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


Mental Health Awareness

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With permission, I have extracted this picture-quote from a website called Woman's Day. All rights reserved worldwide.

This month of May is mental health awareness month. And because mental health is one of the issues I am passionate about, I couldn't let the month end without me talking about it. Believe me, I am as passionate about mental health as some people are enthusiastic about Champions League soccer matches.

Well, most people have only heard of physical health. But there are two other types of health which are essential to our well-being: that is, social health and mental health. Of the three types of health, mental health is the most important since when we are mentally healthy, it is easier to take care of our physical wellness and social life.

People who are mentally healthy feel good about themselves, get along well with others and are able to handle setbacks and life's challenges maturely. On the other hand, people who are mentally unhealthy are critical of themselves and have difficulty forging meaningful relationships with others.

There are a number of documented mental illnesses that afflict people. Among them are anxiety, depression, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, manic-depressive disorder and multiple-personality disorder. Those mental illnesses, especially depression, can lead to suicide. They are that serious.

If you don't know my story, let me inform you that I was diagnosed with a mental illness in 2008 after I went astray at the university in JKUAT where I was pursuing a degree in electronic & computer engineering. I didn't note which mental illness the doctor diagnosed me with. All I recall is the way the doctor had me forcefully admitted to hospital where I was put on medication. Eventually, I dropped out of JKUAT in 2009 as I was unable to keep up with my engineering studies.

In September 2010, I matriculated at the University of Nairobi to pursue a less demanding degree than the one I had been studying at JKUAT. And you know what? I was again taken mentally ill in April 2011 after I went astray for the second time. This time, I noted that I was diagnosed with schizophrenia - a mental illness in which a person becomes unable to link thought, emotion and behavior, leading to withdrawal from reality and personal relationships.

The doctor who handled me after I went astray at the University of Nairobi was a humorous and easy-going man called Dr. Owiti. He put me on psychiatric medication while promising me that he would buy me a laptop after I informed him of how badly I needed to own a computer. Eventually when I got tired of Dr. Owiti's humor and unfulfilled promises, I switched to another doctor named Kigamwa who was also attached to the University of Nairobi.

Dr. Kigamwa was a more serious doctor. But his seriousness almost messed me up, for he at one time recommended I undergo electroconvulsive therapy (ECT), a medical procedure during which electrical current is passed through the brain to cure mental disorders. Fortunately, and I say fortunately for a reason I will explain later, I didn't undergo ECT after nurses found out I hadn't paid university fees for my second semester.

As the year 2011 wore on, I stopped seeing Dr. Kigamwa and taking medication. My father kept pleading with me that I see a psychiatrist, especially when he observed me dozing during the day. I didn't yield to his pleas as I believed I was mentally healthy. And for quite a long time, I felt that I hadn't deserved to be treated for a mental illness.

One day in 2012, my father came across an article in the newspaper about an organization called Users & Survivors of Psychiatry (USP). He urged me to read the article and then implored me to attend the USP meetings mentioned in the article. This time, I agreed to his suggestion and turned up for several USP meetings which were held on Saturday mornings in a room in downtown Nairobi.

And wow! I enjoyed attending those USP meetings. Not only did I make new friends during those USP meetings, I also learnt the challenges that people with mental illnesses face; challenges such as not being in the mood to receive incoming calls. I particularly remember one young man who had been brought to a USP meeting by his family. He was strikingly handsome, the dream boyfriend of every fashionable woman, but his mental illness had drained all the charm from his face.

I remember, too, the testimonies from some USP members of how electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) had ruined their lives. That's why I have said it was fortunate I didn't undergo the ECT session that Dr. Kigamwa had recommended for me. If I had gone through ECT, I would probably not be having the excellent memory that I am now blessed with.

Attending USP meetings made me identify with people living with mental illnesses so much that I wrote to friends untruthful stories of how I had tried to commit suicide. The truth is, I have never contemplated killing myself even during my low moments when I have been consumed with guilt.

Although I believed for a long time that I didn't deserve to be diagnosed with a mental illness, I now tend to think the doctors who handled me at JKUAT and at the University of Nairobi were right in their diagnosis because I was grossly out of touch with reality when I went astray at the two universities. It was abnormal for me to abruptly stop attending classes without communicating with my family. In a sense, I was mentally ill.

These days, I consider myself mentally healthy, so I don't take any medication or attend USP meetings. I am able to think clearly, make wise decisions and get along well with others; which is probably why my father no longer coaxes me to consult a psychiatric. But I will forever treasure the experiences I had with psychiatric treatment, unpleasant though they were, since they made me value mental health. And that is why I am passionate about mental health these days.

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RECOMMENDATION: If you've enjoyed the above story on mental health awareness, you might also enjoy another one on "The XY Problem" which I wrote two years ago. Just click on that link in blue to dive straight into the story.

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Wishing Others Well

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With permission, I have extracted this picture-quote from the Facebook page of Good Nights Wishes & Quotes. All rights reserved worldwide.

My dear reader, suppose God asked you, as He used to do in Biblical times, a question that went like this, "What is it that you want Me to do for you and do the same thing twice as much to your neighbour?"

It is said that most people are so jealous and hateful that when asked such a question by God, they would have Him remove one of their eyes so that He can gouge out their neighbour's two eyes. That's interesting, isn't it?

Will Smith, the Hollywood movie star, aptly captured how most people are so jealous and hateful when he quipped, "Too many people spend money they haven't earned, to buy things they don't want, to impress people they don't like."

As for me, I have to admit to struggling with jealousy for quite a long time. When I was at the university in JKUAT in 2008 for instance, I used to feel regularly jealous of Barack Obama because of the victory he was achieving during that year's U.S. presidential elections.

I particularly remember the November morning in 2008 when I was heading to JKUAT hospital for a medical check-up after I had messed up at the university. That morning, I flipped through that day's newspaper and felt a bit jealous of Obama to see the first several pages of the newspaper were all about his victory in the U.S. presidential elections.

Then there was a time in 2009 when I heard my immediate elder brother Paddy was planning to fly to Europe for a conference or something. Paddy was then pursuing a degree in Medicine & Surgery at the University of Nairobi. Perhaps because I wasn't doing well in life (I had dropped out of JKUAT), I confess wishing that Paddy's plan to fly to Europe would fail.

Besides Obama's victory in 2008 presidential elections and my brother's Paddy planned trip to Europe, there have been other times I have felt sick with jealousy such as when my high school deskmake Martin Wamoni flew to London in early 2011 and when Paddy travelled to America in 2014. Paddy's trip to America distressed me since I had always wanted to be the first in my family to travel to America.

These days, I have matured a lot given the way I am always striving to be as enthusiastic about the success of others as I am about my own. Just the other week when I saw on TV a news coverage of President Suluhu of Tanzania disembarking from a plane, I felt an inkling of jealousy to see her receive a red-carpet reception at our nation's leading airport. But I quickly brushed aside that feeling of jealousy by wishing President Suluhu the same joy and peace I am often praying for myself.

Yes, I am always striving to wish others well in their lives, even for those who hate me. Hopefully when I die, the words spoken about me during my funeral will resemble those of Ted Kennedy in his eulogy for his brother Robert Kennedy who was assassinated in 1968 while running for the United States presidency. Ted Kennedy delivered a magnificent eulogy for his brother, closing with the following words of power and grace that have touched me to the very core:
My brother need not be idealized, or enlarged in death beyond what he was in life. [He should be] remembered simply as a good and decent man, who saw wrong and tried to right it, saw suffering and tried to heal it, saw war and tried to stop it. Those of us who loved him and who take him to his rest today, pray that what he was to us and what he wished for others will some day come to pass for all the world.
My dear reader, I exhort you to also get into the habit of wishing others well. Be genuinely happy when you see your friends and enemies succeed. Wish them the same happiness you are always desiring for yourself. And if you find it hard to rejoice in the success of others, remember what the Bible says in Psalm 49:16-17: "Do not be overawed when a man grows rich, when the splendour of his house increases; for he will take nothing with him when he dies..." Adieu!

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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)