MC's Whispers

Whispering Silences

Archive for the tag “competition”

Swimming counter-current

©Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

He entered the swimming pool area a couple of hours ahead of the competition and the other contestants.

There was a strange tranquillity in the still waters and the silence. Everything was ready, preparing for a festival, excitement, cheering and action.

But, he remained calm. His breathing rhythm had not increased a single beat. As if he didn’t care.

It was the biggest race of his life so far, yet he remained motionless, unaffected by it all. The only thing he could not shake off was that something wrong was about to happen.

He later wished he had been wrong.

Also part of Friday Fictioneers

A shining star in a dim sky

https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-GV1XqVMta2c/V9OWt2dc12I/AAAAAAAAE2k/FynYSq2JkNMytbviNilB41CD2JSBpt7JgCLcB/s1600/shining-star.jpgThere 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

Easy for me – Hard for you

In order to facilitate things for ourselves, we usually end up making things more difficult for others. For example, parking in the most obnoxious of places, simply for the sake of being closer to our destination: on the pavements, sidewalks, in front of entrances/exits, around turns, in the middle of the street. Simply anywhere that will best serve our needs. Failing to realize, however, that this ease of ours makes life all the more difficult for the rest.

Selflessness is a rare characteristic in our times. And it seems all people care about is how to best serve themselves, above and beyond others, and even at the expense of others. Fighting like hunters over food, the need to contend with others for commodities has become so embedded in daily routines, that this is how society now learns to behave. Skirmishing over even insignificant matters. Simply for the desire to show superiority over others. The motto that rules the day thus is “live and let die – as long as I’m fine, who cares about others”.

In an evolving world, instead of coming closer together we are drifting further apart. Societies are becoming all the more uncivilised and the rule of the jungle is reapplied. Survival of the fittest. Perhaps that is the reason why reality-shows monitoring each and every minute in the lives of enclosed contestants record such high viewings. People want to see what others do and find every bit of excuse to make fun of, condemn, criticize. Altruism and generosity are terms relatively unbeknown to society. Yet, when it comes to giving money to charities and other fundraisers, everybody is more than willing to show their philanthropist nature. Most, gaining on the side by the publicity and exposure they receive on account of it.

Even in supermarkets, with hundreds of products in line available to all, we witness trolleys crashing into each other, carelessly left here and there, while their owners run back and forth picking up things and moving them around, as if it is a contest to be won. And in the eyes of an independent observer, (for example KD who also told me of this), until all of these people actually pay at the cashier, they haven’t really bought anything; they’re simply shifting things around! And even left abandoned for the supermarket employees to re-arrange. At times it seems like even shopping is becoming a competition. Who will shop more, the more expensive products, the more exquisite wines, the more extraordinary food. Everything is becoming a matter of showcase.

And all that is linked to the ego – the “I” or self of any person. The essence of what builds up or tears down a person’s self-esteem and confidence. Yet, there is a difference to being confident and being overconfident. The first implies feeling self-assured, while the latter insinuates a taste of egotism – selfishness that reveals itself in trying to appear better, smarter and dominant to all others. And thus leads to the belief that “I’d better look out for myself first, because no-one else will do it for me”. It is sad that in the 21st century people still behave in such conceited and egotistical ways, ignoring or simply not caring that in a democratic and contemporary society uniting forces would actually facilitate everyone’s lives and improve everything for the better. If we would all simply help each other and follow those simple principles upon which society was based, life would be much more stress-free indeed.

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