MC's Whispers

Whispering Silences

Archive for the tag “human nature”

Right is right regardless

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We, people, are too concerned about appearances. About what other people think. About how we may seem to others; the image we portray.

We are often more concerned about the impression we give, than about acting right and with integrity. We lose ourselves to please others, but, worse, to fit into social confinements.

There are certain ways of acting that we can realise on our own if they are right or not. No matter the norms of social behaviour, we can discern if it is acceptable to shout in public, to speak badly to service workers, to be rude to anyone. They are part of those things that frankly should be common sense.

But what most people fail to comprehend is that just because everyone does something doesn’t make it right or even acceptable.

Similarly, just because certain people act in a similar manner around everyone – e.g. flirting or being overly effusive – doesn’t make that behaviour acceptable or appropriate either.

There are some things we need to respect when it comes to friendships and social conduct.  We need to take into account the people we have before us and adjust our manners accordingly.

But essentially, it is one single thing: don’t do unto others what you don’t want done to you. If you want to be respected, treat the people next to you with respect. It will elevate you much more than anything else you could say or do.

Remember, “right is right even if no one is doing it. Wrong is wrong even if everyone is doing it” (St Augustine).

An obdurate nature

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There is a difference between remaining firm in your beliefs and simply being obdurate. Because in the latter you stubbornly refuse to change”.

That’s what you’re doing”.

She no longer yelled at him like she used to. She was too tired and exasperated to do so.

Why should I change? It’s not I who is thinking things wrongly”.

She sighed. There was nothing left to say. He had made it perfectly clear.

Also part of Weekend Writing Prompt #161

The quiet ones

It’s the quiet ones you should fear. Because they have a whirlwind of thoughts howling in their minds.

They won’t always tell you what they’re thinking, but you can see their emotions reflected in their eyes.

They are the ones who will look out for you no matter what. They’ll be there whenever you ask for help, and will go out of their way to please you. They’re the ones you want to have as friends because you take for granted that they’ll do their utmost for you. But they’re also the ones you fail to appreciate. Yet, they stay. Because that is the type of person they are. They don’t measure or count what they do for you, they do things because they feel them in their heart.

The quiet ones are the ones who also need others the most, regardless how much they say otherwise.

They would ideally like to have people around who care as much as they do. People who during a crisis will show up without having been asked to simply to check in on them. We all want friends around us who every once in a while ask if we’re OK, if we need anything, or simply to be there for a walk, a chat, and a hug. People who are present and make it all seem manageable because we don’t feel like we’re fighting against the world alone.

It’s the quiet rivers that lead to the loudest streams. But when they’re calm, they offer the most refreshing waters.

It’s as simple as this

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Humans have an impertinent nature. It is a given fact. We don’t like to be told what to do and most often than not we will do the exact opposite of what you tell us. Because we can. And we feel superior by doing so. As if disrespecting you or regulations will give us impotency and show that we do not ‘bow down’ to others. That’s the mentality.

Similarly, during the time of Coronavirus, when the entire world has shut down and streets everywhere are empty, we have been ordered to #StayHome to #StaySafe. Yet, there are those – a surprisingly large number of them – who don’t comply because they don’t want to; because they are bored at home; because “they’re fine”.

People who work from home long before it became a trending necessity, know very well what it feels like to spend your entire day in the same space. But there is always something to do. If you don’t work, you can find things to keep you occupied and creative. It’s your time to relax, learn, read, watch movies, fix your home and garden, invest time in yourself. For the sake of it, all we’ve been asked to do is sit on our couch to #SaveLives. Why is this so difficult to understand?

There are so many people out there still working. They go to their jobs daily, with the constant risk of contracting the virus, simply to keep the world still moving. Many of them would very much like to simply stay home. Like we’re supposed to be doing.

Restrict your movements. You don’t need to be outside “exercising” every day, when you’ve never done that so far. The sooner we all comply, the sooner we will all be able to continue our lives. It’s as simple as that.

Searching for allies in our head

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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.

Endless chatter

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There is a difference between saying too much and not enough. Just as there is a difference in knowing when to speak and when not.

It is Plato who said it best: “wise men speak because they have something to say; fools because they have to say something”.

In an age where self-promotion is the norm, people speak more than ever. The problem though, is that they do not know when to pause.

A Zen saying goes “do not speak unless you can improve the silence”. Unfortunately, nowadays few can do that.

We observe it daily: in the ride to and from work, people are stuck in trafficking and feel the constant need to talk to someone – co-passengers, on the phone, to random strangers, salespersons, anyone they bump into – simply to consume the words they cannot suppress inside.

It may be seen as an insecurity, wanting to constantly draw attention onto oneself by speaking endlessly. But people need to realise when this becomes tiresome for others more than for themselves.

Those who speak limitlessly also tend to be those who are not comfortable in their own silence, and who subsequently try to find ways to avoid it. As such, though, they lose out on the healing process some minutes of quiet offers not only to others but to their own soul as well.

Avoiding the silence

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Many people start their day with the sound of the alarm clock buzzing in their ears. From that moment, our entire day is filled with noise – running water, the kettle singing, the phone ringing, email alerts, cars honking, doors slamming, music, trains on rails, voices of all pitches and intensities and so much more.

If you just sit still for a minute and breathe, you may even hear your own heart beat. Had it not been for all those noises that constantly surround us.

If you’re a person who easily gets lost in your thoughts, who drifts off in daydream or allows their mind to wander, every once in a while – perhaps more often than most people – you need the silence. You want to be able to enter public transportation without the hubbub, the clamour, the commotion. You don’t understand why people feel the constant urge to talk all the time. Some simply talk for the sake of talking. They are not really saying anything of substance; sometimes even nothing that makes sense. Perhaps sitting on the bus and talking on the phone to someone during the entire duration of your trip makes you feel important, that you’re not ‘wasting time’, or it is a way of keeping others astray. Because, yes, there are those types of people too, who want to talk so much that they will approach you and try to start a conversation out of nowhere, without your consent. Even if you kindly try to avoid it, it will turn into a monologue on their part, which you are obliged to listen. Unless you want to get off on the next stop and risk facing a worse situation on the next public transport you board.

People don’t appreciate the silence enough. It is as though they are avoiding their own thoughts. As if they are afraid of staying alone with themselves for a while. Of emptying their minds. Of discovering what their own perceptions on life are. Of even listening to the sound of their own heartbeat.

It is a shame. Because if we learned to be more mindful of our own well-being, of the rhythm of our breaths, of the ticking of our hearts, we wouldn’t be so agitated and stressed all the time, complaining about the world and everything in it.

Talk to listen

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Humans have a strange characteristic: they can either talk for hours or sit in silence. Sometimes we need to alternate between the two.

A good, long, talk – and sometimes a good cry – is often the best cure for anything that is bothering you. It works best if there is a recipient. A friend who understands you and can soothe your aching soul.Someone who was with you before a crisis, now during it, and will remain even after it is gone. Talking about our problems alleviates our sense of burden,the pressure we feel because of them. But it has an even greater effect when you know that you’re talking to someone who may not be able to relate, but certainly comprehends your troubles. They don’t need to offer solutions. Just to be there and listen. Often, that is more important. Because most people don’t listen. They only hear what they want, all the while preparing their response for when it is their turn to enter the discussion.

Perhaps that is also the reason why it is difficult to have intellectual conversations nowadays. That ability to just sit and talk, about anything and everything. To speak without fear or regrets or limitations. To talk for hours about life and all is challenges and what makes it all worthwhile.

There is a very valid saying related to this: “Great minds discuss ideas; Average minds discuss events; Small minds discuss people”. Consider what the talk is about next time you socialise. You’ll better realise your level of interaction.Of course, we’ve all found ourselves discuss all three at some point or other. But it is the time you devote to each that matters.

Talking helps us to externalise what we’re hiding inside. It also helps us better understand ourselves and our own needs. What we’re feeling and what we want to do about it. Most of the time we don’t talk so that others can offer solutions, we talk so that we better acknowledge our problem and find the way to solve it ourselves and help us heal. Support, however, is always welcome.

The thing is, to choose to talk. For whenever we say “I can’t”, “it is not my fault”, “I’m not responsible”, “there is no other way”, we are merely lying to ourselves. There is always a choice. And it is one made by us.

A woman’s silence

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She would often wander in a world no-one could understand. The real world made no sense anymore. She would retreat in the attic and later in the bedroom or living room. She would watch the time run by as she lost herself in books or let her mind gaze at TV series. She didn’t care anymore if she was alone. Now, it was something she actually looked forward to.

In the cold winter days, she would sit on a couch wrapped in a warm blanket with the company of her fluffy soft-toys. In their big glimmering eyes, she would find comfort. In there, she saw the reflection of who she wanted to be; who she was striving to become; who few would appreciate or, even more, understand.

Perhaps that was what was most disappointing. That no matter how much she explained her point of view, hardly anyone would see it. It is easy to put the blame for everything on someone else; it is even easier to dismiss all their views as wrong simply because they don’t agree with yours.People only listen to what they want to hear. And whatever you say, they will only focus on what they think is important, rendering everything else unsaid. She was tired of having to repeat herself so often, and not being heard. She was not understood. And that was perhaps worse than not being appreciated.

So, she drifted away. She had grown weary of trying to change a world that so adamantly refused to do so. She stopped insisting. Her grandfather once told her that people should fear a woman’s silence, for a woman who stops moaning and more so talking is one who has simply given up. A woman’s silence is her loudest cry. But few can truly realise that. Even fewer are bold enough to do something about it.

It’s easy to keep demanding that everyone else changes. The real courage is to admit that you need to change too. And to do it.

How are you…you?

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What if you woke up one day and found someone had stolen your identity? How could you prove you were who you say you are? What truly makes you…you?

Yes, sounds familiar. If you’ve seen Unknown, the scenario reminds you of this.

But think about it. How would you describe yourself? Don’t think professionally, so no CV references and all that. Think adjectives. What makes you stand out from the crowd? How are you different from every other person on this planet?

Whether we like it or not, we are different because of what we experience, but more so, because of what we feel.

We may not want to pose this question – of what makes you you – to other people, out of fear of what they may say. Some people worry about what others think of them. What they truly and sincerely believe, not merely what they show. Because all of us have an opinion about others. It is formed from the very first time we meet the other person and it evolves according to the development of our relationship.

So, others can speak of you, even if you don’t want to.

But how do you describe yourself? And not in that narcissistic sense where you see everything on you as close to perfect.

What distinguishes you? What makes you worth the meet?

And deeper of all – how would you defend yourself against someone who had stolen your identity?

“We live in a world full of people who are satisfied with pretending to be someone they are not” – Tommy Tran

“Unless we base our sense of identity upon the truth of who we are, it is impossible to attain true happiness” – Brenda Shoshanna

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