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

Rejecting Shame

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

When I joined Starehe Boys' Centre in January 2002, I was so psyched to learn and excel in academics that I started reading before we commenced our high school studies. I would go to the library to read books on such subjects as Chemistry and then take notes on what I was studying. But guess what! In spite of the psyche I had in learning and excelling, I ended up in position 32 out of 35 in my class during my first term at Starehe.

I felt ashamed of being position 32 because I had never sunk that low in academic rankings since I began schooling in 1993. As I headed home for holiday after that first term in Starehe, I feared how my family members would react to my performance, for they had always placed a premium on academic excellence.

Just as I expected, my family panned my academic performance when I arrived home for the holiday. Dad had me do extra reading, especially in maths. At one time over that holiday when Mum instructed my younger brother Symo to leave me alone to study, Symo sarcastically replied that he would also become position 32 so that he could get the same sympathy Mum had on me.

A friend of mine named Francis Kariuki, who I regularly met in my hometown Catholic church, also joined the fray of those who criticized my academic performance. Francis quizzed me and then lamented on how ignorant I was on some high school subjects, which led him to mistakenly conclude that students from his little-known village school could beat those from Starehe Boys' Centre. At the time, Starehe was one of the best high schools in Kenya.

Looking back, I see no reason why I should have felt ashamed of my academic performance in my first term at Starehe. First, I had done my best; as a matter of fact, I had started reading high school books before we commenced classroom learning. Secondly, I was competing with the brightest boys in the country. Lastly, I still had plenty of room for improvement.

I did improve academically as my high school years wore on to the point of scoring an 'A' in the 2005 KCSE exams. But I seemed not to have learnt a lesson in rejecting shame because when I started taking SAT exams in 2006, I felt as shamefaced of my results as I did in 2002 when I ended up position 32 in my class. Imagine I sat for the SAT exams four times in a span of four years and never managed to score past 1940 marks. And 1940 was a low mark considering that most applicants who were accepted in the American colleges I was applying for admission scored over 2100 marks.

After I first took SAT exams in 2006, I was so embarrassed with my results that I cleverly covered my score on the result slip with a white-out. Then in 2007 when I sat for the SAT exams for the second time, I personally went to collect my SAT result slip from an institution in Nairobi since I feared it might be mailed to my Dad's postal address thus making my family know how I had performed mediocrely in the exams.

These days, I am striving to reject shame over my past mistakes or my present weaknesses by accepting myself, imperfect though I am, just like any other mortal who has ever walked on this planet. I am, for instance, now not ashamed to say that I am still living with my parents. And I am 32. (Yes, you had it right - 32!)

One reason I am still living with my parents are the challenges I have had to overcome. Challenges such as shyness, timidness, confusion, megalomania, schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. So before you go out gossiping on how I am still living with my parents, walk for a mile in my shoes; feel the fears, heartaches and frustrations I have gone through - then you'll realize how hard I have worked to overcome my challenges.

Another reason I have chosen to live with my parents is because I am yet to meet my future wife, and I would hate to leave my parents' home to go live alone as that would attract poverty of the soul. And I believe it is better to wait long than to marry wrong.

Having accepted myself as an imperfect person, I am now working hard to become the independent person I desire to be while praying for breakthroughs and that divine connection to my future wife. And for so long as I am doing my best, I see no cause for feeling ashamed of my present circumstances.

My dear reader, I urge you to likewise reject shame. Let people know the authentic you, and don't be afraid to admit that you are less than perfect. Remember it is better to be hated for who you are than to be loved for who you are not. The only thing you should be ashamed of is shame. That's all I am saying.

RECOMMENDATION: If you've enjoyed the above story on rejecting shame, you might also enjoy another one on "Learning It The Hard Way" which I wrote about three years ago. Just click on that link in blue to dive straight into the story.


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Cultivating Gratitude

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With permission, I have extracted this picture-quote from Pinterest.com. All rights reserved worldwide.

Sometimes I appreciate it when little bad things happen to me because they awaken me to all the good things in my life that I take for granted. Last Friday for instance, I was having a wonderful time in the evening listening to Franz Liszt music on my laptop when Mum called me to go assist her on something. I paused the music and hurriedly put my headphones on a nail where I hung them. In my hurry, I missed the nail while putting the headphones and lo! The headphones fell on the floor with a thud and two pieces of plastic attached to the headphones came apart, exposing the magnets and wires on both sides.

Seeing my headphones come apart saddened me a bit, for I love using them to listen to hymns and classical music. And the headphones are damn expensive. I bought them more than four years ago at Ksh. 600, which to me is a lot of money considering I could buy a good book on the streets of Nairobi with that money and still have some cash left. When the headphones came apart, I became more thankful that I have a laptop which I use to listen to my favourite music. I now consider that to be a big blessing and will endeavour to remain grateful for it.

Then on a Sunday evening a week ago, I started coughing as I was reading a book on the back porch of our mansion. That had me worried because coughing is not the kind of illness I would like to have in these times of Covid-19 pandemic; people may think I have the dreaded disease. Thankfully, my urge to cough died down as the evening wore on. Just so that I could not cough again, I drank a cup of hot water. Afterwards, I thanked God for my good health which I will now be more grateful for.

And then about two weeks ago, we had a power loss in our home area for more than twenty hours. Due to that power disconnection, I missed listening to music on my laptop. I also got concerned that my phone battery power would get depleted thus making me unable to check my email and social media accounts. Encumbered by such worries, I asked Dad to inform the workers at Kenya Power Company that our area had no electricity. Dad reported the problem and when the electrical fault was rectified and power came back, I felt instantly grateful for access to electricity. What a big blessing electricity is!

It's not only the physical problems that awaken me to the big blessings in my life but also emotional ones. There are moments I feel irritable and insecure, either because people have let me down or as a result of immaturity on my part. Those feelings of irritability and insecurity make me more grateful for those occasions when I am alive with peace and happiness.

Perhaps my most baseless emotional disturbance occurs when Mum calls me every now and then to go do things for her. You see, Mum was crippled by stroke, so she always depends on us for almost everything she needs done. Because of her poor education, she also relies on us for guidance on how to use her smartphone and how to turn on our telly. I sometimes get annoyed when Mum keeps on calling me to go assist her.

These days when Mum gets on my nerves with her persistent pleas for help, I remember the wonderful hymn "If I Could Only Hear My Mother Pray Again" which was composed by someone who missed his departed mother. Remembering that hymn makes me all the more grateful to have Mum still with me, and that helps me ward off the feelings of irritability I have towards her. I know a day will come when I will also wish I could hear my mother pray again.

Yes, I have come to appreciate the little bad things that happen to me because they make me more thankful for the big blessings that I take for granted. As a result of those little problems, I now want to make gratitude my way of life by focusing more on my blessings than on my problems. And I have a lot to be thankful for such as good health, access to electricity and a family where I belong.

My dear reader, I beseech you to also embrace gratitude as your way of life. When you arise in the morning, give thanks for such blessings as food and joy of living. If you see no reason for giving thanks, the fault lies only in yourself. That's all I am saying.

RECOMMENDATION: If you've enjoyed this story on cultivating gratitude, you might also enjoy another one I wrote two years ago on "Choosing Gratitude". 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)