Lessons From Ronald Reagan - Reflections of a Young Man™

An Honest Appeal!

To help maintain and promote this website as well as to enable me lead a decent life, I am scouting for businesses to advertise on this website of mine. So please hook me up to one such business now by clicking here. How about that?

Lessons From Ronald Reagan

This is the late Ronald Reagan: the 40th President of the United States. Photo courtesy of the White House.

As my friends know very well, I have always been interested in a political career. I relish the endeavour of advancing the course of my Motherland through a leadership service rooted in duty, honour and patriotism. The kind of leadership service that Dr. Griffin (the founder of Starehe Boys' Centre, my Alma Mater) strove to instil in Starehians.

But to be honest, I sometimes doubt whether I can have a successful political career given the nature of our national politics that is marred by deceit, acrimony, tribalism and corruption. So corrupted is our national politics that in our country, the term "honest politician" is practically an oxymoron.

My hopes of having a successful political career however get rekindled whenever I think of Ronald Reagan: the 40th President of the United States who led his country to Cold War victory. Americans broke the mould when they elected Reagan as president because he was a kind, honest and good-natured person like me.

Having read much about Reagan, including Margot Morrell's Reagan's Journey: Lessons From a Remarkable Career, I have been able to glean the following virtues that made Reagan a great president: optimism, faith in God, sense of humour, love for mankind and a romantic nature. Let me briefly discuss each of those virtues.

On his optimism and faith in God, Reagan believed deeply in the Bible as the inerrant Word of God. So deep was his faith that he never took off in a plane without uttering a prayer. And he believed that God has a purpose for everyone; that we might not know that purpose now but eventually we will know. That kind of deep faith in God accounted for his optimism because he never saw things darkly; he believed everything happens for a reason.

Like when he was almost killed in 1981 by a would-have-been assassin, Reagan prayed in the hospital where he was admitted. A friend visited him in that hospital and told him, "Reagan, God was certainly on your side that day you were shot." To which Reagan replied, "Yes I know, and I have made up my mind that all the days I have left belong to Him."

On his sense of humour and love for mankind, Reagan had an uncanny ability to tell stories of sparkling wit without repeating himself. Rhetoricians have labelled him as "The Great Communicator" because he spoke with confidence and conviction. And he loved meeting and interacting with people. No wonder he was voted in this decade as the most efficient American president since World War 2.

His optimism, faith in God, sense of humour, love for mankind and a romantic nature - let me now discuss on the last of those virtues. Reagan adored his wife Nancy with whom he regularly danced with in the glare of media cameras. He always sent his mother-in-law a gift on Nancy's birthdays.

At one time when he was taking a leisurely walk, Reagan passed by a garden of rose flowers. He paused to pluck one rose only to be told by one of his security escorts, 'Reagan, this is not your flower garden." To which Reagan exclaimed, "But I want to take one to my lady!" He plucked the rose and took it home to his wife Nancy.

For those admirable virtues, Reagan is one of my heroes. I am striving each day to cultivate in myself those virtues that made him a great president. And hopefully, I too will have a successful political career. So help me God.


Sharing is Caring

Like this story? Then share it on:

Benefits of Writing

When I bought my second android tablet in August 2015, I downloaded a journalling app called Penzu with the intention of using it to save writings that inspire me in my wanderings around the world wide web so that I can read them again. So far, I have saved quite a number of writings in the app like one on the health benefits of drinking purple tea.

But the Penzu team doesn't know I use their app to save writings by copying and pasting. It thinks the contents on my Penzu account are my own. So whenever I don't paste something into the app for some time, I receive the following email:
Hi [Thuita],

We noticed that you haven't written in your journal recently. Did you know that journalling has many health benefits, including:
  • Less stress & improved moods
  • Reduced blood pressure & improved immune system
  • Improved memory
Just click the button below to jump straight back into your Penzu journal. It'll be like you never left!

Write on!

The Penzu Team
That email usually encourages me to keep writing. Only that I don't do it on my Penzu app; I write in this website. (Psst! Don't tell the Penzu team!) And given the joy, peace and mental clarity I derive from writing, I can attest that those benefits of writing that the Penzu team lists are true. So I encourage you to write as well.


Sharing is Caring

Like this story? Then share it on:

Forswearing Foolish Ways

This is the family of Jesse Nyoro - the encouraging senior who gave me a warm reception at Starehe Boys' Centre. I have displayed the photo here with his permission. Copyright © all rights reserved worldwide.

I first reported at Starehe Boys' Centre as a student on a lovely Thursday afternoon on 17th January of 2002. Back then, I didn't realize how fortunate I had been to be admitted to the school which treated new students as brothers. It's only in recent years when I have heard of how some of my friends were bullied in their first days in high school by their seniors that I have thanked God for taking me to Starehe which had a tradition of assigning every new student to a second-former who would orient him to the ways of the school.

My second-former was one friendly Leon Osumba from the Luo community of Kenya who was a bit hearing impaired but compensated for that disability by wearing hearing aids. He went out of his way to introduce me to other schoolmates in Chaka House that I was part of. His amiable demeanour explains why I have a visceral hatred for any sort of discrimination on the grounds of age, race, faith, tribe, gender, disability or sexual orientation. And it also explains why I wouldn't mind marrying from the Luo community, provided the lady is a person of fashion and sense.

The captain of Chaka House back in 2002 was one Michael Mwangale who received the first-formers of that year amicably including me. He used to hold regular meetings with us during the first half of Term 1 in which he would mentor us on a myriad of issues including the spread of HIV/AIDS. Like I remember him telling us that it is unwise to ruin our lives with two minutes of sexual ecstasy. And the night before we broke for mid-term holidays in that term, he organized a small bash for us in which we feasted on biscuits and drank plenty of tea. Oh, how I miss those good old days!

I shall always remember Mwangale for a funny comment he uttered during one roll-call. It was a day before we broke for a half-term holiday, an exciting moment especially for us first-formers. After Mwangale was through with whatever important stuff he was telling during that roll-call, he closed his remarks by saying, "And guys, do have a nice half-term. Go say 'hi!' to your sisters."

Again I say, that was Michael Mwangale: a didactic, commanding but sometimes funny young man who in 2002

But perhaps the Starehian who gave me the best reception in the school was one Jesse Nyoro who was six years my senior and whose photo I have displayed above. He introduced me to Music teachers when he heard that I could play the piano. And he made some very congenial compliments about me to my fellow first-formers. Later on, he encouraged me to accompany hymns on the piano during assembly by giving me a music score of a hymn in Starehe Boys' hymnal. I can't recall the exact number of the hymn in the hymnal. It must have been either hymn no. 31 or hymn no. 59 because they were the only hymns I learnt to play on the piano in my first year at Starehe.

I still love those two hymns today for their beautiful melodies and inspiring lyrics. Like the first verse of hymn no. 59 in limerick form goes as follows:
Turn back, O man, forswear thy foolish ways;
Old now is Earth, and none may count her days,
Yet thou, her child, whose head is crowned with flame,
Still wilt not hear thine inner God proclaim:
Turn back, O man, forswear thy foolish ways.
Nyoro treated me like a brother despite the fact that I was a confused new student while he was a famous senior in Starehe pursuing a technical course in the institute division of the school. He still remains my friend who has counselled me on several occasions in recent years.

Like he called me on phone the other day to inquire how I was fairing in life. I told him that I am still working hard and praying for breakthroughs, to which he replied, "What breakthroughs are you praying for Thuita? Don't you realize that your breakthroughs happened a long time ago? Do you know how many people wish they could own a website like you do and write as you do? Stop this business of saying you are praying for breakthroughs."

He proceeded to tell me of two disciples who walked with Jesus without realizing they were with Him until He gave them bread. The point he was trying to make in that reference to the two disciples is that God has already been with me and I only need to open my eyes wider to sense His presence. For whatever reasons, I cannot remember reading about that story of the two disciples walking with Jesus without realizing it in spite of having studied the whole Bible from preface to index.

I however tried to clarify to Nyoro that by praying for breakthroughs, I meant earning money. And I wish I had told him like by winning a lucrative advertising contract in this blog but he cut me short when I mentioned the word money by replying, "Thuita, money only accounts for 10% of happiness. So long as you have food to eat, clothes to wear and good health - those alone are big breakthroughs."

After reflecting on that Nyoro's advice, I am thinking that maybe I should begin counting my blessings instead of focusing on what I don't have. Or maybe I need to forswear my foolish ways and proclaim my inner God by being grateful as that wonderful old hymn I have mentioned exhorts in its first verse. Actually, that's what I will do. So help me God.


Sharing is Caring

Like this story? Then share it on:

← Newer Stories  ||   Older Stories →