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

Growing in Knowledge

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

Ever since I was in primary school in the '90s, I have always been an avid reader. I acquired that passion for reading thanks to my father who placed a premium on academic excellence. Dad bought us plenty of books, magazines and newspapers for us to read so that we could excel in school. And reading them, I did.

Unfortunately, my reading efforts were never fully reflected in my performance at school. When I was in Standard Five in 1998 for instance, I scored mediocre marks that made me the object of ridicule at home. That was in spite of the much studying that I did in my free time.

Never one to give up easily, I continued reading voraciously as my primary school years wore on. I not only read academic books but also such classics as Robinson Crusoe which riveted my imagination.

And when I got into Standard Eight in 2001, I studied even more so that I could pass with flying colours the national primary school exams known as KCPE. I remember dipping my feet into warm water to keep myself from dozing while reading late into the night on some days in 2001. On other days, I would wake up as early as 4.00am to do some private studying. Such was the diligence with which I prepared for my KCPE exams.

Given all the studying I did in 2001, I am sure I read more than any other KCPE candidate of that year. And there were more than half a million KCPE candidates in 2001. But guess what! When the 2001 KCPE results were released in late December that year, I didn't appear among the top 100 pupils in my province, which makes me wonder where all the knowledge I had read had gone.

But at least my reading efforts weren't in vain because I scored enough marks in KCPE to get into Starehe Boys' Centre, a prestigious institution in Nairobi where I had my high school as well as college education. When I entered Starehe, I continued studying diligently with the zeal of a he-goat on heat. And as was the case in primary school, my reading efforts were never fully reflected in my academic performance at Starehe. For how else can you explain that I never emerged among the top five students in my class in my entire high school career?

Yes, I used to read a lot during my primary and secondary school years. Sometime in 2001 as I was preparing for KCPE exams, my younger brother Symo suggested that the reason I wasn't excelling in school was due to the much reading that I was doing. One of my high school classmates named Rocky Mbithi echoed similar sentiments sometime in 2004 by telling me that reading a lot was making me confused.

Rocky Mbithi must have had a point because after I left Starehe in April 2007, some of the people I met in church and at the university remarked on how confused I looked. Imagine after all the knowledge I amassed in Starehe, all I showed was not brilliance but confusion! It was such a disheartening experience.

Recently when I reflected on how I read a lot in those bygone years, I arrived at the conclusion that the knowledge I gained wasn't finding a home in my head, so to speak. It was like much of what got into my head while reading got out through the nose, ears and other body orifices. What's worse, the knowledge that remained in my head wasn't organized, hence the confusion that people saw in me.

When I talk of knowledge getting out of my head, I am reminded of another experience I had while I was revising for the SAT exams in 2009. Taking the SAT exams required that I absorb a lot of college-level vocabularies. I would drill the meanings of the vocabularies into my head, and then you know what? When taking sample SAT tests, I would bump into a vocabulary I had studied but be unable to recall its meaning. I had a memory like a sieve.

Despite all those setbacks, I have never given up on reading. I have kept devouring books, magazines and newspapers. But these days, I am making a conscious effort of letting the knowledge I gain find a home in my head and soul. I now agree with the great English philosopher John Locke when he quipped, "Reading furnishes the mind only with materials of knowledge; it is thinking that makes what we read ours."

And why have I kept reading and acquiring knowledge? Because I believe the more knowledge we acquire, the happier and more peaceful our lives become. Also by growing in knowledge, we attract the opportunities that launch us to the lives of our dreams. Life becomes exciting when we apply our knowledge to our day-to-day living. The U.S. Air Force has it right when it says in its motto that "man's flight through life is sustained by the power of knowledge". Ciao!

RECOMMENDATION: If you've enjoyed the above story on growing in knowledge, you might also enjoy another one on "Wisdom From a Cab Driver" which I wrote two years ago. Just click on that link in blue to dive straight into the story.


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Living Above Neurotic Guilt

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With permission, I have extracted this picture-quote from a blog called Quotes For Healing. All rights reserved worldwide.

While roaming the World Wide Web a couple of years ago, I came across an interesting blog article written by a 24-year old Kenyan female blogger. In the article, the blogger enumerated 24 lessons that she had learnt in her 24 years of living on this planet. As I read the lessons, I thought that that was too much wisdom coming from a 24-year old. I really was impressed and inspired by her article.

The lessons? Well, the ones I remember is her saying she had discovered God is real; she therefore advised people to trust in Him. She also said that everything in our lives will eventually work out, a lesson of hers that has instilled me with hope. And she encouraged young people to find their own voice instead of imitating other people's style of writing and speaking.

But the lesson of hers that stayed with me most was her claim that all people get corrupted at some point in life and begin experiencing neurotic guilt. That lesson has come as a surprise to me because I have thought the neurotic guilt I have suffered every now and then since 2009 has been as a result of the way I messed up when I was at the university in JKUAT.

Yes, I have suffered from neurotic guilt occasionally since that time in 2009 when I was dropping out of JKUAT where I had been pursuing a degree in electronic & computer engineering. Sometimes the guilt has become so intense that I have become afraid of being seen by people on the streets.

Thankfully, for the past one year since I developed a disciplined lifestyle, I have almost succeeded in living a guilt-free life given the way I have been feeling at peace most of the time. I have used the word "almost" because I still do feel a minor guilt feeling on some evenings when I go for my daily walks to my hometown of Kiserian. I believe that I will soon overcome that minor guilt feeling through God's redeeming grace.

Over the last few days, I have thought long and hard on the tactics I can use to totally overcome neurotic guilt. And today, I have decided to share with you the tactics I came up with, hoping that you will also benefit from them.

First is silencing the inner critic. There is this voice inside our heads that tries to put us down by reminding ourselves of our weaknesses and past mistakes. As for me, I have resolved to silence that inner critic by speaking encouraging words to myself and reminding myself of my strengths and past successes. And I know I will find lots of good things to say about myself to myself.

Second is developing a healthy self-love. We must love ourselves to be truly happy - and that's a point most people don't seem to understand. As for me, I will say some nice things about myself when I see my reflection on a mirror. Nice things such as how I am kind, compassionate and empathetic - qualities of the heart from which true self-worth stems.

And loving myself includes overlooking my imperfections. I will endeavor to remind myself that no one is perfect apart from God. So I will not be hard on myself for the imperfections I see in myself in my day-to-day living. I will appreciate myself as I am. Different ... yes. Imperfect ... certainly. But nonetheless valuable.

Third is not letting the negativity around me get inside my heart and weigh me down. I have heard it said that ships don't sink because of the waters around them; they sink when the water gets inside them. Similarly, I won't let the insults and complainings of my work colleagues and family members get into my heart and contribute to my guilt feelings.

And lastly, I will strive to live above neurotic guilt by cushioning myself against the acid cruelty of the world: that is, the unkindness of others. This world is full of negative people who try to put us down at every turn. When I find myself the victim of such negative attacks, I will understand the problem is with the critic, not with myself.

Well, I admit some of the criticism we receive is fair and can be helpful to our growth. But much of the criticism is due to the pecking order of the society: others want to escape from their own insecurities by pointing out how they are better than us. The best way to deal with such unfair criticism is to ignore and forgive it, however hard that maybe, because if we don't, it might fuel our emotions of neurotic guilt.

As I strive to implement those tactics of overcoming neurotic guilt, I will adopt the attitude of Abraham Lincoln, the great American president who was elected on a Republican ticket. Lincoln was not such a handsome man. Had he lived in these media-crazy days when looks seem to matter more than character, he probably wouldn't win the Republican primary, much less the presidency. But Lincoln would have been happy anyway. He once said, "It's up to me to whittle what I can with what I've got. I am ready to admit you can make a better looking dog out of the same raw material, but what I am, I am. So this will just have to do." Adieu!

RECOMMENDATION: If you've enjoyed the above story on living above neurotic guilt, you might also enjoy another one on "Slaying the Dragon of Guilt" which I wrote about three years ago. 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)