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

Developing Our Thinking Ability

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

In his inspiring book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens, Sean Covey enlightens teens that it doesn't matter much which degree course they pursue at the university. What matters most is how well they can think at the end of their university education.

I couldn't agree with Sean Covey more on his assertion that what matters most in our lives is how well we think. And I hasten to add that it is thinking ability that separates winners from failures because we all have the same 24 hours each day. Take, for instance, the case of my high school classmate Lawrence Sikuku and I.

Sikuku was always either position 1 or 2 in our class in every end-term academic results of our high school years. I, on the other hand, started out at position 32 in our first term in high school. And even though I did gradually improve academically as our high school years wore on, I never managed to appear among the top 5 students in our class.

What is interesting to note is that Sikuku and I ate the same food in the dining hall and we were taught by the same teachers in the 7 subjects we did in common in senior high school. We also read the same course contents. Actually, I think I read more than he did.

In the English subject for example, I studied while in Form Two all the three set books we were to be examined in the final high school exams known as KCSE. And you know what? In spite of my zeal in studying the set books in Form Two, I didn't score an 'A' in English when I sat for my KCSE exams two years later.

Sikuku got an 'A' in English in his KCSE results. And I never saw him begin studying the three English set books as early in our high school career as I did. Isn't that an interesting observation?

Since I read more than Sikuku did, how is it that I never managed to trounce him in exams throughout our high school career? It's because of the way we thought and processed knowledge. Sikuku not only thought more clearly than me, he also had superior reasoning skills.

Talking of my high school learning, I finished high school in November 2005 loaded with a lot of knowledge. I could solve simultaneous equations, balance chemical equations and explain why the banking system in Switzerland is well developed. The mean grade 'A' I scored in my KCSE exams was well deserved.

Yet even with all the knowledge I had in my head, I couldn't think clearly. I was often confused. And the SAT exam brought that out unmistakably when I sat for the exam thrice in 2006 and 2007. (The SAT is an American exam that tests the reasoning ability of students.)

It was like my mind was programmed to think confusedly when I was finishing high school in November 2005. For how else can you explain that people accused me of being mentally mixed-up even when I was at the university in 2007?

Having realized how profound a difference our thoughts make in our lives, I have been striving to develop my thinking ability. Just like my mind was programmed to think confusedly when I was leaving high school, I am now programming it to think clearly, creatively and positively. And my efforts are bearing fruit given the peace and mental clarity I am feeling most of the time.

Yes, our thinking ability makes a profound difference in our lives. It is what separates winners from failures. It is what made Sikuku outperform me in high school exams. And Science has proved there is a correlation between our physical health and the nature of our thoughts.

Because our thoughts have such a profound difference in our lives, I urge you, my beloved reader, to also develop your thinking ability. And I can think of no better way of improving our thought life than by reading, meditating and writing consistently. So read, meditate and write as often as you can. Adieu!

RECOMMENDATION: If you've enjoyed the above story on developing our thinking ability, you might also enjoy another one on "Developing Mental Clarity" which I wrote more than five years ago. Just click on that link in blue to dive straight into the story.


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The Scourge of HIV/AIDS

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

I know, I know, the scourge of HIV/AIDS is an issue we would all rather sweep under the carpet. But because the disease is real and has no cure, it's worth discussing. Recently, I read in the newspapers that HIV infections are on the rise in Turkana, a county in northern Kenya. The disease, which is spread mostly during sex, is indeed real.

Discovered in America in 1981, HIV/AIDS became a global pandemic in the '90s when I was a boy. During the 1992 U.S. presidential race, both the Republican and Democratic parties had AIDS sufferers speak at their conventions to show Americans that their presidential candidates were serious about tackling the AIDS pandemic.

Here in Kenya, President Moi declared HIV/AIDS a national disaster in November 1999. Billboards were erected along major roads to raise awareness of the disease. And some concerned officials visited schools to show students films about people suffering from AIDS.

Perhaps due to the government's efforts to sensitize people to the dangers of HIV/AIDS, my Dad became concerned about the disease. One night in the early 2000s when my eldest brother Joe Kagigite was at the university, Dad warned him that there was HIV after he noted Joe had been absent from home for several days. It was apparent that Dad was worried that Joe could have been engaging in risky behaviour.

Even some of my agemates were also concerned about the disease. A schoolmate of mine in high school named Justus told us during a Christian Union fellowship in 2004 that he had slept with girls during school holidays and the thought that he could have contracted HIV had worried him sick. So it came as a great relief to him when he tested negative for HIV.

Then another handsome chap named Eric [not his real name], who used to live in my neighbourhood, confided in me on one night in 2006 that he had been seduced by a certain lass into sleeping with her.

"I hear that lass has...", I began saying to Eric in Kikuyu and before I finished my sentence, he blurted out, "Has AIDS?"

Well, I wasn't thinking of the lass having AIDS but from the way Eric reacted with his question, I could tell he was dead scared that he could have gotten infected with HIV during his tryst with the lass. That's how seriously some of my agemates took HIV/AIDS.

Some other agemates, however, didn't seem interested in listening to those spreading awareness of the disease. There was a night during my high school years at Starehe Boys' Centre when someone tried to show us a film about HIV/AIDS. Most students were unwilling to watch the film and clamoured to have the usual Hollywood movies shown on the screen. I thought that was very unwise of the students.

And when I was a first-year engineering student at the university in JKUAT in 2007, some classmates skipped HIV/AIDS classes, apparently because they thought the classes were irrelevant to their mastery of engineering concepts. I personally attended each of the classes and enjoyed taking part in discussions about the disease.

Despite all the information I have heard about HIV/AIDS since I was a boy in the '90s, I have never known anyone with HIV. Neither have I ever seen someone with full-blown AIDS. But I have been alarmed enough about the disease to abstain from premarital sex. And just to be sure the deadly virus isn't in my blood, I went for a HIV test on one afternoon in 2017. I tested negative.

Even though there is still no cure for HIV/AIDS, I don't know why the Kenyan government has scaled down its campaign to sensitize people to the disease. Maybe it's because anti-retroviral (ARV) drugs have been made to help HIV-positive people lead normal lives.

Since I don't like taking medicine, I would hate swallowing ARV drugs every now and then. Which is why I have resolved not to engage in premarital sex. I just don't want to contract the virus.

My beloved reader, if you are HIV negative, I urge you to also safeguard your status jealously. Even with the ARV drugs, living with HIV is not easy, what with the stigma and constant fear of falling ill. So abstain from sex if you are single and be faithful to your partner if you are married. Ciao!

RECOMMENDATION: If you've enjoyed the above story on the scourge of HIV/AIDS, you might also enjoy another one on "The Time I Went For HIV Test" that I wrote several 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)