MC's Whispers

Whispering Silences

Archive for the tag “people”

A Snowman’s Heart

http://cdn-ugc.mamaslatinas.com/gen/constrain/500/500/80/2014/11/11/15/be/ig/pogiar13k8.jpgLegend has it that if you can warm up a snowman’s heart, s/he will become a real person. The person s/he once was. That is why we try to dress up these big, round snow-persons as best as possible, expecting that the glow will reignite inside and they will return to being happy.

Joy grew up believing in this legend and every year she would devise all sorts of things in the hope of turning the snowman into a real person. She would dress him with beautiful, colourful, clothes – not just the scarf, but a jacket, gloves, a woollen hat, sunglasses even. But that wouldn’t work. One year, she even made a snowwoman to keep him company, wishing that love and companionship was what made the snowman’s heart grow colder.

The year her parents divorced, Joy was still a teenager. When winter came, she understood why the season causes some to fill with melancholy and depression. And when her own heart was broken, she realised what it is that makes some hearts grow cold.

Then she found a random hand-written note in a book she had borrowed from the library. It read: “Here’s the thing about people with good hearts. They give you excuses when you don’t explain yourself. They accept apologies you don’t give. At your worst, they lift you up, even if it means putting their priorities aside. It’s because they don’t make you work hard for the attention they give you. They accept the love they think they’ve earned and you accept the love you think you’re entitled to. Let me tell you something. Fear the day when a good heart gives up on you. Our skies don’t become grey out of nowhere. Our sunshine does not allow the darkness to take over for no reason. A heart does not turn cold unless it’s been treated with coldness for a while”.

It was signed with a snowflake.

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When forgiveness is a privilege

https://static1.squarespace.com/static/51a04613e4b0007c06d7c81a/t/57a0f0f8197aea59d470b83f/1470165244816/There is a man on the street, sitting at the same spot on the pavement each day with almost the same clothes, clean and ironed, and a small bag on his side. He sits there watching people pass him by. He holds a sign that reads, “Please forgive me. I’m hungry”. He stays there all day. Every day.

There are others too. They get on buses and trains asking to be forgiven for the intrusion. Asking not to be seen as beggars. Asking for the understanding that their need to survive is greater than their own dignity. They sometimes sell something: a pen, a notebook, a pack of handkerchiefs; solely for the purpose of giving something back in exchange for any money they would receive from anyone who pities them.

Some even have a dog with them. One that sits next to them trembling in the cold, wagging its tail miserably once someone comes a little closer in the hope that they will throw something edible at it. One whose eyes have lost that glow it has as a puppy when it enters the world full of excitement.

Sorrow has many faces. So does despair.

People are brought to the brink of their tolerance, of their ability to survive, that they decide to do what they perhaps vowed never to do: to ask strangers for help.

But they do so without abandoning their dignity. They sometimes are stronger than us, because they acknowledge their inability, the fact that they have nothing to lose because they have already lost it all. They are asking for forgiveness from a world that has cast them aside. They are demonstrating to the society we live in that it has no dignity, no empathy, no respect, if it ignores them and hopes this problem will solve itself.

Forgiveness, they say, is an attribute of the strong.

Yet, instead of requesting our forgiveness, we should be the ones apologising to these people. For disappointing them, for letting them down, for allowing them to see only the ruthless and dark side of life.

Anyone with even the slightest sense of emotion feels ashamed when passing by these people. Because we have food, warm clothes and a roof to go back to. Contrary to them, we still are part of this society, no matter how much we blame it for all the difficulties we have to face. But they have something we lack: the acknowledgement that the reality we live in is fragile. Yet, they are the ones who can better manage happiness and fortune when it comes to them. Because we take these things for granted. And do not appreciate them enough.

Everyone you meet has something they fear, something they love, something they lost, something they are missing, and something they need. It is in the silent ones that you acknowledge everything you have and realise what it is you are missing.

Life is a journey not a destination

http://www.wns.com/Portals/0/Images/HeaderBanner/desktop/1087/53/travel_HD.jpgIn an interview, renowned architect Renzo Piano said, “when you are born in a city surrounded by water, the only thing you think about is that the water will become a path to take you away, to explore the world”. It is true. As children, we all have that feeling of wanting to discover what more is out there. You feel that your surroundings constrain you and you need to leave, to meet other places. As adults, we try to find the time and money to travel. But what we often forget is that “travel is not a reward for working; it is education for living”.

There is a saying that “we travel not to escape life but for life not to escape us” and it is certainly true that “travel is the only thing you can buy that makes you richer”.

We travel to grow. To allow our mind to grow and expand at all the new things we learn while in a different place. We find out that the world we live in is more vast that we acknowledge and that it is impossible to see it all in a lifetime.

We travel to get away. To discover new places, new people, different customs and other mentalities; but at the same time to (re)discover ourselves. We change places in the hope of finding serenity, calm and understanding when we lack it at home. With the optimism that we will rethink certain aspects and manage to find peace in a surrounding that is different to the one we see every day.  We travel to make ourselves better, in every way.

We travel to reinvent ourselves and ultimately to become richer – particularly, in the mind and soul. It is indeed better to “fill your heart with adventure not things. Have stories to tell not stuff to show.  Because one thing is for sure, when you return, you are never the same person you left.

The human weakness

https://trans4mind.com/quotes/reflect.jpgHere’s how it goes; if you want a pep talk, then you’ll have to learn to swallow the truth: No-one cares what’s going on in your life. They don’t care if you’re sick, if you’re tired, if you have personal problems, work difficulties, or whatever. They don’t even care if they call and are interrupting you from something, or if they send you a message and are disturbing you. They don’t care if the time you devote to them means that you’re missing out on your own time, which you could have spent doing something else. No-one cares about all that. All they care about is getting what they want from you.

Everybody has their own business to attend to. Everyone has their own path to follow, but that doesn’t mean it is the same for everyone. That is what we need to acknowledge and understand. Because it is said that successful people never worry about what others are doing. What you should worry about, is doing whatever it is your doing right. Like Paolo Coelho says, “We can never judge the life of others, because each person knows only their own pain and renunciation. It’s one thing to feel that you are on the right path, but it’s another to think that yours is the only path”.

Humans have an inherent and unalterable weakness: they are, by nature, selfish. What they care about is themselves: how to further their own interests, how to achieve their own goals, regardless of whom or what they trample on. And to add to that, they are greedy. They always want more and nothing is ever enough.

If you can master these two characteristics: if you can teach yourself to care about the lives of others too, to be more sympathetic to their own needs, and to realise that you don’t know their story or what they’re going through; if you can convince yourself that things could always be worse – you could have nothing – then you will become a better person. And if you can pass this on so that more people can become better, then that is how society will improve.

Be positive and smile, even when things don’t seem to go your way. Even that slight gesture may change someone’s world.

 

Also part of Daily Prompt: Recognize

Knowing the mountain

http://www.wallpaperup.com/156976/forest_trees_landscape_house_mountains_autumn_fog.htmlHow much do you really know a person? How much can you truly say you understand about them from the few (or even many) hours you spend with them? Can you comprehend the flicker of their eyes when they’re stressed? Or the jolting of their hands when under pressure? Can you tell if they are smiling because they’re genuinely happy or because they’re trying to conceal a sadness unbeknownst to others? Can you ever grasp where their thoughts are travelling to when they gaze blankly into space, uttering that everything is fine?

We meet so many people during the course of our lives. People we run into by accident and never see again. People who stay and become family. People who pass through enriching our experiences and bequeathing us with lessons that help us mature and move forward. But how many of those people can you truly claim to know? To comprehend who they are, even beyond what they tell you? To realise what it is they are saying without them voicing it? How many of those people can you identify with so deeply that you are certain you’re part of their lives?

Introverts, they say, feel more comfortable closing up in their own shell at times. But that is often when they need someone the most. Someone they don’t really need to talk to, drawing comfort from the fact that there is just someone there, who (shows s/he) cares. That doesn’t necessarily only apply to introverts, though. All people need some time alone. But we all need the reassurance that someone is quietly looking out for us and worrying when we’re not OK.

The key to understanding people is noticing the little things they do. Those small gestures that betray some minor, yet significant, trait of their character. How people play with their hair or fiddle when they’re nervous. How their eyes sparkle when they’re happy. How their voice changes according to the emotion. How they can rejoice with the tiniest of things that make them feel special. How they are fighting an identity crisis on the inside but are seemingly invincible and fearless on the outside. How even the most certain and outgoing people have a part of them that is fearful and in need of encouragement.

You may live with people your entire life and never truly know them. It is like residing in the mountain valley and never climbing the steep path to the top. It may take effort, but the result will justify you in more ways you can imagine.

 

Also part of Daily Prompt: Mountain

The boundaries of sanity

https://lessonsfromtheendofamarriage.files.wordpress.com/2015/09/tennis-court-443267_1280.jpgIt is a line, mostly a mental one, that marks the limits of a person’s capacity, tolerance, sanity. It’s called setting boundaries.

There are boundaries and maximum (and minimum) limits to just about everything: from fixed prices, to metrics, to country borders, to endurance, even to one’s patience. There is a reason for it. Boundaries keep us sane. They keep things under order, otherwise chaos would ensue and we would all end up psycho wrecks.

Boundaries may be seen as a recognition of personal space. They are normal and necessary. They are part of the process of self-care and maintaining ourselves calm and healthy.

We all often dangle on borders. It’s a natural thing. “Boundaries are to protect life, not to limit pleasures” (Edwin Louis Cole). Certainly: there is a time to play and a time to work. When we are able to distinguish between the two, we will be both mentally healthier and more productive.

You teach people how to treat you by what you allow, what you stop, and what you reinforce” – Tony Gaskins

 

Also part of Daily Prompt: Healthy

Awakening a soul

playful dogSome things just fill your heart without even trying.

That is what Ivana felt every time she walked through the door and he was there waiting for her. There was so much joy in his eyes. It was almost as if the love he held in his heart was so vast, he could explode with emotion. And he was so honest about every single thing he felt.

He would show it all – when he was upset, when he was hungry, when he wanted to go for a walk, when he just wanted to lie down, when he wanted to pick her up instead.

Ivana knew that he was the one person who would always be there for her, rejoicing in her excitement and empathizing in her pain. At times, he was all she ever wanted.

Until the time he left. As suddenly as he had appeared.

That was the only fault she had found in him in his fourteen years. That his life was too short.

Her dog was more than just her buddy, her friend, her partner, her therapist, her family. He was her whole world. She was constantly trying to be better, because he made her believe she could. She wanted to be the person her dog thought she was.

He was someone who motivated her to play, to laugh, to cuddle, to be curious, to seek adventure, to love, and to be loyal.

And that look in his eyes whenever she came home – no matter if she had just popped out to the kiosk around the corner – it was priceless. It made her believe that this is the only creature in the world that may love someone else so much more than he loves himself.

They say that dogs have a way of finding the people who need them and filling a space we didn’t even know we had. They have an ability of demonstrating true happiness, unconditional love and absolute loyalty, making our lives complete. But they also have a way of nourishing you with the strength you need to carry on, when they move on to another world.

 

“Until one has loved an animal a part of one’s soul remains unawakened” – Anatole France

 

Also part of Daily Prompt: Buddy

The rule’s exceptions

https://betterlifecoaching.files.wordpress.com/2011/09/stand-out.jpgIt is said that there are exceptions to every rule.  Sometimes those very exceptions even prove the existence of the rule. Confused? Don’t be. While some argue that rules are made to be broken, most agree that to every rule there is almost always an exception. One that will sometimes reinstall hope and optimism when lost. The one-in-a-million chance.

It’s refreshing, for example, to realise that not all people are the same. That we don’t all fit into a mould or into the stereotypes we all love to forge for each other. Not all citizens of the same nationality exhibit the same traits, nor do people of the same gender. Persons of the same age are not all whatever we group them up to be. Take the easiest example to follow today: the present young generation is addicted to technology to such an unprecedented extent, diligently recording itself accomplishing so little. They are lazy, often ignorant, and lack substance in their mentality. But that is not always the case. There are those who use technology mainly for what it is meant to be, to communicate, to keep in touch, to facilitate their lives. But they do show interest in the world around them, volunteer, think, react, often act to bring about change we only talk about. These are the exceptions that serve as buds of hope in a world drowned by crises.

The very potential of the existence of exceptions is what also stirs up the positive “what ifs” when deliberating over choices. It is what makes you consider that it is better to take a risk and make it happen without thinking too much about it. Because, overthinking just makes things worse. It extinguishes the excitement and the optimism that things might just work out. That they might result in the way you hope.

It is these exceptions that embolden you to take the leap. You may fall flat on your face, but doesn’t that (rare) chance of you landing skillfully on your feet make it all worth it? For those times when the exception is actually better than the rule?

 

Also part of Daily Prompt: Contrast

Talk, speak, utter, shout

http://cliparts.co/cliparts/pTo/jr6/pTojr6pTE.jpgEvery person, when given the chance, wants to take the time to express themselves. Aaron knew that well. An introvert by nature, all he really longed for was someone who would understand him by the few words he said.

Like everyone from time to time, he too felt the need to speak, to shout, even scream at times. But it was rarely that he found the chance to actually truly talk.

Once made to feel comfortable, however, he would speak more often, open up a bit more and begin to share all those thoughts that so frequently hovered inside his mind.

It is always easy to talk about others, down to them, or simply to them. But it is more difficult to actually talk with them. That is where communication comes in. And that is the reason Aaron never really liked talking. It just seemed too hard.

But when he met Denise everything suddenly changed.

He found himself waiting anxiously for the time they would sit down for a chat. One that would forcefully end three hours later because either of them remembered they had an appointment, or work, or something they (hesitantly) had to do. They would talk about anything and everything at the same time. Expressing their deepest feelings, their reflections, their regrets, and their dreams. They didn’t need to ask each other questions; it just happened naturally. And they felt comfortable doing it because they trusted each other completely and knew that criticism had no room among them.

You can tell a lot about a person by the things they’re willing to express about themselves, and what they desire to know about you. But most of all you can understand that person even more by the depth of the words they are willing to fire your way.

An innate curiosity

http://previews.123rf.com/images/brux/brux1301/brux130100030/17503613-illustration-curious-owl-with-a-magnifying-glass-Stock-Vector-cartoon.jpgRobert took out his notebook and began to scribble frantically. It would have seemed absolutely normal for the journalist he was, had he not been in the middle of a queue in a supermarket. Across him a middle-aged man who had just finished paying for his groceries was looking for his wife who had re-entered the aisles in search of an item they had obviously forgotten. But that was not what was worth noting. The man stood boldly at the till and yelled out her name. His wife was called Nora. Once he had no response, he asked the security guard roaming the general area, where his wife was. The guard looked up in awe, as if someone had awoken him from a deep sleep by pinching his arm. “Who is your wife?” he asked. The episode continued for a few more minutes, until the wife finally appeared without holding anything and asked her husband in the most natural of tones, “did you find it?” He hadn’t moved all this time.

Robert was smiling as he was noting it all down. It was the perfect story for his next novel.

He usually found these sporadic gems in the most common places. In markets, in buses, in coffee shops, even just during a stroll around his block.

It is amazing how much you can find by simply observing and listening to people.

Robert had an innate curiosity. It was characteristic of his profession, but it was something that to him came natural. He always wanted to learn more and constantly urged himself to discover something further than what was handed to him. That, he believed, was the only way he would mature as a person and expand his knowledge.

It’s good to wonder about the world. It opens your eyes and ears and takes you to places you would never have otherwise encountered.

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