MC's Whispers

Whispering Silences

Archive for the tag “life lessons”

Say nothing

https://getwallpapersinhd.com/images/big/watch_the_world_go_by-192412.jpgHis grandmother had told him when he was young that “when you don’t know what to say, it is better to say nothing at all”. The same is true when you having nothing to say. You shouldn’t speak for the sake of saying something. That’s just noise.

So he grew up being laconic with his speech. He wanted every word he uttered to count. The people around him often thought he was too introvert; didn’t open up too much. Others saw his silence as apathy or ignorance.

But often it is in the silence that most is said.

He knew the value of placing quality over quantity. And much of that was valid for speech too. He disliked people who would talk for hours about nothing simply to maintain attention drawn onto them. Instead he relished the moments when he would retreat from the world and gaze at it passing by without having to say a word.

It is in those moments that you find yourself. That you realise what you need, what you want, and sometimes what makes you tired or happy.

It is those moments that make you grateful for all you have and for simply being alive.

And it is right after that moment when you don’t know what to say, that your mind is flushed with all the things you wish you had said…

 

Also part of Daily Prompt: Sound

Something to hide

gondola08She was tired. In fact, she was exhausted. But he refused to acknowledge it. He failed to see how she strived to make her daily routine seem so effortless, while she was camouflaging the pain in the smile she always wore.

He worked hard. And she worked even harder. She tried to support him as much as she could, without asking for anything in return, other than a simply gesture of appreciation, a humble ‘thank you’, a hug and a kiss.

She was sick. But he failed to see it.

Not even when her light was dimming, could he see that he was losing her. She didn’t speak out, of fear that she would upset him too much and that he would overreact, as he usually did when trying to gain control of a situation.

Instead, she allowed herself to wither in the silence of her progressive departure. He was too fixated on his own beliefs to see that something was wrong. And it was only when she left that he realised what had happened. That fateful morning when she was no longer there. When the sky darkened and clouds brought on a tremendous storm.

But it was too late. He had allowed her to drown in her own secret, alone, because she loved him too much to make him worry.

She left with a photo of their last trip together hovering over their bed as an eternal memory.

The loudness of insecurity

girl-umbrellaIt was the first time Max had found himself in a psychologist’s office. He was postponing it for too long; he needed someone to listen to all the things that had accumulated inside him and were causing him stomach aches. The main problem he had to face was that he cared too much – he over-thought and over-worried about anything. Maybe this doctor would be able to show him how to care less, or at least how to not allow things to affect him as much.

Outside in the waiting room was a sign on the wall, a blue canvas with the inscription “Confidence is silent. Insecurities are loud.” It resonated with Max, as he thought about all the people in his life who annoyed him the most and who he wrongly permitted to distress him – they were all people who claimed center stage, those who thought that everything should be about them, who adopted an attitude close to that of a bully, and who pretended to mask their low self-esteem in (often overly) socialization.

For an hour, Max poured out his feelings to the person he had just met sitting across him in the small, yet cozy, room. He found himself telling him stories and emotions that he had never even admitted to himself. Psychologists, he realised, have a way of making you feel comfortable enough to share your inner most thoughts without dwelling too much on what you’re saying.

When the psychologist’s turn to talk came, Max took out a small notebook to write certain things down. They may have been just phrases, but they would help him in changing his own attitude and facing the situations he was forced to deal with on a daily basis.

“Insecurity is an ugly thing. It makes you hate people you don’t even know. More so, insults are the last resort of insecure people with a crumbling position trying to appear confident. Insecure people seek approval. They try to talk everyone down so that can feel superior. Don’t allow yourself to fall into that trap. Try, as much as you can to ignore them. Just don’t interfere in their lives so that they won’t interfere in yours. Remember, you only give them more power the more attention you devote to them. So simply turn the other way. Demonstrate your own confidence by shying away from the spotlight; let it chase you, not the other way round. Do something different instead: build people up, remind them they’re worthy, tell them they’re incredible; be a light in an often too dim world”.

Max left the office feeling uplifted. Sometimes, all it takes is some words of encouragement to view the situation in a different aspect.

The clarity of sincerity

sunflowerHave you noticed how a foggy window, a misty view, a cloudy day, often brings you down? Yet, as soon as they all clear, order is restored and you begin to feel better again. It’s the same with how we feel; how we view this world we are striving to survive in. No matter the mountains of words of inspiration that get thrown our way, there is perhaps nothing more significant than this: no matter what you do, always be sincere.

Sincerity is a trait we often underestimate. Because we think that everybody can demonstrate it. But it is a characteristic few possess, and even fewer can reveal. Sincerity is not to say everything you think but to mean everything you say. It’s speaking from the heart and being true to what you believe, think and feel. You don’t have to be fearless. Just be sincere. It’s what will make you stand out; how you’ll bring clarity to a hazy world.

It is true that sometimes, the most sincere feelings are the hardest to be expressed by words. But those are the very ones that count the most. Because you can feel the depth from which they come.

“Faithfulness and sincerity are the highest things” – Confucius

 

Also part of Daily Prompt: Sincere

The semicolons of our life

https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/564x/92/f5/e4/92f5e407c58e12c15748128107278b65.jpgA semi-colon (;) is a punctuation mark often used when a sentence could have ended but it didn’t. Some stories in our life are like those sentences. Unfinished. Because you just know that they are not over yet.

It’s the feeling you get when something is left hanging in the air, like that saying “the elephant in the room”. You know it’s there, although you can’t see it. Like a pending issue left halfway.  Like a book left in the middle, with curiosity overwhelming you about the evolution of the plotline. Like a field left mid-ploughed. They all convey a sense of unfulfillness. That something is just not right. And sometimes, it is reason enough to prevent you from moving on. Because you are drowned into the “what ifs” and the “could haves”. It is not to do to live with regrets. Especially if they concern things you can do something about.

The best thing is to make the most you can out of any given moment. To be open-minded, warm-hearted and understanding towards all perspectives. To stay true to what you believe and ensure that you always feel proud of your actions and certain of who you are and who you want to become. The important thing is to close chapters that need to end and move on. Because unfinished business remain hovering over your head, repressing your emotions and making you ill, like the words you never said when you had the chance.

We need commas in our life. Breaks that make us take a step back and re-examine the situations, re-think, and re-consider our positions. But semi-colons are much harder, for they have unclear boundaries between a break and a closure. Some stories need us to walk away from them. That too is an act of caring.

Two things rob people of their peace of mind: work unfinished and work not yet begun

 

Also part of Daily Prompt: Unfinished

Handing over the reins (4 whispering years later)

red sunsetThere is that moment when the day hands over the reins to the night. It is that moment when the sky is illuminated with shades of colour you wouldn’t otherwise see. And it is at that very moment that you understand that whatever is going on in your head causing extreme worry is in fact futile. Because all that really matters is that very moment. That “now” that you so often forget to live.

Sometimes to truly relax, you need to hand over the reins. To stop being so obsessively concerned with everything, over-analyzing and searching for meaning in things that just happen. Sometimes you just need to breathe and go with the flow. You’d be surprised at how many things fall into place when you stop trying so hard. And you’ll be amazed at the people who change your life for the better even when you paid no attention to them at first.

We all need that luxury of doing nothing and embracing those moments as they come. It is refreshing to say the least. And it adds an extra beat to your heart.

 

P.S. Four years ago, on 7 August, I started this blog and I’m glad to say that I’ve seen myself grow alongside and through it. Because you need a friend and a confidante in every moment of life. So, to you also: Thank you for reading and supporting me! The best is yet to come!

 

Also part of Daily Prompt: Luxury

 

Knowing the mountain

http://www.wallpaperup.com/156976/forest_trees_landscape_house_mountains_autumn_fog.htmlHow much do you really know a person? How much can you truly say you understand about them from the few (or even many) hours you spend with them? Can you comprehend the flicker of their eyes when they’re stressed? Or the jolting of their hands when under pressure? Can you tell if they are smiling because they’re genuinely happy or because they’re trying to conceal a sadness unbeknownst to others? Can you ever grasp where their thoughts are travelling to when they gaze blankly into space, uttering that everything is fine?

We meet so many people during the course of our lives. People we run into by accident and never see again. People who stay and become family. People who pass through enriching our experiences and bequeathing us with lessons that help us mature and move forward. But how many of those people can you truly claim to know? To comprehend who they are, even beyond what they tell you? To realise what it is they are saying without them voicing it? How many of those people can you identify with so deeply that you are certain you’re part of their lives?

Introverts, they say, feel more comfortable closing up in their own shell at times. But that is often when they need someone the most. Someone they don’t really need to talk to, drawing comfort from the fact that there is just someone there, who (shows s/he) cares. That doesn’t necessarily only apply to introverts, though. All people need some time alone. But we all need the reassurance that someone is quietly looking out for us and worrying when we’re not OK.

The key to understanding people is noticing the little things they do. Those small gestures that betray some minor, yet significant, trait of their character. How people play with their hair or fiddle when they’re nervous. How their eyes sparkle when they’re happy. How their voice changes according to the emotion. How they can rejoice with the tiniest of things that make them feel special. How they are fighting an identity crisis on the inside but are seemingly invincible and fearless on the outside. How even the most certain and outgoing people have a part of them that is fearful and in need of encouragement.

You may live with people your entire life and never truly know them. It is like residing in the mountain valley and never climbing the steep path to the top. It may take effort, but the result will justify you in more ways you can imagine.

 

Also part of Daily Prompt: Mountain

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

Contractual Obligations

http://worldartsme.com/images/people-signing-papers-clipart-1.jpgWhen the first beam of morning light hit his face, Oliver sprung out of bed. He was excited. Today was his interview. He had been searching for a job for months now and could not even remember how many CVs he had sent out, let alone to whom. Just a few days ago, he had finally received a positive response after so many courteously phrased rejections.

So, he put on his smart-yet-not-too-casual clothes and set off for what he believed was a great opportunity. If he landed this job, it would be a stepping stone to advance into something greater. At least that is how he perceived it in his mind, given all he had read about the said company. Even if it did not work out, however, he still thought it would be a good chance to learn from it and become better, even if it was just at the interview part.

But Oliver could never have imagined what followed.

The minute he walked into the office, the secretary did not even raise her eyes to meet his. She looked at him almost demeaningly and simply grunted when she was to accompany him in to the office of the company’s CEOs.

In turn, these two men stared at him, as if trying to sting his entire body with invisible beams of fire launched from their eyes. Oliver already felt the sweat beginning to form. He sat down timidly without saying a word.

Then the CEOs did something that seemed entirely out of their nature; it was too obvious to miss: they smiled.

It is easy to detect a fake smile, especially when it is so forced upon a person you can see them cringe.

Oliver kept a blank expression. He thought it would be best.

He was asked to briefly introduce himself, which he did. And then he had to listen for 40 minutes, while both CEOs outlined the contractual obligations he would be committed to once he entered the specific company.

Not once was he asked why he wanted to work there. He had prepared an answer for that, as it was a common interview question.

Nor was he ever told what the company could offer him.

Instead, he was bombarded with a list of obligations he would consent to, not least being punctual and succumbing to anything his superiors would ask him to do. Worst of all, he was to provide a monthly subscription to the company for the space he occupied there. In plain: he would pay them to work for them.

Asked if he was clear with the terms, Oliver nodded vacantly. He was then handed an 18-page contract, titled “agreement”, which he was to sign and return by the next morning.

What he did not comprehend, was that he was never expected to read it. Because that would be considered “paranoid”. That was what the CEOs described it as in the reply email they sent him when he kindly declined their offer. Because to them, the simple fact that he attended their meeting was a verbal commitment that he was on board with everything they threw his way.

Oliver knew differently, however. This is not what companies were expected to do. And contracts existed for a reason. To be read and understood before being signed.  If these people were so afraid of revealing the exact terms outlined in a so-called agreement, then something was wrong with it. And if they felt so insanely insecure about everything they said and did, that they desperately needed to conceal it all, then there was definitely something that was not right.

Oliver realized that in time to get away. And he was glad he did. Because sometimes, the greatest lessons you learn are from the places you least expect it. They are concealed behind facades that tempt you otherwise.

 

Also part of Daily Prompt: Conceal

Lara and the balloons

balloon burstWhen Lara was a little girl, she used to anticipate her grandmother’s visits like a swallow looks forward to spring. Every time her grandmother came, she would bring her something. No matter how small or seemingly insignificant, Lara loved surprises. One day her grandmother came with a bag of balloons. Lara could not sit still from the excitement. She immediately drew out a red balloon and started blowing it up. It took so much effort and almost all the air in her lungs to do so, but she could still recall how happy and proud she felt when she saw that big balloon now flying from her fingertips across the room.

She spent the whole day chasing after the balloon; carefree and happy.

But she could not understand one thing: why had her grandmother brought her a whole bag of balloons when all she needed was one?

The next morning, she woke to find that the red balloon had deflated slightly. But that did not stop her from spending as much time as was allowed throwing the balloon into the air and running after it.

But then it happened.

The balloon flew into a cactus, fell onto a thorn and popped. All of a sudden, it was gone. All that effort and excitement to blow it up, to inflate it full of dreams of what could be, were all suddenly ceased. All it took was the sharp end of the smallest of things.

Lara stood in shock, gazing at the remnants of the red balloon lying in demolition on the cactus.

She heard footsteps rushing from behind her. Her mother came over, grabbed her shoulder and hugged her. She then offered her the little bag of balloons her grandmother had brought the other day.

“Now you see why balloons come in groups? They are so easily burst. But you must never give up. There are always more. And as long as you have air in your lungs, you can always fill another and be excited again”.

Lara smiled at her mother, grabbed a yellow balloon from the bag and began blowing air in it again, hopeful that this time it would last a bit longer.

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