because of a mistaken identity.”

Whose identity did you mistake mine for?” Nickson forced words out of his mouth, wincing in great pains.

At his question, James briefly outlined, “I have been regularly told that a certain primary school teacher is going out with my wifeBut you are not a teacher. This is why I’m saying that I mistook your identityI humbly beg you, my dear brother to forgive me.”

A strong constant affection, and warm attachment of one’s heart and/or life to another person is love. But surely, some levels of love are so horrific that one can kill another person out of jealousy… So we need to exercise self caution and restraint.

Perfect Reputation Is Better Than Beauty

BY: Dan Phale*

Many old folks in my land have always said that a good name is better than a good face. They also say that a piece of advice is cheap.

The weekend is now over. Lots of events have taken place. For example we have so far witnessed marriage celebrations as couples have led to the altar. Very colourful ceremonies. It is, however, sad to observe that such very colourfully cerebrated marriages do not last long; they break up very quickly. And this is why I have been prompted to be on my computer with an aim of publishing something which pertains to the marriage life.

A marriage is said to be a union between a man and a woman raised from two different families. Here the union results in bonding not only of two individuals but also of the two families from which the partners do originate. The bonding partner brings along various expectations which are a reflection of the background of  person’s family. Such expectations further represent what that person has ever observed from his or her family members and/or friends in his or her childhood. In other words this union is a grafting of the traditional values for the two families.

Most of the times what we hear is “He is handsome … or … she is beautiful,” forgetting that beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder. After all, is one’s beauty more important than one’s reputation? It is imperative that the persons so intending to form a lifelong bond has to seriously take into consideration the following issues.

First and foremost, a partner must look for the compatibility of most of the personality traits, or likes and/or dislikes, behaviour, as well as the attitude of the other… Let us liken somebody’s life to such beautiful flowers of the buffalo beans that later on blossom into such pods which are covered with hairs which have the itch-inducing properties. As times goes on you know who really your partner is. Such people who have most of their characters in common are more likely to live together for the rest of their life.

Secondly, partners have a very much important duty to know each other’s family background. The traditional circumstances under which a person was brought up are of the landmark impact on the marriage life… For instance, some parents are selective in terms of what to eat and what not to eat. Likewise some parents and/or guardians do prohibit their children or dependants from going to attend religious activities in worshipping centres which do not advocate their spiritual beliefs.

While you are looking for a partner with good characters, you should also critically check your own behavioural pattern so that you properly get aligned to the moral standards in a society. Today, many people are complaining of having separated or having been divorced, but they do not realise that the bottom line is their own bad conduct… Don’t live to regret.

Finally, a person must be on a steady guard against any other external influence from other people of ill will. Actually, the partners at times are misled by malicious advisors. And in the long run, matrimonial bond fails to take shape.

Only Somebody Can Scratch Your Back

BY: Dan Phale*

It is the open secret that various individuals on earth have different talents. That is how God created us. He gave us different endowments so that collectively we can achieve something in life… In this regard nobody is better than another, just as the desert is also fertile.

This is a story about a certain man who thought he was more superior than others.

Once upon a time there was a carpenter. He was popularly known for his skills in carpentry and joinery in entire Mwima township. In fact nearly all residents in the township knew that he was second to none in this industry. Gradually this yielded him much better connections with those people in the elite class who thronged to his shop to get the best furniture and other related products. With great earnings he established a paradise of his own kind on earth. Little by little he grew into a person full of complacency, selfglory, and vanity, to the extent that he began severing good ties with his old friends and others… He became very callous about the suffering of others.

But there came a very critical moment for the carpenter to learn some bitter lessons in life. It was on the onset of the rainy season when there were stormy rains which saw many dwelling houses demolished. And the carpenter’s dwelling house was not an exception. The worst thing is that the storm occurred at night such that it was too difficult for him to escape from this fate. Most of his property got damaged and some got lost as well. The damages and losses were so huge that he could not afford to replace sooner than later.

In the following morning, the carpenter was forced by the adverse circumstances to kneel down before the same people he had despised ever before to beg for their succour in one way or another. Of course, in the interim, his principal plea was to get a shelter before his house would be reconstructed. But his plea fell on the deaf ears. Everybody who was once in the group of the good-for-nothings now turned to be the most important in this tormenting time of his life.

My fellow beings, it is true that there is a moment when bricklayers start looking for broken bricks in order to fill the gaps left in the walls of a building. In this regard, no matter what, only somebody can scratch your back.

Justice For Sale…?

BY: Dan Phale*

There is one popular phrase used when and where justice is required, or is sought, or is being administered. “The whole truth and nothing but the truth“, and this confirms the notion that justice is a reflection of true facts. In an illustration, the equation is (facts + honesty) equals justice. Simply put, justice prevails where people are honest. In this article we will have to meticulously look at some of the pertinent issues in relation to a case study in which Judas Iscariot betrayed Jesus.

Let us begin by agreeing that without conflicts among human beings there would never be need for laws; nor would there be need for processes of justice administration. Furthermore it is the naked truth that people seem not to be in terms with one another due to greed, hatred, ill will, jealousy, and selfishness. It should also be noted that whenever conflicts arise, somebody is somehow in conflict with the rule of human conduct.

* * * * * * * * *

A Case Study in this context is a biblical story of Judas Iscariot… When the Passover was drawing near, the chief priests and the scribes were looking for a way of silencing Jesus. Why…? They feared that His followers would no longer be submissive to them, having known the truth. Judas Iscariot approached the chief priests, offered to betray Jesus, and was given thirty pieces of silver as payment. But after Jesus had been unjustly and unfairly treated and crucified, Judas Iscariot was filled with remorse. He took the thirty pieces of silver back to the chief priests, saying, “Ive sinned by betraying the innocent blood.” The chief priests rebuffed him, chiefly because what they wanted had been achieved… And flinging down the silver pieces in the sanctuary, he went off and hanged himself.

Jesus – who was given a penalty for a crime which He did not commit – won the case. Three days after the death penalty, he rose again, and ascended into heaven where He is up to now.

Lessons are multifold, but only one shines out as gold. A good conscience is a soft pillow… The one who sleeps well or lives peacefully is the one who has nothing to feel guilty of. He/she has the infallible peace of mind.

* * * * * * * * *

The relationship which exists between those entering into bonds on dubious or unfair or unjust motives barely last long… Surely, justice cannot be sold nor bought. Over and above, such acquisitions that are realised through bribery are but a bunch of curses as somebody suffers in silence. And those who have a tendency of deviating from the truth shall perish.

Most of the times, the systems are neither bad nor good. Suffice to mention herein that the key players in the settlement of disputes are not trustworthy. More often than not, they advance their selfish motives. They get some bribes to deviate from the truth.

However, the world can access justice when people convey true information to the justice administration agents and/or to the tribunals. But there should be adequate resources to be used in the justice administration processes to ensure that conflicts are timely solved, otherwise justice delayed is justice denied. Finally, all the justice administration agents should always be Whiter than white in discharging their duties, because nobody is above the law.