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Whispering Silences

Archive for the tag “inspiration”

Quiet People – Loudest Minds would be tragic if it weren’t funny”. It is one of the inspirational quotes by renowned physicist Stephen Hawking who passed away today.

Having lived to the age of 76, more than 50 years older than the age doctors told him he could expect to reach after being diagnosed in 1963 with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also called Lou Gehrig’s disease, Hawking was an awe-inspiring human apart from an innovative scientist. He was the person who truly proved that “however difficult life may seem, there is always something you can do and succeed at”.

In tribute, here are some of his most inspiring quotes / lessons:

The greatest enemy of knowledge is not ignorance, it is the illusion of knowledge.

The thing about smart people is that they seem like crazy people to dumb people.

Quiet people have the loudest minds.

One of the basic rules of the universe is that nothing is perfect. Perfection simply doesn’t exist…..Without imperfection, neither you nor I would exist.

Keeping an active mind has been vital to my survival, as has been maintaining a sense of humor.

One, remember to look up at the stars and not down at your feet. Two, never give up work. Work gives you meaning and purpose, and life is empty without it. Three, if you are lucky enough to find love, remember it is there and don’t throw it away.”

Try to make sense of what you see and wonder about what makes the universe exist. Be curious, and however difficult life may seem, there is always something you can do, and succeed at. It matters that you don’t just give up.”


The unbearable lightness of unfairness every life we have some trouble, when you worry you make it double,” sang Bob Marley (originally sung by Bobby McFerrin), prompting us to “don’t worry, be happy”.  We hear it a thousand times from a million different places: we need to stop stressing over everything so much and enjoy life as it is. But what is most difficult to grasp is the way to quickly overcome adversities. Especially when they point out every so often how unfair life is.

With the advancement of social media to the extent when at every second during the day anyone can flaunt where they are and what they’re (not) doing, this feeling is enhanced to the utmost. Especially when you see people going on trips around the world supposedly for business or some other professional “duty”, yet are acting as if they have grasped the opportunity to enhance their tourism skills on company expenses. And there are many examples. We see them everyday. From our “representative” politicians to TV personas, actors, right down to friends and colleagues.

So what do you do in such cases? When the reality of injustice smacks you in the face? Well, most people just prompt you to live out your misery for a while; let it take you over and then quietly let it fade away as you realise how much you’ve accomplished in your life and how much more you can do. They will all repeat to you that “no-one said life would be easy (or fair); they just promised it would be worth it”. So just let it be, pick up your pieces and move on. Things will turn around and you’ll get what you need eventually. What matters most is that you don’t give up.

“People are always complaining that life’s not fair, but that simply isn’t true. Life is extraordinarily fair. It’s just not centred on you” – Lynn Marie Sager

A shining star in a dim sky 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

Told you so’s a phrase no-one really likes to hear. From anyone really. But it is also one kids grow up to fear. Especially if it is uttered by a parent. It is also one that often makes us refuse to acknowledge reality or the real state of being of certain circumstances. Because we fear that three-worded phrase. And the satisfaction that lies with the person who says it.

Told you so” is a phrase that hides within it so much more than its literal sense. It signifies that we were wrong, that we didn’t listen to the advice we were given, that we often act irrationally, that we failed at something we believed we could accomplish. And it also entails an underlying feeling of defeat for the person at whom it is said.

Told you so” is a phrase usually uttered by elders. Those who have the life experience that allows them to say it so ruthlessly at times and at others even apologetically. Because in essence no-one really wants to point out a loved one has erred, let alone rub it in their faces. But sometimes, the truth hurts and love pains. That is how we grow. To acknowledge a wrong decision or action and to gather the strength to move on.

That is how we gain the scars so we too can later be entitled to use this phrase to someone as stubborn and naïve as we once were.

DIY relationship tests is a modern saying that you haven’t tested the limits of your relationship with someone unless you try to build a closet or bookshelf with them. If you have ever bought a do-it-yourself piece of furniture, you haven’t yet realised the truth in this.

Good things take time they say. Three hours is long enough. That’s how much time it usually takes to build a closet. Because you first need to organise the what-seem-like-a-million parts, discriminate between all the different type nails and screws, find the required screwdrivers and hammer and distinguish which part belongs to which number in the instructions leaflet. The same leaflet usually says that a minimum of two people are required to assemble this piece of furniture.

It usually helps when the instructions are in a language you understand.

It also helps when you aren’t exhausted and tense from everything else that overwhelms you during that period.

But what helps above all is having patience. Because it is absolutely true that patience is a virtue. One that is also easier advised than actually had.

Cooperation is key in any joint endeavour. But communication is vital. And like everything in relationships and life, it is only when we indulge in something that we can find out how far we can go and how much we can achieve if we put our hearts and minds into it.

And if we are determined, then no matter how difficult, we will succeed.

“Patience is the calm acceptance that things can happen in a different order than the one you have in your mind”

The mind is everything; everything is in the mind

Boat-Calm-waterIt’s a curious thing that happens. Just when you think that things begin to fall in place and you are on the verge of finally finding some peace and much-needed tranquillity, something appears that messes with your mind. It makes you start over-thinking everything. Questioning your actions, rethinking your decisions and worrying about every single thing you do.

The mind is a terrible thing. Deeply powerful too. For the thoughts in your head affect every part of your being, from your mood to your behaviour to the things you decide (not) to do.

We are so often called to fill our heads with positive thoughts, as this is what will inspire our lives to change. The thoughts in our head aren’t always correct. But they overwhelm us to the point where we start creating problems that didn’t exist. We’re not supposed to always believe those random and miscellaneous voices that haunt our heads. Especially the negative ones. But some things are easier said than done.

“Ships don’t sink because of the water around them; ships sink because of the water that gets in them. Don’t let what’s happening around you get inside you and weigh you down”.

Reaching the limit thing with exhaustion is that you only realise it has overwhelmed you when you start to make mistakes. And if you don’t do something about it in time, it may prove disastrous.

People get tired. It’s a part of life. We often push ourselves to our limits because we are determined we can do more, we can be better, more productive, more responsible, more efficient, more organised…just…more. We live in an era when multitasking is considered the norm. But what this does to your physical and mental abilities – let alone your psychological state – is disregarded.

We begin to feel tired but prefer to take vitamin supplements rather than get some rest.

We even fall sick but choose to heal with pills and freshly-squeezed orange juices instead of relaxing a little.

We collapse from exhaustion when we have ignored all of the signs our body is sending us. But then it takes twice as long to return to what we see as “normal”. To doing numerous things at once and at the end of the day complaining that we did not have enough time to do everything we were contemplating in the morning. Time is always an issue. But the fact that we run low of energy is simply an obstacle for modern society.

Perhaps we need to slow down and set priorities. To do a few things within the day and do them right, rather than do numerous haphazardly.

The most difficult part is acknowledging that you’ve reached this state and you need to permit yourself to relax, take a breath and believe that you can do everything if you firstly take care of your own self.


Also part of Daily Prompt: Permit

Life stumps


©Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

Come with me. I want to show you something.” His ice cold hand wiped her tears away and she felt it as a relief on her warm face. She let him take her hand and followed him unquestioning.

Do you see these stumps?” He pointed at a pile of machine-cut thick stumps lying in a field near the farmhouse. “Imagine the original tree, tall and sturdy. That’s how we enter life. With every passing experience we have, we lose a stump. Becoming wiser all the while. Realise that all that experience we accumulate will be used to light a fire!


Also part of Friday Fictioneers

Attention-seekers and their shadows who shine from within don’t need the spotlight. Remember that the next time you see someone trying to draw all the attention onto themselves”.

Grandma Eve always knew what to say. She had a special way of consoling Tina. She knew something was wrong and could even identify what it was without the latter saying a word.

This time it had to do with certain friends that turned out to have been using her in order to become more popular. School was always a difficult place for someone who cared too much and who had a different way of thinking than that of the masses.

To Tina, such people may gain attention but they lose respect. That’s what Grandma Eve pointed out. Even Charles Bukowski had said it: “Beware of those who seek constant crowds; they are nothing alone”.

Attention-seekers are like narcissists. They constantly seek to be the centre of everything even when they have nothing noteworthy to say or show. They are the ones who constantly take selfies, post online, and speak the loudest when in a crowd. They are the ones who don’t understand how (or why) the best parts of life are the ones that aren’t made public. Why you don’t need to be constantly talked about in order to be someone. Or why what matters most is what you make of yourself, how you cultivate your own mind and decide to do something purposeful with your time.

Grandma Eve wrapped her arms around Tina and offered her a freshly baked cookie. Hugs and sweets always had a way of making anyone feel better.

Don’t let attention-seekers bring you down. It’s not that you are not worthy of attention. It’s that you know better how to draw it for the right reasons at the proper time. Just remember that they are focusing the spotlight on themselves because they are trying to fill the gaps inside them. If they were happy with who they are, they wouldn’t need the validation of their worth from others. Always be proud of what you achieve. No matter what anyone else thinks. And never feel ashamed that you are in the shadows at times. It is only further proof that you have light around you”.

When a river turns into a current

Holding on to angerThere comes a moment when even the calmest of rivers transform into currents, streaming their way, carrying with them anything around them, like a gush of strong, wet wind flooding its surroundings. Times change. It is the nature of things. Nothing can maintain a steady rhythm, pace or rate perpetually.

There is a need to react, to act, to do something to relieve all those feelings that are suppressed inside. And the longer you keep them locked up, the greater the explosion will be.

Buddha said that “holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned”.

After the blow-out, disaster may have ensued around you, but it is you – the quiet stream – that has lost its composure, that has experienced something out of character, that has been irreversibly scarred. And the more times the river turns into a current and causes floods, the greater and irreparable the wounds will be.

The truth is, however, no matter how many self-esteem and self-improvement books we read, if we are not surrounded by people who understand us, who love us and who share our desire for mutual respect, it is not easy to maintain that much needed calm for long. All people really need is the acknowledgement of their actions and the reciprocation without needing to spell out everything done for someone else every single time. More often than not – and this should be the case – we do things for others because we want to, not because we have to. There is no point to the latter.

It is in the nature of things to fall apart. But it is also in their nature to come back together. The rate depends on us alone and our determination to prefer the calm river to the raging flood.

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