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

Mature & Balanced

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This is me at home today, trying to pose on camera as a mature and balanced young man.

When I was applying to four top American Colleges in 2006, I had one of my high school teachers describe me in a recommendation letter as "an exceptionally caring, mature and balanced young man who would add to your school in many ways". I borrowed that phrase in quotes from an informative book titled How to Get into the Top Colleges which I didn't read in full. As it happened, I wasn't accepted into any of the colleges.

Looking back, I don't think I was a mature and balanced young man. If I had been, I wouldn't have stopped attending classes at the university in JKUAT without communicating with my family. I honestly don't know what was going on in my head as I hung around JKUAT while my family worried sick about me - an immaturity I exhibited again in 2011 when I was at the University of Nairobi.

After I left the University of Nairobi in 2011, I continued behaving immaturely. Believe me when I tell you that I had a habit of running away from home whenever my family members failed to fulfil my demands, forgetting they too were having challenges of their own.

One Friday night in 2011 or 2012 for instance, I slept outside on our farm because of a disturbing issue I have forgotten. All I remember is me lying to Mum that I was from church when I went back to our house early the following morning. Quick to discern that I was lying, Mum replied that I had been sleeping outside. She went ahead to complain to me that she would doze during the day while selling stuff at her grocery because of me having caused her a sleepless night.

Probably as a result of the way I had caused Mum a sleepless night, I felt terribly guilty that Saturday. It was like the whole world was rebuking me. When I went to church at All Saints' Cathedral in Nairobi later on in the day, I unburdened my guilt to a friend of mine called Jack who did nothing to assuage my feelings.

Then on another Friday in 2014, I tried to organize a family meeting to discuss how we could make productive use of our land. I kept sending messages to my family that Friday and when it became apparent to me in the early hours of the Friday night that they were unwilling to attend my meeting, I went to sleep outside, leaving our sick Mum all alone in the house. On going back to the house at around 11.00pm of that same night, I found my younger brother Symo unhappy with me. Symo thought it had been very immature of me to leave Mum alone. And he was right.

As I reflect further on my life in the past ten years, I have uncovered several other instances when I behaved immaturely such as when I gloated over the tribulations facing James Karanja Maina, a former schoololmate in high school. Karanja was put on the newspapers on a certain day in 2014 in a notice warning the public that he was no longer an employee of Keroche Breweries. Karenja's tribulations must have escalated as he was brutally murdered a year or two later.

Then there have been times I have judged others harshly, reacted in anger over minor issues, meddled with some of my friend's affairs, worried over little things, allowed others to hurt my feelings and sent abusive messages to friends. An immature young man I have been.

Now that I have grown wiser, I am striving to be the mature and balanced young man that I had one of my teachers say of me in the recommendation letters I sent to American colleges in 2006. I am endeavouring to conduct my affairs responsibly, to empathize with other people's suffering and to listen to criticism without allowing it to affect my inner peace.

I urge all young people out there to also behave in a mature and balanced manner. And for teenagers still living with their parents - I implore you not to be too hard on your parents when they fail to live upto your expectations. Understand parents are people too. They also have pressures. While you're worrying about your friends, they're worrying about their bosses. Like you, they have days when they get offended at work. They sometimes cry; they get their feelings hurt; and they don't always have their act together, just like me and you. So mature up and understand them.

RECOMMENDATION: If you've enjoyed this story on being mature and balanced, you might also enjoy another one I wrote last year on "Maturing Up". Just click on that link in blue to dive straight into the story.


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Remembering a Math Teacher

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This is Mr. Samuel Obudho, one of my high school teachers who I shall talk about in the story below.

How can I forget Mr. Samuel Obudho? He was the head of mathematics department and also the Form 3 senior master during my high school years at Starehe Boys' Centre in those days when Starehe was well known in Kenya for its exemplary performance in the national secondary school exams known as KCSE.

I remember Mr. Obudho as a dutiful teacher who loved his job and held students to high standards of discipline and performance. At one time in 2004 when I was in Form 3, he fixed me for a severe punishment for just not wearing a tie during an afternoon chemistry lab session. How humiliating it was to do the punishment!

Not only was Mr. Obudho tough on Form 3 students but also on teachers. Sometime that year I was in Form 3, he reproached a humorous and easy-going math teacher of ours called Mr. Joseph Kasili for not tutoring us well. Mr. Obudho came to our class one morning at that time to inquire from us something about Mr. Kasili and his teaching methods. I really sympathized with Mr. Kasili to see him being reproached by Mr. Obudho like a primary school pupil.

When Mr. Obudho came to our class to inquire about Mr. Kasili, I voiced a complaint about our literature teacher, an attractive lady named Miss Gathige. And guess what! A day or two later, Miss Gathige informed us that she was being questioned by Mr. Obudho. After she inquired who had reported her to the Form 3 senior master, some of my classmates started shouting my name. Feeling embarrassed, I repeatedly denied ever complaining about her to Mr. Obudho.

Because of his duties as the head of mathematics department and the Form 3 senior master, Mr. Obudho used to teach only one class in Starehe: a Form 4 class. In 2005 when I was in Form 4, it was our class that he taught, replacing Mr. Joseph Kasili, that humorous and easy-going teacher I have told you about.

Shortly after he became our math teacher in 2005, Mr. Obudho got to know me by name. And I must have been an excellent student of his given the way he had a high opinion of me. He once asked me to go to the blackboard and solve a math problem that was troubling my classmates.

Sure, I was an excellent student of Mr. Obudho. I will never forget the time Mr. Obudho came to our class and handed some of us the results of a math paper we had sat for in a major exam. When he called out my name, handed me my results and I found out I had scored over 80% in the paper, I became so ecstatic that I went dancing around the class.

As my high school years were coming to an end in November 2005, Mr. Obudho aspired to succeed Mr. Yusuf King'ala as the principal of Starehe following the death of Mr. King'ala. Unfortunately for Mr. Obudho, some senior members of the school administration opposed him.

Early in March 2006 when I was in the institute division of Starehe Boys' Centre, I chanced to meet Mr. Obudho on a highway in the school. After I greeted him, he inquired how I had fared in his subject in KCSE exams. He was pleased with me when I apprised him that I had scored an 'A' in math.

That evening turned out to be the last time I recall seeing Mr. Obudho in Starehe, for he left the school shortly afterwards, ostensibly because he couldn't put up with the school administrators who had opposed his ambition to be the principal of Starehe.

A couple of years after I completed my education at Starehe, I spotted someone like Mr. Obudho striding on a peopled street in Nairobi. I would have loved to greet him but since I wasn't in high spirits, I didn't summon the courage to approach him and introduce myself to him. Failing to greet people I know when I meet them on the streets has been one of my weaknesses whenever I am in low spirits.

Over the years, I became curious to know what became of Mr. Obudho and how he fared with life after he left Starehe. I also wondered how he reacted to news of Starehe's declining performance in KCSE exams in the last one decade. Part of my curiosity was quenched mid last year after I learnt from Facebook friends that Mr. Obudho had passed on after a long illness.

Learning of Mr. Obudho's demise has made me appreciate the gift of life and of good health that I am now blessed with. It has also infused me with gratitude for the life of my father who is an age-mate of Mr. Obudho. My father also wears glasses just like Mr. Obudho used to do. Till we meet again, rest in peace my beloved math teacher - Mr. Samuel Obudho!

RECOMMENDATION: If you've enjoyed the above story on a math teacher I remember, you might also enjoy another one on "Remembering My Teachers" which I wrote in 2018. 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)