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

My Hometown of Kiserian

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With permission, I have extracted this picture of Kiserian from the YouTube channel of Kenya from Within. All rights reserved worldwide.

My hometown of Kiserian, as I have narrated before on this lovely blog of mine, is a typical Third World shopping centre. It is often dusty, noisy and littered with garbage. Greasy water can always be seen flowing in its drainage system. And whenever it rains, the town turns disgustingly muddy.

When I was finishing high school in November 2005, I used to bemoan to my brothers that Kiserian was so backward that it had neither a cyber-cafe nor a bank. Later on, I added lack of a museum, a public library and a recreational park as its other drawbacks.

Although Kiserian has long since had cyber-cafes and banking services, I still bemoan the fact that the town still has no museum, a public library and a recreational park. What a backward town!

That Kiserian is backward was made more apparent to me in 2015 when I produced a video for a patriotic song I had composed. The song was titled "Beautiful Kenya". Upon sharing the video on YouTube, an American friend of mine pointed out to me that the background of Kiserian in the video was uninviting. He commented that such a background didn't bring out the beauty of Kenya that I was singing about.

As I have said, Kiserian turns disgustingly muddy whenever it rains. I will never forget one rainy morning in 2015 when the mud in Kiserian almost ruined my day. That morning, I was heading to Nairobi to teach piano at a certain music school. Dressed in a black pair of trousers, a white shirt and a tie, I was walking nonchalantly in the town when, all of a sudden, I slid and fell on the ground.

Fortunately, I landed on my hands, so only my palms got muddy. While I contemplated on how to clean my dirty palms, a passerby expressed his sympathy for what had happened to me. I thanked him for his sympathies and then I quickly trode into a nearby walk-in apartment where I cleaned my palms with water.

Though I can't remember what ran through my mind as I cleaned myself, I am sure I was thankful that only my palms got muddy. Had I landed on the ground with my whole body, my white shirt would have been smeared with mud, which would have forced me to head back home and change my clothes. I just had to be thankful for small mercies.

Like you would expect in any backward town, Kiserian has a number of mad people who loiter around in shabby clothes. They can often be seen scavenging through garbage for something to eat. Some of them sometimes draw attention with their bizarre antics.

Just two and a half weeks ago as I was going for my evening walk to Kiserian, I passed by one mad-man who was hitting moving vehicles with his feet. Most motorists just ignored his strange behavior. But one motorist, whose car was slightly dented by the mad-man, screeched his car to a halt in order to inspect the damage, thus causing a minor traffic jam.

In addition to the line of vehicles stopping behind the slightly dented car, a crowd of onlookers was also gathering at the scene. I didn't stop to witness the real-life drama that was unfolding. Instead, I continued with my walk into Kiserian Town, thinking to myself that the mad-man was risking being lynched by a mob.

On my way back home from Kiserian Town, I was curious to know what had happened to the mad-man. But alas! Everything at the spot where he had caused a fracas had gone back to normal by the time I reached there. Nothing at the spot indicated something odd had transpired there. And the mad-man was nowhere to be seen.

Sometimes full of drama - that is the nature of backward Kiserian. Despite its backwardness, Kiserian is a lovely place to live and do business. Most of its people are friendly. Its weather is warm and pleasant throughout the year. And it is never plagued by such natural disasters as floods, droughts, hurricanes, earthquakes and forest fires.

Having come to love, adore and appreciate Kiserian, I look forward to showing my future wife the beautiful mosaic of undulating hills, seasonal streams and savannah grasslands that surround the town. I also look forward to introducing her to the wonderful friends I have made here. God bless Kiserian!

RECOMMENDATION: If you've enjoyed this story on my hometown of Kiserian, you might also enjoy another one on "Tracing My Roots" that I wrote more than four years ago. Just click on that link in blue to dive straight into the story.


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Book Review: "Profiles in Courage"

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This is me in my den holding John F. Kennedy's Profiles in Courage. More about the book in the story below.

One afternoon in 2011 when I visited Starehe Boys' Centre where I had my high school education, I struck a conversation with a teacher called Franklin Etyang'. I informed Etyang' during the conversation that I greatly admired former U.S. President John F. Kennedy (JFK). And when he asked me why I admired JFK, I quickly replied, "Because he was a handsome, young, wise and charismatic president."

I described JKF as wise because after listening to his famous 1961 inaugural address, I had been impressed by his maturity and rhetorical skills. He delivered that inaugural address with a touch of eloquence, which is why it was billed as the second most influential speech of the 20th century, obviously after Martin Luther King's "I Have a Dream."

Before 2011, I had heard about JFK's book, Profiles in Courage, which was purported to be so incisive that it won him a Pulitzer Prize - one of the most coveted awards for achievements in literature writing. So when I came across about eight copies of the book at the University of Nairobi library in 2011, I read one of them with great interest. And yikes! The book sounded dull and dry to me.

Although Profiles in Courage fell short of my expectations after reading it in 2011, I recently desired to re-read it since courage is one virtue I am endeavoring to possess and practice in my day-to-day living. The courage to say "no", to speak up for myself and to become the unique me that God created me to be.

You can therefore imagine my delight when I found the book on sale at a certain bookstall in Nairobi when I travelled to the city last Monday. I hastily bought the book and began devouring it the following day with the same great interest I exhibited when I first read it at the University of Nairobi library in 2011.

JFK wrote Profiles in Courage in the 1950s when he was recovering from a spinal surgery. He gave an exhaustive account of eight United States senators who portrayed great courage at a time of national crisis. At the time JFK was penning the book, he was serving as a senator. I think that's why he focussed on only U.S. senators, and not leaders with other titles.

In Profiles in Courage, JFK narrated how the eight senators were ridiculed and harshly criticized for going against the grain. They were lampooned by their fellow leaders, by the press and by their fellow countrymen. Of the eight senators he covered in the book, the one whose story of valor captivated me most was Daniel Webster.

JFK noted that however different their acts of courage were, the eight senators held much in common - their breath-taking talents as orators, their scholarly brilliance, and, above all, their deep-seated belief in themselves, their integrity and their adherence to the rightness of their cause.

As I read Profiles in Courage, I found myself envying JFK's depth of knowledge and clarity of expression. I had the impression that JFK, despite all the physical health problems that troubled him, enjoyed his clear way of thinking; the kind of clear thinking that I sometimes enjoy when I am all alone in my room.

Even though I envied JFK's excellent command of American history, I must admit that his book, Profiles in Courage, again sounded dull and dry to me, with the exception of the chapter about Daniel Webster. But I soldiered on and read the book to the end. I just had to finish reading it so that I can take pride in having read one of the most respected leaders of the 20th century.

Because Profiles in Courage sounded dull and dry to me, the book didn't inspire me to be courageous in the way I expected it to. But at least JFK has motivated me to continue reading avidly with the way he pored over hundreds of books while researching and writing Profiles in Courage. Such is the kind of avid reading I will be doing everyday. So help me God.

NEW! NEW! NEW! If you missed my social media update three days ago, let me take this opportunity to inform you that I have produced a new hymn which is available in the videos' section of this blog. Just click on the "videos" link on the menu at the top of this blog to access the hymn.


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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)