MC's Whispers

Whispering Silences

Archive for the category “Something Different”

In the time of Coronavirus everything is changing. Are we?

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It is obvious that our lives are changing and with it our daily routines. Whatever we so far considered “normal” may not be as such when we eventually exit this unprecedented crisis. Even the concept of what is “normal” has now obtained a controversial meaning, along with whatever we previously considered as given or obvious facts, such as the need for cleanliness which, although formerly seen as an obsessive–compulsive disorder (OCD), now has become an imperative necessity.

The fear of contracting the coronavirus (Covid-19) during its violent and uncontrollable spread is now accompanied by the anguish of when cities and markets will regain their pulse after weeks or even months. What scares us the most is the unpredictability of all this.

We are treading on unchartered waters, moments that will remain engraved not only in our minds, but in global history. And we are unprepared for it. Because instead of investing in research and health programmes – in the essential – we grant importance to the ephemeral, things and people who in times of crisis will have no value or use.

There are many theories circulating regarding the Coronavirus. How it is a conspiracy of the strong and powerful to further manipulate and subdue the weak masses; on the conflict between East and West; on economic interests etc.

Whatever the case, the current pandemic constitutes both a challenge and an opportunity.

It is a challenge for healthcare systems that have broken down due to lack of infrastructure, and resources both human and material; for state aid to be offered to those most affected; for social solidarity that is necessary now more than ever; for individual responsibility that many continue not to comprehend; for our mental health primarily, and for every kind of relationship we have.

This absence of regularity, the abrupt disruption of our daily lives, our routines, has shaken us to the core. This is aggravated by the fear of the economic impact or an imminent financial crisis, together with the lack of connection with other people. Suddenly, we find ourselves with an abundance of time, but no people to spend it with. All this heightens the feeling that we have lost our sense of safety. And this in turn makes us miserable; it brings upon us an undefined grief.

It is only if we manage to find the positive in a negative situation, that we will be able to fight it; to save ourselves both physically and mentally. For every illness, the remedy is always a strong immune system – resilient antibodies – to be able to cure ourselves. The same goes for the thoughts that we allow to occupy our minds. A head full of fear has no room for dreams. So let’s be optimistic, because as Winston Churchill said, “it does not seem too much use being anything else”.

The truth is, we should be grateful about how privileged we are that amidst a global pandemic we have been ordered to stay at home – in our refuge – in the safety of our own space, reading, watching TV, working, creating, with a full fridge and few worries, waiting for this all to end. Most of us are called to fight this invisible enemy from our couch.

Yet, we complain for the opportunity to get away from the routine we constantly criticised for draining our energy and leaving us little time to do the things we really want. Here is our chance to remember our hobbies, to watch TV, to learn something new, to read books, spend time with our loved ones, to (finally) get acquainted with technology, to invest time in ourselves and our priorities and evolve stronger, improved.

But we still complain. When other worse hit countries are forced to choose who to save because their healthcare systems are overwhelmed. We complain because we are staying home, when there are people who don’t even have that. We spend a lifetime staring at a screen, yet now we suddenly all want to go outside. The forbidden is always sweeter, they say. Even now, under these dire circumstances.

In the time of Coronavirus, everything is changing.

And when all this shall pass – because it will – what will we be left with? Apart from an earth that has pushed a small ‘pause’ and managed to heal itself, and leaving aside reports about a new hantavirus, what will we have learned out of all this? Will we wash our hands and our communal spaces better? Will we maintain social distancing? Will we consider that our individual actions have an impact on others? Will we appreciate more the time we have, the people around us and everything we consider as granted? Will we view life with a different lens?

The Coronavirus pandemic has proven how unprepared we are, because we consider so many things – even health – as granted. It is a shock on the global health system, on governance, security, but mainly on our values. It showed that everything around us is so temporary. Things we revolved our lives around: our work, gym, cafes, malls, cinemas, society itself, have all become irrelevant as we are now learning for weeks to live without them. It has taught us that we are so technologically advanced we can actually work from home, i.e. anywhere, and we can remain more connected than we believe. But in the end, it is up to us to demonstrate that the lives lost daily are not in vain. It is our responsibility to change ourselves to change the world.

Mentality is a way of life

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There is a saying that we travel not to escape life, but so that life does not escape us. Going somewhere different not only breaks your routine and revives you, but it also allows you to open your eyes and mind to things you never even considered before.

Not everyone thinks or acts the same way we do, and we generally have this ingrained belief that what ‘our people’ do is the norm, the standard against which everyone else is compared or measured.

The truth is though, when we travel, we might find alternatives that may even be better to our way of life. We may see things and people who change our perspectives. We may even talk to locals and find out that they are more calm, relaxed and happy living in what seems like a backward village, than others who live in big cities.

We see people smiling without any particular reason, who always have something good to say and who wish you a pleasant day without knowing you at all. That is just who they are and what they are used to. Kindness is a way of life.

It is these same people who know how to keep calm in every situation, who find no reason in getting angry or irritated at something they cannot control. They follow traditions that they have grown with and see no point in altering them if they still work well.

Because in the end, it is not the technology that makes people advanced; it is their mentality. And that is the most difficult thing of all to change.

Empty pockets and full hearts

There is a saying that being rich is not about the material things you have, but the wealth you store inside – the things that enrich your mind and spirit. As such, the more we have inside, the less we need on the outside.

In his beautiful and very inspiring book “The Richest Man of the World”, Rafael Vídac states that most of the problems in this world come from people with full pockets and empty hearts. For this reason, he has written what is described as “a complete map to follow for anyone who needs a profound change in his life” (Diana Zuluaga). He prompts readers to take steps to enrich their internal wealth, which will help in transforming them into a more dynamic person by expanding their mind.

In a page-turning story that grips you from the start, the author notes that all people go through periods of personal crisis. And these consist of five stages:

  1. Ignorance – not acknowledging why you feel terrible
  2. Wandering – accepting you feel bad but not knowing what you want
  3. Utopia – you know what you want but don’t know how to achieve it
  4. Paralysis – you know what you want and the steps to take to realise it, but you are still incapable of taking action and this causes pain and disappointment. It is scary to take hold of the realms of your life.
  5. Resistances – you are able to move into action and pursue your goals, but for some reason you are unable to succeed.

At the same time, however, we are taught that there are three “laws” worth taking into account during periods of crisis:

  1. No one regardless is forced to endure a difficulty that they are not capable of overcoming.
  2. Every pain and effort is always rewarded and at the right time.
  3. The truly important things that happen to us do so on a wise purpose that we will understand sooner or later.

“Try to believe and life will prove to you that no matter what, it will support you,” Vídac states, stressing that “life will show you the path you need to follow.”

He makes the reader open his/her eyes to things we are too busy to see. Or the ones we don’t want to.

For example:

  • Material things are only the shell covering people’s feelings and thoughts.
  • We tend to substitute insecurities with the need to have control.
  • Control is a useful tool on condition that you do not allow it to govern you. It is impossible to control everything in life.
  • You need to learn how to take steps in the dark – if you can move without any prior information, you will sharpen your senses to move on the ground on which you tread.

In this amazing and very motivating book, the reader is forced to think, to ponder on where s/he focuses their energy on a daily basis and what needs to change for a better life.

Here are some of the best messages from this must-read book:

  • Our body needs vitality. The next step in achieving internal wealth is to correctly manage unpleasant emotions. When such feelings have been supressed for too long they become toxins that poison our bodies and distort the way we view the world around us.
  • The problem does not lie with the unpleasant emotions per se, but in our inability to appropriately manage them. For that reason, we don’t need to eradicate them but to harness them.
  • It is easy to feel angry. But few know how to appropriately manage this feeling. Anger when suppressed for a long time results in bitterness. Sorrow may turn into depression and fear into a pathological insecurity against any situation.
  • The real target is not the target itself, but the person who you wish to become. The aim is for you to transform into someone who is ready to accept what s/he desires. The way you deal with circumstances must be that of a person who was already conquered his/her goals. Start to believe that you have that something you want. From that moment, you create it, by believing in it (Law of attraction).
  • Never underestimate the impact of the true meaning of words. We don’t “chase” our dreams – the phrase insinuates running after something that constantly evades us.
  • Possessing the necessary internal wealth allows you to hold the necessary energy and have a mind capable of concentrating.
  • What we call ‘luck’ is only the final consequence of all our past actions. What you do alone does not determine your luck, but also what you feel and what you think.
  • Our stance – as per our emotional or mental actions – also has a great role to play in implementing our goals. You need to believe strongly in what you want to achieve, but also be able to distance yourself from the result, whatever that may be – to accept any outcome.
  • Our perceptions are packages of brain information that operate autonomously and affect our way of perceiving the world.
  • No one knows you better than your own mind and that is why no one is more enticing when it wants to convince you about something.
  • Focus your mind on what is happening at that moment and not on the disappointments that may never come. Worry is a mental creation born out of fear
  • The person who becomes obsessed with what he is looking for cannot appreciate what he already has.
  • At times, life destroys in the most painful way what matters most to us, but that only happens when we are ready to succeed in something better.
  • The only limits that exist are the ones we ourselves impose.
  • A flame does not stop shining because of the darkness that surrounds it.
  • We should wonder if what exists in our life is what we truly want or what we fear to change.
  • All of us, and each one separately, can transform into something wonderful, someone brilliant. There is no better time than now.

The making of a genius

He was born out of wedlock so had no right to education. He was considered an outcast and society looked down on him. Yet he managed to ignore them all – all those eyes who stared with loathing when he walked by, as if he had stolen something from them, as if they had become lesser people because of his existence.

He was curious of the world. Of how everything was structured to make things work so seamlessly. He was astonished by the way birds used their wings to fly or how water was present almost everywhere. He had a mind that was constantly alert. His thoughts would keep him awake at night and without food, for he was too busy thinking about how he could make improvements in an already magnificently built world. He wanted humans to go further. But they had to want that too.

He was a scientist, an inventor, a sculptor, an artist, a musician, a thinker. He was a genius. One who comprehended the need to go out and do things to achieve something. One the world acknowledged too late in time.

He was the one who proved the world was a better place because of him. But people couldn’t see it.

His name was Leonardo.

“There are three classes of people: those who see, those who see when they are shown, those who do not see”

“Learning is the only thing the mind never exhausts, never fears, and never regrets”

– Leonardo Da Vinci

Scorched earth

https://www.google.gr/url?sa=i&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=imgres&cd=&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=2ahUKEwjZ6un5rL3cAhULU1AKHdXNBXYQjRx6BAgBEAU&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.elenifourli.gr%2Fh-anoipoth-thlipsh-ap-tis-fonikes-pyrkagies-sthn-attikh-se-fotografies%2F&psig=AOvVaw0aBq1bLtvd1eC4h-VZrPBy&ust=1532714596008839It is something you hope and pray you will never have to experience. What others do not even wish upon their foes. It is something you cannot even bring yourself to imagine. You read it in history books and saw it in movies – the volcanic ash burying an entire city alive in Pompeii in 79 AD – but you never thought it would happen so close to you, or rather to you.

You looked away when in movies people were burnt alive. Or were screaming because they were drowning. But now. Now it became a reality, developing right in front of your eyes. A raging fire aided by gushing winds and, suddenly, property became ashes and lives disappeared within seconds.

You didn’t want to even think about what it was like to lose everything. Now you have to answer for yourself.

You were looking forward to a summer, one that would create new memories, not one where you would consider yourself lucky if you even survived it.

‘Painful’ cannot even begin to describe it all. Whatever others say, do or act will never appease you. It won’t bring anything back. It won’t make anything better.

You lie on the ground outdoors on a rugged blanket someone donated. You look at the starry night not because you’re out camping or because you want to, but because there is no other option and there is nowhere else to be.

And all you can do is hope.

That it will not rain.

Knowing One’s Own

Book cover NK.jpegThere is a special connection that ties people who write with each other. More so, when they share similar views and may recommend readings to each other. It is not often that I embark on a personal rant, but this is about a person who is more than my employer or my co-worker; he is my mentor and the person who always has some exciting book / author to recommend and some fascinating viewpoint to share.

Knowing One’s Place is Nicholas Karides’ first book, published in December 2017. It is a book of memoirs: those recited by the writer and those ignited in the reader. When I first asked him why he was writing a book, he told me it was because he wanted to put all his notes from his journals into some logic order. I was intrigued, as I am well aware at how his scrapbook-snippets consist of historical milestones, incidents of history that we quickly forget until someone reminds us of them again. His book is precisely what it promised to be: “Essays on journalism, diplomacy, and football”. It talks about the controversial state of journalism in today’s digital area of constant reporting from all sorts of media – at anywhere at anytime; it discusses the diminishing traits of bold world leaders in a time when everyone can rise to power (given the right connections); and it shares thoughts about a rapidly changing world with its never-ceasing developments. More than that, the book offers a greater insight and a different perspective into the place in which you were born and bred and which you shamefully come to realise you know little about. Cyprus features a great deal in the book, and it is the tool through which you get to know the writer a bit better, but also this European country that, albeit small, has suffered a lot and is still caught in the crossroads of history. As with every book, you appreciate every thing a little bit more when you are aware of the circumstances being discussed, and when you know the person holding the pen.

This is a book that is extremely well researched, calling upon a list of prestigious sources, well justified and above all really well written with the perfect dose of wit. Every word is important. And it manages to grasp your attention and maintain it until the very last page.

It’s a book about how we must value the time and world we live in, but also about the significance of education and the need to keep it alive. It serves as a reminder to constantly contemplate the circumstances that surround us, to reflect, and to engage in opportunities that may help us improve, both ourselves and the places we live in.

Quiet People – Loudest Minds

https://www.cartoonmovement.com/depot/cartoons/2018/03/14/stephen_hawking_1942_2018__stephff.jpegLife would be tragic if it weren’t funny”. It is one of the inspirational quotes by renowned physicist Stephen Hawking who passed away today.

Having lived to the age of 76, more than 50 years older than the age doctors told him he could expect to reach after being diagnosed in 1963 with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also called Lou Gehrig’s disease, Hawking was an awe-inspiring human apart from an innovative scientist. He was the person who truly proved that “however difficult life may seem, there is always something you can do and succeed at”.

In tribute, here are some of his most inspiring quotes / lessons:

The greatest enemy of knowledge is not ignorance, it is the illusion of knowledge.

The thing about smart people is that they seem like crazy people to dumb people.

Quiet people have the loudest minds.

One of the basic rules of the universe is that nothing is perfect. Perfection simply doesn’t exist…..Without imperfection, neither you nor I would exist.

Keeping an active mind has been vital to my survival, as has been maintaining a sense of humor.

One, remember to look up at the stars and not down at your feet. Two, never give up work. Work gives you meaning and purpose, and life is empty without it. Three, if you are lucky enough to find love, remember it is there and don’t throw it away.”

Try to make sense of what you see and wonder about what makes the universe exist. Be curious, and however difficult life may seem, there is always something you can do, and succeed at. It matters that you don’t just give up.”

A Platanus of history

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©MCD

There is a quote that says, “imagine if trees gave free WiFi; we’d all be planting like crazy. Too bad they only produce the oxygen we breathe”.

Trees are more important and vital for our lives than we believe or even give them credit for. They contribute to their environment by providing oxygen, improving air quality, climate amelioration, conserving water, preserving soil, and supporting wildlife. They produce the wood we use to light our fireplaces in the winter, make our furniture, even the paper we write on. Yet, we cut them down without second thoughts.

It is no wonder then, that when we come across a tree that is centuries old we treat it as a wonder of nature. We stand before it dumbfounded, gazing at this stupendous sight. And it makes you truly feel small and insignificant.

There is a place in North Evia, Greece, somewhere along that nature-blazing road that has you driving among trees, on your way towards the Kyreas River, in between the villages of Prokopi and Mantoudi. There is this place where a sign will direct you to the “Great Platanus”. A plane tree that residents will tell you has been there for centuries. It is “a tree of huge dimensions”, as the sign reads, a “monument of nature”. A Platanus Orientalis. It is 22-23 metres tall, with its trunk’s circumference reaching 18 metres, its trunk diameter at 5.5 metres, the surface of its stem at 900 square metres, and its shadow said to be once stretching over 2.5 acres. Its age is estimated at 500-600 years, although some say that it exceeds 2,300 years! It is said that this is the most ancient Platanus in the Balkans, perhaps even the whole of Europe.

20171028_133927Its tree trunks are larger than what can fit in your wide-open arms. It stands imposing before you and, even though lacking in foliage and somewhat deserted and with broken branches, the vastness of this tree is not diminished. Rather, it is a refreshing site in a world full of asbestos and tar. There is also a huge hollow in its trunk, big enough for 10 or more people standing. In it, you suddenly forget all the problems that trouble your head daily. You take a deep breath and simply be grateful for being alive. For being there. And for being able to witness this. Just think about all the changes this tree may have witnessed. It was there before you and will probably remain so even after you.

20171028_133932As with all over-aged creatures, there are myths and legends surrounding this tree. For example, it is said that if someone falls asleep in its hollow, they will fall ill or harm will come to them, as goblins will come out and cast a spell on them. In another legend, if you are found at midnight under the tree, you will hear voices, music, violins and clarinets, and see fairies and goblins appear dancing at the shores of the river. In yet another, it is said that at midnight two large rams come out of the platanus and start noisily fighting each other. This tree is often associated with fairies and goblins as it was believed that, being over-aged, it was also haunted.

No matter the stories, however, the reality remains that this, like so many others, is part of our natural heritage and should be protected and preserved. We devote so much of our time, energy and funds to things that matter less, yet we abandon those that benefit us more.

N.B. All photos are mine, taken in North Evia, Greece, on 28 October 2017.

 

Also part of Daily Prompt: Gratitude

 

A monk’s enlightenment

Monk-who-sold-his-Ferrari-cover CROPImagine if one of the most successful people you knew suddenly disappeared. Now imagine that months, maybe even years, later he showed up at your door completely changed. Imagine if he told you that he had sold all of his material possessions and had sought a life of passion, purpose and peace among the most enlightened monks of our time. Wouldn’t you be intrigued to listen to what he had to say?

Robin Sharma manages to grasp your attention in The Monk who sold his Ferrari: A Fable About Fulfilling Your Dreams & Reaching Your Destiny”. It is a book that makes you think, makes you re-consider certain things in life and above all inspires you to do things differently.

It makes you realise that the time to live is now, that we need to simplify our lives, to clear our minds of negative thoughts, to focus on the positive, and take risks in order to be able to truly fulfil the potential that is dormant inside of us.

Here are some of the most noteworthy quotes:

  • A person’s life can be summarised in certain key moments, which for everyone are the most important and crucial, the ones that mark their very existence.
  • Everyone has inside them reserves of life, more than we ever dreamt of.
  • Everything is created twice; first in the mind and then in reality.
  • We are the creators of our thoughts.
  • During a normal day, around 60,000 thoughts pass through the mind of an average person; 95% of these are the same ones that troubled his/her mind the previous day. Most of them are negative. Instead of focusing on all the good we enjoy in life and all the positive we can aspire to do, we cling on to things that happened in the past, trying to find justifications and reasons to explain our actions. We wither in our thoughts and hinder our mind from fulfilling its true potential of creating magic and realising all the things we dream of. Being able to properly manage your thoughts is key in managing your entire life.
  • You truly cannot afford the luxury of a negative thought – not even one.
  • When one door closes, another opens. But we often look so regretfully upon the closed door that we fail to see the one that has opened for us.
  • The quality of your life is determined by the quality of your thoughts.
  • You need to empty your mind of negative thoughts to allow the positive ones to enter. You can’t fill a glass if it is already full.
  • The images you create in your fantasy affect the very image you have of yourself.
  • You need not change your world in a day. Start off small. The thousand-mile journey begins by taking that first step. We grow great by degrees. Small daily steps lead to stunning results over time.
  • Develop a lust for learning. Read regularly. Reading for 30 minutes a day will do wonders for you. Do not read just anything. Be very selective about what you put into the garden of your mind. It must be immensely nourishing. Make it something that will improve both you and the quality of your life. Something that will inspire and elevate you.
  • It’s not what you will get out of the books that is so enriching – it is what the books will get out of you that will ultimately change your life…Books will allow you to see what is already inside of you.
  • A burning sense of passion is the most potent fuel for your dreams.
  • Failure is not having the courage to try, nothing more and nothing less.
  • Fear is nothing more than a mental monster you have created, a negative stream of consciousness.
  • The only limits on your life are the ones you set yourself.
  • All progress comes from unreasonable people, people who follow their hearts and the instructions of their consciences rather than the commands of the crowd. All progress has come from risk-takers and men and women who were willing to visit the places that scared them. Greatness arrives once you refuse to buy into what others see as impossible.
  • There are no mistakes in life; only lessons. There is no such thing as a negative experience, only opportunities to grow, learn and advance along the road of self-mastery.
  • Being able to master your time means that you are able to master your life.
  • In order to awaken your best life, it’s important that you “die while you are alive.” Most people live as if they have all the time in the world. They wish they had more time in their days and yet they waste the time they have. They put off living until some event in the future occurs. In order to awaken to your best life, every day should be lived as if it were your last day on the planet.
  • It is not enough to be busy; so are the ants. The question is what are you so busy about?
  • Never postpone the life you can live today.
     
  • We live in an age when we have forgotten what life is all about.
  • The purpose of life is a life of purpose.
  • Decide to be brilliant at what you do. And in how you live.
  • Life has bigger plans for you than you can possibly know.
  • Never forget the importance of living with unbridled exhilaration. Never neglect to see the exquisite beauty in all living things. Today, and this very moment, is a gift. Stay focused on your purpose. The Universe will take care of everything else.
  • Be patient and live with the knowledge that all you are searching for is certain to come if you prepare for it and expect it.
  • Life doesn’t always give you what you ask for, but it always gives you what you need.

 

Also part of Daily Prompt: Enlighten

Journalism Under Fire

https://static.kent.ac.uk/nexus/ems/116.jpgJournalism is printing what someone else does not want printed; everything else is public relations”. George Orwell’s quote, today more than ever, remains relevant, at a time when media and control over them has become a highly controversial issue, mainly due to the ethics involved. Because, while journalism should, ideally, be objective and free of political affiliations, nowadays, the newsroom is dominated by the ominous shadow of advertising revenue. In a period when almost everything has been affected by the financial crisis, media – the people’s source of information – are searching for sources of income, while at the same time competing against social media and the plurality of free news.

How then can we distinguish the truth in what we read? And how can we dismiss ‘fake news’?

This was the topic of a very interesting discussion held in Athens in the context of the New York Times Athens Democracy Forum, hosted by the journalistic platforms Oikomedia and Hostwriter. The aim was to examine why Media have come under Suspicion and how journalism can regain public faith. Five guest speakers from international media participated: Serge Schmemann (New York Times), Philip Faigle (#D17, Zeit online), Simon Wilson (BBC Brussels), Prune Antoine (freelance journalist) and Tasos Telloglou (Skai TV/ Kathimerini).

The prevailing view, shared by many journalists and citizens alike, is that the observation of how real life unfolds is absent from many media reports today, mainly because of the rising trend of ‘opinionated journalism’. This trends sees the inclusion of a commentary, with the reporter him/herself often expressing a view on the story reported. But that is not what the role of the journalist is supposed to be, nor what the point of journalism is. It is supposed to be about the clear, undeterred, fair and objective presentation of facts that have been thoroughly researched and presented as is. Journalism is the means to make heard as many voices involved in a story as possible, and to cause, through that, the audience’s critical thought, so that citizens themselves may launch a public debate on the matter. In an era of rapid technological evolution, media outlets are perfectly positioned to become platforms promoting such active public discussion.

Instead, citizens increasingly turn against media, viewing them with suspicion and distrust and accusing them of transmitting ‘fake news’ and siding with any one political group. As such, it is not strange that, especially in Greece, citizens do not trust the media, and in fact increasingly tend to avoid the news. The 2017 annual Digital News Report by the Reuters Institute for Journalism revealed that Greeks have the lowest rate globally in trusting media with only 23% (compared to, for example, 62% recorded in Finland, the highest rate). Greece is also the only country in the world that believes social media do a better job in separating fact from fiction than traditional news media (28% vs 19%). In addition, over half the respondents (57%) in Greece and Turkey are avoiding the news, compared with fewer than one in ten in Japan (6%). One of the main reasons for this ‘media avoidance’ may very well be all the ‘negative’ news constantly broadcast, regarding the economy, politics, corruption, accidents, war, bloody conflicts and terrorism attacks around the world. News that not only contribute to increasing fear and agony for a future that is already blurred, but also result in further dampening an already low morale and bad psychological state. Consequently, people prefer not to know, endorsing that ‘ignorance is bliss’.

But in all this, how much are the journalists themselves to blame? Are they not asking the right questions? Are they presenting news out of context, indeed causing misinformation? Is the need for higher revenue placing at risk not only the independence of the organism but also its credibility as a source of objective and truthful facts? Press freedom is not only about the pluralism of views, but also about their presentation as facts, without editorialisation.

Journalism should be about opening questions not answering them. The journalist’s view has no place in the story they are reporting.

Today’s need to ‘sell more copies’ and ‘record more online views’ has irreparably also affected the quality of journalism. We need to go back to basics, to remember that in order for a fact to be reported correctly, you need to experience and (re)search it as best as possible to make it easier for the reader to comprehend. And most of all, to realise that people want to read about things that concern their lives and that affect them.

There will always be a need for stories. This was broadly acknowledged at the discussion. The main issue, however, is that journalists should never stop striving for their fundamental element: objectivity. And to step away from the uniformity and unanimity that so often characterises news stories today. After all, the mind opens up when it tries to do, see and think something differently. Otherwise, it is not even worth it.

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