MC's Whispers

Whispering Silences

Archive for the tag “daily post”

The misappreciation of things

http://www.businesscoachmichaeldill.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/value-of-english.jpgThere is a saying that you don’t really appreciate what you have until you have it no more. In a post-apocalyptic world we will begin to understand how lucky we are nowadays to be able to do so many things with so little effort – from house chores to work to travel. Yet, we have forgotten the value of everything that truly matters: family, relationships, education.

We don’t have time – we say – to read books. To feed our minds with something of essence, that may change the way we think and the way we view things around us. Ironically, however, we spend the major part of our days skim reading on a screen pointless articles and posts on social media.

We claim we don’t have time – or energy – to visit a museum or an exhibition, something that would increase our value as people, that would give us some cultural education, that would help us realise where we come from so we can improve where we’re going. Yet, we have the time to waste by taking tens of shots in search of the perfect selfie to post on social networks in demonstration of our idyllic lives.

We know nothing yet act as if we know everything.

We stubbornly refuse to learn and, even more, be taught by elders.

We have become a generation of people who want everything and value nothing.

And it is a shame. Because we are the future of this world. And it is not looking too bright.

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Keep calm

https://www.mindful.org/wp-content/uploads/Calm.jpgCalmness is the cradle of power” (Josiah Gilbert Holland), that is why being calm – having a clear mind and a patient heart – is nowadays considered something like a superpower.

Never before did mankind need so many motivational resources on how to be calm, find calm, calm down, and all the likes. Earlier generations considered being calm and having time to relax a given. But in this one, when everything moves so rapidly, when you’re away from a screen for an hour or less and new developments have already taken the course, people don’t have time to relax or slow down. Or so they say. In essence, we refuse to do so out of fear that we may miss out on something. That is mainly why youth are so attached to their mobile phones, checking social networks every so often. It is the very fear of missing out that stops us from actually living our own lives. Of doing something memorable that you don’t need to post on the web because it would lose its significance that way. Not every moment we experience needs to be demonstrated on line. We don’t cease to exist when no one is watching.

That anguish we have of what the world does or sees is also what keeps us so much on edge. Why we can’t stop even if we try. Why we sit on a couch at the end of the day to watch something irrelevant on TV and still find ourselves thinking about a million other things or be skim reading on our tablet or phone. It is also why when we do manage to switch our brains off, we instantly fall asleep. It is an accumulation of prolonged tiredness.

There are a series of “inspirational mottos” about pretty much everything. They begin “Keep calm and…”. Because we need to be reminded and prompted to calm down.

Apple has even created an app for that too. It was named App of the Year for 2017 and it is called “Calm”, offering “Meditation techniques for Sleep and Stress Reduction”.

Isn’t it ironic how we need an application to remind us to “breathe” or “do nothing for 15 seconds”?

Maybe we all do need some “mindfulness”, that “basic human ability to be fully present, aware of where we are and what we’re doing, and not overly reactive or overwhelmed by what’s going on around us”.

All we really need is to live fully, deeply and constantly and let our mind wander whenever it can. But in the world we live in, being calm and relaxed has become some kind of superpower.

Green happiness

ronda-del-boccio

©Ronda Del Boccio

When Martha first moved into her own house, her parents brought her a plant. There were no flowers, just green leaves. They told her that plants were necessary in our lives and our homes not only for the oxygen they provide, but for the meanings they give to us.

Martha didn’t quite understand.

At first she didn’t really care for the plant. She left it at some corner of the house with sunlight and regular water.

But she quickly came to realise that the more she cared for the plant the more it bloomed. It became her friend and inspiration.

 

Also part of Friday Fictioneers

 

 

Six Whispers

six anniversaryIn numerology, the number six is considered “not too hot, not too cold, not too fast nor too slow”. Six is usually just right, hardly ever part of any extremes, with a well-balanced nature and a “happy number indeed”.

Six years ago, I started writing this blog. Essentially, to externalise the whispers that were mounting in my head about everything and anything. After all, “a writer is someone who pays attention to the world” (Susan Sontag) and it is true that “as a writer you try to listen to what others aren’t saying…and write about the silence” (N.R. Hart). More so, when you make time to write – because you will never find it unless you force yourself – you find that there is always something to write about, especially what doesn’t kill you, want helps you survive, what changes your perception of the world.

I write because I don’t know what I think until I read what I say” (Flannery O’ Connor). Indeed, writing stimulates thought. Perhaps that is the main reason why writers are first urged to read a lot. And why parents are encouraged to read to their children, for a child who reads will be an adult who thinks.

In six years of blog writing, there is the fear of being repetitive and inescapably there are topics that come up again and again, due to their importance and their intrinsic part of our lives. In six years, you see yourself mature and grow, evolve and gain new skills, new mentality and a new perspective on life as everything you experience shapes you.

Most of all you learn to appreciate the concept of time. Because you find that you often waste too much of it without real reason. Time has a wonderful way of showing us what really matters. We need to focus on the small things because eventually we’ll realise that these were the big things that made life great. In the end, we only regret the things we left unsaid the chances we didn’t take. So devote your time to things that make you happy, to the people you love and to the activities that enrich your soul. Time is the greatest gift to give, because it is like giving a portion of your life that you will never get back.

We can’t predict the future and perhaps it is better that way. Life can certainly be complicated. But we shouldn’t wait for things to get better to do something. We need to learn to be happy right now, otherwise we’ll simply run out of time.

After all, we can’t control the things that happen, but what really matters is the way we react to everything.

Summing it all up are three words that say everything: “live, love, laugh”.

The paradox of human nature

https://img00.deviantart.net/ed60/i/2009/035/0/d/greed_by_liol.jpgHumans have an innate and incurable weakness. That of being extremely selfish and greedy. Nothing is ever enough. And more is always what everyone seeks. Because what humans only really care about is appearing to be better, cleverer, richer than everyone else. They want to be talked about – because not being talked about is worse.

They listen, not to understand, but to react. Mostly to things they interpret in their own way. And things they later state they heard differently. Some don’t even listen at all. And most people simply hear what is to their benefit. Everything else passes by unnoticed.

Humans are the creatures in this world that have the power to change things but knowingly decide not to. They are insensitive by will and narcissistic by conviction. Instead of looking for ways to make our living environment better for those to come, we make it worse for those who manage to stay.

We use technology not to improve our survival, but to demonstrate how self-centred we are, feeling the urge to advertise every moment of our lives on social networks instead of caring for those around us and actually living those moments. We create posts instead of memories and feed on “likes” and heart-shaped thumbs-up approvals from digital “friends” we don’t even really know.

We pretend to live but hardly even survive.

And then we spend hours on self-help books and motivational speeches, seminars and tutorials searching for ways to acquire mental health and psychological stability.

We become irritated by everyone else’s attitude and behaviour, yet stubbornly refuse to change our own because we consider ourselves above all others and thus there is no need to alter anything in our own character.

We expect the world to change to fit to our own needs but do nothing to compromise or accommodate ourselves for the world around us.

We are the ones bringing our own demise and downfall. Yet we are experts in always finding someone else to blame. Because it is much easier to give fault to someone else than to be a decent human being and assume responsibility.

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.

Broken time

©MCD_IMG_20180730_182431

©MCD

She wanted a walk on the beach. It was the only thing that could calm her storms. And lately her outbreaks were many. He couldn’t understand why. And she couldn’t explain it to him.

They walked hand in hand in silence, listening to the tranquil splash of the waves on the shore.

It had just rained and the clouds were beginning to disperse in the sky.

A few sailboats interrupted the endless smooth water surface.

A few ducks allowed themselves to drift by, along with a seagull who appeared tired of flying.

They sat down for a while by a wooden bench staring into the ocean.

There it was. A broken peer. As if abandoned to its fate. As if forgotten.

She gazed at it for minutes, wondering what stories it had to tell, how many lives had walked on it, in how many memories it featured.

And then… all those moments were simply gone.

Maybe it is true that nothing lasts forever. It is certainly painful. But that is also the reason why we need to make every moment count and everything we live in it beautiful.

Scorched earth

https://www.google.gr/url?sa=i&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=imgres&cd=&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=2ahUKEwjZ6un5rL3cAhULU1AKHdXNBXYQjRx6BAgBEAU&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.elenifourli.gr%2Fh-anoipoth-thlipsh-ap-tis-fonikes-pyrkagies-sthn-attikh-se-fotografies%2F&psig=AOvVaw0aBq1bLtvd1eC4h-VZrPBy&ust=1532714596008839It is something you hope and pray you will never have to experience. What others do not even wish upon their foes. It is something you cannot even bring yourself to imagine. You read it in history books and saw it in movies – the volcanic ash burying an entire city alive in Pompeii in 79 AD – but you never thought it would happen so close to you, or rather to you.

You looked away when in movies people were burnt alive. Or were screaming because they were drowning. But now. Now it became a reality, developing right in front of your eyes. A raging fire aided by gushing winds and, suddenly, property became ashes and lives disappeared within seconds.

You didn’t want to even think about what it was like to lose everything. Now you have to answer for yourself.

You were looking forward to a summer, one that would create new memories, not one where you would consider yourself lucky if you even survived it.

‘Painful’ cannot even begin to describe it all. Whatever others say, do or act will never appease you. It won’t bring anything back. It won’t make anything better.

You lie on the ground outdoors on a rugged blanket someone donated. You look at the starry night not because you’re out camping or because you want to, but because there is no other option and there is nowhere else to be.

And all you can do is hope.

That it will not rain.

The invisible rope

https://www.crissysmith.net/imadh/crissysmith/a-handfasting-is-an-old-pagan-custom-that-dates-back-to-the-time-of-the-ancient-celtics-it-was-a-celtic-marriage-ritual-where-two-people-declare-a-binding-hand-tying-ceremony-wedding-2-983-x-702.jpgThere is a story the elders of a native tribe used to tell the youth when couples were forced to separate often for days on expeditions outside the village in search for food and resources.

There is an invisible rope that binds two people once they fall in love. That rope keeps them together but not tied to one another. It is what joins them and draws them back to each other when they drift apart. But when one of them reacts and tugs at it as if in an attempt to cut it loose, the rope becomes thinner but it still remains there. It only disappears when both sides decide there is nothing there to keep fighting for. When their relationship has lost all the love, understanding and support it once had and once they stop caring for each other. Like everything in life, relationships are only as strong as you care for them, as the love you put into them, and as the effort you devote into keeping them alive. The point of the rope is to demonstrate the distance between two people is supposed to make their relationship stronger, because it shows them how much the other means to them, how much they fill each other’s lives and how much they want each to be on each other’s side. The rope is supposed to become stronger with the distance, otherwise it is not even worth it.

The way you say things

misunderstandingStephen was a known diplomat. He had spent his entire life studying and training to devote his life to being a professional envoy. He knew well that the way you say things could save a lot of anguish and misunderstanding. That is why words were just as important as the tone in which you utter them.

That is what he was trying to explain to his young nephew one sunny afternoon on the terrace. The little boy had asked why his aunt was upset again. She had told Stephen that he sounded “mean and angry” and “she had done nothing to deserve such behaviour”.

You know, 10% of quarrels are due to a disagreement and 90% due to a wrong tone of voice”, said Stephen. His nephew looked at him with wide eyes, wondering how the tone of one’s voice could cause so much trouble.

Diplomats learn from a young age how to be able to be discrete in any situation. In fact, we are the ones who are – as it is said – able to tell someone to go… somewhere bad in such a way that they look forward to the journey”. The young boy laughed, even though he wasn’t sure if he had understood everything correctly. But his uncle had a way of being so persuasive that you just couldn’t disagree.

The point, in every conversation you make, is to be calm, to maintain your temper and to simply say things in the most serene way possible. In that way, even if you insult someone, they’ll take it much lighter than if you yell some bad words at them”.

There is always a way to achieve your purpose. But losing your temper is not one of them”.

Jessica appeared at the door still moody. Stephen got up, wrapped his arms around her and whispered softly in her ear “forgive me, I didn’t mean to sound so abrupt”.

Jessica smiled and fell deeper into his arms.

Their young nephew laughed. His uncle was right. And he seemed an expert in this art.

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