MC's Whispers

Whispering Silences

Archive for the tag “character”

Desire and action

©MCD
©MCD

It was snowing when he set foot outdoors. If it was up to him, he wouldn’t have, but his mother forced him to go out in search of the required groceries for lunch. He was the sort of person who always found excuses not to do something. He would constantly say he wanted to but it was simply not possible because of a series of pretexts he would cough up at the moment.

Procrastinating was Tommy’s expertise. But as he matured, he found that there were things you could simply not postpone. And the less you did, the more reliable you would become and the better status you would obtain as a person and as a character.

But the most memorable lesson, he learnt in a cabin in the woods that day he went off-track.

It was a wooden cabin below the snowy mountains. Adjacent was a lake in which two magnificent swans were found. It seemed almost mythical. He approached in hope it would offer solace from the extreme cold.

Above the front door there was a sign that read “When there’s a will there’s a way, when there’s none there’s delay”.  He knocked on the door and waited. Then he knocked again. There was no response.

After a while, as his hands began to turn numb from the cold, he decided to search for a back door.

There was one with an “entry” sign above.

Inside was a carpenter. One of the type he had only read about in storybooks.

It took you long enough,” he told Tommy as he led him to a seat near the blaring fireplace and offered him a cup of steaming hot tea.

 Tommy looked perplexed.

Had you figured out the meaning of the sign sooner, your hands wouldn’t have turned so pale from the frostbite,” the carpenter explained.

Simply stating your desire or intention to do something does not make it real. It’s when you act upon it that it happens. And that is what matters. Because others can’t see your intentions, they can only judge you by your actions”.

Tommy was beginning to understand. This meeting was not by chance. In fact, he had never seen this cabin in this part of the valley before.

“Stop denying the fact that you’re delaying things. Or simply not doing them. The time to act is now, not later. You don’t know what will happen later on. If you can do something now, why are you waiting? What for? There is always time to do something important. To show others you care.  If you can act, and if you’re going to use your intention in your defence later on, why procrastinate? If it is significant, you do it. That is what others will see. And what matters most, is what you show”.

Tommy drank his last sip and was ready to leave.

There was nothing he could say. After all, this meeting was not for him to speak, but to listen.

“Character is built on the strength of your actions”, he heard the carpenter say as he waved him goodbye.

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A monster within

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He was nicknamed “The Monster”. He had the look to support it. He was tall, dark with hair that covered his neck and a beard that hid his face. His eyes reflected his own resignation with the world.

He preferred not to socialise as much as possible. And for that reason he usually only briefly left his house during nights or moments when he knew everyone else was away. He wanted to avoid social contact. He would much rather endure loneliness than the criticism he was bound to hear from others.

People judge from what they see. We all fall into stereotypes and prejudices. People don’t understand what is beyond appearances.What forces people to become what they are or to act in the way they do.

No existence is all roses and sunshine. Dark clouds do come along. There are moments and circumstances, people and behaviours, attitudes and perspectives that force us to react, to erupt, to lose control. It takes a lot for a silent stream to become a raging current. But when that boost arrives, the flush is torrential and it carries with it everything that person has for so long suppressed. It takes a lot of strength to feign that everything is fine. To pretend things are OK when they’re not. To hide all the pain from everyone else. But what hurts most is when the people near you don’t understand. When they do not react to your call. When you explain the things that cause these scathing wounds, that have for so long been a problem, and yet they still don’t comprehend the severity of it all. Or they simply do nothing. If you care you act; you place what you value most above all else. Sometimes, it is our own expectations that cause us the most disappointment. Because not everyone possesses that same open-heartedness, nor the same perspective on things. It is such situations that bring out the worst in someone. That feeling of being under-appreciated, misunderstood and wronged. That others are given more importance than you. That no matter how hard you try, you can’t get through.

It is situations that create our character. That will define whether the monster or the angel within us will dominate. But they are also the ones that cause us to react the way we do.

Not all people are monsters. Some just carry a monster inside.

A woman’s silence

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She would often wander in a world no-one could understand. The real world made no sense anymore. She would retreat in the attic and later in the bedroom or living room. She would watch the time run by as she lost herself in books or let her mind gaze at TV series. She didn’t care anymore if she was alone. Now, it was something she actually looked forward to.

In the cold winter days, she would sit on a couch wrapped in a warm blanket with the company of her fluffy soft-toys. In their big glimmering eyes, she would find comfort. In there, she saw the reflection of who she wanted to be; who she was striving to become; who few would appreciate or, even more, understand.

Perhaps that was what was most disappointing. That no matter how much she explained her point of view, hardly anyone would see it. It is easy to put the blame for everything on someone else; it is even easier to dismiss all their views as wrong simply because they don’t agree with yours.People only listen to what they want to hear. And whatever you say, they will only focus on what they think is important, rendering everything else unsaid. She was tired of having to repeat herself so often, and not being heard. She was not understood. And that was perhaps worse than not being appreciated.

So, she drifted away. She had grown weary of trying to change a world that so adamantly refused to do so. She stopped insisting. Her grandfather once told her that people should fear a woman’s silence, for a woman who stops moaning and more so talking is one who has simply given up. A woman’s silence is her loudest cry. But few can truly realise that. Even fewer are bold enough to do something about it.

It’s easy to keep demanding that everyone else changes. The real courage is to admit that you need to change too. And to do it.

How are you…you?

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What if you woke up one day and found someone had stolen your identity? How could you prove you were who you say you are? What truly makes you…you?

Yes, sounds familiar. If you’ve seen Unknown, the scenario reminds you of this.

But think about it. How would you describe yourself? Don’t think professionally, so no CV references and all that. Think adjectives. What makes you stand out from the crowd? How are you different from every other person on this planet?

Whether we like it or not, we are different because of what we experience, but more so, because of what we feel.

We may not want to pose this question – of what makes you you – to other people, out of fear of what they may say. Some people worry about what others think of them. What they truly and sincerely believe, not merely what they show. Because all of us have an opinion about others. It is formed from the very first time we meet the other person and it evolves according to the development of our relationship.

So, others can speak of you, even if you don’t want to.

But how do you describe yourself? And not in that narcissistic sense where you see everything on you as close to perfect.

What distinguishes you? What makes you worth the meet?

And deeper of all – how would you defend yourself against someone who had stolen your identity?

“We live in a world full of people who are satisfied with pretending to be someone they are not” – Tommy Tran

“Unless we base our sense of identity upon the truth of who we are, it is impossible to attain true happiness” – Brenda Shoshanna

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.

What is thrown your way

https://www.permacultureapprentice.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/cover.jpgEverything you experience is a lesson.

It was the first thing Joan saw when she walked through the halls of her new school. Her age was not even a double digit then. But she remembered everything clearly. The memories had imprinted in her mind just as everything she learnt there grew in her heart.

She was grateful for the life she had in that building. Not only of the things she learnt in theory and in practice, but also for the people she met there. Those that stigmatised her for their positive vibes but also for the heartbreak their meanness had caused. Everyone had a place and a reason.

And everything served to make her stronger, braver and more determined.

She matured and grew to a better person when it was time to leave.

She was different when she walked out of the halls. Not even recognising herself and who she had become, she was proud she had survived.

The scars only served to remind her of all that had come in her life and the fact that she had managed to overcome all the obstacles and challenges that tried to bring her down.

She was still here. And she was resolute in making her presence even more prominent in the future. No matter what lay ahead.

 

The wrong choice

http://www.oliviabthompson.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/136e5d2f385-6148-45b2-bf78-1a8d33a2c912.jpgPatricia was a push-over. She was the kind of person who would allow others to dictate her will, simply because she was too afraid to say anything. She was small-structured and timid, but had a smile that could light up an entire room. She feared not being liked, and that led to her being unable to say “no” even to things she did not want or believe. For her, that was her vice.

As experiences mounted on her shoulder, she began to see that for a person to survive in this world, one needs to be able to refuse certain things. To know when to appear decisive and stubborn, even at the expense of someone else’s judgement at that moment.

But she still had difficulty realising that very acknowledgement. And she kept falling into the trap. Because even though she could see that these were the wrong choices to make, the ones that would lead to more trouble in the end, she made them anyway.

Not everything makes sense. Not everything has to.  But certain things make you look back in regret and remorse at not being smarter sooner.

Patricia realised it when she met a handsome lawyer on the bus one day. He was exactly what she wasn’t: confident, decisive, at times even arrogant due to his obstinate nature. But she fell for him. And she found out that when you love, you sometimes lose control. That is when she understood that in life we need a balance. We need to be able to view our actions pre-emptively, taking into account their impact and consequences.

We sometimes make the wrong choices only to fully comprehend the magnitude of making the right ones when the time comes.

 

Also part of Daily Prompt: Vice

Date of maturation

http://www.robertotoole.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/04/Alaska_Eagles_DS7_1547_N.jpgA person very dear to me recently told me how wonderfully I’ve matured over the past few years. I don’t like the feeling of growing older, to be honest. But I do enjoy the experiences and the adventures of a time well-spent and a life enjoyed to the fullest. And knowing that all that brings out the best in you, is a feeling like no other.

Because in reality, maturity is not something that comes with age. Far from it. It is, as time passes, however, that you become more aware of the world around you. Of how everything works, the unwritten rules, the human relationships, the fragments of society and all the things no-one talks about.

You mature through the life lessons you learn. Through the times you fall down and get hurt, and the corresponding more that you get up and continue. Through all those instances you survive, no matter how hard it seemed at the time.

You grow up not when you reach a certain age. But when you become independent enough to be able to cope on your own. To be capable of facing crises without panicking, freezing and needing to call for help.  It happens when you develop the necessary attitude to face the world.

Maturity, it is said, is not when we start speaking big things…it is when we start understanding small things.  It’s learning which battles are worth fighting, and realizing that many things don’t require your comment.  It’s feeling content with simply knowing you’re right about something, without needing to prove someone else wrong. And it’s in feeling well and sure about yourself despite everything else.

Like another dear friend pointed out, Shakespeare was right about one thing we should all stick to above all: “to thine own self be true”. Always. Knowing that this is what matters more than what other people think, is evidence enough that you have reached that other level.

 

Also part of Daily Prompt: Crisis

Talk, speak, utter, shout

http://cliparts.co/cliparts/pTo/jr6/pTojr6pTE.jpgEvery person, when given the chance, wants to take the time to express themselves. Aaron knew that well. An introvert by nature, all he really longed for was someone who would understand him by the few words he said.

Like everyone from time to time, he too felt the need to speak, to shout, even scream at times. But it was rarely that he found the chance to actually truly talk.

Once made to feel comfortable, however, he would speak more often, open up a bit more and begin to share all those thoughts that so frequently hovered inside his mind.

It is always easy to talk about others, down to them, or simply to them. But it is more difficult to actually talk with them. That is where communication comes in. And that is the reason Aaron never really liked talking. It just seemed too hard.

But when he met Denise everything suddenly changed.

He found himself waiting anxiously for the time they would sit down for a chat. One that would forcefully end three hours later because either of them remembered they had an appointment, or work, or something they (hesitantly) had to do. They would talk about anything and everything at the same time. Expressing their deepest feelings, their reflections, their regrets, and their dreams. They didn’t need to ask each other questions; it just happened naturally. And they felt comfortable doing it because they trusted each other completely and knew that criticism had no room among them.

You can tell a lot about a person by the things they’re willing to express about themselves, and what they desire to know about you. But most of all you can understand that person even more by the depth of the words they are willing to fire your way.

The elephant in the closet

elephantinthelivingroom2When it was just a young calf, the little elephant was adopted by a rich high-class, very well-off family for no other reason because they could do so, and because their toddler son had become fascinated by the picture of the animal in a book he had, that he simply had to have one for his own. Most of the first few weeks were spent with the toddler running after the little elephant, tugging at its trunk and rejoicing whenever it squirt water back at it in an unsuccessful attempt to get the kid to stop.

As time passed by, the toddler grew older and found other interests. The elephant wasn’t the biggest fascination of his life anymore, but he did often still play with him. One rainy day, he had the idea of playing hide and seek. With the elephant. The elephant was to go hide.

The boy counted to 100, got distracted at 49, wondered off for half an hour, returned to count from one again and, well, two hours later he went to seek the elephant.

By now, the elephant was almost full-grown. So, really, where could an elephant hide? Mind you, the boy lived in a mansion, so it was quite easy to get lost in there. Or, in the boy’s case, get tired. After around half an hour of searching, the boy gave up and was then called for dinner. His mind drifted to other things and he soon went to bed.

The elephant had hidden in the basement closet.

They say elephants never forget. But people do. The boy forgot about the elephant and it was literally months before he remembered that he once had such a “pet”. But he never reached the closet. Because of laziness, of over-privilege, of low-concentration capacity? There were many reasons. Reasons that the elephant could not understand. For in its miserable, unnatural life, it was locked up, voluntarily at first and forcefully later as the closet door could not open from the inside.

The elephant perished in the closet of one of the most lavish houses people could ever build. But he became witness to the truth that appearances are deceitful. Because no matter the grandness of the house, the hearts of the people who occupied it were nonexistent.

Elephants never forget. But some people don’t even remember.

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