MC's Whispers

Whispering Silences

Archive for the tag “comparison”

A shining star in a dim sky is a story an elderly monk used to tell his young novices:

“There was a star born one night in the darkness. Its light was dim and it could hardly be seen in the night sky. No-one really even knew it was there. It existed unnoticed. The star was upset and disappointed. It felt invisible. But as time passed it was growing in size. Disheartened as it was with life, its shine was still absent. A dim star is one that hardly exists. Other stars gathered beside it, bigger or smaller, they were certainly brighter. The star – that was no longer little – became even more upset. It was discouraged by the competition. One night it heard a little girl point to the sky and shout in amazement “look at all the bright lights!”. The star felt for the first time noticed. And for this,  it wanted to make its presence even more prominent. So it tried with all its heart to shine the brightest. And suddenly the entire sky lit up. The sky was hiding its glow within it; over the years it had gathered so much light but failed to find a way to transmit it. Or rather, a reason to do so. It’s difficult to be a shining star in a dim sky. But you should never allow the fear of glowing too brightly from dimming the shine you have within you. And knowing that you’re bright all alone. No need to be compared with anyone else.”

Also part of Daily Prompt: Dim


Paper books or e-readers?

books vs ebooksWith so many things to read nowadays, we often get lost not only in the material but in the medium of reading. You see people reading constantly and everywhere – paper books, magazines, newspapers, on tablets, phablets, e-readers, phones. Choosing the right medium is not simply a matter of preference, it is also of convenience. So what do you prefer, a paper book or an e-reader?

Don’t get me wrong, I love my Kindle (for many more reasons beyond its practicality), but there is just something else present in a real paper book that cannot be replaced by any screen. And it is not just the excitement of getting your hands on a new book every once in a while (because, really, how many times are you going to buy an e-reader?).

In an era that sees the rapid rise of a “screen culture” we often need to take time off any and every screen. It is just not natural. And it is unhealthy being stuck in front of a screen all day. Get your hands on a book, flick through its pages, smell that odour of print and paper, rub the rough yellow sheets between your fingers, roll your hands over the indentations of the cover, mark the page you left off, feel the agony, work and inspiration that were involved in making that book, and let the magic radiating from each and every page carry you away.

Of course, you can still read the same book on an e-reader, but this digital medium just won’t allow you to completely engage in the relationship between book and reader. Sure, it is more convenient in many ways – for example, e-books are cheaper than paper ones; you can carry your e-reader anywhere at any time, having with you an abundance of books all at once; and quite significantly, you can read anything anywhere surreptitiously without being afraid of being judged, as it is impossible to see what you’re reading and can thus saturate your curiosity for a range of genres.

Reading a book is not just a past-time. It is an experience. A journey into another world. It is a way of getting lost without even moving from your couch. And it is one that will enrich your life.

So in essence, it doesn’t really matter where you read something, just as long as you immerse yourself fully into it. You’ll never regret it. (Unless it is a really bad book, but that’s another story).

Is it really greener on the other side?

Greener grassThe great thing about going away on a holiday is that you get to forget about everything that annoys you in the place where you reside and go on to experience a different lifestyle, with possibly a different culture and mentality. However, a comparison between what you routinely endure every day and what you see for only a short period is unavoidable. And it seems that every time what you conclude is that the grass always seems to be greener on the other side of the fence. That this “neighbour’s lawn” is indeed better looking, healthier and overall greener than your own. Even though in reality you may be just ignoring anything negative about it and downplaying everything positive about your own.

But sometimes it is in fact greener on the other side. When you view and live in a routine different than the one you are acquainted to, it often simply serves to highlight everything wrong about the latter. The better manners, more efficient organisation, and work ethics of the host nation, simply underline the inadequacy, rudeness and corruption that may prevail in your own. And that is when you decide that things need to change.

Perhaps it is true that one person alone cannot change the world. But change starts from within. And an alteration in your own lifestyle may at least help you reach the satisfaction you so desire. If everything around you seems so negative, and everything elsewhere so positive, then perhaps the grass is truly greener on the other side. But how do you penetrate into that “greener” lawn? How do you enter a system which seems to value contacts, rank and background, much more than knowledge, skills and experience? How do you manage to persuade a director to let you in or at least give you an opportunity when you don’t even know anyone who can open the door? Some trends are universal. And the lack of meritocracy appears to be one of them.

It is like the fight between two wolves that an old Cherokee man told his grandson about. It was about a terrible fight occurring inside of him, between two wolves. One was evil – he represented anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego. The other was good – he was joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith. “The same fight”, the man said, “is going on inside you – and inside every other person, too”. The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather, “Which wolf will win?” The old Cherokee simply replied, “The one you feed.”

That is true for every aspect of our lives. If we simply look at the negative in everything, that is all we will know. For as long as you feed your mind with the belief that the grass is greener on the other side, that is what you will forever see. In Greek there is a saying that every obstacle is there for a good reason. Perhaps to make you stronger and better prepared when you finally do cross over to the greener lawn. For when you do, you might finally see its own inadequacies and fading colour…


Also part of Daily Prompt: Good Fences?

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