MC's Whispers

Whispering Silences

Archive for the tag “money”

Helping the economy

http://oncondado.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/SHOPPING-BAGS.jpgThere is a saying that “men go shopping to get want they want; women go shopping to find out what they want”. In fact, females don’t have a very favourable reputation when it comes to shopping. Because put plainly, women can shop all the time, regardless of how much money they (don’t have) and they can never have enough of anything, especially shoes and clothes.

Men supposedly also have a special characteristic – that of being able to constrain themselves. But women…well, when they go shopping, it is very very easy to get carried away. And they more often than not do.

With the advent of online shopping, moreover, it has become all the more easier to get overexcited and buy more things that you need or sometimes can even afford.

Shopping for women has become a form of therapy; something men cannot understand. And this is where the gender differences become more apparent. Because it all comes down to the fact that women are excited to receive something new, even if they spend half their paycheck to get it. And despite visiting numerous stores in search of that perfect – affordable, if possible – item, they will always return to the one they saw first that may have a three-digit price tag, simply because it is a well-known fact that it is the first-view-first-click that will please you the most.

Yes, women are weird. Maybe a bit high-maintenance at times. And very often insane. But they are the ones that fill this world with sunshine. Because no man ever complained when the woman standing next to him looks glamorous wearing all the things she just spent her (or his) wage on

The measure of wealth

https://www.extracobanks.com/img/measure-tape-money.jpgJoy was a girl who personified the meaning of her name. She was a wave of optimism walking into the room. Her eyes sparkled when she smiled and her good mood easily transmitted to those around her. She loved to please people, to entertain and have a good time. But most of all she loved the preparation for it: the elegant clothes, the glistening jewels, the chic hair-dos. They all belonged to the process of feeling good and showing it. Yet, these were all things that required money. Joy didn’t have a problem with that, so she didn’t really take into account how much she was actually spending each month on these “little luxuries”. She had the ability to do so.

Until she didn’t.

It was one day at the end of winter that was resisting the imminent arrival of Spring. The company manager called all the employees into the glass conference room and announced solemnly that the end had come. The company could no longer cope financially in the increasingly competitive market. So it was letting everyone go and was dissolving overnight.

People didn’t immediately realise all the consequences this involved. It was not just the fact that they would become another statistic in the rising unemployment rates. It was not that they would have to face an uncertain period of idleness. It was the fact that without an income, they would all have to start counting their pennies. Literally.

When that thought struck Joy’s mind, that is when the clouds set in.

Because, now, when her friends invited her out and expected her to show up glowing and glittering under the stars, sipping cocktails on roof gardens, and dancing in extravagantly decorated ballrooms, Joy had to maintain appearances. She had to continue living up to her name, despite the fact that her sparkle had faded. She was no longer carefree, because she witnessed day by day her bank account shrinking. And until she found another source of income, she had to restrict her outings. She was confused, though. She couldn’t stay in and do nothing, see no-one, out of financial fears. How did everyone else do it? All those others who earned so much less than she did?

One night, when the full moon lit dimly over the city’s so-called “high society” or wannabe-elites, Joy stood in a corner of the room and paused. She looked around, observing the crowd that had become part of her usual outings. Their clothes, their shoes, their hairstyles, their hand gestures, their body postures, the intonation of their voices, their fake smiles. She wondered when she had allowed herself to become so superficial, thinking that because of the money she so carelessly threw around, she would “fit-in” and become likeable. She had become so drawn-in to this lifestyle that she had forgotten the true meaning of her own name.

She ran out, saying goodbye to no-one.

She rushed home and called him. Him, who was always there for her through everything, but whom she so often failed to acknowledge.

“Let’s go get lost,” she said to the other end of the line. Her voice was trembling with excitement on the verge of shrieking. “Let’s just go there, to our island, to our room-to-rent by the beach and retreat away from it all. There on our balcony gazing at the sea, with the breeze blowing gently and the waves crashing on the rocks. You can work online, and I’ll write a book. On how the real measure of our wealth in life, is how much we would be worth if we’d lost all our money and were left with only the things that can’t be bought. I get it now…”

 

Also part of Daily Prompt: Countless

The Archer

https://lh5.ggpht.com/l9mykkNXAk5GQA2yRa3ml5CrenDBghDsjINP5cjEvy0WuPFIb4oJ7ZB1w9MLURSBp-hk=w300The bowstring tore his cheek as the arrow flung to hit the hanging branch. He was trying to outrun the voices behind him, and every few paces he would turn and try to find deterrents to block their way. It was already getting dark and it was easier now to get lost in the woods. That served to his advantage. No-one knew the forest as well as he did. It was his home.

They called him The Archer. All they really knew about him was that whatever he stole, he would replace with something else. So, for example, if he stole a loaf of bread the one day, the next he would repay with a couple of fresh apples. He didn’t want to be considered a thief after all. And he always signed his name with a capital “A”.

But no-one had ever seen him. Despite the fact that he moved among them daily.

His mother was an Amazon, tamed by a Lord. Their marriage was a demonstration of how powerful love could be. But also of how profound. For when she got sick, he drunk his fortune away, and with it his son’s future. The boy was soon orphaned and left to fight for his own survival. All he knew how to do was use a bow better than anyone. He was very young when he was forced to discover the world, and the people of the village looked upon him with a mix of pity and fear. They would give him chores and various errands to run if they had any, but the pay was minimum, if at all, and the boy could not survive on that alone.

No-one seemed to care how he managed or where he lived. That was private business, or what they described as “personal issues”.

So the boy often disappeared as quickly and as easily as he appeared.

But no-one ever associated him with The Archer. He had become a legend, a sort of myth that made the forest and the nearby village an attraction. He became the terrifying story parents threatened their children with to make them behave. He had become a ghost despite still being alive.

He carved his own bows and arrows, made his own home, and by now knew all the places food could be found in plenty. He lived poorly but managed to gain all the necessities life handed abundantly and was satisfied with how well he fared. What he hated was the look in the villagers’ eyes. As The Archer phantom, he saw fear, prejudice, and loathing. So many negative feelings for a being they hardly knew. And as the boy, their eyes reflected sorrow, shame and sometimes compassion. But that is not what he wanted. All he desired was some kindness, someone to invite him into their home and share a warm meal with him. The boy, just like The Archer, simply wanted to be accepted. But in his own eyes, that was the most difficult feat of all.

Wishing Well

https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/236x/ee/93/dd/ee93dd154b2f7bb2f5a1360a11bafe95.jpgThe young boy looked into the well. The old man had told him it would only grant him one wish, so he should choose wisely.

Before uttering what he most wanted, the young boy had roamed the village and asked its residents what they would wish for.

There were those who said they would ask for more time.

But the young boy thought that those who wished for this were those who mismanaged the time already given to them.

There were those who would wish for more money.

But money, he thought, was a commodity of which more could always be earned.

There were others who would call for luck.

But that is something the boy thought could not be controlled – falling upon the right people, the right circumstances, the right opportunities. You just had to keep your eyes and mind open to recognising them.

Everyone asked for more of something.

The boy believed that you can work hard to achieve more. But all that requires one thing that is essential and irreplaceable – good health.

So if there were only one thing for which he could wish for, he would wish for that: for being healthy, to be able to realise your dreams, to show the necessary courage to go further, and to fulfil everything your heart desires.

A suitcase is more than just a bag

Suitcase-travel-31302401-360-273A suitcase is considered an item of luxury. At least that is what Joshua thought. Because to own a suitcase means that you will need it to pack things in when you travel. Wherever that may be. And traveling, let’s face it, costs money. And money is just not something that grows on trees. No matter where you look. So, according to Joshua, a suitcase is an item of luxury. That is why some even cost more than he makes in a month. But that’s a different story.

His main concern today was what he would pack in this suitcase.

It was new and he had saved it especially for this day. It was one of those modern, light-weight yet sturdy four-wheel suitcases, that you could pack your life into and when you would unpack you would be amazed at how much it actually fit inside.

Joshua hated packing, though. He loved to travel but despised the fact that each time he had to spend a couple of hours gathering all his essentials and trying to get them to fit into a bag he could carry. And there was another problem associated with that: Joshua was a secret hoarder. He gathered so many mementos, souvenirs and little accessories from every place he visited, that not only did he have trouble containing them in a suitcase, but even in his very home. He actually built an extra room in his house, simply to serve as his own private museum.

But one thing that Joshua hated more than packing was remaining at the same place for too long. He was a restless spirit and in constant need of movement. Staying put was for him equivalent to remaining inert. And that was worse than not living. There were so many places out there that he still had not seen. So many people he had not yet met. So many cultures he had not discovered. And it was all waiting for him. Of course, like everything, travelling required money. But Joshua worked hard, so he could play hard too. And with every opportunity he got he would indolently make up his suitcase and excitedly rush off to another adventure. It always managed to lift his spirits and rejuvenate his lust for life. No matter where he went. As long as it was somewhere.

Today, he was staring at all the things he had spread out across his bed and was wishing that they would all magically be arranged into his suitcase. Procrastination was his strong point. It was already three hours before midnight and the things had been lying on the bed since morning.

Joshua was setting off for an adventure. One of the biggest so far. He didn’t know how long he would stay there for. But he knew he wanted to take this risk. To try something different. Maybe his luck would change on account of this. He was hoping it would. He just had to be brave enough to take the first step. Everything else would work out along the way. It always somehow did.

He had taken a bold first step. He had bought the suitcase. And in it he would pack all his essentials. That would be enough. Life would happen along the way. And he was ready.

 

Also part of Daily Post: Sparkling or Still

Sliding doors – Granting Pennies

straw hatThe sun was waking up from behind the grey clouds as the wind howled from within the door cracks. Martha, stretched her dirt-black hands and used the only clean rag she had remaining to wipe the morning dew from her eyes. She was the old widow who was left homeless and alone after her husband died and the state seized their house due to unpaid debts. She lived in the spaces other people left empty. She was the shadow that filled the empty enclosures. The silent presence in a seemingly fine world.

Her day relied on the friendliness and compassion of strangers. She had nothing else left to hope for.

As she shook of the dust from her worn-out dress, she tried as best as she now could to make herself presentable. She put on her straw hat with the still luminous green bow, and stepped out into the busy street.

That day was different.

There was a lot more people rushing by than usual. It left Martha wondering whether something had happened, or if someone important was visiting.

Either way she carefully observed passers-by and the minute she detected a hint of sympathy or a sip of kindness in someone’s look, she would approach and timidly ask for assistance – “even a two-pence will do” she would plead.

Sympathy is a strange thing. No matter how much you may hurt or empathise with someone’s suffering, it is hard to reach into your pocket and actually do something about it.

And that day, no one did.

Martha was left standing in that very spot she had begun her day. Only now she was hungry, tired, and emotionally drained. It was unusually cold that night too. The rain and thunderstorm that ensued covered up the beating of her weary heart as she lay on her hole-filled blanket to rest, in a sleep she would never wake up from.

 

But what if her day had been just a little different?

There was a lot more people rushing by than usual. It left Martha wondering whether something had happened, or if someone important was visiting.

Everyone seemed to be rushing to go somewhere.

Martha carefully observed passers-by and the minute she detected a hint of sympathy or a sip of kindness in someone’s look, she would approach and timidly ask for assistance – “even a two-pence will do” she would plead.

Every once in a while, some kind soul would appear and make the difference. You simply had to be ready to accept it.

Martha found this in the face of a young woman. She wore a blue sleeveless dress, with a white belt suited at her waist, and elegantly covered with a blue trench coat. Her eyes were as blue as the ocean, but they seemed to reflect the grey of the clouds that covered the sky that day. The woman stopped in front of Martha. Their eyes locked for a moment that seemed eternal. None of them spoke. They did not need to.

The woman reached for her bag and pulled out an almost overflowing envelope. She placed it in Martha’s hand giving it a squeeze as she left it there, smiled and departed.

Martha watched as the woman turned the corner and disappeared.

She opened the envelope and gasped. Inside were hundreds of money bills. Enough to repay her debt and get her house back. Enough to regain a decent living. Enough to reclaim her life.

What Martha never knew was that that woman had just won the lottery. And decided to give the money to someone who she judged needed it more than she did.

Sometimes even the smallest gesture can change someone’s life. You just need to be bold enough to make it.

Also part of Daily Prompt: The Kindness of Strangers

Wanted: unpaid worker for paid job

work-for-freeWould you work for free? Of course you wouldn’t. Who would? It is a commonly accepted trend (and very much preferred) that when you deliver a service, whatever that may be, you will receive something for it in return. In the olden days it was food, clothes, equipment. Today it is paper, that kind of paper that has value though. It’s called money. And often it is considered to be worth more than the things that matter.

I belong to the group of people who believe that when you take on a job to do, you should do it well. And sometimes it is difficult to understand whether it is I who am too demanding or if it is the people today becoming stupider and lacking in common sense.

Aristotle himself had said that “pleasure in the job puts perfection in the work”. Hence, doing something you love and feel passionately about would make your job more like an activity. One that, however, renders you an income at the end of the service. No matter what that may be.

But what if you find your dream job, or at least a job as close as possible to this, that would enable you to do exactly what you want, with the freedom of movement you expect, and with control over your own work? There is one catch. You will not get paid for it.

Do you accept?

Oprah Winfrey once stated that “you know you are on the road to success if you would do your job, and not be paid for it.” But in this day and age, who works voluntarily? There needs to be some sort of return for the time, energy and dedication you put into delivering work. But what if there is not? No matter how hard you work to prove yourself? Even if you do hope that the exposure will someday idealistically lead to someone discovering how good you are and calling you in for a paid position. Do you take on a job that will allow you to do the thing you love, even if that will make it hard for you to bring food to the table? Or do you settle for something less, that will however put money in your pocket?

And what if you could do a bit of both? It would allow you to engage in your passion, while at the same time being able to buy the food. The downside though is that you may not even have the time (or energy) to devour the latter.

The world is a dangerous place they say. The choices it calls you to make determine your future. And maybe somewhere out there, there are three Moirai (Fates) spinning your life thread. But the most important choice you make comes from within. Working and making a living are sometimes two different things. Wouldn’t it be great though if the hours dedicated to your job helped you live a decent life, as well as put a smile on that pretty face of yours?

It’s all in the #Santa_hat

mickey-tiny-timTerrified by what he just saw before him Scrooge tweeted Things have to #change!

He closed his money lists, opened a web browser and furiously began typing away.

It was almost sunrise when his battery finally ran out and he managed to fall asleep, with those frightful images still hovering in his head.

The next day a new Scrooge had awoken.

@EbScrooge: New day! #Merry_Christmas everyone! #Joy, #Happiness, #Xmas

Even the tweeting ghosts were surprised by this extraordinary change.

Dressed in a Santa hat and with a bag full of gifts he rushed over to Bob’s house.

Bob was shocked to see him. He didn’t know whether to be happy or scared! Was he expecting him to work today? And why on earth was he wearing a Santa hat?

@BCratchit: #Scrooge here. Why? #confused

“Merry Christmas!” exclaimed Scrooge as he walked in ringing a jingle bell in his hand. The children excitedly ran up to him, as he opened the bag and let them explore the toys and gifts he had brought them.

@MrsCratchit: @BCratchit #Scrooge brought delicious roast turkey!! #thankful #Christmas_miracle

@BCratchit: #Medical_treatment for @Tiny_Tim! & I just got a raise!! Thanks @EbScrooge! #jingle_bells

@Tiny_Tim: There is a #Santa!

 

 

Some other Christmas “ghost” writers can be found here.

Ice inside and out

Gleb_-7 Xmas PresentScrooge felt a chill running down his back.

The wind was howling outside and suddenly the window flung open. Expecting to see a ghost (perhaps the one that was tweeting him), Scrooge got up trembling to close it.

Returning to his computer – the battery was still at 85% – he scrolled down his money lists. He still had to calculate the month’s earnings.

Bling!

@GhXmasPresent: @EBScrooge, beware of what is to come! #Greed_breeds_fear

@EBScrooge: @GhXmasPresent, you’re too #late, other #ghost already here. #Shoo, #go_away

At the sound of the next bling, announcing yet another tweet, Scrooge began to grumble. He had already lost count five times, and these calculations weren’t easy. And he had to finish before the battery ran out!

@GhXmasPresent: @EBScrooge, #financial_crisis deeply struck #those_in_need. @BCratchit is a #good_man. You are #heartless.

@EBScrooge: @BCratchit you already have the day off. What else do you want? #greedy #never_enough

@GhXmasPresent: @EBScrooge: You are the #greedy one. People are #hungry, #poor and #cold & you don’t care. #No_festive_spirit

Scrooge was getting irritated. What kind of somber prank was this?

@EBScrooge: @GhXmasPresent: Bah #Humbug!

And with that he slammed the screen shut. Perhaps a moment in silence would end this farce.

Bling!

 

Some other Christmas “ghost” writers can be found here.

 

A ghostly visit

Christmas PastHaving half-heartedly let Cratchit off for the next day – Christmas they called it – Scrooge returned home. It was so cold (heaters cost money) and dark (so does electricity). He lit his LED-battery-run torch and went upstairs to his bedroom.

On days like this he missed his colleague Jacob Marley who had died a year ago, for he was the only one who truly understood Scrooge’s need to work. Constantly.

He made himself comfortable on the sofa with his laptop on his knees.

With the lighting of the screen he heard a bling…

@GhXmasPast tweeted: @EBScrooge, remember the #times that were.

#Halloween is over!” replied @EBScrooge and minimized the browser.

But the ghostly tweet continued. #Christmas is for #families and #happiness. You #forgot too soon.

Scrooge chose to ignore it, certain that it was some kind of prank.

But then his whole computer screen froze, as if someone had achieved remote access, and all of a sudden an image appeared – an old house and children inside laughing around a Christmas tree, with the warmth of a fire crackling. With presents like choo-choo-trains and dolls laying open on the floor.

@GhXmasPast: #Childhood #innocence lost. #Greed for #money has become your torture.

 

 

Other Christmas “ghost” writers can be found here.

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