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

Having a Successful Marriage

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With permission, I have extracted this picture-quote from a website called Quote Master. All rights reserved worldwide.

In the early 2000s, there was this shopkeeper called Karau who used to run a small grocery by the roadside not far from our home. Some of my siblings liked him much and preferred buying stuff from his grocery. They would sometimes speak highly of him and commend the things he sold. As for me, I can't recall ever liking Karau the way some of my siblings did. And I am sure I would have forgotten all about him had it not been for one incident I witnessed in his grocery on the morning of 17th January 2002.

That morning, I was leaving home to join Starehe Boys' Centre for my high school education when I found Karau beating his wife in his grocery. He was beating her mercilessly, as you would see an African peasant farmer hit a sack of maize on their cobs. A crowd of people had gathered around to watch the incident, with nobody daring to rescue Karau's wife. It was such a riveting scene of domestic violence.

Since that morning of 17th January 2002, I have never seen Karau again because he closed down his grocery when I was away at Starehe Boys' Centre. I wonder what became of him and of his marriage. He must have separated with his wife, but that's just my guess.

I am imagining that there were times Karau loved that woman I saw him beat. During those "love" times, he looked forward to being with her and relished the act of touching her just to feel her skin. How that kind of love and affection degenerated to scenes of domestic violence is something I find a mystery.

But that's the thing I am discovering about marriage: it's a mystery since I have also heard and read about other couples whose marriages have faltered. There is, for instance, an acquaintance of mine named Benson who works as a guard. I happened to befriend him when I was running for a political seat in the 2013 Kenya's general elections. Since then, he always greets me every time we meet.

One evening a few years ago, I met Benson as I was heading to my hometown of Kiserian. Because he was also heading to Kiserian, we walked together while we chatted. As our chat progressed, he began to complain about his wife. He told me how she had been lying to him. I didn't say anything to Benson; I just listened to him moan and groan about his wife who was once his sweetheart.

I have also read of rich, famous and powerful people whose marriages have broken down, so to speak. A few years ago while reading a biography of Princess Diana, I came across colourful pictures taken in the '80s of the Princess with her then family: that is Prince Charles and their two young sons. The family looked happy and blessed in every way. And it was apparent in the pictures that they had everything that money could provide. But guess what! Princess Diana's marriage to Prince Charles ended up in recrimination and unhappiness.

Then there is Ronald Reagan, the celebrated 40th President of the United States and one of my heroes. Reagan's marriage to his first wife didn't succeed. They divorced and then Reagan married another woman named Nancy with whom he had a successful marriage. On comparing the pictures of Reagan's first wife with those of his second, I find the first one more attractive than the second. As to why his first marriage failed and his second one succeeded is something I would love to understand.

Surely, marriage is a mystery. Bill Clinton points that out in his autobiography when he says that he learnt that marriage, with all its magic and misery, its contentments and disappointments, remains a mystery - not easy for those in it to understand and largely inaccessible to outsiders. He adds that he didn't know all that in 1975 when he married Hillary. All he knew back then was that he loved Hillary, the life, work and friends they had in common and the promise of what they could do together.

My conclusion is: there is more to marriage than meets the eye. So, my dear reader, if you are yet to marry, I urge you to be careful in selecting your marriage partner because from that decision will come 90% of your happiness or misery. Don't let lust blind you from the seeing the true character of your intended spouse. And remember that looks don't make a marriage; love and commitment do.

If you're already married, then I beseech you to work hard at making your marriage work till death makes you part. In his bestselling book, Life's Little Instructions Book, H. Jackson Brown Jr. tells us that creating a successful marriage is like farming: you have to start over again every morning. Therefore, set aside time to have a conversation with your spouse. Talk about your fears, dreams and issues that are in your mind. Such kind of conversations will strengthen your marriage. That's all I am saying.

RECOMMENDATION: If you've enjoyed the above story on having a successful marriage, you might also enjoy another one on "Sex, Love & Relationships" which I wrote last year. Just click on that link in blue to dive straight into the story.


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Lessons From Thomas Jefferson

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This is the cover page of a book about Thomas Jefferson who I shall tell you about in the story below. The book, which I read recently, is entitled Thomas Jefferson: The Man... His World... His Influence.

You know what? It dawned on me that the best inventions of the 20th century came from the United States: cars, radios, cameras, computers, internet, telephones, television, aeroplanes and the atom bombs. And even though the former Soviet Union was the first nation to send a man to space, the United States can take pride in being the only country that has ever landed a man on the Moon.

The United States owes its success to the visionary leadership provided by its founding fathers when they established the country in the late 18th century. By coming up with laws and a system of government that allowed men to live in freedom, the founding fathers created an environment that encouraged creativity. That's why the best inventions of the 20th century came from the United States.

Those founding fathers of the United States were men of great learning and understanding. Among them was Thomas Jefferson.

Born in 1743, Thomas Jefferson helped shape the course of the United States more than any other founding father did. He drafted America's Declaration of Independence that has made United States the envy of the world. He also authored for his state of Virginia a statute that guaranteed religious freedom for Virginia residents at a time when people were being persecuted in Europe for their beliefs.

Thomas Jefferson went on to serve his country diligently in different capacities. He became the Governor of Virginia, the Secretary of State, the Vice-President and eventually the President of the United States. Seeming not to have been corrupted by power, he only served for two terms as president and then retired back to his home in Virginia.

As President of the United States, Thomas Jefferson purchased huge tracts of land that doubled the size of his country. He also sent men to explore the western parts of America that had hitherto been unoccupied. Without those two visionary moves by Jefferson, the United States would not have become the superpower that it is today.

Besides being a writer and a politician, Thomas Jefferson was also talented in other fields. He was a lawyer, a farmer, a diplomat, a scientist, a musician and an architect. Thanks to his prowess in farming, he invented a plough that made cultivation of crops easier. He must have been an accomplished linguist too, for he was fluent not only in English but also in Greek, Latin and French.

Perhaps because he believed in the power of education to transform lives, Thomas Jefferson devoted the last years of his life to the founding of the University of Virginia. He used his skills as an architect to design the layout of buildings for the university. And the University of Virginia has grown to be one of the best institutions of higher learning in America.

Truly, Thomas Jefferson was a multi-talented man. That's why President John F. Kennedy, while addressing a White House dinner for Nobel laureates on one evening in 1962, said, "I think this is the most extraordinary collection of talent, of human knowledge, that has ever gathered together at the White House, with the possible exception of when Thomas Jefferson dined alone."

Despite his many distinguished accomplishments, Thomas Jefferson wanted to be remembered for only three of his achievements. So he left a will that the following epitaph be engraved on his tombstone:
Here was buried Thomas Jefferson,
Author of the Declaration of Independence,
Of the Statute of Virginia for Religious Freedom,
And Father of the University of Virginia.
On reading about the life of Thomas Jefferson, I have been able to glean two character traits that made him a towering figure in the history of the United States. The first was his hard-working nature. Jefferson was a voracious reader and a prolific writer. A typical day for him started early. He spoke of a fifty-year period in which the Sun had never caught him in bed.

The second trait was his relentless curiosity. Jefferson had a desire to know and understand the world around him. That relentless curiosity made him an inventor and a keen observer of the weather. It also fuelled his passion for reading. He once said that he could not live without books.

All told, Thomas Jefferson was a fascinating statesman and a genuinely successful scholar. His life is worth studying by anyone who craves to understand the genesis of greatness. Adieu!

RECOMMENDATION: If you've enjoyed the above story on lessons from Thomas Jefferson, you might also enjoy another one on "Lessons From Ronald Reagan" which I wrote sometime back. 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)