Flatter or Perish (Humorous Declamation)

They say flattery gets you nowhere. Well, if they had bothered to take my opinion on that, I would surely have said: “Flattery gets you anything, anywhere…” Because, you see, nowadays, every time I look around, I see fake smiles and false praises as a flourishing business.

Students (especially girls) flatter their “favourite” teachers. It’s sickening the way they throw compliments just to get good marks and are ready to do…like absolutely anything for them. And these “favourites”…they change every block! For example: It’s the Maths block and the students are going on and on about, “Oh! How pretty you look today Ms. XYZ.” And “Oh my GOSH! That dress suits you sooo much!” The bell rings and the teacher walks out with a big smile on her face. “Phew! That’s over,” a great sigh of relief erupts from the class. But next moment, the Geography teacher walks in…and “Oh look, she’s got the term papers in her hand!” “I did horrible; oh I know I did horrible!” And when they greet her, you might be sure, they add quite a few compliments after that monotonous, sing-song, lullaby-like “Assalam-u-Alaikum, teacher!” “Oh, you’re my favourite teacher!” and “Oh my God, you look so pretty in that dress!” But she, for one, isn’t taken in and the students are left crushed.

Well, to tell the truth, I butter up my teachers too. But, I’m always sure to add: “This is a sincere compliment, teacher.” But nobody believes me! Not even my all-time, ultra favourite teachers. Poor me!

And then, there’s flattery at work. Your office neighbour is gushing on and on about the Boss’s marvellous new tie like a big baby, and you just sit there making faces. Next thing you know, that guy has been promoted to the Manager Post, and you just have to put on a “happy face” and go and congratulate him, even though you pretty much know, that you are much more experienced and deserving than him, of all people. But, you didn’t flatter, so you have to face the music now.

And there’s my brother…who “compliments” me, whenever he wants me to complete his home assignments, which is totally ridiculous, because, at fifteen, I do not understand engineering. He often says: “You’re so sweet, you could put Hershey’s out of business,” which again, makes absolutely no sense at all. Because, you know, the best chocolate Hershey’s has ever manufactured is dark chocolate, and that is not sweet.

See…?? Flattery goes on everywhere! I think at least 80% of the people who live on this teeny globe, have chosen this as their life’s motto: “Flatter or Perish”. And those poor remaining 20%, people like me, we do perish.


Is Silence the Only Solution to Anger?

(I wrote this argumentative essay in grade 8)

Do you really think that silence is the only solution to anger? Well, of course some might agree while others would oppose this statement. In a way, both views are right! Silence is the solution to anger yet it is not always the only solution.

Sometimes, expressing your feelings, even when they are of anger ends a fight or a quarrel quicker than remaining silent does. And many people agree to the opinion, that it is better to have a verbal argument than to hold a grudge and nurse hatred against a person, as said by William Blake in his poem ‘The Poison Tree’: “I was angry with my friend: I told my wrath, my wrath did end. I was angry with my foe; I told it not, my wrath did grow.”  Is it not said that an open foe is better than a hidden one? And then, there are times when you just cannot help yourself and showing your anger does become necessary.

But then, remember, you need to stay within limits, keeping the pros of silence in mind as well. First of all, keeping silent makes you appear calm and composed and soon your anger may pass. And then our Holy Prophet Muhammad PBUH not only always refrained from anger but he also declared it as “Haram”, and he told us to keep silent while angry. Some people, in fact most of you might or do agree that sometimes, keeping silent solves an issue while expressing emotion or anger makes it all the more complicated and difficult to solve. In such instances, showing anger is like you are trapped in room which is set ablaze and you want to extinguish the fire but your hands are mechanically adding more fuel and coal to that fire so it burns even more fiercely. Here, you must remember that your opinion can be shared in a different and more tolerable way. Emily Dickinson once said: “Saying nothing…sometimes says the most.” This quote is truer than one might think it seems to be. In a state of anger, one can do such actions and say such words, which he/she would repent later. Isn’t it better to avoid this situation than to spoil your and other’s peace of mind just in order to express your feelings?

Truly, even though sometimes, anger might be beneficial, 8 times of 10, it causes nothing but harm, to both: the victim of a person’s anger and the angry one himself.