MC's Whispers

Whispering Silences

Archive for the month “August, 2018”

Reflecting feelings

nathan-sowers-dawn-millers-friend

©Nathan Sowers

It was the only thing left over from the yard sale. And she didn’t understand why. If she could afford it, it would have been the first thing she would spend her money on. It was plain and “normal”, but sometimes what looks simple is more than that. Plus, it definitely had a story. It must have. Nothing so “ordinary” was every what it appeared to be.

As the sun set, she found herself mesmerised by it. The clear reflection of the garden shed had captured her attention.

Or perhaps it was the flickering light that appeared at its window.

 

Also part of Friday Fictioneers

 

Can’t or won’t

https://www.google.com/url?sa=i&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=images&cd=&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=2ahUKEwiDt6jJ6o_dAhUEJ1AKHWfKCWEQjRx6BAgBEAU&url=http%3A%2F%2Farmork9.com%2Findex.php%2Fblog%2F2016%2F05%2F11%2Fpellentesque-habitant-morbi-tristique-senectus%2F&psig=AOvVaw1AZNmBgu2nruT8EkyL0EV3&ust=1535548617443937A principle element in education is rejecting the saying “I can’t”. In fact, we are drawn to believe that “there is no can’t, but rather won’t”. That it is not a matter of not being able to do something, but of not having the desire to.

As such, the difference between can not and will not is of physically being incapable of and of simply not wanting to.

We are brought up to be certain that “can is an attitude”. It is like Star Wars’ Yoda said “Do or do not. There is no try”.

It is true, that the level of success depends on a person’s determination, their willingness to keep trying, to change things, to do more, to persist into achieving something positive.

Dean Graziosi had said that “if you tell yourself you can’t, you won’t” and similarly, Henry Ford stated “if you think you can do a thing or think you can’t do a thing, you’re right.”

Maybe it is all a matter of mentality. But every time we say “I can’t” for something, we should consider how much of “I won’t” or “I don’t want to” lies within it.

Pretending to be

http://www.mitchvane.com/site/assets/files/1191/age-virtual_life-1.480x0.jpegIn a line from the 2014 Australian theatre production of George Orwell’s best-selling novel 1984, one of the characters that works for the Government, otherwise known as Big Brother, says: “The people will not revolt. They will not look up from their screens long enough to notice what’s happening”. Seventy years after the novel was written, this is more relevant and true than ever.

We are so busy trying to appear to be busy – constantly posting on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat and all other social networks that we are not aware of what is happening in the world around us. We are so caught up in exhibiting a virtual life that we miss out on actually living one.

It is as if Orwell predicted the future, way ahead of his time. But in reality, all he did was truly comprehend human nature and its weakness – the fact that it is overwhelmed by apathy, selfishness and greed.

Orwell’s 1984 (1984 (written in 1948) is described as “one of the greatest dystopian novels every written”. “It looks at a future where people are controlled into what to think, how to act and how to live by the Government, known as Big Brother. It uses telescreens, fearmongering, media control and corruption to control the masses”. The main protagonist, however, is an initially apathetic person named Winston who “craves something more than the controlled world he inhabits”.

Crawling out of apathy has actually become a challenge.

In our current world, we are so determined to show that “we are not afraid” that we have allowed our data to be accessible almost everywhere by everyone. We cannot travel without being documented in more than one way, everything we do is entered on databases that are interlinked and our entire existence is available on a screen. You are reading this very text on one such screen.

The point is to get off it. Go out and do something. Create a life rather than pretend to have one. Read, think and live.

A ritual of light

tribute-carla-bicomong

©Carla Bicomong

It was a ritual held once a year. Usually at the end of summer. Around the time of a full moon. People of all ages would gather by the coast and with almost religious reverence quietly place the one they brought and lit onto the water.

The paper lanterns would first fill the surface of the water like floating candles. In the midst of the night, it was a calming sight.

Then another series of flying lanterns would be released into the sky.

It was a symbol of hope, of light taking over the darkness, of optimism and ever-present life.

 

Also part of Friday Fictioneers

The misappreciation of things

http://www.businesscoachmichaeldill.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/value-of-english.jpgThere is a saying that you don’t really appreciate what you have until you have it no more. In a post-apocalyptic world we will begin to understand how lucky we are nowadays to be able to do so many things with so little effort – from house chores to work to travel. Yet, we have forgotten the value of everything that truly matters: family, relationships, education.

We don’t have time – we say – to read books. To feed our minds with something of essence, that may change the way we think and the way we view things around us. Ironically, however, we spend the major part of our days skim reading on a screen pointless articles and posts on social media.

We claim we don’t have time – or energy – to visit a museum or an exhibition, something that would increase our value as people, that would give us some cultural education, that would help us realise where we come from so we can improve where we’re going. Yet, we have the time to waste by taking tens of shots in search of the perfect selfie to post on social networks in demonstration of our idyllic lives.

We know nothing yet act as if we know everything.

We stubbornly refuse to learn and, even more, be taught by elders.

We have become a generation of people who want everything and value nothing.

And it is a shame. Because we are the future of this world. And it is not looking too bright.

Keep calm

https://www.mindful.org/wp-content/uploads/Calm.jpgCalmness is the cradle of power” (Josiah Gilbert Holland), that is why being calm – having a clear mind and a patient heart – is nowadays considered something like a superpower.

Never before did mankind need so many motivational resources on how to be calm, find calm, calm down, and all the likes. Earlier generations considered being calm and having time to relax a given. But in this one, when everything moves so rapidly, when you’re away from a screen for an hour or less and new developments have already taken the course, people don’t have time to relax or slow down. Or so they say. In essence, we refuse to do so out of fear that we may miss out on something. That is mainly why youth are so attached to their mobile phones, checking social networks every so often. It is the very fear of missing out that stops us from actually living our own lives. Of doing something memorable that you don’t need to post on the web because it would lose its significance that way. Not every moment we experience needs to be demonstrated on line. We don’t cease to exist when no one is watching.

That anguish we have of what the world does or sees is also what keeps us so much on edge. Why we can’t stop even if we try. Why we sit on a couch at the end of the day to watch something irrelevant on TV and still find ourselves thinking about a million other things or be skim reading on our tablet or phone. It is also why when we do manage to switch our brains off, we instantly fall asleep. It is an accumulation of prolonged tiredness.

There are a series of “inspirational mottos” about pretty much everything. They begin “Keep calm and…”. Because we need to be reminded and prompted to calm down.

Apple has even created an app for that too. It was named App of the Year for 2017 and it is called “Calm”, offering “Meditation techniques for Sleep and Stress Reduction”.

Isn’t it ironic how we need an application to remind us to “breathe” or “do nothing for 15 seconds”?

Maybe we all do need some “mindfulness”, that “basic human ability to be fully present, aware of where we are and what we’re doing, and not overly reactive or overwhelmed by what’s going on around us”.

All we really need is to live fully, deeply and constantly and let our mind wander whenever it can. But in the world we live in, being calm and relaxed has become some kind of superpower.

Green happiness

ronda-del-boccio

©Ronda Del Boccio

When Martha first moved into her own house, her parents brought her a plant. There were no flowers, just green leaves. They told her that plants were necessary in our lives and our homes not only for the oxygen they provide, but for the meanings they give to us.

Martha didn’t quite understand.

At first she didn’t really care for the plant. She left it at some corner of the house with sunlight and regular water.

But she quickly came to realise that the more she cared for the plant the more it bloomed. It became her friend and inspiration.

 

Also part of Friday Fictioneers

 

 

Six Whispers

six anniversaryIn numerology, the number six is considered “not too hot, not too cold, not too fast nor too slow”. Six is usually just right, hardly ever part of any extremes, with a well-balanced nature and a “happy number indeed”.

Six years ago, I started writing this blog. Essentially, to externalise the whispers that were mounting in my head about everything and anything. After all, “a writer is someone who pays attention to the world” (Susan Sontag) and it is true that “as a writer you try to listen to what others aren’t saying…and write about the silence” (N.R. Hart). More so, when you make time to write – because you will never find it unless you force yourself – you find that there is always something to write about, especially what doesn’t kill you, want helps you survive, what changes your perception of the world.

I write because I don’t know what I think until I read what I say” (Flannery O’ Connor). Indeed, writing stimulates thought. Perhaps that is the main reason why writers are first urged to read a lot. And why parents are encouraged to read to their children, for a child who reads will be an adult who thinks.

In six years of blog writing, there is the fear of being repetitive and inescapably there are topics that come up again and again, due to their importance and their intrinsic part of our lives. In six years, you see yourself mature and grow, evolve and gain new skills, new mentality and a new perspective on life as everything you experience shapes you.

Most of all you learn to appreciate the concept of time. Because you find that you often waste too much of it without real reason. Time has a wonderful way of showing us what really matters. We need to focus on the small things because eventually we’ll realise that these were the big things that made life great. In the end, we only regret the things we left unsaid the chances we didn’t take. So devote your time to things that make you happy, to the people you love and to the activities that enrich your soul. Time is the greatest gift to give, because it is like giving a portion of your life that you will never get back.

We can’t predict the future and perhaps it is better that way. Life can certainly be complicated. But we shouldn’t wait for things to get better to do something. We need to learn to be happy right now, otherwise we’ll simply run out of time.

After all, we can’t control the things that happen, but what really matters is the way we react to everything.

Summing it all up are three words that say everything: “live, love, laugh”.

The paradox of human nature

https://img00.deviantart.net/ed60/i/2009/035/0/d/greed_by_liol.jpgHumans have an innate and incurable weakness. That of being extremely selfish and greedy. Nothing is ever enough. And more is always what everyone seeks. Because what humans only really care about is appearing to be better, cleverer, richer than everyone else. They want to be talked about – because not being talked about is worse.

They listen, not to understand, but to react. Mostly to things they interpret in their own way. And things they later state they heard differently. Some don’t even listen at all. And most people simply hear what is to their benefit. Everything else passes by unnoticed.

Humans are the creatures in this world that have the power to change things but knowingly decide not to. They are insensitive by will and narcissistic by conviction. Instead of looking for ways to make our living environment better for those to come, we make it worse for those who manage to stay.

We use technology not to improve our survival, but to demonstrate how self-centred we are, feeling the urge to advertise every moment of our lives on social networks instead of caring for those around us and actually living those moments. We create posts instead of memories and feed on “likes” and heart-shaped thumbs-up approvals from digital “friends” we don’t even really know.

We pretend to live but hardly even survive.

And then we spend hours on self-help books and motivational speeches, seminars and tutorials searching for ways to acquire mental health and psychological stability.

We become irritated by everyone else’s attitude and behaviour, yet stubbornly refuse to change our own because we consider ourselves above all others and thus there is no need to alter anything in our own character.

We expect the world to change to fit to our own needs but do nothing to compromise or accommodate ourselves for the world around us.

We are the ones bringing our own demise and downfall. Yet we are experts in always finding someone else to blame. Because it is much easier to give fault to someone else than to be a decent human being and assume responsibility.

The perplexing gender game

https://encrypted-tbn0.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcQ2CUcowLcZp51CqCx_urHvjw06s0lFB7VhxG6KAsGIGZxTXIFn7wWait, let’s consider it for a minute”. “No, you think too much”. “The problem is you think too little”.

Let’ face it: we’ve all had a similar conversation with a member of the opposite sex. Because whether we like it or not, men and women think differently. No matter how much we fight and rally for equal rights, structurally, the two genders are built to operate differently.

Men, for example, may be seen as insensitive at times, as rational and the beings who don’t really care about trivial stuff. What is considered “trivial” of course – just like everything else – is a matter of perspective. They are the ones, however, who can shut things out, who can turn their thoughts and concerns off for a moment and actually relax. They are the ones who when asked, “what are you thinking about”, may very well literally mean the “nothing” they reply.

Women are not like that. Their mind is not divided into boxes. And it is never ever at rest. Rather, it is a complicated amalgamation of a million thoughts and things-to-do all at once. To men this seems like a mess. But women are often considered the more organised sex, the ones who can have everything clean and tidy in no time, while also tending to a few other chores simultaneously. But they are also the ones who – reportedly – tend to nag a lot. Mainly because they think a lot and care too deeply about pretty much everything. To them literally everything means something. Words matter and so does body language. Men feel they are walking on broken glass near women. Women believe men who don’t talk or react have something to hide.

Our minds are created differently. That is why we operate at varying levels. We perceive things differently and understand our reality in alternate ways.

Women often get frustrated because men don’t understand them, and because they cannot comprehend why men can’t operate on their level – that of common sense. Men get irritated with all the shouting, which they believe is for no rational reason, and they cannot fathom why women get upset so easily and rapidly over anything and everything.

It would be boring if we were all the same.

But we need to accept each other’s differences and the fact that we are structurally made this way. We are supposed to complete each other, aid one another and make ourselves better.

Whatever else we wonder – like, why men don’t listen and women talk too much – will always remain unanswered questions.

Post Navigation