Claire writes: I think it’s a Swahili proverb that says ‘time the time before the time times you’. As a teacher in a rural Kenyan secondary school, it was a mantra of some of my students. When we are training, we often hear people say that mentioning the time is rude. Might it suggest I don’t value you? Might it collude with an ‘in a hurry’ mentality?
For all our hang ups, being unconditionally positive about time can give an edge to a conversation that makes it even more effective. As long as we don’t apologise and we start mentioning time early.
Instead of saying
And I learned this summer that using this approach at end of life was equally useful: ‘Given that [someone] is going to die, what do you both need to do between now and when it happens to make sure you both end well?’
If you’re going to do this well, you need a watch or a clock. A smartphone means you can’t optimise the time. Unless you’re one of those people who knows exactly how long time is!
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