Grace in the Morning - Reflections of a Young Man™

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Grace in the Morning

After leading a life of low moods in the past one week, I found myself awake early today at around 3.00am and began listening to the sound of mosquitoes buzzing around my bed. I chose to stay within the cover of my blanket, safe from the mosquitoes, since I was not psyched up to do anything at that hour. From my bed, I overheard my slightly-crippled mother asking my father if he had left the milk and sugar we needed for breakfast. And after answering 'yes', my father left for work at that wee hour of the morning. He always prefers commuting at that hour to avoid heavy traffic and exorbitant peak-hour fares.

About an hour after my father left, my mother received a call that someone was at the gate. She asked me to go find out who was there but I refused. You see, these days I don't do voluntary work; I always ask for payment for even doing such mundane tasks as teaching someone how to navigate through an android smartphone. And since Mum couldn't pay me for going to check who was at the gate, I refused to go. Period.

When our house-girl woke up later on at around 7.00am, Mum asked her to go confirm if there was someone at the gate. She went. And when she came back after quite some time, she informed us that somebody had been killed near our gate. Alarmed like an antelope that had spotted an approaching predator, I sprang out of my bed and sprinted towards the gate to confirm the sad news.

And alas! I was greeted at the gate with a sight of villagers milling around a dead body. As I approached the dead body which was partly covered with a red sheet, I saw from the protruding arms that the deceased man's pullover resembled that of my father. And that made my heart pound heavily in my chest. Could my father have been killed when he left home early in the morning? It was frightening.

My fears were relieved when I finally neared the dead body close enough to see that the deceased wore blue jeans. Since my father doesn't wear jeans of any kind, I was certain beyond doubt that it wasn't him. Composed, I inquired from one of the women guiding the scene, "Have you known who the dead man is?"

"Yes!" she replied, "He is my son!"

I was slightly embarrassed for brazenly asking such a sensitive question to the bereaved woman but I could tell she sensed my total ignorance. All I said back to her was "sorry", and joined the men in the scene who appeared less shocked. I have always tried to resist the craving to mill around accident scenes like a fly on a piece of shit. But today morning, I couldn't resist that craving because I wanted to know the identity of the dead man killed in a neighbourhood I know so well.

Those around me informed me that his name was Kinyajui but I couldn't remember knowing such a man from the home I was told he hailed from. But I figured out since I am a frequent user of the murram road on which he had been murdered, I must have known him by face - if not by the name Kinyajui. I wished to uncover his dead body to know his identity but feared angering or scaring the shocked villagers. So I chose to stick around till I got to see his face when the police arrived. But the police seemed to be taking forever to come.

I was pleased though when two confident men arrived at the scene. From their rolling gait, I could tell they were going to uncover the dead body to find out for themselves what had happened. So I followed them. Uncovering the body, they did. And I was somewhat glad that I didn't know the deceased man by face either.

With a smile in my heart, I left the scene immediately while trying to hide my joy which sprang not for mockery over what had happened but for realizing the grace of God in my life. Because as far as I could tell, I was in good health; so were my family members and close friends. For what is grace? It is a gift to enjoy life's important blessings such as food, health and friendship without having paid God for it.

For me, realizing the grace of God in my life brightened what would have otherwise been a dull day. I have felt inspired to continue striving to fulfil my dreams at this time when I have health. So I am back to Operation Lose-Weight. And watch this website! I might be posting here an inspirational song in the next one month.


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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.


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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.


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