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Anti-Kalam Katheeeer

I have a relative who used to draw beautiful sketches, and once I was working on a piece of fiction and I asked them to sketch the cover for me. I gave them the idea of what I had in mind, and they said they’d do it.

It’s been over fifteen years and I’m still waiting for it.

At the time I couldn’t understand why someone would tell you they’d do something when they obviously were never planning to. Then I understood, they’d rather not do something than say No from the start. There’s something about saying No that’s culturally unacceptable. So they say yes and never follow through…

We live in a society of people pleasers. We live in a society that loves talking more than doing. A society that loves flattery…though if you think about it the words that drip like honey from people’s mouths can be more sickening than it is flattering…

So today I told my friend if there’s something I wish more people would become anti-kalam-katheeeeer. This friend doesn’t know much Arabic but she does understand what I mean when I say kalam katheeeeeer. I use it to mean too much useless talk; eg. empty promises, false flattery…(the more useless the talk is, the more ‘e’s I add to katheeeeeer).

I’ve also conditioned myself to not listen to what people say but to notice what they do. And because I need to walk the talk myself I’m also training myself to speak sparingly…

So your challenge for this week is to say No when you mean No, to notice when people are blowing out so much hot air, and to not blow out hot air yourself.

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Also, check out my short story collection, “All Bleeding Stops and Other Short Stories from the Kenyan Coast,” and the non-fiction book summarizing a lot of ideas in the personal development field if you want to change your life but don’t know where to start, “Mine your inner resources”.

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