Four Quotes That Inspire Me
Ever since my days at Starehe Institute in 2006, I have always loved reading quotes by great men, living and dead. I remember one night in 2007 during my time in the institute, I came across in a computer a document full of quotes that someone had downloaded. And wow! How inspiring the quotes were! They really bolstered my morale. My only regret is me not saving the document somewhere in the internet for future re-reading.
So much did I come to love reading quotes that some time in 2007, I harboured an idea of compiling quotes and then publishing them in a book. I shared the idea with two of my Starehe Institute classmates but they didn't buy into it. Eventually, I gave up the idea. But my love for reading quotes did not diminish; I continued devouring them. Like when I matriculated at the university in JKUAT, I downloaded hundreds of quotes from the internet and printed them into several booklets for reading in the comfort of my room.
I still love reading quotes to this day. In my home library are nine exercise books containing inspiring quotes I have read in the past four years. And in my laptop are nine PDF documents of quotes and wise sayings. They tell of how passionate I have become in collecting quotable quotes. My goal is to internalize most of those quotes into every fibre of my being so that I become a better person, in expression as well as in self-esteem.
And because I love reading quotes, let me share with you, my beloved reader, four quotes that have been ringing in my head over the last few months. Only four quotes.
The first is this one by Joel Osteen:
You may have made a lot of wrong choices but you've made a lot of choices that were right. Focus on your good qualities. Focus on your victories. Get off the treadmill of guilt.Over the last couple of months when I have found myself caught up in the miasma of guilt, I have turned to that quote above by Joel Osteen for strength. Today, I have committed it to memory word for word so that I can use it as a weapon in fighting the feelings of guilt that torture me every now and then.
The second quote is this one by Maya Angelou:
I did then what I knew how to do. Now that I know better, I do better.That quote by Maya Angelou expresses my writing journey in a better and more comforting way than I could tell. As I have said before in this blog, when I first began sharing stories earlier on this decade, I used to lie and exaggerate as well as plagiarize other people's writings. I also used to say some things I would later regret saying. Even today, I still cringe every time I think of some of the stories I have written in the past.
But I have now resolved that should I again feel remorseful over some of the stories I wrote in the past, I will turn to that quote by Maya Angelou by reminding myself that "I did what I knew how to do. Now that I know better, I do better."
The third quote that has been ringing in my head over the last few months is this one by William Penn:
The secret of happiness is to count your blessings while others are adding up their troubles.I have found myself remembering that quote above a few times recently, especially when feeling guilty. It has helped me put things in perspective.
The fourth and last quote that I will tell you about is the following one by my friend David Mwakima in which he reflects on the faculty he met and interacted with during his undergraduate studies at Harvard:
I am grateful to have met faculty who were very supportive and interested in my progress not only in academics but also in life more generally. Among the things I admired is that in spite of being so successful in their fields, they don't take themselves too seriously at all. That they reveal their human or approachable side inspired and reassured me.That quote by my friend David Mwakima has inspired me not to always take myself seriously as well. So I have purposed to laugh at some of the stupid things I have done. That's all I am saying.
RECOMMENDATION: If you've enjoyed this story of mine on some of the quotes that inspire me, you might also enjoy another one I wrote sometimes back on "Inspiring Adverts". Just click on that link in blue to dive straight into the story.
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My Redeemer Liveth
My beloved reader, have you ever heard of a great man called George F. Handel? If you haven't, let me civilize you a little by informing you that he is one of the greatest classical music composers ever to grace this planet. He flourished as a musician in the 18th century and his music still lives on to this day.
Personally, I have come to love listening to Handel whose some of his music I have saved in my laptop. The music of Handel is of such sublime beauty and purity that I am now of the opinion that he just discovered it; that it has always existed as part of the inner beauty of the universe waiting to be revealed.
Of all the hundreds of pieces of music that Handel composed, my all time favourite is I Know That My Redeemer Liveth which is part of the famous oratorio known as The Messiah. I sometimes play that song on my piano keyboard again and again which tells of how greatly I love it.
And for sure, I know my redeemer liveth. As in, I worship and pray to a God that lives and loves me. His eyes are always on me as they are always on the sparrow. And because my redeemer lives, I recently found myself thinking of all they ways God has redeemed me from depressing moods and situations in the past. Allow me to tell you of three instances.
The first instance was in 2008 after I was discharged from Thika Nursing Home where I was forcefully admitted when I was apprehended after going astray at the university in JKUAT. That evening when I got discharged from the nursing home, my father came for me with the intention of taking me home in Kiserian. But I didn't want to go back home because of the boring menial tasks I would be forced to do. So as we were heading to Kiserian, I ran away from my father and went back to JKUAT to hang around as I had been doing before I was apprehended.
But guess what! When I went back to JKUAT after running away from my father, I felt dull and hopeless. I also became sick; so sick that one morning, I felt like I was dying after I tried several times to awaken myself from slumber. While still in that state of dullness, hopelessness and sickness, I happened to stay in a JKUAT classroom whose walls were full of graffiti. And in the graffiti was one message that touched me; the message said, "Cheer up! The worst is yet to come."
Looking back, I now believe that graffiti message on the wall was God's way of trying to redeem me from depressing moods. And in the past few weeks whenever I have been in the doldrums, I have found myself remembering that message, "Cheer up! The worst is yet to come."
The second instance in which God redeemed me from depressing moods was in 2010. As I wrote a couple of days ago in this blog, I used to feel deadly dull and guilty in the years 2009 and 2010 after I dropped out of JKUAT. One day in 2010 while ransacking my father's collection of books, I inadvertently found John Mason's Conquering an Enemy Called Average. And wow! What an inspiring read it turned out to be! The book rejuvenated my spirits and made me fully alive again. That was God trying to redeem me.
By the way, a few months later after reading that inspiring book, I placed it on a matatu dashboard and forgot to pick it when I alighted. Such a great loss, isn't it? In recent months, I have developed a burning desire to re-read that book, so I have purposed to purchase it next time I travel to Nairobi.
The last instance I will tell you about on how God redeemed me from depressing moods concerns my weight. As I have written before, I gained a lot of weight in the years 2009 and 2010. People who had known me for several years commented on how plump I had grown which didn't impress me at all because I had always wanted to be lean and athletic. Like my brother Paddy remarked to me sometime in 2009 that my cheeks were puffy. He uttered that remark in a tone that suggested he was displeased with my excess weight. And then a high school-mate of mine called Festus Munene was taken aback to see how big I had become after we met on a street in Nairobi some time in 2010. Festus said this of my weight in Swahili, "This is not sickness; this is over-eating!"
To bring my weight down, I tried fasting which I didn't enjoy. It didn't work. Then a few months after I matriculated at the University of Nairobi in September 2010, I lost weight and regained my youthful swagger. I attribute that weight loss to the lots of walking I did while commuting to the university. And when I think about it now, I believe that was God's way of redeeming me from the depressing state that was being fat.
My redeemer liveth for shizzle. So I am now confident that no matter what happens to me in this life, God will always find a way of lifting my spirits as he has done in the past. That's all I am saying.
RECOMMENDATION: If you've enjoyed this story of mine of my redeemer liveth, you might also enjoy another humorous story I wrote sometimes back on "Salvation is Free Folks!". Just click on that link in blue to dive straight into the story.