What I'd Do If I Got Rich
A True Story
on Dec 11, 2019
For your information, I sat for Kenya's national primary school exams (known as KCPE) in November 2001. We, the pupils of that year, were the first lot to take five papers in the KCPE exams. Previously, pupils used to sit for seven papers. I think the curriculum setters reduced KCPE papers to five so as not to burden our nation's primary school children with too much academic work.
While perusing the 2001 KCPE papers that I sat for, I came across the following question in the Christian Religious Education section of the exam:
Peter, who is a rich man, is thinking of how to use his extra money. As a Christian, what advice would you give him?Well, I can't recall what answer I gave to that question when I sat for the exams back in 2001. Being the intelligent pupil that I was, I must have selected choice B (that is, pay school fees for orphans). But to be honest, I see nothing wrong with the other choices.
A. Go for trips abroad.
B. Pay school fees for orphans.
C. Build a bigger house for his family.
D. Buy a farm for his family.
That question has led me to think of what I'd do with money if I got rich. And I am thinking that I'd first settle a loan I borrowed when I was at the university in JKUAT. Then I'd buy a decent car and build a resplendent house which I would stuff with furniture and modern accessories. Then I'd set aside some money for my children's education because I'd like to have three kids with my future wife. And because I love reading as a way of developing my mind, I'd invest some money in adding great books to my library. I already have in mind some of the books I'd order from Amazon.
Having taken care of myself and my needs, I'd use the remaining money to support worthy causes and help people such as my parents and the friends who have been kind to me in the past. I'd especially love to take my mother to a dentist for a new set of artificial milk-white teeth. (My mother has lost quite a number of teeth, including one canine tooth that has made me sympathize with her when I see her laughing.)
When I talk of assisting the people who have been kind to me in the past, I am reminded of a friend with whom I attended the same high school and university. He was always nice to me. At one time in 2008 when I went astray at the university in JKUAT, he allowed me to spend a night on an empty bed in his room. Then the following morning after I became sick, he took me to JKUAT hospital.
Several years later after I had dropped out of JKUAT, the friend happened to own a soft-copy version of a Calculus book that I wanted to read for leisure at home. He readily agreed to share it with me. Because the soft-copy version of the book was too heavy to be sent by email, the friend went on to sacrifice his time and resources to upload the book on a certain website where I downloaded it.
Guess what! About three years ago, this same friend requested me to help him with some money as he was in need. And when I didn't immediately respond to his pleas, he informed me that even Ksh. 500 would be enough for him. Given the way he had helped me along the way, I wished I could repay him for his kindness to me by assisting him in his hour of need. But the problem was that I didn't have money at that time he was begging me for help. I was in fact depending on my family for my daily needs. So I texted him a few days later, informing him I was unable to help. How unfortunate!
Such are the kind of friends I'd wish to help if I got rich. And I have this belief that I will become wealthy because the Bible says in the book of Sirach that God can make someone suddenly rich. Napoleon Hill also said something similar in his evergreen book, Think and Grow Rich. For me, I say God can lift someone from burning charcoal to using gold.
If I ever get rich, and I am believing I will, my role model for spending money will be Andrew Carnegie, an American industrialist who became exceedingly wealthy in the early 20th century. Carnegie donated much of his fortune to charities, foundations and universities. He must have done so because he was aware he would leave his wealth here on Earth after he died. And that's what happened when he passed away in the year of our Lord 1919.
I have noted that Bill Gates, one of the richest men of our time, is also following in the footsteps of Andrew Carnegie because has been giving out money for such worthy causes as research for cures of diseases. During his 2007 commencement speech at Harvard University, Bill Gates challenged Harvard graduates to use their talents and knowledge to make the world a better place. He told them, "From those to whom much is given, much is expected."
UPDATE: I have updated with new info the story I wrote last year on "How to Win Friends". Just click on that link in blue to read it. I am sure you'll like the story better the way it is now.
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Benefits of Drinking Water
A True Story
on Dec 8, 2019
When I was at Starehe Boys' Centre where I had my high school as well as college education, we used to have someone give us a talk during evening assemblies. Of all the evening talks we had during my close to six years stay at Starehe, I only remember the ones I delivered myself and three others. I recall the ones I delivered myself of course by virtue of having been the one who prepared them. And I wouldn't be surprised if most Starehians of my time can't remember what I said.
I delivered evening talks right from my first year at Starehe till my last. And thanks to those talks, I discovered I had a talent for public-speaking given the way some schoolmates used to compliment me. Like the morning after I gave my first evening talk in Starehe when I was in Form 1, a prefect commended me for it when I reported to his study for duty.
Then another schoolmate could't believe I was the one who had written that evening talk I delivered when I was in Form 1. He thought my senior brother Paddy, who was also in the school, had penned it. What I didn't disclose to the schoolmate was that I had intelligently plagiarized the contents of the speech from a Social Education and Ethics textbook.
Though I surmise most Starehians of my time can't remember what I said during my talks, I know of a few who do. One of them is Dennis Makhandia, a housemate of mine at Starehe who was a year behind me. When we were at the university in JKUAT in 2008, Makhandia once asked me whether I had a written copy of a talk I gave when I was in Form 3 about the dangers of taking carbonated drinks. I didn't have a copy of the speech but I remember that I plagiarized it from a passage in a KCPE English paper exam.
As I have said, I only remember three other evening talks we had at Starehe besides the ones I delivered. The first was by a senior student who told us why being a lawyer is a noble profession. Even though I can't recall the contents of that talk, I think that was a good initiative.
The second was by a schoolmate called Abdikadir Hussein who tried to convince us that Islam is an honourable religion. He spoke of what Islam is and what it is not, and how it is misinterpreted by those who don't understand it. I also think that talk on Islam was a good initiative, but the problem was that Abdikadir delivered it incoherently. If only he had been eloquent! (By the way, I learnt yesterday while doing research for this story that Abdikadir Hussein is now a doctor.)
The third evening talk I recollect from my Starehe years was one by Mr. Kinyajui, our Agriculture teacher in junior high school. Mr. Kinyajui gave us a nice homily about the benefits of drinking water. He outlined several of those benefits but the only one I remember is that drinking water makes us look more handsome. The talk inspired me to take water on a regular basis, a habit I have kept to this day which explains why I usually look as radiant as a Hollywood movie star.
Because I forgot almost all the benefits of drinking water that Mr. Kinyajui propounded, I googled them up some time in 2017. And to my delight, Google directed me to a website which lucidly stated that drinking water:
- relieves fatigue,
- improves mood,
- treats headaches and migraines,
- helps in digestion and constipation,
- aids weight loss,
- flushes out toxins,
- regulates body temperature,
- promotes healthy skin,
- relieves hangover,
- beats bad breath.
RECOMMENDATION: If you've enjoyed this story about the benefits of drinking water, you might also enjoy another one I wrote sometimes back on "Lessons From My Story-telling Journey". Just click on that link in blue to dive straight into the story.