Thriving - Reflections of a Young Man™
Audience-Centred Stories!

Yippee! This blog of mine is back online with better stories - now written for people, not for profit. From now henceforth, God-willing, I will be telling you stories here that will tickle your fancy, deepen your faith, offer you hope, improve your outlook on life, inspire you in one way or another, or simply add to your wealth of knowledge and wisdom. How about that?



Thriving



Just as I was praying for guidance on how to begin this story of mine, a new perspective popped into my mind which forced me to interrupt my prayers to note it down on my exercise book. Of the perception, it was a revelation that I have repeatedly prayed for financial breakthroughs so that I can afford a decent car yet I haven't thought of what I will give in return for getting that blessing. That was an insightful new way of thinking. So let me think about it some more.

Let me first say I am not interested in those get-rich-quick schemes that I have come across in my Facebook and LinkedIn social media accounts. Neither am I excited about participating in those popular local promotions like "Shinda MaMilli na Safaricom". For as the Book of Proverbs counsels, whoever is eager to get rich will not go unpunished. So I want to get rich from the labour of my mind, heart and hands because, like Abe Lincoln, I now believe a dollar earned is better than a dollar found.

Because I want to prosper from the work of my hands, I have resolved to work harder in posting interesting stories and videos in this lovely website of mine. I will strive to write a story daily, or at least regularly, unlike before when I would pen great stories in a series of several few days after which I would lapse into like nine-days indolence-mode during which I would write nothing. Yes, nothing at all. My prayer is that once I start writing regularly, as I have promised to be doing, my labour will win the respect of the executives of such global firms as Microsoft and Colgate-Palmolive who will request to advertise their companies' products on this website of mine.

Now that I have promised to be writing regularly, God-willing, I have decided to up my game by playing with four rules I have set. Let me mention them to you.

First, I will refrain from talking ill of anyone. Believe you me, there have been times I have been tempted to express my anger in the stories I post here on some people who have mocked or mistreated me along the way. Not any more. Like Benjamin Franklin once said, I will speak ill of no one and talk all the good I know of everybody. So if you've been at loggerheads with me in the past, don't worry - I won't say it here.

Secondly, I will strive to make my stories reasonably long. My younger brother Symo, a fan of this website, once complained to me that my stories are too short - something a reviewer of this website mentioned when I unsuccessfully applied for Google ads some time in 2016. That's why I have resolved to write longer stories while keeping them fresh and engaging.

Thirdly, I will now be more original. Back in 2016 when I became interested in copyright laws, I happened to read the fourth page of my NIV Bible where the publisher's name and other nitty-gritty details are listed. From that page, I learnt that anyone is free to quote any verse from the NIV Bible without permission from the publisher provided the quoted verses don't constitute more than 25% of the written work.

And from that notice in my Bible, I have decided that at least 75% of the contents in the stories I will write must be my own words. That means if I will have to quote any book (in which case I will always link my audience to the Amazon page from where they can purchase the book), I will not let the quoted text account for more than 25% of my story.

And lastly as pertains to my new set of writing rules, I will strive to add humour to my stories. I have always been interested in developing a sense of humour ever since I first applied to top American colleges in 2006. The colleges, I noted, were not only interested in academic excellence and extra-curricular involvement but also in such qualities as maturity, integrity, creativity, self-confidence, sense of humour, warmth of personality, concern for others and reaction to setbacks.

Having had a suppressed childhood, I must admit I haven't been as humorous as I would have wished. Like during my entire close-to six years stay at Starehe Boys' Centre where I had my high school as well as college education, I only remember cracking three jokes. Only three. Let me tell you one of them.

Back in 2005 when I was sitting for a major practicals Music exam in Fourth Form, there was a metal plate placed outside the Music Centre with an instruction that read as follows:
EXAMINATIONS:
DO NOT PASS
Of course the calligrapher who wrote that instruction on the metal plate meant to warn passers-by not to tress-pass into the Music Centre because of examinations taking place. But I interpreted it to mean that we, the students taking the practicals Music exam, should not pass the examinations.

I pointed out to Mr. Matthew Brooks, a talented young man from England who was volunteering as a Music teacher at Starehe Boys' Centre, about my interpretation of the instruction - obviously while pointing at the metal plate - and he burst into a big laughter. For me having tickled a mzungu[1], that joke remains one of my proudest high school achievements.

Later on in 2008 when I went astray at JKUAT, other than the confidence and courage I mentioned in my previous story in this website, I also desired to acquire a sense of humour - something I have repeatedly given a shot in the last seven years since I took up writing as a hobby. It has dawned on me that in my attempt to be humorous, I at times resorted to perversity and vulgar language. Like I cracked several dirty jokes in emails to my circle of friends a few years ago which I hope my Christian buddies forgave me because it goes against the teachings of the Bible. Ordinarily, you'd expect me to be feeling guilty about it but am not. Why? Because I now know those are part of mistakes we all make when we attempt something new.

Even though I had a suppressed childhood, I was brought up as a disciplined and morally-upright boy thanks to the teachings I had in church as well as the beatings I endured at home and in school, especially at Naru-Moru where I had much of my primary school education. So I never cracked dirty jokes in my teenage years including the three that I have told you I punned during my stay at Starehe Boys' Centre. My first dirty joke I recall was when I was admitted at Thika Nursing Home after I was apprehended when I went astray at JKUAT.

Well, there was this lady who worked in the nursing home but wore a different uniform from that of other nurses. From her physique, I could tell she was 50 years or so. I became curious to know her role in the nursing home, something I asked her at one time but she didn't answer me for a reason I am unable to remember.

When I asked her the second time, she replied, "Just observe what I am doing. Watch where I am going and how I am doing my work."

After she paused to see if I had understood her point, I inquired, "Even when you go to the toilet?"

She turned to look at me closely with a facial expression that showed she was like, "What's wrong with this young man?"

But as I have said, I have cracked even dirtier jokes since then. So as I strive to be humorous in the stories I will be posting here, my jokes shall have to remain clean and witty.

Yes, I will strive to be humorous. I beseech you to join me in this journey of cultivating cheerfulness. Lighten up! We live in a world where people take themselves and their decisions seriously: I have good news for you - nothing is that important. Honestly!

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[1] Mzungu is a Swahili term for a white man.

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Discipline & Consistency



Yippee! It's now more than a month since I last posted a story in this lovely website of mine. I have just checked my website statistics provided by my hosting company, which I have come to appreciate for its world-class services, that people have actually been visiting my website in the last one month. And I am sure some of them have been curious to know what on Earth has happened to me that has made cease to write.

Has Thuita taken a break to write a book? Or did he lose his mother who he once told us was diagnosed with a stroke a few years ago? Or could he have become depressed with that mental illness of his that he once informed us caused him to contemplate suicide several times?

Such must be the questions that have been popping up in the minds of my readers who know me best. But nothing satanic has happened to me in the past one month. Actually, I have become more composed, confident, peaceful and observant.

To answer those questions that might have been bothering my readers, let me first say I didn't take a break to author a book and never will. Why? Because writing an international best-seller requires time, attention to details, connections to a leading publisher as well as support by a talented team of editors - all of which I currently lack. So I have resolved to focus on writing stories and producing videos for this website of mine which will be my gift to future generations, God-willing.

Secondly, my mother hasn't passed away either. She is still afflicted with stroke. And her illness has led me to treasure her these days by being there for her, either to assist or share stories with her. Like I have come to learn more about my family lineage from the stories I have had with her.

Unfortunately, she stumbled and sprained her left ankle a few weeks ago as I was helping her to get back to the house after a tour around our shamba. That ankle sprain has immobilized her. We are now moving her everywhere in a wheelchair that my brother Paddy bought for her. Probably because of that immobility, she has gained weight in the past few weeks which I fear could cause her heart problems given that she underwent a heart-surgery at the turn of this century during which surgeons inserted a pace-maker in her heart.

So worried have I become of the possibility of her suffering a heart-attack or something that I have feared she will never live to see me get married as it has always been my wish. But I am now finding it unwise to worry something over which I have no control. I am just praying to God for strength to deal with anything that might happen to her. And not just her, but anything else sinister that might happen to me or my family. Nonetheless, I am still hoping my mother will live to see me exchange wedding vows with my princess charming. For as Dr. Geoffrey Griffin once advised us, "prepare for the worst but hope for the best".

And lastly, what of the concern by my friends that I could have become depressed? Well, I once confided to my circle of friends that I suffered from a mental illness and that I contemplated suicide several times.

Haha! You know what? Those were all lies and exaggerations. I am a healthy, educated and cultured young man of sound mind and good judgement. I have never been mentally ill. Neither have I ever contemplated suicide.

Actually what happened was that when I went astray during my second year in JKUAT, the professor who first handled me after I was apprehended thought I was mentally ill. He therefore referred me to a psychiatrist who, perhaps for lack of independence of thought, diagnosed me for something like schizophrenia or bi-polar disorder.

At first, I resisted the diagnosis but nurses aided by guards forcefully put me to sleep with an injection. After that, I was handled as a patient of mental illness which led my family to believe I was sick. I, myself, also came to believe I was sick because I voluntarily turned up for regular medical check-ups during which nurses gave me tablets for daily intake.

Coming to think of it, I was never mentally sick. I figured out several years ago that I went astray at the university in an effort to acquire courage and mental clarity that I had lacked earlier on in life because, believe it or not, I grew up as a confused and timid teenager - traits I didn't want to carry on into my adult life.

And I came to discover that the solution to those two weaknesses lay in studying, reflecting, exercising physically, indulging in my talents and most of all, by praying to God for strength, guidance, healing and insight on how to live. I have done all that as a result of which I can gratefully report that I am now a composed, confident, peaceful and observant young man.

So don't you ever think that I am mentally ill. Neither should you ever believe a rumour peddled by my detractors that Thuita was caught contemplating suicide. Again I say, I am a healthy, educated and cultured young man of sound mind and good judgement.

That aside, have I told you that I will now focus on writing stories and producing videos for this website? I must have told you that. So I will try to follow up with that resolution with "discipline and consistency". I have put those two virtues in quotes because Commando Tito Okello mentioned them several weeks ago in his Facebook wall which has led me to point out the virtues in this story. (Tito Okello was a school-mate of mine at Starehe Boys' Centre who served as a leader of Survival Club in 2002. We used to refer to Survival Club leaders as commandos. That's why I have addressed him as Commando Tito Okello.)

Therefore, if you are a fan of this lovely website of mine, you better be visiting it daily for new stories or videos. Trust me, I will try to make my stories interesting, enlightening and inspiring; for videos, of the finest quality. And unlike before when I used to post in the morning before 8.30am, I will from now on be updating this website any time of the day depending on when I write the story. Like I have posted this story at 7.44pm, about an hour after the Sun has set in the Ngong Hills that form the Western horizon of my home area. Stay tuned!

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My Prayer For 2018



On the night of December 24th in 1997, I attended my first night mass in my home-town Catholic Church. I felt strangely honoured to be in the church at night which I had hitherto only attended during the day. And I enjoyed the play that was staged by the then church youth group on the birth of Jesus Christ. My favourite actor that year was one Alexander who humorously guided the audience from one scene to another.

I continued attending those night masses until 2006 when I became an Anglican. And then I resumed again in 2013 when I became proud of my Catholic roots. But in 2015, I felt I had had enough of those night masses. Furthermore, I found it unwise to walk home alone at midnight.

Anyway, coming back to those night masses, when I attended the one of the year 2000, I prayed for success in my KCPE exams that I was to sit for the following year in November. God answered my prayers because I scored an impressive 421 marks (out of 500) in the exams which led to my admission at Starehe Boys' Centre, Kenya's best high school back then.

And when I attended the night mass of 2004, I prayed not only for success in my KCSE exams that I was to sit for the following year but also for good health. Again, God answered my prayers because I had vibrant health throughout the year 2005. And I passed the mighty KCSE exams with flying colours. I scored A's in all eight subjects. Or to be more precise, I got six A's and two A-'s.

Yesterday as I prepared to usher 2018, I decided to pray for all that I desire just like I did in 2000 and 2004. Here's how I prayed:
Lord, my dear God - Creator of the Universe and the joy of my heart - I thank You for letting me see yet another year (2018) as a sprightly healthy young man. Thank You so much.

Lord, forgive me for all the sins I have committed in the past, especially against my parents. Let me begin the New Year as a guiltless, free young man.

Lord, help me to forgive those who have sinned against me in the past. Let me begin the New Year without any traces of hatred and ill-will toward anybody. Or as Abraham Lincoln would put it, let me begin the year "with malice toward none and charity for all".

Lord, I will strive to delight in You each day of this year. Reward my efforts by fulfilling all the desires of my heart. By the way, do You remember the desires that I have repeatedly made known to You in my prayers? Of course I know You do because You are all-knowing.

Lord apart from fulfilling those desires, fill my soul with never-fading joy, love, hope, faith, peace, courage and gratitude; my mind with wisdom, insight, knowledge and good judgement; and my body with vibrant health and youthful swagger.

Lord, throughout 2018, be my strength in my moments of weakness. And in my wanderings, be my guide. May I have good luck in all my endeavours.

Lord, I also place my wonderful parents into your able hands. They worked hard to give us a solid foundation of knowledge and discipline. Reward them for their efforts with good health and long life. May they live to see me sit among the mighty.

That's all I am praying for, Lord. And do all that and much more to my siblings (Joe, Bob, Paddy & Symo) as well as to my relatives and true friends. Amen.
There you have it: my prayer for 2018, that is. I believe God will answer all that I have mentioned in the prayer like He did for me in 2000 and 2004. But I humbly add, let His will be done.

Likewise, I urge you to not only voice your prayers to God - the supreme friend to every individual and the common inexhaustible reservoir of love - but also pen what you write so that you can track God's work in your life. Over to you!

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