MC's Whispers

Whispering Silences

Archive for the tag “humans”

Frozen paws

https://imgc.allpostersimages.com/img/print/posters/brenda-johnson-red-fox-sleeping-in-snow-in-maryland_a-G-13907520-14258387.jpg

There was no sign of it in the morning. Even before the sun was out, there was frost in the atmosphere and it was freezing. But it was expected to stay dry. It was in the midst of winter, however, and snow was always a possibility.

Not even a half hour had passed when the first snowflake hit the windshield.

The Chihuahua inside the warm vehicle got excited. As if it had understood the magic that was happening. It began to hop on the seat, stretching out its little tongue as if to lick the snowflakes that began to mount on the glass in front of it.

The driver next to the small dog was smiling. Not only because of the white scenery that began to spread rapidly now; but mainly due to the unexpected reaction from his four-legged friend.

When the road began to become more slippery, they slowed down. Caution was required.

That was when the little dog pinned its eyes outside a certain spot on the window and began to bark. Its tail was elongated like a needle.

The driver stopped and got outside.

The snow was even denser now. You could almost feel it falling on you. The Chihuahua managed to slip outside just before the car door closed.

There in front of them, near some snow-covered bushes was a furry bagel-like-circle. You could barely make out its pointy ears and fluffy tail. The snowflakes had almost engulfed it.

The dog’s owner approached cautiously and extended his hand. The fox opened its eyes. It didn’t move. Perhaps it was too scared. Or perhaps it was too numb from the cold. Its piercing blue-green eyes almost begged for help.

The driver picked it up without breaking the circle it had sat in. Inside the warmth of the car, the fox fluffed up its fur and almost appeared to smile.

The Chihuahua was happy. It didn’t want to be enjoying the luxury of a refuge when some other co-animal was freezing outside. Just because you’re safe, doesn’t mean everyone else is too.

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.

Not knowing what we’re after

https://thumbs.dreamstime.com/b/crossroads-confusing-directional-arrow-sign-25350749.jpgWhy is it that when we sit still for a moment, allowing ourselves the luxury of doing nothing, our mind wanders into another realm? Why do we dream so often even with eyes wide open? What is it we so long to escape from? There is a famous quote that urges us to “create a life you don’t need a holiday from”. But that may not be as easy as it may seem. And that is not only because perfection is an illusion.

It is mostly because we are used to moaning and complaining about something, whatever that may be. So much, that sometimes we ourselves create the reasons to bemoan about how things are not going our way or how life is unfair. Unfair compared to what exactly? Isn’t it, therefore, true that we create the life we want? And if the reality is not what we were after, then we have the freedom to change it.

We trip ourselves up by raising hurdles where there are none. We are so used to something being “wrong” or contrary to what we want, that we even become suspicious when something goes right. We argue that it is too good to be true and anxiously wait for when things will turn over badly and we’ll be able to complain again that we knew it would happen.

Humans are strange. We are a kind that is never satisfied with anything, let alone the simple and minute pleasures of life. We’ll dig into the details simply to find something that will reveal how fake something seemingly perfect is. But we don’t try instead to lift ourselves up, to make us seem almost perfect, regardless of everything and everyone else.

If it is true that change comes from within, the human race still has a very long way to go.

The trouble with being busy

http://az616578.vo.msecnd.net/files/2015/11/23/635838488040088008-2069932616_businessbusy.jpg“We humans are in trouble… Never before in human history have we had such conveniences and such knowledge, yet never before have our lives been so stressed and unhealthy”.

It’s true. Because we constantly live in a state of paradox. Where we want to be busy, but at the same time not. We want to be prosperous and financially comfortable, yet we don’t want to work hard to accomplish this. We want to realise our dreams and ambitions, but with the least amount of effort possible.

This amazing TedX talk discusses exactly that. And the way I fell across it reveals precisely how inspiration can come when you least look for it.

The truth is, however, that “we have made sleep deprivation a symbol of ambition and rested a symbol of laziness. We have made being too busy a symbol of importance.”

We spend our working days doing exactly that – working – sometimes even overworking ourselves, racing against time, trying to fit everything in those 24 hours that sometimes never feel enough, forcing ourselves to rush to be prompt for our appointments, meetings, errands and classes. Often even forgetting to eat or drink, let alone breathe. We have become so accustomed to this lifestyle that we have truly forgotten the very basics of it. Of what it is like to be human, and just… live.

Remember how when we were kids – without all the digital technology – we used to laugh endlessly for no reason, being carefree, happy, and most of all stressfree? Learning was a joy. As was socializing and relaxing. Naptime was a chore, but now… now we long for an extra hour (or half) of sleep whenever possible.

http://www.factslides.com/imgs/Dolphin2.jpgThe aforementioned talk refers to those amazing animals we all at some point or other wished we were: dolphins. They are cheerful, playful, sociable and intelligent. Who wouldn’t want to be like them?

But above all, they teach us three fundamental things that in our hectic lives we’ve lost touch of: how to play – with no rules, no limitations, and find new passion through creativity; how to socialize with others – make real connections and bonds and through that find new purpose; and how to find “downtime” – to relax and rest, to slow down and pay attention, to find this much needed balance that will bring about life satisfaction. “We are so on-the-go that stress has become the number one health epidemic of the 21st century, wreaking havoc in our bodies and minds”. It is a fact that even large companies nowadays introduce mindfulness exercises as a means of demonstrating that “breaks are the moments of breakthrough”; it is where we find inspiration and innovation. And it is how we can adapt to our constantly evolving world and thrive.

We need that moment of rest – even if it does mean that you have to fight the “withdrawal symptoms” of constantly being busy, feeling more tired when you’re doing nothing. You need that time precisely to discover all the new things you can do, which you never thought you had the time or energy for.

You need to stop, before you can start again, stronger and better.

“Never get so busy making a living that you forget to make a life”

 

Also part of Daily Prompt: Pleasure

The bold and the audacious

https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/236x/98/ff/73/98ff73fde916d7ecdb795ed80abdd9d0.jpgAnts – yes, those little creatures we so recklessly step on so often – are acutally astounding mechanical systems, in that they can lift up to 5,000 times their own body weight. But it is not only that which makes them admirable, it is their ability to work so effectively in teams – and even if acting alone, do so for the benefit of all – a trait the human race has yet to master.

You see, humans have an intrinsic underlying weakness: selfishness. The main goal it seems for many is how to gain power, to rise up above others, to stand out from the crowd, often in any way possible. They easily become intoxicated with the supremacy of power and get caught up in a vicious circle from which there is no escape.

When you spend an entire weekend watching Frank Underwood crush anyone who interferes with his plans for power, then it is only reasonable that you’ll begin to understand how being so relentless and emotionally unattached to anyone and anything can serve your own ruthlessly selfish ambitions.

It is not only about having power, however, and the means you use to acquire it. It is mainly about knowing how to use it right. That is what makes all the difference. And it is what sets people apart, either in a positive or negative light. It is the road you choose to take that will determine the legacy you leave at your footsteps.

It is the difference between being bold and being audacious.

There is a saying that “the doors will open to those who are bold enough to knock”. It takes courage to do so. Robert Frost had said that “freedom lies in being bold”, because that is how you chase after your ambitions. But that thin line that separates this fearfulness and daring nature from being reckless and uninhibited is reflected in the words of some of the world’s most prominent figures: “fortune favours the audacious”, said Desiderius Erasmus, and Benjamin Disraeli agreed, saying “success is the child of audacity”. Even Winston Churchill prompted, “the first quality that is needed is audacity”.

It seems it’s not the bold who get what they’re after, it’s the audacious ones.

And in the societies we’re growing up in, rife with conflict and controversy, people need to develop another characteristic: the ability to observe the world around them and distinguish between those who are after something for themselves, and those who are there simply to be. Those who stand by others, no matter what, and those who are only after their own interests. Those who empathise and listen when you’re unwell, and those who only selfishly care to have a good time when you’re in the mood too. Those who would do anything to rise above others at present, and those who would work to make things better for those to come.

What matter in the end is the intelligence of knowing how to wield the power the comes with power and the audacity to do it for the right reasons, no matter if you’re a lone ant, risking to be squashed.

 

Also part of Daily Prompt: Fake

Growing green

https://wallpaperscraft.com/image/river_jungle_moss_stones_vegetation_green_45577_1680x1050.jpgAri grew up in the jungle. His parents were wildlife biologists who spent most of their lives researching out on the field. So Ari really had no choice. He was born and bred in nature itself. That is why he was given a name that means “brave”. He was brought up to live up to it.

He was different to his peers, because he had learnt this other kind of life. He had grown up in an abundance of green. He knew how to appreciate the clean air, the comfort, and the healthy nutrients the forest provided, but at the same time, found out how to manage the bugs, the danger, and all the imminent risks that were around every branch.

Ari found his life to be fascinating. He didn’t need the technology and gadgets children of the same age had become so obsessed with. And he certainly did not require prompts of the “go green” style, because he had already gone there. Sure, at times it was not easy. It actually was very difficult, especially during the winter seasons when the storms came. But in Spring, everything suddenly lit up and the entire scenery bloomed in colour. It was a spectacle that somehow made everything else seem futile. Because as all the shades of light arrived and the day grew longer, life seemed happier, more carefree and much more enjoyable. It was when the young cubs would come out to play and Ari spent his entire time awake running around the forest floor or swinging from the tree branches.

Even though he grew up away from civilization, Ari did not feel lacking in anything. On the contrary, he felt complete. His friends were creatures who demonstrated exactly what they felt, and most of all were able to provide unconditional love, knowing when to appear to offer comfort and when to disappear to provide space. No matter what others thought, life in the jungle was somehow less complicated. Ari wouldn’t change it for anything. Because it taught him values that civilization has forgotten, if not lost.

 

Also part of Daily Prompt: Green

Cat space

© Maria-Christina DoulamiAs soon as it felt the touch, it sprang up as if jolted by an electric current, back curved, hairs on edge and nails ready to slice you up. Cats don’t like to be disturbed when they’re sleeping, or grooming, or pretty much doing anything on their own… which is often.

The cat got up, very irritated and left the room. It would need to find some other hiding space.

But the human wanted to play, or was obviously bored with himself, too insensitive to go find something more productive to do.

He soon discovered the new hiding place.

The cat had rolled up into a fluffy ball and was sound asleep again.

He only meant to pet it, but to a cat, that is more than a simple caress. It is an intrusion of its personal space. It is a violation of its independence, of the fact that it too needs some time alone, away from people. We all share that feeling. The need to submerge yourself into something independent from anything and everyone. To be left alone for a while. Or to be able to deal with something else, something that you chose without needing to explain yourself for it. It is disturbing when others keep wanting to bug you no matter what you do, especially when you don’t feel like including them in on it at the time. Cats know how to respect that. They can tell when you need some company and they’ll come and purr on your lap, providing the warm comfort to soothe you. But they can also recognize when you need to be left alone, to experience your own sentiments in the way you so desire. Humans, however, are not like that.

Cats know how to draw a line. Humans are too selfish to see it.

Cats are always adorable no matter what; no matter if they scratch you or get annoyed with you, a simple meow will always win you back. Humans are far from that.

A stone in the road

TestYourStupidity-24134There is a stone in the middle of the road. Careless passers-by walk over it, stumble and fall, get up and continue their way, all the while cursing the stone that was in their way. If one of those took it and placed it aside, none of the rest would fall again. [from a poem in Greek by Ioannis Polemis (1862-1924)].

There are countless such examples in our everyday life. Things that demonstrate not only the selfish nature of humans, but their stupidity above all.

All you can do is take such instances lightly, with a glass of wine and a laugh.

Journalist reports on the meeting of a Minister with EU officials.
News anchor asks in all seriousness:
“So the discussions focused on the competencies of the Minister?”

Friend calls you at home: “Hi! Where are you?”

There are a lot of stories of comic (and at times pedagogic nature) from Nasreddin Hodja who lived in the 13th century. For example: Hodja was riding his donkey on the way home from the fields where he had been working all day. On his shoulders he was holding his plow. A friend meets him along the way and asks “Why are you carrying the plow on your shoulders?” To which the Hodja replied “So that I relieve my donkey from the weight of carrying both that and me”.

This is the logic to which we have become accustomed to. No longer being able to think rationally or at times even at all.

As the world becomes more and more dumb in a sense and this kind of daily stupidity increases, perhaps we are leading towards the kind of society depicted in Idiocracy. And that is not good at all.

Also part of Daily Prompt: Ready, Set, Done

Sometimes you just have to croak

Frog-After-Diner-HDThere are so many times in a day that if you stop and think of how many things bug you just at that moment alone, you’d go insane. We people are like that. Get uptight, obnoxious and nervous wrecks over the slightest of things. Then try to find stress balls, yoga mats and tranquillizers to calm down. We should be more like frogs. They seem to know what they’re doing.

Think about it. Have you ever seen a frog stressed out?

Usually, frogs just sit on a leaf in a middle of a pond, musing. Who knows what may be going on in that (little) head of theirs? They’re just carefree, relaxed and serene.

In fact, do you know why frogs are always happy?

Because they don’t let anything bug them!

So maybe we too should be more like these little green amphibians. Always aware of what is going on around them, constantly monitoring their surroundings, seemingly distant, but ever-present.

It is natural that we all get irritated from time to time about pretty much everything. The trick is to demolish that bug with a speedy roll-out of the tongue and then act as if nothing extraordinary happened.

It may be hard being green, but it ain’t easier being any other colour either. So maybe we should take some hints from these little creatures croaking our way. After all, these short-bodied fellows live for over a decade and, compared to human proportions, this is quite remarkable.

So next time a bug hits you, take two seconds to squash it and then croak away carefree.

The duckling run

free-widescreen-animals-duckling_100458The minute he heard the splash into the crystal clear waters of the lake, Fuzzy started to run. His little duckling legs had never moved so fast in his short life. He didn’t have a lot of time.

The Master might get out of the lake any minute now. But according to his daily routine, which Fuzzy had closely monitored for over a week, he spent at least 25 minutes in the water, swimming and enjoying the tranquility that only those calm blue waters could offer.

Fuzzy’s mother told him not to go near humans. They could not be trusted. One minute they would extend a caring hand and the next they would pull down a heavy object over your head. There was a thin line between love and hatred, she always said. But Fuzzy somehow wanted to give humans the benefit of the doubt. After all, this certain one seemed alright. He was a sort of ‘live and let live’ mentality.

But today Fuzzy felt daring. After all, it is good to take a risk once in a while. It keeps the adrenaline pumping, he thought. So he ran.

Within two blinks of an eye he was there. Now he simply had to locate his exact target. From what he had observed, the Master placed it under the clothes he left on the river bed. So Fuzzy dug under the shirt. And there it was. Black and shiny. He had seen him operate it so many times, he felt almost like an expert himself. It only took the push of two buttons. And…. Mission accomplished!

He had just taken a cute duck selfie! And he was so proud. He was certain the Master would enjoy it too!

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