MC's Whispers

Whispering Silences

Archive for the tag “reality”

What you want and what you need

What is it that you need?

She never really asked him what he wanted. Because she knew how to distinguish between wanting something and needing it. We tend to have in mind things that we want, but if we ponder on them a bit longer, we realise that we don’t really need them. Because in reality, we have a lot. We’re just not grateful enough.

He didn’t answer immediately.

His gaze wandered out of the window to the spring sun that filled the back garden. Everything was illuminated. It seemed so much more positive than the last time he was here. He himself felt brighter, more optimistic.

I need a hug that lasts more than a deep breath. A long walk on the beach. And a late night talk, the soul-curing kind. That’s what I miss the most. Being able to connect mentally as well as physically. People being real”.

She felt a wave of cynicism camouflaged into pessimism approaching. So she quickly shielded it off.

You’ve made a lot of progress in healing yourself. In realising how to separate your wants and needs and how to comprehend what is more important. You should be proud of yourself for that”.

He tried to smile, still staring outside. Something was still troubling him.

In life, there are two types of people,” she began. “The optimists and the pessimists. The pessimists are usually right. But humanity’s progress is due to the optimists. Remember that when choosing what you allow to drain your energy. If you can’t control or change something, there is no point in allowing it to affect your mood”.

In the time of Coronavirus everything is changing. Are we?

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It is obvious that our lives are changing and with it our daily routines. Whatever we so far considered “normal” may not be as such when we eventually exit this unprecedented crisis. Even the concept of what is “normal” has now obtained a controversial meaning, along with whatever we previously considered as given or obvious facts, such as the need for cleanliness which, although formerly seen as an obsessive–compulsive disorder (OCD), now has become an imperative necessity.

The fear of contracting the coronavirus (Covid-19) during its violent and uncontrollable spread is now accompanied by the anguish of when cities and markets will regain their pulse after weeks or even months. What scares us the most is the unpredictability of all this.

We are treading on unchartered waters, moments that will remain engraved not only in our minds, but in global history. And we are unprepared for it. Because instead of investing in research and health programmes – in the essential – we grant importance to the ephemeral, things and people who in times of crisis will have no value or use.

There are many theories circulating regarding the Coronavirus. How it is a conspiracy of the strong and powerful to further manipulate and subdue the weak masses; on the conflict between East and West; on economic interests etc.

Whatever the case, the current pandemic constitutes both a challenge and an opportunity.

It is a challenge for healthcare systems that have broken down due to lack of infrastructure, and resources both human and material; for state aid to be offered to those most affected; for social solidarity that is necessary now more than ever; for individual responsibility that many continue not to comprehend; for our mental health primarily, and for every kind of relationship we have.

This absence of regularity, the abrupt disruption of our daily lives, our routines, has shaken us to the core. This is aggravated by the fear of the economic impact or an imminent financial crisis, together with the lack of connection with other people. Suddenly, we find ourselves with an abundance of time, but no people to spend it with. All this heightens the feeling that we have lost our sense of safety. And this in turn makes us miserable; it brings upon us an undefined grief.

It is only if we manage to find the positive in a negative situation, that we will be able to fight it; to save ourselves both physically and mentally. For every illness, the remedy is always a strong immune system – resilient antibodies – to be able to cure ourselves. The same goes for the thoughts that we allow to occupy our minds. A head full of fear has no room for dreams. So let’s be optimistic, because as Winston Churchill said, “it does not seem too much use being anything else”.

The truth is, we should be grateful about how privileged we are that amidst a global pandemic we have been ordered to stay at home – in our refuge – in the safety of our own space, reading, watching TV, working, creating, with a full fridge and few worries, waiting for this all to end. Most of us are called to fight this invisible enemy from our couch.

Yet, we complain for the opportunity to get away from the routine we constantly criticised for draining our energy and leaving us little time to do the things we really want. Here is our chance to remember our hobbies, to watch TV, to learn something new, to read books, spend time with our loved ones, to (finally) get acquainted with technology, to invest time in ourselves and our priorities and evolve stronger, improved.

But we still complain. When other worse hit countries are forced to choose who to save because their healthcare systems are overwhelmed. We complain because we are staying home, when there are people who don’t even have that. We spend a lifetime staring at a screen, yet now we suddenly all want to go outside. The forbidden is always sweeter, they say. Even now, under these dire circumstances.

In the time of Coronavirus, everything is changing.

And when all this shall pass – because it will – what will we be left with? Apart from an earth that has pushed a small ‘pause’ and managed to heal itself, and leaving aside reports about a new hantavirus, what will we have learned out of all this? Will we wash our hands and our communal spaces better? Will we maintain social distancing? Will we consider that our individual actions have an impact on others? Will we appreciate more the time we have, the people around us and everything we consider as granted? Will we view life with a different lens?

The Coronavirus pandemic has proven how unprepared we are, because we consider so many things – even health – as granted. It is a shock on the global health system, on governance, security, but mainly on our values. It showed that everything around us is so temporary. Things we revolved our lives around: our work, gym, cafes, malls, cinemas, society itself, have all become irrelevant as we are now learning for weeks to live without them. It has taught us that we are so technologically advanced we can actually work from home, i.e. anywhere, and we can remain more connected than we believe. But in the end, it is up to us to demonstrate that the lives lost daily are not in vain. It is our responsibility to change ourselves to change the world.

Spring lockdown

©Ceayr

It was the warmest day spring had brought so far, with cloudless skies and a light breeze, everything seemed to emit positive vibes.

But in reality, the city was in lockdown. Trying to fight a threat as serious as any war or even worse than anything it had been called to face during its history, the entire country was prompted to stay at home, to avoid contact as much as possible, and to keep clean and safe to avoid a deadly virus.

Twenty years in the 21st century, despite all our advancements, we’re teaching people how to wash their hands.

Also part of Friday Fictioneers

A rattling realisation

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It is said that it takes something rattling to reveal who you truly are and what you want. But it takes something equally dramatic to shake you into realising who you truly have around you. We don’t really know the people in our lives. We only know as much as they allow us to see.

We often spend years thinking of a person as our closest ally, someone with whom we share our darkest secrets, our most intimate thoughts and our sincerest dreams. Only for a time to come – an incident to occur – that will serve as a slap in the face and we will come to see that they were nothing of what we thought. People we consider friends turn out to be snakes – deceitful and sly, sometimes even stabbing us in the back while all the while smiling widely and offering us support.

These are the worst kind of people; those who act as close associates in life, but tend to behave in the exact opposite way of how they advise you. They are usually the ones who blame others to you, yet hypocritically befriend them as if nothing ever occurred. The ones who see how others have wronged you but instead of – ethically, at least – taking your side, continue to have more communication and flattery-exchange with the former than with you.

There are people whose behaviour you cannot understand simply because it is completely contrary to the way you would act. Not everyone shares the same mindset or beliefs. And certainly not everyone has the same heart as you. Perhaps that is the most difficult to acquiesce or apprehend. That sometimes there is simply no answer to the question ‘why’ and we just need to accept the reality of things, let go, and move on.

If anything, for our own peace of mind.

The vicious circles we feed

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There is a place in the heart of the city where people go to disappear. It’s a place you often pass by on your daily route to work, shopping or whatever else you choose to spend you time, money and energy on. But you don’t realise they are there. You pretend not to see them. Not to know that these neighbourhoods are different.

We fear different. We oppose and react to whatever we don’t understand.

We don’t even try to change things. We simply acknowledge that they are not how they should.

And so, we continue our lives, and more people simply disappear out of theirs.

Because it is not easy to actually live. To have a life that fulfils you and completes you. People are used to existing. And documenting their existence to prove to others that they are doing things worthwhile. In reality, trying to convince themselves that they matter.

We close our eyes to those who need help. Because we don’t want to assume the responsibility of change.

And then we protest that nothing ever changes or improves. Like a vicious circle we ourselves feed.

The difficulties of detachment

The reality is this: even when on holiday, on a leave, on a short getaway, we feel the need to be connected with the world digitally. We fear we’ll miss out otherwise. That something life-shattering will occur and we won’t know about it and we’ll be the only ones feeling we’ve been living under a rock simply because we don’t know of the latest trending topics.

So we spend our entire lives – without break – constantly attached to a digital world we are paradoxically trying to escape from.

We can’t turn it all off and disappear, although we know that would be the ideal.

We are unable to disengage, to discharge from the social media stress because we’re constantly thinking of our next post, our reaction to someone else’s post and so forth.

We’re caught up in an unhealthy antagonism of who’s having the most fun in the better place, and we waste time like this instead of actually having that fun and enjoying ourselves with the people physically next to us.

We find it almost impossible to distract our minds, to unplug from it all and simply relax. It’s as if we can’t not do anything. By now, due to the radical rhythms in which we live our lives, something still and tranquil is considered by our systems as abnormal. As something we are almost physically incapable of doing.

We are so dependent on our devices, we cannot enjoy the reality of doing things without flaunting them.

And in the end, we forget to chase our dreams because we’re busy chasing after the acceptance of people we hardly even know. For no apparent or useful reason.

It’s good to – at least try – to detach from it all for a while. To remember what it was like without the intrusion of social media in our lives. When everything – even our relationships – were so much simpler. And we weren’t all so constantly agitated and stressed that we are perpetually on the verge of a burnout.

The most important medicine

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They told him he would be foolish to abandon everything he had spent his whole life creating. He had a successful legal office and had a good reputation among his peers.

But when his wife got sick, he didn’t consider it at all. For him it was obvious that his place was by her side. Always and at all costs. It was what they had vowed to each other so many years ago.

He didn’t see it as making sacrifices. He saw it as standing by and supporting the person he loved.

He didn’t care that he spent his whole life being next to her, even when she stopped remembering him. He continued his efforts to remind her of his love for her every day and refused to stop trying or to not be there, for her. So that she would feel safe and cared for.

He believed with all his heart that when you love someone you dedicate to them a part of your life, your time and your interest.

For him being with the person he loved and shared his life with was much more important that work, money and material goods.

Love is sometimes the most important medicine.

A commercial of truth

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There are some commercials that are so mesmerising, you get lost in them and you are left wondering what on earth that mind-blowing scene had to do with the product it advertises. That is how good it is. Because it makes everyone discuss it, becoming viral in record-breaking time, even if no-one even knows what the product does. But it has achieved the greatest marketing target of all: it is being talked about.

One such commercial is the Spanish 2018 Ruavieja commercial “Tenemos que vernos mas” (We have to see more of each other).

It makes you really stop for a minute or two and think.

Because it makes you realise that we don’t have all that time we think we do.

It talks about how we all consider our loved ones our priority, yet we spend so much time apart and on screens instead that we don’t see so much of each other.

We are programmed to avoid thinking about how long we’ve got left to live, so we think that we will always have the chance to do the things that really make us happy.

It makes you realise how much time we actually waste doing things that don’t really make us happy.

Using a calculation and data from the National Institute of Statistics, an algorithm was created to find out how much time we have left to spend with our loved ones given our habits, age and routine. But would you really want to know this truth? Wouldn’t you rather simply be made aware of it and do something about it? To change the fact that we spend so much time in a virtual world rather than in the real one?

The commercial serves as a wake-up call. A reminder that the things that truly matter are not things; they are the people who are with you, the emotions you feel around them and the experiences you share with them.

Life teaches us to make good use of time, while time teaches us the value of time”.

Deciphering obscure objects

https://www.google.gr/url?sa=i&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=imgres&cd=&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=2ahUKEwjn8a_wuPfdAhXD3KQKHR9mAx8QjRx6BAgBEAU&url=http%3A%2F%2Folhocurioso2015.blogspot.com%2F2015%2F10%2Fcomo-se-forma-neblina.html&psig=AOvVaw0xWhJTnB9Okhc0pQC7eV19&ust=1539108693186256Look at this. Look at it closely. What do you think it is?”

She showed him a picture of an object that was too unclear to decipher. It was oblong with sharp edges. It could be anything really. His mind began to race. The young boy had millions of images in his head as to what that object may be. They were bombarding him like fighter plane missiles.

Here’s the catch,” his teacher told him. “You only have two guesses. So make them count”.

The boy became even more agitated. Only two. The margin of error was too tight.

The object could be anything. How could he make sure he found the right answer?

In his head, he was putting together a jigsaw – placing his imaginary items onto the unknown object and assessing how far it matched.

It was a trial of imagination, of expectation, of prediction.

The task was to understand that very often in life, we imagine one thing, we expect another, we make it up in our heads to be that which we think it is, and in the end we end up disappointed when we find out it is something extremely different.

In the end we get hurt from our own expectations, when all we need to do is train ourselves to expect the lowest, even from the places and people we though the highest of.

The unbearable lightness of unfairness

http://elkespage.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/comparing-fish-bowls.pngIn every life we have some trouble, when you worry you make it double,” sang Bob Marley (originally sung by Bobby McFerrin), prompting us to “don’t worry, be happy”.  We hear it a thousand times from a million different places: we need to stop stressing over everything so much and enjoy life as it is. But what is most difficult to grasp is the way to quickly overcome adversities. Especially when they point out every so often how unfair life is.

With the advancement of social media to the extent when at every second during the day anyone can flaunt where they are and what they’re (not) doing, this feeling is enhanced to the utmost. Especially when you see people going on trips around the world supposedly for business or some other professional “duty”, yet are acting as if they have grasped the opportunity to enhance their tourism skills on company expenses. And there are many examples. We see them everyday. From our “representative” politicians to TV personas, actors, right down to friends and colleagues.

So what do you do in such cases? When the reality of injustice smacks you in the face? Well, most people just prompt you to live out your misery for a while; let it take you over and then quietly let it fade away as you realise how much you’ve accomplished in your life and how much more you can do. They will all repeat to you that “no-one said life would be easy (or fair); they just promised it would be worth it”. So just let it be, pick up your pieces and move on. Things will turn around and you’ll get what you need eventually. What matters most is that you don’t give up.

“People are always complaining that life’s not fair, but that simply isn’t true. Life is extraordinarily fair. It’s just not centred on you” – Lynn Marie Sager

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