MC's Whispers

Whispering Silences

Archive for the tag “people”

The things we do for others are things we do during each day that go beyond our own self: holding the door open for someone, explaining something unclear to a stranger, or simply saying good morning. It’s those little things that cost nothing but may lift someone up.

Yet, sometimes, despite everything we do for others, we are disappointed with life. Often because we do not receive the appreciation we believe we deserve. Or – to the very least – a reciprocation of everything we do.

Sacrifices are usually made in silence. It is the sort of things parents do for their children, abandoning their own pleasures and hobbies so that their kids can enjoy their own. It’s when you have to make choices and decide that nothing is worth your health or spending time with your loved ones. It’s putting it all aside for once for the sake of being healthy.

The greatest disappointment comes from expectation. Sometimes we expect more from others because we would be willing to do that much more for them.

“What we do for ourselves dies with us. What we do for others and the word remains and is immortal” – Albert Pine



Surprising turnarounds

js-brand.jpgIt was a cloudless sunny day during the last month of winter when they reached the fishing-village. There was no-one around. So much, that it seemed a deserted town. They switched off the engine and took a stroll. Boats of all kinds always fascinated them. They found what seemed like a coffee house and entered. The owner – an elderly man – was delighted that there was someone in his shop he could not stop talking. The elderly always have something wise to say. And it was not soon that their unexpected destination resulted in a priceless purchase: their very own boat.


Also part of Friday Fictioneers

The wisdom of an organised life and Lisa were twins. But they could not be more different. Sophie was the person who liked to have things in order. To make a plan or a list and try to stick to each as much as possible. She set priorities, ambitions, targets, goals and was thrilled with always trying something new. She was the person who was bored at doing nothing. Lisa, on the other hand, was the exact opposite. If she could, she would sit doing nothing all day. Her motto was to go with the flow. She was completely disorganised, often forgetting things that needed to be done and leaving everything for the last minute.

The problem with the latter type of people is that they don’t have any stress. Actually, they are the ones who cause the former ones all sort of anxiety problems.

It usually works like this: when Sophie can’t organise her schedule because Lisa never knows what her programme is until the very last minute, it is Sophie who gets stressed, irritated, angered and who rushes to change things to accommodate the other’s recklessness.

But no matter how much Sophie complained and lectured over how organisation and planning is needed, Lisa never paid attention. She preferred to do it her way because it always worked out in the end. She never cared to acknowledge, however, that the reason things worked out was because Sophie made the necessary effort to make everything right.

It is a shame that it is the organised people who are the ones that keep the world spinning, yet the disorganised-laid-back ones are always getting all the credit.

“Science is organised knowledge. Wisdom is organised life” – Immanuel Kant

Smart and wise believe that all of us have the power to change the world. It is how we use that hidden strength that affects everything. It is how we cultivate our mind and lives that determines how smart we become. There is always something extra to appreciate in people who try to learn more every day. Who you see are making an effort to improve themselves. To develop their knowledge, their skills and, ultimately, their lives.

A smart man only believes half of what he hears. A wise man knows which half” (Jeff Cooper).

It is easy to recognise these people. They are the ones who don’t care much about social media gossip, who prefer knowledge quizzes over time-wasting ‘candy-crash-type’ games. The ones who are curious about the world and genuinely want to learn. The ones who constantly try to find new challenges to engage with because they know that this is how we grow. The ones who get bored easily, who can’t sit still, who fidget often but also stay quiet a lot. They are the ones who can get lost in a book or have their attention distracted by an endless trail-quest for information online. They are those who get excited about the little things and who emit a childish energy when it comes to things they are passionate about.

People who use their brains more tend to be happier, healthier and more active.

They are the ones you should seek to have beside you. Because they are those who make you want to become better too, to learn more things and to share that energy within which lies the power to change the world.

A Snowman’s Heart 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.

When forgiveness is a privilege 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 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’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 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 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

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