On Taking Advantage of Others - Reflections of a Young Man™

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On Taking Advantage of Others



On my way to work early in the morning last year, I was in a mini-bus whose driver seemed to disrespect other people's business by driving past other vehicles stuck in heavy traffic - what Kenyans call overlapping.

As the driver drove past the endless stream of slow-moving vehicles, I thought, "Why is this driver overlapping? What makes him think his business is more important than the business of people in the vehicles he is overlapping? If he really needed to get to his destination early, why did he not wake up early? Taking advantage of others is not good."

That final sentence - taking advantage of others - set me thinking. It reminded me of how other people take advantage of others. Like you will find a "senior" person sending a farm boy for a packet of milk which he doesn't share with the farm boy. Or a man sending a child to talk to a woman he is afraid of approaching.

We have a responsibility as human beings to never take advantage of others. When asking for help, let us do so politely and not forcefully. When employing people, let us not only be concerned with generating money for ourselves but also with how the employees will benefit - financially, emotionally and physically.

You see, this world is full of people who love money and use people. Let us strive to be different by loving people and using money. Spot the difference!

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The 3 Primary Sins



Science tells us that there exists only three primary colors out of which all other colors are made by combining and varying the primary colors. White is the presence of the three primary colors in equal proportion while black is their absence.

Similarly, I tend to think there exists only three primary sins out of which all other sins arise - be it dishonesty, anger, theft, debauchery, slander, rape, murder or bribery. The three primary sins are:
  1. Sloth
  2. Greed
  3. Lust
Of how we can conquer those three primary sins is something I cannot authoritatively write about because I have committed them occasionally this month. But I am of the opinion that victory over them is achieved through knowledge, love, faith and responsibility.

So let us commit ourselves to the acquisition of knowledge no matter our age. Knowledge will lead us to love; love will lead us to faith; and faith will lead us to responsibility. And along that process, we will end up conquering the three primary sins; a victory that will usher us to the godly living that leads to eternal life.

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The Necessity of Courage



We all yearn and pray for good things such as health, wealth, fame and power. But we tend to omit two equally important things in our yearnings and prayers: wisdom and courage. Let me discuss about courage today.

Courage is an honorable trait necessary for success in any endeavor especially in leadership. It's one trait that President John F. Kennedy esteemed most. So much did Kennedy esteem it that he wrote a book, Profiles in Courage, in which he narrated the experiences of men who demonstrated great courage in times of national crisis.

When I reflect on the stories of men who demonstrated courage as narrated by Kennedy in his book, I am left wondering how it is that I have been afraid to demonstrate courage in my everyday experiences. I have nonetheless resolved to work on my muscle of courage especially in the following day-to-day instances:
  1. Speaking up against intimidation and bullying
  2. Saying "no" firmly, politely and unambiguously especially to friends
  3. Standing up against enemies as well as friends when they err
  4. Speaking against unacceptable talk and behaviour
  5. Defending personal decisions
Yes, courage is an honourable trait. So let us yearn for it as well as pray for opportunities to implement it because only through practice can we strengthen our muscle of courage.

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