MC's Whispers

Whispering Silences

Archive for the tag “thought-provoking”

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”.

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.

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.

Humor me

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Having a sense of humor is a trait not many are able to master. Because it requires intelligence to be able to spark a wit with effect at the right time.

People with a sense of humor are the ones you see laughing most often, even if only by themselves.

They are the ones with the greatest self-acceptance, because they have come to terms with who they are and what life has handed to them, and are brave enough to not only overcome the challenges but even to make fun of them.

They are creative – after all, it takes a lot of mental energy to come up with quick-witted jokes that put a smile on everyone else’s face. It is thus also associated with wisdom and love of learning.

People with humor understand the difference between laughing at someone and with them. They are conscientious in that they don’t need to hurt anyone’s feelings in order to make a joke.

Laughing is a state of life and it also keeps you fit physically and emotionally. 

It could be true that “a sense of humor is God’s antidote for anger and frustration” (Rick Warren).

Humor is one of our fundamental character strengths and an important survival tool. It helps gain intimacy, build connections and often buffer stress. But it is also what helps us remain optimistic. And like Elbert Hubbard said, “do not take life too seriously, you’ll never get out of it alive”.

Cracks in the dark

©J Hardy Carroll

It was pitch-black when he found the unlocked door. He hurried in without considering anything. All he could think of was to escape the cold and rain.

He didn’t need much to survive anymore.

He had nothing else left to lose.

When he left his home on a dinghy-boat, he had witnessed his co-passengers, many of whom he knew an entire lifetime, drown. In seconds, they simply stopped existing.

The only thing he noticed in the room was a crack in the ceiling.

 It was only in the morning that he realised that was from where the light came in.

Also part of Friday Fictioneers

Tired Souls

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Techniques to fight insomnia or to ensure you get “a good night’s sleep” are usually similar with techniques to relax. It’s the things ‘life coaches’/’instructors’ and the likes fill your mind with and they very often center around one thing: letting go of whatever thoughts are troubling your mind.

The idea is to focus on something else if on nothing at all is not possible.

To stare into the star-filled sky, take a long walk, absorb your attention into something different that will also get you tired, and steadily push aside what is causing your anxiety to skyrocket.

Fix your posture.

Breathe.

Relax.

For all of us, there are some nights when falling – and staying – asleep is difficult. The mind is not an easy thing to control. It remembers things at random moments and shoves them right in front of you when you least want them to appear. And it wakes up when all you desire is to shut down.

Just remember, sleep doesn’t help if it’s your soul that’s tired.

And that’s when you need to take care of you first and foremost.

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