MC's Whispers

Whispering Silences

Archive for the tag “optimism”

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.

Dance away

https://artsedge.kennedy-center.org/educators/lessons/grade-3-4/Telling_a_Story_Dance

The first time he stepped into a dance studio, he felt his heart flutter, as if it left his body and was hovering above him. He felt almost embarrassed walking in with all those potential dancers staring at him as the door clinked on his entry.

But he was determined.

Strong emotions can do that to a person.

Just a week ago, he had been dragged to a dance soirée by his sister and her friends. He had fallen in love with a dancer. But it was not with a specific one. He had been blown away by the movement; the story that was told through the song and dance. The feelings that were conveyed; the expressions on the dancers’ faces. He could feel everything so deeply just by looking at them. Being a part of their troupe must be amazing. That was the thought that had captured his mind that night. Being able to communicate in such way must be a great relief. Dancing would be an excellent way to relieve the pressure of everyday life.

So, here he was, trying to learn how to do that too.

The motto on the studio’s wall was “every problem has a solution, so dance!

The life we dream and that we live

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He looked out of the window at the cloudy skies. He was physically in his living room, sitting on his couch. But mentally he was far away. Perhaps even on that airplane crossing the sky.

He had never been on an airplane.

He had never even left the country.

He was afraid to leave. To take a risk. He was too much a coward to change his life. He lost too many opportunities and people because of this. And all he had left was to dream. But even that was too much. Because he knew deep inside that those dreams of flying away would never be realised.

On that very plane, there was a girl who travelled all her life. She knew very well what it was like to change environments every now and then, yet longed for somewhere to settle. For some place and someone to call home.

She had just finished reading the romance Erotokritos, the rhymed verses themed around love, honour, friendship, bravery and courage. It was the story of a young man who fell in love with a princess and did whatever he could – even facing exile and sacrifice – to gain her love. But to the young reader, it symbolised more than that. It was an allegory that true love surpasses every hurdle encountered; that when there is a will there is always a way; and that it’s not about finding someone who chases you incessantly or who evidently ignores you, it’s about finding someone who never stops caring or fighting for you. It’s a story about someone who feels deeply and has no problem in showing it in every way possible.

Life is the sum of our actions. These are what make us who we are. What we have the strength to do and what we don’t. What we choose to change and what not. It is who we want to be and who we have the power to become.

The story of a needle and a thread

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Take this,” the Master presented his young Disciple with a thin piece of thread and a tiny needle.  The young one took it in reverence. He was terrified that if he dropped it he wouldn’t able to find it again.

The task is to pass the thread through the needle five consecutive times. Consecutive,” he stressed the last word.

The young boy gasped. Surely his Master wasn’t serious.

Consecutive?” he emphasised it too. “But that’s impossible”.

The Master said nothing. He turned around and left, leaving the boy to his task.

It took the Disciple ten times alone to simply pass the needle through the thread the first time.

He was already tired. That’s when the little devil inside him began to speak. His Master wouldn’t know if he hadn’t accomplished the task. Or if the five times were not consecutive.

But then that other voice appeared. The one his Master had infiltrated his mind with. “But you would know”.

The boy continued. He had managed three consecutive times. And then after what seemed like hours, four. But five seemed literally unachievable.

He stopped. Cleared his head for a minute and inhaled deeply. He looked across the horizon and experienced every sound and smell present around him.

Then he began again more determined than before.

And all of a sudden, he had done it. He himself couldn’t quite believe it. He yelled in excitement, so loudly his Master came almost running. He smiled at his Disciple.

What did this teach you?”’ There was always something to be learnt.

That nothing is impossible?” The young boy was hoping this was the right answer. His Master disliked that the boy was missing the point of the exercises by trying to find a “correct” answer without being certain of it.

What did you receive from it?

Irritation, anxiety, anger….but then determination, strong-will, and…patience. Patience, above all”.

The Master smiled. “Nothing is truly impossible. We just need the patience to discover it can be done”.

Perspective rain

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It started raining before the sun emerged. When the first rays hit the sky, a rainbow appeared.

Elise woke late and got up almost forcefully to begin the day. She did not have much planned, but you never know what each day may bring. You just need to be ready for it.

She sat near the window watching the rain alternate from thunderous storm to pitter-patter.

It was half an hour later that a message sounded on her phone. A pleasant alteration to an otherwise empty schedule. With a lighter mood, she got ready quickly, took her large umbrella and walked out into the ominous weather.

By the time she returned, she had a renewed perspective on life itself. The rain hadn’t stopped. But that didn’t matter.

There are some people in your life who know when to appear at the right moment, even without you asking. They are those who without trying, without even knowing at times, lift you up and fix your mood, no matter what you’ve been going through. Be it a parent, a friend, a close associate, even your boss. They are those who effortlessly challenge and prompt you to become a better person. Who show you that you should strive for excellence, to be the best you can be, to read more, to discover more of the world we live in, and most importantly to act, to stay in constant motion, to feel alive.

Those who make you see that beyond the rain there is always a rainbow signalling the arrival of the sun.

Be who you choose to be

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He was small compared to others. Unusually so. And he was made fun of because of it. Even bullied.

But Elliot did not care. He chose not to listen because he knew he was destined for greatness.

Elliott wanted to be a reindeer. A famous one. One that pulled Santa’s sleigh.

The only problem was that he was a pony.

He was lucky enough to have supportive friends. Friends who stuck by when everyone else mocked him and left. Friends who encouraged him to follow his dream and who motivated him to try harder. Because they too believed that he could do anything he set his mind on.

Elliot never gave up. And his chance came, life rewarded him for his effort. He became the littlest reindeer of all. Santa’s favourite; the one who tried hardest and who was the most special. Elliot is the proof that even the underdog can achieve a lot if their heart is set on it and if they try passionately enough.

“Be magic; choose and believe that you can do anything you set your mind to believe. We are who we choose to be” – Will Smith

Renewed optimism

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Do wishes come true?

Noelle was too young to know the answer herself. Her innocent bright eyes were twinkling with joy as the New Year approached.

Her father smiled and pulled her onto his lap. It was her favourite place to be. It made her feel safe.

Of course they do,” he breathed optimism. “You just need to assist them too so they can be realised faster”. “To do whatever you can to reach your goals. Remember you can be whatever you dream if you want it passionately enough”.

The conversation came into her mind a decade later when Noelle was still trying to find her place in the world. She had somehow lost sight of her own dreams and her wishes were now the standard ones for good health and happiness. Even love had been removed from the equation after a series of heartbreaks.

This year something was different. She remembered the serenity she felt in her father’s lap and for a minute or two became a child again. She knew that to change things, she herself first needed to change. To regain the strength she had lost, to redefine her sense of purpose, to revive that twinkle in her eyes.

This year she knew what she would wish and strive for: that every day of the New Year brings sweet surprises that fill life with happiness!

Happy New Year everybody!

A Holiday Wish

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If you were granted one wish effective immediately, what would you wish for? Would it be for money, for material goods, or for courage, hope, love?

Lindsey knew exactly what should would seek: fulfillness. She wanted to feel that everything in her life was what she desired; that she had all she needed and wanted; that she was complete. It was something rare for anyone to state, because each person always believes they are lacking something, or they could always do with something more. That sense of incompletion is something that constantly accompanies us throughout our lives.

With everything she was forced to survive during the past few years, Lindsey was hopeful that this wish from a Secret Santa at an office party would perhaps restore the hope and optimism she had lost.

It wasn’t just the sentiment that had gone missing; it was herself too. Because more often than not people lose themselves trying to please others, in their effort to become the person they think will be more desired by another. But in the process, we fail to see that we lose the person that is most wanted by us: ourselves.

It is said that we need to find inner peace before we radiate the light we have inside. When you’ve reached the darkness, you have learnt to walk blindly towards the light.  And if you just take a step in the right direction, all it takes is a spark to light the flame.

All that matters

©MCD

For the majority of people, holidays – especially Christmas and New Year – means home. It means being surrounded by your loved ones, the people who know you best and who will be next to you no matter what. They are the ones who stay whatever the situation is and who remind you that you are stronger than you think and can survive anything. You did so far, and you will continue to do so.

There is no place you feel safer than being at home. Because here, nothing can touch you, nothing can hurt you or make you sad. You have a safety net of love that acts as a shield, helping you cope with whatever is causing havoc in your mind. And you can get lost simply staring at a burning fireplace, wrapped up in a fleece blanket on the couch.

When you have a birthday on Christmas day – like I do – you feel this season more deeply. It is your season, your time, your day. Because you have no other all year round. No one is entitled to ruin it for you and you shouldn’t let anyone do so. After all, people hurt you only as much as you allow them to.

When I tell people I have a Christmas-birthday. I get two types of reactions: one is – ‘oh how lovely to have a birthday on this special day, you’re really lucky’; and  the other – ‘that sucks, you have everything crammed in one day and don’t get all the attention you deserve’. My view is somewhere in between. I’ve said it before, there are pros and cons to having a Christmas birthday. But when you get to share this very special day with people who really care for you and you’re overwhelmed with love and wishes, that’s all that matters.

A person feels happy when they feel safe and loved. Everything else will come at the right time.

Stay positive and happy holidays everyone!

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