Wisdom From a Departed Friend
A True Story
on Apr 27, 2020
David Musyoki was a schoolmate of mine at Starehe Boys' Centre where I had my high school as well as college education. He was a year ahead of me and he boarded in a dormitory in which he rose through the leadership ranks to become its captain in 2004. Although his dormitory was next to mine, I can't recall ever interacting with Musyoki during our Starehe years.
It wasn't until the previous decade that I got to be friends with Musyoki through Facebook. I remember sometime in 2011 when I made it public on social media that I was intending to vie for my county's senatorial seat in the 2013 Kenya's General Elections, Musyoki sent me a message telling me that he could introduce me to several influential contacts in my county. So he shared his phone number with me. For some reasons though, he never hooked me up with those influential contacts he had told me about.
Over the years, I came to like Musyoki because we both shared a faith in Christ and an interest in reading inspirational quotes. I noted how he would regularly post enlightening quotes on his Facebook wall. Among the numerous quotes that I read from his wall was the following one by St. Francis of Assisi: "Preach the gospel at all times. And when necessary, use words."
Sometime in 2016 while going through my Facebook news feed, I came across the following words of wisdom from Musyoki:
One of the most amazing characteristics of kings in the Bible is the way they kept a book of remembrance. It was when King Ahaseurus opened his book of remembrance that he rewarded Mordecai for saving his life. It was when King David opened his book of records that he rewarded Mephibosheth son of Jonathan his covenant friend. God also keeps a book of rewards. It's very important that we stop keeping records of those that hurt us and start keeping records of those that positively influence our lives. They are the destiny helpers you must remember to appreciate in your lifetime. It could be a school teacher that inspired you when you almost dropped from school due to bad grades. An uncle who trained you in school. A mentor that guided you through a life crisis or a friend that loaned you some money to pay some bills. Document their names and ensure you remember them someday. It's wisdom to remember.Those are powerful words of wisdom, aren't they? I so loved them that I saved them in my laptop for future re-reading. Last year when I re-read them, I thought Musyoki had probably copied the words of wisdom from somewhere in the internet and pasted them on his Facebook wall. So I googled them up in an effort to find their genuine author. But alas! I didn't find the words anywhere else in the internet. It seems Musyoki authored them himself. Actually, those words of wisdom must have been Musyoki's given the grammatical and punctuation errors I have had to correct while quoting them above.
As I have said, Musyoki and I shared a passion for reading motivational quotes. It was therefore no wonder that in December 2015 when I posted on my Facebook wall a series of instructions about living, Musyoki later on demanded to know from me where I had sourced the instructions from. Being the streetwise young man that I am becoming, I charged him a Ksh. 200 consultation fee. He did send me the money after which I disclosed to him that I had extracted the instructions from H. Jackson Brown Jr.'s delightful Life's Little Instructions Book.
Then one evening in 2018, Musyoki informed me via Whatsapp that he and some of his friends had started an organization for mentoring young people. He asked me if I was willing to be part of the organization. Because I still had to put my life in order (especially financial-wise), I didn't join the organization. My only regret is that I wasn't kind enough to reply to Musyoki's message, stating why I couldn't get involved in his organization. I just ignored him. And that message he sent me on that evening in 2018 turned out to be the last time we communicated.
Guess what! Late last week when I entered Facebook to catch up with news from friends, I was taken aback to hear that Musyoki had passed on after a brief illness. How unfortunate! His untimely demise has reminded me of how quickly those we cherish can be snatched from us by the cruel hands of death.
One acquaintance described Musyoki as a brilliant soul, something I agree with. And my friend Kennedy Miruka eulogized Musyoki as a person who was "authentic in love and genuine in character". As for me, I will remember David Musyoki as a man of wisdom gone too soon. May his soul rest in eternal peace.
RECOMMENDATION: If you've enjoyed this story of mine on wisdom from a departed brother, you might also enjoy another one I wrote two years ago on "Bidding a Friend Farewell". Just click on that link in blue to dive straight into the story.
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How to Lose Weight Safely & Quickly
A True Story
on Apr 22, 2020
In my previous story on this lovely blog of mine, I narrated of how delighted I have been for having shed stubborn extra kilos in my body. And I promised to share tips on how to lose weight safely and quickly. That's what I will do today.
Well, gaining excess weight is easy; you just feast on a lot of food till you are satiated while leading a sedentary lifestyle. But losing weight isn't easy, I tell you; it takes a lot of discipline and hard work. If you are currently overweight, below are the steps you can take to shed those extra kilos in your body:
- Develop a burning desire to lose weight: This is the first step you need to take and it's all mental. An effective way of developing a burning desire to lose weight is to imagine yourself getting pictured in your ideal weight two months from now and then sharing the photos on social media. Trust me, that will psyche you up to lose weight. And the desire will keep you going even on bad days when you just don't feel like taking any step towards losing weight.
- Involve God in your weight loss plan: If you believe in God as I do, then I suggest that you let Him know through prayers that you desire to lose weight. Remember He is the one who gave you the gift of life and He holds the future. So take a moment everyday to pray for your plans for losing weight. And don't forget to express gratitude to God once your efforts begin to bear fruit.
- Reduce food intake: Once you have made up your mind to cut weight, reducing food intake is one of the other steps you need to take to achieve your goal. Don't overfill your plate with food. Just eat moderately and don't go for second helpings. In case you don't feel full after finishing your meal, drink a cup or two of water and that will make your stomach feel full. Also, I recommend that you avoid deep-fried foods like chips and mandazi. Instead go for such healthier meals as vegetables and brown bread.
- Eat at regular intervals: I don't recommend skipping meals as part of your plan to lose weight. Skipping meals will leave you feeling very hungry and force you to overeat during the next meal. Instead, eat moderately only in the morning, noontime and evening (breakfast, lunch and supper). In case you feel hungry in between the meals, drink water and that will ward off pangs of hunger.
If you are a compulsive eater as I once was, you might find it hard to change your eating habits to what I have recommended. But just try following my suggestions and I can assure you that after a few weeks, you will get used to eating moderately at regular intervals.
- Get into a physical exercise program: In addition to reducing food intake, getting into a physical exercise program is another must-do if you are to lose weight safely and quickly. I recommend that you go for jogging and walking for at least five kilometres everyday.
When Bill Clinton was Arkansas Governor in the '80s, he loved jogging in the morning before heading to work, and that was convenient for him. As for me, I find evenings to be the best times for exercising. So I usually go for jogging and walking at around 5.00pm for one hour. And I still manage to sleep soundly at night. Similarly, identify a time that is convenient for you to exercise and stick to it.
If you are employed, then you have to make your exercise program fit into your job schedule. You can walk more on your way to work instead of using vehicles, like by parking your car about three kilometres from your office. If you work in a high-rise building, you can use the stairs instead of elevators.
Note that if your exercise program is to make you lose weight, it has to be done consistently. Don't jog for three days and rest for five days, then jog for two days and rest for four days and expect yourself to cut weight. It doesn't work that way. Consistency is the key.
- Have enough sleep at night: If you are to lose weight safely, you need to sleep well at night because I remember reading somewhere that sleep deprivation causes weight gain. I am yet to understand the science behind that fact, but why not listen to the experts?
- Grow your mind and spirit: While losing weight is all physical, don't forget to nurture your mind and spirit as that will help avert the boredom that can tempt you to eat in between meals. An excellent way of growing your mind and spirit is by reading inspiring literature instead of watching TV. If you don't enjoy reading, it's because you haven't found the right books yet.
Even though it takes a lot of discipline and hard work to lose weight and maintain a lean physique, it's worth it in the end because you will live longer and healthier if you stay on the thinner side as that will reduce the risk of getting stroke, diabetes, heart disease and some other ailments. You will also look more beautiful and attractive when you are lean than when you are plump. That's all I am saying.
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