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

How Bill Clinton Inspired ME

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This is Bill Clinton, the 42nd President of the United States and one of the lights of my life, with his wife Hillary. More about him in the story below.

In an interview with "Time" magazine in 2004, former U.S. President Bill Clinton said that most Americans don't care much about the ideas and visions of presidential candidates when they are electing their preferred candidate. Instead, they vote for someone who looks like a president, talks like a president and walks like a president.

Bill Clinton further said in the interview that to succeed as a president in American politics, one needs to have both the wussy-mommy and macho-tough qualities. By having wussy-mommy qualities, he meant the ability to empathise with other people's problems. And by macho-tough qualities, he meant possessing the courage to fight for one's principles.

I read about that insightful interview on the internet about a decade ago when I was trying to emulate Bill Clinton by running for a political seat while still young. Well, Bill Clinton had his flaws (and who doesn't?) but we have got to hand it to him, he had charisma, a high intellect and a rare ability to relate with the common man.

It is those qualities of Bill Clinton that made me admire him and want to model myself on him. I read about him in "Time" and "Newsweek" magazines when I was in Starehe Institute in 2007. And later on that year, I devoured his best-selling memoir with enviable zeal.

One afternoon in July 2007, a classmate of mine in Starehe Institute named Theophilus Kamwaro spotted me carrying Bill Clinton's memoir which prompted him to say this of me to his friends, "He wants to think like Bill Clinton!" (A couple of months before, I had delivered during evening assemblies at Starehe a series of talks in which I challenged the students to think like geniuses. I surmise it is from those talks that Kamwaro borrowed the phrase that I wanted to "think like Bill Clinton".)

Sure enough, I did end up thinking like Bill Clinton. There were times in 2007 when I caught myself writing, speaking and smiling like Bill Clinton. When I was applying to top American colleges in late 2007 for instance, I tried to make the voice of my application essays sound like that of Bill Clinton. And in my effort to sound like him, I ended up telling tons of lies in the essays. Little wonder that I didn't make the cut at any of the colleges.

Still desiring to model myself on Bill Clinton, I re-read his voluminous memoir in 2008 and again in 2010. And when I was a student at the University of Nairobi in early 2011, I wrote several glowing articles about him and published them on a blog I was running then. A friend of mine called Michael Njeru, upon reading the articles, sent me an SMS one afternoon, joking that I would receive a call from Bill Clinton one of these fine days.

As I have said, I tried to emulate Bill Clinton by running for a political seat a decade ago. And you know what? While registering as a candidate and running my campaigns, I found myself lacking the drive to go out there to talk to people and canvass for votes. That made me discover I wasn't cut out for a career in politics. I just didn't possess the assertiveness and the people skills required to conduct a spirited campaign. Or to borrow the words of Bill Clinton, I lacked the wussy-mommy and macho-tough qualities needed to succeed in politics.

All in all, Bill Clinton did influence me much through the memoir he wrote. For one, he taught me to value every person, to empathise with the problems of others and to develop a genuine fondness for people - traits that were characteristic of him in his illustrious career in politics that culminated in his election as the third youngest President of the United States.

Then, he inspired me to develop the kind of positive, optimistic attitude that made him a charismatic leader. His positive attitude was apparent in the way he smiled in the photos in his memoir. And he wrote in the memoir that when a friend of his committed suicide at one time in the 1970s, he lost his usual optimism. Luckily for him, his girlfriend and future wife, Hillary, provided him with a shoulder to lean on during that sorrowful time in his life.

Bill Clinton also inspired me to love hymns the way he did. When he was governor of his home state of Arkansas, he used to sing in a church choir. His favorite hymns were "Be Not Afraid" and "His Eye is on the Sparrow". It is from that inspiration to love hymns that I have ended up being a hymn-writer, though I am quite mediocre at it at the moment.

Perhaps most important, Bill Clinton inspired me to be an avid reader and a storyteller. He pointed out in his memoir that he has always been a voracious reader since he was a boy. When they were dating, Hillary admired seeing him turn the pages of a book. I guess it is from his reading that he acquired the masterly story-telling that I am endeavouring to emulate.

Bill Clinton did inspire me for shizzle through his memoir. Even though I gave up a career in politics, I have ended up thinking and writing like him. It turned out my classmate Theophilus Kamwaro was right when he remarked that I wanted to think like Bill Clinton on that memorable afternoon in 2007 when he spotted me carrying Bill Clinton's memoir.

RECOMMENDATION: If you've enjoyed the above story on how Bill Clinton inspired me, you might also enjoy another one I wrote more than three years ago on "Bill Clinton: A True Leader". Just click on that link in blue to dive straight into the story.


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Appreciating the Little Blessings

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

Nairobi is an interesting city; whenever I travel there, I usually observe some bizarre scenes and people. I often see, for instance, disabled beggars sitting silently on the roadsides, watching pedestrians pass by, obviously wishing some of them will be kind enough to drop a few coins into their begging bowls. Some of the beggars have a story of their fate written on a placard beside them. Nairobi is indeed an interesting city.

Just last year, while walking on a busy street in Nairobi, I saw a man whose nose had been cut off. He looked frighteningly ugly without his nose - the kind of man who would scare little girls away. I could have stopped the man and asked him what happened to his nose but since I always try to mind my own business, I walked past him without exchanging a word with him.

Later on when I reflected on the fate of that man who appeared frighteningly ugly without his nose, I felt an immense sense of gratitude for my handsome face. You see, I have come to admire the way I look since I lost weight two years ago. Whenever I have a photo of myself taken, I am usually eager to share it on social media. And it delights me when some friends comment that I am handsome.

While I have felt proud of my good looks, the man I saw in Nairobi without a nose must have been dreading to be seen by others. I can imagine his pain whenever he catches a glimpse of himself on reflective surfaces such as the glass walls that adorn some of the buildings in downtown Nairobi. Whatever happened to his nose, he is unfortunate to be without it.

Two weeks ago, I came across an even more unfortunate man in the Saturday "Nation" newspaper. The man had developed a cancer of the jaws that had spread to other parts of his head and severely disfigured part of his face. He appeared so grotesque in a picture in the newspaper that I had trouble viewing the picture.

As I struggled to avert my eyes from the man's picture in the newspaper, I read his story with deepened interest. I read of the travails he had undergone while seeking treatment for his cancer. And I learnt how his family had been impoverished by the high medical bill incurred in treating the cancer. Man, if you think you have problems, wait till you see the picture of that man and read his story - you will be left feeling blessed beyond measure.

The picture of that man whose face had been severely disfigured by cancer made me appreciate my handsome face that I like showing off on social media. And his ordeals set me thinking about all the other "little" blessings that I tend to take for granted.

I thought of how I like playing the piano in the afternoon, of how I enjoy going for a walk in the evening, of how I relish swallowing food with ease, and of how I love letting my mind wander imaginatively to times of the past and to dreams of the future. Truly, those are "little" blessings worth rejoicing over.

But you know what? Instead of feeling eternally grateful for those "little" blessings, I sometimes worry about what I lack. I wonder when I will ever fall in love, own a swanky car, build my own home and travel overseas.

At other times, I have gotten consumed with the sins I have committed and with the wrongs that others have done to me. Such kind of painful memories have left in their wake feelings of guilt and bitterness in my soul, making me forget the "little" blessings that would alone make some unfortunate people feel on top of the world if they were to have them.

I am undoubtedly blessed. So as from today, I will strive to focus more on what I have than what I lack. I will appreciate such "little" blessings as having a handsome face, swallowing food with ease, going for a walk in the evening and letting my mind loose on imagining big dreams of the future. Not an unwise thing for you to do as well, my beloved reader!

RECOMMENDATION: If you've enjoyed this story on appreciating the little blessings, you might also enjoy another one on "Contentment" that I wrote a few 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)