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

Lessons From a Common Man

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This is Njogu, a patriotic friend of mine who I shall talk about in the story below.

If there is one person I have come to draw inspiration from, it is Njogu - an age-mate of mine who works in my hometown of Kiserian. He is hard-working and committed to every job he does, however lowly it is. And he must be a God-fearing chap given the way I have found him dancing to Christian music in crusades held on the streets of Kiserian.

I have known Njogu since we were small boys back in the '90s. He would sometimes come to our church and recite Swahili poems which he loved and believed in. Despite his passion for poetry and public-speaking, I don't think he had the privilege of finishing his primary school education.

Earlier in the previous decade, I used to see Njogu do business in Kiserian using a cart. He would transport people's goods in the cart which he pulled with his hands. And I would spot him barefooted, either because he disliked shoes or he earned too little money to afford footwear. But when it rained, he had the sense to wear gumboots.

Njogu's work as a cart-puller made him famous in Kiserian. People often talked about how he pulled his cart for long distances. I heard through the grapevine in Kiserian that one prominent politician was so impressed with Njogu's industrious nature that he bought him a public service vehicle to ease his life.

A few years ago, I started seeing Njogu control road traffic in Kiserian Town while clad in reflector jackets. That made me guess he had been offered the job by the local government, thus saving him from the back-breaking work of pulling a cart all day long.

Just as he did his previous work as a cart-puller with zeal, Njogu has taken his job as a road traffic controller like a duck to water. He is very passionate about it, something I am sure has earned him a number of enemies who can't tolerate his commands.

Last month, I caught sight of him controlling traffic near a petrol station in Kiserian. When I continued with my walk and reached a certain bridge where there was a traffic snarl-up, I found Njogu there. How he got to the bridge before me yet I had left him busy controlling traffic at the petrol station is something that baffled me.

And last week, Njogu was very helpful during the funeral of my mother. The night before the funeral, he came to our home and attended a funeral arrangement meeting during which he promised to ensure traffic flowed smoothly as we laid our dear Mum to rest.

In the course of the meeting, one of the attendees - a catechist named Njoroge - attested to Njogu's baffling ability of seeming to be in two places at the same time. He narrated how he would leave Njogu in one place and then travel to another place, only to find him there as well.

After the meeting, I approached Njogu to inquire more about his fascinating life. He informed me that he was given his current job of controlling road traffic in Kiserian by the government. But he didn't disclose to me who in the government organized the job for him.

True to his word, Njogu worked hard to ensure traffic flowed smoothly as we laid Mum to rest. He was at our home by 5.30am on funeral day. And I happened to sit beside him in the car that drove us to the mortuary.

At one point during our ride to the mortuary, Njogu broke the silence in the car and asked us in Swahili, "Unaona gari yangu? (Can you see my vehicle?)" He pointed to a stylish bus that he claimed he was bought for by Amb. Francis Muthaura, a former high-ranking government official in Kenya.

When he told us so, I inquired from him whether the stories I had heard about a prominent politician buying him a public service vehicle were true. He said they were indeed true and when I asked him which politician in particular bought him the vehicle, he thought for a moment and said it was Dr. Titus Naikuni.

With that, Njogu concluded he now had two public service vehicles, including the stylish bus he had pointed to us. Mark you, this is the same Njogu who used to pull a cart in Kiserian, barefooted. Sounds like a rags-to-riches tale, doesn't it?

Njogu has his admirers in Kiserian. As we were travelling back from the mortuary, some ladies spoke of him in glowing terms. They commented on how he was fitted to his current job as a road traffic controller, how he was dedicated to it and how the police respected him for helping them deliver their duties.

I hope people out there will also admire the stories and videos I share on this blog in the same way folks in Kiserian have admired Njogu for his diligence in doing his jobs and even gifted him with vehicles. That's why Njogu has become my inspiration, uneducated though he is.

RECOMMENDATION: If you've enjoyed the above story on lessons from a common man, you might also enjoy another one on "My Hometown of Kiserian" which I wrote sometime back. Just click on that link in blue to dive straight into the story.


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The Story of Mum's Life

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This is my departed mother in her element. I loved seeing her smile as she battled her illnesses.

They say life is pleasant and death is peaceful; it's the transition that is troublesome. In the case of my Mum, I don't think her transition to death two weeks ago was troublesome. She passed away peacefully without complaining of pain or discomfort the day before her demise.

Prior to her death, Mum suffered from heart disease. She had also been crippled by a stroke which made her walk with crutches. Perhaps due to her inability to walk well, she had grown so heavy that she couldn't lift herself up when she fell down. Once when she dropped down on the corridor of our mansion, I was unable to pick her up by myself. I had to call our farmhand for assistance.

After Mum landed in hospital thrice to seek treatment for injuries that she incurred as a result of falling down, I used to live in constant fear of her falling again. I would remember her in my prayers and wipe out any drop of water on the floor of our mansion to keep her from slipping.

Besides exercising too little due to her inability to walk well, the other reason Mum had grown heavy was because of over-eating. She loved eating, especially sugary food even though she was diabetic. Whenever there were cakes and juice in the house, she'd ask to be given some.

When I used to read the Reader's Digest magazines whose main purpose is educating people on healthy living, I would come across articles about how obesity and lack of exercise can cause such major diseases as cancer and diabetes. And I learnt that diabetes can lead to blindness and amputation.

Those articles made me worry about Mum who was diabetic and growing heavy. They made me see in her love of eating a disaster in the making. I shared my concern with my brother Paddy, who is a doctor, on one evening in 2020 but he pooh-poohed what I had to say.

Mum was aware that she was growing overweight and she desired to get thinner. She would go for walks on our farm and then ask my family members if she was losing weight. They would tell her that she looked thinner, probably not to disappoint her.

But for me, I knew walking for only 40 metres in a day wasn't enough to make her lose weight. Furthermore, she was still eating like a horse. I however didn't share my perspective with her, for I didn't want to discourage her feeble efforts.

On hearing that the cause of Mum's death was cardiac arrest, I googled for information about the causes of cardiac arrest and learnt that cardiac arrest happens when too much cholesterol blocks arteries of the heart. So it turns out my worries about Mum's binge-eating were well founded. If only my brother Paddy had listened to me!

Although I expected Mum to die from her health complications, I never thought it would have been that soon. She passed away at the age of 62 years but I believe she had the physical capability to live past 80 years like her mother, my grandmother. It's just that she never developed the good habits of eating healthily and exercising regularly.

During the more than eight years that I lived with Mum before her untimely death two weeks ago, she was often full of life. She would eat, cry, talk and laugh with energy. But her body was weak and sickly. She couldn't serve herself food and walked, as I have said, with the aid of crutches. Her vibrant soul appeared trapped in her sickly body.

That Mum was sick was apparent in the medication she took. She swallowed about six tablets in a day, something I feared could destroy her. And whenever she developed an illness, her doctors would add her medicine. In addition to taking medicines that controlled her diabetes and that made her blood thinner, she would sometimes swallow tablets to ease pain, dizziness, vomiting and blindness.

Yes, Mum would sometimes temporarily lose her vision. During those moments of blindness, her pupils would move to one side of her eyes and remain locked there for ten seconds or so.

Heartbreaking though Mum's death was to me, I am glad she passed away peacefully without going through cancer, blindness, amputation and the other nasty complications that come with obesity and diabetes. And that, my beloved reader, is the story of Mum's life. Shalom!

RECOMMENDATION: If you've enjoyed the above story of Mum's life, you might also enjoy another one on "The Word of God" which I wrote about two years ago and in which I mentioned Mum's love of eating. 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)