Book Review: "The Secret"
A True Story
on Oct 19, 2023
I love reading motivational books because they carry important messages for us. Recently, I developed a desire to re-read Rhonda Byrne's The Secret, a motivational book I downloaded from the internet a decade ago. Since I no longer read soft-copy books, I had to buy the book from a bookshop.
Two weeks ago, I found a hard-cover copy of the book on sale at a certain bookshop in Nairobi. It was retailing at Ksh. 2,250, making it the most expensive book I have ever purchased. Well, I did ask if the bookshop had a paperback version of the book only for the cashier to inform me there wasn't.
Eager to understand and apply the nuggets in the book, I began devouring it the following day. And wow! The book turned out to be a delightful and enlightening read. Okay, let me tell you more.
Rhonda Byrne begins the book by asserting there is a secret of attaining wealth, health, happiness and fulfilling relationships. She claims all the great people of the past knew and applied the secret. People like Isaac Newton, Albert Einstein and Abraham Lincoln. That's why they became eminently successful.
And what is the secret? It is the law of attraction which helps us attract money, the right marriage partner as well as our desired body weight. The law of attraction, which says like attracts like, is the most powerful law in the universe.
The first step we can apply the law of attraction is harboring the right thoughts. We should think thoughts of abundance if we want to attract riches. And if we want peace, we should think thoughts of love, hope and faith.
Since the law of attraction says like attracts like, most of us go wrong by keeping on thinking about what we don't want. Then we wonder why bad things show up over and over again in our lives.
An effective method of assessing whether we are thinking positive or negative thoughts is to check our feelings. It is impossible to feel good and have negative thoughts. If we are feeling bad, it is because our thoughts are negative.
It is also important that we believe that whatever we are asking the Universe for is going to happen. We should see the things we want as already ours. That insight has made me resolve the next time I see my dream car pass me by on the road, I will whisper to myself, "I will own such a vehicle!"
Besides thinking positive thoughts and believing we will get whatever we ask for, it is important that we cultivate gratitude for what we already have. Gratitude is absolutely the way to bring more into our lives. Whatever we think and thank about, we bring about.
Rhonda Byrne goes on to state that the law of attraction works best when we live in the moment and enjoy our work. We should therefore do what we love and feel good now. As one successful man quoted in the book quips, "If it ain't fun, don't do it!"
The Secret has deepened my faith in the Bible, for all that Rhonda Byrne writes in the book is found in the Bible. In his epistles for instance, St. Paul implored us to always be thankful and to think only that which is true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent and praiseworthy.
Then in Mark 11:24, Jesus urged us that "whatever we ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it and it will be yours." And in Ecclesiastes 3:22, King Solomon pointed out that "nothing is better for a man than to enjoy his work because that is his lot."
About the only thing I didn't agree with Rhonda Byrne in the book was her suggestion that we keep away from the media because of the bad news often reported. I personally enjoy reading the newspapers and the calamities I read about make me more grateful for my blessings.
All in all, I enjoyed reading The Secret and gave it a 5-star rating on Goodreads.com, a social networking site for avid readers. The book was worth its weight in gold. And my main take-away message from it was that I deserve all the good things life has to offer. Ciao!
RECOMMENDATION: If you've enjoyed reading the above story on book review of The Secret, you might also enjoy another book review of As a Man Thinketh which I wrote last year. Just click on that link in blue to dive straight into the review.
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Staying With Those in Need
A True Story
on Oct 14, 2023
Like I have narrated before on this blog, Bill Clinton was an able and charismatic leader during his years in politics. But you know what? When he was running for U.S. presidency in 1992, one critic described him as "the guy who never suffered, who never struggled and thus never grew up."
In my opinion, the critic was mistaken about describing Clinton as immature. Bill Clinton was actually very mature, his moral lapses notwithstanding. He had an extraordinary compassion for those going through hard times. Only the late Princess Diana could rival him in identifying with the suffering.
Bill Clinton must have acquired his compassion from his experiences of growing up in a dysfunctional family. His step-father, an alcoholic, was so abusive that he once fired a bullet at his family, a frightening incident that landed him in a police cell.
During his 1993 inauguration as U.S. president, Bill Clinton urged his fellow citizens to keep company with those in need. I think he gained that insight from the days he cared for his dying step-father. (Yes, the same step-father who was abusive.)
On the afternoon of last Tuesday, I found myself in a circumstance that made me keep company with someone in need: my mother. She became ill by vomiting and having hot flushes.
At first, I thought Mum's vomiting was just a minor discomfort. I therefore stayed in my room as Dad attended to her. But when her vomiting persisted, I stopped reading and went to check on her.
Dad complimented me for getting out of my room to be with them. He said my presence could heal her. So I sat helplessly in the living room of our mansion while watching Mum spew up saliva and then close her eyes as if drifting off to sleep. She appeared weak and sickly.
Alarmed by Mum's vomiting, Dad asked her whether he should phone my elder brothers to inform them about her illness. When Mum weakly objected to his suggestion, I sided with her and implored Dad to give her time to recover.
But Dad would hear none of our suggestions. He picked his phone and frantically called my three elder brothers. He particularly encouraged my brother Bob Njinju to come home, citing that his presence could also heal her.
As I kept my parents company in the living room of our mansion, I tried to be of some help. I dabbed Mum's forehead with a wet towel to cool her slightly sweaty face. And I held the bucket in which she was vomiting.
Interestingly, while Mum was vomiting and sweating, I felt in my soul the peace that surpasses all understanding. I felt, too, my faith in God swell up in my heart. And all I could tell God was that He may make my Mum live long enough to see me walk down the aisle with my Princess Charming.
When it reached 4.57pm, I left home for my one-hour walk to my hometown of Kiserian. I thought little of Mum's sickness throughout the walk. The little I thought of her was a wish that she would be well by the time I got back home.
But alas! Mum was still vomiting and feeling weak when I reached home at around 6.00pm. Her doctor, a cardiologist named Dr. Murage, recommended on phone that she be admitted at Kenyatta National Hospital. So when Bob Njinju came home at around 8.00pm, he drove her to hospital as Dr. Murage had recommended.
While Mum lay in hospital on Wednesday, I phoned her in the morning. I phoned her again on Thursday morning for a chat during which she inquired whether it was raining here in Kiserian. It was so nice to hear her talking and even nicer to learn that she was feeling better.
Yesterday (Friday) when I phoned her several times, I was disappointed to hear that her phone was off. But that didn't dampen my spirits. Instead, it provided me with fodder for my prayers. I again beseeched God to let her live long enough to witness my wedding day.
In the evening, I was elated when Dad informed me that Mum was being discharged from hospital. She reached home at around 8.00pm. Of course it was my brother Bob Njinju who brought her home in his car.
Mum's illness that began on Tuesday afternoon has made me see sense in Bill Clinton's 1993 clarion call to Americans that they keep company with those in need. It has also made me thankful to see Mum eat and talk normally. Truly, I have a lot to be grateful for even though I am yet to meet the woman of my dreams.
RECOMMENDATION: If you've enjoyed the above story on staying with those in need, you might also enjoy another one on "Part 1: Appreciating Mothers" which I wrote a few years ago. Just click on that link in blue to dive straight into the story.