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.

Remembering My High School Classmates

These were my high school classmates. We were posing for a photo as our high school years at Starehe Boys' Centre were coming to an end in November 2005.

I sometimes find it fun to reflect on my past experiences and the people I have interacted with. Recently, I couldn't help remembering some of my high school classmates and how they influenced me. Among them was Lawrence Sikuku, a disciplined chap who impressed me with his consistent stellar academic performance.

Sikuku was always either position 1 or 2 in our class, right from Form One to Form Four. But what I liked most about him was his warm personality. Apart from a time in 2003 when he commented that one could easily tell my brother Paddy and I were siblings because of our confusion, I don't think I ever heard him utter an unkind word about anyone.

I will never forget the afternoon I saw Sikuku working at a certain bank in downtown Nairobi while I was queueing up to be served. It was in December 2006, a year after we had finished high school. When Sikuku spotted me in the queue that afternoon, he stopped what he was doing and came to me. He greeted me in his characteristic warm manner and after I informed him what I was doing in the bank, he served me, thus saving me time.

The other classmate in my high school class who had a personality as pleasing as Sikuku's was Wilson Chira. It must have been due to his pleasant personality that Chira was selected in 2004 to represent our school at a conference in the United States. To be frank, I am glad Chira was the only one in our class who attended the coveted conference. He was really a nice guy.

Another nice guy in my high school class was Rocky Mbithi. Rocky and I became good friends in December 2005 after we finished our high school career. We would go to a certain cyber cafe and surf the internet together. And during our first weeks at Starehe Institute in 2006, he would beg me for small amounts of money which I gave him.

Later on in 2013 when I was running for a political seat in the General Elections of Kenya, I requested Rocky for some campaign funds. And wow! He promptly sent me Ksh. 1,000. I am not sure if he recalled the instances in 2006 when I had given him small amounts of money but I am gratified to notice his financial situation had improved in a span of seven years.

Then there was James Wakyumbu, a classmate who was epileptic. I will always remember Wakyumbu for clarifying something that used to befuddle me: that is, why the Earth looks flat yet it is spherical. Wakyumbu explained to me on one afternoon in 2005 that it is because the Earth is so huge that its curvature appears straight to the human eye. Unfortunately, Wakyumbu passed away over a decade ago, probably due to his epilepsy.

During my four high school years, I had several deskmates. The first one was John Njiru. Even though Njiru was not a star in academics, he had an eye-catching handwriting and a good command of the English language. When I started developing an interest in girls in 2005, I sought Njiru's help in crafting compelling love letters to the girls I admired.

The deskmate I had for the longest time was Martin Wamoni. We used to laugh boisterously, Martin and I, at silly jokes when we were junior boys in high school. Unhappily, our friendship diminished when we were at JKUAT, a local university where we both matriculated in May 2007 to pursue engineering degrees.

One day in 2011, I sent Martin a lengthy email, reminding him of our high school laughs and lamenting the way we drifted apart at JKUAT. Martin, who was then in London, was kind enough to reply to my email. He told me friendship is a two-way process, so I was as much to blame for our diminished friendship.

Throughout my high school years, I never managed to defeat five classmates in academics. Of course one of the classmates was Lawrence Sikuku. Interestingly, none of the five classmates were into girls. The ones who had girls swooning over them were Wilson Chira, Rocky Mbithi and another classmate named Charles.

Given the way I keep remembering my high school buddies, I think a classmate called Stephen Ngaruiya was on the button when he remarked on one afternoon in 2004 that we would miss each other after we left Starehe. I truly miss those classmates. Their humor, brilliance and friendship have remained uppermost in my memory. Ciao!

RECOMMENDATION: If you've enjoyed the above story on my high school classmates, you might also enjoy another one on "Part 2: High School Memories" which I wrote about four years ago. Just click on that link in blue to dive straight into the story.


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A Self-assessment

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

In 2008 when I came to believe in the Bible as the inerrant Word of God, I discovered the value of Scripture memorization. Psalm 1:1-3 were the first verses I ever deposited in the memory bank of my mind. I drilled those verses into my mind with relative ease because they inspired me.

Over the years since 2008, I have added more Bible verses to my arsenal of memorized Scripture for use in my spiritual warfare. My latest addition to that arsenal is 1st Corinthians 13:4-7, those well-known verses that expound on the meaning of love.

A week ago, I substituted the word "love" in 1st Corinthians 13:4-7 with my name. And you know what? The verses made more sense to me with my name in them. Here's how they read when I used my name:
Thuita is patient, Thuita is kind. He does not envy, he does not boast, he is not proud. He is not rude, he is not self-seeking, he is not easily angered, he keeps no record of wrongs. Thuita does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. He always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
While reading the above version of 1st Corinthians 13:4-7 to myself, parts of it didn't sound like me even though I have been a practising Christian since 2008. Can I tell you how I have acted contrary to my version of those well-known verses? Okay, let me do so by listing some of the virtues mentioned in the verses and how I have contravened them.

Patient: I have sometimes been impatient at accomplishing my dreams, especially at meeting the woman of my dreams. Instead of concentrating on becoming a better person and entrusting to God the task of connecting me to my dream woman, I have spent time and money in search of her. I have even gone to the extent of putting an advert in a local newspaper to no success.

Kind: Well, I am kind by nature. But I have sometimes behaved like a mad bull. In 2013 for instance, I reacted angrily to Dad when he poked me in the chest while castigating me for arriving home late at night after he had closed the gate of our home.

Not envious: To be honest with you, I have sometimes been sick with envy and jealousy. One morning in 2014 for example, a neighbour's worker called me to help him uproot a tree. Upon entering the neighbour's home that morning, I was envious of the stately mansion on the compound and wondered when I would ever own such a mansion.

Not rude: As I have said, I am kind by nature. But I have sometimes acted arrogantly. There was an evening in 2013, for instance, when I called my brother Paddy "pumbavu", a Swahili word for a fool. Although I wasn't serious in calling Paddy "pumbavu", I am afraid that I might have hurt him.

Not self-seeking: After I badly lost in the 2013 General Elections of Kenya, I wrote an email to my friends, telling them I was so heartsick for not winning the political seat I was vying for that I didn't care if the country plunged into violence again. That was something very selfish of me to say and I have been feeling guilty about it. It seems I was just a self-seeking person back in 2013.

Keeps no record of wrongs: I am generally a forgiving person but I sometimes struggle with bitterness. And during the times I wallow in bitterness, I often find myself remembering all the times a person has wronged me. I will never forget the night in 2016 when I wrote a list of all the times my younger brother Symo had wronged me when we used to stay together in the years 2014 and 2015. Fortunately, I didn't share the list in a Whatsapp group of my siblings as I had intended to do.

Hopeful: I have always desired to be a hopeful, optimistic person like Bill Clinton, my hero. But I sometimes worry about what could go wrong in the future. Just last Monday at around 7.10pm, I caught myself worrying what I would do if a certain relative came to stay with us. Soon after I became aware of the worry, I turned my mind to thoughts of hope, of me accomplishing my dreams.

I could go on and on to narrate the other ways I have acted contrary to my version of 1st Corinthians 13:4-7 but I beg to stop there in the interest of time. All the same, I have been inspired to live up to those verses. I will therefore be striving to be kind, patient, forgiving, hopeful and persevering.

My beloved reader, I challenge you to also open your Bible to 1st Corinthians 13:4-7 and substitute the word "love" with your name as I have done above. Then read aloud to yourself the verses to see whether they sound like you with your name in them. And use that knowledge to assess where you need to change or improve on. Adieu!

RECOMMENDATION: If you've enjoyed reading the above story on self-assessment, you might also enjoy another one on "Keys to Success in Business" which I wrote several years ago. Just click on that link in blue to dive straight into the story.


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