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The need to speak up

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After taking a look at some of the blogs I follow, I came across an interesting post made by TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design). The post was about a website called StoryCorps, a place where you can interview and record the story of other people.

Some go as far as taking what TED defined as an audio selfie. An audio selfie consists of interviewing oneself to share a personal story.

As a result of that, I went to take a look at StoryCorps and found some quite interesting stories — a father telling his daughter how much he would work for her education, or a woman saying how she had to announce the death of a young teenager to his mother.

According to TED, some of the stories they receive are quite personal — which made me wonder: Why are people willing to give away such pieces of information about their lives? 

The answer is simple: people are willing to share the story of their respective lives because they wish to be understood.

One of the main wishes of mankind is to be understood by our family, our friends, and our neighbours. Unfortunately, our current society, our actions, as well as our own life in general are based on a succession of misunderstandings. The reason for that is simple: humans are unable to state clearly what they have in mind; to express their feelings truly.

Another reason causing misunderstandings is the fact that we emphasize our differences. Instead of trying to look at our common points, we look at our differences. More than that, people are encouraged to be different.

Be aware, I’m not saying that being different is a bad thing and should be avoided. But we are being different in the wrong way. Being different should not be a way to separate ourselves from others. Being different should be a way for us to help each other when we don’t have the required strength to do something. Being different should bring us closer instead of tearing us apart.

And one of the ways to bring us closer is to speak up.

Eurovision 2015: Sweden wins!

The winner of the Eurovision Song Contest of 2015 is… Sweden!

 

For those who don’t know what the Eurovision Song Contest is, I would sum it up as being a contest where members/countries invited submit a song that will be performed on live tv and radio, before voting for other countries to determine the best/most popular song in the contest. What’s more, the contest is broadcast every year.

A friend told me about the Eurovision contest for several days, but the idea of watching it didn’t cross my mind even once. I admit forgetting about it until I went on Youtube and saw that I could watch the live. I am not particularly interested in music but since it seemed to pick the interest of many people, I decided to give it a try.

I was quite surprised by what I saw.

Imagine being transported in a world shaped by music, a world that changes its colours depending on the song you would sing. That’ s what the Eurovision contest made me feel like. Each country sang their song one after another, turning the scene into an empty world that would be shaped by their performance — different use of colours, different special effects, different use of effects.

However, if the scene in itself was a piece of art, what truly made the difference was the song each country chose. All the singers were pretty good, but some of them were astonishing. Not only did they have a powerful voice, but they could reach the heart of the audience and fill it with a wave of feelings — both sad and happy.

At the end of the 27 songs displayed during the contest, the votes took place. Even if Russia, Italy and Sweden were fighting for the first place, Sweden ended up grabbing the victory proudly — they were declared winner before the votes were over.

On the other hand, we had countries who didn’t get many votes, or didn’t get any vote at all. But does that mean they should be disappointed? No. Being able to perform in the Eurovision contest is already an accomplishment in itself. Going to the Grand Final is an even greater accomplishment. Being on the stage in front of 40 countries is an accomplishment in itself. Representing your country is an accomplishment in itself.

Eurovision Song Contest 2015 is the first Eurovision contest I watched, but I will definitely watch the next one in 2016, hoping to come back into this wonderful world shaped by singers: the world of music.

Lost and found

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This work is a fiction.


 

As I walked down the streets, I saw a box on the ground. There was nothing exceptional about that box — it was nothing but a box made of wood.

There was something written on the side: Lost and Found. I heard about that kind of boxes before; people who lost something would often find what they were looking for in one of those boxes.

Was it just curiosity? I don’t know. What I know is that I was attracted by the box that was lying there. I looked around and noticed that no one paid attention to the box. Did they just think it wasn’t worth their time? I don’t know.

I opened the box and took a look at what was inside: many old objects, some that you wouldn’t find anymore in the 21st century. Wait… is that a collection of Pogs? Yes, it is! The exact same collection I had when I was a child. And isn’t it a power ranger figurine? How long has it been since I last saw a a figurine like this one? I remember when I had my own figurine.

Wait… Isn’t it the pikachu plush I had back when I was 6 years-old? I remember that small ketchup stain behind the ear. And that tennis ball? I can’t mistake it. My name is written on it. And the little star I drew is also there.
Why were all these objects here? I thought they all burnt with my house a long time ago…

I didn’t understand why those objects were in this box or how they got here, but I was a bit scared. Scared of what the box was hiding.

As I looked further into the box, I came across something hard and cold. It was a heart made of glass. A big one. It was quite beautiful on the outside, but the emptiness inside made me sad for some reason. I didn’t remember owning something like that, and my parents never had that kind of sculpture at home.

It seemed like there was a small crack on the right side of the heart,so I decided to take it out of the box — I wanted to take a closer look. Bad decision.

As soon as the heart left the box, it broke into tiny pieces. I couldn’t understand what happened at first, but as soon as the box disappeared in front of my eyes, everything became clear.

The reason why no one saw that box was because it never existed in the first place. The box was simply a representation of my memories and feelings. I lost everything. I was depressed. I was lost. I needed to find myself in the darkness. But I found a light. I finally knew what I had to do to fix my heart. I had to collect each piece and put them together — regardless of how long it may take.

I lost myself.

I found myself.

Letter to a suicidal person

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Dear lovely person,

I don’t know you and you don’t know me. However, I learned that you wanted to take away your life so I decided to give you this letter.

You certainly don’t remember the moment your mother gave birth to you, but in her eyes, you were the most beautiful gift she could have ever wished for.

Do you recall the first time you wanted to make your parents proud of you? A pat on the head or a compliment was enough to make you smile. Do you recall the first time you fell in love? That sweet feeling you had whenever you were close to that one person — the person who was different from the others. Do you recall your first fight? The pain made you cry, but it made you grow stronger. Do you recall the first time your heart got broken? You told yourself that everything would be okay, that you would always get back on your feet whenever you would fall down.

At the moment, you’ve fallen deep in the darkness, and you are struggling to get back on your feet. But there’s no need for you to try so hard by yourself. You’re not alone. Do not avoid the hands we’re giving you — nor mine. Getting help from someone doesn’t make you weak; asking help shows you are strong enough to let go of your pride and to walk toward a better and wonderful future.

Why do you want to take away your life? I know you’ve been through a lot — certainly way too much. But I want to give you my suggestion. Feel free to ignore it if you want, but I would appreciate it if you take the time to read it.

Instead of ending your life, I want you to start a new one. Keep the good memories and forget about the rest. Throw away all your bad memories, forget about the people who made you sad, forget about everything that would separate you from happiness. When good memories are all that remain, I want you to create new ones. Stay humble. Don’t ask for much. Be happy and spread happiness around you. Find love. Have kids. Or adopt some. Get a new job. Learn how to play an instrument. Travel to the places you’ve always wished to visit. There are so many opportunities waiting for you to grab them. You only live once so don’t miss that chance.

I hope this letter was able to help you. If it was the case, there is only one thing I want to ask you in return. If you see someone else who is sad or thinking about suicide, please help that person just like that letter helped you.

I wish you a wonderful life full of happiness,

C.

Farewell, my dear friend~ [Part Two]

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When my parents got separated, I had to choose between my father and my mother. How cruel to ask a twelve-year-old child to choose one of their parents and to see the other less often? In my case, it was even more difficult. On one hand, there was my mother whom I’ve never really spent time with and who was rather aggressive when I didn’t listen to her. On the other hand, there was my father with whom I spent a lot of time, who watched me grow up and knew how to be firm without being aggressive. I ended up choosing my mother over my father.

The main reason was because I was disappointed. I had a lot of respect for my father, but all that respect fell down when I finally understood that he was cheating on my mother, when she was away, with many women in front of my eyes. He even told me not to say anything to my mother. I was never able to forgive him for all the sadness that happened afterwards.

As a result, I would go with my father during the weekends while I would stay with my mother during the weeks. Prunelle and Pluto stayed with my father, so I couldn’t enjoy their company the way I used to do in the past. No more friends to play with when I would feel lonely at home. No more barking. No more happiness. Nothing.

The first year after my parents’ separation was certainly the cruelest. The first weeks were quite normal. Prunelle and Pluto would jump on me whenever I would arrive in my father’s car. I would play with them during the day and secretly give them food at night. I would then leave on Sundays, saying Goodbye as they would watch me leave — a sad expression on their face that is still painful to remember. However, things started to change after I started to come less and less. My father found a new girlfriend who hated me, and I grew uneasy whenever I would go with him. It came to the point where I started to go with him less and less, making up lame excuses like having tons of homework to do or going to my friends’ houses during the weekend. And the less I saw my father, the less I saw Pluto and Prunelle.

After a while, things changed. Whenever I would go with my father and his girlfriend, Pluto and Prunelle would keep their distance whenever they saw me — as if I was a stranger. Yes, stranger is the right word.  For them, I was nothing more than someone who abandoned them. My father’s girlfriend also had dogs, so when they started living together, she brought her dogs with her. They were two males and were clearly stronger than Pluto. They would often often fight because the other males would try to steal Pluto’s food, but he would never win. He ended up with a lot of scars and ended up losing his will to fight. It was a heartbreaking scene. Poor Pluto.

The loss of will eventually turned into hostility, and he would bark at me or even become aggressive whenever I would try to approach him. Prunelle stayed on his side and refused to let me approach the two of them. Feeling rejected by those with whom I spent many years of my childhood, I lost a piece of my soul. I didn’t approach nor look at them for a long time. I eventually stopped going with my father for a while, after he had his first child with his girlfriend.

When I turned 16, I decided to pay a visit to my father. I haven’t seen him for a while nor had any contact with him, so I wanted to see what kind of life he currently had. He looked way older than what I would have imagined. His hair became way shorter and turned grey; his face had wrinkles. However, he still had the same energy as the father who once took care of me. After talking with him for a moment, I wanted to see something else. I went to the courtyard and searched for those two beings that were once my friends. They may have rejected me in the past, but there was still a chance they changed their mind after all this time. I thought I would see two joyful dogs, but all I saw was two dogs starting to get old and who were looking extremely tired. They didn’t want to do anything or even get up. They were just lying down there. Expressionless. However, one of the two was in a sadder state — Pluto.

I didn’t even have time to guess what was wrong with him that my father came and told me something I never expected — something I didn’t want to expect. Pluto was sick, and there was nothing that could be done for him.