My Adventures in Kiserian
For the last two and half months, I have been religiously going for a jog and a walk to my home-town of Kiserian, which is about three kilometres from where I live. My purpose for the jog and the walk is to cut weight. With time, I have discovered my adventures to the town are reducing my boredom. So I intend to continue with them even after I successfully cut weight.
I strive to be observant and imaginative during the adventures to the town so that I can enjoy them. Like I am always on the look-out for winsome young ladies (potential wife materials). And I am always praying that should I get to see one during one of these fine days, I will pluck up the courage to approach her and make a good first impression.
On some days during my adventures to Kiserian, I happen to meet people I know. Some wave at me from afar. Others, who I meet within spitting distance, exchange pleasantries with me. And for those who I manage to exchange pleasantries with, some ask me to convey their greetings to Mum, which I always do.
As I go observing people and the environs of Kiserian, I get to see how some folks struggle to make ends meet by hawking such mundane items as bananas and sandals. Others don't have access to piped water, so they buy the precious commodity with plastic containers which they carry with their hands or with wheelbarrows. Seeing people struggle that way reminds me to be grateful for the good breaks in my life and to also work hard to create a better future.
I also see beggars on the roadside begging for money. Needless to say, they usually have disabled feet or arms. The other day, I saw one with a severely deformed ear. If you think you have problems, wait till you see that beggar and you'll be left feeling immensely grateful.
This world is never without real life drama. And I get to witness some of it in Kiserian during my adventures to the town. Like one Sunday sometimes back, I saw one motor-bike rider (locally known as boda-boda), fall on the road with his moving motor-bike as he attempted to miss a vehicle that had slewed on his side of the road. That incident helped me know that I am not the only one to whom bad things happen to.
Yesterday during my walk to Kiserian, I witnessed another drama. A somewhat large number of people was crowding on a boda-boda station. Thinking it unusual for such a large number of people to crowd in such a place, I inquired from one boda-boda rider what was happening but he told me he also didn't know. I chose to continue with my walk.
On my way back, I observed that the crowd in the boda-boda station had grown larger. I again inquired from a man in the scene about what was happening.
"A guy has died," he answered in Swahili.
"Why?" I asked, my curiosity piqued.
"Oh, just the problems of life," he replied, a touch too lightly.
Curious to see the dead guy, I shoved my way into the centre of the scene where I saw a young man lying on the ground. He was dead. A few policemen were in the scene trying to control the crowd. I didn't bother to hang around and witness the whole scene unfold; I just continued with my walk back home, grateful to be alive and kicking.
Today during my walk (yes, today!), I witnessed yet another drama in another part of Kiserian. A crowd was milling around a scene on the opposite side of the road from where I was walking. And there was a police car parked nearby. Like in yesterday's scene, I was curious to know what was happening. The first guy I asked also confessed he didn't know; he said he had also just arrived at the scene.
I would have continued with my walk had I not seen a woman I know, who sells animal feed products in her shop, being led into the police car. As soon as I saw the woman, I turned back, crossed the road and started inquiring what was happening from the people around. To my unsatisfaction, almost everyone I asked for more information told me they also didn't know. So I left the scene to continue with my walk, not having known what had transpired near the woman's shop and led to her arrest.
Yes, I observe quite a lot during my daily adventures to Kiserian. My new mantra during my jogs and walks to the town is: "Use the mind to observe as well as think creatively and let the legs do the walking and jogging". Soon, I hope to be looking forward to those adventures much in the same way soccer fans look forward to UEFA Champions League matches. Adieu!
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The great American president Abe Lincoln was once asked, "What would you do if you were given six hours to cut a tree?" After thinking for a moment, he replied, "I'd spend the first four hours sharpening the axe."
Of course Lincoln's point was that before embarking on a goal or a project, it is important to plan and prepare. Failing to prepare is preparing to fail.
Earlier on in this decade when I reflected on that Lincoln's point, I came to believe that my days would turn out better if I rose up early in the morning everyday to sharpen my mind by reading, writing, praying, singing, playing the piano or listening to inspirational stuff. So I resolved on numerous times to be springing out of bed before dawn to sharpen my mind in an effort to have a productive day ahead. And do you know what became of those resolutions?
Well, I'd psyche myself up to be getting out of bed before the crack of dawn and convince myself I could do it. But after a few days of rising early, I'd fizzle and start oversleeping. And I stayed in that cycle for several years.
However, towards the end of 2017, I succeeded in summoning a discipline of rising up early everyday for several months. Then come April or May of 2018, I felt sick in the head for a few days. That sickness forced me to stop rising early. After that, I lost momentum of getting out of bed before dawn consistently.
At the beginning of this year, as part of my New Year resolution, I resolved to be rising early everyday as I used to do in 2018 before I felt sick in the head. I succeeded in doing so for six days and then I fizzled out again. These days, I prefer sleeping till I feel I have had enough sleep, provided I have no pressing need to attend to.
Today when I reflected on personal effectiveness, I thought we probably don't have to be early-risers to be highly effective people. Some of us are just not morning persons, myself included. So as for me, I have decided to stop beating myself up over not waking up before the crack of dawn.
I am now of the opinion that perhaps the key to personal effectiveness lies not in rising early but in thinking happy, quality thoughts. Several prominent people in the past pointed out the importance of happy thoughts in their teachings and writings.
Like Marcus Antoninus, the great Roman politician, said that "the happiness of your life depends upon the quality of your thoughts."
Then Sir SIdney (whoever that was) wrote, "They are never alone who are accompanied by pleasant thoughts."
And then Bishop John Williams advised, "Garner up pleasant thoughts in your mind, for pleasant thoughts make pleasant lives."
But perhaps the pleasure of thinking was best expressed by the wise and much-quoted lawyer of another generation, John Foster, who wrote, "The pleasantest things in the world are pleasant thoughts, and the greatest art in life is to have as many of them as possible."
Now that I am of the opinion that they key to personal effectiveness lies in harbouring quality thoughts, I have made a covenant with myself to be nurturing my mind with great thoughts. I will be reading quality literature, be listening to inspiring music and be meditating on life in a stimulating way.
Also, I will be striving to think well of myself by thinking of my good qualities and to get rid of all resentment. And in an effort to enforce that self-disciplines, I will be pinching myself painfully if I happen to catch myself putting myself down or thinking of past hurts.
My dear reader, I also beseech you to join me in this journey of personal effectiveness. Let us entertain only positive thoughts in our beautiful minds. And let us guard our thinking against negative thoughts. Life is too short for bad vibes. Adieu!
RECOMMENDATION: If you've found this story of mine on personal effectiveness thought-provoking, you might also be provoked more by another one I wrote at the beginning of this year titled "My New Year Resolution". Just click on that link in blue to dive straight into the story.