MC's Whispers

Whispering Silences

Archive for the tag “non-fiction”

That question we all ask

https://www.socialtoaster.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/2018-06-19-1080x628.jpg

There is something we all at some point find ourselves doing: seeking the answers we search not in ourselves but in someone else. Because it is much easier to ask others what to do and how to do it rather than try to figure it out ourselves. It is faster and simpler to have others solve the problem instead of finding the way to do it ourselves.

That is why when we find “inspirational” people there is always someone who asks the question of “what should I do” or “how should I do [something] to become like you”? The best answer a truly influential person can give is “go out and act and stop asking me about it”.

No-one can really provide you all the answers you look for. There is no pre-defined right-or-wrong solution to everything that goes on in your head. Plus the responses you may get may very often not fit with your perspective. Or put simply, they may not be what you want to hear.

The best thing is to stop delaying and procrastinating so much. We blame our fallible human nature, our indecisiveness, even our OCD, but deep down there is something else: the fact that we may not want it as much as we believe. Because if we truly wanted something we would do anything we could to achieve it. We wouldn’t over-analyse. We wouldn’t go around asking. We would find ways to act.

It’s as simple as that.

Advertisements

The luck of a four-legged friend

©MCD - Tiger2018

©MCD

Everything happens for a reason, they say. Some say it is usually the reason you want to believe they happen.

When you come to think of it though, it’s the smallest of things that make the greatest impact on your life. The simplest of gestures, a few words of kindness, the smallest of beings.

For this latter, it is strange how – if you are an animal lover – your whole being lights up at the mere sight of one. Your mood instantly changes. As if you suddenly realise how trivial everything else is. Like Schopenhauer said: “Compassion for animals is intimately connected with goodness of character; and it may be confidently asserted that he who is cruel to animals cannot be a good man”. In a similar light, Anatole France stated, “until one has loved an animal, a part of one’s soul remain un-awakened”.

The best part of having a pet as a companion, a roommate and a friend is that you will receive twice-fold (or more) the love you offer it. If you are as lucky as to have a four-legged creature in your home and your life, you will know what it is to find joy at the simplest of things, how to relax by merely a pet or a hug, how the warmth of a purr can take away all your stress, and how to love unconditionally.

It is only when that love that taught you about life is lost that you fully comprehend its importance. It is that unbearable void that is left behind upon a pet’s departure that makes you acknowledge how lucky you are to have been a part of their life and to have had the honour to have them choose you as their partner during their brief passage from this earth.

We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals” – Immanuel Kant

Our purpose in life is to help others. And if you can’t help them, at least don’t hurt them” – Dalai Lama

Pets are bundles of love wrapped in fur”

Counting life

http://aleurerblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/shades-of-life-Aleurer-Blog.jpgWe wake up looking at the clock. By the time we open our eyes, we’re already stressed that we might be late for something. Before we even realise what day it is or even where we are, we begin counting to see if we have time.

We spend most of our day like this. Calculating. Looking at the clock. Stressing.

Our heads are filled with perceptions about what needs to be done at what time. The fact that we might be late as per our age for some things adds more stress. The same if we are early. It seems that either going too slow or too fast in life is always frowned upon. Everyone will always have something to say. That’s just the way human nature is.

But we all have our own rhythms. And that is the pace we should live by.

Like Einstein said “not everything that counts can be counted and not everything that is counted truly counts”.

Powerfully stated by Jay Shetty in this short video to watch when pressure is mounting, you need “to be able to create meaningful, purposeful, fulfilling lives for yourselves and learn how to use that to make an impact and a difference on the lives of others. That would be true success”.

In the end, it doesn’t matter what other people say or think. All that matters is how you are.

The truth about memories

https://news.cnrs.fr/sites/default/files/styles/visuel_principal/public/assets/images/129714169-72dpi.jpg

In those moments when you stop and just listen to yourself breathe, what passes through your mind? In those instances when the answer to “what are you thinking” is sincerely “nothing”, what is it that occupies the images in your head?

Often, it is memories. Past experiences, feelings, sensations, things we lived, saw, said.

The truth about memories is that you choose to remember them. You select which ones you carry around with you.

They are usually the happy ones; the ones from your childhood playing carefree with your parents and siblings without any problems hovering above you. It’s those instances that are filled with heartfelt laughter and genuine love. True unconditional deep-down mind-blowing good times.

But there are also the painful ones. The memories that have scarred you. That have broken you and showed you that you are stronger than you then thought because you managed to heal and survive. They are the experiences that have irreparable placed their mark on you. The ones you’ve never truly overcome, either because you’ve not forgiven them or because the hurt serves as a reminder to always be cautious. They are the memories that feel like a punch in the stomach and a cringe in the heart every time they are recalled to mind. But they are too part of what shaped you.

Memories, either good or bad, are part of who we are. They are what cause us to become the personalities we are, with the mentalities we have, the thoughts we carry and the ideas we generate. They are what are responsible for our moods or mood swings, for our optimism or realism, for our cynicism, our hope, our despair, every aspect of what makes us….unique.

The catch, however, is to remember that these memories belong to the past. The present is there for you to create more memories, to live a life worth remembering in the future.

 

Deceptive Looks

Appearances are often deceivingWhen you see a beautiful rose for the first time, you are so overwhelmed by its appearance that you pay no attention to the thorns it hides. Looks are deceiving. We only see what others choose to show. Therein the deception lies. That we believe what we see, we choose to understand only that which we see before us without questioning whatever lies beneath. And that is how misunderstandings arise. Because we see the innocent flower and not the serpent lying under it. We are fooled into believing that things are as they seem. But they are not.

As children, we are constantly prompted to not trust everything that we see. For even salt seems like sugar. And if you’ve mistaken this for your tea you certainly understand the consequences of deceptive looks. Plus, not everything that glitters is gold.

A Scottish proverb says “do not judge by appearances; a rich heart may be under a poor coat”.

As humans, as rational beings, we need to believe that what we see is true. But in a world dominate but so much deception, pretention and falsity, hardly anything we see nowadays reflects reality.

In the end, all we can really do is trust our instinct. And judge according to actions. For it is those who run to you when they sense your need who really care, not the ones who flaunt their presence when everything is fine.

 

“The greatest deception men suffer is from their own opinions” – Leonardo Da Vinci

That dot in the ceiling

https://www.exopermaculture.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/painted-spiral.jpgHear me,
When I don’t say a word.

Listen to me,
When I scream in my silences.

Look at me,
even when I turn away.

Watch me,
When I say I don’t need your attention.

Console me,
When I walk away crying.

Hold me,
Even when I push you off.

Hug me,
Even when I say I don’t want you near.

Read between my lines.

Understand what I don’t say.

Feel me even when I say nothing to you.

My mind is a dangerous and chaotic place.
But you may learn to comprehend it if you try.

Just stop staring at that dot in the ceiling,

Realise that I can’t stop and do nothing.

It drives energetic people crazy – apathy.

Come run away with me.

 

Attention-seekers and their shadows

http://s2.thingpic.com/images/W4/9zPkuowr4cj82ztjQhJ4LM6L.jpegPeople 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”.

 

Also part of Daily Prompt: Narcissism

Push the button

petergriffin - do not push buttonLife can change in an instant. It is at those moments you realise how short time is. How little you spend truly appreciating things that are important, and actually living. It is in those instants that you suddenly awake at the thought that you spend too many moments overthinking and worrying about things that won’t matter later on.

An instant is all it takes for the world to change.

In an age where technology has evolved to the extent that it connects people across countries, continents, oceans, time zones with just a click of a button, anything is possible. At any moment. In just an instant.

In our daily lives we are constantly pushing buttons. Some are in the form of switches, like the one you press to turn the light on or off. Some buttons start our cars, open doors, turn on the cooker / boiler, launch our computers/ tablets / phones. Things that we nowadays take for granted and happen automatically.

But what happens if we push the wrong button? If suddenly – in an instant – we mistakenly erase important data that we can’t recover? It is in that instant that time freezes. It is then that we realise how much power a simple button has, and how much we have entered an automated mode that we often do things – press buttons – without really considering the consequences.

We live life on full speed and when things get a bit out of hand we panic, we feel lost and desperate. It is not about the speed with which we do things. It’s about the buttons we push and the impact they will have on our lives. Even if it is just one button. The implications may be huge. Just think that a bomb – any type of – can explode at the simple push of one button.

Journalism Under Fire

https://static.kent.ac.uk/nexus/ems/116.jpgJournalism is printing what someone else does not want printed; everything else is public relations”. George Orwell’s quote, today more than ever, remains relevant, at a time when media and control over them has become a highly controversial issue, mainly due to the ethics involved. Because, while journalism should, ideally, be objective and free of political affiliations, nowadays, the newsroom is dominated by the ominous shadow of advertising revenue. In a period when almost everything has been affected by the financial crisis, media – the people’s source of information – are searching for sources of income, while at the same time competing against social media and the plurality of free news.

How then can we distinguish the truth in what we read? And how can we dismiss ‘fake news’?

This was the topic of a very interesting discussion held in Athens in the context of the New York Times Athens Democracy Forum, hosted by the journalistic platforms Oikomedia and Hostwriter. The aim was to examine why Media have come under Suspicion and how journalism can regain public faith. Five guest speakers from international media participated: Serge Schmemann (New York Times), Philip Faigle (#D17, Zeit online), Simon Wilson (BBC Brussels), Prune Antoine (freelance journalist) and Tasos Telloglou (Skai TV/ Kathimerini).

The prevailing view, shared by many journalists and citizens alike, is that the observation of how real life unfolds is absent from many media reports today, mainly because of the rising trend of ‘opinionated journalism’. This trends sees the inclusion of a commentary, with the reporter him/herself often expressing a view on the story reported. But that is not what the role of the journalist is supposed to be, nor what the point of journalism is. It is supposed to be about the clear, undeterred, fair and objective presentation of facts that have been thoroughly researched and presented as is. Journalism is the means to make heard as many voices involved in a story as possible, and to cause, through that, the audience’s critical thought, so that citizens themselves may launch a public debate on the matter. In an era of rapid technological evolution, media outlets are perfectly positioned to become platforms promoting such active public discussion.

Instead, citizens increasingly turn against media, viewing them with suspicion and distrust and accusing them of transmitting ‘fake news’ and siding with any one political group. As such, it is not strange that, especially in Greece, citizens do not trust the media, and in fact increasingly tend to avoid the news. The 2017 annual Digital News Report by the Reuters Institute for Journalism revealed that Greeks have the lowest rate globally in trusting media with only 23% (compared to, for example, 62% recorded in Finland, the highest rate). Greece is also the only country in the world that believes social media do a better job in separating fact from fiction than traditional news media (28% vs 19%). In addition, over half the respondents (57%) in Greece and Turkey are avoiding the news, compared with fewer than one in ten in Japan (6%). One of the main reasons for this ‘media avoidance’ may very well be all the ‘negative’ news constantly broadcast, regarding the economy, politics, corruption, accidents, war, bloody conflicts and terrorism attacks around the world. News that not only contribute to increasing fear and agony for a future that is already blurred, but also result in further dampening an already low morale and bad psychological state. Consequently, people prefer not to know, endorsing that ‘ignorance is bliss’.

But in all this, how much are the journalists themselves to blame? Are they not asking the right questions? Are they presenting news out of context, indeed causing misinformation? Is the need for higher revenue placing at risk not only the independence of the organism but also its credibility as a source of objective and truthful facts? Press freedom is not only about the pluralism of views, but also about their presentation as facts, without editorialisation.

Journalism should be about opening questions not answering them. The journalist’s view has no place in the story they are reporting.

Today’s need to ‘sell more copies’ and ‘record more online views’ has irreparably also affected the quality of journalism. We need to go back to basics, to remember that in order for a fact to be reported correctly, you need to experience and (re)search it as best as possible to make it easier for the reader to comprehend. And most of all, to realise that people want to read about things that concern their lives and that affect them.

There will always be a need for stories. This was broadly acknowledged at the discussion. The main issue, however, is that journalists should never stop striving for their fundamental element: objectivity. And to step away from the uniformity and unanimity that so often characterises news stories today. After all, the mind opens up when it tries to do, see and think something differently. Otherwise, it is not even worth it.

When things go wrong

cat-tigerThings are bound to get rough. It’s a fact of life. Nothing is perfect all the time. There comes a moment when things will go wrong. And sometimes, too many things go wrong for too long. But like Charles R. Swindoll said, “life is 10% what happens to you and 90% of how you react to it”.

There are days when you won’t want to get out of bed, out of fear that something (even more) terrible will happen. Days when you’re overcome by negative thoughts, when you’re convinced that someone cast a spell on you – the neighbour, the person who competes with you for a parking spot, those others who are always jealous of you but hypocritically act as if they’re happy for you. And somehow, your mood drops, you don’t feel like doing anything, seeing anyone or even getting out of the house. Because you know that when one thing goes wrong, a whole lot of others will follow. And they usually do. Something breaks that you can’t fix; your computer gives up on you; you lose your lucky charm that you’ve had for years.

They say there is a reason things happen. You just never find out what it is.

But what you need to force yourself to do is to abandon the negative thoughts. Being negative attracts negativity. And in the same sense, being positive will turn things around. Try to smile and the sun will shine a little brighter. But most of all, surround yourself people who offer more than sympathy. People who will embrace you, look out for you and persuade you that there are things in life worth being grateful for. And if something goes wrong now, it’s because something even better is on its way.

You just have to believe.

 

Also part of Daily Prompt: Sympathy

Post Navigation