MC's Whispers

Whispering Silences

Archive for the tag “mentality”

Hidden thoughts

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We all have hidden interpretations of things others don’t see. And it is usually the ones that cause a conflict. Because people find it hard to see with others’ eyes. We can’t put ourselves in others’ shoes, nor interpret things their way.

There are symbolic meanings to everyday behaviours. Meanings that are affected by our own perceptions of the world, by our prejudices, by our mentality, by the way we were raised, by the things we read, by our own experiences and thoughts.

It is these very perceptions that give rise to our hidden thoughts. They may be misinterpretations of certain incidents. But they become so rooted in our minds that to us they are established as the reality we see.

We refuse to see a different perspective, an alternative view, because it seems illogical, irrational, in total conflict to our own. And in essence, we are too stubborn, head-strong and selfish to do something that requires empathy on our part. It requires setting aside our own beliefs to comprehend what makes others react or act in certain ways.

Such absolute perceptions and hidden thoughts make our relationships dysfunctional. They cause us to become defensive even hostile. But worse of all, they lead to disappointment when we realise that our expectations are not met.

The mind is like a parachute: it only works when it is open.

The language of communication

language-barrierIt’s a strange feeling not being able to communicate due to language barriers. It’s something like feeling helpless and incompetent; as if somehow you are found wanting in certain circumstances. However, this is not always your fault.

Barry found himself abroad on his first trip in years. He had finally overcome his fear of flying – as much as possible to be able to take a quick trip to the neighbouring country he had heard so much about. The target was to relax and get away for a couple of days. To regroup and return stronger and rejuvenated.

But instead… the opposite occurred.

There are some people who see it as a matter of nationalistic pride to refuse to speak in a language other than their own. No matter how much their economy needs tourists, they do not seem to care to put on a smiling face or to even demonstrate the minimum amount of courtesy. In their view, they are not paid enough to serve others. At least not the way they should – politely and brightly. They see foreigners as intruders that come to disrupt their own routine and who inconveniently what things done differently. So many even refuse to speak to them in a language different than their own, one that is universally understandable.

Barry had never faced a similar situation before. In the seven languages he spoke, he always had one way or another to talk to almost every one he met. But here, everything was different. It was almost a stubbornness, a not wanting to communicate. They spoke in their language and their interlocutor could simply sense the tone. Or see the gesture. S/He would get the point sooner or later.

Barry felt unwanted. It was very bad to feel so inhospitable in a country you invested money into going. You were injecting cash into their economy, the least they could do was show they appreciated it.

In the end, relaxing was not as much as trying to remain calm. The best he could do was acknowledge that he was not going to be the one to alter an entire mentality or culture. Being upset about things you can’t change won’t help. All you can do is decline to fall to their level, and maintain your own dignity.

 

Two goats on a bridge

https://blog.cancaonova.com/seguidoresdocaminho/files/2011/12/fabula-duas-cabras.gif?file=2011/12/fabula-duas-cabras.gifThere is a story we are told as children about two goats fighting over a narrow bridge.  The story goes that “One day a goat was crossing the bridge. He saw another goat crossing the bridge in the opposite direction. The bridge was so narrow that there was no space for both of them to pass. Both of the goats didn’t want to go back. One goat said to the other goat “You should go back since I am stronger than you”. The other goat denied saying it’s stronger. Both of them argued for a while. Later, one goat put down his horns to fight to show it is stronger than the other. They fight furiously and both of them lost their balance and fell into the stream below. The swift current of the stream carried them away in deep water and both of them were drowned.” The story continues that a while later, two other goats approached the bridge and started quarrelling for the same reason. However, this time one told the other that to save them both from drowning, it would lie down and  the other would walk over it. “Then the wise goat lay down on the bridge, and the other goat walked over him. So they passed each other, and went on their ways”. The moral of the story is that “anger leads to sorrow and please leads to joy”.

But there is more to that.

We often become so stubborn we don’t want to be the one who withdraws from a quarrel no matter how big or insignificant it may be. We feel that we would be seen as weak if we back down, if we compromise, if we admit to the fact that our view is not the only one and not the only right one.

Yet, we make it a matter of strength, of vigour, of status, to be the goat that marches ahead and does not allow any other to move ahead of us.

We end up drowning ourselves and taking others down with us. When all we need to do is look around us and perceive the other side of things too. Allowing others to walk past, does not always mean that we are left behind. It just means that we are wise enough to allow others to co-exist and that sometimes trying to prove yourself all the time is just not worth it.

The biggest lie we tell ourselves

http://www.trueactivist.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/photo_2016-11-28_02-10-26.jpgSociety, they say, is a reflection of its people. Of their mentality, their habits, their behaviour. Similarly, rulers, or rather the ruling elite, the leaders on top, ideally represent the people they ‘serve’. Regardless if they eventually convert to serving and satisfying their own needs at the expense of the populace.

Carl Thomas, an American journalist, had said: “in a free society, government reflects the soul of its people. If people want change at the top, they will have to live in different ways. Our major social problems are not the cause of our decadence. They are a reflection of it”.

People are seen as naïve; no matter how educated they want to believe they are. Because in the end we all prefer to believe comforting lies than inconvenient truths. And in the case of the populace, history has proven that they will support the person who gives them the biggest lie. Because it covers up more of their life’s dissatisfaction.

Between history and politics, the latter has also proven to be the strongest. Because it manages to repeat itself. And we seem to be unable to learn from history. We allow ourselves to keep falling in the same traps, even if we know how things turn out – how the post is more important than the knowledge or skills; how clientelism rages everywhere; how civil administration does not work for the people but for those in charge of it; how rulers everywhere seek to primarily further their own aims and then their county’s – if at all. Yet, we prove wanting in many ways and incapable of changing anything for the better. Because improving things takes work. And no one is willing to do it.

We’d rather engage in big talk and criticism rather than act.  And that is our greatest weakness.

Can’t or won’t

https://www.google.com/url?sa=i&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=images&cd=&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=2ahUKEwiDt6jJ6o_dAhUEJ1AKHWfKCWEQjRx6BAgBEAU&url=http%3A%2F%2Farmork9.com%2Findex.php%2Fblog%2F2016%2F05%2F11%2Fpellentesque-habitant-morbi-tristique-senectus%2F&psig=AOvVaw1AZNmBgu2nruT8EkyL0EV3&ust=1535548617443937A principle element in education is rejecting the saying “I can’t”. In fact, we are drawn to believe that “there is no can’t, but rather won’t”. That it is not a matter of not being able to do something, but of not having the desire to.

As such, the difference between can not and will not is of physically being incapable of and of simply not wanting to.

We are brought up to be certain that “can is an attitude”. It is like Star Wars’ Yoda said “Do or do not. There is no try”.

It is true, that the level of success depends on a person’s determination, their willingness to keep trying, to change things, to do more, to persist into achieving something positive.

Dean Graziosi had said that “if you tell yourself you can’t, you won’t” and similarly, Henry Ford stated “if you think you can do a thing or think you can’t do a thing, you’re right.”

Maybe it is all a matter of mentality. But every time we say “I can’t” for something, we should consider how much of “I won’t” or “I don’t want to” lies within it.

The misappreciation of things

http://www.businesscoachmichaeldill.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/value-of-english.jpgThere is a saying that you don’t really appreciate what you have until you have it no more. In a post-apocalyptic world we will begin to understand how lucky we are nowadays to be able to do so many things with so little effort – from house chores to work to travel. Yet, we have forgotten the value of everything that truly matters: family, relationships, education.

We don’t have time – we say – to read books. To feed our minds with something of essence, that may change the way we think and the way we view things around us. Ironically, however, we spend the major part of our days skim reading on a screen pointless articles and posts on social media.

We claim we don’t have time – or energy – to visit a museum or an exhibition, something that would increase our value as people, that would give us some cultural education, that would help us realise where we come from so we can improve where we’re going. Yet, we have the time to waste by taking tens of shots in search of the perfect selfie to post on social networks in demonstration of our idyllic lives.

We know nothing yet act as if we know everything.

We stubbornly refuse to learn and, even more, be taught by elders.

We have become a generation of people who want everything and value nothing.

And it is a shame. Because we are the future of this world. And it is not looking too bright.

The perplexing gender game

https://encrypted-tbn0.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcQ2CUcowLcZp51CqCx_urHvjw06s0lFB7VhxG6KAsGIGZxTXIFn7wWait, let’s consider it for a minute”. “No, you think too much”. “The problem is you think too little”.

Let’ face it: we’ve all had a similar conversation with a member of the opposite sex. Because whether we like it or not, men and women think differently. No matter how much we fight and rally for equal rights, structurally, the two genders are built to operate differently.

Men, for example, may be seen as insensitive at times, as rational and the beings who don’t really care about trivial stuff. What is considered “trivial” of course – just like everything else – is a matter of perspective. They are the ones, however, who can shut things out, who can turn their thoughts and concerns off for a moment and actually relax. They are the ones who when asked, “what are you thinking about”, may very well literally mean the “nothing” they reply.

Women are not like that. Their mind is not divided into boxes. And it is never ever at rest. Rather, it is a complicated amalgamation of a million thoughts and things-to-do all at once. To men this seems like a mess. But women are often considered the more organised sex, the ones who can have everything clean and tidy in no time, while also tending to a few other chores simultaneously. But they are also the ones who – reportedly – tend to nag a lot. Mainly because they think a lot and care too deeply about pretty much everything. To them literally everything means something. Words matter and so does body language. Men feel they are walking on broken glass near women. Women believe men who don’t talk or react have something to hide.

Our minds are created differently. That is why we operate at varying levels. We perceive things differently and understand our reality in alternate ways.

Women often get frustrated because men don’t understand them, and because they cannot comprehend why men can’t operate on their level – that of common sense. Men get irritated with all the shouting, which they believe is for no rational reason, and they cannot fathom why women get upset so easily and rapidly over anything and everything.

It would be boring if we were all the same.

But we need to accept each other’s differences and the fact that we are structurally made this way. We are supposed to complete each other, aid one another and make ourselves better.

Whatever else we wonder – like, why men don’t listen and women talk too much – will always remain unanswered questions.

Being royal

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©MCD

If someone gave you the chance to be a royal for a day, would you take it? Would you accept the commitments that come with the luxury? The restraints and regulations that come with everything money can buy?

We are raised to believe that we are princesses and princes. And some of us grow up to think we are, acting just as stubborn and spoiled as the description entails. But the real part of being a royal is not in the name or the title. It’s not in the things you have that reveal how much money you have or don’t.

It’s in the attitude.

The behaviour, the serenity, the calm in front of a storm, the nobility, the savoir-vivre and the etiquette. It’s knowing how to act like a decent human being.

And that is something money can not buy.

Because no matter the education you have, it you don’t adjust your mentality and cultivate your intelligence, it doesn’t really matter who you are.

Being royal is a feeling that comes from within, not a title you inherit.

 

Bulletproof

http://1cqgxm3l59yi2wwbnn3qy35h.wpengine.netdna-cdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/sunroom-on-a-snowy-day-1-16.jpgShe woke up enveloped in her fluffy quilt. It was snowing outside, which resulted in it being freezing cold inside. It is strange, though, how she woke up far sleepier than when she went to bed late the night before. She decided to roll over and snooze the alarm clock one more time. But she had managed to wrap herself so tightly in the quilt that she couldn’t really move. It was easy to fall back asleep in the warmth of a comfortable bed.

The alarm clock buzzed for the third and last time.

Ashley knew that if she allowed herself to sleep through this one too, she would never get up in time. Andrew had challenged her to a cross-fit session that morning. She presumed it would be more fun if she went with a friend, and at least she might even go back for more after this one. Gyms were obviously not her favourite place.

But how do you convince yourself to get up in all that cold?

An email bleeped on her phone. The first thing she thought after reading it was that stupidity is everywhere. She was wide awake from aggravation as the message simply further demonstrated the incompetence of certain people who lack the capacity of comprehending their own limits and faults. She got up instantly and within half an hour was out of the door.

Working out does help your psychology. Because for that hour you are there, you manage to forget everything else. You become bulletproof. You are allowed to take out all your rage and aggravation, peaking your adrenaline levels, and then all of a sudden you feel so calm, as if nothing ever happened to distress you in the first place. It is certainly true what they say, that a healthy mind lives better in a healthy body, because it is not only about being physically fit that is important. It is about being happy about it too. About maintaining the proper attitude to be able to ignore certain things. To not allow trivial stuff to strike at your nerves. It is about reinforcing your organism’s shielding capacity and boosting your own mentality.

That way, even on freezing days, you can find the courage and determination to get out of bed, because you never know what an amazing day may lie ahead for you.

 

Also part of Daily Prompt: Ready, Set, Done

Is it really greener on the other side?

Greener grassThe great thing about going away on a holiday is that you get to forget about everything that annoys you in the place where you reside and go on to experience a different lifestyle, with possibly a different culture and mentality. However, a comparison between what you routinely endure every day and what you see for only a short period is unavoidable. And it seems that every time what you conclude is that the grass always seems to be greener on the other side of the fence. That this “neighbour’s lawn” is indeed better looking, healthier and overall greener than your own. Even though in reality you may be just ignoring anything negative about it and downplaying everything positive about your own.

But sometimes it is in fact greener on the other side. When you view and live in a routine different than the one you are acquainted to, it often simply serves to highlight everything wrong about the latter. The better manners, more efficient organisation, and work ethics of the host nation, simply underline the inadequacy, rudeness and corruption that may prevail in your own. And that is when you decide that things need to change.

Perhaps it is true that one person alone cannot change the world. But change starts from within. And an alteration in your own lifestyle may at least help you reach the satisfaction you so desire. If everything around you seems so negative, and everything elsewhere so positive, then perhaps the grass is truly greener on the other side. But how do you penetrate into that “greener” lawn? How do you enter a system which seems to value contacts, rank and background, much more than knowledge, skills and experience? How do you manage to persuade a director to let you in or at least give you an opportunity when you don’t even know anyone who can open the door? Some trends are universal. And the lack of meritocracy appears to be one of them.

It is like the fight between two wolves that an old Cherokee man told his grandson about. It was about a terrible fight occurring inside of him, between two wolves. One was evil – he represented anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego. The other was good – he was joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith. “The same fight”, the man said, “is going on inside you – and inside every other person, too”. The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather, “Which wolf will win?” The old Cherokee simply replied, “The one you feed.”

That is true for every aspect of our lives. If we simply look at the negative in everything, that is all we will know. For as long as you feed your mind with the belief that the grass is greener on the other side, that is what you will forever see. In Greek there is a saying that every obstacle is there for a good reason. Perhaps to make you stronger and better prepared when you finally do cross over to the greener lawn. For when you do, you might finally see its own inadequacies and fading colour…

 

Also part of Daily Prompt: Good Fences?

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