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

Books I Read in 2023

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This is me in my den holding some of the books I read in 2023.

Whoops! 2023 has been a challenging year for me since I had to battle two or three illnesses as well as take care of Mum when she fell down and hurt her abdominal muscles. I had to be there for her whenever she needed to go to the toilet. Dad also went through two crucial surgeries. And I lost one of my uncles.

Despite those challenges, I was able to achieve several feats in 2023. Chief among the feats were rising before dawn each morning and staying active throughout the day. I also stopped watching adult films, entertaining lustful thoughts in my mind and talking aloud to myself like a madman.

What made 2023 bearable for me were the informative books I read. Not only did the books occupy my mind in a constructive way, they also made me grow in wisdom and knowledge. Okay, let me tell you more about some of the books I read and the lessons I gleaned from them.

The book I enjoyed most this year was The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens by Sean Covey. Even though I am no longer a teenager, the book spoke to my heart in an entertaining and relatable manner. I loved the didactic quotes and the cartoon illustrations in the book.

Among the lessons I learnt from the book are to always say some nice things about myself to myself whenever I see my reflection in a mirror and to refrain from lying and exaggerating, two sins I regularly committed in my teenage years and well into adulthood. And when it comes to music, the book encouraged me to listen to songs with edifying lyrics.

Another delightful book I pored over this year was Nelson Mandela's spellbinding memoir, Long Walk to Freedom. I found it touching to read the hardships that Mandela endured as he tried to free his people from the shackles of oppression in apartheid South Africa. He was arrested, imprisoned and subjected to hard labour.

During most of his 27 years in prison, Mandela was not allowed to possess a watch. When his mother died, he was not permitted to attend her funeral. And when he ventured into writing his life story, prison authorities confiscated his manuscript. Reading such travails of Mandela made me appreciate the freedoms I have here in Kenya and which I have taken for granted.

While Mandela endured his hardships, he was aware of the importance of having a healthy self-esteem and of cultivating his uniqueness. One of the things he detested most about imprisonment in apartheid South Africa was the way prison life was designed to break a prisoner's spirit, that spark that makes each of us human and each of us who we are.

After his release from prison, Mandela was treated with honour. And he clearly deserved the honour, for he practised such virtuous habits as rising early, reading avidly, exercising physically, communing with nature as well as thinking clearly, positively and optimistically.

Mandela's memoir is just poignant and charming. I highly recommend it to anyone who wants to understand the genesis of greatness.

Because I am a Christian and I am always endeavoring to deepen my faith in God and in His Word, I bought and read the memoir of Billy Graham, the world's greatest evangelist in the 20th century. The memoir, titled Just as I Am, is quite huge but it delighted me nonetheless.

As I waded through the memoir, I couldn't help admiring the way Billy Graham travelled around the world to spread the gospel of Christ. I also admired the way thousands of people flocked to his crusades to hear him speak. How I wish this blog of mine could attract such a massive audience!

And because I am a sucker for riveting stories, I also read a few novels this year. One of the novels I read and finished was Danielle Steel's Remembrance. Well, I didn't find the novel that much riveting since it sounded unreal and exaggerated but I liked it all the same.

Enough about me. What about you, my beloved reader? How was your 2023? And what did you read that impacted your life positively? Hoping that you learnt something worthwhile from what you went through and what you read, I wish you a fulfilling 2024. May God fulfill all of your heart's desires in the coming year. Ciao!

RECOMMENDATION: If you've enjoyed the above story on some of the books I read in 2023, you might also enjoy another one on "Books I Read in 2022" which I wrote last year. Just click on that link in blue to dive straight into the story.


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True Friends

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In the photo above taken in 2003 are (from left) my friend Thomas Waweru, my eldest brother Joe Kagigite and a relative of mine. I will mention some of those people in the story below.

As I narrated in my previous story on this blog, I purchased a new smartphone after my old one was damaged by rain. The new smartphone set me back several thousand shillings. That had me pondering, "If I became cash-strapped, who would I turn to for financial assistance?"

The question made me realize the importance of having true friends in life. And who are true friends? They are the people who think we are good eggs even though we are all slightly cracked. True friends stand by us in good and bad times. And they are genuinely happy when we achieve our dreams.

I don't know about you but for me, I am fortunate to have true friends. They include my family, relatives and some other people I have met along the way. Here's the list of my true friends:
  1. My parents: When I think of my true friends, my parents top the list and deservedly so. Not only have they always been there for me, they have also given me room to explore my talents.
  2. My eldest brother Joe Kagigite (see photo above): Although Joe was sometimes harsh on me when we were growing up, he has evolved into a very supportive brother over the last eight years since I took up blogging as a career. He regularly gives me positive feedback on the stories I share on this blog.
  3. My younger brother Symo: Like Joe, Symo could be mean-spirited when we used to live together here at home. But with time, he has mellowed into a very encouraging brother. He also gives me positive feedback on the work I do on this blog.
  4. David Mwakima: A Harvard graduate, David is one of those true friends that are hard to find. He became my friend in 2012 when he was serving as the school captain of Starehe Boys' Centre in Nairobi.
  5. Francis Kariuki: A year ahead of me during our schooling days, Francis is now a PhD holder. We have known each other since our boyhood years when we used to engage each other in intellectual conversations that stimulated our thinking.
  6. Boniface Muia: Also a year ahead of me during our schooling days, Boniface was a schoolmate of mine at Starehe Boys' Centre where we had our high school and college education. Even though we never interacted much at Starehe, he has grown into a great friend of mine over the last eight years.
  7. Thomas Waweru (see photo above): An agemate of my eldest brother Joe Kagigite, Thomas is one of those guys who believe in what I do. He has on several times commented that I am a gifted writer, thus motivating me to keep on writing and sharing my stories with the world.
There you have it: that is, my list of true friends. The reason I consider the people in the list to be my true friends is because I always feel free to turn to them whenever I have a financial need. And they often come through for me. They really are my true friends.

To maintain their friendships, I always like their social media posts, wish them happy birthdays and cheer them in their endeavors. And in the case of my parents who are not active on social media, I always assist them at something they can't do, such as navigating through their smartphones.

While I continue living in this grand and magnificent planet, I will strive to continue winning more true friends. I especially look forward to meeting the woman of my dreams who I am believing will be the most loyal friend I will ever have.

Indeed, true friends are important. Bill Gates, the Microsoft supremo, had it right when he said, "I've been thinking a lot about the importance of good friendships in my life. I've come to the same conclusion as [one] Harvard study on human life: good relationships make you happier and healthier."

So, my beloved reader, I implore you to also form true friendships. Build a network of supportive buddies you can turn for help in your times of need. And don't take the buddies for granted. Keep in touch with them and be there for them. Do have a merry Christmas!

RECOMMENDATION: If you've enjoyed the above story on true friends, you might also enjoy another one on "How to Win Friends" which 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)