MC's Whispers

Whispering Silences

Archive for the tag “choices”

The dog in the window

©MCD

He was present everyday in the shop that dealt with pain and mourning. At first, when he first arrived he was the happiest dog most people had ever seen. He never stopped wagging his tail and seeking attention, jumping happily on its two feet.

But as the days passed, he noticed that people who entered the shop were not happy. And no matter how hard he tried, how much he jumped around, wagged his tail, tried to transmit his energy, they would hardly ever smile. Instead they were sobbing more often than not, drowning in a misery that was evident in the aura that accompanied them both upon their entry and their exit from the shop.

He preferred to sit at the shop window, gazing outside at the passers-by. They seemed to be happier. Every so often someone would stop and say something with a huge smile as if waiting for it to be reciprocated.

But the little dog had lost its spark. His eyes no longer had that glow anymore. And his tail did not wag that often.

That’s what usually happens when you surround yourself with misery for too long. You give up trying to float and allow yourself to get drowned into it too.   

Dance away

https://artsedge.kennedy-center.org/educators/lessons/grade-3-4/Telling_a_Story_Dance

The first time he stepped into a dance studio, he felt his heart flutter, as if it left his body and was hovering above him. He felt almost embarrassed walking in with all those potential dancers staring at him as the door clinked on his entry.

But he was determined.

Strong emotions can do that to a person.

Just a week ago, he had been dragged to a dance soirée by his sister and her friends. He had fallen in love with a dancer. But it was not with a specific one. He had been blown away by the movement; the story that was told through the song and dance. The feelings that were conveyed; the expressions on the dancers’ faces. He could feel everything so deeply just by looking at them. Being a part of their troupe must be amazing. That was the thought that had captured his mind that night. Being able to communicate in such way must be a great relief. Dancing would be an excellent way to relieve the pressure of everyday life.

So, here he was, trying to learn how to do that too.

The motto on the studio’s wall was “every problem has a solution, so dance!

Be who you choose to be

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He was small compared to others. Unusually so. And he was made fun of because of it. Even bullied.

But Elliot did not care. He chose not to listen because he knew he was destined for greatness.

Elliott wanted to be a reindeer. A famous one. One that pulled Santa’s sleigh.

The only problem was that he was a pony.

He was lucky enough to have supportive friends. Friends who stuck by when everyone else mocked him and left. Friends who encouraged him to follow his dream and who motivated him to try harder. Because they too believed that he could do anything he set his mind on.

Elliot never gave up. And his chance came, life rewarded him for his effort. He became the littlest reindeer of all. Santa’s favourite; the one who tried hardest and who was the most special. Elliot is the proof that even the underdog can achieve a lot if their heart is set on it and if they try passionately enough.

“Be magic; choose and believe that you can do anything you set your mind to believe. We are who we choose to be” – Will Smith

A Holiday Wish

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If you were granted one wish effective immediately, what would you wish for? Would it be for money, for material goods, or for courage, hope, love?

Lindsey knew exactly what should would seek: fulfillness. She wanted to feel that everything in her life was what she desired; that she had all she needed and wanted; that she was complete. It was something rare for anyone to state, because each person always believes they are lacking something, or they could always do with something more. That sense of incompletion is something that constantly accompanies us throughout our lives.

With everything she was forced to survive during the past few years, Lindsey was hopeful that this wish from a Secret Santa at an office party would perhaps restore the hope and optimism she had lost.

It wasn’t just the sentiment that had gone missing; it was herself too. Because more often than not people lose themselves trying to please others, in their effort to become the person they think will be more desired by another. But in the process, we fail to see that we lose the person that is most wanted by us: ourselves.

It is said that we need to find inner peace before we radiate the light we have inside. When you’ve reached the darkness, you have learnt to walk blindly towards the light.  And if you just take a step in the right direction, all it takes is a spark to light the flame.

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.

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.

Calm misfits

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Calmness originates in a state of mind. That is why often we are told that we should be selective with our battles; sometimes having peace is more important than being right.

Yet, the more strong-minded you are, the more you seek a “just cause”, the more you are affected by not being able to prove your righteousness. You are among those who acknowledge that life is not fair, yet have difficulty accepting it.

Because justice, unfortunately, is not always served.

People get away with a lot of things. Things that with the passing of time are repeated so often and go unpunished that they eventually become the norm.

And in the end, you – the one who is right and seeking justice for it – result being the lone wolf trying to change the world. A world which, however, considers you a misfit for not playing along.

In the end, you come to realise, that the more things you learn to ignore or simply accept, the calmer you will be. And, if anything, that alone would bring you peace of mind.

Know your value

https://www.alamy.com/conceptual-ragdoll-cat-looking-at-bat-shadow-image279123972.html

In a packed lecture class, a professor held up a €20 note and asked his students who wanted it. Everyone in the room lifted up their hand. The professor then crumpled it and asked again: “is there anyone who still wants this bill?” Everyone in the room raised their hand again. He then threw the note on the floor and began to kick it, jump on it and make it as dirty as he could with his shoes. He then picked it up, crinkled, muddy and stained. He asked again: “Who wants this crinkled, muddy and stained €20 bill?” Every single student again raised their hand.

“My friends”, he said, “today you will receive a great lesson. No matter what I did to this bill, you still wanted it because it hasn’t lost its value. It is still worth €20!”.

“Many times in our lives, we are trampled upon, struck hard, thrown down and stepped upon…by both people and circumstances”.

“Do you believe that this reduces your value?”

“Your true worth does not change in the eyes of those who really care about you”.

“Even at our worse, our value remains intact…as long as we ourselves don’t forget it during both our good times and our hard”.

Know your worth. Stop giving yourself to people and situations that don’t deserve you, that don’t chose you and place you as a priority always. If you don’t appreciate your value, no one else will.

The depths of love

How do you know its real love? And that it’ll last?” Jennifer asked her godmother that question as she was putting on the veil of her wedding dress.

Her godmother smiled at her and wrapped her arms around her. “I asked that very question too on my wedding day”.

There is no single answer. It depends on the things you are willing to do for the person you love. Acts that go beyond yourself. That demonstrate you value something more than your own person”.

Jennifer looked at her godmother, her thoughts wandering.

I’ll tell you a story,” her godmother began.

There was an emerging photographer who was out on a photoshoot session one day. A beautiful young girl walked through his set at the very moment he clicked and captured her on film. He couldn’t get her image out of his mind. He was fixated on her gaze as she wondered off in a hurry. It penetrated him and remained with him so strongly he desperately needed to see her again. He searched and found her later that week in the hair salon where she worked. He conveniently forgot his cap there, so she in turn found his studio in order to return it to him. He asked her to pose for him for a few shots. She didn’t know it at the time, but he published her photos in a well-known magazine that brought him further recognition for his work.

Their encounter was brief but it changed their lives forever.

She was happy by his side. He made her laugh and she loved him for it.

She loved playing in front of his camera. And he always managed to capture the perfect pose, enclosing her beauty and charm in a single shot.

But one day, when she went into the dark room to get some film which he needed, a bottle of developing agent fell onto her head and into her eyes. She was rushed to the hospital.

He ran by her side, sweating with agony at the thought of losing her. At the thought that something might happen to her.

The doctors said her pupils were destroyed irreparably and the only way to see again was if she got an eye transplant.

Would you give up your eyes for someone else? Would you forsake ever seeing anything ever again, simply so the person you love can spend their life viewing the world? Could you feel a love so strong and profound that you would voluntarily hand over one of your main senses to someone else?

He never even thought about it. To him there was no need to discuss it either. It was a conscious decision it took just seconds to make.

In the operation room, he was lying next to her, holding her hand. His eyes wide open, his last memory was flashing before him. It was his last adrenaline-rush ride at full throttle on his cherished motorcycle before he handed over its keys to a random caretaker. He was giving up one love to save another. Tears were streaming down his face. The doctor told him to take his time. He needed to stop crying for the operation to continue.

He said he was OK. He turned around to look at her one last time. To capture her figure, her lines, her face, so that he could remember her forever. Just before the anesthetic kicked in, his gaze turned towards her, imprinting in his mind her image to last an eternity.

She woke up and saw light. After days in the darkness, the glimmers of sunrays hurt her eyes. But she could make out the people standing in front of her. Family and friends who came to wish her well.

He wasn’t among them.

She thought he had abandoned her.

She didn’t know that he had condemned himself to darkness in order to give her light.

She wasn’t aware that he loved her so much, he gave up his eyes for her. That it mattered more to him to make her happy even if it meant losing something he valued.

Can you imagine a love so great and perfect that it would mean more to you to see your partner happy regardless of if it destroyed you? That would make the other’s happiness your priority? That would erase every trace of egoism from your actions?

What if there was one person like that for each of us? And we spend our whole lives searching for them? Someone who would love us so deeply they would literally give up a part of them for our own wellbeing? Selflessly and unconditionally”.

Jennifer was fighting back the tears. She was deeply moved by her godmother’s story, which was interrupted by the sound of her godfather’s white cane sounding at the door.

She had been told he was left blind after an accident.

Only now did she realise he wasn’t the one who had suffered the accident. Her godmother was.

He gave up her eyes for her. And in doing so gave her the world.

Right People, Wrong Times

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“Is it possible to meet the right person at the wrong time?”

“That depends. What makes this the right person and why is it the wrong time?”

She sighed. Unfortunately, not everyone is a mind reader and the things we find it hard to express are usually what we need to communicate the most.

Julie was sitting on the porch gazing at the sunset.

She couldn’t erase from her mind that person she met the other night. They had spent hours talking about anything, everything and nothing. They had shared life experiences, thoughts, ambitions, goals, dreams, all in one night. And she had felt she was falling in love with him, while they were talking.

He had captured her brain and soul and her heart would surely follow.

He made her feel comfortable. Without any fear of judgement or criticism. She felt assured that there was someone on the other end waiting to listen.

As the stars lit up the sky that night, she could see his eyes gleaming. She couldn’t tell if they were radiated by the full moon or his happiness at seeing her smile.

She didn’t know that he felt the same and more. That he had been waiting for her, to get to know her – just how amazing she is – and to do whatever he could to win her over.

All he could think about was holding her tight in his arms and continuing their talk throughout the night until it evolved into the lovers’ stage.

She looked at him with a broken gaze. He understood something was wrong.

“This can’t happen,” she told him. She wouldn’t explain more, not even when he begged her, when he promised that things would be better and nothing would end.

She cried but resisted.

She cried more because she did.

She refused to speak to him, not even when he called or dropped by.

She didn’t want to ruin his life too. That’s what she told her aunt.

“Don’t be silly,” her aunt refuted. “Life is to live it to the last second. Don’t keep wasting it”.

Julie was not to live beyond the summer.

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