MC's Whispers

Whispering Silences

Archive for the tag “perceptions”

Avoiding the silence

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Many people start their day with the sound of the alarm clock buzzing in their ears. From that moment, our entire day is filled with noise – running water, the kettle singing, the phone ringing, email alerts, cars honking, doors slamming, music, trains on rails, voices of all pitches and intensities and so much more.

If you just sit still for a minute and breathe, you may even hear your own heart beat. Had it not been for all those noises that constantly surround us.

If you’re a person who easily gets lost in your thoughts, who drifts off in daydream or allows their mind to wander, every once in a while – perhaps more often than most people – you need the silence. You want to be able to enter public transportation without the hubbub, the clamour, the commotion. You don’t understand why people feel the constant urge to talk all the time. Some simply talk for the sake of talking. They are not really saying anything of substance; sometimes even nothing that makes sense. Perhaps sitting on the bus and talking on the phone to someone during the entire duration of your trip makes you feel important, that you’re not ‘wasting time’, or it is a way of keeping others astray. Because, yes, there are those types of people too, who want to talk so much that they will approach you and try to start a conversation out of nowhere, without your consent. Even if you kindly try to avoid it, it will turn into a monologue on their part, which you are obliged to listen. Unless you want to get off on the next stop and risk facing a worse situation on the next public transport you board.

People don’t appreciate the silence enough. It is as though they are avoiding their own thoughts. As if they are afraid of staying alone with themselves for a while. Of emptying their minds. Of discovering what their own perceptions on life are. Of even listening to the sound of their own heartbeat.

It is a shame. Because if we learned to be more mindful of our own well-being, of the rhythm of our breaths, of the ticking of our hearts, we wouldn’t be so agitated and stressed all the time, complaining about the world and everything in it.

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Hidden thoughts

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We all have hidden interpretations of things others don’t see. And it is usually the ones that cause a conflict. Because people find it hard to see with others’ eyes. We can’t put ourselves in others’ shoes, nor interpret things their way.

There are symbolic meanings to everyday behaviours. Meanings that are affected by our own perceptions of the world, by our prejudices, by our mentality, by the way we were raised, by the things we read, by our own experiences and thoughts.

It is these very perceptions that give rise to our hidden thoughts. They may be misinterpretations of certain incidents. But they become so rooted in our minds that to us they are established as the reality we see.

We refuse to see a different perspective, an alternative view, because it seems illogical, irrational, in total conflict to our own. And in essence, we are too stubborn, head-strong and selfish to do something that requires empathy on our part. It requires setting aside our own beliefs to comprehend what makes others react or act in certain ways.

Such absolute perceptions and hidden thoughts make our relationships dysfunctional. They cause us to become defensive even hostile. But worse of all, they lead to disappointment when we realise that our expectations are not met.

The mind is like a parachute: it only works when it is open.

Earning what you’re worth

http://beyoubegreat.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/keep.jpgThere is a perception that certain professions have a much higher pay than they actually do. And there is the widespread belief that some others pay more than what they are actually worth. For example, some public service employees (also known as “civil servants”) in certain countries who are paid much more than even private employees, yet work half the time and can hardly justify what they do as “work”.

There is the perception in life that you don’t always get what you give.

But that doesn’t mean you should give up. Life has a strange way of turning around and presenting you with the exact opportunities you deserve at the time when you’re ready. And karma takes care of everything else – all those who did not believe in you, who even mocked you or spoke badly of you.

There is a place for everyone and in the end, everyone gets what they deserve.

Just have faith and acknowledge the fact that even if you don’t earn what you’re worth, all that truly matters is that you know what you can do and those who matter will realise it eventually.

“It’s not about how fast you go…it’s about how long you stay there”.

Roots and wings

https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/736x/99/a8/52/99a85230057e9941cb6b01a6ba3711e3--black-tree-art-prints.jpgThere is a saying, “if you don’t like where you are, move; you are not a tree”. People were meant to move around, to explore, to evolve. Instead, with the passing of time, we have become so afraid of change that we fear the slightest disturbance of our known environment. We become rooted in one place, often because we don’t have the courage to risk and see what more is out there.

And as such, we close our minds to everything around us. We refuse to accept anything different to our own perceptions, or consider something further from our beliefs.

We become so accustomed to routine, that any turbulence to it is considered lethal; when in fact, it is the other way around.

We encage ourselves in a life that shrinks us and diminishes us instead of helping us grow and develop. We aren’t making ourselves better, rather, we persevere in a mediocrity and preserve a life unchanged, with the same mentality and the same lens on life.

But what we fail to see, is that as we grow, our surroundings change, our needs become different, and so do our characters. We have a different perspective on life when we are young, springing into the world, compared to when we are mature, looking back at it.

After all, we are supposed to receive and pass on two gifts: roots to remind you where you are from, and wings to show what you can become. It is only when you use the latter that you discover where you can go.

All muffled up

CacofonixCacofonix is that sweet village bard in the Asterix adventures. The one who considers himself a musical genius and a superb singer, but who often causes people to run away scared or even causes thunderstorms the moment he starts singing. Yet he is angrily offended when people criticize his singing, to the point of dismissing them as barbarians.

It is evident that his name has an association with the word “cacophony” (a harsh discordance of sound), something which is all the more timely now with the rise of social networks giving everyone a voice and an opinion on anything, anywhere at any time. It often resembles a group of dogs barking loudly for no apparent reason. Because sometimes, this is exactly what all this “noise” actually is. Barking.

And it is usually the people who have nothing to say that yell the loudest. The ones who have no right to object a certain way of handling affairs, because they simply don’t have the knowledge, experience or even capacity to do so. And the ones who have no alternatives to offer. It is usually these that shout the loudest and the longest. Wanting something different and fairer to all, which in their language would mean someone else to do their job while they enjoy the benefits.

But with so much “bad reporting” out there, how can you trust in what you read/hear/see? How can you believe the village bard promoting himself as the greatest singer of all times, and missing out that he is actually a tone-deaf peasant? At least with Cacofonix, he is usually tied up and gagged during the banquet at the end of most Asterix and co. episodes to allow the other villagers to have a good time without having his screeching disturb them.

If only things could be as easy in real life too as in a cartoon…

Cops and Robbers

kids_playing_029_01A very popular children’s game, especially for the younger ages, is cops and robbers. The rules of the game are simple: one group plays the robbers, the bandits having done something bad, most probably robbed a bank for example, and the other group plays the policemen chasing after them in order to bring them to justice, i.e. prison. The game is based on the commonly acceptable rules of how society works.

But when did the cops suddenly become the bad guys and the robbers the good ones, the ones who are actually supported and justified by everyone else? In the violent riots that have broken out in countries facing the ruthless measures of austerity, where their people are brought to the brink of exasperation and suicides and crime have seen a dramatic increase, why are the police portrayed as the bad guys? The ones who attack and strike without reason. Who throw tear gas and pin commoners to the ground with unjustifiable causes. And the robbers, those that run amuck, looting and destroying private property are rationalized by public opinion. But most of all, why is it that every group of people is generalized? That all policemen are bad. And all robbers justified for having resorted to stealing?

In Greece, Golden Dawn, an extreme nationalist and right-wing party is gaining ground faster than you can say its name. It is after the robbers. But it is no police. At least it has no authority like that mandated by policemen. Its members take matters into their own hands, simply because the police – being dubbed as the bad guys – are no longer able to act, out of fear they might be persecuted themselves. And going back to the generalization trend, Golden Dawn targets immigrants, because it declares that all immigrants are bad for this country and that they overstay their welcome. It might be true that the more frequent robberies, looting, stabbing and killings are the “work” of immigrants but maybe, just maybe, not all immigrants are bad. Of course nobody considers that. Because when your child, your relative, your friend, is out for a walk one evening and ends up being stabbed by immigrants in an attempt to steal, then you end up understanding the reason behind Golden Dawn’s anger and begin yourself to feel a despise for these immigrants that have turned your country into a purgatory. But not all robbers are immigrants. Just like not all immigrants are robbers. And Golden Dawn certainly cannot be justified for targeting them all.

But you see, that is the problem with games. You never quite know how they will turn out in reality. If the cops and robbers – the good guys and the bad guys – reverse roles, what happens? And yes, there also are Cowboys and Indians, but who is the good and the bad there? For the Conquistadores in South America were the ones who plundered and took over by force the land of the Indians leading them to near extinction. Good and Bad are in the end theoretical terms. And it remains up to the perception, understanding, principles and ethics, of each individual to give them meaning.

 

Also part of Daily Prompt: Toy Story

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