MC's Whispers

Whispering Silences

Archive for the tag “nonfiction”

A day of unfortunate events

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There is a belief that if something happens one, it’s just luck. If it happens twice, it may be a coincidence. But if it is repeated, then you need to look into it.

It’s sort of how it goes with various days of the week. We all have one specific day which we associate with bad luck or a series of things just not going our way.

For most it’s a Monday, which is usually an OK day until it upsets you.

You realise how your day will go from the way you wake up. Fighting with your alarm clock doesn’t count, because you do that almost every day.

If you’re forced to jump out of bed though – most often on account of a deafening noise or a bell ringing – then your entire mood is unavoidably affected.

Wishful thinking isn’t always enough. Wishing you’d win the lottery won’t help if you don’t play at all. The law of attraction, however, may have something to do with it all, even if it is the negative thoughts that get realised more often than not.

But some days, no matter how much you struggle to keep an optimistic scope on things, life has a way of laughing at your face at how many incidents can be overturned in one single day.

It’s difficult to find something positive to turn events around when you’re constantly bombarded from all over. But the things is, when you do; when you manage to stay strong; you’ll get rewarded for it.

“This is the best day the world has ever seen. Tomorrow will be better” – R. A. Campbell

The hardest part of being away

©Todd Foltz

The hardest part of being forcibly away is not being able to hug you and receive back that warm heartbeat vibration.

The hardest part of being forced to be apart for so long is not being able to join our laughter in chorus in all our inside jokes; in all the things only we find funny.

Forced to be at a distance, we’re never really apart, and you know that.

I can feel you, just like you can sense me. Every mood and every thought resonates within each other.

I would still prefer not to be so many miles away.

Also part of Friday Fictioneers

Turbulent mind

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Anger is an innate emotion. A very vivid one too. People tend to get angry, and those who say they never do, clearly lie.

We all experience moments where we feel we are losing control of our emotions. It is natural. Where there is anger, there is pain underneath. And although anger doesn’t solve or change anything, it is a way our body finds to express what is building up inside of it.

Never be fooled in allowing your anger to rule over you. That is when you have truly lost the game.

There is a quote that “anger is the price we pay for someone else’s mistake”. We usually insist that it is others who make us mad; but in truth, we are pained that we allow others to have so much power and effect over us that they influence our emotions and mood. But there are underlying reasons to why we react in certain ways.

Remember, the mind is like water: when it is turbulent, it is difficult to see; but when it is calm, everything becomes clear.

Compromise in the right timing

Compromise entails a powerful connotation. Because those who can appreciate its meaning can comprehend that it is better to bend a little than to break.

In order to meet in the middle, both sides need to make an effort, and stretch a  bit to reach out to each other.

Sometimes it is not enough to be right. Sometimes being right does not change a situation or bring a desired outcome.

In the same way, sometimes it is not enough to want something tremendously. Or to have great chemistry.

Sometimes it is also about timing. And timing doesn’t always agree with us.

Things will happen if you insist on them. If you work towards a purpose. If you try hard enough. And if you persist in what you want.

It’ll all fall into place when the time is right.

Just be patient.

The quiet ones

It’s the quiet ones you should fear. Because they have a whirlwind of thoughts howling in their minds.

They won’t always tell you what they’re thinking, but you can see their emotions reflected in their eyes.

They are the ones who will look out for you no matter what. They’ll be there whenever you ask for help, and will go out of their way to please you. They’re the ones you want to have as friends because you take for granted that they’ll do their utmost for you. But they’re also the ones you fail to appreciate. Yet, they stay. Because that is the type of person they are. They don’t measure or count what they do for you, they do things because they feel them in their heart.

The quiet ones are the ones who also need others the most, regardless how much they say otherwise.

They would ideally like to have people around who care as much as they do. People who during a crisis will show up without having been asked to simply to check in on them. We all want friends around us who every once in a while ask if we’re OK, if we need anything, or simply to be there for a walk, a chat, and a hug. People who are present and make it all seem manageable because we don’t feel like we’re fighting against the world alone.

It’s the quiet rivers that lead to the loudest streams. But when they’re calm, they offer the most refreshing waters.

In the time of Coronavirus everything is changing. Are we?

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It is obvious that our lives are changing and with it our daily routines. Whatever we so far considered “normal” may not be as such when we eventually exit this unprecedented crisis. Even the concept of what is “normal” has now obtained a controversial meaning, along with whatever we previously considered as given or obvious facts, such as the need for cleanliness which, although formerly seen as an obsessive–compulsive disorder (OCD), now has become an imperative necessity.

The fear of contracting the coronavirus (Covid-19) during its violent and uncontrollable spread is now accompanied by the anguish of when cities and markets will regain their pulse after weeks or even months. What scares us the most is the unpredictability of all this.

We are treading on unchartered waters, moments that will remain engraved not only in our minds, but in global history. And we are unprepared for it. Because instead of investing in research and health programmes – in the essential – we grant importance to the ephemeral, things and people who in times of crisis will have no value or use.

There are many theories circulating regarding the Coronavirus. How it is a conspiracy of the strong and powerful to further manipulate and subdue the weak masses; on the conflict between East and West; on economic interests etc.

Whatever the case, the current pandemic constitutes both a challenge and an opportunity.

It is a challenge for healthcare systems that have broken down due to lack of infrastructure, and resources both human and material; for state aid to be offered to those most affected; for social solidarity that is necessary now more than ever; for individual responsibility that many continue not to comprehend; for our mental health primarily, and for every kind of relationship we have.

This absence of regularity, the abrupt disruption of our daily lives, our routines, has shaken us to the core. This is aggravated by the fear of the economic impact or an imminent financial crisis, together with the lack of connection with other people. Suddenly, we find ourselves with an abundance of time, but no people to spend it with. All this heightens the feeling that we have lost our sense of safety. And this in turn makes us miserable; it brings upon us an undefined grief.

It is only if we manage to find the positive in a negative situation, that we will be able to fight it; to save ourselves both physically and mentally. For every illness, the remedy is always a strong immune system – resilient antibodies – to be able to cure ourselves. The same goes for the thoughts that we allow to occupy our minds. A head full of fear has no room for dreams. So let’s be optimistic, because as Winston Churchill said, “it does not seem too much use being anything else”.

The truth is, we should be grateful about how privileged we are that amidst a global pandemic we have been ordered to stay at home – in our refuge – in the safety of our own space, reading, watching TV, working, creating, with a full fridge and few worries, waiting for this all to end. Most of us are called to fight this invisible enemy from our couch.

Yet, we complain for the opportunity to get away from the routine we constantly criticised for draining our energy and leaving us little time to do the things we really want. Here is our chance to remember our hobbies, to watch TV, to learn something new, to read books, spend time with our loved ones, to (finally) get acquainted with technology, to invest time in ourselves and our priorities and evolve stronger, improved.

But we still complain. When other worse hit countries are forced to choose who to save because their healthcare systems are overwhelmed. We complain because we are staying home, when there are people who don’t even have that. We spend a lifetime staring at a screen, yet now we suddenly all want to go outside. The forbidden is always sweeter, they say. Even now, under these dire circumstances.

In the time of Coronavirus, everything is changing.

And when all this shall pass – because it will – what will we be left with? Apart from an earth that has pushed a small ‘pause’ and managed to heal itself, and leaving aside reports about a new hantavirus, what will we have learned out of all this? Will we wash our hands and our communal spaces better? Will we maintain social distancing? Will we consider that our individual actions have an impact on others? Will we appreciate more the time we have, the people around us and everything we consider as granted? Will we view life with a different lens?

The Coronavirus pandemic has proven how unprepared we are, because we consider so many things – even health – as granted. It is a shock on the global health system, on governance, security, but mainly on our values. It showed that everything around us is so temporary. Things we revolved our lives around: our work, gym, cafes, malls, cinemas, society itself, have all become irrelevant as we are now learning for weeks to live without them. It has taught us that we are so technologically advanced we can actually work from home, i.e. anywhere, and we can remain more connected than we believe. But in the end, it is up to us to demonstrate that the lives lost daily are not in vain. It is our responsibility to change ourselves to change the world.

Social relationships under self-isolation

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It’s interesting to witness how a state-imposed self-isolation affects our social relationships. Funny memes are going viral in that, during just the first few days of quarantine due to coronavirus (COVID-19), people are rediscovering their homes and the people in them.

If we choose to remain optimistic and see the positive in every situation – even this one – we may realise that this is an opportunity to take a pause and allow the world itself to breathe. By staying home, the decrease of environmental and atmospheric pollution is already evident. But there is more to that: we can take a break from the routine we keep complaining about and rediscover ourselves and the people around us. We live in a world where we can communicate with everyone / anyone anywhere at the click of a button, we can work from home, view films and series, tour museums online, read books, go online for shopping. There are so many things available at our fingertips.

It is during this time that we acknowledge how important it is to have people around us who we can communicate with even if only via a digital chat. People who can keep us strong and positive, and with whom we can exchange useless information simply to keep each other distracted and busy enough to forget to despair that we are “stranded” at home.

Some of us are actually “stranded” in another country away from our families. And due to the closing of borders as tight precautionary measures we will have to wait for a few months it seems to be able to hold them again. Because via videochat we can see each other every day and check-up on each other.

This is the time to realise that we can never tell what the future holds. Even if we plan things, they may not turn out the way we hope.

Most of all, we are given a chance to acknowledge all the things we take for granted and don’t appreciate. First of all our health and the time we have with our loved ones.

Let’s seize this opportunity to stay home, stay strong, stay safe, and keep our families and friends safe too.

Nothing lasts forever. Not even this.

Take a break

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Taking an out-of-season holiday has the benefit of being able to relax when everyone else is busy or working. It’s great being able to enjoy doing nothing – or rather something that amuses you – without the crowds, the hustle and bustle of everyone else doing exactly the same, as it usually happens during holiday seasons.

Being able to take time-off every once in a while is a luxury we owe ourselves.

Remember, that almost everything will work again if you unplug it for a few minutes. And that includes you too.

It’s exhausting trying to satisfy everyone else, to the extent that you neglect your own satisfaction and self-care. But ultimately, that is what matters most. Because if you are feeling great, if your mind is at peace, then your body will follow. If you don’t take a break, your body will do it for you, and at the most inconvenient of times.

We need to learn to relax and switch off every so often. It’s the only way to appreciate the world around us, to discover new places, to interact with new people, to feed our self-confidence and to grow.

Sometimes you need to take a break from the noise to be able to appreciate the silence and remind yourself of who you are and who you want to be.

“The breaks you take from work pay you back manifold when you return because you come back with a fresher mind and newer thinking. Some of your best ideas come when you’re on vacation” – Gautam Singhania

The strength of the human spirit

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The 4th of February may mean different things to different people. It may also mean nothing at all and just be another day. But the 4th of February each year is World Cancer Day. It is an international day marked to raise awareness of cancer and to encourage its prevention, detection, and treatment.

Many of us know someone who at some point in their life fought a battle they never thought they would face. Some of the fighters – be they survivors or victims – are people close to us. People who have shown us that cancer is not a death sentence, it is not something whose name we should not utter, but rather it is merely a word, a life sentence that pushes one to live.

People who fight cancer and all its consequences understand what it means to never give up hope, to show courage by taking each day at a time and promising to fight a bit more the next day. They understand what Christopher Reeve meant when he said that “once you choose hope, anything is possible” and they have felt it more than anyone else that the human spirit is much stronger than anything that can happen to it.

Cancer is a battle we may need to fight more than once. Courage comes from not giving up. Because sometimes you have to go through things and not around them to survive. But that only makes you more determined to persist, to win. And it gives hope and sets a prominent example to those around you.

People who have faced cancer are the ones who know what life means and what matters most in it. Because they have faced something they cannot describe, but have come out stronger, sometimes clenching their teeth so that their families don’t see them suffering. And for that, they deserve more than just our respect and a single day to commemorate them.

You never know how strong you are until being strong is the only choice you have(Cayla Mills).

Be the Bee

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And there, at the end of a day that touched upon the verge of “this was too much” and “when did it already get dark”, you experience something that changes you. That affects your mindset so much that you begin to see things differently.

In every period of our lives, we tend to seek people who are going through similar issues and have a similar take on things. It is our natural inclination to seek allies, because in them we find the compassion, empathy and understanding we long for.

When we meet people who inspire us, we are mentally and psychologically elevated. We begin to realise our own true value. And that is when we acknowledge that people drown not by falling into the river, but by remaining in it.

So take a deep breath and change things. People either inspire or exhaust you. Get out of situations you don’t like or agree with. We are the only ones who can save ourselves.

Life is unpredictable like that. We don’t always get the answers we seek or think we deserve, and we need to just accept reality for what it is and move on. Because things do happen for a reason, even if at the time we don’t see it. But the truth is, we can survive more than we think possible, and then we’re amazed by how much stronger that makes us.

Things and people come into your life the moment you need them, to help you get on the right path. To help you realise the value of your own worth. The only person who needs convincing is yourself.

There is a saying that people are either flies or bees. The bee will be able to find a flower even in a rubbish dump. The fly will be attracted by manure even in the most beautiful of gardens.

Always be the bee.

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