THE NIBBLE THEORY:
It’s an unusual little book, only 74 pages soaking wet, with funny little line drawings resembling cartoons. But its message is big. When I lend it to people, I can see the look on their face. “Is she serious??!” you can almost hear them think. “This is the book that’s going to explain everything and change my life??!!” I am, I assure them, and it will.
The premise is simple. All people have the potential to grow into the very best people they can be. This growth can spread like light from a candle. When you give away some of your candle’s light to light someone else’s candle, you don’t have less light; everyone has more light. A circle symbolizes this growth. People enter life as small circles with the potential to grow into big circles. The world is full of circles of all sizes. Big circles—leaders, movers, shakers, initiators, independent thinkers. Others are smaller circles—second in command, responders, reactors, etc. And then there are very small circles—followers, hesitators, non-contributors. All circles could be big, but some are afraid, some choose to stay small, some don’t believe they could get bigger. As they go through life, small circles encounter other circles, large and small, and several possible interactions are possible. A large circle can encourage that little circle to grow. Or the small circle, intimidated by the size of the big circle, can try to take bites out of it and “nibble” it down to size. Or the big circle, intimidated by the potential growth of the small circle, can do the same. Small circles can nibble another growing small circle, because his getting bigger is frightening. He's getting bigger, so they must be getting smaller--right? Here are some sentences you will hear if you are being nibbled down to a less threatening size: You’re too emotional. You’re too sensitive. You’re too serious. You’re too friendly. You work too hard. You’re too outspoken. You always give your ideas first. We’ve always done it this way. This isn’t really your field, is it? The list goes on. The book, in these simple, quiet terms, goes on to tell what happens to nibblers and nibblees. It addresses the fear some people have that if one person gets “bigger”, someone else has to get “smaller”—and they’re afraid it will be them. It tells how sometimes a circle will try desperately to stay small so others will be more comfortable and like him/her, and avoid the nibbles. It tells the joy of circles who encourage other circles to get as big as they can, because ultimately the world is a better place for it. This book is one of the most important and insightful books I’ve ever read. It helped me understand many things that happened as a result of my success in my artwork. It’s helped me understand the loss of some friendships, and it’s helped me build and cherish new, better friendships. The book has never been returned without a heartfelt thank-you from the borrower. And sometimes, I never get it back (which is why I always have extra copies on hand.) So do something nice for yourself today. Beg, buy or borrow a copy of The Nibble Theory and enjoy your own “aha!” moment.
There are many books today written about leadership, change, personal growth but nothing is quite as simple and explicit as the book “The Nibble Theory and the Kernel of Power” by Kaleel Jamison. It is easy to talk of personal growth as a ME concept; what do I do, what are my beliefs, my strengths etc. You have to remember that there is a world out there that will affect that growth. Compliments make you feel good and create confidence; rejections lower your self worth. This is why we have to deal with ourselves inside-out while familiarizing that change with the unstable environment outside. What will happen when we meet others for the first time? Like the animal kingdom, we size them up and establish our dominance. If one is bigger than the other, we try to level the playing field. You can think of it like running a race and...
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