MC's Whispers

Whispering Silences

Archive for the tag “reflections”

Two goats on a bridge

https://blog.cancaonova.com/seguidoresdocaminho/files/2011/12/fabula-duas-cabras.gif?file=2011/12/fabula-duas-cabras.gifThere is a story we are told as children about two goats fighting over a narrow bridge.  The story goes that “One day a goat was crossing the bridge. He saw another goat crossing the bridge in the opposite direction. The bridge was so narrow that there was no space for both of them to pass. Both of the goats didn’t want to go back. One goat said to the other goat “You should go back since I am stronger than you”. The other goat denied saying it’s stronger. Both of them argued for a while. Later, one goat put down his horns to fight to show it is stronger than the other. They fight furiously and both of them lost their balance and fell into the stream below. The swift current of the stream carried them away in deep water and both of them were drowned.” The story continues that a while later, two other goats approached the bridge and started quarrelling for the same reason. However, this time one told the other that to save them both from drowning, it would lie down and  the other would walk over it. “Then the wise goat lay down on the bridge, and the other goat walked over him. So they passed each other, and went on their ways”. The moral of the story is that “anger leads to sorrow and please leads to joy”.

But there is more to that.

We often become so stubborn we don’t want to be the one who withdraws from a quarrel no matter how big or insignificant it may be. We feel that we would be seen as weak if we back down, if we compromise, if we admit to the fact that our view is not the only one and not the only right one.

Yet, we make it a matter of strength, of vigour, of status, to be the goat that marches ahead and does not allow any other to move ahead of us.

We end up drowning ourselves and taking others down with us. When all we need to do is look around us and perceive the other side of things too. Allowing others to walk passed, does not always mean that we are left behind. It just means that we are wise enough to allow others to co-exist and that sometimes trying to prove yourself all the time is just not worth it.

Advertisements

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.

Changing seasons

https://lonelyplanetwp.imgix.net/2017/10/GettyRF_477322165-b25e63193cfa.jpg?fit=min&q=40&sharp=10&vib=20&w=1470Something happens in September. It’s when the temperature still feels like summer, yet the calendar tells you there’s been a change of season. It’s when you stubbornly refuse to part your summer outfits, yet a cold night breeze forces you to acknowledge the change that is on its way.

It’s not winter that is coming yet. It’s autumn that is already here. And you realise it as soon as the first clouds darken the sky and the first sounds of rain cause you to stir out of your afternoon nap.

It’s when you find out that you do need a sweater, if not a jacket, to walk out during the evenings, and when you have to check the weather in case you need to make an umbrella an essential part of your bag.

Something comes with this change of season. It is all the talk of a new start, with everyone blatantly flagging how excited they are for new goals, new beginnings etc etc. By the time December arrives, all of this will be forgotten.

Yet, there is a sweet melancholy that arrives with the autumn clouds; the change in the atmosphere and the crackling of fallen leaves on the ground. It is perhaps the acknowledgement that things are indeed changing, no matter how much you try to deny it. We change because it is how we move on. How we evolve. Whether we like it or not, we are forced to do something different with every new season. Boredom leads to illnesses more of the mind than the body. So we need to be creative, to do things, to keep our minds busy. There is a beauty in every (changing) month or season. We just have to be open enough to welcome it in.

The biggest lie we tell ourselves

http://www.trueactivist.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/photo_2016-11-28_02-10-26.jpgSociety, they say, is a reflection of its people. Of their mentality, their habits, their behaviour. Similarly, rulers, or rather the ruling elite, the leaders on top, ideally represent the people they ‘serve’. Regardless if they eventually convert to serving and satisfying their own needs at the expense of the populace.

Carl Thomas, an American journalist, had said: “in a free society, government reflects the soul of its people. If people want change at the top, they will have to live in different ways. Our major social problems are not the cause of our decadence. They are a reflection of it”.

People are seen as naïve; no matter how educated they want to believe they are. Because in the end we all prefer to believe comforting lies than inconvenient truths. And in the case of the populace, history has proven that they will support the person who gives them the biggest lie. Because it covers up more of their life’s dissatisfaction.

Between history and politics, the latter has also proven to be the strongest. Because it manages to repeat itself. And we seem to be unable to learn from history. We allow ourselves to keep falling in the same traps, even if we know how things turn out – how the post is more important than the knowledge or skills; how clientelism rages everywhere; how civil administration does not work for the people but for those in charge of it; how rulers everywhere seek to primarily further their own aims and then their county’s – if at all. Yet, we prove wanting in many ways and incapable of changing anything for the better. Because improving things takes work. And no one is willing to do it.

We’d rather engage in big talk and criticism rather than act.  And that is our greatest weakness.

Reflecting feelings

nathan-sowers-dawn-millers-friend

©Nathan Sowers

It was the only thing left over from the yard sale. And she didn’t understand why. If she could afford it, it would have been the first thing she would spend her money on. It was plain and “normal”, but sometimes what looks simple is more than that. Plus, it definitely had a story. It must have. Nothing so “ordinary” was every what it appeared to be.

As the sun set, she found herself mesmerised by it. The clear reflection of the garden shed had captured her attention.

Or perhaps it was the flickering light that appeared at its window.

 

Also part of Friday Fictioneers

 

Can’t or won’t

https://www.google.com/url?sa=i&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=images&cd=&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=2ahUKEwiDt6jJ6o_dAhUEJ1AKHWfKCWEQjRx6BAgBEAU&url=http%3A%2F%2Farmork9.com%2Findex.php%2Fblog%2F2016%2F05%2F11%2Fpellentesque-habitant-morbi-tristique-senectus%2F&psig=AOvVaw1AZNmBgu2nruT8EkyL0EV3&ust=1535548617443937A principle element in education is rejecting the saying “I can’t”. In fact, we are drawn to believe that “there is no can’t, but rather won’t”. That it is not a matter of not being able to do something, but of not having the desire to.

As such, the difference between can not and will not is of physically being incapable of and of simply not wanting to.

We are brought up to be certain that “can is an attitude”. It is like Star Wars’ Yoda said “Do or do not. There is no try”.

It is true, that the level of success depends on a person’s determination, their willingness to keep trying, to change things, to do more, to persist into achieving something positive.

Dean Graziosi had said that “if you tell yourself you can’t, you won’t” and similarly, Henry Ford stated “if you think you can do a thing or think you can’t do a thing, you’re right.”

Maybe it is all a matter of mentality. But every time we say “I can’t” for something, we should consider how much of “I won’t” or “I don’t want to” lies within it.

Pretending to be

http://www.mitchvane.com/site/assets/files/1191/age-virtual_life-1.480x0.jpegIn a line from the 2014 Australian theatre production of George Orwell’s best-selling novel 1984, one of the characters that works for the Government, otherwise known as Big Brother, says: “The people will not revolt. They will not look up from their screens long enough to notice what’s happening”. Seventy years after the novel was written, this is more relevant and true than ever.

We are so busy trying to appear to be busy – constantly posting on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat and all other social networks that we are not aware of what is happening in the world around us. We are so caught up in exhibiting a virtual life that we miss out on actually living one.

It is as if Orwell predicted the future, way ahead of his time. But in reality, all he did was truly comprehend human nature and its weakness – the fact that it is overwhelmed by apathy, selfishness and greed.

Orwell’s 1984 (1984 (written in 1948) is described as “one of the greatest dystopian novels every written”. “It looks at a future where people are controlled into what to think, how to act and how to live by the Government, known as Big Brother. It uses telescreens, fearmongering, media control and corruption to control the masses”. The main protagonist, however, is an initially apathetic person named Winston who “craves something more than the controlled world he inhabits”.

Crawling out of apathy has actually become a challenge.

In our current world, we are so determined to show that “we are not afraid” that we have allowed our data to be accessible almost everywhere by everyone. We cannot travel without being documented in more than one way, everything we do is entered on databases that are interlinked and our entire existence is available on a screen. You are reading this very text on one such screen.

The point is to get off it. Go out and do something. Create a life rather than pretend to have one. Read, think and live.

The misappreciation of things

http://www.businesscoachmichaeldill.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/value-of-english.jpgThere is a saying that you don’t really appreciate what you have until you have it no more. In a post-apocalyptic world we will begin to understand how lucky we are nowadays to be able to do so many things with so little effort – from house chores to work to travel. Yet, we have forgotten the value of everything that truly matters: family, relationships, education.

We don’t have time – we say – to read books. To feed our minds with something of essence, that may change the way we think and the way we view things around us. Ironically, however, we spend the major part of our days skim reading on a screen pointless articles and posts on social media.

We claim we don’t have time – or energy – to visit a museum or an exhibition, something that would increase our value as people, that would give us some cultural education, that would help us realise where we come from so we can improve where we’re going. Yet, we have the time to waste by taking tens of shots in search of the perfect selfie to post on social networks in demonstration of our idyllic lives.

We know nothing yet act as if we know everything.

We stubbornly refuse to learn and, even more, be taught by elders.

We have become a generation of people who want everything and value nothing.

And it is a shame. Because we are the future of this world. And it is not looking too bright.

Keep calm

https://www.mindful.org/wp-content/uploads/Calm.jpgCalmness is the cradle of power” (Josiah Gilbert Holland), that is why being calm – having a clear mind and a patient heart – is nowadays considered something like a superpower.

Never before did mankind need so many motivational resources on how to be calm, find calm, calm down, and all the likes. Earlier generations considered being calm and having time to relax a given. But in this one, when everything moves so rapidly, when you’re away from a screen for an hour or less and new developments have already taken the course, people don’t have time to relax or slow down. Or so they say. In essence, we refuse to do so out of fear that we may miss out on something. That is mainly why youth are so attached to their mobile phones, checking social networks every so often. It is the very fear of missing out that stops us from actually living our own lives. Of doing something memorable that you don’t need to post on the web because it would lose its significance that way. Not every moment we experience needs to be demonstrated on line. We don’t cease to exist when no one is watching.

That anguish we have of what the world does or sees is also what keeps us so much on edge. Why we can’t stop even if we try. Why we sit on a couch at the end of the day to watch something irrelevant on TV and still find ourselves thinking about a million other things or be skim reading on our tablet or phone. It is also why when we do manage to switch our brains off, we instantly fall asleep. It is an accumulation of prolonged tiredness.

There are a series of “inspirational mottos” about pretty much everything. They begin “Keep calm and…”. Because we need to be reminded and prompted to calm down.

Apple has even created an app for that too. It was named App of the Year for 2017 and it is called “Calm”, offering “Meditation techniques for Sleep and Stress Reduction”.

Isn’t it ironic how we need an application to remind us to “breathe” or “do nothing for 15 seconds”?

Maybe we all do need some “mindfulness”, that “basic human ability to be fully present, aware of where we are and what we’re doing, and not overly reactive or overwhelmed by what’s going on around us”.

All we really need is to live fully, deeply and constantly and let our mind wander whenever it can. But in the world we live in, being calm and relaxed has become some kind of superpower.

Six Whispers

six anniversaryIn numerology, the number six is considered “not too hot, not too cold, not too fast nor too slow”. Six is usually just right, hardly ever part of any extremes, with a well-balanced nature and a “happy number indeed”.

Six years ago, I started writing this blog. Essentially, to externalise the whispers that were mounting in my head about everything and anything. After all, “a writer is someone who pays attention to the world” (Susan Sontag) and it is true that “as a writer you try to listen to what others aren’t saying…and write about the silence” (N.R. Hart). More so, when you make time to write – because you will never find it unless you force yourself – you find that there is always something to write about, especially what doesn’t kill you, want helps you survive, what changes your perception of the world.

I write because I don’t know what I think until I read what I say” (Flannery O’ Connor). Indeed, writing stimulates thought. Perhaps that is the main reason why writers are first urged to read a lot. And why parents are encouraged to read to their children, for a child who reads will be an adult who thinks.

In six years of blog writing, there is the fear of being repetitive and inescapably there are topics that come up again and again, due to their importance and their intrinsic part of our lives. In six years, you see yourself mature and grow, evolve and gain new skills, new mentality and a new perspective on life as everything you experience shapes you.

Most of all you learn to appreciate the concept of time. Because you find that you often waste too much of it without real reason. Time has a wonderful way of showing us what really matters. We need to focus on the small things because eventually we’ll realise that these were the big things that made life great. In the end, we only regret the things we left unsaid the chances we didn’t take. So devote your time to things that make you happy, to the people you love and to the activities that enrich your soul. Time is the greatest gift to give, because it is like giving a portion of your life that you will never get back.

We can’t predict the future and perhaps it is better that way. Life can certainly be complicated. But we shouldn’t wait for things to get better to do something. We need to learn to be happy right now, otherwise we’ll simply run out of time.

After all, we can’t control the things that happen, but what really matters is the way we react to everything.

Summing it all up are three words that say everything: “live, love, laugh”.

Post Navigation