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

I Matter. You Matter. We Matter.

Picture related to the title of the story
With permission, I have extracted this picture-quote from the website of Cindy Benezra. All rights reserved worldwide.

Amy Bloom, an American writer and psychotherapist, once remarked, "You are imperfect, permanently and inevitably flawed. And you are beautiful."

How I came to like that remark by Amy Bloom! It inspires me to love and accept myself in spite of all my flaws.

We are all flawed, in one way or another. But I don't think all people have a beautiful soul. Some are just crass, the kind I now avoid associating with.

One flawed public figure who has a beautiful soul is Bill Clinton, the 42nd President of the United States. I am saying so because on reading his endearing memoir, I came to know him as a leader with a genuine fondness for people.

It is well known that Bill Clinton had extramarital affairs with several women. He even had the audacity to engage in sexual escapades with a young White House intern named Monica Lewinsky when he was U.S. President in the '90s.

After news broke out about his affair with Lewinsky, he denied it. In one interview with the media, he asserted, "I did not have sexual relations with that woman!"

When it was eventually revealed that Bill Clinton had indeed had sexual relations with Monica Lewinsky, some haters crawled out of the woodwork and descended on him with criticism. They accused him of being a cheat and a fraud.

Bill Clinton confessed in his memoir that he was tempted to have an affair with Lewinsky. And when the scandal broke out, he lied about it to protect his name from being tarnished. Both of those accounts of his story sound true and reasonable to me.

Personally, I have entertained many lustful thoughts in my mind. And I am sure if I had the opportunities to act out those lustful thoughts, I would have committed more grievous sins than Bill Clinton. That's why I find it unwise to accuse Bill Clinton of being a cheat and a fraud for yielding to temptations.

Had I had the contacts of Bill Clinton back in the '90s when haters were descending on him with criticism, I would have sent him a message, saying "Bill, you are imperfect, permanently and inevitably flawed. And you are beautiful."

As for me, I think I also have a beautiful soul despite all the mistakes I have made in the past. I have often been a humble, loving and forgiving person, sometimes even reaching out to my haters.

But you know what? Even though I have been a good person, some characters have painted me as a bad person, perhaps due to their jealousy or as a way of escaping their own insecurities. Yet my only main weaknesses have been timidity and confusion.

Having grown up as a timid and confused teenager, I came to believe that I deserved to be rebuked, corrected and even punished. I would therefore accept everybody's advice without evaluating the character and intelligence of the person giving me advice.

Come to think of it, I was wrong to believe that I deserved to be rebuked, corrected and even punished. Actually, what I deserve is to be treated with respect. No one has a right to condemn me since we are all flawed.

Bill Gates, another role model of mine, is richer and more famous than me. But that doesn't mean he is more important than me. I am just as valuable as him. There are things I can do better than him.

In his memoir, Bill Clinton summarized that some of the facts he learnt from his undergraduate years at Georgetown University are that "man is basically good; that there is truth, but no finite mortal has it; that we can get closer to the truth only by working together; and that through faith and good works, we can have a better life in this world and a reward in the next."

The fact that "there is truth but no finite mortal has it" is what leads me to believe that no fellow human being has a right to dictate to me how I ought to live my life. I matter. So do my ideas and viewpoints. You too, my beloved reader, matter.

In fact, we all matter. And what we do matters. The work of a farmer who grows tomatoes is just as important as the work of a minter who prints money. The work of a kindergarten teacher who teaches kids how to read and write is just as important as the work of a president who governs a nation. We all matter.

RECOMMENDATION: If you've enjoyed the above story about how we all matter, you might also enjoy another one titled "You Matter" which I wrote a couple of years ago. Just click on that link in blue to dive straight into the story.


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College Memories

Picture related to the title of the story
In this photo taken in March 2007 are some of the college students in the institute division of Starehe Boys' Centre where I had my high school and college education. With the possible exception of one student I can't identify, all the students in this photo were later expelled from the institute for a reason I will narrate in the story below.

When I transitioned to the institute division of Starehe Boys' Centre in January 2006 to pursue a diploma in information technology, I formed the habit of sneaking out of school on Sunday mornings. I did that so as to attend the 8.00 a.m. mass of my hometown Catholic church where I enjoyed the company of youths.

One Sunday in 2006 while I was away from Starehe, the students had trouble singing the school song which I regularly accompanied on the piano. That made my absence from Starehe to be felt, and when I went back to the school, some captains threatened to report me to Mr. Joseph Gikubu, the then acting director of the school, for sneaking out of Starehe on Sundays.

I can't remember ever feeling afraid of the captains' threats. All I recall is that the issue died down after a few days and I continued sneaking out of school on Sunday mornings. I was such a daring student.

Apart from sneaking out of school on Sunday mornings, another offence I committed during my days at Starehe Institute in 2006 was failing to report back to school on the official opening day of each term. I would prolong my holidays by four or five days.

In January 2007 when I didn't return to Starehe on opening day, an institute classmate named Jamlick Kogi kept asking me via the internet when I was going to join him in school. I joked to him that I was still around like mud.

While relaxing at home that same January of 2007 after failing to report back to school as expected, I heard on TV over lunchtime news that Starehe had a new director. His name was Prof. Jesse Mugambi. And he sounded eloquent as he addressed journalists about his new role as the director of the school where I was pursuing my education.

On returning to Starehe Institute in January 2007 following my prolonged holiday, I resolved to stop sneaking out of school on Sunday mornings because it no longer felt right to me. I thought it wise to get permission from the new director to be leaving school on Sundays. So I approached one of my hometown Catholic priests and explained my predicament to him.

And wow! The priest turned out to be very understanding. He wrote a letter, requesting the director of Starehe to grant me permission to worship with youths in his church on Sundays. He began the letter by saying, "Greetings in the name of Jesus Christ..." And as he wrote the letter, he informed me that he had read some books by Prof. Jesse Mugambi to whom he was addressing the letter.

The following week, I presented the letter to Prof. Jesse Mugambi who consulted his deputy before granting me permission to be leaving Starehe on Sundays. He printed a note that indicated he approved my absence from Starehe on Sundays. I showed the note, which had the official stamp of Prof. Jesse Mugambi, to the institute captain.

You know what? A few weeks after he granted me permission to be leaving Starehe on Sundays, Prof. Mugambi began acting tough on the institute students of the school. He contemplated expelling some of them for failing their accounting exams. And when he found a few of us dozing during class hours, he warned us that "if you have nothing to do, don't do it here."

Then around March 2007 when KCSE results were released and Starehe emerged tops, some institute students who had excelled in the exams dashed to their homes without permission to celebrate their exemplary performance - something I had also done the year before when I scored an 'A' in those mighty exams. After four gruelling high school years, it felt natural to desire dashing home to rejoice with our families at having excelled in the exams, much in the same way soccer players pause matches to celebrate with their teammates whenever they score.

On learning that some institute students had gone home to celebrate their KCSE results, Prof. Mugambi dealt with them high-handedly when they came back to school. He issued them with threats, summoned their parents to school for interrogation and expelled quite a number of them from the institute, including my friend Richard Kagia who was active in the Christian Union movement.

That time Kagia and his fellow students were being put to task for going home to celebrate their KCSE results, I must have felt safe and secure to have a note that granted me permission to be leaving Starehe on Sundays. Given how Prof. Mugambi was acting tough on institute students, I wonder what would have happened to me if I had continued sneaking out of school on Sundays without permission and a captain breathed a word about it to the new director. It had been very wise of me to acquire that note.

Come to think of it, I am of the opinion that Prof. Mugambi created a storm in a teacup by the actions he took on the institute students who had dashed home to celebrate their KCSE results. He just overreacted. Had I been the director of Starehe at that time, I would have organized a bash at the school canteen for the students when they came back to school.

"Guys!" I would tell them during the bash, "You have done us proud. Thank you so much for preserving the good name of Starehe with your spectacular performance in KCSE exams."

And then towards the end of my congratulatory speech, I would conclude, "But guys, now KCSE stuff is over. I want you to concentrate on your institute courses with the same zeal you studied for KCSE. Okay?"

By saying so, I would have boosted the morale of the students, unlike Prof. Mugambi who demoralized them by issuing them with threats, summoning their parents to school and expelling those who didn't comply with his instructions.

Indeed, Prof. Mugambi just created a storm in a teacup. Or to put it in other words, he used a sledgehammer to crack a nut, for he ended up causing more harm by messing up with the lives of students who were relying on Starehe Institute for their education.

Prof. Mugambi also denied Starehe the talents of such dedicated students as Richard Kagia who was skilled at soloing traditional Agikuyu folk songs. It was sad to see Kagia go during our college days at Starehe Institute. Ciao!

RECOMMENDATION: If you've enjoyed the above story on my college memories, you might also enjoy another one on "How My Captain Helped Me" which I wrote a couple of 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)