Positive Quote For Today

"We delight in the beauty of the butterfly, but rarely admit the changes it has gone through to achieve that beauty."— Maya Angelou

A True Friend

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This is my friend David Mwakima during his days at Harvard College. He is now a graduate student at the University of California, Irvine. More about him in the story below.

It has dawned on me that a true friend is not someone who offers much advice, solutions or cures but rather, one who has chosen to share our pain and touch our wounds with a gentle and tender hand. A person who can be silent with us in a moment of despair or confusion, who can stay with us in an hour of grief and bereavement, who can tolerate not knowing, not curing, not healing and face with us the reality of our powerlessness, that is a true friend.

For me, when I think of a truly true friend, the person who first pops up in my mind is David Mwakima (see photo above). He is a kind, generous and understanding fellow; the kind of friend every human being needs and no successful man can do without.

I first met Mwakima in 2011 when I visited Starehe Boys' Centre, my Alma Mater. He was then serving as a deputy school captain in the school. When I introduced myself to him by telling him my name, he responded, "I have heard about you!" That's all I recall in the conversation we had in 2011.

Then in 2012 when I went back to Starehe to give a motivational talk to the boys, I got to meet Mwakima again and know him better. He had by then been promoted to be the Starehe Boys' school captain. And one of the first things that struck me most about him was the way he was amiable, likeable and approachable.

I also noted he was an avid reader because when I informed him I was then pursuing Political Science at the University of Nairobi, he asked me whether I had read The Prince by Niccolo Machiavelli. Being the honest young man that I am, I admitted to him that I hadn't and went ahead to inform him the word Machiavelli sounded vaguely familiar to me. Thanks to that chat with Mwakima, two or three weeks later, I read Michael White's biography of Machiavelli. The biography, which is titled A Man Misunderstood, made me know more about the famous Machiavelli.

One morning in 2012 during that time I had gone to give a talk to the boys, I found Mwakima revising for the SAT exams. I interrupted him and then engaged him in a conversation during which I learnt he was applying to MIT, Cornell and Stanford. Having also applied to those top colleges when I was in Starehe Institute in 2006, I gave Mwakima some advice drawing from my experiences. I advised him to "prepare for the worst but hope for the best". It seems he listened to my advice because even though he was applying to those thre top colleges, he didn't let an opportunity to study at Deerfield Academy slip away. (Deerfield Academy is one of the best college preparatory schools in the United States.)

Mwakima was rejeced by all the three colleges he applied for admission in 2012. While I am not sure whether those rejection letters depressed him as much as they did to me a few years earlier, I tried to lift his spirits by telling him via phone that he could still make into the top colleges by applying again during his time at Deerfield Academy. And true to my advice, a year later, he was accepted at several top flight colleges in America. He chose to matriculate at Harvard. And I was happy for him that he had succeeded where I had failed.

My advice and moral support for Mwakima in the years 2012 and 2013 were not in vain because he, in turn, came to help me as the years rolled by. In the year 2014 when I was applying for the Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI) - a program conceived by the Obama administration to mentor young Africans to be leaders in politics and in business - Mwakima helped me proof-read and fine-tune my essays and recommendation letters. And he was very meticulous that we get everything right. Unfortunately, I didn't get accepted into the program.

Then when I opened a blog for sharing my thoughts, experiences and learnings with the world, Mwakima was one of the few friends who gave me positive feedback. At one time in 2014 when he was on holiday here in Kenya, he was so impressed with my blog and the quality of writings in it that he requested we meet in Nairobi. I honoured the invitation. And during our rendezvous, he gifted me with a flower vase with the name "DEERFIELD" printed on it. On my part, I gave him a CD containing Charles Swindoll's David: A Man of Passion & Destiny, a delightful book about King David, the pioneering king of Isreal as narrated in the Bible.

In December 2015 when I apprised Mwakima that I was having difficulties making the best use of my life and gifts, he sent me an email full of advice on how I could become a better person. And I noted he didn't try to appear preachy or a know-it-all. His was a piece of advice given by a humble and understanding person to a struggling person.

Then in February 2017 when I was supposed to pay web hosting fees for this blog before a given deadline, I approached several people for help since I was penniless that time. But none of them assisted me. It made me worry that my blog could be shut down. Mwakima saved my day by settling my web hosting fees before the deadline lapsed. How grateful I felt! If it weren't for him, I would have given up on blogging, a hobby that has wonderfully enriched my life.

I would have loved to go on and on about the other ways Mwakima has helped me, financially and morally, but I beg to stop there in the interest of time. All I can now say is that for me, David Mwakima is the kind of friend the Bible says sticks closer than a brother. And my dear reader, I would advise you never to look down on young people because you never know - they could end up helping you a lot the way Mwakima has done to me. Adieu!

RECOMMENDATION: If you've enjoyed the above story on a true friend, you might also enjoy another one on "A Model of Servant Leadership" which I wrote some time back. Just click on that link in blue to dive straight into the story.


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Finding The Right Path

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With permission, I have extracted this picture-quote from a website called Phi Creative Solutions. All rights reserved worldwide.

Have you ever seen a creature that has completely lost its sense of direction in life? A good example is a cock that has just been beheaded and escaped from its captor's hands. An even better example is me after I dropped out of the university at JKUAT in 2009.

As I have said again and again on this blog, I went astray during my time at JKUAT where I was pursuing a degree in electronic & computer engineering. That I went astray is not something I am ashamed to admit because even King David, one of my heroes in the Bible, also says in Psalm 119:66-71 that he went astray. And like David, my going astray has helped me to walk in obedience to God's Word, though I am still struggling in some areas I wish not to mention here.

I really lost my sense of direction in life after I dropped out of JKUAT, especially in the years 2009 and 2010. During those years, I would sometimes suffer from severe bouts of guilt. At other times, I would feel as dull and dank as a tomb. I would also frequently struggle to get out of bed and observe hygiene. Imagine there were times I would go for several days without bathing, changing clothes and cleaning my room: that's crazy, isn't it?

Back then in 2009 and 2010, I used to stay in our old wooden house before my elder siblings, bless them, built a mansion for our parents in 2015. My miserable life was further worsened by staying in a leaking room with a potholed floor, bathing in a dilapidated bathroom which forced me to either heat water in a sooty kitchen or endure bathing with cold water. It really was a miserable lifestyle.

But what I loathed most in those days were the duties my modest parents made me do. Such soul-destroying duties as milking cows in a muddy cowshed, cooking meals in blinding firewood smoke and tethering calves on a farm that was full of weeds and thorny bushes. So much did I detest those duties that I would sometimes run away from home by pretending I was going to teach piano in Nairobi. It was during one of those runaways to Nairobi that I came close to messing up. Would you love to hear the details?

Okay, I met this young woman of easy virtue called Sophie [not her real name] in a cyber cafe in downtown Nairobi. I struck a conversation with her as I browsed internet in the cyber and I think she kinda liked me because she agreed to escort me to a basement room in a building within the city where I tried to touch her "funny". Luckily, for fear of getting caught, I didn't explore her further as I would have wished.

But that's the thing - when you hit rock bottom in life, you tend to engage in such promiscuous activities as premarital sex and drug-taking. Some turn to alcoholism. Fortunately for me, perhaps out of divine love, I never messed up during those dark ages of my life in 2009 and 2010. The closest I came to tarnishing my name was caressing Sophie in a basement room after just meeting her for the first time in a cyber cafe.

As I have told you, I used to be slipshod in those dark ages of my life. My father used to regularly criticize me for wearing a short that had darkened with dirt, especially as a result of milking cows in the muddy cowshed I have told you about.

The years 2009 and 2010 were the dark ages of my life for shizzle. I later on joked to my friend Chege Njuguna, who was pursuing electrical & electronic engineering at JKUAT, that I was living my life at a frequency of several "what-the-hell?" per minute.

With time though, I started finding the right path in life by reconnecting with my hobbies: reading, writing, designing websites, playing the piano and listening to music as well as speeches on a computer. Those hobbies usually boosted my spirits. When I designed a website for my high school class sometime in 2012 for instance, I felt a deep sense of fulfilment and progress. I also got to learn how to develop web applications - an enjoyable skill that later on helped me set up this blog which appears simple yet requires advanced computer programming knowledge to construct.

Thanks to reconnecting with my hobbies, I am now feeling as if I am walking down the right path in life. Well, I still have a long way to go especially as pertains making money from my hobbies but I am already so far from where I used to be and I am proud of that.

My dear reader, if you have hit rock bottom in life like I once did, please don't commit suicide or turn to drugs, alcoholism and prostitution. Those vices will only make things worse. Instead, try reconnecting with your passions. Think about the things you loved doing as a child or as a teen in school (it could have been singing, drawing or tinkering with machines) and start doing them again.

Well, I am not promising you that life will become a piece of cake once you begin reconnecting with your passions. You will face criticism and rejection, among other setbacks. But I want to challenge you to become like a rubber ball: the harder the life hits you down, the higher you should bounce. Adieu!

RECOMMENDATION: If you've enjoyed the above story on finding the right path, you might also enjoy another one on "The Doors God Closed For Me" which I wrote last year. Just click on that link in blue to dive straight into the story.


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Bible Quote

"Always be full of joy in the Lord; I say it again, rejoice! Let everyone see that you are unselfish and considerate in all you do... Don't worry about anything; instead pray about everything; tell God your needs and don't forget to thank Him for His answers. If you do this, you will experience God's peace, which is far more wonderful than the human mind can understand."

~Phillipians 4:4-7 (TLB)

About the Author

Name: Thuita J. Maina
Nationality: Kenyan
Lives in: Kiserian, Rift Valley, Kenya
Mission: To inspire the world to godly living, one person at a time.

Just For Laughs

There was this drunkard named Azoge who loved drinking at Josiah's Bar. On being told a certain Hon. Nanga was flying to America to be conferred a law degree so that he could be admitted to the bar, Azoge replied, "Why fly all the way to America to be admitted to the bar while you can get into Josiah's Bar any time?"

The 7 Deadly Sins

  1. Pride
  2. Envy
  3. Gluttony
  4. Lust
  5. Anger
  6. Greed
  7. Sloth

Author's Note

I am learning to treat life as a journey, not a destination. So I am trying to enjoy each day as I anticipate to fulfill my dreams especially meeting my soulmate and traveling abroad. Tomorrow may never be mine.

Fun Facts

  1. The fear of having no cell-phone service, running out of battery, or losing sight of your phone is called Nomophobia, reportedly affecting 66% of people.
  2. A single Google search needs more computing power than it took to send Apollo 11 to the moon. The Apollo computer was less equipped than a modern toaster.
  3. Besides being some of the biggest names in the tech industry, HP, Apple, Google and Microsoft share another commonality. They all started in garages.
~Extracted from Codingforums.com

Health Tip

So many of us take for granted the wonderful construction of the human body and the workings of its various parts. Some of us even expect it to function efficiently with less than the minimum care and attention. Learn the much you can about your body and how the care of it can help to give you that greatest blessing of all - good health.

Wonders of the Modern World

  1. The Simplon Tunnel
  2. The Sky-scrapers of New York
  3. The Boulder Dam of Colorado
  4. The Panama Canal
  5. The Golden Gate Bridge
  6. The Taj Mahal at Agra in India
  7. The North Sea Oil Drilling Rigs

Great Example for Politicians

"My life in politics was a joy. I loved campaigns and I loved governing. I always tried to keep things moving in the right direction, to give more people a chance to live their dreams, to lift people's spirits, and to bring them together. That's the way I kept score."

~Bill Clinton

Scientific Marvels

  1. Space travel
  2. Heart surgery
  3. Fibre-optics communication
  4. Concorde
  5. Computers & Radios
  6. Anesthetics
  7. The atom bomb

My Supreme Desire

Although I'd like to be rich and famous, my supreme desire is to be radiant: to radiate health, cheerfulness, calm courage and goodwill. I wish to live without hate, guilt, worry, jealousy, cynicism and envy. I wish to be honest, natural, confident, clean in mind and body - ready to say "I do not know" if it be so and to treat all men with kindness - to meet any loss, failure, criticism and rejection unabashed and unafraid.

Greatest American Presidents

  1. Abraham Lincoln
  2. George Washington
  3. Thomas Jefferson
  4. Franklin Roosevelt
  5. Theodore Roosevelt
  6. Woodrow Wilson
  7. Andrew Jackson

Making Peace With the Past

"Dwell not on your past. Use it to illustrate a point, then leave it behind. Nothing really matters except what you do now in this instant of time. From this moment onwards you can be an entirely different person, filled with love and understanding, ready with an outstretched hand, uplifted and positive in every thought and deed."

~Eileen Caddy

Toughest Colleges to Get Into

  1. MIT
  2. Princeton
  3. Harvard
  4. Yale
  5. Stanford
  6. Brown
  7. Columbia

Why You Should Trust God

"Men and women who turn their lives over to God will find out that He can make a lot more out of their lives than they can. He will deepen their joys, expand their vision, quicken their minds, strengthen their muscles, lift their spirits, multiply their blessings, increase their opportunities and pour out peace."

~Ezra Taft Benson

The 7 Greatest Scientists

  1. Albert Einstein
  2. Isaac Newton
  3. Galileo Galilei
  4. Nikola Tesla
  5. Aristotle
  6. Archimedes
  7. Charles Darwin

You Matter

"Always be yourself. Never try to hide who you are. The only shame is to have shame. Always stand up for what you believe in. Always question what other people tell you. Never regret the past; it's a waste of time. There's a reason for everything. Every mistake, every moment of weakness, every terrible thing that has happened to you, grow from it. The only way you can ever get the respect of others is when you show them that you respect yourself and most importantly, do your thing and never apologize for being you."


The Most Industrialized Nations

  1. The United States
  2. Japan
  3. Germany
  4. France
  5. United Kingdom
  6. Italy
  7. Canada

Keys to Success

"...in his effort to withstand temptation, to economize, to exercise thrift, to disregard the superficial for the real - the shadow for the substance; to be great yet small, in his effort to be patient in the laying of a firm foundation; to so grow in skill and knowledge that he shall place his services in demand by reason of his intrinsic and superior worth. This is the key that unlocks every door of opportunity, and all others fail."

~Booker T. Washington

The 7 Social Sins

  1. Politics without principle
  2. Wealth without work
  3. Pleasure without conscience
  4. Knowledge without character
  5. Commerce without morality
  6. Worship without sacrifice
  7. Science without humanity

Cherish What You Love

"Cherish your visions, cherish your ideals, cherish the music that stirs in your heart, the beauty that forms in your mind, the loveliness that drapes your purest thoughts - for out of them will grow all heavenly environment, of these if you but remain true to them, your world will at last be built."~James Allen

The World's Largest Cities

  1. London in England
  2. New York in the United States
  3. Tokyo in Japan
  4. Berlin in Germany
  5. Chicago in the United States
  6. Shanghai in China
  7. Paris in France

Benefits of Optimism

"In terms of success, optimistic people out perform their pessimistic colleagues. Research shows that they are consistently promoted higher and make more money while working fewer hours than those who think pessimistically. Optimists also contribute more significantly to social progress. It is the optimists who start and run successful companies, who win elections and carry out reforms, and who make breakthroughs in the realms of science and technology."

~Pepe Minambo

The World's Greatest Lakes

  1. Caspian Sea in the Commonwealth of Independent States, C.I.S. (formerly U.S.S.R)
  2. Lake Superior in North America
  3. Victoria Nyanza in Central Africa
  4. Aral Sea in C.I.S.
  5. Lake Huron in North America
  6. Lake Michigan in North America

Demonstrating His Love

"Take your communication for instance - the way you address others. It ought to be with loving, gracious and edifying words. Never talk people down. Never use words that hurt and demean people. Communicate excellently with others without destroying their self-image or making them feel sorry for themselves. Talk to people in a way that they never forget the excellence of your words, the love and grace of Christ that you communicated. It's how God wants us to love."

~Dr. Chris Oyakhilome

World's Longest Rivers

  1. Missouri-Mississipi (U.S.)
  2. Amazon (Brazil)
  3. Nile (Egypt)
  4. Yangtse (China)
  5. Lena (Russia)
  6. Zaire (Central Africa)
  7. Niger (West Africa)