MC's Whispers

Whispering Silences

Archive for the tag “different”

Generation Gaps

https://www.theartof.com/assets/images/Webp_net-resizeimage(4).jpg

You know, when we were young, our only way of communicating with each other was if we were both home and both had a landline. Otherwise we were sort of lost in our own worlds”.

The young girl looked up from her mobile phone.

She was astounded by the truth of her grandfather’s words. She lived in an age where you could communicate with anyone anywhere in a matter of seconds. She didn’t know what it was like to not have a phone in hand and for her it was unthinkable to not be able to find out at any given time where anyone was and what they were doing. Mostly because her generation voluntary gave out that information online.

So what happened if you wanted to find out about someone but didn’t want them to know?” she asked coyly.

Well, you would have to ask someone who knew them too”.

But what if you didn’t want anyone to know?”

Like stalking?” her grandfather put it frankly.

Well, sort of…” she blushed.

There was no such thing in my time. If you’re relationship broke with someone, you tried to fix it. And if that didn’t work then you just got out of touch with them. And that was the end of it”.

The girl said nothing. She looked at her grandfather trying to imagine what that was like. Her generation was used to stalking each other on social media and getting obsessed with each other’s posts, overanalyzing, overthinking and overstressing. Everything in exaggeration. What was it like to not have to think about all this? To simply not care? To be calm?

Her grandfather was almost 100. He would still go out for long walks and had the patience of a mule.

She was agitated by even a fly’s buzz.

One time she had asked him if he never worries about anything. His reply was: “would it help?”

“To be calm is the highest achievement of the self” – Zen proverb

In another epoch

https://wallhere.com/en/wallpaper/1198419

In a different time

Another epoch

There would have been something else

Another form of you

An alternative me

There would have been more

Maybe even less…

Also part of Weekend Writing Prompt #146

Searching for allies in our head

https://live.staticflickr.com/4463/26333322639_8227570ca2_b.jpg

It was a cold, winter day with north winds howling through the window. The cold crept indoors, no matter how tightly shut the airways were.

He was moaning about how freezing it was even inside.

She had her mind elsewhere to pay too much attention. It was just the start of winter; more cold would surely follow.

Each person has random things hovering inside their mind. Things that grasp their attention at times when they should be focused on something or someone else. But we don’t know about them unless they are shared with us. Unless that someone else lets us into their mind, and on condition that we are empathetic enough to understand how and why whatever the problem is, is causing so much concern to the person next to us.

We are all different. It is inevitably so. And as such, we don’t all view the world in the same way. Problems we see as “end of the world”-type disasters, to someone else may be negligible mishaps. It is difficult to find people who share our point of view, our perspective, let alone our values. The meaning of “important” is not the same for everyone. That is why it is often challenging to explain what it is that is draining our energy and our mental health.

And that is why people often choose to bury themselves in a shell, rather than speak out. Because it is easier to shy away than try to make others understand.

He left, once again, as he always did when he couldn’t – or didn’t want to – understand her.

Just an hour later, the central heating in the building was turned on, presenting a strong ally against the cold.

The vicious circles we feed

https://c.pxhere.com/photos/e4/0b/alone_walking_night_people_city_street_lonely_stranger-731127.jpg!d

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.

Social norms

We live in a society that even inexplicitly wants us to follow rules. Unwritten regulations that are the norm. If you go against them, it is not only frowned upon, but you are seen as a reactionary, even an outcast. Simply because you don’t conform.

But it is not those who follow the path of the masses who ever accomplished anything. It is those who don’t fear to find a way of their own. Who have the courage to be different.

But until you find the strength to do something out of the ordinary, most of the time you are forced to live in hypocrisy. To socialise and be polite to people you are not even fond of, to behave “appropriately” according to context, to press “like” on social networks even if you don’t, to make positive comments even when you don’t believe them, to act constantly out of the character you know you are, simply because this is what is “socially acceptable”.

 We live our lives in fear of “what others will think or say” of us. And as such we end up suppressing our potential, hiding our true feelings and at times even dumbing ourselves down because the level of those surrounding us is so much lower.

What if we didn’t do all of this? What if we didn’t oppress ourselves the way we do? What if we didn’t care what others would say? What if we simply did what would make us happy and make us feel satisfied and proud of who we are? The world would definitely seem a better place, if only because we would feel more comfortable in it.

Perfectionist Problems

https://image.shutterstock.com/image-vector/perfectionism-perfectionist-removes-nonideal-berry-260nw-337563263.jpgThe greatest problem with being a perfectionist is that you are never at peace. And the main reason you can never find tranquillity is because you are never satisfied. You always believe there is more, you can do better, you can achieve greater things, you can aim higher. There is no limit, no ceiling, never anything enough.

And that is a problem.

When others are satisfied with the bare necessities, you are always seeking for more. Something more extravagant, more original, something different. Ordinary is boring. You comprehend that fully.

But that means you are also disappointed when others don’t see as far as you do. When they don’t take risks, don’t try harder, don’t exit their comfort zones.

The problem with being a perfectionist is above all that you are different and have trouble fitting it with the crowd.

That is also your strength though. And it should be your greatest asset.

Life is a journey not a destination

http://www.wns.com/Portals/0/Images/HeaderBanner/desktop/1087/53/travel_HD.jpgIn an interview, renowned architect Renzo Piano said, “when you are born in a city surrounded by water, the only thing you think about is that the water will become a path to take you away, to explore the world”. It is true. As children, we all have that feeling of wanting to discover what more is out there. You feel that your surroundings constrain you and you need to leave, to meet other places. As adults, we try to find the time and money to travel. But what we often forget is that “travel is not a reward for working; it is education for living”.

There is a saying that “we travel not to escape life but for life not to escape us” and it is certainly true that “travel is the only thing you can buy that makes you richer”.

We travel to grow. To allow our mind to grow and expand at all the new things we learn while in a different place. We find out that the world we live in is more vast that we acknowledge and that it is impossible to see it all in a lifetime.

We travel to get away. To discover new places, new people, different customs and other mentalities; but at the same time to (re)discover ourselves. We change places in the hope of finding serenity, calm and understanding when we lack it at home. With the optimism that we will rethink certain aspects and manage to find peace in a surrounding that is different to the one we see every day.  We travel to make ourselves better, in every way.

We travel to reinvent ourselves and ultimately to become richer – particularly, in the mind and soul. It is indeed better to “fill your heart with adventure not things. Have stories to tell not stuff to show.  Because one thing is for sure, when you return, you are never the same person you left.

Ordinary is boring

http://www.productivity501.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/Being-Extraordinary.jpgSome people take pride in being ordinary; feeling embarrassed if they are even the slightest bit different than everyone else. But in fact, we weren’t born to be the same. We are here to stand out. To do something different and to bring something original into the societies we live in.

There are no ordinary people. Because everyone has a unique aspect that may take some effort to discover. Indeed, “genius is the capacity to see ten things where the ordinary man sees one” (Erza Pound).

Similarly, there are no ordinary moments. The moments are what we make of them. The feelings we share and the experiences we gather.

We are often prompted to find joy in what seems like the ordinary. Because, cliché as it may seem, it is in the little things that all the great emotions lie.

So when you feel like you’re just ordinary, think again. And do something a little bit different. Dare to change.

Remember, “the difference between ordinary and extraordinary is that little extra” (Jimmy Johnson).

 

Also part of Daily Prompt: Ordinary

A suitcase is more than just a bag

Suitcase-travel-31302401-360-273A suitcase is considered an item of luxury. At least that is what Joshua thought. Because to own a suitcase means that you will need it to pack things in when you travel. Wherever that may be. And traveling, let’s face it, costs money. And money is just not something that grows on trees. No matter where you look. So, according to Joshua, a suitcase is an item of luxury. That is why some even cost more than he makes in a month. But that’s a different story.

His main concern today was what he would pack in this suitcase.

It was new and he had saved it especially for this day. It was one of those modern, light-weight yet sturdy four-wheel suitcases, that you could pack your life into and when you would unpack you would be amazed at how much it actually fit inside.

Joshua hated packing, though. He loved to travel but despised the fact that each time he had to spend a couple of hours gathering all his essentials and trying to get them to fit into a bag he could carry. And there was another problem associated with that: Joshua was a secret hoarder. He gathered so many mementos, souvenirs and little accessories from every place he visited, that not only did he have trouble containing them in a suitcase, but even in his very home. He actually built an extra room in his house, simply to serve as his own private museum.

But one thing that Joshua hated more than packing was remaining at the same place for too long. He was a restless spirit and in constant need of movement. Staying put was for him equivalent to remaining inert. And that was worse than not living. There were so many places out there that he still had not seen. So many people he had not yet met. So many cultures he had not discovered. And it was all waiting for him. Of course, like everything, travelling required money. But Joshua worked hard, so he could play hard too. And with every opportunity he got he would indolently make up his suitcase and excitedly rush off to another adventure. It always managed to lift his spirits and rejuvenate his lust for life. No matter where he went. As long as it was somewhere.

Today, he was staring at all the things he had spread out across his bed and was wishing that they would all magically be arranged into his suitcase. Procrastination was his strong point. It was already three hours before midnight and the things had been lying on the bed since morning.

Joshua was setting off for an adventure. One of the biggest so far. He didn’t know how long he would stay there for. But he knew he wanted to take this risk. To try something different. Maybe his luck would change on account of this. He was hoping it would. He just had to be brave enough to take the first step. Everything else would work out along the way. It always somehow did.

He had taken a bold first step. He had bought the suitcase. And in it he would pack all his essentials. That would be enough. Life would happen along the way. And he was ready.

 

Also part of Daily Post: Sparkling or Still

Catching that Zen moment

travel 2It already starts during the return trip. That feeling of melancholy that slowly creeps up on you when you are about to depart from a place at which you’ve spent a few amazing days. You’ve already sort of lost touch with reality, at least for a while having left aside your routine, even if you worked during your trip.

No matter what the reason for a trip, a change of location certainly offers a breath of fresh air. Scientists have even argued that traveling is good for the health because it creates new neurons and it augments optimism and the feeling of happiness. Indeed the fascination of going somewhere else, somewhere you don’t see on a daily basis, triggers in you a wave of excitement that in fact also makes you a much more positive person and brings on more smiles.

Traveling is also good for the soul. It opens your mind to new cultures and mentalities, it allows you to discover new places and meet new people, and it makes you more dynamic and sociable, particularly if you try to engage in the ‘normal’ life of the location and not simply follow the tourist route.

But the worst part is when you are preparing to leave. That is the instance when it hits you that the fun is sort of over. That you have to leave the friends you’ve stayed with to return to your routine, however agreeable that may be. Somehow, whenever you return to your home and familiar surroundings, nothing seems the same. You see everything differently, at first often with an inevitable comparison, and something always seems to be missing. It does take a while to reacclimatize yourself. Especially if for so many days you were speaking a different language, as at home this would offer an additional incentive for people to consider you a foreigner in your own country.

It is difficult to return to base. Just imagine how astronauts would feel. Nonetheless, there is nothing to regret. The trip has certainly opened up your mind, relaxed your soul, and soothed your heart. And that alone is something to be grateful for. For having the luxury to travel. To see other cultures, (re)encounter friends, and reach that Zen moment that escaped you for so long.

Post Navigation