Staying Taliban

“When you play it too safe, you’re taking the biggest risk of your life. Time is the only wealth we’re given.” – Barbara Sher

In August 2021, the Taliban took over leadership in Afghanistan during ongoing withdrawal of US troops in the country. Social media played a key role in broadcasting the happenings for the insurgent group across the world. On the backdrop of this, social media users riding on the wave, coined new phrases to suit their circumstances and in Kenya one such phrase has been to “Stay Taliban” loosely translated in the local context to “stay dangerous”. In other circles it is used to denote toughness without showing emotions or appearing to care for them.

As a believer and a proponent of social responsibility and mutual coexistence, I have an inclination to the fact that as human beings, there is a shred of tenderness left in us. This in essence signifies our humanity which would be described as the quality of being humane; benevolence. Over time I’ve written about our humanity in this blog and I still believe it’s the common fabric that brings us together. The ability to feel for others, empathize with their situation, lend a hand when you can, offer a shoulder when it’s all you’ve got for at the end there is hope in humanity. The circumstances we live through have compelled most of us to hide behind our pain, to act tough and put forth a facade. It doesn’t do us any good in so doing for in the end we are denying ourselves the very warmness of humanity we wish for in reality by acting all strong, mean or unavailable. What would it cost you to show emotion and just be vulnerable enough to express how you feel?
Over time I’ve been keen on social science literature which drew me to work by Brene’ Brown including her talk on the power of vulnerability, an interview of Jay-Z by Dean Baquet where Jay-Z narrates his life story recollecting on experiences he recalls from young people acting out in the neighborhood which in retrospect was a call for attention. Acknowledging our humanity and inadequacies is a good place to start in addressing our underlying shortcomings and seeking out help. In another talk by Barbara Sher informed by her practice and research work she recounts the ability of individuals to connect based on need. All we pick from all these is that by feigning perfection, staying aloof or blocking the world out, we do not have the opportunity to live a fulfilling life. Why then would we work so had to lead a miserable life?

Relax my friend. Have fun. Enjoy the experiences. The not so good ones, learn from them and accept it’s part of life.

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