A 20 year window


“There are three stories in every story which is told, one that the person telling knows to be true, the other which he wants to tell, and the third the one the person hearing understands”

     Paraphrased from Professor Dalton Kehoe’s
      series on Effective Communication.


Many layers of reality come forward in the stories which we tell about ourselves to one’s own self, and then to others and what they see as obviously true or untrue. Which stories form part of a community myth. What are the silences maintained? Things which everyone knows, but does not speak about in “polite” society.

As we went through this series on communication, I wondered how easy it is to get things mixed up. This series will take around 12 hours to watch but can take many life-times in mastering.

It is a growing process….




As we walked past the police station of BaabBengashir, a young policeman saluted this veteran staff nurse who had come to Tripoli in the times of King Idris.
In the blog-Was the clown Bloom’s son, we did an imaginary walk through the streets of Tripoli with Joyce’s Bloom. Another interesting relation from literature is that of Kurtz and Maslow in Conrad’s Heart of Darkness. The story is told as Marlow remembers his younger self around twenty years down the line and his relation with Kurtz, the man who had a message to convey for the time his soul spent time on this earth.

Do you remember any person twenty years ago, who was living here for twenty years?
This took us back to the evening we had been walking past the police station in BaabBengashir. Following her life story, her rise to be one of the matrons of Tripoli’s Central Hospital, her efforts to raise her son single handedly, and her subsequent return to Tripoli from the recession hit Slovenia, gave many hours of rich discussion.

Following these stories of expatriate workers who have made Tripoli their home also gives many lessons for the future. As I heard one her long term colleagues remember the many times and events together, the bombings of 1986 –during the Presidency of Ronald Reagan- and the many parks, hospitals, buildings which still are a living memory for many for being hit by the bombings made one understand Africa and international relations in a more direct way.


The writer V.S.Naipaul gives an interesting litmus test of stories of interest.
Will what is being said be relevant or interesting twenty years from now?
The twist in the question of the “Twenty Year window” is- if you were to go back twenty years and try to imagine how your life turned out, would you be surprised by what happened. Till the focus was on trying to tell another person’s story, it was a bit impersonal. When it comes to trying to see the main decisions, events, persons who shaped one’s own life ..and what things are said, what left out made me remember the three stories within one story as told by Professor Dalton Kehoe…
“There are three stories in every story which is told, one that the person telling knows to be true, the other which he wants to tell, and the third the one the person hearing understands”

Part of the 500 words a day challenge by writer -Jeff Goins.
For a diarist the interesting thing will be being selective

For those interested in reading further see the following blogs




About prashant bhatt

A psychologist, interested in mindfulness practices. I practiced medicine as a radiologist for 23 years in India and Libya as a radiologist before shifting to Canada. A regular diarist, journaling since 1983 Reading journal : gracereadings.com
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