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Shining Like an Evening Star

With permission, I have extracted this picture-quote from Cora Mason Pinterest page. All rights reserved worldwide.


As I was relaxing on a sofa in our kitchen in the evening the other day, I saw through the window a light glowing in the sky near the western horizon - about twenty minutes after the Sun had set. At first, I couldn't tell if the glowing light was of a flying aircraft or a star. But when I noticed the light wasn't moving, I was sure it was a star. Then I realized it must have been the evening star I had read about in books when I was in primary school.

When it clicked in my mind that the glowing object was the evening star, I jogged my memory by trying to recall which planet is the evening star. Could it be Mars or Jupiter? I wondered. My curiosity led me to pick up my smartphone and google for an answer. And alas! I learnt from Google that the evening star is neither Mars nor Jupiter. It is the planet Venus.

I find it a wonder that the planet Venus can shine so brilliantly just after sunset and before other stars appear in abundance across the sky. It's a wonder because, unlike other stars, Venus doesn't produce its own light; it just reflects the portion it receives from the Sun.

Like the evening star that shines after sunset, I also want to shine as I journey in this crazy adventure called life. And here are some of the ways I thought could help me shine:
  1. Tapping into my talents: I don't know about you but for me, I have already identified my talents: walking, jogging, cooking, writing, singing, socializing, gardening, piano-playing and public-speaking. Having identified my talents, I will continue indulging in them everyday.

  2. Aiming for excellence: As I develop my talents, I will aim for excellence in all that I do. My model of excellence is God who when He was creating the universe, paused every time He made something to see if it was good. And the rewards of doing excellent work are fulfilling.

  3. Telling the truth: There was a time when I used to tell lie after lie in the stories I shared with people. Thankfully, I stopped doing so, and over the last four years, I have been striving to tell the truth in all that I say and write. I intend to continue dwelling on truth for as long as I live.

  4. Developing good habits: They say that we first make our habits and then our habits make us. So as for me, I have resolved to form good habits such as waking up at the same time every morning.

  5. Rejoicing in the success of others: Let's face it: most of us feel an inkling of jealousy when we hear some people succeed. As for me, I will always try to be as enthusiastic about the success of others as I am about my own.

  6. Growing in knowledge: They say knowledge is power. So I will continue growing in knowledge by reading regularly and relating what I read with what I observe. I will also strive to create new knowledge by meditating on what I know.

  7. Being a good friend: Friends are essential to happiness. I will therefore be a good friend to people I value by being there for them and not talking ill of them behind their backs.

  8. Developing a positive mental attitude: And lastly, I will shine by having a good attitude towards life and in all that I do. I believe having a positive mental attitude will improve my chances of succeeding at everything I do.
There you have them: that is, the ways in which I will shine. My dear reader, I beseech you to also shine wherever you are. Make a positive impact in your work and influence those around you to be better people. That's all I am saying.

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RECOMMENDATION: If you've enjoyed this story of mine on shining like an evening star, you might also enjoy another one I wrote sometimes back on "Book Review: 'Think Big'". Just click on that link in blue to dive straight into the story.

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Thuita's 3rd Law of Human Nature

This is Uncle Ndonga watering his vegetable garden with his son. The photo was taken in the late '90s or early 2000s.


Uncle Ndonga (yes, the one I have mentioned in the caption of the photo above) is my Mum's brother who stayed with us here at home in Kiserian when my brothers and I were growing up in the '90s. His work was to look after us and assist in farming activities. He left home sometime in 2001 when I was in Standard 8, after staying with us for more than a decade. And I think he left because my parents were unable to continue paying him for his work and services.

I remember Uncle Ndonga as a handsome young man in those days he stayed with us at home. He was also a hard-working and a skilled farmer who grew such vegetables as kales, spinach, cabbages, tomatoes and corianders with admirable zeal and professionalism. I particularly recall the way he meticulously made props for tomato plants using threads from sacks. He would then water the tomato plants and spray them with chemicals to prevent diseases and to ward off worms.

Sometimes, Uncle Ndonga would ask me to help him out in spraying his tomatoes with chemicals using a hand-operated pump. Being the submissive boy that I was, I obliged. And despite the fact that I was a small boy, Uncle Ndonga would let me do the pumping with my hands - a laborious task - while he sprayed the tomatoes. I vividly recollect getting exhausted one afternoon as I operated the pump.

Besides good looks and farming prowess, the other thing I remember Uncle Ndonga for was his swagger. He used to refer to tea as "diesel", which he loved drinking. When going to my hometown of Kiserian, which is about three kilometres from home, he would boast that he was flying to New York. And he liked referring to his room as "State House". I came to like that kind of swagger.

For reasons not clear to me now, I loved Uncle Ndonga in those days he stayed with us. Like sometime in the year 2000 when he was jailed for two or three days for slapping a certain woman, I deeply sympathized with him and hated the woman who had had him jailed. I remember rehearsing in my mind over and over of myself rebuking the woman harshly. And I am sure I would have rebuked the woman given the chance but as it turned out, I didn't get to meet her at that time.

As much as I loved Uncle Ndonga, I have to say that I didn't like the way he was fond of pinching and slapping me - something I didn't see him do to my senior brothers. He would pinch or slap me for such minor issues as asking him what we were cooking for lunch in the presence of his friends. He made my boyhood days gloomy with such kind of admonitions and punishments.

One afternoon in 1999, I got fed up with Uncle Ndonga's punishments. That afternoon, I was boiling a pot of githeri in the kitchen when Uncle Ndonga came and removed the pot from the fire so that he could warm his lunch. When I told him not to remove the pot, he pinched me. And lo! I lost my temper and reacted to him angrily. Then I went ahead to threaten him that I would report him to my parents for sins he had committed when I was a small child. In my anger, I went to his vegetable garden and uprooted several tomato plants.

Well, I didn't report Uncle Ndonga to my parents as I had threatened him. And the following Monday as I walked to school, I felt guilty for confronting him so angrily. But at least I shall ever remain grateful for reacting angrily because after that incidence, Uncle Ndonga never pinched or slapped me for the remaining three years that he stayed with us at home.

When Uncle Ndonga left home sometime in the year 2001, my eldest brother Joe Kagigite remarked that we would never have another worker as good as Uncle Ndonga. I can't recall what I thought of Joe's remark; all I remember is me telling Joe in Kikuyu, "Yes, he was good because he wasn't pinching or slapping me." But I didn't let Joe know of how Uncle Ndonga had ceased punishing me after I angrily confronted that afternoon I have told you about.

That tactic of stopping people from bullying me by confronting them has worked a few more times in my life that I have come up with what I call the Thuita's 3rd Law of Human Nature which states as follows:
If people realize you are weak and gullible, they will keep on bullying and cheating you until you make them realize otherwise.
This law teaches us that keeping quiet when people are bullying and cheating us is not the best way to deal with them; that only encourages them to do it more. Instead, we should show people we can think for ourselves by confronting them as soon as they bully or cheat us. That's all I am saying.

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