MC's Whispers

Whispering Silences

Archive for the month “November, 2019”

Black shopping

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He was racing with his motorbike on the highway even before the sun came up. It was still quiet in town and in the city he got to in less than half the time he normally needed. It was the calm before the storm.

That day was Friday.

But it was not just any Friday.

It was Black Friday. The day all shoppers go crazy, waiting outside stores hours before they open, then fighting each other inside for items they don’t really need but are misled into believing they are a bargain, and then standing in line impatiently in order to pay for them by maxing out their credit cards.

The worse thing about this day was that everyone found something they needed to buy. So the majority of people were out shopping at one part of the day or other, leading to increased tensions, rows, noise and an incessant irritation that seemed to be diffused in the air.

He set out early, exactly because of this.

He wanted to get in and out of a store he found a large TV he had set his eyes on for weeks now. He had saved money and done his research.

He was prepared.

But not enough for how the day would turn out…

The Scrooges of this world

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His favourite character was Scrooge. Either McDuck or Ebenezer, it didn’t really matter. It was the trait he admired. That of being stingy, a cold-hearted miser and filthy rich because of it.

He wanted to have it all. But all was never enough. There was always more.

He lost friends as quickly as he acquired them, because his arrogant style that undermined everyone else around him immediately became evident.

Yet, he didn’t care. People like that seldom do. Arrogance, it is said, is a camouflage for insecurity. People adopt a conceited attitude and raise their voice to be heard, no matter if they’re wrong. They try to dominate every situation to show they’re in control. But what they try to hide is their fears that they cannot conquer.

People cheat and steal from each other, attempting to demonstrate they’re cleverer and more astute. Paraphrasing what the ghost said in Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol”, they wear the chains they forge in life. Yet, in the end, all they achieve is to create a society in which the truly smart people want to escape from, because they are the ones that see through the corruption and lies. They are the ones that read beyond the deceits and the feinted arrogance. They are the ones who distinguish between arrogance and confidence and the ones who understand when it is right to stand up for what you believe and when it is just necessary to go with the flow.  As long as the flowing river is one that leads to an ocean – a greater good – and not one that drowns everything along the way.

“The world is your oyster. It is up to you to find the pearls” – Chris Gardner

Storage surprise

©J Hardy Carroll

It took them almost a week to plan their way into the storage room. They had to find a method of entry that couldn’t be traced back to them. And a time of day when they wouldn’t be seen.

They entered during the early hours of a stormy and thunderous night.

But what they found, was not what they expected to see.

The wooden locked closet-like doors of the room made what they stored even more intriguing.

But it also meant spending more time inside in order to acquire what they were after.

They hoped it would be worth it.

Also part of Friday Fictioneers

The quiet friend

©MCD_Bruno

He sat there quietly. Always on the same spot on the couch where she paused for a rest from her tiring and incessant schedule.

She lightened up every time she saw him. And when they hugged, she would inhale deeply letting out a faint sigh with that exhale.

He had a way of easing the tension she inexplicably carried on her shoulders. She burdened herself with too much stress for her own good. Even he could see it.

But it was enough for him that he made her smile. And that, even if just for a little while, she would let her troubles slip away from her mind. For those few seconds she could empty her head. She found comfort in him and was grateful for his presence.

Even if he didn’t say much. Or anything at all for that matter.

It would be a little strange if he did.

After all, he was just a fluffy teddy bear.

But the person who gifted it to her knew he was much more.

The vicious circles we feed

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There is a place in the heart of the city where people go to disappear. It’s a place you often pass by on your daily route to work, shopping or whatever else you choose to spend you time, money and energy on. But you don’t realise they are there. You pretend not to see them. Not to know that these neighbourhoods are different.

We fear different. We oppose and react to whatever we don’t understand.

We don’t even try to change things. We simply acknowledge that they are not how they should.

And so, we continue our lives, and more people simply disappear out of theirs.

Because it is not easy to actually live. To have a life that fulfils you and completes you. People are used to existing. And documenting their existence to prove to others that they are doing things worthwhile. In reality, trying to convince themselves that they matter.

We close our eyes to those who need help. Because we don’t want to assume the responsibility of change.

And then we protest that nothing ever changes or improves. Like a vicious circle we ourselves feed.

Another’s vocation

©Roger Bultot

When you sit in a doctor’s chair, do you ever wonder what it’s like to be the one carrying out the patient examination?

When you pass through an architectural marvel, do you ponder about the person who had the idea and ability to create it?

When you read a book or see a film, do you admire the pen that wrote it?

Do you ever find yourself thinking of what it is like to be in another person’s shoes? To have another’s vocation or calling?

Every person is gifted, but some never open their package to find out their talent.

Also part of Friday Fictioneers

Some days

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There are some days you wish you could forget. Completely erase them from memory if possible.

It’s those days that have made you realise you were wrong about things you thought of differently until that very point. Days that have shaken up your entire mentality and viewpoint on life.

But they are the same days that shattered you to pieces.

Because every change comes with a cost. And it is often painful.

Some days you want to remember for as long as you live.

Some others, you just want to press delete and rewind. To live them over in a better way now that you know.

Those days are the ones that make you stronger, wiser and help you keep going with the hope you won’t repeat the same mistakes.

Every day is a gift as long as we treat it as such.

Needing something you don’t know you do

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The thing with shopping is that you don’t know you want something until the moment you see it. And despite not really needing it before, in that precise moment you can conjure up so many different uses for it that it becomes a must-need purchase. And just like that, you become a shopper.

Jenny was an avid shopper. For all kinds of things.

The most dangerous type of shopping is the online one. Because there you spend hours on end scrolling through sites, experiencing a different kind of window-shopping, to the extent that you forgot what you actually needed to do, or how you even ended up on that particular site. But in seconds, you become so mesmerised by the need to acquire something you only see on a screen that you end up rapidly spending money you don’t actually ever see to buy products you cannot feel or test. And then there is the added anguish of having to constantly monitor your order to ensure that it will eventually arrive to your doorstep. And if not, there is at times an endless bureaucratic procedure to get your money back or at least the product at a delayed arrival time. It makes you wonder if it is worth the trouble of actually going to a store and purchasing things in hand.

But Jenny loved online shopping. It somehow offered the therapy she needed from the comfort of her own couch, scrolling thorough different interesting products and styles and imagining how she could wear or make use of them. She knew that online offers were a lure. A cheeky one often, because they were targeting consumers like her who couldn’t resist. But she would always fall into the trap and then rummage for cash until the end of the month.

She was somehow compensated for it all though when her digitally-purchased package finally arrived. And the unboxing process filled her with joy. As if someone else had given her a gift.

Sometimes the things we give ourselves are what make us happy, even if they do decrease our funds.

Roundabout questions

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So, what do you feel like doing tonight?

It’s a question that entails the freedom of decision, the willingness to abide by it, while also placing the ‘burden’ of finding something to do on the other person.

For indecisive people, this is a challenge.

“I don’t know, perhaps see a movie? We can either go to the cinema or order in and watch one at home”.

He smiled. She wasn’t finished. So he held back his reply a little longer.

What do you prefer?

The question-bounce-back, that returns the responsibility of choosing an activity to the original question-setter. Like a boomerang returning to the one who threw it.

If the person who initiated the conversation continues the questioning of the type, “whatever you want” or, even worse, poses another option, their indecisive interlocutor becomes lost and even more agitated by the daunting task of having to pick an entertainment. And doing something fun suddenly becomes a chore.

Let’s go out. I know you want to see the latest blockbuster and go for a stroll around town tonight”.

And just like that, peace is restored, tranquillity reigns and the smile returns to her face.

He was used to reading her mind even when she herself couldn’t.

The people around us

One of the best advice to pass on to others is to surround yourself with people who empower you to become better. Be picky about who you keep around you, because personalities, words and traits do rub off naturally. The people around you reflect who you want to be and how you want to feel. Their energies are contagious.

Surround yourself with smart people who will argue with you. Not those who will tell you exactly what you want to hear. Surround yourself with the dreamers and the doers, the believers and thinkers, but most of all, surround yourself with those who see greatness within you even at times when you don’t see it yourself.

We need people around us who will lift us up, no matter what.

We want people in our lives who will help us grow, who will develop with us, with whom we will share experiences and be comrades in life.

Not people who are still too stuck on their guardians they are too afraid to build a life for themselves, those who are not capable of evolving because it means stepping out of their comfort zone, those who don’t even consider taking any life-changing decision.

We need people around us who don’t ask “what if I fall?”, but rather “what if I fly?”

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