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Archive for the tag “life”

Be authentic; be real

https://thecreatorwritings.files.wordpress.com/2016/02/authenticity-hoax.jpg?w=473We hear it often and almost everywhere: be yourself; be authentic. But in a world where almost everything and everyone is a copy, how easy is it really to be an original?

Authenticity is a trait or a characteristic described by the recognition and acknowledgement of who you are and being brave enough to live it. It is being real, showing true emotion and not indulging in hypocrisy.

You don’t need to copy others. The mentality of the masses doesn’t always work. That is why masses are often likened to sheep – presumably dumb animals who follow each other even acting irrationally. Stand out from the crowd. It is a prompt that calls on people to embrace their differences. It is the only way to bring about change. By daring to be unique. Regardless of whether this will lead to others copying you. The original will always distinctively vary from a fake.

“In order to be irreplaceable, one must always be different” – Coco Chanel

“It is better to fail in originality than to succeed in imitation” – Herman Melville

 

Also part of Daily Prompt: Authentic

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Fretting too much

http://www.stickpng.com/assets/images/58afd65a0187e59a7d8a8f14.pngThe problem with us humans is that we tend to fret too much about too many things, many of which may not even matter. Look up “fret”: it means “to feel or express worry, annoyance, discontent or torment” but also “to cause corrosion, wear away”. It is obvious that when we fret too much, we cause damage to our own selves.

But even if we know it and we acknowledge the fact that this is what we do, often we don’t do much to alter it. Human nature is difficult to change. And when there are certain things that bother you, to the extent that they eat you inside, the simple realisation of what is happening will not save you.

Admittedly fretting about things that either make us anxious, agitated, upset or angry won’t really cause a spontaneous change that will turn everything positive. Sometimes we need a helping hand. People who understand us enough to comprehend why it is we fret so much over issues that may seem insignificant, and who care enough to act with us and to ensure that we won’t have a reason to fret.

Even Arthur Conan Doyle said it: “Above all, do not fret until you know that you really have a cause for it”. And when you have a cause, try with all your might to eliminate it.

 

Also part of Daily Prompt: Fret

What starts the waterworks

https://www.google.gr/url?sa=i&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=images&cd=&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=2ahUKEwiQgt7ly7XaAhUGMewKHd9oCq4QjRx6BAgAEAU&url=http%3A%2F%2Fdowhatlightsyouup.com%2Fgo-ahead-and-cry%2F&psig=AOvVaw1xo_TxfeVgsIFS-Yukag8-&ust=1523651732943075It is a small drop that forms at the corner of your eyelid. One that soon blurs your vision and causes your eyes to well up, releasing droplets to slide down your cheek. Then another comes and you are suddenly found in a state of distress, be it emotional or reflexive. But what is it that causes these waterworks to start? And why is it that some of us cry so much more often and easier than others?

There are reportedly three kinds of tears. According to this very interesting article our body produces basal, reflex and psychic tears. “Your basal tears are what I like to call the ‘worker tears’ and they keep your cornea (the transparent front of your eye) nourished and lubricated so your eyes don’t dry out. Then there are your reflex tears which that help you to wash out any irritations to your eyes from foreign particles or vapours (onion, being the classic example)”. Finally, there are the most popular type of tears: the “psychic, or ‘crying’ tears. These are the tears produced in response to that strong emotion you may experience from stress, pleasure, anger, sadness and suffering to indeed, physical pain. Psychic tears even contain a natural painkiller, called leucine enkephalin – perhaps, part of the reason why you might feel better after a good cry!”

When we cry, we don’t just become dehydrated and – literally – drained. There are more things that happen at the same time: your heart rate increases, you sweat, your breathing slows and you may even get a lump in your throat – known as the globus sensation. This is all believed to occur as a result of your sympathetic nervous system (your ‘fight or flight’ system) activating in response to your emotional situation. This is also why we are left so tired after a good cry. Yet we somehow feel relieved.

According to this enlightening article, “many psychologists believe that in addition to giving us an outlet for a rapid build-up of a powerful emotions, crying is a social signal to others that we’re in distress”. It is also considered an outlet for shedding stress. In fact, it is believed that emotional tears contain more protein particularly linked to higher stress levels, which is thought to make them thicker and more noticeable as they streak down the cheeks. It is a call for support and empathy and a way of releasing stress-related chemicals from the body.

We cry mostly when we’re sad. In this way, it acts as a signal to others that we are in distress and it is a call to induce sympathy and attention. This may explain why the waterworks appear more often in children and women.  According to a 1980s PhD study by biochemist William H. Frey, on average, women cry 5.3 times a month, while men cry 1.3 times in that same time period.  There may be a biological reason behind this, as the hormone prolactin – found at higher levels in women – is thought to promote crying.

We cry when we feel that we are overwhelmed with emotions that are too difficult to handle. And suddenly thoughts invade our head that make us feel even worse, such as that things aren’t going our way, that we don’t have time to be or do the things we want, or that others are better off than we are. A whirlwind of reflections and feelings ensues entrapping us into a vicious circle that simply accentuates the waterworks.

But we also cry when we’re happy. It is a way of demonstrating how we feel – that we are so overjoyed, we sometimes can’t believe it. That powerful string of – positive, this time – emotions is what causes the tears to run. It is a good thing. But this too causes us to feel exhausted after a while.

It is believed that crying depends on a person’s level of sensitivity. We don’t all think the same way, nor do we feel the same. People react to different circumstances differently. That is what makes them unique. They should not be judged for it, but rather appreciated for their own way of responding to whatever life throws at them. Crying is not a sign of weakness after all; it is merely a sign of emotions and the fact that a person’s heart is beating faster at times.

Knowing One’s Own

Book cover NK.jpegThere is a special connection that ties people who write with each other. More so, when they share similar views and may recommend readings to each other. It is not often that I embark on a personal rant, but this is about a person who is more than my employer or my co-worker; he is my mentor and the person who always has some exciting book / author to recommend and some fascinating viewpoint to share.

Knowing One’s Place is Nicholas Karides’ first book, published in December 2017. It is a book of memoirs: those recited by the writer and those ignited in the reader. When I first asked him why he was writing a book, he told me it was because he wanted to put all his notes from his journals into some logic order. I was intrigued, as I am well aware at how his scrapbook-snippets consist of historical milestones, incidents of history that we quickly forget until someone reminds us of them again. His book is precisely what it promised to be: “Essays on journalism, diplomacy, and football”. It talks about the controversial state of journalism in today’s digital area of constant reporting from all sorts of media – at anywhere at anytime; it discusses the diminishing traits of bold world leaders in a time when everyone can rise to power (given the right connections); and it shares thoughts about a rapidly changing world with its never-ceasing developments. More than that, the book offers a greater insight and a different perspective into the place in which you were born and bred and which you shamefully come to realise you know little about. Cyprus features a great deal in the book, and it is the tool through which you get to know the writer a bit better, but also this European country that, albeit small, has suffered a lot and is still caught in the crossroads of history. As with every book, you appreciate every thing a little bit more when you are aware of the circumstances being discussed, and when you know the person holding the pen.

This is a book that is extremely well researched, calling upon a list of prestigious sources, well justified and above all really well written with the perfect dose of wit. Every word is important. And it manages to grasp your attention and maintain it until the very last page.

It’s a book about how we must value the time and world we live in, but also about the significance of education and the need to keep it alive. It serves as a reminder to constantly contemplate the circumstances that surround us, to reflect, and to engage in opportunities that may help us improve, both ourselves and the places we live in.

The Spring Swallow

https://fr.123rf.com/photo_71470708_premi%C3%A8re-hirondelle-assise-sur-une-branche-l%C3%A8ve-t%C3%B4t-printemps-premi%C3%A8res-fleurs-fleur-de-pommier-fleur-de-ceri.htmlWhen he opened the window that morning, he was greeted by a swallow speedily flying by. It was the first of this year’s spring and it was busily gathering material to build its nest. A new generation was coming. And for him, it was a sign that better days were near.

He woke her up with a kiss on the forehead and led her to the window. Eyes still half shut, she was excited to see the small bird. It was now sitting across their window on a wire, chirping happily.

The day began cloudy. It was not the sunny morning all meteorologists were talking about the day before.  But that didn’t ruin their mood.

They decided to go for a walk. Something carefree and unrushed. That was what weekends are for – to be able to decompress from the daily stress we all experience during the week.

Yet the day turned out to be an adventure. They discovered a rescue park for sea animals, something which fascinated them so much, they promised to return. And then, there was that small, cosy restaurant they went to, where everyone was – unexpectedly and contrary to the norm – friendly, kind and helpful. For the first day in a long while, they managed to enjoy their lunch and even made new acquaintances.

It is nice to feel loved, especially when it comes from the most unexpected and unlikely of sources. But what is even better, is when you discover those little gems of life in places you never thought to look.

“There are only two ways to live your life. One is though nothing is a miracle. The other as though everything is a miracle”.  – Albert Einstein

 

Also part of Daily Prompt: Swallow

Rare people

http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_Pcfj_4riUI8/RzXOJgn4z1I/AAAAAAAAAJo/B7RYQgvYpSk/s1600/Rare%2BNature%2BScene_North%2BPole%2BMoon.jpgThere are some people who are truly rare.

They are those who seem crazy to others because they think they can change the world.

Those who don’t know how to quit and seem to be everywhere at once.

Those who understand why it is important to keep learning, to keep moving, to be active.

Those who relish the significance of lifelong learning.

Who prefer to get lost in a book rather than doze off on a screen.

Who would rather do something that they engage in rather than fall asleep.

Who don’t understand how others can walk so slowly or seem so lazy.

Who can multitask without thinking too much and can deliver quality in all tasks just the same.

Those who appreciate the concept of time and organisation.

Who are quick-witted and have a clever sense of humour.

Who can talk about anything once given the chance and feel comfortable enough to do so.

Who are willing to help you even though it may cost them valuable time.

Those who ask about you and are truly interested about the answer.

Those who respect your independence and hope you would do the same.

Those who listen but also want to be heard.

Those who give generously, even though they may not receive as much in return.

Those who you know will always be there, even though they may be alone when they need someone the most.

Those who cry at emotional films and by a single quote.

Those who feel everything so deeply.

Those who live life to the fullest.

Those rare people are the ones we should appreciate and allow them to be an inspiration for us.

“Genuine people are rare. If you can’t find one, be one”.

Earning what you’re worth

http://beyoubegreat.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/keep.jpgThere is a perception that certain professions have a much higher pay than they actually do. And there is the widespread belief that some others pay more than what they are actually worth. For example, some public service employees (also known as “civil servants”) in certain countries who are paid much more than even private employees, yet work half the time and can hardly justify what they do as “work”.

There is the perception in life that you don’t always get what you give.

But that doesn’t mean you should give up. Life has a strange way of turning around and presenting you with the exact opportunities you deserve at the time when you’re ready. And karma takes care of everything else – all those who did not believe in you, who even mocked you or spoke badly of you.

There is a place for everyone and in the end, everyone gets what they deserve.

Just have faith and acknowledge the fact that even if you don’t earn what you’re worth, all that truly matters is that you know what you can do and those who matter will realise it eventually.

“It’s not about how fast you go…it’s about how long you stay there”.

Capturing life

camera-ted-strutz

©Ted Strutz

Her first photo camera was a birthday present received as she entered puberty. It was accompanied by a card that read, “go explore the world out there and show us what you see”. It soon became an item she would never leave the house without.

Soon, that camera was replaced by one more expensive and specialised. It again came as a present and the prompt “so that you capture the beauty of life and never let it go”.

Years later, her photographs are worth millions. Yet she is content with a tripod, a friend and a sky full of stars.

 

Also part of Friday Fictioneers

Quiet People – Loudest Minds

https://www.cartoonmovement.com/depot/cartoons/2018/03/14/stephen_hawking_1942_2018__stephff.jpegLife 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

http://elkespage.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/comparing-fish-bowls.pngIn 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

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