Positive Quote For Today

"The only way that we can live, is if we grow. The only way that we can grow is if we change. The only way that we can change is if we learn. The only way we can learn is if we are exposed. And the only way that we can become exposed is if we throw ourselves out into the open. Do it. Throw yourself."— C. JoyBell C.

Being Kind

With permission, I have extracted this picture-quote from Azquotes. All rights reserved worldwide.

There is this neighbor of ours we call Mkisii because he hails from the Abagusii community of western Kenya. I've known him for the past twelve years since he came to live on the land that borders our farm on the northern side. And he must be a man of modest means given the way he used to come to our home to borrow water before Mum instructed him to refrain from doing so.

Now, Mkisii has been having an annoying habit of letting his goats stray into our farm. On a number of occasions over the past four years, my sick Mum has flown into a rage at the sight of Mkisii's goats feasting on grass and food crops on our farm. And no matter how stern she has been with Mkisii, he has still left his goats to wander onto our farm through gaps on the fence separating our land from his.

One morning on October 2019 after Mkisii's goats strayed into our farm, I tethered them to a tree to keep them from devouring on food crops on our farm. And when Mkisii came for the goats a few hours later, I demanded Ksh. 200 for the work I had done in tying the goats to a tree. He promised that he would pay me the money once he received the salary he earns as a watchman.

Being the smart young man that I am, I kept reminding Mkisii about the money. I would phone him to ask for the cash and even mention it to him whenever we met on the road. But however hard I tried to get the money from him, he would come up with an excuse as to why he was not in a position to pay me. Eventually, I stopped bothering him after it dawned on me that getting money from him was like getting blood out of a stone.

Late last year, matters came to a head when a woman employed to take care of my sick Mum spotted Mkisii's children stealing guavas from our farm. Mum was so vexed to hear what Mkisii's children had done that she asked me to be on the look-out for the children on our farm. Well, I never got to see them on our farm but it sure did vex me too to hear they were pilfering fruits from our farm.

It is not only the straying of Mkisii's goats into our farm and his children's stealing of our guavas that have annoyed us. We have also been offended when Mkisii and his family began using a road on our farm as a short-cut for a journey to and from a nearby town called Kiserian. My Mum was the first to raise complaints when she spotted Mkisii using our road.

After Mum raised complaints about Mkisii using our road, I noted a gap on a certain spot on the fence separating our land from Mkisii's. I suspected he and his family were using the gap to trespass into our farm without our knowledge. And when I confronted him about it, he denied using the gap to enter into our farm.

Guess what! A few weeks later, I noticed the gap had become wider after someone cut a barbed wire on the fence, thus raising my suspicion that Mkisii was using the gap to trespass into our farm. My suspicion turned out to be right because two or three months ago, I caught Mkisii red-handed using the gap to enter into our farm.

When I caught Mkisii red-handed using the gap to trespass into our land, I asked him to desist from doing so and then instructed him to seal the gap with kei-apple plants. He promised me that he would do so. But alas! He seems to still have been making use of the gap, for I have noticed a beaten path on the ground below the gap.

Given how Mkisii has a history of lying to me, I have been tempted to speak rudely to him and to call him an inveterate liar on the occasions I have met him these past few months. I have actually visualized myself reminding him of all the times he has lied to me, such as promising to pay me Ksh. 200 which he has never done. And I have visualized myself doing so with a touch of rudeness and arrogance.

But on mature reflection, I have chosen to be kind to Mkisii and ignore his wrong-doings. For one thing, he is a widowed man bringing up three or four children on his own. His wife passed away three years ago, and on the morning after his wife died, he came to our house to inform us about it. So I have asked myself: Why be rude to such a widowed man of modest means struggling to raise children on his own? And that has reminded me of a quote that says, "Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle."

I have also chosen to be kind to Mkisii because the Bible says in the book of Proverbs that "he who despises his neighbor sins". Since I believe in the Bible as the inerrant Word of God, I have this feeling that if I despise Mkisii by speaking rudely to him, God might refuse to grant me the desires of my heart such as owning a magnificent home. I will therefore continue being kind to Mkisii. It's more important to be kind than to be right.

RECOMMENDATION: If you've enjoyed this story on being kind, you might also enjoy another one I wrote about three years ago on "Death Strikes My Neighborhood". Just click on that link in blue to dive straight into the story.


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My Laptop Battery Conks Out

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

One morning in early 2016, I bought a Lenovo laptop with some of the money I had earned from my piano-teaching jobs the previous year. It being the first laptop I have ever owned, I came to treasure it in the same way a doting mother values her baby child. I have taken utmost care of the laptop over the past five years by regularly wiping dust from it, keeping it away from direct sunlight and disconnecting it from power whenever its battery has been full.

A few years ago, the laptop battery started malfunctioning in spite of me having taken utmost care of it. This is what would happen: the laptop would indicate on the screen that the battery had, say 80%, of power left, only for the figure to suddenly drop to 6% or less, thus making a certain light emitting diode on the laptop to turn red.

About two or three months ago, I woke up early one morning and tried to remove the battery from the laptop so that I could give it to Dad for him to buy a replacement when he traveled to Nairobi City that day. Try as I might, I just couldn't extract the battery from the laptop. And since I don't like forcing things out of electronics gadgets for fear of causing more damage, I gave up removing the battery and hopped back into bed for a few more hours of sleep.

Yesterday evening, just before I went jogging to my hometown of Kiserian, I switched on my laptop. Everything went smoothly as I turned on the laptop. And when I logged into my account, I checked the amount of power left in the battery so as to judge whether I would leave the laptop connected to the power supply or not. Guess what! Instead of getting the usual figure expressed as a percentage, I got a message that said, "Estimating..."

Having never seen such a message before, I assumed the laptop operating system was genuinely estimating the amount of power left in the battery. But when I clicked the battery symbol three or four more times, I got the same "Estimating..." message. Eventually, I ran out of patience and switched off the power supply to the laptop to see what it would indicate on the amount of power in the battery. And wa! No sooner had I switched off the power supply than the laptop suddenly shut itself down. Oh my, the damn battery had conked out!

I felt dejected that my laptop battery had conked out. As I went jogging to Kiserian without my usual enthusiasm, I thought of how I would have to put up with a laptop with a dead battery. It disturbed me to think that the laptop would suddenly shut down without warning whenever there is a power outage. As those discouraging thoughts raced through my mind, I remembered the lyrics of the wonderful old hymn "His Eye is on the Sparrow" whose first verse goes as follows:
Why should I feel discouraged?
Why should the shadows come?
Why should my heart be lonely?
And long for heaven and home?
When Jesus is my portion,
My constant friend is He;
His eye is on the sparrow,
And I know He watches me.
While I can't exactly recall if the hymn brought cheer to my discouraged soul, I remember hoping and praying that when I went back home, I would be able to remove the battery from the laptop - something I was unable to do two or three months ago as I have already told you.

Much to my disappointment, I was again unable to extract the battery from the laptop. And when I turned to my tablet and googled for instructions on how to remove the battery, I was taken aback to learn from a YouTube video that removing a battery from a Lenovo laptop is not as easy as ABC; it is a complicated process that involves unscrewing quite a number of bolts and dislodging the hard-disk as well as the keypad.

Since I have a poor manual dexterity, I thought the game was not worth the candle because I could end up doing more damage to the laptop by disassembling it just to replace a malfunctioned battery. So I have decided to continue using the laptop with its dead battery. And from that disheartening experience, I have been reminded of two valuable lessons.

First is the value of money. I am sure if some rich people I know had had their laptop battery conk out, they would have rushed to an electronics shop the following day and bought a new laptop. Money is important in life, I tell you. So I have resolved to continue charging people for any service I render.

The second lesson the laptop experience has reminded me is to always be thankful for what I have before it's gone. I have therefore made up my mind to continue thanking God for the blessings that many of us take for granted. Blessings such as good health, access to food, water, internet and electricity as well as the company of family and friends. Adieu!

RECOMMENDATION: If you've enjoyed this story on how my battery conked out, you might also enjoy another one I wrote about three years ago on "Soaring Like an Eagle". Just click on that link in blue to dive straight into the story.


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