MC's Whispers

Whispering Silences

Archive for the tag “postaweek”

Endless chatter

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There is a difference between saying too much and not enough. Just as there is a difference in knowing when to speak and when not.

It is Plato who said it best: “wise men speak because they have something to say; fools because they have to say something”.

In an age where self-promotion is the norm, people speak more than ever. The problem though, is that they do not know when to pause.

A Zen saying goes “do not speak unless you can improve the silence”. Unfortunately, nowadays few can do that.

We observe it daily: in the ride to and from work, people are stuck in trafficking and feel the constant need to talk to someone – co-passengers, on the phone, to random strangers, salespersons, anyone they bump into – simply to consume the words they cannot suppress inside.

It may be seen as an insecurity, wanting to constantly draw attention onto oneself by speaking endlessly. But people need to realise when this becomes tiresome for others more than for themselves.

Those who speak limitlessly also tend to be those who are not comfortable in their own silence, and who subsequently try to find ways to avoid it. As such, though, they lose out on the healing process some minutes of quiet offers not only to others but to their own soul as well.

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Provincial lights

©Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

Two years had already passed since she decided to leave the city for a provincial town.

She still remembered how much time and anguish she had experienced; her mind a whirlwind of thoughts pecking her brain with all the things that could go right or wrong.

It was hard to change your entire life. To exit the safety of your comfort zone, of everything you are used to and feel comfortable with. But if you don’t, if you never take the leap, you’ll never know where life can take you.

She never regretted having found the courage to alter everything.

Also part of Friday Fictioneers

Calm misfits

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Calmness originates in a state of mind. That is why often we are told that we should be selective with our battles; sometimes having peace is more important than being right.

Yet, the more strong-minded you are, the more you seek a “just cause”, the more you are affected by not being able to prove your righteousness. You are among those who acknowledge that life is not fair, yet have difficulty accepting it.

Because justice, unfortunately, is not always served.

People get away with a lot of things. Things that with the passing of time are repeated so often and go unpunished that they eventually become the norm.

And in the end, you – the one who is right and seeking justice for it – result being the lone wolf trying to change the world. A world which, however, considers you a misfit for not playing along.

In the end, you come to realise, that the more things you learn to ignore or simply accept, the calmer you will be. And, if anything, that alone would bring you peace of mind.

Professor-prompts

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“Not everyone can do everything. Because it is as simple a fact that you can’t be good at many things. You can adequately do a lot, but only expertly do a few”.

He clearly remembered his professor’s words since the first day of college.

He was investing time to gain the knowledge required to specialise in one specific sector.

However, in an age of multitasking and in a labour market that sought individuals with a range of skills, he found the prompt contradictory.

How could you focus on one thing alone when the world was asking you to know more?

His professor was the one who offered the reply.

The more specific knowledge you possess, the greater ability you have in comprehending a situation and offering solutions others cannot see”.

He then handed him a quote from a famous scientist. It said: “A smattering of everything is worth little. It is a fallacy to suppose that an encyclopaedic knowledge is desirable. The mind is made strong, not through much learning, but by the thorough possession of something” (Louis Agassiz).

Never stop learning. Seek knowledge on everything and anything. But know what to invest on and specialise on something in particular. That will make you stand out. And it will make you sought-after and marketable”.

Jury duty

©Ted Strutz

What makes a person fit to judge? No matter how much evidence they assess and review, what really gives anyone the right to decide the fate of another?

These were her first thoughts when she received the letter for jury duty. She had to go or faced a heavy fine and someone else would judge her instead.

But really, what gave her the responsibility of criticising another?

In court, the defendant presented his case with a series of old black-and-white photos. Memories of another lifetime no-one else could imagine.

Yet, his outcome was now in the hands of complete strangers.

Also part of Friday Fictioneers

An abundance of smiles

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“Smile! It lightens up your soul”. His mother used to say that to him ever since he could remember.

Growing up, he found that there is always a reason to smile. It’s just that we very often overlook them or don’t pay enough attention to everything we should be grateful for.

He found quotes about smiles all over town; things like “a smile is the prettiest thing you can wear”; “smile it’s free” and many others.

He made it a choice to begin every day with a smile. It did make his heart feel lighter.

On his way to work each morning, he would exchange pleasant greetings and abundant smiles with passers-by, regardless if he knew them or not. A smile is contagious and he noticed that even if they weren’t smiling, the people he addressed would almost always depart a little happier.

It was something he passed onto his kin later on: “be helpful; when you see someone without a smile, give them one of yours!”

Just like every other person, he had his own problems, the challenges life threw his way. But he acknowledged that there is no use worrying too much about things that are beyond your control..

In fact, the more you smile at life, the more life will smile back at you.

Grave intuitions

She knew something was wrong. From the moment she approached, she couldn’t shake off the feeling that something was just not right.

Perhaps it was the feeling of the air. The way her breathing had changed. Or the fact that her heart seemed to race a bit faster.

They used to call her a psychic, for she was very often right in the things she sensed.

Maybe she had a very strong intuition, one that guided her blindly. She was used to following her instincts, allowing the voices inside of her to perform spontaneous actions without knowing why.

But this time there was something grave in what she felt.

Something was terribly different.

They found out how right she was the minute they opened the door.

Mid-court

©Dale Rogerson

They had first met there, at the picnic table in the middle of the basketball court. He had offered to share his sandwich with her. She found it an over-generous gesture, given the fact that not many people share their food.

Since then they shared their lives with each other too.

Every Friday night they would meet at the same place so that they would never forget where and how they began.

But lately he started running late and then cancelling on her.

She would still wait for him.

Sitting alone at the table, wondering where he prioritised his time.

Also part of Friday Fictioneers

A mission to the end of the world

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He gained a newfound optimism for life when he was given something to look forward to: a new mission to Tierra del Fuego – the Land of Fire – in search of a mythical treasure.

As a veteran explorer this was most possibly David’s last assignment. But he was thrilled that it was in a place known as the land of fire and ice, situated at the end of the world at the southern-most peak of South America, and hosting inimitable natural beauty and wildlife.  

The past couple of months were hard on him. Having faced health problems, divorce, loss of loved ones, high fines for debts and a series of daily challenges, which he thought he would never survive.

Yet, he tried to bring to mind all those seemingly impossible missions he had completed successfully. If he could handle circumstances other people didn’t even dream of, surely he could conquer the difficulties of daily life as well.

But depression got the better of him, nonetheless. He found no joy in living and saw no real sense in anything anymore.

Until he received that call, telling him he was the only one for the job. He was thrilled to be the single person most suitable for this mission of a lifetime. Like a phoenix rising from its ashes, he felt reborn, renewed, in preparing for his travel.

He may never find what he was looking for. It was indeed considered impossible that the treasure even existed. But he would try with all his forces.

In the least, he would find himself, and perhaps comprehend that sometimes the treasures we seek are not across the world but right next to us.

Ticket lines

©Na’ama Yehuda

They had announced tickets were on sale on a rainy Tuesday morning. That didn’t stop people from lining up for miles in the street under the pouring rain.

Some wanted to purchase tickets for a show they had waited almost a lifetime to see.

Some others wanted simply to be part of the hype, to maintain the sense of belonging to something socially trending; to be able to say “I was there too”.

Some others were there to surprise their loved ones with the tickets in hand later that day. Because sometimes, showing you care requires less than you think.

Also part of Friday Fictioneers

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