MC's Whispers

Whispering Silences

Archive for the tag “people”

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.

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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.

Flawed in perfection

https://danfonseca.files.wordpress.com/2011/07/imperfection.jpegIt is said that we are all flawed, for that is what makes us real. Michael had a serious flaw. He was overly generous – with his time, with his money, with his services, with his care. And he never really demanded anything back. Something which made him open to exploitation. But to Michael, that didn’t matter. He believed that what you give is what you get, and that would compensate for it all.

When Michael graduated from Medical School, he took up an internship at a military hospital and was soon sent to a warzone. It was since then that his perspective on everything changed, because that is when he realized the shortness of life and the futility of our concerns. It is then that he decided that he would give more than he received, in the hope that this act of his would spur a small change that would lead to greater results.

So he would help anyone in need. He would give money to beggars in the streets. He would offer free medical checks to the poor, and would go out of his way to offer assistance to literally anyone who asked. He considered asking for money in return, at least a small sum, but the people who came for help appeared to him to be sincere and honest in their financial shortcomings. For this, he felt it was not worth it asking for something from someone who did not possess it. He did manage to set a limit though, and often refused service to the ones seeking a free ride, or rather a free service, despite being prosperous themselves.

Michael grew old helping people and living off a meagre pension that was cut down year after year. But he did not care because he was happy with what he was doing, and that is all that mattered to him. “The smile and appreciation on the face of a person you help, is truly priceless,” he would say, trying to hold back the tears welling up in his eyes. For him, that was gratification enough.

 

Also part of Daily Prompt: Flawed

The Transformation Hat

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/0/02/Amsterdam_-_Hats_-_0931.jpgThe first one that ever came into his possession was a tall black suede one. It looked so elegant and it made him feel so sleek and classy, like a real gentleman. The next one, he found in a vintage store. It was a dark green beret, like the ones marines wear, and with it, he felt athletic, strong and robust. After that, it became an obsession for him. And it seemed that with every new hat he acquired, he was granted the key to emphasizing an aspect of his character, sometimes even one he was unaware of.

Jonah would wake up every day and decide on the hat that he would wear, before choosing the clothes he would match it with. It all depended on his mood that day, and mainly on what he wanted to feel. So if he wanted to feel sporty and pass by almost unnoticed, he would wear his favorite baseball cap. If on the other hand he wanted to cause gazes to turn his way, he had the brown plaited deerstalker hat á la Sherlock Holmes. On the days he wanted to seem adventurous and exotic, he had the black cowboy hat with its silver band glistening in the sunlight.

Jonah was generally a very hat person. But that was not always a good thing. Because one time he actually misplaced his hat and could not decide what type of personality he was until he eventually found it again. He relied too much on some material good to dictate who he was to the extent that he forgot what type of person he truly strived to be. It was wonderful that he could be all those different persons with a simply change of a hat, but what about when he was without one? He no longer new who he was, and that was a quest he was reluctant to take on. That is the danger of getting too used to something – you fear too much of letting it go.

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