Death by criticism

A meditation on sticks, stones and words Harsh criticism and real communication have this in common: Both are about nakedness. And yet, they are fundamentally different. Communication is you in charge. You in the presence of someone else (or even a group), but taking off your clothes yourself, perhaps because they ask, but most importantly, because you …

“Have I anything to say that hasn’t been said?”

A story about how I became free of this question It’s also a story of how one of the most powerful things anyone ever said to me came out of my mouth. It was a piece of advice I gave a friend, except I’m the one who’s never forgotten it, and it happened about a decade …

Be careful what you ask for?

Lessons from Stephen King’s “Needful Things” Just finished Needful Things, by Stephen King, and I’m still reeling. “Everyone loves something for nothing…even if it costs everything.” Stephen King King is truly a king and remains one of my favourite writers ever, since discovering him in secondary school. This 1991 book is a great example of why the …

Newsflash: mental health reporting sucks

But it can be fixed. Here’s how. I’m tired. Tired of waking up to news reports that include terms like this… These were real, and just within the last one week. (You’d think an 11-time TV-station-of-the-year-winner would know better, right?) Just in case you have any trouble with the images, worry not, as I intend to break …

What every effective leader knows

(That many of our leaders don’t seem to) And history is not what we think it is. While thinking out my second point in my post on what history really is—that it’s not merely what happened, but what’s recorded and (especially) transmitted—it occurred to me Nigeria suffers a failure on just that point. I explore that here. …

No, history is not “what happened in the past”

What it really is, and why that matters History is a funny thing. If you ask most people what history was, they’d reply something along the lines of, “What happened in the past.” Which is, well — not quite right. I mean, it’s almost right, but this is one of those cases where almost isn’t enough. Like, you …

Babel, Babble and the Bible

What an ancient story can teach us about getting through to one another Talking to one another is so easy to take for granted. There’s a particular Bible story about language that (whether you believe in the Bible or not) is quite instructive. It’s about the tower of Babel, and the part that has a bearing …

Talking ≠ Communication

And 3 things you might be taking for granted about getting through to others In my last post, “There’s a gap between doctors and patients (where words apparently go to die),” I talked about how we as doctors consistently miss the point of what patients are trying to say. (It happens vice versa too, of course, …

There’s a gap between doctors and patients

(where words apparently go to die) In my last post, I explained why anyone goes to see a doctor… When a health condition gets too much in the way of our ability to live our life as we want. My point there was that people don’t go to doctors for their symptoms, but so they can get …

Why is rape so frustrating to explain?

Or, Thoughts on rethinking rape advocacy to rapists Most people think of rape as a VERY BAD THING. Most people also believe that only VERY BAD PEOPLE do VERY BAD THINGS. The trouble is, most people don’t think of themselves as VERY BAD PEOPLE. Ergo, the following thinking: “If rape is a VERY BAD THING, and …

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