MC's Whispers

Whispering Silences

Archive for the tag “world”

The world in her eyes

https://i.pinimg.com/236x/6a/5b/1f/6a5b1f5af2932b3ae2d9af3ddb9034e4--contactlens-blue-eyes.jpgThe greatest love poems are written in dark nights of silver moons glistening on shattered adolescent hearts. Out of the strongest pain come the most genuine and powerful truths.

That’s what she was reading before she came to meet you. It was what made her tears start streaming again. She was trying. Trying to go on but not wanting to without you.

You could see it in her eyes, the pupils rippling like broken glass. She avoided looking at you because it hurt too much and she didn’t want to let you see the darkness that had overtaken her soul. She didn’t want you to see that, when you left, you drained her of the life you had imbued her with. Yet, she still loved you. She wanted to tell you how much she missed you. You know you felt the same. But for some reason you were both too selfish to admit to what you truly felt.

She had vowed to herself she would melt that wall of ice you had raised around you. She was certain you were meant to be together. You had been through so much. Everyone expected you would end up together. Forever. That’s the way it should go. Instead, while everyone was taking steps forwards, you were making them backwards. Out of miscommunications and bad judgements.

She wanted the world and, in her eyes, that was you.

She still wants that. She may no longer think of you as the super-hero she pictured you would be, but she still hopes deep down you are the tramp-turned-prince she dreams of. She still wants you. But you’re too stubborn to let her in. You know that she fits so perfectly like no other in your arms. In your mind. And in your heart. Every second you let pass without telling her that you’re not thinking of her or lying that it is not true, you plunge the dagger deeper inside. Because she has realised that it is those that can cause you the greatest happiness that ultimately will cause your deepest pain.

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An innate curiosity

http://previews.123rf.com/images/brux/brux1301/brux130100030/17503613-illustration-curious-owl-with-a-magnifying-glass-Stock-Vector-cartoon.jpgRobert took out his notebook and began to scribble frantically. It would have seemed absolutely normal for the journalist he was, had he not been in the middle of a queue in a supermarket. Across him a middle-aged man who had just finished paying for his groceries was looking for his wife who had re-entered the aisles in search of an item they had obviously forgotten. But that was not what was worth noting. The man stood boldly at the till and yelled out her name. His wife was called Nora. Once he had no response, he asked the security guard roaming the general area, where his wife was. The guard looked up in awe, as if someone had awoken him from a deep sleep by pinching his arm. “Who is your wife?” he asked. The episode continued for a few more minutes, until the wife finally appeared without holding anything and asked her husband in the most natural of tones, “did you find it?” He hadn’t moved all this time.

Robert was smiling as he was noting it all down. It was the perfect story for his next novel.

He usually found these sporadic gems in the most common places. In markets, in buses, in coffee shops, even just during a stroll around his block.

It is amazing how much you can find by simply observing and listening to people.

Robert had an innate curiosity. It was characteristic of his profession, but it was something that to him came natural. He always wanted to learn more and constantly urged himself to discover something further than what was handed to him. That, he believed, was the only way he would mature as a person and expand his knowledge.

It’s good to wonder about the world. It opens your eyes and ears and takes you to places you would never have otherwise encountered.

A minute change

world travelLight travels at about 300,000 kilometres per second. Sound travels at about 340 metres per second. So you usually see things faster than you hear them. In some ways, this may also partly explain the jet-lag – that feeling of being in a parallel universe – that overwhelms you when you change countries, no matter how small the distance you travel.

A lot can change in a few seconds. And with the constantly advancing technology, we can roam the world as if we are merely travelling across cities, instead of across continents and oceans.

No matter, though, if you’re travelling 900km or 10,000km, if it takes you an hour’s flight or ten hours, the same strange feeling somehow finds its way into your mind. The one minute you are in house A, of city A in country A, laughing and dining with family and friends, and then a couple of hours later you’re in house B, in city B, country B, rummaging supermarkets for your bare necessities, mopping the house floors and cooking for your own meals. All of a sudden, you’re on the other side of the online chat screen.

It’s a great feeling to know that you can break the confines of time and space with such ease and feel that the entire world is at your reach whenever you feel like it. But it always requires at least a few minutes of re-adjustment. So that your mind and spirit can catch up with your physical presence. It would almost be as if you were sliding through multiple dimensions, if only you didn’t know for a fact that you are still in that same single one we have. So all you can do is acclimatize yourself as quickly as possible and always make the most of every minute you spend country-hopping!

Feed yourself with the world around you

window ocean view

Feed your life with the enjoyment of doing something you love,
That relaxes you,
That fills your heart with passion.

Feed your mind with thoughts that lift you up,
That causes a smile to form on your face,
That challenges you to dream beyond the borders of space.

Feed your eyes with the beauty that encircles you,
That triggers you to gleam with joy,
That makes you marvel with the world we live in.

Feed your soul with the enchantment that is today.
Don’t let it perish in negativity and grey.
Lift your spirits and you will rise,
To be the very person you wish to be.

A World of Shock

disaster_capitalismYou know that old woman who shoved you while hurrying to get off the bus this morning? She was running to get to the hospital, as her husband suffered a heart attack while she was at the market. And remember that young man getting sunburnt on the side of the pavement where he was rooted, who even offered his blessing when you stopped to hand him some change? Two hours later, his cousin dropped by in a fancy car, picked him up and went to the beach.

Things are not always what they seem. Nor can we even imagine what the reality is truly like. In a world marred by constant talk of crisis, sensationalist media reports, and the looming pessimism of disasters – be they natural, financial, political or even moral – we live in a constant state of instability and shock. We are fighting nervous breakdowns by pretending we’re OK, by keeping on moving, by refusing to even consider what would happen if we stopped and breathed it all in.

People all around us seem so different, even though we share common ground. Nonetheless, all we mostly see – or chose to acknowledge – is the extent to which we vary from each other. And this usually always means that “the others” are most often luckier, more privileged, and “have it easy”. Or even that those who have managed to travel beyond the continent, somehow have returned deeming themselves over and above their compatriots, as if now they are somehow better than everyone else, as if they no longer belong to this world. There are people like that. Who managed to rise up from the slums into a life of riches, and all of a sudden, they have become too important to deal with “petty commoners”, or even “locals”. Those who rise from their ashes remembering their past and helping others survive it too are, unfortunately, a rarity in this world.

In one of the most enthralling, shocking, riveting, and illuminating books of modern times, Naomi Klein describes exactly this. How we live in a world of shock. How certain capitalists pursue a “Shock Doctrine” in order to impose Milton Friedman’s Chicago School model of deregulation, privatization, and cut of public spending. It reveals our world as it truly is, one run by capitalism that has no interest for its human impact. She dubs this “Disaster Capitalism”, because it concerns big private companies profiting at the expense of the poorer and lower down on the social scale, whenever disaster (in any form) strikes. It is the implementation of a shock and awe policy. Simply considering the world we live in today – this constant state of “crisis” – it is not hard to see that certain international institutions (the International Monetary Fund, for example) are doing exactly this – demanding that their terms be implemented if money is to be disbursed; terms that include drastic spending cuts, VAT increases, privatisations, cuts in the public sector, no matter what that may mean to the levels of unemployment, poverty and a break in the social chasm. According to this powerful book, the only thing that shines some optimism among us, is the fact that memory is the strongest shock absorber of all, and the only one capable of providing resistance to the repeating of such events.

No matter what you read, or if you don’t read at all, Naomi Klein’s “The Shock Doctrine” is an eye-opening book that everyone – every politician who is not an idiot, every citizen who wants to make a difference, every person who refuses to be a lemming – should read. You will never view the world in the same way ever again.

Being the first at something different

man on the moonFor some non-apparent reason we all rush, push and shove to be the first in line for pretty much everything – to get fresh milk, to then pay for it, to learn the news, to see the new film, to watch a new episode of a popular series.

We dedicate so much energy to be the first to experience something that so many other people will also accomplish just a few seconds later. Yet we believe that being the first to do something as trivial as whatever it is we rush to be the first to do, somehow gives us importance and elevates us to VIP status. As if we are better than the rest, simply because we were the first to get a loaf of freshly baked bread, just like another hundred people after us did.

Just imagine how much better this world would be if we dedicated as much zeal into being the first in actually doing something worthwhile; in discovering something innovative and new, that would benefit all the other hundred people who would get to practice it after us. Just think, what a difference we would make if we were the first to bring some new development in our own lives…

Also part of Daily Prompt: Powerful Suggestion

The genie’s wish

genie-lampWould you like to live forever?

How many times throughout the centuries has that thought swiveled in the minds of humans?

To be immortal, unbreakable, untouchable.

To be able to live through everything and forever.

Today’s longest surviving people are almost 1.5 centuries old. They have experienced more developments and history than today’s generation even know about. They have seen the world evolve, crash and burn, rise from its ashes, and progress. They have seen technological advancements that gave life to things that in the past were considered almost impossible, but now we simply take them for granted. They have witnessed the world expand with everything that may be associated with that.

But they have also experienced great pain. For although they may be surviving unusually long periods of time, their loved ones are not. They are the ones who have had to say goodbye to so many of them and continue to live in a world without them. They are the ones who had to learn to keep going no matter what.

So, if you had a wish would you waste it on this? On living forever? Even if it did mean you would get to witness the future of this world, no matter how it would turn out to be? But knowing that it meant you would become that old person surrounded by new faces, feeling as an irrelevant part of history striving to survive in an all too modern age?

When Genie’s lamp was discovered and he was made to appear one last time, he himself was given a wish once freed. He could have anything. But Genie had seen enough wishes gone wrong to know better.

He did not wish for eternal life and immortality. Instead, he wished for something quite similar that would indirectly grant him precisely that, but without forcing him to suffer all the pain too.

Genie instead wished for eternal love and remembrance.

10 ways texting can make you smarter

TextingTalking is defined as the action of communicating or exchanging ideas, information etc., by speaking, or by uttering sounds of some sort. In the modern digital world, talking is equivalent to texting. We spend so much time in front of a screen that our way of communicating has evolved to be through instant messages, emails, or simply put, texts of any kind.

In whatever way it may come about, talking is essential. Because it is always better to share something with others rather than keep it locked up inside of you. Particularly when something good comes along, not having anyone to tell and join in the excitement, sort of sucks out half the joy.

So here is a short list of why talking (in any form, and preferably with others) can make you smarter:

  1. In the quest to share ideas and find conversation starters or goers, you will eventually be incited to read more, thus learn more and expand your intellectual capacity. You will discover worlds out there you never knew existed and will be amazed by how isolated we used to be. You may even be shocked at how things we still take for granted are daringly fought for by others.
  2. If you can’t express what it is you think or desire, then perhaps you are not clear about it either. Albert Einstein had said that “you do not really understand something unless you can explain it to your grandmother.” Just remember you can’t (or rather, shouldn’t) comment on things you don’t know about.
  3. There is no other way of getting your point of view across (well, no other peaceful way) other than clearly stating your position. Don’t expect others to guess what you want unless you state it. The struggle to develop a coherent and solid argument will open the door to interesting information for you too.
  4. You will learn to appreciate the views of others. It’s always easier to criticize than comprehend. Every interaction should celebrate the diversity of views among us. Voltaire vowed to “defend to the death your right to speak”, even if he did disapprove of what you say. Freedom of speech and opinion is a fundamental right we so often take for granted and are so willing to boldly proclaim whenever it is violated.
  5. Twitter’s limitation of 140 characters has made every word count, forcing us to squeeze our minds into making those few words mean the most they can, and constraining us to say everything we need to in the fewest amount of words possible. Consequently, it has made us appreciate all the more the power of words. And spelling. And perhaps enticed us to flick through a dictionary. Or thesaurus.
  6. Talking to others makes you look at the other side of the coin. We all view life through our own one-sided perspective. But what about asking someone in a different situation how they view things? It will give you a different lens through which to view the facts and will open your mind to new thoughts and ideas. It may even bring you a step closer to understanding this world we live in.
  7. Through conversations you can learn how to do a lot – about how to turn a pessimistic person around to having a glimpse of optimism for things in their lives. How to become witty in order to respond to petty comments. Perhaps you will find like-minded people out there, or someone who challenges you intellectually and stimulates a dialogue from which you may all gain. It may lead to arguments you didn’t know you had until someone made you think of them.
  8. Talking may lead to the next great discovery. The innovation we’ve been all waiting for. Exchange ideas, develop them, compliment them through conversations. You’d be surprised at the outcome.
  9. The more you talk, the more you learn. And it is not just about the gossip. The more information and points of view you hear, the more you will be able to distinguish between the truth and the lies; between propaganda and realism. And the more you will be able to develop your own informed opinion about the state of things.
  10. Ultimately, talking and being able to express your thoughts makes you more attractive. It shows you are not a feeble by-stander in this exciting world. You take part and have a view. And there is nothing as powerful as a mind in action.

Between a couch and a wild place

The leather couch used to squeak whenever he would slide down onto it. It didn’t anymore. You could even feel the small dent in the middle caused by all those people it had accommodated over the years. He could proudly or shamefully (it depends how you saw it) proclaim that he had grown up right there on that brown leather couch. In that down town office that was as modern as could be, with white walls that were repainted every five years and modern, funky furniture that invited the waiting patients and offered the illusion that they would take their troubles away.

Relax”.

That was the first word he heard every time he sat on that couch. It was Mr. Waterman’s job, though, to say so. He needed his patients calm so that they could pour out their soul to him during the next hour and he could attempt to provide some solution, consolation or advice to their problems. And these were many and varied. But over the years he had heard a lot. Just not from one particular patient. This one had proven to be an especially difficult case.

Brandon would simply refuse to speak out, to tell the professional sitting across him what troubled his mind, what made his heart ache, where his eyes wandered when he stared at the horizon out of the window. Whatever the exhortations or appeals Mr Waterman would use, discreetly or not, Brandon did not want to speak. He simply sufficed to say that he had nothing to say. Mr Waterman even tried to entice him with milkshakes and chocolate, but that didn’t work even when he was a young child, let alone now.

After around twenty years of therapy, Brandon still had nothing to say. Yet, he was as confused and tormented inside as he had always been. A storm was still brewing inside of him. It was just silent to the outer world.

Brandon was a child that kept to himself. He became quite the introvert as a young man, although he loved to socialize and go out with friends. But when he returned home, he liked to stay in his room doing his own thing, whatever that was – reading a book, listening to music, surfing the web. And just like he disturbed no one, he himself did not like to be disturbed. His upper class parents believed he was a troubled child. They described him as “emotionally unavailable” and “awkward” and pleaded Mr Waterman to “fix him”. So Brandon grew up in the office of a shrink. Only none of them knew about it.

Mr Waterman watched Brandon grow from a quiet boy into an unsuccessful rebel, into an elegant and well-educated young man. From the few things Brandon had uttered in his office, the professional understood that the boy felt misunderstood, that no one could comprehend what he felt or thought and that is why he preferred to stay silent. So the hours were spent talking about culture, the news, and well, anything other than himself. The latest thing that made Brandon’s eyes gleam with excitement was a photo book of the most amazing places in the world that should be visited. The first-page inscription –a quote by William G.T. Shedd: “A ship is safe in harbor, but that’s not what ships are for” – was what mostly inspired his heart to sing. But Mr Waterman knew that the storm would finally break out; he could see it the young man’s eyes, his gaze was looking further than meets the eye. It was obvious that he was in search of something out there that was not immediately visible.

And the storm arrived.

It came in the form of a hand-written letter and a tidied-up room.

I run because I no longer want to hide.
Because there is so much more out there to explore.
Because I want to move on with my life and do something substantial.
Because I feel I cannot reach my true potential if I
am locked down here, without facing any real challenges or the endless possibilities that seem to be out there.
Because I want to be somewhere where people know me for me and not because of who I know.
Because I want to be heard without needing to yell and fight.
Because I want to rediscover the joy of Fridays and looking forward to the weekend.
Because I want to live and see places and not just hear about them from other people’s past experiences.
Because I want to find a house that is mine from the start, that I decorate and organise to fit my needs.
Because it is part of growing up and independence is a powerful thing to have.
Because I don’t want to waste time anymore, waiting.
Because I want to finally find and taste at least one happy ending.
I run because I am not running. I simply want to live.

The world in a box

Opened empty heart shaped box isolated on white.When Matteo gave Chiara the little red heart-shaped box he wasn’t expected the shrill of delight that came out of her. He was always amazed at how much noise could come out of such a small person. But seeing a three-year old sparkle with joy and jump and down with excitement, was enough to wipe every worry from his mind. She was simply adorable. And that little box would change her life forever.

Chiara was a curious child to begin with. She loved learning and accumulated knowledge like a sponge. When she was three, Matteo thought she was ready to delve into a new world. That of languages. And he was right. Chiara loved it. She found learning a language was like playing a non-stop game. Having fun, but all the while learning. Learning things you never knew existed. About different traditions, cultures, people, who were in a country far away. But knowing how to speak their language also increased her chances of meeting them, of being able to communicate with them, of visiting their land, of entering their world. And that was the most precious of all.

From them on every five years, Matteo would give Chiara a little box. One that would hold the key to a bigger box with all the necessary material to learn a new language. Within five years, Chiara had become proficient in that gift-language and was thirsty for more. She couldn’t hide her excitement every time Matteo appeared with a box in hand. The lust for knowledge grew as her world expanded.

By the time she was twenty-five, Chiara could already speak six languages (her mother-tongue and the five gifts). She was much more open-minded, informed and knowledgeable than other people her age. For while her peers spent hours on social media and digital screens, she used her time more productively, playing language games, reading foreign media, and making friends from abroad. So when she decided to take a month off to physically visit the places whose language she had so profoundly studied, she had people ready to welcome her and show her the life of a local and not just the tourist sights.

Learning languages, prevented the clouds from shadowing Chiara’s sight. She was able to grow up with a more extensive view to the world. With friends across the globe and with a deeper understanding of how the world works that she could ever learn through a single educational system. She became wiser, simply for wanting to learn more. And for that she was richer than Matteo could ever hope she would be. Solely because he thought of a special gift, hidden in such a small box.

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