MC's Whispers

Whispering Silences

Archive for the tag “awareness”

White Lies

https://www.veracode.com/sites/default/files/styles/blog_post_resize_960/public/developer-vs-hacker.jpg?itok=rJjgPnyn“I don’t understand what I’m always doing wrong”, Jack told his psychiatrist as he made himself comfortable on the couch. “Well, let’s analyse it together then”. “You see, that’s what she always wants too. To analyse everything”. “So why don’t you? What do you have to lose anyway? Isn’t that what you come here for? What difference does it make that you talk to me instead of her? Your partner in life? That I tell you I’m a professional and you pay me to talk to me? She can do it for free”. “Yes, but I’m not obliged to tell her everything and she demands all her questions to be answered all the time”. “You’re looking at it wrong. ‘Obliged’ is not a word to be used in a healthy relationship. You’re supposed to want to tell her everything, to share things with her. That’s the point of having someone to walk with you in life. That you know all about each other no matter how insignificant that thing is. To the other, that ‘insignificant’ thing may be of great value. Think about this: when you ask a question – to anyone – don’t you expect that question to be answered? Don’t you want an answer? It is the same with every person in your life no matter the relationship you have with them”.

“But these bursts of explosion, they’re unnerving. I can’t stand them anymore”, Jack puffed. The shrink smiled and doodled something on his notepad.

“Instead of angering yourself so much over these ‘explosions’ as you describe them, wouldn’t it be better if you consider what it is that causes them?”

Jack prepared to say something beginning with a “but..”, but his psychiatrist quickly interrupted to continue: “Like Newton’s Third Law of Physics states: for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. If these explosions are someone’s reaction, have you ever properly considered what your actions are?

Jack sunk deeper into the couch. Silent.

“Think about all the things you do that you consider so normal. Think about the things that she – or anyone else really – do and that annoy you or have caused your eruption. How would you react if it was the other way round? If it was you who acted the way she or another person acted? Would you accept such a behaviour? You can’t simply expect to play the game only by your rules and customise everything else to suit your own needs. In life, we need to pay attention to everyone else too. To put ourselves in the other’s shoes and try to imagine how we would feel if we were on that other side”.

Jack seemed perplexed. The psychiatrist was not sure he was following his trail of thought. “I’ll give you an example: we live in times when unemployment is so high, youth in their 30s still live at home. How are they supposed to make a future for themselves, a family of their own in this situation? Would you be OK if you were with someone who was still living with their parents, or was living with you for a few days/weeks/ however long and still had all their things at their parents’ house? How would that seem to you? Would you accept it?”

Jack’s face became pale. He seemed to be understanding. “And what about the things you blow off, or cancel because of jealousy or rage? How can you then demand that the other acts in a different way, simply because you think you deserve a lighter treatment for the same ‘crime’? You want all your questions to be answered instantly but also want to decide on which questions you will provide answers to, even tailoring them to your own vision of what should be the truth”.

“But that’s because I want to avoid problems and don’t want to hurt anybody”. Jack’s response caused an ironic smirk to form on the shrink’s face. “Lying to avoid pain – these ‘white lies’ that don’t mean anything as everyone thinks, are the ones that often hurt the most. Because to be honest: a lie is still a lie. In whatever form. And a white lie simply demonstrates that you are undermining the other’s intelligence and capacity to comprehend the truth. Try being honest for a change and see how different and calmer everything will be”.

Jack was beginning to understand. The psychiatrist seemed serene, determined to make him see that it is not always one side that is right. Every coin has two sides, but it is only until you turn and see the other that you truly understand the value of both sides. “You receive from the world what you give to the world. Just because you are used to things being done in a certain way doesn’t mean that this is the correct one. You’re supposed to leave your mind open to change to assimilating new things, constantly. That’s how we grow, how we mature, how we improve”.

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Stronger than you

https://daabrams.files.wordpress.com/2015/01/img_8403.jpgEvery person has a story to tell. And unless you know what that story is, you really are in no position to judge, criticise, or make fun of them. No matter how light-heartedly it may be. Because you surely don’t know what the person hides behind the smile they constantly wear, or the glimmer that is so apparent in their eyes. You can’t tell if what they are laughing at may be burning them down inside.

If you take a moment and observe the world around you, the people with whom you are surrounded by each and every day, you’d be amazed at the vastness of different tales that exist. Personal tales of courage, of strength, of survival. People who have fought diseases and won, others who are fighting them every day. These latter ones are perhaps the boldest, because it is harsh knowing that what you have cannot be cured. At least not yet.

That is what the theme of today (25 May 2016) is: #WorldMSDay. It is about raising awareness about an illness that creeps slyly into people’s lives and sticks with them, no matter how insistently they try to shake it off. Multiple Sclerosis is an autoimmune disease, one that has been described as the disease of 1000 faces, because it affects everyone differently. People are forced to live with it and go along their lives, working, partying, exercising, like everyone else. Just not. Because they have to fight harder. They also have to face the uninvited and unintended (sudden) onsets of fatigue, of somewhat intense mood swings, of becoming more introvert at times. Now, if you’re a woman, once a month you face similar reactions in a more insane manner. But it’s not the same. And it is certainly not something that is easy for others to understand. Nonetheless, like this year’s theme (#StrongerthanMS) demonstrates, people diagnosed with MS can also be productive members of society, just like everyone else – athletes, politicians, actors, educators, professionals, musicians, anything – and here is a list of celebrities diagnosed with MS to prove it.

You don’t really fully comprehend any of this until it becomes part of your life too. A few years ago, I met a person giving his own battle daily. And he is one of the strongest people I know. Because it takes courage to make your private story public. To let people in to your thoughts and make them aware of the challenges you face. But like C.S. Lewis said, “hardships often prepare ordinary people for an extraordinary destiny”. Because sometimes, things happen so we live a better and fuller life. And people who realise the futility of most things we anguish about daily, are the ones who know best how to appreciate the small things, the simple moments that make life great.

It is not the people who run after the spotlight who deserve it, it is the ones who fight alone in the shadows, for they are the ones who offer inspiration.

 

Also part of Daily Prompt: Pensive

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