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Lifting Others Up

With permission, I have extracted this picture-quote from a website called Everyday Power. All rights reserved worldwide.


Today dawned bright and clear here in Kiserian. From my bed, I could hear the birds whistling as if celebrating the start of a new day. I could also hear Dad doing some errands in the house. As for me, I got out of bed at exactly 7.00am and went through my morning routine of saying the Lord's Prayer, stretching with rollers, making my bed, cleaning my room, showering and washing my clothes - all the while crooning some hymns whose lyrics I have memorized. I have discovered that crooning hymns while going through my morning routine makes the tasks seem easy to do.

After I was through with the morning routine, I assisted Dad wash dishes because I thought he has been doing too much work since our farmhand went away a week ago. And wow! By the time I finished doing the dishes, I felt some peace in my heart and some clarity in my mind.

Because of the pleasant feelings of peace and clarity I felt in the morning, I couldn't let today pass without me writing a story for this lovely blog of mine. But what shall I write about? I wondered.

While wondering on what to write about, I perused a diary where I jot down ideas. And in the diary, I came across notes I had written on lifting others up. I then resolved to write a story from those notes even though I sensed they wouldn't amount to a blog post of reasonable length.

Let's face it: this world is full of folks who put others down at every turn. I have observed that in social media as well as in my day-to-day interactions with people. Like you'll find a guy saying demeaning words to others in an attempt to vent their frustrations.

I have also observed such kind of behaviour in churches as well. For instance, there was a Sunday afternoon I dropped by a certain church in Nairobi to borrow a small Bible called Gideons that is distributed for free. I was feeling particularly moody and disturbed that Sunday afternoon; that's why I craved to get hold of a Bible and read several verses from the Book of Psalms.

When I entered into the church that very afternoon, I found several people lining up to be prayed for by a pastor. I, too, lined up with the intention of asking for a Bible when my turn to see the pastor reached. As I lined up, I saw from a distance that the people ahead of me in the line would fall down on the floor when the pastor touched them, as if they had been struck by lightning.

And you know what? While I patiently waited for my turn to see the pastor, some members of the church withdrew me from the line and began to interrogate me. When they asked me whether I was saved, I replied, "Sure, I have always tried to be. But I think that's a question whose answer only God can judge."

The interrogators weren't pleased with that reply I gave when they inquired from me whether I was saved. So they instructed me to leave the church, probably after realizing I wouldn't fall down when the pastor touched me, as I had seen others do. I did try to resist leaving the church but they forced me to go away with their stern words and disapproving facial expressions.

Instead of lifting me up and making my afternoon better, those interrogators put me down by chasing me away from their church. I find that ironical because I believe a church should be a place where sinners are embraced and inspired to be better people. Really and truly, this world is full of people who put others down.

I have also been guilty of putting others down. There was a time, for example, when I sent a text message in the morning to a director of a certain choir saying, "My trust and respect for you has been greatly diminished." But the good thing with me is that I have apologized on most times I have let a demeaning word out from of my mind.

While I admit some of the criticism we receive is well-intended and beneficial to our growth, I have to say that most often, those who put us down do so to escape their own insecurities. They want to feel that they are better than us. I therefore advise you not to let the negativity of others prevent you from being the best you can be.

Also, I beseech you to strive to be an encourager as you go about your daily business. Lift others up with sincere compliments and words of wisdom. If you have to point out other people's weaknesses, do so in a constructive way and in a manner that will not lower their self-worth. That's all I am saying.

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How Animals Are Better Than Us

I came to like this photo of a dog carrying its puppy in a basket; I find it beautiful and endearing. And if you know the genuine copyright holder of the photo, please let me know so that I can acknowledge him and link my audience to his website.


Apart from dogs, the other pets that I love are cats. I find them cute and lovely. Some years back, there was a time I was riveted by the sight of a cat playing with its kittens in the living room of our home. It truly was a riveting scene. These days, we no longer keep cats at home and I am happy about it even though I find them cute and lovely.

When we used to keep cats, I did observe two of their traits. One was how they play with rats for several minutes before eating them. The other trait I observed is the way cats burrow the ground with their claws, poop and then cover the hole to hide their solid waste. Oh, I almost forgot to mention how I saw the cats cleaning their feet with their tongues perhaps to get rid of the dirt they collected while burrowing the ground.

Judging by that second trait I observed in cats, I am realizing that cats are far much wiser and hygienic than some humans who shamelessly defecate on the open without bothering to cover up their faeces. Allow me to give you three examples.

Back in the '90s when a building called Kanyumba House was being constructed in my hometown of Kiserian, I sometimes used to enter into the unfinished building only to find it littered with human excrements.

Then one Sunday afternoon in 2002 when I was in Form 1 at Starehe Boys' Centre, my housemates and I were confronted with the revolting sight of faeces in a toilet in our house. Someone had defecated on the floor of the toilet instead of using the toilet bowl. That's crazy, isn't it? Mark you, that was happening at Starehe Boys' Centre which was then renowned for its disciplined and intelligent students.

And then sometime in 2014 when I was walking home from Kiserian, I decided to take a rest behind a certain bush. Wa! As I was sitting down to relax, I was disgusted to see human excrements all over the ground. I left the place immediately.

On reflecting about those three incidences, I am wondering why people can't borrow a leaf from cats which burrow the ground before pooping and cover up their solid waste. With our thinking brains, aren't we supposed to be better than cats?

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When I was a boy, there was a time we had a sick hawk lying on a spot in our farm. And every time we went near it, another hawk watching from above would fly towards us and scratch our heads with its claws to scare us away. It then dawned on us that the sick hawk on the farm was being watched and looked after by other hawks.

Recently when I remembered that incidence, I realized how hawks are wiser than some humans who don't look after their loved ones. I have read of mothers who dump their babies in toilets and garbage pits; of fathers who murder their children in a fit of rage; and of families broken down by conflicts. Why can't all people emulate the hawks that tenderly look after their loved ones?

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One night earlier on in this decade, I stepped on a puppy as I was heading to the kitchen. The puppy gave a loud cry of pain which made me feel instantly sorry for stepping on it. And when I bent down to caress it hoping to ease its pain, the puppy bit my hand as forcefully as it could.

What I hadn't foreseen was that while my intention of caressing the puppy was to ease its pain, the puppy sensed my hand and perceived I was inflicting it with more pain. That's why it bit me forcefully.

When I reflected on that incidence afterwards, I realized the puppy, as small as it was, knew more about self-defence than some humans. You see, some people are so timid that they can't stand up against bullying and intimidation.

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Lastly, I once came across a picture of gazelles grazing in a strikingly beautiful environment of green grass. The picture must have been taken in a national park somewhere in Africa. And as I looked at it, I had a feeling that those gazelles were living in a better environment than some humans.

When I talk of gazelles living in a better environment than some humans, I have in mind people in my hometown of Kiserian. You see, Kiserian is a dusty town which turns unpleasantly muddy when it rains. It's always littered with garbage. And dirty water can often be seen flowing in its ever clogged drainage system.

It's such kind of dirty environs as Kiserian's that makes me think gazelles in national parks live in better surroundings than some humans. And we humans are supposed to be more advanced than animals.

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FEEDBACK: Would you be so kind as to offer your feedback on the stories I post in this blog? Just click on the "Feedback" link on the menu at the top of this blog and share your thoughts with me. Thanks in advance for your comments.

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Donating = Loving

It takes so much time to research, write and edit the stories and videos in this blog. If you do find any joy in going through them, please consider supporting the author with a donation of any amount - anything from buying him a cuppa to treating him to a good dinner. Thanks to everyone who is contributing; you rock!

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