MC's Whispers

Whispering Silences

Archive for the tag “quotes”

Desire and action

©MCD
©MCD

It was snowing when he set foot outdoors. If it was up to him, he wouldn’t have, but his mother forced him to go out in search of the required groceries for lunch. He was the sort of person who always found excuses not to do something. He would constantly say he wanted to but it was simply not possible because of a series of pretexts he would cough up at the moment.

Procrastinating was Tommy’s expertise. But as he matured, he found that there were things you could simply not postpone. And the less you did, the more reliable you would become and the better status you would obtain as a person and as a character.

But the most memorable lesson, he learnt in a cabin in the woods that day he went off-track.

It was a wooden cabin below the snowy mountains. Adjacent was a lake in which two magnificent swans were found. It seemed almost mythical. He approached in hope it would offer solace from the extreme cold.

Above the front door there was a sign that read “When there’s a will there’s a way, when there’s none there’s delay”.  He knocked on the door and waited. Then he knocked again. There was no response.

After a while, as his hands began to turn numb from the cold, he decided to search for a back door.

There was one with an “entry” sign above.

Inside was a carpenter. One of the type he had only read about in storybooks.

It took you long enough,” he told Tommy as he led him to a seat near the blaring fireplace and offered him a cup of steaming hot tea.

 Tommy looked perplexed.

Had you figured out the meaning of the sign sooner, your hands wouldn’t have turned so pale from the frostbite,” the carpenter explained.

Simply stating your desire or intention to do something does not make it real. It’s when you act upon it that it happens. And that is what matters. Because others can’t see your intentions, they can only judge you by your actions”.

Tommy was beginning to understand. This meeting was not by chance. In fact, he had never seen this cabin in this part of the valley before.

“Stop denying the fact that you’re delaying things. Or simply not doing them. The time to act is now, not later. You don’t know what will happen later on. If you can do something now, why are you waiting? What for? There is always time to do something important. To show others you care.  If you can act, and if you’re going to use your intention in your defence later on, why procrastinate? If it is significant, you do it. That is what others will see. And what matters most, is what you show”.

Tommy drank his last sip and was ready to leave.

There was nothing he could say. After all, this meeting was not for him to speak, but to listen.

“Character is built on the strength of your actions”, he heard the carpenter say as he waved him goodbye.

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How are you…you?

https://ww2.kqed.org/wp-content/uploads/sites/23/2015/12/brain-and-identity-1440x810.jpg

What if you woke up one day and found someone had stolen your identity? How could you prove you were who you say you are? What truly makes you…you?

Yes, sounds familiar. If you’ve seen Unknown, the scenario reminds you of this.

But think about it. How would you describe yourself? Don’t think professionally, so no CV references and all that. Think adjectives. What makes you stand out from the crowd? How are you different from every other person on this planet?

Whether we like it or not, we are different because of what we experience, but more so, because of what we feel.

We may not want to pose this question – of what makes you you – to other people, out of fear of what they may say. Some people worry about what others think of them. What they truly and sincerely believe, not merely what they show. Because all of us have an opinion about others. It is formed from the very first time we meet the other person and it evolves according to the development of our relationship.

So, others can speak of you, even if you don’t want to.

But how do you describe yourself? And not in that narcissistic sense where you see everything on you as close to perfect.

What distinguishes you? What makes you worth the meet?

And deeper of all – how would you defend yourself against someone who had stolen your identity?

“We live in a world full of people who are satisfied with pretending to be someone they are not” – Tommy Tran

“Unless we base our sense of identity upon the truth of who we are, it is impossible to attain true happiness” – Brenda Shoshanna

The lure of a bookstore

https://s26162.pcdn.co/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/bookstore-slide-2MCD-superJumbo.jpgFor Martia, walking into a bookstore was like walking into a magic realm. In the words of Jen Campbell, “you see, bookshops are dreams built of wood and paper. They are time travel and escape and knowledge and power. They are simply put, the best of places”. In fact, she could hardly ever walk into a bookstore and not leave without buying something.

Martia’s life revolved around books. She loved reading, wrote a blog about books and worked as an editor in a publishing company. She lived and breathed books.

Yet, ironically, she could not find the words to describe how much she adored these tomes of paper. As environmentally-unfriendly they were, there was nothing like the smell that transpired when flicking the pages of a new book. Used books also held their secrets gripped within their pages. Because no one could read a book and remain the same person.

Martia had learned to appreciate even more people who read. Not on an electronic device, but the actual paper copy. Books, she said, made our minds sharper, life more exciting, they lift your spirits, lower your stress levels and make your heart more compassionate. Books always had something new to say. And there is a book on almost anything by almost anyone. What you should be careful to do is pick out the right copy – find the book that says something, in language worthy of the paper it is printed on, that makes you think and makes you want to change things.

“A bookstore is one of the only pieces of evidence we have that people are still thinking” – Jerry Seinfeld

Be the chess player

chess-eyes

©Jeff Arnold

Chess is a game of tactics. One where forethought wins. It embodies life skills.

That’s why her grandfather taught her how to play since she was only a child. He said a chess game resembles life in that you shouldn’t waste even a single move.

At first she could never win a game. But like a Japanese proverb says, “we learn little from victory, much from defeat”.

Every movement of the chess pieces had to be carefully planned. It required independent and cautious thinking. She learned to move in silence and only speak when it was time to say ‘checkmate’.

 

Chess helps you to concentrate, improve your logic. It teaches you to play by the rules and take responsibility for your actions, how to problem solve in an uncertain environment” – Russian chess grandmaster Garry Kasparov

 

Also part of Friday Fictioneers

The luck of a four-legged friend

©MCD - Tiger2018

©MCD

Everything happens for a reason, they say. Some say it is usually the reason you want to believe they happen.

When you come to think of it though, it’s the smallest of things that make the greatest impact on your life. The simplest of gestures, a few words of kindness, the smallest of beings.

For this latter, it is strange how – if you are an animal lover – your whole being lights up at the mere sight of one. Your mood instantly changes. As if you suddenly realise how trivial everything else is. Like Schopenhauer said: “Compassion for animals is intimately connected with goodness of character; and it may be confidently asserted that he who is cruel to animals cannot be a good man”. In a similar light, Anatole France stated, “until one has loved an animal, a part of one’s soul remain un-awakened”.

The best part of having a pet as a companion, a roommate and a friend is that you will receive twice-fold (or more) the love you offer it. If you are as lucky as to have a four-legged creature in your home and your life, you will know what it is to find joy at the simplest of things, how to relax by merely a pet or a hug, how the warmth of a purr can take away all your stress, and how to love unconditionally.

It is only when that love that taught you about life is lost that you fully comprehend its importance. It is that unbearable void that is left behind upon a pet’s departure that makes you acknowledge how lucky you are to have been a part of their life and to have had the honour to have them choose you as their partner during their brief passage from this earth.

We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals” – Immanuel Kant

Our purpose in life is to help others. And if you can’t help them, at least don’t hurt them” – Dalai Lama

Pets are bundles of love wrapped in fur”

Seeking courtesy

http://www.hemantlodha.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/Honestly-Be-Polite-62.jpgCommon courtesy – the act of being polite in even the meaningless of situations – is a trait we all have, yet very few choose to use. Take for example any phone call you make to any service, public or private. Or every time you walk into a store or an office seeking assistance. You are almost always left wondering if people simply like to be rude. If it is innate or if it comes to them more naturally than simply being kind or, at the least, fundamentally polite.

Nothing is ever lost by courtesy. It is the cheapest of pleasures, costs nothing and conveys much” (Erastus Wiman).

There is a saying that “courtesy is simply doing unto others what you would like them to do unto you”. Yet it all comes down to one simple thing: upbringing.

Our behaviour is an aspect that we obtain first by mimicking and then by observing and repeating what we see around us. It is a reflection of what we are taught and how we are raised. Of what our society and culture represent. Hence, having manners and being polite is something that makes us shine, to put it simply. The opposite easily places us on someone’s list to avoid.

Being well-mannered does not cost much. Just turn the frown into a smile and say a kind word. What you will get in return will be gratification alone. And everyone will be left in a happier mood. Isn’t that worth it?

“Politeness is a sign of dignity, not subservience” (Theodore Roosevelt).

Counting life

http://aleurerblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/shades-of-life-Aleurer-Blog.jpgWe wake up looking at the clock. By the time we open our eyes, we’re already stressed that we might be late for something. Before we even realise what day it is or even where we are, we begin counting to see if we have time.

We spend most of our day like this. Calculating. Looking at the clock. Stressing.

Our heads are filled with perceptions about what needs to be done at what time. The fact that we might be late as per our age for some things adds more stress. The same if we are early. It seems that either going too slow or too fast in life is always frowned upon. Everyone will always have something to say. That’s just the way human nature is.

But we all have our own rhythms. And that is the pace we should live by.

Like Einstein said “not everything that counts can be counted and not everything that is counted truly counts”.

Powerfully stated by Jay Shetty in this short video to watch when pressure is mounting, you need “to be able to create meaningful, purposeful, fulfilling lives for yourselves and learn how to use that to make an impact and a difference on the lives of others. That would be true success”.

In the end, it doesn’t matter what other people say or think. All that matters is how you are.

Be like a flowing river

https://www.google.gr/url?sa=i&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=imgres&cd=&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=2ahUKEwjmuM7N9-LdAhUJMuwKHfH1CD4QjRx6BAgBEAU&url=https%3A%2F%2Fet.wikipedia.org%2Fwiki%2FLoodus&psig=AOvVaw0SUwD2r_uDUzgLACDXdJb3&ust=1538403965673357There is a saying by Heraclitus: “no man ever steps in the same river twice, for it’s not the same river and he’s not the same man”. There is an advantage with flowing rivers: they are never stagnant, never in the same place, always changing, always moving, always somewhere different.

We should be more like the flowing river. Knowing that there is no hurry, we shall get there someday, even if we don’t really know where we’re going. The point is to keep moving.

Remember too that the more the water moves, the more it is oxygenated and the cleaner it looks.

Imagine the same for your own soul and mental health. The more you move about, you travel, you do and see something different, the more alive you’ll feel.

After all, “you drown not by falling into a river, but by staying submerged in it” (Paulo Coelho).

Life is a river of opportunities. We need to learn to flow with the current, for to turn against it takes effort, but the current will carry you if you let it. The river teaches us how to be silent and calm, to go with the flow, to turn the bends and eventually reach the ocean. No matter how long it takes, it’s the journey you must learn to enjoy.

Dispersing energy

https://www.google.gr/url?sa=i&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=imgres&cd=&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=2ahUKEwiRh_a2vsLdAhVByxoKHdd8DyAQjRx6BAgBEAU&url=https%3A%2F%2Ftechcrunch.com%2F2015%2F06%2F30%2Fplanting-the-seed-silicon-valley-mind-control-and-finding-order-in-chaos%2F&psig=AOvVaw238YOYe_j6rwSyvyLP_nc8&ust=1537289132528063There is a quote that helps us remember that we need to devote our energy into the things that matter. There are many sayings, in fact, but this one is the most emphatic: “If you can solve your problem then what is the need of worrying? If you cannot solve it, then what is the use of worrying?” Clever, no?

Think about it. There are so many quotes we share in our lives daily, reminding us to “don’t worry, be happy”. For example, “the 5 by 5 rule:  If it’s not going to matter in 5 years, don’t spend more than 5 minutes being upset by it”.

We tend to overreact to things that don’t matter as much as we think. And we often drain ourselves of the energy to react effectively to the things that do matter and need our attention.

If we were given life to disperse energy, then why not make that diffusion a positive one? Why do we spend so much time with negative energy, complaining, moaning and lamenting? Wouldn’t our lives be better if we focused more on smiling, on being kind and sensitive, on putting ourselves in each other’s shoes once in a while, on trying to understand the other’s perspective, on being a ray of light in a world that insists on dark shadows?

Think about it.

Not knowing what we’re after

https://thumbs.dreamstime.com/b/crossroads-confusing-directional-arrow-sign-25350749.jpgWhy is it that when we sit still for a moment, allowing ourselves the luxury of doing nothing, our mind wanders into another realm? Why do we dream so often even with eyes wide open? What is it we so long to escape from? There is a famous quote that urges us to “create a life you don’t need a holiday from”. But that may not be as easy as it may seem. And that is not only because perfection is an illusion.

It is mostly because we are used to moaning and complaining about something, whatever that may be. So much, that sometimes we ourselves create the reasons to bemoan about how things are not going our way or how life is unfair. Unfair compared to what exactly? Isn’t it, therefore, true that we create the life we want? And if the reality is not what we were after, then we have the freedom to change it.

We trip ourselves up by raising hurdles where there are none. We are so used to something being “wrong” or contrary to what we want, that we even become suspicious when something goes right. We argue that it is too good to be true and anxiously wait for when things will turn over badly and we’ll be able to complain again that we knew it would happen.

Humans are strange. We are a kind that is never satisfied with anything, let alone the simple and minute pleasures of life. We’ll dig into the details simply to find something that will reveal how fake something seemingly perfect is. But we don’t try instead to lift ourselves up, to make us seem almost perfect, regardless of everything and everyone else.

If it is true that change comes from within, the human race still has a very long way to go.

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