Refraining From Showing Off
A True Story
on Oct 29, 2023
Here at my desk, I have with me Cambridge international dictionaries of idioms and phrasal verbs. I love dipping into those two dictionaries in search of interesting words and phrases. The dictionaries have moulded me into a better thinker with their lucid explanations of each idiom and phrasal verb.
But what I like most about those two dictionaries are the example sentences that help me understand idioms and phrasal verbs better. The example sentences are always relevant and insightful. My favorite is this one: "Nobody likes a show-off, Andrew."
That example sentence has made me think about the habit of showing off. It's a habit I have observed in people on social media. Every so often, I come across posts on social media of friends boasting about the exotic places they have visited, the famous celebrities they have met and the milestones they have achieved.
During my evening walks to my hometown of Kiserian - the only time I get to interact with people outside my home - I also see some folks showing off their skating, cycling and driving skills on the road. Motorbike riders, locally known as bodaboda, are especially fond of flaunting their riding skills.
A couple of times, I have seen some bodaboda men ride their motorbikes while standing. Recently, I saw one lying flat on his moving motorbike. He left me wondering what he would do in case he needed to brake his motorbike to a halt in an emergency.
The most bizarre bodaboda show-offs, though, are those of riders who drive very noisy motorbikes, often at high speeds. And those riders are very popular with teenagers, probably because teens are attracted to fashionable things.
I am not an automotive engineer but from my little scientific knowledge, I understand a substantial amount of energy is wasted in converting chemical energy in petrol to sound energy, not forgetting the danger the bodaboda riders pose to their ears by riding on very noisy motorbikes. Seriously, are such show-offs wise?
To be honest, I have also been guilty of showing off. Earlier in the previous decade for instance, whenever I felt elated on weekends, I would dash off to All Saints' Cathedral in Nairobi to show off my happy, handsome face to the choir I used to sing with during my university years.
Since the choir was more of a family to me, I had resolved that if I ever met the woman of my dreams, I would introduce her to the choir. I would visualize myself serenading the woman in a boastful manner in the presence of the choristers.
When I became detached from the choir, I shifted my focus to showing off my dream woman on social media and on this blog. But on second thought, I have come to think such show-offs to be as unwise as riding very noisy motorbikes. It's better to remain humble and understanding.
I have therefore decided that should God connect me to the woman of my dreams - that smart, funny and vivacious lass - I won't show her off on the internet. Instead, I will continue posting on this blog stories and videos that meet the interests of my readers.
If there is anything I have learnt about life, it is that most people are facing such challenges as theft, divorce, conflicts, anxiety, sickness, rejection, criticism and depression. I'd like to help people overcome such challenges through the stories and videos I share on this blog.
My role model will be Joel Osteen, an American preacher who motivates me with messages that speak to my heart. Joel Osteen uses the lessons he has learnt on his way to success to inspire others. Let's emulate him because nobody likes a show-off, my beloved reader!
RECOMMENDATION: If you've enjoyed the above story on refraining from showing off, you might also enjoy another one on "The Virtue of Long-suffering" which I wrote more than two years ago. Just click on that link in blue to dive straight into the story.
Sharing is CaringLike this story? Then share it on:
Praying for Discernment
A True Story
on Oct 24, 2023
In April 2007 when I was leaving Starehe Boys' Centre where I had my high school and college education, I was endowed with a lot of book knowledge which I attribute to the intensive reading I did at Starehe. But I had very little godly wisdom which was apparent in the way I would interact and associate with anyone who crossed my path.
One afternoon in 2007 for instance, I boarded a bus and sat next to a male passenger who proceeded to engage in a conversation. He told me about the sexual perversity he had seen on the internet and how he thought it immoral for women to wear slinky trousers. When we alighted from the bus, he invited me to go to his house.
Maybe I tended to associate with everyone because I heeded the advice in "Desiderata" that says, "As far as possible, without surrender, be on good terms with all persons. Speak your truth quietly and clearly, and listen to others, even the dull and the ignorant; they too have their story."
Then after I read Bill Clinton's memoir, I took my foolishness a notch higher by emulating Clinton in looking up to those people others look down upon. Bill Clinton made me want to hang out with those shunned by society.
So much did I strive to emulate Clinton that I would visit women in their homes and honor invitations by male friends to go to their houses. Some of the people I visited would welcome me warmly and offer me something to eat or drink.
And when I began writing stories in 2010, I would email my stories to everyone in my contact list, even to those who didn't know me well. While some gave me positive feedback on the stories I penned, others would get irritated by my frequent emails and command me not to bother them.
Looking back, I am realizing it was foolish of me to associate with every Tom, Dick and Harry that came my way. The truth is, some people are too pathetic to interact with. If everyone was as good as I grew up believing, we wouldn't have anyone imprisoned for committing such crimes as rape, theft, murder and peddling drugs.
Yes, some people are too pathetic to associate with. I now agree with whoever said that "sometimes you need to stop seeing the good in people and start seeing what they show you."
I think my lack of discernment and godly wisdom can be traced back to the way I grew up. As a teenager, I was often accused of being confused - a weakness I wrestled with well into adulthood. With such confusion, it was hard for me to discern who to associate with and who to avoid.
Because of my lack of discernment, I was slow at understanding people's motives. To give an example, a man I met at a certain church used to treat me with contempt. But I didn't realize he hated me until eight years later. That realization made me despise him in my heart. And it has taken me a long time for that bitterness to fade from my soul.
Then a certain lady, who I used to visit in her home, once took me to her bedroom to help her push her bed. And it wasn't until a few years later that it dawned on me that her intention of taking me to her bedroom could have been to seduce me into sleeping with her.
Now that I know women of all ages get sexually aroused, I should have been wary of visiting women in their homes. And now that I am aware homosexuality is real and that rape is a sexual fantasy of some men, I should also have been chary of male friends taking me to their houses.
Having grown wiser these days, I am always including wisdom, courage and discernment among the things I want God to bless me with. I want to know when people are deceiving me. I want to have the courage to say "no" to things that just don't feel right for me. And I want to discern when I am offering useful service and when others are taking advantage of me.
My beloved reader, I exhort you to also be praying for wisdom, courage and discernment which are as important as any material blessing, if not more important. In a fallen world full of evil, nothing can better prepare us for the challenges of life than possessing a spirit of valor and sound judgement. That's all I am saying.
RECOMMENDATION: If you've enjoyed reading the above story on praying for discernment, you might also enjoy another one on "Benefits of Wisdom" which I wrote a few years ago. Just click on that link in blue to dive straight into the story.