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


Developing Mental Clarity

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This is me in 2003 receiving an academic award from Prof. George Saitoti, the then Kenya's Minister of Education, when I was in Form 2 at Starehe Boys' Centre. Although Starehe was a school of opportunities and a centre of excellence in my time, the school awakened me to another vital factor to success other than the acquisition of knowledge; and that's developing mental clarity.

When my primary school headmaster handed me in late 2001 a result slip that indicated I had scored 421 marks in KCPE exams, I became electrified like an electron that had absorbed new energy. I dashed home to share the good news of my impressive KCPE marks with my family, some of whom were as elated by the marks as they were surprised by them given the mediocre marks I had scored in my Standard Eight continuous assessment tests.

But then, the $64,000 question that began to trouble us was: would I be admitted to Starehe Boys' Centre? I had failed to appear among the list of top 100 pupils in my province that had been published in local dailies a few days earlier after KCPE results were released by the Minister of Education. And we were worried about my chances of getting into Starehe because my family was undergoing hard financial times. My mother was particularly worried that they would be unable to put me through in a decent high school if I failed to get into Starehe where I had applied for sponsorship.

We were greatly relieved when news got through to us a few days later that I had been admitted to Starehe. And to tell you the truth, that's the most miraculous event in my life so far. I had beaten odds of being labelled as dull and dumb to join the then Kenya's top-ranked high school - an encouragement to anyone going through hard times that things are never over till God's final calling to afterlife.

I reported to Starehe on the afternoon of Thursday, 17th January 2002. And in my first months in the school, I felt proud to be part of the school whose unique uniform of red and blue was a national emblem of discipline and intelligence. When we broke for my first half-term holiday as a Starehian, I craved to be seen clad in that uniform of red and blue by everyone on my way home as well as in my hometown of Kiserian.

But as my months as a Starehian rolled on, I began to feel disturbed by the way some schoolmates were commenting on how confused I looked. Even Mrs. Margaret Shivembe, one of my music teachers in the school, became concerned about my confusion and suggested during one lesson that it resulted from having too much knowledge in my head.

All along, I have heard other people get described as confused but they don't ever seem to be as bothered about it as I was. The "confusion" label really bothered me to a degree that bordered on disease. I would at times scribble the word "confusion" on a piece of paper and look up its meaning in the dictionary. And sometimes when the word "confusion" was mentioned in class, I would suddenly think that my classmates were having me in mind.

The interesting side of the story is that I was neither conscious of the confusion people saw in me nor did I understand its root cause. That's why it persisted well into the university where a peace-loving roommate of mine named Mikhail Mbelase remarked to a friend that I was always mentally mixed up.

I vividly recall that afternoon Mikhail Mbelase uttered that remark because of the way it revived my old fears I had harboured at Starehe. Fears that I never discussed with anyone. I just bottled them up in myself but fortunately, I never exploded into some sort of rebellion or imploded into depression.

Of course I was overly worried by the "confusion" label since everybody wants to be appreciated as Abraham Maslow pointed out in his widely quoted hierarchy of needs. Think about it for a minute - would you wish to be known as someone confused? I am sure as death that you've always desired to be recognized as bright and brilliant, or some other virtuous trait that is of interest to you.

As for me, I have always wanted to be known as bright and brilliant. And that's precisely why the "confusion" label bothered me to a degree that bordered on disease.

Over the last ten years, I have put in a lot effort to overcome the negative programming that turned me into a confused teenager. I have tried all sorts of remedies for attaining mental clarity - some of which now appear to me as weird.

Sometime in 2015 for example, I moved my eyeballs sideways with my eyes wide open while staring at myself in the mirror, only to discover the eyeballs would remain stationary when I focused on my reflection in the mirror. That's a weird remedy for attaining mental clarity, isn't it?

And I don't really know how I devised that remedy. Or maybe I must have known instinctively that the eyes are some sorts of windows to the mind. If your mind is confused, people see it in the eyes.

I am now a clear thinker though I am not quite sure which of the remedies I have done has solved the "confusion" enigma. But I largely attribute my clear-thinkimg to the writing I have been doing persistently for the last couple of years, for Stephen R. Covey highlighted in his internationally acclaimed bestseller, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, that "writing is another powerful way to sharpen the mental saw; keeping a journal of our thoughts, experiences and learnings promotes mental clarity, exactness and context".

But I give all glory and honour to God because He is always seeming to fix everything in my life perfectly, sometimes in ways I didn't expect. And when I talk of God and of the "confusion" label that bitterly bothered me for years, I am reminded of the following lines in "Forty Years On", one of the two school songs of Starehe Boys' Centre:
...God gives us duty for us to discharge it,
Problems to face, struggle with and overcome,
Service to render and glory to covet...
Those lines have made me realize that everyone gets their own share of problems to struggle with. You might, for instance, find that for some of the kids born with the proverbial silver spoon in their mouths, their first hot potato is handling setbacks; they can get overly depressed for weeks when they encounter their first setback such as receiving a rejection letter from Harvard or losing of a loved one.

My hot potato was confusion for shizzle. That's why I have been feeling triumphant of late now that I have attained mental clarity, at least most of the time. And mental clarity is a wonderful possession, for as the great Roman historian named Sallust pointed out many many years ago, "the renown that riches and beauty confer is fleeting and frail; mental excellence [and clarity] is a splendid and a lasting possession". Adieu!

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Lessons From The Bible

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This is me with my beloved Bible which contains some of those wonderful words of life that I will discuss in the story below.

I have been reading the Bible. And wow! What a well-spring of wisdom I have found it to be! For today, let me enumerate and expound on the lessons I have gleaned from the Bible, and in so doing, I hope to inspire you to study the Good Book as well.

The first lesson I have gleaned from my Bible is not to fear any person. For those of us who had a suppressed childhood during which we were mocked, beaten, ridiculed and criticized, we know well how hard it has been to be acquire the virtue of courage in our adult life because old fears die hard. We have feared almost everything: ridicule, criticism, rejection ... you name it.

As for me, I have found encouragement from the Bible to be as brave as three lions strolling together. My friend Paul Bundi Karau, the top candidate in 2002 KCSE exams, says in one of his books that the Bible talks of courage 365 times. I am not sure about that but at least I know a couple of verses that exhort us to be individuals of good courage.

There is the book of Joshua which says, "Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go."[1]

Then there is St. Paul who, in one of his epistles in the Bible, says, "For God did not give us a spirit of timidity but of power, of love and of self-discipline."[2]

But it is Prophet Isaiah who phrases it best when he comforts us this way in Isaiah 51:12-13:
Who are you that you fear mortal men,
the sons of men, who are but grass,
that you forget the Lord your Maker,
who stretched out the heavens
and laid the foundations of the Earth...?
[3]
Those three verses from the Bible have infused me with courage to be myself even if it means being eccentric. So let the howlers howl, let the scowlers scowl and let the growlers growl but I will keep acting in harmony with my authentic self for the rest of my time in this grand and magnificent planet. Different ... yes. Imperfect ... certainly. But nonetheless valuable.

The second lesson I have gained from the Bible is to value work. The book of Sirach (an inspirational page-turner found only in the Catholic Bible) implores us not to hate hard work since work was assigned by God. Then the philosophical book of Ecclesiastes beseeches us to work with all our might, for in the grave where we are all headed, there "is neither working nor planning nor knowledge nor wisdom".

But there is a catch here: the same book of Ecclesiastes that counsels us to work with all our might also advises us find joy in the work - something Steve Jobs, a Buddhist who revolutionized the hi-tech industry by making personal computers possible, highlighted to Stanford graduates in his famous 2005 commencement speech at the university.

As for me, I am converting my hobbies in music and writing into work which I am hoping, praying and believing that it will make me not only impact the world but also earn me a decent income so that I become a self-reliant man. And, believe it or not, I am really working hard to be exceptional at those hobbies.

The last lesson which I have picked up from my Bible that I will discuss today is on that hot-button topic that is considered a taboo in many families all across the world. But if the holy Bible itself devotes a whole chapter in the book of Leviticus (Chapter 18) to instruct us on what we shouldn't do when going about it, why shy away from discussing it here? The hot-button topic is none other than sex.

Let's face it: sexual feelings are part of the package that come with the gift of life for humans. At times, those sexual feelings can become so strong that even prominent men put their reputation at risk to engage in sex.

While we all know sex produces a pleasant feeling, the wise among us admit it ought to be exercised with care. Why? Because no well-meaning parent would wish her daughter to get pregnant while still in high school, or her son to acquire HIV.

As for me, I believe sex ought to be practised within the confines of marriage by a couple that understands birth-control and is also ready to nurture children to responsible adults. If all people on Earth shared that belief, this planet would be blissful to live in since the criminals who create hell on Earth by robbing us are as a result of the hoi-polloi who bear kids they are unable to educate into law-abiding citizens.

That's why I have refrained from pre-marital sex till my current age of 30, a no-mean achievement. But I won't assume a holier-than-thou attitude because I have to confess entertaining lustful thoughts in my mind every now and then for as long as I can remember. So, in a sense, I owe my virginity (if that noun applies to men) to God for having kept me from sexual snares in those moments of weakness when all sorts of licentious thoughts force their way into my conscious thinking.

I have formed the habit of reciting the Lord's Prayer after making my bed in the morning. Part of the reason I value that prayer is the way it calls on God to "lead us not into temptation [and] deliver us from evil" for His is the kingdom, the power and the glory, now and forever.

And so what have I learnt from the Bible on sex? That both men and women get sexually aroused. The book of Proverbs cautions healthy handsome young men (like me) to be wary of "the wayward wife with her seductive words..." - something the story of Joseph in the book of Genesis makes clear. You see, after Joseph went to Egypt, he grew into a handsome and well-built gentleman which led his master's wife to take notice and lust after him. I won't tell you what happened next. Just find a Bible and read the rest of the story for yourself.

For those of us who grew up as timid boys, it comes as a surprise to us to learn that women get as much sexually aroused as men because the media outlets are always awash with news of men raping or sexually harassing women which creates the impression that only men get turned on.

Having overcome the timidity I acquired in childhood and learnt much about the world, I can now authoritatively inform all timid boys out there that women do indeed get sexually aroused, sometimes even more than men. It's just that if a man forces a woman to have sex with him, that's reported to authorities as rape and sexual assault. But if a woman forces a man to have sex with her, that's not considered a crime at all. That's the way it is folks!

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[1], [2] & [3] Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION (NIV). Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of International Bible Society. All rights reserved worldwide.

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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."

~Unknown

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)