Essentials of a minimalist Bachelor’s Pad

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If you are like me and living
the much-adored lifetime bachelor life – you need to enjoy it as much as you can.

Take this opportunity to be the
life of the party and the ladies man, all while being an all star at work and climbing the corporate or private business ladder at record speed.

Taking charge of your house and making it a home is an essential
part of defining yourself and can be a source of pride, which in-turn can bolster confidence.

In order to have the ultimate bachelor pad, you need to make sure you are equipped with the
following items that ensure you are prepared for just about any situation.

1. Ready-to-go playlists – You never know when the after party is going to end up at your pad, so it is always a good idea to have pre-made playlists
that are ready to go at the touch of a button.

Create a couple different playlists so that you can accommodate any mood.

Don’t forget to create a romantic playlist as well, just in case you end up entertaining a lady at the end of the night.

You never know what can happen, so it is good to be prepared.

Queuing up music without hesitation
will definitely keep the after party lively, making your pad the go to place after last call.

I’m a big fan of Spotify for this purpose.

2. A well stocked bar – Whether you are having a planned get together with friends or an impromptu gathering, you want to make sure that you have plenty of drink offerings for your guests.

Switch it up with some fine liquor, a few different wines,beers as well as a variety of water and soda for
those of your guests who’d rather not consume alcohol for whatever reason.

As long as you have a good variety, our guests will be happy and you
can count on a party that lasts well into the night.

Don’t forget to have plenty of options for the designated drivers in the crowd as well.

3. Good food – Make sure that your fridge is well stocked in addition to your bar.

If you have nothing but cold ready-to-eat steaks and potato chips, your
house guests are going to be looking for the closest fast-food joint before you know it.

Nothing makes a house a home like good food.

Even if you don’t cook, there are will be a plenty of volunteers within your circle of friends ready to help guys just like you who want to impress but lack the skills in the kitchen.

Stock up on appetizers, finger foods, and snacks and spreads to please the crowd.

Make sure you keep some high quality frozen foods for unexpected
visitors.

4. Plenty of comfy seating – Even though you think your apartment is complete with your oversized leather recliner, it is a good idea to have
some extra seating available to accommodate guests in your home.

If you have the space, a nice
couch and loveseat set is the way to go.

This way you have the right amount of seating for any
occasion.

Whether you are having friends over to watch the big game or you are hosting a date night at your place with that special someone, you
will have the appropriate seating options for everyone to be comfortable.

5. Movie Collection – Even if your guests are sitting around talking and not paying attention to what’s on the television, it is always good to have
something interesting on the screen. Make sure that your DVD or Blu-Ray collection is complete with critically acclaimed classics like The
Godfather or Shawshank Redemption.
Good movies are always great conversation starters.

Before you know it, you will have a room full of captivated guests who will be asking you to dim the lights and heat up the popcorn.

On a side note, if you are going to show off your movie collection, make sure you have a big screen TV
and surround sound speakers for people to fully enjoy their experience of the film.

Streaming solutions like Netflix, Roku and Apple TV make for space-saving and convenient alternatives as well,
but they lack the impressive aesthetic quality of having a large and neatly organized collection of
actual discs.

6. Candles and room fresheners – You don’t want people to walk into your house and be greeted with the unpleasant smell of your gym clothes
from yesterday’s beastmode workout.

You can avoid this awkward situation by making sure you have plenty of strategically placed candles and
room fresheners all around your apartment.

Stick with light scents that mask odors without
overpowering your senses.

Naturally, use different scents for different occasions at your discretion.

7. Extra towels and sheets -Sometimes your guests are going to invite themselves to stay the night, whether they are welcome to or not.

It’s best to be prepared by having an extra set of towels and sheets in the linen closet.

You will be able to offer your guests basic comforts, which
they will definitely appreciate and remember.

It may create a little more laundry for you, but would you rather have people sleeping directly on your leather couch or using your personal towels?

8. Coffee – Whether you need a strong cup of coffee in the morning or late at night after a fun evening
at the club, you should have a decent selection of coffee and tea available in your pantry.

With machines like the Keurig percolators, it has never been easier to have coffee and tea ready in case anybody wants a fresh cup.

Even if you don’t drink coffee or
tea regularly, you should make it available to anyone visiting your place.

It’s one of those little things that will make your house a home.

9.”Protection”-you never know when your date will invite herself to your pad on an “emergency” ‘I need to talk to you tonight excuse’.

Just be prepared,Man! Stock your bed’s side drawers with some latex for just this kind of “emergencies”.

10. A good blender-when you are alone and need to make a fast meal, you may need to blend all the different types of vegetables into one mixed broth for your spaghetti or pasta.

By following these tips on how to make your bachelor pad a comfortable place to bring your
friends or a date, you’ll soon be the lucky owner of a spot where everybody wants to be.

All it takes is a little thought and effort to make sure that you
have the needs of all your guests covered whenever they are in your home.

Just don’t make it too comfortable, or they might just never want
to leave!

Just some random thoughts that came to my mind….

Thoughts on Life. Firm Foundations

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A common joke among people who build their own
homes is just how expensive the foundation costs
even though you can barely see it.

One person told me, “We were spending hundreds
of thousands of shillings and it was all going into
the ground. It didn’t make sense.”

It’s not just the cost either.

Excavating and preparing foundations is usually a
long, laborious yet highly critical process.

If you get it wrong at the foundation stage, the
house won’t stand for long before telltale cracks
appear, mold begins to form on the walls, and in
some instances, the building collapses.

Yet, how tempting it is to take shortcuts because the effects
of a poor foundation are not immediately obvious.

In June 2009, a 13-storey building in Shanghai,
China tipped over to the side and collapsed killing
one person and exposing the shoddy work of its
construction.

The building was almost complete
and ready for occupation, but regardless of how
beautiful it looked on the outside, it could not stand
on a substandard foundation.

Back home in Kenya, there have been similar cases of
buildings collapsing when developers take short
cuts in order to maximise profits.

The result is loss of lives, property and money
already spent in construction.

At such times,
looking upon the destruction we ask ourselves,
“how were they hoping to get away with it?”

The answer is they hoped to get away with it
because our human nature is more concerned with
what you can see than what you can’t.

And most people buying or renting a house, rarely ask about
the one thing that can bring it down.

A CENTRE THAT HOLDS

A foundation performs several functions, the most
important being to bear the load of the building,
anchor it against nature’s forces such as
earthquakes, and to protect it from ground
moisture.

To hold, anchor, protect

And so too, it is with life.

Foundations hold up,
anchor and protect.

They are the core in strong
relationships, raising a family, building a successful
career and business.

We may encounter changing fortunes, ill health
and relational challenges.

Our foundations keep us
standing even as we take a beating.

Yet, as our late african writer Chinua
Achebe observed, things fall apart when the centre
of life can not hold.

Much of who we are can be traced back to a
foundation built by parents, relatives, teachers and
leaders.

From when we are born, we are absorbing,
learning and crafting an identity and value system
that will determine our future.

It’s all happening
behind the scenes, and may not be obvious until
years later when we are parents, employers or
leaders ourselves.

We stand or fall on the basis of
our foundation.

Lately, I have spent some time at my dentist,
thanks to years of indulging a sweet tooth.

One of
my friends-a class mate in my primary school years- has had it much worse than
me. As a young child in a wealthy family, he was
regularly indulged with sweets and fizzy drinks.

We can laugh about it now when swapping dentist
stories, but the lesson especially when it involves
losing a tooth, is a painful one.

Foundations matter.

Working parents agonise over
their ability to climb the corporate ladder while
raising young children.

After-all, children have only
one childhood.

There are no easy answers.

If we are fortunate, we may get the opportunity to
make amends after the structure is up and the
child is grown, but anyone who has had to resolve
construction issues will tell you it is more
expensive to redo a job than to get it right the first
time.

The same thing applies to other relationships.

While stories of enduring love at first sight abound,
the proverb, fools rush in, is more apt.

Love takes time and it grows up from a depth of
understanding, acceptance and trust.
When we were younger, we didn’t believe that the bright
flames of quick passion leave behind the smouldering ashes of a broken heart.

Even love, we
have since discovered, needs a solid foundation.

So start investing where it matters most, even if it
won’t be obvious for years.

Always take the bottom up
approach and build a strong foundation in your general life
health, career, education and relationships.

Just some random thoughts that came to my mind….

I love my Hammock bed

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I live alone in my bachelor’s pad.

There is my hammock bed,and there is a bed.

Sometimes when I want to meditate,I lie on my hammock bed and swing softly.

I sometimes take a small bite of chocolate bar and hold it in my mouth,swinging gently on my hammock bed:it’s nirvana,I tell you!

All my senses come alive!

When my partner visits for a sleep over,we lie on the main bed;my hammock is a sacred ground.

None else will be allowed into my hammock bed.

And today,on this cold Wednesday evening,I will sleep on my hammock bed.

Those of us who live single by choice are harshly reminded of this cold fact on such a cold day.

And this prospect of facing a cold night alone will happily drive me up to my hammock bed.

Even the size of my double bed alone lying here cold and crisp with laundered fragrant beddings in my bachelor’s pad is in itself intimidating!

Why? I’ve got to warm it with each toss and turn I make over this cold night.

But over my hammock bed,each toss and turn only brings me back to the warm centre all night long.

I guess my whole life is centred on my hammock bed.

I love many things in my life,but not as much as my hammock bed.

It harbours all my secrets of a Single-life.-my only confidant who won’t tell on me!

Just some random thoughts that came to my mind….

My dear bottle. A drunkard’s poem

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I like cold beer on a hot day
I like hot women on a cold day
I like music on a hot or cold day

I like to have cold beer in my bachelor’s pad
I like to have my hot women scantily clad

I like to have my music playing cool
I like my cold beer bathed in ice cubes
I like my women endowed on the bosom

I like my music crazy and loud
I like my cold beer in my right hand
I like my women hot and tamed

I like my music close to my ear
I like cold beer to unwind
I like women to wine and dine

I like music to remind me of love
I like cold beer with women to feel loved

I like hot women with cold beer
I like cold beer and hot women with Crazy music

It’s the beer,crazy beer,that drives me crazy

{Written in alcohol-free environment}

Just some random thoughts that came to my mind….

In defence of Men & Women who are single by choice

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There are several myths that people have about people who have chosen to lead a single-life,either as lifetime bachelors,divorcees,widowers or,Social recluses.

First myth about single people is that if
you are single, you are interested in just
one thing: getting coupled.

Single people,
according to the myth, are always at home alone crying in
their beer, distraught that they don’t
have a sweetie.

You can think that, as
long as you never ask singles what they want.

But those pesky social scientists
are always asking questions.

When they asked a national sample of single people,
in 2005 and again in 2010, whether they were looking to get married, fewer than half said yes!

Younger people are more
likely to say they are looking, but they get over it.

The unmarried people who are
least likely to say that they want to get married are the ones who already tried it:
those who are divorced or widowed.

In later life, men are always more eager to get remarried than women are, but even
for them, if they have good support for friends, then they are no more interested in signing on again than are women.

Now let me tell you about a category of single people you may not have heard about:
people, like me, who are single at heart.

People who feel that,even if they were previously married,it was a mistake.

For the single at heart, being single is who we really and truly are.

We are not people who are “unlucky in love” or afraid of getting rejected or any of those other dopey stereotypes.

We are not “marking time” until we find “the one.”

We just love our single lives.

We love striking just the right balance between the time we spend with other people and the time we
spend in sweet solitude.

We love pursuing our passions.

Single is who we really are.

Second myth is that there is a dark aura around people who are single.

The myth insists that if you are single, you are miserable and lonely and your life is tragic.

Maybe you have heard that there
are scientific studies showing that if you get married, you will be happier and better off in all sorts of ways than if you stay single.

Well, I’m not a social scientist,
and I only read those articles in the
professional journals.

Not what the media claims about the findings; I read the actual reports.

My personal experience informs the basis of this post. In other words,right from the horse’s mouth.

Third myth is that if you get married,or remarried for that matter, you will be healthier and you will live longer.

Not always so!

Fourth myth about single
people is that if you are single,
everything is always about you.

According to the myth, if you are single,
you are like a child.

You are self-centered
and immature, and your time isn’t worth anything because you have nothing to do but play.

Meanwhile, the myth says,
married people are out there helping
other people, supporting their parents, and maintaining communities.

They,supposedly, are the selfless ones.

Except that they are not.
News reports about married people who are totally selfish in their deeds portray this myth as untrue.

Fifth is really a set of myths that
include all the scare stories that are told about single women.

Listen up, all you single women!

According to the myths,your work won’t love you back and your eggs will dry up.

Also, you don’t get any sex,or, if you do, you’re promiscuous.

These myths are ways of undermining anything that single women might love about their
lives.

Are you a single woman who has a
great job that you are passionate about?

Better be careful: that job won’t love you back!

And besides, while you are busying
yourself with your work that you only
think is making you happy, your eggs are drying up. (There’s still another myth in there, that if you are a woman, you are
yearning to have kids. How could
anything, other than landing a mate,
matter more?)

Notice also the part about
sex. One presumption is that if you are single, then you are probably
promiscuous.

But if it seems obvious that
you are not the promiscuous type, then there’s still another myth ready to take you down: you poor thing, you are not getting any.

Myths about single people
always get you coming and going; no
matter how you lead your life, there’s a myth out there that can be used to
demean you.

Sixth is also a set of myths, this time
including all the scare tactics told about single men.

So listen up, all you single
men!

The myth-makers know who you
are.

You are horny, slovenly and
irresponsible, and you are the scary
criminals.

Or, you are sexy, fastidious,
frivolous, and gay. (And of course, they think that the gay part is a bad thing in this modern age.)

Notice how this parallels the catch-22
that was applied to single women.

Seventh is aimed at single
parents.

It is very simple.

The myth says:
Listen up, single parents, your kids are doomed!

I know you’ve heard this one
before.

Try to raise children as a single
parent, the myth insists, and those kids will end up as drug-addled juvenile delinquents having kids while they are still kids themselves.

The myth-makers seem to think that kids raised by married parents have two loving parents, who have perfectly harmonious relationships
with each other and with each of their kids, and who both lavish untold amounts of time and resources on those kids in a home free of conflict.

Some
of the social science studies show no differences at all between the kids raised by single parents
and those raised by married parents.

Sometimes there is a difference, but it is nothing like what you have been led to believe.
Eighth myth about single people is the pity myth: Aw, you poor, single people, too bad you are incomplete; you don’t have anyone, and you don’t have a life.

What is so amazing about this myth is that people try to pin it on some of the most accomplished and beloved single people.

Ninth is going to sound very familiar.

It is a favourite myth for scaring single people into getting coupled.

It says that if you are single, you will grow old alone,and you will die in a room by yourself where no one will find you for weeks.

You know what kills me about this? How does getting married guarantee that you won’t die alone? Unless you and your spouse die at the exact same time, then either your spouse dies first and you are left “alone,” or you die first, in which case,
well, you’re dead!

But what about the part about growing old alone?

That’s interesting, too, because there is a lot of research on that.

Studies show that it is hard to find a group of people any less likely to be lonely in later life than women
who have always been single.

I think it is because they don’t pick out one person to be “the one” and then stick everyone else
on the back burner.

They attend to the friends and family and other important people in their lives, and that pays off.

Tenth is the family values myth.

It says: Let’s give all the perks,tax benefits,gifts, and cash to couples and call it family values.

Who gets the breaks on car insurance, health insurance, vacation
packages and gym memberships?

Married couples do!

The singles who pay full price are subsidising them.

If you are married
and you die, your Social Security benefits go to your spouse.

If you are single and
you die, your benefits go back into the system.

And if someone who really cares
about you dies, they can’t give their
Social Security benefits to you, a single person, even though you may have been their best friend for life.

But guess what? Every
single person, whether straight or
anything else, is left out of this treasure trove of perks and privileges.

Making marriage the basis for privilege is what a lot of people call family values.

That’s not actually a
myth.

I call it discrimination.

Just some random thoughts that came to my mind….

Know yourself first,and you will free yourself from fear in a relationship

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Back in my college days, I remember this classmate who once confidently declared, “I can
live with any kind of woman.”

And he dated as many girls as he could set his eyes on.

We,the timid boys,only envied his attitude.

Girls can be yappy about your small secrets,and we kept well away from those we considered untrustworthy with our secrets!

Back to him,his argument was that if you know your strengths and weaknesses, (which presumably he did) you can co-exist with any personality type.

I couldn’t say as much about myself!

I do not know whether that belief still holds with the experience of marriage, but I concur with him
on one point: That the key to a happy relationship is for you to know who you are.

Knowing who you are is a three-phase process comprising self-awareness, acceptance, and the
willingness to act.

In my buddhist meditation experience, and from the testimonies of many people, relationships fail
because people refuse to audit themselves.

Unlike my friend who believed he had come to terms with who he was, dealing with self is a constant process because we are constantly affected by changes in
and around us.

It might be possible to keep things to yourself if you are single, but as many will attest,relationships reach deep within to dig out some of
our best kept secrets.

Choosing not to confront who we are is, therefore courting unhappy relationships.

One characteristic of such individuals is that whenever some of the
hidden attributes are forced out, they take it out on their partners or friends, either by being abusive or blaming them for every small problem.

Further, they are extremely defensive and unwilling to have a structured way of resolving problems in the relationship.

The point here is this:
The real you will be revealed once you get into any kind of
relationship,either as friends or lovers and the sooner you accept and deal with it, the better for you and for your relationship.

One major reason for refusing to confront who we are is that people are usually scared of what they
will find.

An important question that buddhist meditation teachers
ask people who are seeking to know themselves better is, “Are you sure you really want to know
who you are?”

For example, when you discover that
you are deeply scared of rejection, what will you do with that information?

Besides the fear of knowing, people adopt the“better the devil I know than the angel I don’t” attitude because they do not want to take
responsibility for making needed changes in their lives.

A good example regards people who know that they are cruel to their partners.

That might be due to their upbringing, but as they
grow and get into a relationship, they become aware of it.

However, they are unwilling to accept
and deal with it, choosing instead to wear a façade of toughness that ends up destroying both themselves and their relationships.

Let me declare this with boldness — happiness in relationships is only possible when you are free to
be yourself, free to experiment, to make mistakes,and to recover from them without considering
yourself a failure.

Such freedom comes only through knowing,accepting, and being willing to deal with who you
are.

The very common challenges of bloated egos,insecurity, and possessiveness are all signs of
individuals who are not willing to battle with their demons and to slay them.

Back to my college friend.

With the hindsight of 15 years in marriage, he now acknowledges that he was a tad too confident about being able to successfully co-exist with anyone.

That has, however, not changed his belief in the power of dealing with self as the gateway to successful relationships.

What, however, he has had to accept is that he is only one half of the
relationship.

The other half must also be willing to
do the same for the two to be happy together.

Just some random thoughts that came to my mind….

My thoughts on happiness. Buddhist meditation

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“Happiness, then, is the confidence that pain and
disappointment can be tolerated, that love will prove
stronger than aggression.
It is release from the
attachment to pleasant feelings, and faith in the
capacity of awareness to guide us through the
inevitable insults to our own narcissism and selfishness.
It is the realisation that we do not have to be so self-obsessed, that within our own minds lies the capacity for a kind of acceptance we had only dreamed of.
This happiness rarely comes without effort to train mind.”

One reason we have so much trouble attaining
happiness is that we don’t even know what it is.

We keep trying to annihilate anxiety and other disturbances.

But happiness has more to do with
broadening your perspective.

“I’m sick of this,” a friend of mine remarked the
other morning. “I can’t stand myself anymore. When
am I going to be happy?”

It’s not an uncommon
question in life, yet aspirations for happiness
can sound naive or even trivial.

How could she be
asking for happiness, I thought to myself.

Didn’t Freud say the that best one could expect of questioning ourselves about happiness
was a return to “common unhappiness?”

Yet my friends yearning was heartfelt.

How could I possibly address it without being misleading?

I approached her dilemma not just as a friend, but as a long time enthusiast of Buddhist meditation.

For Buddhist meditation holds the promise of more than just common unhappiness in life; it sees the pursuit of
happiness as our life goal and teaches techniques of mental development to achieve it.

To the Dalai Lama,”the purpose of life is to be happy.”
“On its own,” he goes on to say, “no amount of
technological development can lead to lasting
happiness.

What is almost always missing is a
corresponding inner development.”

By inner development the Dalai Lama means something other than mastering the latest version of Microsoft OS.

He is talking about cleaning up our mental environment so that real happiness can be both
uncovered and sustained.

Humans have a peculiar relationship to happiness.

On the one hand, we consider happiness a right, and
we are eager for it, as the advertising world knows and tempts us to buy more things to be happy.

We do everything in our power to try to possess it,
most particularly in materialistic form.

We think our lovers,friends,and the company we keep is going to make us happy.

We treat happiness as an external input that should be fed into our lives for us to be happy.

On the other hand, we tend to denigrate the pursuit
of happiness as something shallow or superficial,
akin to taking up woodcarving or scuba diving.

But,as the Dalai Lama always emphasises, happiness is
not a hobby, nor is it a trivial pursuit.
It is a fundamental drive as basic as those of sex or aggression, but not often as legitimized in our
cynical, post modern culture.

In fact,humans are
waking up to the Dalai Lama’s point: Materialistic
comforts by themselves have not led to lasting happiness.

Having reached that conclusion, however,we do not often see another way, and retreat into our
comforts, barricading ourselves from what appears to be a hostile and threatening world.

Acquiring and protecting our material possesions-including lovers and friends, we continue to crave a happiness that
seems both deserved and out of reach.

My experience in practice of
Buddhist meditation has given me a unique perspective.

I have come to see that our problem is that we don’t know
what happiness is.

We confuse it with a life
free of feelings of anxiety rage, doubt, and sadness.

But happiness is something entirely
different.

It’s the ability to receive the pleasant
without wanting to possess it, and the unpleasant without condemning.

Buddhist meditation teaches us that the very
ways we seek happiness actually block us from finding it.

Our first mistake is in trying to wipe out all sources of displeasure and search for a perennial state of well-being that, for most of us in our deepest fantasies,happiness resembles a prolonged
erotic dream.

One of my friends said it best with his adolescent fantasies of romantic love.

He described his perfect woman as someone who would faithfully
leave him with an erection every time she exited the house.

This approach to happiness is instinctual, deriving from our earliest experiences, when intense emotional states of pleasure and gratification
inevitably are interrupted by absence and frustration, evoking equally intense states of rage or anxiety.

Anyone’s first response would be to try to preserve the pleasurable states and eliminate the unpleasant ones.

Even as adults we rarely come to
terms with the fact that good and bad are two sides of the same coin, that those who make our pleasures
possible are also the source of our worst misery,as in lovers who are madly in love,but become miserable when the relationship finally falls apart.

In modern
society, with its lack of extended family structure and rabid pursuit of individualism, people often find
themselves with nowhere to turn for support in dealing with these feelings.

In more traditional
African societies, there is a much greater social and familial support system that helps people contain
their anguish.

However much we, as adults, think we have come to terms with the fact that no one can be all good or all
bad, we are still intolerant of frustrations to our own pleasure.

We continue to grasp at the very objects that have previously disappointed us.

A wealthy friend of mine exemplifies this predicament.

After a yummy meal, he craves a bottle of beer. After the beer,
a cigarette; after the cigarette he will want to make
love; after making love, another cigarette.

Soon, he begins to crave sleep, preferably without any
disturbing dreams.

His search for happiness through
pleasures of the senses seemed to never have an end, and he is not happy.

We think only of manipulating the external world; we never stop to
examine ourselves.

Our search for perpetual gratification often plays out in intimate relationships.

Take my friend who was very much in love with his new wife, but plagued by rage and bitterness over her sexual unavailability when she became expectant.

He could not help taking it personally.

His happiness in her pregnancy was
overwhelmed by his inability to tolerate his own sexual frustration, and he could not get past the
feeling that if she really loved him she would be as interested in sex with him as he was with her.

He was restricted by his tunnel vision; his own pleasure or
displeasure was his only reference point.

We identify with the feelings of violation, rejection, or injury and we long for a happiness in which no such
feelings could arise.

Yet as Freud pointed out, even
intense erotic pleasures are tinged with unhappiness since they all must come to an end, in the form of a
relaxation of tension.

Post-orgasmic depression is a
well-known phenomenon.

We long for this not to be so, but it is physiologically impossible.

The Buddha’s point about happiness is very similar.

As long as we continue trying to eliminate all displeasure and preserve only pleasure for a
prolonged sense of well-being, no lasting happiness is possible.

Rage, envy, and the desire for revenge will always interfere.

Real life and its complications
inevitably trickle in.

There is a well-known story in
the Buddhist tradition, that of Kisagotami, that illustrates how important it is to give up that approach to happiness.

Kisagotami was a young woman whose first child died suddenly somewhere around his first birthday.

Desperate in her love for the child, Kisagotami went from house to house in her village, clasping the dead child to her breast and asking for medicine to revive her son.

Most of her neighbours shrank from the sight of her and called her mad, but one man, seeing her inability to accept the reality of her son’s death,
directed her to the Buddha by promising her that only he had the medicine she sought.

Kisagotami went to the Buddha and pleaded with him for medicine.

“I know of some,” he promised. “But I will need a handful of mustard seed from a house where no child, husband, parent, or servant has ever died.”

Slowly, Kisagotami came to see that hers was not a unique predicament.

She put the body of her child
down in the forest and returned to the Buddha. “I have not brought the mustard seed,” she told him.

“The people of the village told me, ‘The living are few,but the dead are many.”‘

The Buddha replied, “You
thought that you alone had lost a son; the law of death is that among all living creatures there is no
permanence.”

Kisagotami’s story resonates, not just because of our sympathy for the horror of losing a child or because
of our fear of a world in which such tragedy is possible, but because we all, like her, feel that our
situation is unique and that our emotional pain requires relief.

In the privacy of our own minds, we
are aggrieved and single-mindedly self-centered.

We still seek absolute gratification that is intolerant of frustration.

But the most difficult part of Kisagotami’s story for me comes when she lays her child down in the forest.

Even though he has been dead for a long time, I still feel slightly aghast at the idea of her leaving him there.

Yet this is precisely what the Buddha is asking us to do.

He did not teach a method of recovering primal emotions or embracing some sort of injured
child that lies buried within.

The Buddha helped Kisagotami find happiness not by bringing her dead
child back to life, but by changing her view of herself.

The inner development he alludes to is a development beyond the private childish perspective of me first that we all secretly harbour.

The root cause of our unhappiness is our inability to observe ourselves properly.

We are caught in our own perspective, unable to appreciate the many perspectives of those around us.

And we are unaware of how insistently this way of perceiving drives us.

Only through the uprooting of our own self-centeredness can we find the key to happiness.

Buddhist meditation practice is one way to catch hold of this me-first perspective and begin to
examine it.

But it can happen in incidental ways.

A friend of mine, for example, remembers standing in
line for food at a silent meditation retreat when someone suddenly spilled the large serving bowl of
soup.

“It wasn’t me,” he remembers himself thinking spontaneously.

“It’s not my fault.”

Immersed in the quiet of the meditation retreat, he was all too aware that his reaction was patently
absurd.

Yet this is the kind of response we all have much of the time without being aware of it.

Buddhist meditation is a way of coaxing the mind to deal with
frustration in a new way, experiencing it as an interested observer instead of an aggrieved victim.

Rather than responding to the inevitable frustrations of life with “Why me?” the successful practitioner of meditation can begin to see how conditioned our
everyday sense of self has been by the insulted response to disappointment.

The first step to inner development is to find and hold the sense of single, one-point perspective.

This is the feeling that we all have that we are really the most important person in the room at any given
moment, that no matter what happens the crucial thing is how it will impact me.

You know the feeling;it’s the same one you have when you are cut off
suddenly in traffic or are standing on line at the ATM machine while the person in front of you makes one
transaction after another.

The visceral response is always, “Why are you doing that to me?”

Similarly,when a friend comes to me because they have been spurned by a would-be lover, there is always
the feeling of “what is wrong with me?”

In Buddhist meditation we seek out that feeling; we bring it into
self-awareness rather than let it run our lives.

When a person is able to do that successfully, there is often a
sense of freedom.

A friend of mine, for example, recounted to me how,when he picked his girlfriend up at the airport
recently, he reached out to carry her bag for her after retrieving it from the baggage claim.

She took the bag from him and carried it herself.

Rather than take her action as a sign of self-sufficiency, he felt
immediately rejected, as if she were not glad to see him.

Once he learned to make that knee-jerk reaction of his the object of his meditative self-observation,
he was freed from his obsessive scrutiny of his girlfriend’s mood.

He then became more self-reliant,
she felt more supported, and both were happier with each other.

As the tendency to view the world self-referentially loses its hold, we begin to appreciate the Einsteinian
world in which all realities are relative and all points of view subjective.

Then a happiness that has more
to do with acceptance than gratification becomes available to us.

One particular meditation technique prepares the mind for the a new, broadened perspective, that of
naked–or bare–attention.

The technique requires you to attend only to the bare facts, an exact registering,allowing things to speak for themselves as if seen for
the very first time and distinguishing emotional reactions from the core event.

So instead of
experiencing a partner’s suggestion as criticism or their withdrawal as abandonment, as so often happens within relationships, one would be able to simply bear the experience in and of itself, recognising any
prevailing feelings of rejection as separate and of one’s own making.

As bare attention is practised, many of the self concepts or feelings of self we harbour are revealed to be reactions that, on closer inspection, lose their solidity.

My friend who overreacted at the airport was astonished at what he discovered upon closely examining his core sense of self.

“This is it?” he asked. “This little feeling is determining so many of
my actions? Am I really so narcissistic as that?”

The answer, for most of us, is a resounding yes.

Our sense of self, we soon find, is a house of cards.

A common misbelief people hold about meditation is that, in attacking reactive emotional tendencies, it
encourages a stoic acceptance of unhappiness.

Yet stoicism per se is not the goal.

The point is not to become
insensitive but open, able to savour the good with the bad.

We cannot have pleasure without displeasure, and trying to split them off from each other only drives us
more deeply in our own dissatisfaction.

A recent incident involving an old friend of mine may illustrate
the point.

After breaking up his 10-year marriage, he sought counselling at a local mental health clinic.

His only wish, he told his new therapist in their first meeting, was to feel good again.

He implored her to rid him of his unwanted emotions.

His therapist, however, had just left a three-year stint in a Zen community.

When my friend approached her
with his pain, she urged him to stay with his feelings,no matter how unpleasant.

When he complained of anxiety or loneliness she encouraged him only to feel them more intensely.

While my friend didn’t feel any
better, he was intrigued and began to practice meditation.

He described to me one pivotal moment.

Terribly uncomfortable with the burnings, pressures, and
pains of meditation, he remembers watching an itch develop, crest, and disappear without scratching it.

In so doing, he says, he realised what his therapist had meant when she counselled him to stay with his
emotional state, and from that moment on his depression began to lift.

His feelings began to change only when he dropped the desire to change them.

This is a major revelation
that is often brought on through the physical pain of meditation, which requires stillness within a
demanding posture.

My friend’s discovery is similar
to the sensation cancer patients feel after taking morphine for chronic pain.

They say the pain is still there, but it no longer hurts.

So the sensation remains, but without the oppressive quality.

Likewise, my friend learned to recognise his emotional pain, but was not oppressed by it.

Like many others, my friend was looking for that pervasive feeling of well-being and hoped that meditation (or love, money, success, alcohol, or
therapy) would provide it.

But well-being, which is not sustainable, is not the same as happiness.

Happiness is the ability to take all of the insults of life as a vehicle for awakening–to enter into what the
pioneer of stress-reduction, Jon Kabat-Zinn, has called the “full catastrophe” of our lives with an open mind and heart.

In pursuing a study of Buddhist meditation,I am convinced that a method of mental development exists that enables a person to hold
feelings of injury without reacting destructively.

Rather than immediately responding with rage or anxiety, a person can use feelings of injury to focus
on the core sense of self that will prove illusive,nonexistent.

If there is no ego to protect, there is no need to react in rage or angst.

Pleasure and displeasure can then be appreciated for the ways in
which they are inextricably linked.

Well-being becomes understood as an inseparable part of a larger whole that also encompasses catastrophe.

Happiness, then, is the confidence that pain and disappointment can be tolerated, that love will prove
stronger than aggression.

It is release from the attachment to pleasant feelings, and faith in the
capacity of awareness to guide us through the inevitable insults to our own narcissism and selfishness.

It is the realisation that we do not have to be so self-obsessed, that within our own minds lies the capacity for a kind of acceptance we had only dreamed of.

This happiness rarely comes without effort to train mind.

To accomplish this we must first discover just how narrow our vision usually is.

This is the function of meditation.

Go ahead, close your eyes for five
minutes and observe how self-obsessed your thoughts are.

“When can I stop doing this?” you may think.

None of us is very far from the eight-year-old child who can think only about who got the biggest
piece of cake.

Just some random thoughts that came to my mind….

Just some random thoughts that came to my mind….

Is there such a thing as “too much love”?

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“Too much coffee, too much tea,
Too much sugar isn’t good for me.
Too much money and too much fame,
Too much liquer drives a man insane.
But too much love, too much love,
There’s no such thing as gettin’ too much love”~Don Williams

Love is morally desirable as it entails profound care for another person.

It is hard to see how such positive
care can be criticized.

Nevertheless, people do
criticize lovers and especially those whose love appears to be excessive.

Can one tell one’s beloved
that he loves her too much?

Romantic love is described in idealistic terms as
something huge, uncompromising, and without limitations.

Statements like “The world has changed,everything is different now,” “Loving him is
wonderful; my whole being expands into unprecedented realms,” “I am surrounded by nothing
but you” are common among lovers.

If “All you need
is love,” and “You are everything I need,” then it is difficult to see how love can be criticized as being
excessive.

There is indeed a view claiming that unlike other emotions, love cannot be criticized since it consists of
disinterested care for the beloved, which involves promoting only her well-being.

According to this view, the value of love is not determined, or at least
not entirely determined, by its practical value as a means to achieve certain of the lover’s ends; rather,
it focuses upon the well-being of the beloved.

Accordingly, we would not usually criticize a person who is deeply and happily in love with someone just
because we think he could have found a better partner.

However, even if love were concerned solely with
disinterested care for the beloved(and this is not obviously so), there is still the question of what constitutes proper caring.

Love is not a merely theoretical attitude; it has profound behavioral
implications for our life.

And if such behavior
becomes improper, then the issue of whether one can love too much might arise (contrary to the above view).

Emotions might be harmful when they are excessive.

Emotional excess is harmful for the same reasons that other kinds of excess are harmful.

As in other emotions, excessiveness in love can impede the lover
from seeing a broader perspective.

Even normal cases of romantic love tend to create a narrow
temporal perspective that focuses on the beloved and is often oblivious to other considerations.

Accordingly, it has been argued that it is impossible to love and be wise and that the true opposite of love
is justice.

Little wonder then that, as Stevie Wonder puts it, “All in love is fair.”

Although it is difficult to define what constitutes excessiveness in love, characterizing love as “too
much” implies that some damage has been done-either to the lover or the beloved.

When intense love blinds our sight and makes us act improperly, people
may say that such intense love is too much.

A remark such as, “I couldn’t help it, I was madly in love with her,” indicates that sometimes love can be excessive.

Loving too much can be problematic when it hurts the lover, which typically occurs in the long term.

The lover’s intense love might be excessive in the sense
that it prevents her from realizing the true nature of their relationship.

For example, her intense love
might prevent her from noticing, or at least admitting, that his attitude toward her is humiliating
or that their relationship has very little chance of surviving in the long term.

Hence, contrary to the
claim cited above, it is possible to criticize someone’s intense love on the grounds that such intensity
prevents him from seeing his partner’s faults or from recognizing that he could choose another partner
who might make him happier and more satisfied in the longer run.

For this reason, classical art often
depicts the God of love Cupid as blind indicating that lovers are blind to the faults or the unsuitability of
the one they love.

Lovers may also feel that they love too much when they believe that their beloveds do not love them to
the same extent.

When a lover feels that she gives
more than she gets, she will feel that she loves her partner too much.

If she feels that she gets more or
less what she gives, the feeling of loving too much is unlikely to arise.

Needless to say, love should not be
a mechanical calculation of what we give and get, but where there is a profound lack of reciprocity, it is
natural to feel one is loving too much.

People who love too much often keep investing in a relationship that has no chance of surviving as their
beloved does not love them to the same extent.

Loving too much may also hurt the beloved.

A typical example of this is when the lover does not allow the beloved to enjoy sufficient private space.

This behavior occurs in minor forms in many relationships, although it is typically a characteristic
of pathological cases.

Thus, a man who killed his
girlfriend (in his view, he did so out of love) said,
“Once she said to me: you love me too much, and I don’t like that.
You invest so much in me and I don’t know to pay you back.”

It should be noted that the wish to be with each other as much as possible is a main characteristic of love
and not an external feature of it.

The nature of the
private space is determined by the given personalities and by other factors, such as the stage
in which the relationship is currently.

Thus, this wish may be more pronounced in the infatuation stage,
when it makes little sense to accuse lovers of loving too much.

With regard to parental love, some might claim that loving a child too much could be harmful as it can
spoil her.

Others might argue that the problem here is not in loving the child too much, but in not understanding what is good for her in the short and long term.

To this one might respond that it is
precisely the nature of intense emotions not to realize the genuine nature of the given circumstances.

Profound romantic love is not in its nature excessively wrong; but some cases of such love have a greater chance of being so.

The above view can be captured in the following statement that a lover might express:

“Darling, my
love to you is so profound and intense and I will
maintain it for the rest of my life.

But if you feel
somewhat uncomfortable with how I express this
love, please whisper this concern in my ear, while not forgetting to also kiss it.”

Just some random thoughts that came to my mind….

Frankly Speaking. Dating Scene

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Are you a single lady looking for a committed man to date,or even go down on his knees asking for your hand in marriage?

Be sure that this will not happen if you are;

1. Too pretty

Yes, you read that right.

We live in a world where if
you fall on the extreme side of any scale you are
either regarded with suspicion or mislabeled.

Hence if a man became too rich too quick, he must
sell drugs and if he’s extremely poor, he must have
some form of chronic disease, you know, the kind
that drains you of all your money and prevents you
from earning any more (I am yet to discover the
name of this ever-draining disease).

In the same way, if a woman is extremely beautiful,
most men will approach with caution.

And some men
will not approach her at all, as they figure she’s
either out of their league or would end up doing more
harm than good.

The latter is the reason why those who are
courageous enough to approach will end up leaving;
a very pretty woman obviously gets a lot of attention
from men.

And most men can’t handle having their woman
being hit on everywhere she goes and in the course
of time, they often assume the woman not only loves
the attention, but will love another man as well.

In the end, the insecurities result in the demise of that
relationship.

The good news is that, this simply means you have
been dating men with ‘shake able’ self esteem and
there are a few men who can handle ‘too pretty’.

Unfortunately, most of these men are already taken.

2. Too high maintenance

These are the groups of women that my friends refer
to as ‘Daaaarling’ or ‘Aki babez’ for the younger
generation.

Most of these women equate being in a
relationship with having your own personal, walking
and talking ATM machine.

Now, I am not talking about your typical gold digger
who only dates men who can maintain them in the
kind of lifestyle they think they deserve.

I’m talking
of women who date ‘average Joes’ but will not
hesitate in asking for money to buy a new pair of
shoes since the ones she bought two weeks ago are
too old.

These are the women who will claim they couldn’t
call you as they did not have airtime and hence if you
expect a call from them next time, you ought to send
them airtime first…so that they can call you, the guy
who did the top up (let that sink in).

She will go to the flea market to buy cheaper
secondhand clothes when she’s buying, but when
you are taking her shopping , it must be in a high
end retail outlet where she insists that she must
have two colours of the same outfit.

Furthermore, she will not understand that you have
bad days, she will expect you to take her out for
dinner every week and to one of those places where
you use a fork, not a toothpick to eat and the meals
are served in courses.

No matter how good such a lady is in other
departments, eventually the man will realize that
sexual gratification or ‘being in a relationship’ isn’t
worth all the “Darling, can you send me some money” texts you receive in a week.

The man will stick to ensuring that he has a roof over
his head as opposed to spending all his rent money
pleasing a woman who he now realizes he can never
marry.

3. Too easy

How do I put this mildly?

No man wants to eat a
piece of chicken that every other customer in the
restaurant has had a bite of or licked.

No matter how
good the chicken was marinated or prepared to crisp
perfection, no man will want to eat that piece of
chicken.

In the same way, if a man hears you were the
‘chicken’ of the estate or office, always walking
around, pecking here and there looking for a way to
satisfy your needs, he will drop you faster than you
can say “hot chicken”.

It is that simple.

4. Too prudish

Here lies the irony that most people refer to as ‘life’.

Just as most men don’t like a woman who’s too easy,
they don’t want a woman who is too stiff either.

I am not saying that you should forsake your moral code
and give up your virtue.

But in this day and age, if a man cannot get so much
as a kiss from the woman he is supposedly dating,
your moral code will have to walk you down the aisle
as he certainly will not stick around to do so.

Men have evolved to want what a few musicians so
eloquently and loudly stated as “a lady in the street
and a freak in the bed”.

Once again, I am not saying
you need to get the experience needed, you simply
have to be willing to learn.

A man will appreciate a
woman who’s open minded and he knows he can
mould to his ‘ultimate release’.

But if you think sex is an act only performed with the
lights off or can’t even utter the word, you come off
as a potential problem and if the missionaries left a
few decades ago, why should you insist on holding on
to the position?

Embrace change.

5. Too chatty

If you must remember anything about men,
remember this…men like their space but more
importantly men like their peaceful and quiet space.

In that regard, no matter how often the urge might
strike you to go on and on and on and on, you must
resist the temptation to talk his ear off…at least not
while you are dating.

Get the ring first. And then you can start nagging your man now,at your own risk!

6. Too clingy

Therefore, it goes without saying that if a man is
feeling suffocated when with you, he will create some
distance just so that he can breathe and often are at
times this distance is so far away that he cannot call
you back…ever.

You can’t blame the man though.

How do you explain
the fact that you constantly check up on him to the
extent that if he takes too long in the bathroom, you
have to ask what he is doing in there.

Surely, if one is
in the bathroom for long what do you think he is
doing in there?

However, being clingy has far worse
implications as it implies you are a dependant.

A man who is looking for a wife with whom he can
start a family wants a woman who can not only raise
his children but a woman who can run his home as
well.

Not a woman who can’t make her own decisions
or is too insecure to trust him.

7. Too wild

A man only needs to ask himself this question to
dump you. “I want a woman who will look after my
children and myself.

Is this woman who is in the
clubs from Friday to Sunday, taking tequila shots and
grinding the night away a good candidate?”

8. Too much of ‘I can do everything a man can do’

I have nothing against feminists.

I have nothing
against highly motivated, ambitious women who
think than being the deputy director isn’t good
enough.

But unfortunately, I can’t say the same for
men and their egos.

If you are constantly rubbing in a man’s face that
anything he can do, you can do and even better.

He shall step aside and give you the opportunity to walk
yourself down the aisle, afterall anything he can do,
you can do…even better.

Just some random thoughts that came to my mind….

No Comeback

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Another Easter that I’ve to spend alone
And my heart misses you.

I don’t like this feeling at all
My mind, it wanders too far.

Missing you hurts my heart.

I try not to listen to love songs
They just make me cry.

I listen to something upbeat,
They make me miss you more.

Remembering our time together
Brings a pang of loneliness.

I wish that I could hold you in my arms once more
I love you too much to let you go.

But missing you kills me on the inside
Trying to move forward without you.

Laughing on the outside, crying within.

I wish we had more time together
I don’t like feeling so alone.

Sometimes I cry myself to sleep at night
And wake up lost, and torn.

Moving like a robot nowadays
Hoping one day you’ll come back home.

My heart misses you when you’re gone
But I miss YOU the most today.

One day we will be together again.

In the meantime, I weep alone
I”m missing you like crazy.

I’m missing you a lot
I’ll wait for you forever
Because you have my heart.

My heart misses you when you’re gone.

But when you’re here with me
I feel your love, your touch.

Your spirit lives in me
Now I don’t feel so alone.

My heart misses you when you’re gone
But I know you’ll always be with me.

I love you so much, I hurt inside
But I have to let you go.

My heart will miss you when you leave
But my mind knows where you’ve gone.

There will never be a comeback!

Just some random thoughts that came to my mind….

The Art of Being a Man

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Mind you,i’m a man of very small stature and weight,barely weighing 57kg most of my adult life.

When i grow up, i want to be Hulk Hogan!

Just some wishful thinking that still runs in my mind from my childhood days,and now overtaken by passage of time!

Two things happened last week that took me back
to my childhood.

The first one was WrestleMania 30, which took
place on Sunday night and had one of the biggest
upsets of all time.

The second was the death of one of my childhood
stars, The Ultimate Warrior.

Now, do not give me
the whole wrestling-is-fake line, I know that.

Do not tell me how these athletes — yes, they are
athletes — dope up from here to Uranus, I know
that as well.

Growing up, we had cartoons and Wrestling.

There was that debate show on VOK,now KBC Tv that our parents
made us watch to improve our skills and all we
came out with was, “ Ningeomba mkuu wa sakafu
azime stima ili wenzangu waweze kupita kwa
mwendo wa aste aste …”

The reason we hated it, okay, hate is a strong word,
the reason we did not like it was that we were
forced to watch it.

As a boy, you tend to look up to the older, bigger
boys who do not cry at the touch of a whip and
seem to create their own rules.

Wrestling had all these boys, and then some.

It did not strike us how weird it was for a full grown man
to walk around in his underpants.

Somehow, they managed to do that and still look
cooler than the other side of the pillow.

These men
had so much baby oil on them, they left your
screen looking all greasy.

These men would lie on each other in the name of
fighting and we would not flinch.

They were
wrestlers and they did what they wanted.

If they decided to come naked, then naked would
have been the trend.

The Ultimate Warrior was still
into face painting in his 30s, and he looked tougher
than a soldier holding a bazooka.

We believed that these macho men were sent by
God to come and teach boys the art of being a man.

The coolest wrestler must have been Bret “The
Hitman” Hart, with his supercool blacked-out
shades, which he usually gifted some child on the
front row.

My dream at that point was to travel to America,
show up at one of the fights, and make sure I got a
front-row seat.

This was a real goal and my baby sister, Bessie,
would spend hours trying to help me perfect that
please-give-me-the-shades look that I would give
The Hitman.

Then there was the Undertaker.

He was the scariest
man ever, but he won every fight. He would show
up in a coffin with his sidekick, Paul Bearer, holding
an urn.

That scene would make you smile and wet your
pants at the same time.

It was magical.

I nearly
dislocated my eyeballs as I tried to do that
signature eye-roll that he did before he did his
signature move, The Tombstone Piledriver.

This would literally bring tears to every child who
believed that Wrestling was real.

Then there was
Mr Perfect, the coolest ever.

The swagger in his walk was enough to heal the
sick but somehow, whenever I tried it, my mother
would ask me if my butt hurt.

I probably learnt
about Native Americans from Tatanka before it was
taught in class.

Someone lied to me that Koko B and Kamala “The
Ugandan Giant” were from Uganda and even
though I never harboured any dreams of making it
to WWF (now WWE), it gave me hope that I would
see a Kenyan fighting.

That would have been an Obama moment, had it
happened.

Imagine my disappointment when I
learnt that Kamala was actually born in Mississippi
and that his wrestling character was from a
National Geographic Magazine article about a
Doctor Kimala, a researcher in Uganda.

So big was wrestling that it was banned in our
school after children started slamming each other
on the floor and jumping off desks to “clothesline”
an “opponent”.

It was a religion and while today’s children have Lil
Wayne and Nicki Minaj as their idols, me and my
peers had Triple H.

British Bulldog, Jake “the Snake” Roberts, Caine,
Hulk Hogan, Sgt Slaughter, Stone Cold Steve
Austin, Big Show, Mankind, among others.
Tuesday nights these days have Champions League
football.

In the ’90s, they were reserved for the
strongest men ever.

Men with boobs, men who applied baby oil, men
who stared danger in the face before slamming it
on the floor and holding it down for the “1,2,3”
count.

Somehow, with all the violence, we grew up non-
violent because we knew if you really wanted to
fight, you had to be the Undertaker, and me and
my skinny friends always avoided fights and would
only watch other people fight.

So, there is a part of my childhood which now
mourns The Ultimate Warrior like he was a Kenyan
hero.

Women will never get why anyone would watch
wrestling, but then again, we still have no clue why
anyone would watch a Mexican soap opera or Nigerian vodoo movies.

So I guess
everything evens out.

Just some random thoughts that came to my mind….

Easter Thoughts. Every Man Needs 7 Types of Friends in His life

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Every man needs seven type of friends to see him through this life.

Jesus had twelve disciples but seven different types of men he encountered help illustrate the point here;

»One true brother

His name was Joseph of Arimathea(not his foster father,but half brother).

The Bible says that he was Jesus’ relative.

He is the brother who requested to have Jesus’ body so he
could inter it in his new tomb.

Every man needs one real relative.

Someone who is not there to cut him down, but cut him some serious slack.

In Hebrew, Joseph means, “he will add”.

This kin brings courtesy to his kith’s issues.

Joseph is not a fair-weather cousin.

On the contrary, he is there
when earthquakes and darkness engulf your world.

»One soul brother

Bible scholars opine that Jesus and Peter were age mates.

They were what you would call “do-or-die” comrades.

Peter is an everyman.

One minute, to defend you,
he gives the fuzz “ear surgery” minus anaesthesia.

Same manic midnight he bails out on you and tells pilate that he has never seen your face.

He was nicknamed Rock.

Remember?

Sometimes even the Rock of Gibraltar succumbs to
the vagaries of the weather.

Peter is blue chip type of friend here,
regardless.

And you know it.

That is why you hold nothing against him,even when he renounces you.

Every guy has some fear issues sometimes.

You have got an inner circle. Then you have got the
soul mate.

At your word, he will defy gravity and
walk on water… even if for only three exhilarating seconds.

»One sly guy

Judas Iscariot.

Byword for betrayer-in-chief.

We have all got at least one in every 12 in our circle.

He maybe your homie or buddy, but he is not your chummy.

Why,“true and trustworthy” are nonexistent in his
Language.

Judas means virtuous handle.

Popular name in Jesus’
time.

In Hebrew, it is derived from Judah, meaning,
“Praise Yahweh”.

Besides, he was the disciples’
treasurer.
Saintly monikers and status symbols should not delude you.

Your Judas has issues.

Beneath that devout veneer are drawn daggers.

Like Christ, do not just call him out.

Know also the difference between his brotherly kisses and betrayal
signals.

Or else, after he is done, you will need the kiss of life.

»One helpful gentleman

Help can come from the oddest of faces and places.

Like Simon of Cyrenne. Aka Simon the Black.

This guy was a black slave.

When Christ was staggering
with the cross, the centurions forced Simon to carry it.

God will lead you to stumble upon helpers when you are at a crossroads.

Listen.

Unimpressive CVs and humbling back-stories should not dismay you.

In God’s scheme of things, your paths are crossing for righteous reasons.

Simon needs second chances;
you need “transport” to make your appointment.

This nondescript character may get a mere passing mention in your Bible.

However, every good turn
counts for tonnes and causes massive good ripple effects.

»Two damned rebels

Once you are caught between these two extremes,you will realise that the distance between amazing
grace and eternal damnation are two outstretched holy arms.

Barnabas and the thief come to mind in this case.

When you are in trouble together with this two guys,one is pleading for God’s mercy.

The latter is demeaning your royalty and reprieve.

Do not take it personal.

That is misdirected rage speaking.

You are sharing these accomplices’ public
punishment, but not their destinies.

While you are the master of yours, theirs hang in the balance.

If only they knew what is up.

God has orchestrated it so you can give hope to them through your patience in this shared suffering.

So that, through your situation, folks can witness that
even last-second turnaround can save any damned dude.

»One ruler who condemns you

When you are in Rome, man, never do as they do.

Instead, do what Christ did.

Keep your faith.

“You have stated the fact.”

That was my Lord’s
answer when Pontius Pilate — Roman governor —
asked the life-or-death question.

Men face situations where they either buckle under or keep the faith.

There is always some ruler
involved.

Guys may be controlled, (and
condemned), by all sorts of Pilates.

Peer pressure.

Rat race.

Weaknesses.

Green-eyed envy monster.

In his darkest hour, Christ asked God that, if it was His will, to pass over the cup.

But look what drinking it bought.

If it is God’s will then, Pontius, bring it on and i will conquer all this innocent suffering that is in my life.

»One righteous Redeemer

I have not put this at seven by fluke.

Seven is the number of resurrection, Father’s perfection and
spiritual completeness.

With this Redeemer in your fore castle, you can sleep
soundly in stormy seas… and dream your
dreams while you are at it.

Disclaimer: Christ has not
said that you will cruise through life absolutely
stress-free, but he has promised that
He will come through for you.

Always.

Christ will never condemn or demean you.

He is more than a relative: He is your (protector) big
brother who will carry all your burdens.

Here is to an insightful Easter.

Just some random thoughts that came to my mind….

Oh My Lord,What a Morning!

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This morning,
I went down in the valley to pray,
My body is weak and sickly,
But my soul got happy,
and I could have stayed there all day.

And all the visions of rapture,
That burst forth during my earnest prayer,
Of God’s Grace and mercy,
His fountains of blessings that have showered my life.

O My Lord, what a morning,
when the stars begin to fall!

When the sun refuse to shine,
when the moon goes down,
to the calm lake in the colour of blood!

In this great-getting-up morning,
I see the stars all falling,
the potent-forked-lightning,
Splitting the graves of the chosen open,
And the righteous marching,
to the tune of a heavenly trumpet!

I got a home in that rock of refuge,
That used to be my Lord’s tomb,
But has now become the strong-room for my soul,
Sheltered under God’s love and grace-
don’t you see?

And God’s bosom gonna be my pillow,
The righteous souls will be my witnesses,
for My Lord’s everlasting Grace
I’ve done my duty;
I’ve got on my travelling shoes.

I’m done crossing the line;
I’m done with regrets of leaving
this world behind.

This world could be left behind in visions,
I’ve got two wings to veil my face
I’ve got two wings to fly away. . . .

I see a-table-setting down with Lord Jesus,
Eating honey and drinking wine
Marching round my Father’s throne
With Peter, James, and John. . . .
I’m gonna feast,
and be welcome at table on the throne.

Take it easy now,my troubled soul and my sickly body;
Heaven means rest for you!

And when i’m done,
with this heavenly feast at the throne table,
I’m gonna tell God all my troubles.

When i finally get home . . .,
I’m gonna tell him the road was rocky,
When i finally get home….,
I’m gonna thank Him for His Grace,
And always holding my hand, through this life I’ve led down here.

But as of now,
I better mind that sun,
and see how she runs,
when i’m still down on this earth,
And mind you!,
I won’t let her catch me with my work undone.

God has got my number;
He knows where i live;
And when the time is ripe,
He’s gonna call me up to his throne,
And my tired soul will finally rest!

Devil you are a loser,
You only got a death’s warrant out for this vain body,
But my soul is safe in the strong-room of my Lord’s throne!

Oh my Lord,what a morning!

Just some random thoughts that came to my mind….

Defeat and Victory

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When faced with uncertainty,
I pray to have the patience, endurance, and vigour to stay in
that place of tension, and the courage to be alone.

I may be facing
the prospect of humiliating defeat, but I only continue
to work for just victory and victory alone!

The will of God prevails—In this two great contests in my life
each of which claims to act in accordance with
the will of God.

Both may be, and one must be wrong.

God can not be for, and
against the same thing at the same time.

In my present life, it is quite possible
that God’s purpose is something different from
the purpose of either of these two parties.

His purpose, I am
almost ready to say this is probably true—that
God wills this contest, and wills that it shall not end yet.

By His mere quiet power, on these two contestants, He could
save or allow cancer to destroy my life.

Yet the contest began—And having begun
He could give the final victory to either side
any day—Yet the contest proceeds—

Until the day it is really over,and then there will be eternal rest and bliss for my sick body and my troubled soul.

Just some random thoughts that came to my mind….

Fear Only Helps Build up Regrets For The Good Life We Would Have Had

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Fear is a part of most of our lives, there being
numerous factors that threaten our existence.

We fear poverty and unemployment; we fear ridicule
and rejection; we fear disease and war; we fear bad
leadership, we fear making bad choices; we fear
loneliness and death; we fear-ironically- fear itself.

Many people are afraid of speaking in meetings
because they are curtailed by timidity, so they keep
their brainy thoughts to themselves.

We fear trying
things because we are afraid of failing at what we
want to attempt.

Then there are those of us who fear
marriage and/or parenthood because of the
responsibilities that come with it.

Many of us fear falling in love because of the
possibility of heartbreak that being emotionally
involved with someone carries.

Today many fear flying-what with the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines
MH370 not far from their minds.

They are also afraid
because of the threat of terror attacks that has been
in our midst for some time, and will not be seen in
church or shopping in malls.

But did you know that the benefits of living
fearlessly are more than those — if any — that fear
brings?

To start with, fear hampers all kinds of progress.

You simply will never know what the outcome of all the
things you have feared to attempt would have been.

That means that whenever you turn down an
opportunity out of fear, you only build your regret portfolio.

Is it not sad to look back and wish you had tried?

Why not cast that fear away by taking those
risks that will only make you a better person?

It must start in the mind.

You could begin by feeling
totally safe in the universe.

Author Lyanla Vanzat
said that at any given moment, we have the
opportunity to choose love or fear: “In moments of
fear, I remember the sun. It is always shining even
though clouds may obscure it for a while.

Like the sun, the one infinite power is eternally shining its
light upon me, even though clouds of negative
thinking may temporarily obscure it.

I choose to remember the light.

I feel secure in the light.

And when the fears come, I choose to see them as
passing clouds in the sky, and let them go on their
way.

I am not my fears.”

This may sound easier said than done.

But it is do-able.

It takes the presumption that you are a winner.

That you are fearless.

That you fear nothing.

It takes the belief that you will enjoy your days minus that disabling fear, for fear is for the spine less.

And the faithless.

For that reason, you will not be afraid of fear.

As human beings, we are given the spirit, not of fear, but of power and love and a sound mind.

Why not claim it?

Just some random thoughts that came to my mind….

Honesty. The Only Two Way Ticket To A Healthy And Strong Lasting Relationship

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Sometimes it feels like life’s dominated by dishonesty.

What with politicians’ promises, salespersons’
stories and the endless lies lovers tell each other.

We all know how people will say almost anything to
get their new partner between the sheets.

How the clubbing culture positively encourages
cheating between partners.

The endless exaggerations and
deceptions and no thought of anyone’s feelings or a future together.

But lying is a really bad idea once you start looking
for a spouse.

Okay, initially you’ll still want to be cautious.

Maybe not telling your new date everything until
you’re sure they won’t spread it all over town.

But don’t tell any lies.

And straight away start
lightly slipping all your background information
into the conversation.

As you gradually swap more
detail about yourselves.

Because there’s no point concealing something
that might kill the relationship months later.

Like if you’re a single mother, for example.

Some men will be happy about your children, others won’t.

Better to know how your guy feels straight away.

Or you are a married man tugging your date along on false pretences of a single life.

It will all come to the open soon or later with disastrous consequences.

So if you’re looking for a permanent relationship,
tell the truth.

And expect your new date to do the
same.

That’s happening to you?

Then your relationship has started well.

But what if you feel you can’t tell everything?

Or you start detecting lies?

Or there are things your
date just never seems to tell you like where they
work, or who their friends are.

Who they’re with.

Or they’re forever texting people
you don’t know.

Leaving the room when their
phone rings.

Don’t pick your calls, or reply to your
messages.

Move on.

Because if you want to be a truly happy couple,
don’t accept anything less than complete openness
and honesty.

In everything.

Your money, your past,
how you spend your time, your friends, your phone
calls and messages.

That sounds awful?

Then you’re not ready for a relationship.

Because, in fact, honesty is liberating.

You won’t realise how wonderful it is until you find
yourself with someone where there are no secrets.

But often, however well a relationship starts off,
that honesty gradually tails off.

Why’s that?

Well, one thing’s for sure.

We’ll all lie if we’re
pushed. So even though you know there’s
something you should be telling your partner,
maybe that just feels too difficult.

And so you keep quiet or lie.

Why’s that?

Usually it’s because your partner gives
you a hard time, getting angry or judgmental over
the smallest things.

Attacking your opinions.

Endlessly interrupting to get the “facts” straight.

Bringing up things you did wrong in the past.

That’s exactly the wrong thing to do if you want a
really strong relationship.

Instead, you should both
learn to be good and sympathetic listeners, over
worries, great and small.

Building the sort of
relationship where you can both talk about
anything.

And one day you’ll realise you have something very
precious indeed.

A warmth and intimacy and
commitment that’s impossible any other way.

And which will last for ever.

Just some random thoughts that came to my mind….

Just some random thoughts that came to my mind….

Just some random thoughts that came to my mind….

Evil Friends

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The book “How To Fight Your Best Friend” has not yet
been written.

But the day it ever gets launched, there
will be a stampede for it in our part of the world.

Fighting an enemy has never been too complicated;
you find the quickest way to take him out.

Fighting your best friend of long standing who refuses to join
the enemy ranks is another matter.

If you tackle him like you would an enemy, it is
bound to scare the rest of your lesser friends off as
nobody will feel safe with you any more.

What to do now,about evil friends?

But this is now to you,my true friend;
“I haven’t seen you in a while, yet I often
imagine all your expressions.
I haven’t
spoken to you recently, but many times I hear
your thoughts.
Good friends must not always
be together.
It is the feeling of oneness, when
distant only works to prove a lasting friendship”

Just some random thoughts that came to my mind….

I’m just being me

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You Know My Name Not My Story
You’ve heard what I have done,
not what I have been through.

You see what I have become,
but not what I can do.

You act like you can sit here and judge me,
When in reality you are not perfect yourself.

You think you can put me down,
the labels you put on me sometimes hurt.

You love using the saying words don’t hurt.

Maybe that’s why you constantly hurt me with them.

You don’t go home with me everyday,
and have to deal with the fighting and hitting.

You don’t how much pressure you put on me to be
perfect.

Well maybe you do, but you just don’t care.

You don’t know what it feels like to be rejected and
lied to so many times.

If you did you wouldn’t be happy in my misery.

You see this smile on my face,
but let me tell you half the time it’s fake.

You always wonder why I’m so quiet all the time,
I prepare myself for destruction every time you speak.

You call me weird and crazy,
but I’m just being me.

You feel as if I’m superior over you all,
but I’ve never said that myself.

You think because I’m quiet,
that I think I’m better than everyone.

You don’t know how it feels to be tired of being judged,
or maybe you do.

So before you judge someone make sure you’re
perfect because,
you know my name, but not my story.

Just some random thoughts that came to my mind….

I Forget

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{In memory of my lifetime mentor and a friend,who i recently lost to Alzheimer,Gerald Gichuki}

There is a place i love to visit,though i forget where and why it always sends thrills to my heart.

I remember now that I’ve taken all my lovers there,
Thou i forget who they were now or their names.

There are things I’ve heard that should never be heard by any other soul,
Though i forget exactly what they were all about.

There have been times when i was extremely happy,
Though i forget what it was all about.

I once had a lover who made my heart sing,
Though i now forget her name.

There were lines i used to woo my lovers,
Though i forget the words i used.

There were friends who used to rock with me,
Though i forget exactly who they were.

These are things i remember now,
Though i forget why they are important to me.

I’m an old man now,
Though i forget how old.
They even used to call me by a name that I’ve already forgotten.

Just some random thoughts that came to my mind….

Calm Under Pressure. My Soul GPS

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When I was just a little younger, i had great big goals and objectives and aspirations for every day of my life.

These days, my biggest ambition is to get through each day with grace
and peace of mind – to be unruffled and to
move peacefully from one task to another with
focused attention and a quiet, calm
energy.

Simple right?

Ok maybe not.

However there are steps we can take to at least increase how often we remain calm.

Why be calm?

Heck, because it feels fantastic.

Anger and impatience wear on our hearts and
our minds and our friends.

When we are in control of our emotions, we get
more done, we communicate better, and we lead
more productive, purposeful lives.

Here are some time tested tips for keeping your cool and
staying calm amid life’s situations – both big and small.

Strive to not catastrophize
It’s easy to dramatize and make
something a bigger deal than it is.

When you are relating the problem to yourself,
avoid the urge to magnify the negative.

Strike the words always and whenever.

It can really help to re-frame the problem in
your mind by saying things like “I can
cope,” “It’s not that big a deal,” and “I’m
bigger than this.”

Don’t describe or blog or tweet about the
problem.

Don’t talk it over with your friends
right away; let it stew a little in your mind so you can settle down a little.

Sometimes, well-meaning friends will sympathize too much,which may only add fuel to your fire and get
you even more upset.

Discover metaphors and visualizations that help you stay calm
Here’s one that helps me: I try to imagine my problem as a knot.

The more I panic and pull
on the ends, the tighter the knot cinches.

But, when I adopt a singular focus, a calm takes over and I can loosen one strand at a time.

It might also help if you can visualise yourself acting with patience and focus.

Lower your voice and try to move as slowly as possible.

Speak slowly and softly.

Become the calm, unflappable person you see in your mind.

Here’s another technique: Do you know anyone whom you would describe as unruffled?

Try to think of what this person would do in your situation.

Note your patterns of exasperation.

Are there any specific situations that cause you to lose your cool? Look at specific patterns —from time of day, to level of stress (or level of
boredom), to blood sugar levels.

Do you tend to lose it when it’s too noisy – or too quiet?

Knowing about your own patterns can go a long way in helping you keep your cool throughout the day.

Realize that you can control your
emotions.
Reflect on times when you were able to successfully stay calm in a frustrating situation.

Maybe it was a time when you
wanted to yell at your partner,but then the doorbell rang and you were able to instantly shift gears.

Consider that you might be able to do this repeatedly, as long
as you know your triggers – and some tips for keeping a calm mindset.

Create a calm environment with
peaceful rituals.

If calm music soothes you, use it.

If silence soothes you, use it.

Maybe you’ll play some
soothing instrumental music or maybe you’ll dim the lights and light some scented candles.

When you are coming home from work, give
yourself a few moments to calm your mind before you go charging into an evening at home with your friends.

Sit in the car for a few minutes
and take some deep breaths.

Kick off your shoes and sip a glass of water.

Rituals can also be tremendously soothing during the transition periods of your day.

I’m sure you are feeling calmer already.

Keep reading to get the rest of the tips on staying calm under pressure.

Take care of the essentials.

Make sure you are getting enough sleep and getting enough protein, fiber, vitamins and minerals.

I tend to lose my temper way more
often if I’m low on blood sugar.

But, get a little protein in me, and it’s (relatively)
smooth sailing.

Also make sure you are getting physical exercise.

A daily workout can
give you the physical release that can help you control your anxiety.

If I’m feeling particularly stressed, I trade my half-hour run
for a half hour of Rhumba dancing,alone.

This helps.

Stay away from too much sugar and caffeine and stay hydrated.

Drink a tall glass of water
and see if you feel better, more calm and alert.

Focus on the mind and spirit, too.

Depending on your spiritual tradition, engage in a routine of meditation or prayer.

Practice yoga – or just sit quietly for awhile.

Developing peace of mind is a skill that will serve you well your whole life through.

Take a meditation class, and learn techniques to help you get control over your monkey mind.

Distract yourself Instead of ruminating on a problem, find
something fun, engaging, and constructive to
do.

Try to laugh (or laugh at yourself.) Watch a funny movie or read a blog that always make you laugh.

When you lighten up, it’s a
lot easier to keep your cool.

Take a day off.

I always know I really need a day off when i fight like crazy to not take one.

If I can force myself to take an entire day away from my
work, I always come back more calm,
assured, and filled with fresh ideas.

Don’t forget to breathe.

Diaphragmatic breathing helps you alleviate
your stress in the moment and it gives you a
minute or two to calm down, often just long
enough for you to assess the situation and
help you regain your sense of control.

In a good belly breath, your belly will actually rise and fall.

To practice, put your hand on your
belly.

Inhale through your nose and see if your hand rises as you breathe in.

Hold the breath for a few counts and slowly breathe out.

Reflect on quotes that can help you
calm your mind

Here are a few that I find
inspiring:

~Im here,physical scars and emotional scars from my past underlines my fighter and victor attitude in life. i’m here because i’m a survivor,and i will survive and conquer this present and unpleasant times too!

Add on more of your quotes,and invite calm and peace back into your life!

Just some random thoughts that came to my mind….

Take a Leap of Faith & Live Your Life abundantly

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“Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t
see the whole staircase.”
~Martin Luther King, Jr

Have you watched or read the news lately?

Have you checked your pulse rate afterwards?

A good portion of news items can make you fearful, angry,
stressed and uncertain.

From the gang-rape of a schoolgirl, cases of
student deaths in schools, substance abuse, chaos
in our transport sector, insecurity and crime to the
recent terrorist attacks in Nairobi and Mombasa.

That’s not all.

Most of us are facing disturbing news
at a personal level, either first-hand or from family
and friends, including job loss, relationship
breakdown and illness.

Trying to make it through
the day, while handling our national and personal
news can be overwhelming and depressing.

The result is that our self-talk, the conversations we
turn over in our head when we are alone, becomes
negative.

As misery loves company, we end up
voicing our anxiety to others and generally
increasing the negativity quotient in our immediate
environment.

But what to do, you say.

Life is what it is, and if it is bad, it is bad.

The truth is that life is 10 per cent what happens to
you and 90 per cent how you respond to it.

I’ve been thinking about that lately, what with security
alerts on possible terrorist activities we have been
receiving and forwarding to each other.

Avoid crowded places, most of the alerts warn.

And so i have.

Problem is, those alerts have come in the way of
my life.

I have kept away from the supermarkets
until my pantry is at dangerous empty levels.

I have kept away from entertainment places and
gathering with friends.

I have even contemplated
keeping away from church.

I have looked over my
shoulder at everyone, wondering if they perhaps
have a grenade or wish me any form of evil.

And you know what, this is not the life I was born to live
or the one I signed up for.

It is not the life any
Kenyan should be living, yet it is what is happening
to us.

We know the government has a duty and obligation
to protect its citizens, even though we fear that
they may be too busy playing politics that they lack
the focus and resources to do so.

And yet we must not stop doing our part, insisting
daily that the government and its security forces
be accountable and do more on this issue, looking
out for our neighbours and giving up criminal
elements in our midst.

None of the above makes us any safer.

If anything,it seems pitifully small against the magnitude of
what we face.

That’s where the 90 per cent of how
we choose to respond comes in.

Consider this: most of us were chilled to the bone
and justifiably outraged following reports of an
attack on the Joy in Jesus
Church in Likoni,Mombasa.

The story of baby Satrine Osinya,
who lost his mother in the attack, gripped the
nation and galvanised churches and individuals
across the country to pray for him.

One of the dailies even had a prayer on its front page.

With their usual philanthropy, Kenyans began to send
donations.

That was faith in action.

This past week, baby Osinya underwent brain
surgery to remove the bullet in his head and we
heaved a sigh of collective relief.

The doctors had
performed a delicate surgery and it was successful.

A little bit of faith and just one piece of good news,
amidst all the bad, made the difference.

It was on that day that I made a choice to bid fear
farewell.

To respond to the painful circumstances
and harsh realities in this country with faith
instead.

To be vigilant, yes, but not to allow those
whose desire is to perpetrate terror win.

We need to return to our way of life, to Church and
the supermarkets.

We need to keep doing what we do to build the
nation in our little way.

And regardless of how
bleak the road ahead seems, when the choice is
faith or fear, I pray you take the high road.

Choose faith.

Just some random thoughts that came to my mind….

To the Youth of the World. My Two-pence Worth of Advice

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It’s way too easy to let time slip by, especially when
you’re young, only to have huge regrets later
because things didn’t turn out the way you wanted.

So always live in the present because opportunities
only come once.

Be focused and alert, appreciate
every moment, and give all your attention to what
you’re doing right now.

Instantly, you’ll notice good
things starting to happen.

Do your very best in everything.

And make time for
what you love doing, no matter how busy you are.

Work so hard at it that you get to be amazing.

Better yet, turn it into your profession.

Follow your dreams instead of just hoping
something will turn up.

And get going.

Putting things off just means someone else gets there first.

Be happy with yourself.

Try much harder in school.

Brilliant grades change
your life.

And one day you’ll realise how cool it was
to spend all day learning.

Better yet, your
intelligence actually increases if you develop hard
skills like programming, or learning another
language.

Don’t spend your youth being self-absorbed:
unhappy with the way you look, obsessing about
your weight or whatever.

Stop comparing yourself
to others, and don’t let yourself be defined by
gender roles or cultural expectations.
Instead, believe in yourself, and be truly honest about who
you really are.

Do not pretend to be someone
you’re not, just to be liked.

Be braver in love.

And move on more quickly.

Everyone who leaves a bad relationship wishes
they would have moved on sooner.

Likewise quitting a terrible job!

And really make time to
network.

It seems pointless when you’re young, but
gradually you realise it’s how you get to the top.

Keep fit.

Don’t neglect your teeth!

And no junk food.

You’ll pay for it later with years of trying to
shift the fat.

Ask your grandparents lots of questions.

They can explain everything about where you came from but
only if you ask them in time.

And listen to your parents!

You may not believe it,
but almost everything they say about life is true.

No one ever looks back and wishes they spent more
time at the office.

They wish they’d spent more
time with family and friends.

So simplify your life,
play with your kids and be lots nicer to your partner.

Learn to cook one truly impressive meal.

And something brilliant to perform in front of a crowd.

Volunteer at something that will make the world a
better place.

A good life’s all about doing what’s really
important; things like teaching your children real values.

Dressing them in the latest fashions doesn’t matter.

And neglecting them to buy some flashy
car is even worse.

Because fancy possessions rarely add much to life.

And though it’s sometimes a tough call, happiness
comes from sticking to the straight and narrow
path.

I know some evil people seem to have made it.

But nobody really loves them for it.

Inside they’re lonely and
scared.

It’s better being honest, believe me.

Just some random thoughts that came to my mind….

Midlife Crisis. A Liberating Crisis

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I’m right in the middle of a crisis

The mid-life crisis.

The midlife crisis is great.

Actually, it is no crisis at all.

I am growing old, my friends are
growing old.

Everyone around me is growing old, so
I have taken an interest in the thing.

And, generally being the kind of guy who is not known to keep his opinions to himself, today I write
about growing old to (reassure myself and) comfort
those men and women my age who are beginning
to notice flakes of white hair and the horrifying
realisation that half their lives are gone, forever.

I thought that the midlife crisis would be disaster; a
hormonal overload and shrivelling gonads
accompanied by the smell of scorched flesh.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

The midlife crisis is great.

I would know because I think I am in
the thick of it.

Growing old, I have found, comes with an
impatience with being fat and slow.

I am taking an
interest in being fit now and I believe I am fitter
than I have been in many years.

What does it mean to grow old gracefully?

I have observed that nearly every Kenyan man over
35 has no hair.

They have wiped it out because
they are balding or greying.

Which is not necessarily a bad thing, if that’s what makes you
happy.

Many middle-aged men are grumpy, or bitter,
angry or sad.

They feel that they have misused
their lives, or they are failures because they have
been lazy and disorganised.

Or they feel they have had no luck, or they have
been fixed because of their tribe or race or
whatever.

Others feel that their families do not
appreciate them, they take their sacrifice for
granted and they don’t see how good they have
had it.

It is these feelings which make men who are
moving from being young to being old so violent
and disagreeable.

But it need not be like that.

We just need to understand what this process of
growing old means.

Growing old is the slow, progressive death of
pretensions and the emergence of the real person.

By the time you are 35, you really should know who
you are, as opposed to who you want to be.

By 40, it doesn’t really matter what the world
thinks.

If you are a scruffy, unkempt and creative,
the midlife crisis is an opportunity to stop trying to
look like an accountant and get on being
comfortable in your two pairs of shoes and looking
forward to your bi-annual haircut.

I presume that men, and perhaps even women, at
some point panic when they look back at half their
lives, realise that they are growing old and haven’t
achieved, in their estimation, that much.

Well, so what of it?

Being unsuccessful is no reason
to take an axe to the next person who looks at you
askance.

You can get back to the trenches and try
to fix things, or you can sit back and ask for
another beer.

An enjoyed life is a successful life.

I am informed that men fear ageing because it
implies a depreciation of their sexual abilities.

i never write about sex and I do not wish to venture
there.

It’s not something people can be honest
about, but those ageing guys who are having
doubts about this, perhaps it is a good idea not to
panic and go all over town with 50 schoolgirls.

If you are already seated at the banquet table, what is the point of
wanting more than you can eat?

And what is the
point of eating more than you need?

From my interactions with older guys, there doesn’t seem to
be any cause for alarm.

Finally, the way an ageing guy looks is also a
matter of choice.

You can go for the encased-in-a-
suit, age-lying, dyed-hair, pinched, bitter look
common with bean- counters and government bureaucrats.

You can relax, do the loose-limbed, fluffy-haired
Denzel Washington thing and bounce to the sunset
with lots of dough and big smug smile on your face.

Or you can apply the Jamie Foxx formula, hard
partying, spend-like-there-is-no-tomorrow,
frightened-of-the-future route, which is certain to
end in a broken, broke man.

If you don’t mess up, it is a liberating crisis.

So what if my sex-drive is plummeting? It is not like i’m trying for more babies in my now infrequent trysts!

What i like about this crisis is that i can be forgiven for all those awful sins of my youth,without having to apologise for them-and that includes my horrible clothes that don’t match my…..my what? What i’m i saying? Where was i,in this conversation?
Blame it too on my fading memory!

Just some random thoughts that came to my mind….

Gone Fishing

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No one in this town could catch
any fish except this one man.

The game warden asked him how he
did it so the man told the game
warden that he would take him
fishing the next day…

Once they got to the middle of
the lake the man took out a stick
of dynamite, lit it, and threw it in
the water.

After the explosion fish
started floating to the top of the
water.

The man took out a net
and started picking up the fish.

The game warden told him that
this was illegal.

The man took out
another stick of dynamite and lit
it.

He then handed it to the game
warden and said “are you going
to fish or talk?”

The warden had throw the lit stick into the water.

“Let’s see who gets booked in for illegal fishing no”,the fisherman said.

Just some random thoughts that came to my mind….

Pain All Over

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A man goes to the hospital and
says to the doctor:
“It hurts when I press
here” (pressing his side)
“And when I press here” (pressing
the other side)
“And here” (his leg) “And here,
here and here” (his other leg, and
both arms).
So the doctor examined him all
over and finally said…
“Come on,You’ve got a broken finger!”

Just some random thoughts that came to my mind….

Pain All Over

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A man goes to the hospital and
says to the doctor:
“It hurts when I press
here” (pressing his side)
“And when I press here” (pressing
the other side)
“And here” (his leg) “And here,
here and here” (his other leg, and
both arms).
So the doctor examined him all
over and finally said…
“Come on,You’ve got a broken finger!”

Just some random thoughts that came to my mind….

Travel Blues

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I was at the airport, checking in at
the gate when an airport
employee asked…..

“Has anyone put anything in your
baggage without your
knowledge?”

To which I replied, “If it was
without my knowledge, how
would I know?

She smiled knowingly and
nodded, “That’s why we ask.”

Just some random thoughts that came to my mind….

“I Speak For My Love”

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My friend is miser.

He really takes care of his coins.

Picture him doing his clever stuff in a dentists surgery;
“No fancy stuff, Doctor,” he
ordered, “No gas or needles
or any of that stuff.

Just pull the
tooth and get it
over with.”

I wish more of my patients were
as brave and as stoic as you,” said
the dentist admiringly. “Now,
which tooth is it?”

He turned to his wife…
“Show him your bad tooth, honey!”

Just some random thoughts that came to my mind….

Mediocrity and Genius-Two of the same kind?

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I saw a policeman literally chasing some university students up a foot-brigde when they attempted to cross a busy highway by darting across 8 lanes!

And it got me thinking;these are knowledgeable university students-not primary school kids.

The widest gap in the whole world lies between
what we know and what we actually do.

This gap is where mediocrity lives,nay-thrives.

Insanity slumbers in there,waiting for an opportune time to show face.

I am sure you’ve had plenty of unfortunate situations
where you’ve wondered how it is that a well-
informed, educated, exposed and experienced person
could make some very pedestrian mistakes.

It is this very gap.

It is called the Knowing-Doing Gap.

We know better, but we ignore our knowledge and
act in the exact opposite way.

Why bother acquiring
the knowledge in the first place?

Sounds like the best definition of insanity, doesn’t it?

Its simply ignorance of how it is that we create the
situations in our lives (or deaths in this unfortunate
instance).

When we acquire knowledge or generate our own
ideas, they are lodged in our conscious mind.

Our conscious mind being objective, can accept or reject
any idea fed to it.

All our knowledge stays here, but is completely
useless to us until we internalise it.

Any information or idea that is accepted by our
conscious mind is then passed on to our sub-
conscious mind.

Being subjective, our sub-conscious
mind must accept any information passed onto it by
our conscious mind.

It has no ability to evaluate or
reject.

It is our sub-conscious mind through internalisation
of ideas that instructs our physical bodies to act
through our emotions.

We then proceed to do the
things we do and the universe —our environment
reacts back.

It is this action-reaction process that
results in our current circumstances.

Bear in mind that the reactions we receive from the
universe are always in direct proportion to our
actions.

You see; by causation, nothing just happens.

Everything must be caused.

I think the word;
“because” should no longer be allowed as a proper
word in the English language.

That said; those of us who dart across that busy road
in spite of the danger are plainly ignorant of how it
can happen that we get run over.

We refuse to take responsibility for having darted
across the road.

I’ve tried to reconstruct the kind of thinking that goes on in these young bright minds as follows;

“We certainly don’t cause those
unfortunate accidents.

How can you even suggest
that? No! These motorists are just very arrogant
people speeding in their fancy cars “because” they
look down upon us, pedestrians.

So as a lesson to all who may be thinking you have
right of way, be warned.

If you run us over while we
cross the road minding our own business “not
causing any trouble” to anyone “because” you have
cars, we will burn down your cars.

You must understand that we are running or strolling
across the road because it is shorter for us than overhead foot-bridges.

And if it turns out to be our shortcut to the grave, it is still
your fault, we really don’t give two hoots about what
the traffic laws say.

This is our position and we are
sticking to it.”

The above quoted line of thinking makes the young geniuses in our universities look mediocre out of their prestigious lecture halls-a simple choice they make in a brief moment of crossing a busy street with a foot bridge defines them as mediocre to the rest of the average population!

Today,choose to be at the cause of the effects in your life—
because if anyone deserves it, it is you.

Just some random thoughts that came to my mind….

The Warrior Spirit

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It is rare for a tree to die.

Trees, like the proverbial
cat, live for countless years before they eventually
die.

That is why some trees are centuries old.

And even
when they die, they shoot up — to live again.

Like the cat with nine lives, a tree’s tenacity to
survive is great; it shouts to the world:
I love life
I soak it like a sponge and the life in me does not dry
up easily.

I thrive even after a bad experience.

I live and live, and will live on…

But don’t we human beings share the same tenacity?

The determination of the human spirit is simply
astounding.

I see it in myself, and I see it in others.

I will be crushed for one reason or the other, but
tomorrow, next week or next month, I will be up and
about — like nothing tragic ever happened; like I
never shed tears like a river; like I never walked
around with a wounded soul.

And the physical body is even more resilient.

Quick to recover, it takes its cue from the stubborn spirit,
and will heal with the passage of time.

Even when a limb, say a leg is cut off, we find a way
to survive without it.

We make use of those sturdy
crutches.

And life goes on like before.

Sometimes,the universe surprises us, and we live an even
better life.

The tenacious spirit in human beings comes-it must
come- from their absolute desire to live.

That explains why the greatest fear in most, if not all, of
us is death.

We are terrified by death, and will do
anything to live.

It is not surprising that when we
sense death, we run a mile…

Like the never-dying tree, we will sprout even when
others think we are about to die.

We will find new growth from our innermost being, and keep going.

We will pick up our broken souls and somehow
nurture them to health.

The unbreakable spirit of the human soul sees that
the drive to live does not easily die.

For even when we think it has finally subsided, and that we want to
stop living, we are just telling those around us that
we need help to live one minute longer, one day
longer… Because, the simple truth is that our
greatest desire is to live.

And enjoy life and thrive,
just like the tree does, regardless of what season it
is.

Just some random thoughts that came to my mind….

This is how dreams die

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I have a friend called King.

Not his real name.

Just a pet name we gave him during our boyhood days.

King is a jailbird.

I won’t get into why and how he
ended up in jail right away.

King turned 50 in
February this year, 2014.

He didn’t blow candles.

He didn’t get a smashing birthday party.

Nobody toasted to his good health.

He didn’t get laid…I hope not, damn it! Not in that prison cell-it would break my heart!

He celebrated it as he had
celebrated the last three birthdays, in his drab jail
clothes, toiling in the laundry section of the jail
by day and sleeping on an ultra thin mattress by
night in a dark cell that he called home for the three
years (including the time he spent in remand).

He celebrated it by dreaming about freedom.

The first year after the judge threw him there I
often found some sort of morbid pleasure in using his
incarceration as a prop for humour.

When I was out
with friends I would make sure I mention I have a
Friend in jail and then pleasure in people’s reaction.

People look at you in a different way when you mention
something like that.

They imagine you come from a
Brotherhood of delinquents, beset with felony.

They wonder if those genes are embedded deep in
you, lying dormant, waiting for the right stimulus to
show face.

In short, they imagine I’m a thug too.

People often asked me why he was in jail.

And I constantly lied.

I had fun with it.

When I was in a good mood I
said he knifed someone.

“Did they die?” they would
mumble in horror.

“Only a little,” I would say, “the knife got in only a
little.”

When I wasn’t in the mood I would say he
car-jacked a priest.

Or held up a small bank in Kiambu,my home town.

Or stole a baby.

I got a kick from telling them stuff like this.

But such mischief grows old fast.

Soon it didn’t matter.

But what did he really do, I hear you asking?

The judge said he facilitated the loss of a truckload of
wheelchairs and crutches en-route to Rwanda.

I’ve never asked him if he agreed with the judge.

Last week king- together with a few thousand
inmates – was released.

Presidential pardon.

Word got round very quickly and I found myself at the
parking lot of Kamiti Prison with a fellow brother in arms.

It was headed to midday.

My other friend, King’s
older (and only) brother was also there holding court
and looking a bit bewildered.

The meeting party only
consisted of the three of us.

The rest couldn’t make it
because it was kind of sudden; The president didn’t send us
emails about King’s release.

We chatted as we waited for him to come out.

It was a beautiful day; it had rained the previous
night so the ground was wet.

The air, even the one in
the jail compound, smelled of life.

And the sun was out in a pretty dress,foggy and misty.

King walks out a few minutes before midday.

He walks hesitantly, like a man stripped of his dignity. Which of course he is.

He’s wearing blue bathroom sandals.

He has on a threadbare and faded blue shirt with the middle button
missing.

He’s in oversized beige khaki pants, no belt,
so he has one hand inside his pocket to prevent his
pants from falling down.

With his free hand he
clutches, under his arm, a black paper bag.

All his world’s possessions are inside that bag.

He’s been shaven clean, about a few millimeters from his skull.

He hasn’t lost much weight; in fact he hasn’t changed
much.

He’s limping slightly.

He stops and looks around then he spots us walking towards him.

He slowly shuffles our way, clutching his little black
paper bag, limping slightly, a faint smile playing at
the corner of his lips, a smile that looked like an
embarrassed smile from far but as he inched closer I
realized that it was a smile of trying to be brave.

It seemed to say, “I told you guys I would be out before
dinner.”

I wasn’t convinced.

He hugs my brother in arms first.

He hugs him the longest.

They were closest.

He visited him
more times than the two of us-me and his elder brother- combined.

He knew when he was sick, or when he was down.

They talked on phone frequently.

He hugs me next.

I have never hugged a fellow man like that; hands all around torso
and shit-

It felt right.

Then he hugs his brother last, a
small awkward hug.

They aren’t so close.

I can’t tell you why, family stuff.

Don’t act like you don’t have
issues in your family.

My brother in arms pats him on the back and says he looks
good.

“No you don’t, you look lousy.”

I joke.

He chuckles and says in his deep baritone voice, “Man, I
was the most handsome man in this whole
goddamned prison.

This place will never be the same
again with me gone.”

I can’t resist being cynical about his conceit, so I remark, “Oh
no doubt, I bet your toothless boyfriends that you left
back there would agree.”

Look, I was only trying to break the ice, I mean really I
was only trying to make everybody relax, the air was
too expectant.

We were all trying to act prim and
proper with our stupid chit-chat and all.

Thankfully he found it funny, like he really found it
hysterical.

We all have a laugh and act like it’s just
another day and we are all just shooting the breeze.

Which is fine.

After a few minutes my brother in arms asks him,
“What is the one thing you always wanted to eat or
drink when you were released, we will get it right
now. A cold beer or maybe some chicken? Vodka?
Hey even some tail-business with some girl if you so wish. What?”

He grins shyly, the sun shining off his scalp, he
finally says, “A very cold Fanta.”

“Fanta? Really?” my brother in arms echoes what perhaps we are
all thinking.

He nods.

We exchange brief glances.

There is a petrol station with a snack bar or something up the road. Galitos and what not.

My brother in arms says ok, let’s go, ride
with me.

He says he wants to walk there.

I hand over my car keys to our mutual friend.

I offer to walk with him.

He hands his brother the little
polythene bag and they get into the cars.

I really wanted to find out what was in that bag; I wanted to
know what a man leaves a jail with.

Did he have a book in there?

Did he have a change of underwear?

Or did he carry hope in that bag?

Or bitterness.

Or angst.

What does a man carry out of jail?

We walk out.

At the gate he shows some paper to the
security guy who glances at it briefly before handing
it back without a word.

Without a “good luck” or
“take care” or “don’t come back.”

Nothing.

Civility doesn’t live in our jails.

He limps straight out of the
gate without as much as a backward glance, holding
up his pants so they wouldn’t fall down.

Outside i remove my belt and hand it to him because him
holding up his pants like that is depressing me.

He belts up and we slowly walk up the road, jabbering.

Or rather I ask him questions.

He answers them
nonchalantly, distractedly while looking at passing
cars and at buildings.

He looks surprised at being
free, he seems to be getting his mind around
freedom, disorientated by it all.

My friend is not a bad guy.

He’s just a guy who made
some bad calls in his life.

He grew up in Christian home.

A family that emphasised about respect and hard
work.

Not a bad chap, my friend.

He’s no riffraff either if you want to know.

He went to school in the
UK, came back with a degree in Civil Engineering but he
never worked a day in his life because he’s a restless
chap, because he’s the kind of guy who is in a
goddamn big rush to get ahead of the queue.

Because he loves the good life but unlike you and
me, he wants it today and not tomorrow.

He wants it now.

He always had a plan; come back home from the UK, get into
the oil transportation business, work for three years
driving a truck, buy his own, drive it for another two
years, buy another one and start managing them
from an office with a brassplate bearing his name.

He was ready to push the boat out into the deep sea and fish there.

Only it didn’t turn out like that; he came back, started driving a truck,
only it wasn’t an oil truck,but one for charitable outfit, drove it for a year and then
ended up in jail the next year.

And now this is how it ends, with him walking by the
roadside from jail in oversized khakis and a borrowed
belt.

This is how dreams die.

But if you are those glass-half-full kind of people you would say this is
how it starts.

On a clean slate.

He orders a Fanta.

A cold frosty Fanta orange.

He downs it in three gulps then orders another one.

This one he sips slowly, thoughtfully even, like he’s trying
to distil the flavours of the damned ingredients.

This one he sips through a straw.

We talk and chaff about, watching
cars pull up to fuel.

He asks about people, who had a
kid, who got married, which club is happening now,that kind of
stuff.

He asks about our children.

He asks about our women.

But he never asks about our jobs.

Never.

I gather that’s because it will make him feel like a
failure, it will make him feel how much he needs to
work hard to catch up.

He tells us about the politics
of money in jail and how money will buy you
protection, how money will buy you friends.

How money will get you a bed in jail and soap and a good
meal.

The jail is the only place money can buy you sleep.

He tells us about how you’ve got to man up in jail
and learn to fight your own battles, sometimes violently.

He tells us how the reality of being
sodomized comes close if you don’t have the right
friends to buy, friends who stop being your friends
when your money runs out.

He talks about the nights
that you feel hopeless and desperate.

Nights that death seems like a friend.

He smiles a lot during our meeting.

But the smile always refuses to reach his eyes.

His eyes harbor something that I can’t put my fingers on, but they
aren’t happy eyes.

Although he sits there, upright in
his seat, he exhibits a certain vulnerability.

I could sense the fear in him.

The fear and uncertainty of
starting over.

At some point his brother asks him
what he wants to do and he says simply that he
wants to go village where his parents are retired and
tell his mom he’s out.

Only he says it in Kiikuyu,my native language.

And it touches me, not so much what he says but why he says it.

He never called his mother, mommy or mum or anything like that when she was alive.

His mom is dead.

Died years before he was sent off to jail.

He talks about wanting to visit her grave,and confide with her there.

And so for him to refer to her in
present tense was, I don’t know, real touching.

I’m a sucker, I know.

He orders fries and chicken.

And he cleans it off.

I watch him eat; he eats fast, just like he likes to lead
his life.

He isn’t going into formal employment, that much we are sure of.

It’s not for him.

He’s not the type to sit around for four weeks waiting for a
pay cheque.

King is not into waiting around and
perhaps that’s his Achilles heels.

Perhaps what he needs in this new chapter of his life is to learn to wait
things out; to take small steps, but even most important, to appreciate those steps.

King is one of those chaps who are embarrassed at being broke.

Terrified of it.

But I will tell you here that he isn’t a gangster, i swear he isn’t.

He doesn’t pull guns on people or
break into homes.

But he loves shady deals.

He loves deals that bring in big spoils and the difference between him and us is that he is not averse to risk.

I don’t know if our jails are corrective.

I don’t know if they instill a sense of reform or change of attitude.

If they do then they failed with my friend because
sitting there listening to him,watching him eat I
didn’t feel that he was a different guy, that prison had changed him.

I was looking at the hedonistic
chap who loved the fast life and who would pursue it with all his wit.

The girls who work at local Industrial area offices start showing up for lunch.

Girls in high heels and black
stockings.

Girls in fitting pants and short skirts.

Girls in weaves and glowing skins.

They stride-in, in twos and threes.

Laughing and strutting their thing, especially the ones who knew they got a broad african ass.

King stares.

Boy, does King stare at their asses!

He loses all interest in what we are saying and his eyes follow any hot chick that walks in the shop.

Hell,even the not so hot ones.

“Things changed while you were gone; girls are now hot-they all scrub up good now. All of them.”
his brother tells him with a grin.

He mumbles something incoherent.

I swear I’m not making this
up.

He practically zones us out, he stares at women like,well, a jailbird.

But it was a relief for us in a way, that he still found women appealing, that he wasn’t
batting (pun) for the other team.

He kept well away from the forced sodomy business common in our jails.

He may want a girl after this,hopefully get committed and marry her.

But that is not the King i know.

He will never marry.

Not after his girlfriend dumped him when he was in jail.

The day we visited him and handed him that dumping note from his girlfriend,we all cried about its cruelty.

But that’s life.

As of now,King can cry on our shoulders,lean on them for as long as he likes,until he up on his two feet again.

That’s what we,his bossom friends are here for.

Until he can dream another dream,that will carry him through his life again.

Just some random thoughts that came to my mind….

Just some random thoughts that came to my mind….

Just some random thoughts that came to my mind….

Most Times,I fail

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If you want to know your place in this world,you must meet a traffic cop in his worst moods during your motoring.

It will work much better if you have committed some traffic offence,it doesn’t matter how minor the offence is.

This cop who flags me down, the traffic cop who later
leans into my window, has a face that isn’t in the
mood for folk and dance. And he has eyes that have
been bled off sympathy.

And his chin, my God, his chin is so sharp
I bet he uses it to slice open envelopes.

And enemies.

I’m in the wrong, of course.

I have broken some
traffic law, the one that frowns on driving while
talking on phone, but in my defence, traffic was
crawling.

But when he raises his hand – a stiff defiant
and authoritative gesture – an image of a nude goose roasting and
squirming over a flame leaps in my mind.

My day too of roasting,has finally come.

He swaggers over.

Large girth.

He’s maybe 40 and
has a face that has been standing in the sun for too
long.

He looks like the kind of chap who has been
dealing with scum bags like me all his life.

But that walk of his: unhurried and resolute, a walk of
someone who knows exactly where his lunch will
come from.

There is nothing friendly about him or his
walk, but I’m not perturbed, I’m not even anxious
because I have since perfected the art of charming
my way out of sticky situation with cops.

He silently checks my insurance then deliberately
walks over to my window and without as much as a
hello, without any emotion or nicety he barks in my
face; “Licence?”

I hand him my driver’s license while
I chime happily, “Habari ya leo, officer?”(Hello Officer,how is your day?)

I’m dutifully ignored.

If I were a lesser man, if I was impetuous, I
would have broken down right there and cried.

But i didn’t, because I was wearing my lucky underwear;
it’s black; and old-colour denoting manly strength (obviously).

I’ve taken to wearing old presentable underwears for the nurses to look at during my now frequent physical examinations down there for my prostate cancer clinic days-mostly,they are black in colour for reasons i don’t want to detail in here.

My license is studied in complete and loud silence.

I’m let to sit there, to stew in and contemplate my
unlawful ways.

You’d think I had tried to run the
president’s motorcade out of the road.

Which would
have been stupid, but – admit it – fun.

Finally – after I have almost grown senile waiting for the longest time – he growls; “ Sasa
mbona unaongea kwa simu na unaendesha gari? ” (Why were you talking on the phone while driving?)

Don’t be fooled by the question mark at the end of
that sentence because it’s not exactly a question, but
a statement.

But if you choose to take it as a
question it’s one that doesn’t need an answer, it
simply draws your attention to your error.

I start talking fast.

I’m plying him cock and bull story.

I’m charming him.

He stands there, leaning his weight
on one foot and staring at me like I’m scum (and I
am), like he is a god (and he is, a traffic god who
needs to deworm) and he is beautifully unimpressed
and unmoved by my string of narrative.

And he doesn’t blink.

Now, I have this routine that I have perfected down to the finest print in my mind when I
encounter the law.

I have learnt that cops will let you
go with a slap on the wrist if you make them
understand that you know your place in the food
chain; that you are nothing before them.

So you don’t argue with them, you don’t challenge their opinion;
you keep your head low.

But most importantly, you
don’t ask to touch their gun.

So you smile and look
remorseful and say you are sorry and that you
exercised bad judgment.

Or you play to their
manhood or fatherhood.

I once told an obstinate traffic cop who had caught
me making a U-turn; “Look, I have that money you
are asking for but it isn’t exactly mine; I’m going to buy
my son a school bag tomorrow [I know, I’m
disgraceful].

Please don’t make me beg, you look like
a father, come on, let this one slide, officer.”

And he had stared at me for a while before saying
coldly, “I’m not a father.”

And for some reason I
found that funny as hell and I laughed, and he stared
at me before he broke into a broad smile, then I said,
“You might not be a father but you are a man and we
don’t kick each other while we are down,”

He shook his head and let me go.

But normally if diplomacy crumbles (hardly ever) I
use my tramp card; The Cancer Clinic Card.

That’s always my last ticket to freedom.

It’s gotten me out of some grim situations-people knowing i’m on my last legs.

So anyway, back to the cop.

Just as he’s ready to
drag me away to the station, I sort of play that last
card.

Only I play it to the wrong chap because for
one, he’s having a bad day and two, he felt like I was
arm-twisting him and lastly, I suspect he was just
having bad bowel movements that morning.

So much for my lucky black underwear.

What happens next, happens really fast.

The card, he feels
rightfully, was used to try to undermine his authority.

And so his ego is tested, not only as a cop but as a
cop with intestinal worms (his big belly seems out proportion with the rest of his body if you ask me.)

I stand no chance.

All bets are off.

As this story goes, will end up at Milimani Police
Station at some point and at the parking lot, I will
embrace my mantra “Only fools don’t
change their minds,” and I will hold his arm (not his
gun) as we walk towards the station office and I will
tell him, “It doesn’t have to go this far, I don’t want it
to, and I can tell you don’t either.”

And he will stop
and look at my hand on his arm like it will infect him
with foolishness, and before he says anything, before
he proves that I came onto his turf and undermined
his authority, I tell him something I should have told
him as soon as he asked for my license: “It’s too early
in the day to start it in this fashion. I’m sorry, officer,”
And lets me go without a bribe.

This post was to be about Kenyan cops but like most
things i did back in my High School days they always seem to turn to be
about my lack of sound judgment, or my fumbling
and unfawning (Word keeps underlining this damned
word) thoughts.

But I always intend them to be a
window into human nature, as I see them at least.

Mostly I fail.

Just some random thoughts that came to my mind….

This Blog….

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I started blogging as a way of ventilating some of my innermost thoughts in an obscure way-a tonic to my restless mind.

I was diagnosed with prostate cancer back in 2009.

It has now spread into my thigh bone.

My jocular Doc asked me the other day during my counselling session-”do you still have some unfinished business you’d like to look into, just in case….

His voice trailed as a way of underlining his implication-in short,i should be getting ready for my eternal rest.

Yes-i said.

My will is in order and recently revised-i told him…but…

What?

There is the small matter of my blog,it means so much to me…it has been my self therapy-i told him;what will happen to it? I would have wished it to form my longest legacy after i’m gone.

What about handing it over to one of your family members-they could keep on updating it after you are gone.

I’m completely estranged from my immediate family-a long story-i told him.

Then you can open it up to other members in your blogging community who share your thoughts and world views.-there it is! A gem of good idea,but i only put down my random thoughts,not very specific subjects-i replied.

That’s much better then-they will put their random thoughts and it will still serve your cause!-hear him! Always so helpful!

I’m going for a long therapy session for four continous weeks.

Is there anyone out there who’d like to co-author this blog in whatever style?

Just some random thoughts that came to my mind….

Environmental Disaster!

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ENVIRONMENTAL DISASTER!!

The saddest thing I ever did see
Was a woodpecker pecking at a plastic tree i have mounted in my compound as a decoration.

He looks at me as if to say-
“Sir, these things aren’t as sweet as they used to be.”

And i’m like-”get used to it friend,soon and very soon,wooded forests will be no more!”

Gloomily,the woodpecker stares back at me with a bleeding broken beak as if to ask-”Sir,are you aware of what day it is today?”

I laugh.

The woodpecker laughs too-too loudly for one with a wounded beak!

We are both laughing and asking ourselves;between you and me,who is the fool now?

Just some random thoughts that came to my mind….

A Day in the life of a minimalist-Sunday,30th March,2014

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Every day is a blank page, although there
are habits I act upon daily.

Presenting last Sunday as an example, this is
how I enjoyed the day:

I woke at 4:50am without an alarm, excited and
refreshed.

These days my habit is to wake when
my body tells me it’s rested.

But there is no
routine.
I ate a banana, drank a cup of coffee, then drew up business plans for my clients
from 5am to 11am.

I prefer working in my home-based office in the morning when it’s
quiet and I’m closest to the dream world.

My home office room contains only a desk, a chair, a laptop,
and my notes — the only things I need.

Nothing else.

There’s no phone, no Internet, no clock — no
distractions.

Just me and my habit, which I enjoy
immensely.

Each day I work until I don’t feel like
working anymore.

But there is no routine.
After my morning session of passionate work in my home office, I walked to the
neighborhood park and alternated between pull-
ups and push-ups under the midday sun.

Exercise is important for me, and I enjoy it daily.

But there
is no routine.

I showered, dressed (jeans and a T-shirt), and prepared my modest,
vegetarian lunch(i live alone as a matter of choice!).

I eat when my body tells me I’m
hungry, irrespective of the time (I don’t own a
watch).

Some days I eat lunch at noon; other days I
might eat at 10am or 3pm.

But there is no routine.

After my meal, I drank
my herbal tea, used smartphone Internet
connection to check my email and publish some
writing online.

There were 37 emails in my inbox, which was okay as I only
check email two or three times per week.

Sometimes more, sometimes less.

But there is no routine.

After two or three hours on the Internet, I walked to
a secluded forested part of my neighbourhood, and read a novel while the
sun set fire to the sky.

Some days this habit invites
me to devour chapter after chapter, hour after
hour; other days I read for only half an hour.
But there is no routine.

Throughout the day I made sure I was hydrated.

Besides fruit juice and herbal tea, I drank only water.

No alcohol.

No sugary drinks.

No soda .

I attempt to drink my
body weight,8 glasses of water each day, which
isn’t always easy — so sometimes I drink only half
that.

But that’s okay: there is no routine.

I own a car, but I didn’t drive it on Sundays.

I didn’t need to.

It was a nice day, so I walked
instead to a friends home-5 km away from my home.

Some days i need to drive to where I want to go; other days I
can walk.

But there is no routine.

Later that evening I enjoyed dinner and a
conversation with a friend, and afterwards we
walked to a local town centre.

Other days I might watch
a movie at home.

It had been a beautiful
day, followed by a beautiful night — a denim sky
illuminated by a waning crescent moon, a million
diamonds afire, and the prospect of a new day at
midnight.

The good news is my life is no different than yours,
minus the routine.

Sure, the details are different,
the circumstances are different, but we all have the
same 24 hours in a day.

We all have one life to live,
and that life is passing by one day at a time.

The only real difference lies within the decisions we
make and the actions we take.

Just some random thoughts that came to my mind….

Self Centered

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The more you help yourself get stronger, the more
you can help the weakest.

The more you help yourself get happier, the more
you can help the saddest.

The more you help yourself get relaxed, the more
you can help the most stressed.

The more you help yourself get wealthier, the more
you can help the poorest.

And if you become far stronger/happier/healthier/
wealthier than the average, then the more people
you will be able to help in the world.

You can’t help others from a weakest position.

An ill person can’t help us to be healthier; a hungry
person can’t feed others.

Be at peace with yourself when you are well-
intentioned selfish.

You might be thinking: Should I do things for
myself only when that helps others?

Does all this mean that I can’t do things just for myself
anymore?

I enjoy eating ice cream without remotely being
aware how my pleasure helps others.
I keep doing
what feels good for my senses and my being.

Maybe doing things for ourselves feels so good
because at the end, even if we don’t perceive it, our
happiness helps others.

Just some random thoughts that came to my mind….

God of Old Lonely Men

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Fear lurks
In the dark corners of my heart,
Waiting to convince me
That love will fail.

Sorrow lurks
In the dark corners of my soul,
Waiting to convince me
That faith will fail.

Doubt lurks
In the dark corners of my mind,
Waiting to convince me
That wisdom will fail.

Teach me to shine
Into the dark corners of my mind,
So that I face my fears with courage
Redeeming them with awe and wonder.

Teach me to shine
Into the dark corners of my soul,
So that I face my sorrows with strength
Redeeming them with righteousness.

God of Old Lonely Men,
Teach me to shine
The light of faith
Into the dark corners of my mind,
So that I face my doubts with honour
Redeeming them with hope.

Just some random thoughts that came to my mind….

Indifference

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Some form of indifference in life is important so as to keep our sanity especially in potentially explosive emotional situations that can be full of unnecessary drama.

Staying rational and logical is a huge hurdle
for many of us.

When someone personally
says something that attacks our belief
system, we naturally want to speak up and
put that person in their place.

Don’t do that! Keep calm.

You have to keep an open mind and get
unattached to your opinions on the matter.

So this person thinks something different
from you — good for them!

Being indifferent is about
leaving our assumptions, our beliefs, our pride,
our emotions and our vulnerability at the
door.

In order to do so, our minds have to be
entirely open.

So when someone is talking ill of you behind your back-you will go like-

Hmm.

Interesting.

Wonder why he/she thinks like that?

Any reaction on your part should be merely
intrigued — never offended, angry, or
defensive.

When someone says, “Hey, ohmigosh, I really
have something I want to tell you — but I
totally shouldn’t,” they’re actually saying,
“Please give me attention. I have some
gossip and it would give me immense
satisfaction if you begged for it.”

Don’t give them the joy of pulling you into their gossip highway!

Instead,say something like-”you don’t have to tell me right now. Take your time and tell me whenever you feel comfortable to do so.”

In a relationship, Indifference is not caring what the other person does
in a relationship.

There are no arguments, so
everything may seem okay on the surface.

Arguing stops because you don’t care if you were right or felt
hurt by another person’s words or actions.

Trust isn’t
an issue, because you don’t care about earning or
having the other person’s trust (or trusting them).

You can cheat on them.

They can cheat on you.

No big deal!

You interact every day in a vacuum where everything
seems okay, because neither of you cares whether it
is or not. It’s a perfect illusion that you both have
silently agreed to live.

But it’s not a relationship at
that point anymore.

And it’s hardly living.

Beware of indifference in a relationship!

If your
automatic response to your significant other’s
question always seems to be, “Whatever,” that may
be a sign that indifference creeping up on you.

If you still care
about the other person in your life and the
relationship’s future, you’ll listen to it.

If you are looking for a way out this relationship,then it is a safe way of blunting the pain when the relationship finally dies like the death of a chronically ill close person-you have made yourself ready for it.

Just some random thoughts that came to my mind….

Success In Life Requires NO Previous Experience

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How many times have you let opportunities pass you
by because you said you lacked the experience?

While experience is good it should not be limiting.

What experience did the first humans to the moon
have?

What experience did the initiators of the
university system have?

Think of it.

They had no degrees but the strength of their vision,
conviction and passion set up a standard for the rest
of the world to follow.

The greatest use of experience
is when the future is exactly like the past.

However, if
you expect a future that is totally different from your
past then you really don’t have the experience for it.

Landmark breakthroughs are not the products of
experience.

They are the products of people who had
visions and who dared to experiment with their
visions.

They are products of people who took all the
information available to them and convinced
themselves that the experience that their vision
produced in their minds would see them through.

Landmark breakthroughs happen when people defy
the logic of containment which says you cannot do it
because you have never done it before or which says
you cannot do it because no one has done it before.

How limiting.

This is the kind of thinking that has
made leaders into followers, princes into peasants
and philanthropists into paupers.

The words stage of influence is reserved for those
who are ready to dare to be the first.

Nobel prizes are
not for the masses.

They are for people who dared to
step out and dare something new — people who
dared to challenge popular thought and culture and
not give the excuse of experience.

How many
presidents had been presidents before getting
elected?

No CEO was born a CEO.

No great warrior
was born fighting.

The experience issue has caused too many people to
disconnect themselves from possibilities.

We live in a
world full of possibilities — a world of abundance.

Yet so many people just pass through and remain
ordinary because they have convinced themselves
that they do not have the experience to be
successful.

What do you need to overcome the containing logic
that says you cannot move to the next level because
you lack experience?

First you need a vision greater than your doubts.

The voice of your dream needs to be louder than the
voice of your fears, your doubts and your lack of
experience.

The truth is that we all have fear from
time to time.

No one is totally void of fear but
greatness comes when people act in spite of fear.

When I see the number of unfulfilled people on the
face of the earth today, and I hear stories of the
visions that people had when they were younger and
how they regret not acting on them, I think I have
enough evidence to conclude that many people on
earth are ruled by fear and this is what contains
them.

What will you do today if you were not afraid?

The answer to that question may just be the
indicator to where you should focus your attention
and energy.

Once the vision is greater than the doubts and fears,
then you must begin to equip yourself for the vision.

Even though the first people to the moon had never
been there before, their preparation was faultless.

They were building capacity.

Adjusting their body
weight, adjusting their thinking, and doing
everything required to prepare them for the
expedition.

Don’t leave the expedition of your life to chance and
don’t let it be killed by your doubts and fears.

The truth is however that many people will really not
mind trying and failing if no one else would know
about it.

So, it seems like our greatest fear is the fear
of people knowing we tried and we failed and for this,
there is only one piece of advice that
I can give – GET
OVER IT.

Just some random thoughts that came to my mind….

Hotel Room

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I’m packing.

A nagging worry of departure.

Lost room keys.

Unwritten luggage labels.

Tissue paper rolls on the floor.

I hate it all.

Even today,when shutting drawers,and flinging open hotel wardrobe.

I’m aware of sadness,a sense of loss.

Here i can say,I’ve lived;I’ve been happy.

This room has been mine,however brief the time.

Though I’ve been in this room for only two nights,
i leave something of mine behind.

Nothing material.

Not a toothbrush.

Or a handkerchief.

But something indefinite.

Just a moment in my long life.

A mood.

Even stopping for luncheon at a wayside motel,
And going to a dimly lit washroom to wash my hands,
Pulling at a door handle of a door unknown to me there before,
The linolin wall paper peeling in strip under neglect,
A funny little cracked mirror above the washroom sink,
-for this moment,the washroom belongs to me.

This is the present moment.

There is no past,no future.

Here i’m washing my hands,
And the cracked mirror shows me to myself.

Suspended in time,as it were,this is me!

This moment won’t be lost.

Within the two nights in this strange hotel room,
i have advanced one step towards my unknown destiny.

My departure from the room is finished with snapping of the door lock.

It is like turning a page of a photographs album.

And finding that there are no more photos to see,
Until we take the next snap.

It is over for now,
Between me and this cosy hotel room,
Until next time.

But i hope the memory lasts me a lifetime,
Just like other relatively unimportant memories,
That add colour to my life.

Just some random thoughts that came to my mind….

Just some random thoughts that came to my mind….

Just some random thoughts that came to my mind….

Sweet Seduction

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I had no tact,langour or subtlety,
i had only read about those in books.

The challenge of pursuing her relentlessly,
The swift glance,the stimulating smile-the art of provocation was unknown to me.

I would at a picnic,a can of yoghurt on my lap,
Happy in silence,yet eager for her words.

She was older than me,
But i have never seen such unparalleled beauty in a mature woman.

Whether she talked or not,
Made little difference to my elated mood.

We drove east,we drove west-
i really don’t know where we went,
But small village,to us,was nirvana of our romance.

All i remember is the smell of polished leather seats in my car,
The texture of her smooth hand,
Now and then placed on my laps.

And how one day,looking at the Dashboard clock i thought to myself-
“This moment now-at twenty past eleven in the morning,
This moment must never be lost!”

And i shut my eyes to make the experience more lasting,
To capture the bliss of that moment and freeze it forever.

When i opened my eyes,
We were in a bend of the road,
And a peasant girl in a flowing beige skirt waved at us by the roadside.

i can still see her now in my mind after all these years-never mind how many-

Her dusty skirt.

Her gleaming eyes.

Her friendly smile.

-and in a second,we had passed the bend,
And i could see her no more!

Already,she belonged to the past.

A memory.

I wanted to go back again,
To recapture the moment that had just gone.

And then it came to me that even we did go back,
It would not be the same moment.

Even the sun had changed in the sky,
The casting of shadows was shorter,
And the peasant girl would walk alongside the road in a different way.

Not waving this time,having already done it earlier,
Probably not even noticing us the second time round.

There was something chilling in these thoughts,
That made me realise that we should cherish these blissful moments of seduction,
For in the next moment,they will be lost forever!

“If there could only be an invention”,
i thought impulsively,
“That bottled a moment like sweet fragrance in a vial so that we can relive these magic moments!”

And when one wanted to go back,
The vial will be uncapped,
And it would be like living the moment all over again,
Just like one dons a fresh fragrance,
After the one worn earlier fades in scent.

“What moments in your life would you like un corked?”

Telepathy.

She had read my mind.

I could not tell from her evenly levelled voice whether she was teasing me or not.

“i’m not sure”-i began and blundered on rather foolishly

-not thinking of my words.

“I’d like to keep this moment forever”.

“Is that meant to be a compliment to this particular day,
Or to my keeping you company?”

She said and laughed like a mocking elder sister.

I became silent.

Overwhelmed suddenly by the gulf between us,
And how her very kindness and love seemed to widen it,
Making me concious of her older status,

I knew i would never tell my friends about this magic moments with her,
They would only deride my dating an older date.

Their laugh would hurt me.

“I wish”,she said,”i was a younger than you-’cause that’s the way it should be-an older man,a younger woman”

There was a hint of melancholy in her voice.

“Don’t even mention it”,i started,”i ask you out because you are older,more mature,more experienced in the world-cause that’s what’s turn me on about you-and that’s what makes this thing a sweet seduction to me.”

Dusk was falling.

We had lost the sense of time.

When i said that,the whole world lit up-

She fed me on one of her sweetest seductive smiles.

Just some random thoughts that came to my mind….

First Love Fever

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I’m glad it can’t happen twice,
The fever of first love.

For it is a true fever and a burden too,
Whatever the poets may say.

They were not brave,
Those days when i was twenty one,
And going through my first love.

They were full of little cowardices,
Little fears without foundations.

One was so easily bruised,
By teased rejections and slights.

So swiftly wounded by a callous word,
I always felt dejected by the first barbed word.

Today,wrapped in the complacent armour of middle age,
Small bruises on my ego and slights of day by day interactions with others,including my dearest, are soon forgotten.

But a careless word or whisper from friends and lovers still linger,
The stigmata of friendship and love.

An adult mind can tell lies,
With untroubled conscience,
Saying,”i love you” when i don’t really mean it.

But in those days,even a small deception scalded my tongue,
A man at war with himself-a war fought in the deep private recesses of my mind.

How things change!

How time flies!

I’m growing old now.

I have forgotten much about those days,
Of the conversations we had,me and my first love.

Of the places we went.

But I’ve never forgotten the nagging insecurities that besotted me,
Every time i was in the presence of my first love,

Trembling lips of my first kiss,
And the terror of my first ever sleepover at my beloved’s…

Those were the days-
Days of first love fever!

Just some random thoughts that came to my mind….

?

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I can write the saddest poem of all tonight.

Write, for instance: “The night is full of stars,
and the stars, blue, shiver in the distance.”

The night wind whirls in the sky and sings.

I can write the saddest poem of all tonight.

I loved her, and sometimes she loved me too.

On nights like this, I held her in my arms.

I kissed her so many times under the moonlit sky.

She loved me, sometimes I loved her.

How could I not have loved her large, sexy eyes?

I can write the saddest poem of all tonight.

To think I don’t have her.

To feel that I’ve lost her.
To hear the immense silence of this night, more immense without
her pillow talk.

And this poem falls to my soul as dew to grass.

What does it matter that my love couldn’t keep her.

The night is full of stars and she is not with me.

That’s all.

Far away, someone sings.

Far away.

A sad love song plays in my soul,like words of a familiar song stuck in my mind.

My soul is lost without her.

As if to bring her near, my eyes search for her.

My heart searches for her and she is not with me.

We, we who were in love once, we are the same no longer.

I no longer love her, true, but how much I loved her.

My voice searched the wind to touch her ear.

She’s someone else’s.

She will be someone else’s.

As she once belonged to me.

Her voice, her light body.

Her infinite eyes.

I no longer love her, true, but perhaps i still love her memories.

Love is so short and oblivion so long.

Because on nights like this I held her in my arms,
my soul is lost without her.

Although this may be the last pain she causes me,
and this may be the last poem I write for her,i perhaps don’t love her at all anymore!

And that is the saddest part of this poem.

Just some random thoughts that came to my mind….

Crumbs of Comfort

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How many sips of beer will dry my tears?
How strong would be the wind that blows away all my sorrows?
How many hugs would make me trust in love again,after my heart was broken?

But ponder this-the rich will never know who loves them for their wit or wallet!

How many fires will warm my cold feet again,so that i can move on?
How many assurances will i need to hear before i can trust again after betrayal.

But ponder this-the lonely hearts will never have their heart broken,untill they take a chance on love again!

How many nights do i have to sleep alone,’cause i fear letting in anyone into my life?
How many miles will i have to go,till i realise that this road does not end?

But ponder this-no one really needs company on a warm night!

I’m seeking to know,my friend,
If you can be my crumbs of comfort,
during this uncertain times in my life!

Just some random thoughts that came to my mind….

Relax….

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I am here for you-
When happiness finds its way to you,
And you want someone to share it with;
Someone to tell it to.

I am here for you
When troubles somehow find their way in
And you want someone to lean on;
Someone on whom you can depend.

I am here for you
When your dreams find a way of coming true,
And you want the support of someone
Who has always believed in you
I am always here for you!

Just some random thoughts that came to my mind….

Y.O.U

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I’ve never seen or met YOU,but
you are beautiful-

Although, you may not see
the person that I see
when I look at you.

And if the mirror you look into
could show your reflection through my eyes
you would see a smile so bright
it could light up the world
throughout the day and into the night.

You are courageous
Although, you may not feel
all that brave.

But I see, how strong you can be.

And if you could take a minute
to look back at all your ups and downs
you would smile with pride
because you made it through.

And then you would be believe
what I already know to be true;
You are incredible, intelligent
fearless and strong.

Life is beautiful, wonderful and fun
and all your dreams can come true
if you start by believing in YOU.

Just some random thoughts that came to my mind….

Very Strange,this Love thing!

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First, love confuses us.

We can look it right in the
face and not recognize it.

Love can be hidden by
disagreements and bad taste in music.

Love doesn’t
always smack us in the face, but it does sneak up on
us.

It likes to show up when we least expect it and
when we really aren’t ready for it.

Then, love excites us.

The tingly feelings in our
stomachs never go away.

We develop new ways of
thinking in which nearly all thoughts lead to love, to
those we share it with.

Love takes us by the hand and
skips around in a little circle, our hearts aflutter and
eyelids batting rapidly.

Next, usually, love scares us.

We offer our hearts to
people and trust them to care for our hearts despite
their lonely, tattered state.

“How will this ever work?”
we think.

The scars we bring with us have changed
us.

They have shaped us into who we are and to have
that shaken up again…unthinkable.

Soon we’re convinced that we can really, truly trust
our beaten down hearts in the hands of another.

We learn to throw caution to the wind and allow
ourselves the freedom to breathe in the presence of
our love, even though the air had once escaped that
sacred space.

Love satisfies us for just a short while, after we’ve
settled down and yet before we’ve really settled
down.

Love bores us.

We learn to identify our needs as the
needs of our loved ones and vice-versa.

We lose sight
of whom we were prior to love and we start to nest.

We start to dig a hole of self-pity and bury ourselves
beneath the soil of bitterness.

“How did everything
get so monotonous?” we ask ourselves.

Things used
to be exciting.

We used to be infatuated and now,
here we are, watching television on the couch and
peeing with the loo door open.

Love centers us.
We see the changes we’ve made
within ourselves and realize just that: we’ve done
this to ourselves.

We could have chosen anyone to
love and still transformed into a better human being
over time.

Love holds a mirror to our faces and forces
us to own our integrity and our shortcomings.

Love plants our feet on the ground and tells us, “You do
you.”

Love sometimes fails us.

Sometimes love is not
enough to push through the challenges that the
world places at our feet.

Love cannot actually melt
the rock hard ice.
However, it can warm the chilliest
heart, and it can teach a woman that a small waist
and pin straight hair are not what beauty looks like.

Beauty is the ability to love others in the way we love
ourselves: wholeheartedly.

Just some random thoughts that came to my mind….

Plan For a Good Day. Prepare for Trouble

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Life’s full of disasters.

Vehicular crashes, terrorism,
robberies, famine and floods.

The list’s endless.

You can’t pretend they never happen, or avoid dealing
with them when they do.

When your house is burning, or an accident happens
in front of you, you have to drop everything and do
your best.

But problems also happen on another level: those
small daily irritations that drive us all nuts.

The endless traffic jams.

Making your money last to the end of
the month.

Managing your weight.

Making time for
your family,or a relationship.

And sooner or later, something always goes wrong.

People are difficult, a tyre bursts, or you run out of
salt.

Day-to-day troubles aren’t exactly the stuff of your
dreams.

But the way you handle them says a lot
about whether you will succeed in life or not —
because it’s a sort of training, making you better able
to deal with the real disasters.

And being prepared
often means they never happen at all.

The little things
In fact, the ability to cope with trouble is one of the
biggest differences between winners and losers,
especially how you deal with those little things that
are so easy to let slip.

That’s true for everyone of us
and even for whole countries…

Those things are never dramatic or urgent.

It’s easy to delay spending time with your kids or neglect your
health until something serious occurs.

Think of administrators who always seem to ignore
the possibility of flooding when the sun’s shining.

Or never do the things that would prevent motor crashes.

Or a famine.

By contrast, successful people know that setback are inevitable.

That life’s complicated and can be
tiresome.

So they’ve learned to maintain their
strength, resolve and optimism in the face of
difficulties.

They know too that as they become more successful,
the size of their problems will increase.

So they prepare.

And people who prepare don’t panic.

They become heroes.

This is because difficulties are rarely ever a complete
and total surprise.

And life’s never fair.

So just get good at it.

Protect yourself by always having some slack in your
schedule, money in the bank, and keeping really fit
so that you can always handle the unexpected.

Plan for difficulties and be prepared.

Service your car.

Keep plenty of fuel in the tank.

Take a self defence course.

Keep your store cupboard well stocked.

View every difficulty as a learning opportunity rather
than as a problem.

And always be proactive, taking
care of difficulties while they are still small.

Preventative maintenance is a really good idea.

For your clothes, your car, your relationships, your
health…

Learn from every experience and try not to have the
same problem twice by making whatever changes
that are necessary to prevent a repeat before you
move on.

And gradually you become what you learn.

So expect trouble!

Take it in your stride, build up your
resilience, and you’ll always be a winner!

Just some random thoughts that came to my mind….

My Battle With Cancer. A Personal Journal. A Small Book

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I’m battling and braving prostate cancer.

It is a very personal journey to go through a terminal illness.

People rarely share this profound experience about human frailty and mortality.

Wait!

I found a small book on cancer.

This will sound mad.

But do you sometimes wake up
in the dead of the night and lie there, anxious that
perhaps there is a book out there you will die without
reading?

A book that was “written for you”?

No?

OK, what about a play?

A painting?

A movie?

A small movie about a boy in Basra who dreamt of a life
beyond herding goats.

A boy who tried to wrestle free
of that life, but – tragically – never left.

Wouldn’t you want to be a part of that boy’s departed dream?

Do you think of those things at 3am, when the dogs
outside have out-barked themselves and the still and
the blackness of the night has turned into a cliché?

Aren’t you curious that out there exists some body of
art that shifts, albeit a little, your whole existence?

Well, I’m sure it’s out there.

An undiscovered author,
or musician or painter or, or, or someone who created
a piece of art so profound it seems to know you exist.

I think about things like that at 3am.

When I can’t sleep.

It fills me with a harrowing sense of foreboding.

This question about my existence and mortality and tasks
and experiences that will never cross my path.

It’s just me, right?

Say it.

Well I found that book.

Rather, it found me.

A little background.

For the longest time I read
books.

Then I stopped.

You know the way you pull
chairs for a chic you have just started dating then
after a while you stop, not because you don’t fancy
her anymore but just because you stopped?

That’s what happened to me and books.

Then, circa 2009, I started reading magazines,
because that was my new literary cool: GQ, Esquire,
Vanity Fair, Men’s Health, Time, National Geographic…Ate them
up.

Then early this year I stopped pulling chairs for
magazines.

My lasts obsession, Sunday Nation,
stopped floating my steamer too.

I became a literary
orphan.

Then last week I remembered Nick Hornby.

I discovered Nick way back in 2008 and he had a large
impact on me with the fluidity of his prose, his dry
English wit and his crusty sentences that hardly ever
went over 17 words.

So I went to that downtown Nairobi bookshop at Yaya Center to seek
nostalgia.

They didn’t have any of Nick’s books but
the book attendant recommended some chap called
Peter Biddlecombe, who sounded more like a
beekeeper than a writer.

But who was I to turn my
nose; I was a literary orphan as it were.

So I bought one of his books called Never Feel A
Stranger, which – I’m sorry to disappoint you – isn’t
creepy as its title suggests.

It’s actually a travel book,
funny-ish, and quite sarcastic.

And the clincher?

It’s written in the first-person.

I can’t stand books written
in the third-person.

This was the first book I was
reading in three years.

Excuse me, I’ve been busy.

On Friday I landed in Zanzibar.

I sat down with
this amiable tycoon who owns a one-month old
restaurant called Six Degrees South in Stone Town,
an elaborately snazzy eatery set by the sea.

Over wine and honey-glazed prawns I sat with this tycoon
(he’s called Saleh) and he rattled on about the
restaurant and the dream preceding it.

It always stems from a dream.

Then we talked about his toys- private plane and his
Range Rovers and his small three door Japanese job
that he uses in the island and all his glittery
trappings that come with boatful of dough.

Then,because I’m obsessed about opening people’s
“vaults”, I asked him what money hasn’t been able to
buy for him so far and he sipped his Sauvignon Blanc
blithely and said simply that he “has been very
lucky.”

The ocean groaned,a big tidal wave rose to greet his “Luck”.

Next morning, together with Mr. Biddlecombe and
his dry wit, I hopped onto a small plane to Dar es
Salaam.

When I got into a Wi-fi area, I saw this email, from a
pal of mine called Kijo.

She was enquiring about my
health and my miraa(Khat) addiction (jokes) and informing
me that she had found a writer who writes like me, a
John Green.

Have I read his work?

I wrote back and
said no.

She then emailed me this e-book called “The
Fault in Our Stars.”

Honestly, I didn’t really care to
read it.

But the moment I read the first paragraph, it
was like breaking my literary hymen and
immediately I belonged, to, uhm, something.

Like my literary bereavement ceased.

Am I making sense?

The book is about this extremely witty 17yr old girl
called Hazel, a stage 4 thyroid cancer patient, who
carts about this oxygen concentrate tank wherever
she goes.

She spends her time at the cancer support
group, movies with her pals and to visit this boy she
likes, Augustus Waters (Gus), who is also a cancer
survivor with one prosthetic leg and talks like an
intern at J.P Morgan.

This book is book about three or
so teenagers battling cancer with admirable humour.

It’s also about some book they are reading that they
keep talking about, a book written by an egghead
prick of an author.

Look, you got to read it.

In the opening paragraphs Hazel says:
When you read a cancer booklet or website or
wherever, they always list depression as among the
side effect of cancer.

But in fact depression is not the
side effect of cancer.

Depression is the side effect of
dying (Cancer is also the side effect of dying, almost
everything is).

I was sold.

I read it at any given possible opportune.

And it drained my emotions, that book.

I thought of
little else than Hazel.

I dove into her world full of pain
and bravery and disease and oxygen tanks and the
boy she likes- Gus, who in spite of his one leg, will
often make your laugh out loud.

Later, I, together with Daisy, went to this food fesyt thing, which was being held at the Southern
Sun’s garden.

It had stalls with lots of wine and food
and cheese and folk milled about clutching on plastic
cups of booze or soda and nibbling on something
greasy and making small talk.

The only thing louder
than the music there was the MC.

It was another
Grand event, brimming with the glitterati of Dar; the
fashionistas and all these folk who genuinely
believed they were important to the eco-system.

It was like Blankets and Wine rolled together with the
fashion high tea.

Certainly not my forte.

I feel lonely
in big crowds, in places where women wear those
extraordinarily large hats and large shades and the
men prattle about Formula One.

Through this entire highbrow hubbub, I thought of
Hazel.

And her oxygen tank.

And Gus and his
prosthetic leg.

Eventually I stepped out of the garden
area and sat under an umbrella and read the book
from my phone.

There is this point where Hazel is
saying:
There will come a time, when all of us are dead.

When there are no human beings remaining to
remember that anyone ever existed or our species
ever did anything.

There will be no one left to
remember Cleopatra or Aristotle, let alone you.

Everything we did and built and wrote and thought
and discovered will be forgotten and all these – she
gestures encompassing – will have been for naught.

Maybe that time is coming soon, maybe it’s a million
years away, but even if we survive the collapse of our
sun, we will not survive forever…and if the human
oblivion worries you, I encourage you to ignore it.

God knows that’s what everyone does.

Tell me you don’t love that kid.

I told Daisy I was leaving, going back to my hotel-
Slipway Hotel- some 25mins away in an area that
was supposed to be their Lavington.

I read the book
in the cab, and successfully – almost – ignored the
chatty cabbie.

He informed me – helpfully- that
Kenyans love beer, choma and women and asked me
if I wanted a girl.

I grinned and told him I have one
already, she is twenty five-my first born daughter,born out of wedlock,and now a clinical officer in Toronto,Canada.

He laughed and went back to the
road.

I went back to Hazel.

At Slipway, which is this mall by the waterfront, I sat
in this café called Classico Café and ordered this
thing called Chicken Saltimbocca, which is chicken
wrapped with bacon and fresh herbs then served
with mashed potatoes, baby vegetables and cheese
sauce.

TSH, 18,000. Best. Meal. I. Had. In. Dar.

Hazel was talking about a time when she was in
remission and the doctors had tried these drugs that
weren’t working and she had fluid in her lungs and
she was in ICU with pneumonia and waiting for her
death and his dad was standing by her bed, trying
not to cry and losing that fight and when he did she
describes his cries like “am earthquake” and his
mom is kneeling next to her bed, holding her hand
and whispering to her, “Are you ready sweetie?” and
she nods, saying she is ready to die.

Then the mother
breaks down in her father’s chest and whispers to
him, “ I will not be a mom anymore.”

And it kills her
(not literally), and she says she tries to let go, to
embrace death, but her cancerous lungs wouldn’t let
go, and it struggles for air…
I quickly looked up.

Because I felt this deep distress
and sorrow flooding my system.

Excruciating passage.

And I felt so sad, and I looked out in the sea,
at the small little boats bobbing in the sparking
midafternoon sunshine and I did something I have
been avoiding to think about since I stared the book;
My daughter.

And I think how I would handle if I had a sick
terminally sick child who was in pain and shit.

For the first time in my life,i was thankful that it is me who has this cancer thing,and not my beautiful daughter!

Now, that would literally create a crater the size of a
Football stadium in my heart.

And I feel a bit angry with
myself for allowing those thoughts.

Then I dialed my daughter’s number and it was off.

So I sent her a whatsapp message to her phone and it stayed
on one tick for ages.

It’s still on one tick.

Kids!

When Hazel goes to her cancer support group, she
often has to go up the light of stairs (she’s a very self
sufficient young lady), and I find myself wanting to
get into the book and helping her with her oxygen
tank.

Or her purse.

I really do.

I would carry Hazel’s
purse from River road to Riara Road.

And I’m anti-carrying-purses.

I finish lunch.

Then as I wait for the bill, I think of my
departed mom.

Nowadays thinking of mom doesn’t
strike me with that nauseating sorrow it used to, just
this inexplicably profound loss.

I get jealous when I
see someone with their mom.

Or when they look at
their ringing phone and go, “let me take this, it’s
mum.”

It sickens me up with jealousy.

Before I showered, I sat on the edge of my bed and
read.

I read slowly.

I try to soak in paragraphs.

I often
repeat pages and sentences that impress me, or I re-
read dialogues that I find sexy.

I take notes on my
phone.

I obsess over new smart phrases.

At some
point the sun started to set and from the hotel room
the oranges drown the room, so I Instagrammed the
picture.
Then I stepped into the shower.

I whatsapped Daisy
and excused myself to the rest from some plan to see
the town by night.

I wanted to find a nice bar to
review, and on recommendation I took a cab to The
Cape Town Fish Market along Msasani Bay.

No bar
comes close to this bar in Nairobi: set by the sea, it’s
done in whites and blues and it serves great south
African wine.

I sat at the bar, ordered this glass of pinotage called
Fat Fish then I bowed my head to my phone and did
some reading.

To my right was a gentleman on a first or second
date.

I know because he was trying so hard to be cool
and likeable and he was speaking too much English,
which in TZ is invariably bad English.

Most Tanzanians can’t speak English to save them from
gout.

But one would excuse him for really digging in
his oars if you cast a glance at his date; she was a
stunner.

To my left were three japs having Sake.

To my immediate right were two Amazon ladies who looked
like they came to Africa to fight Malaria.

Or Poverty.

Or both.

Since there was WIFI I Whatsapped Kijo and thanked
her for the amazing book and went on to enthuse at
how this was the best book I’ve read since Adam was a
boy blah blah blah.

I went on and on about it (I can
be dramatic) until I realized I was whatsapping alone
because she had either slept or passed out.

Back to the book: Gus’s best mate – a cancer survivor
too- loses his eyesight and his girlfriend and it gets
real teary in the book.

For me that angst is helped by
a breeze blowing through from the ocean and then
they start playing Big Yellow Taxi by Counting Crows.

When was the last time you heard that track?

Then they played John Mayer’s “Heartbreak hotel” and all
these songs followed, songs that you’d hear in One
Tree Hill and it set a spooky soundtrack for the book.

I would frequently come up for air, to find the
“English” Tanzanian guy has ordered another
cocktail for the chic, the chemical warfare was on.

Assad would have been proud.

He spoke more than
the lady, but I silently rooted for him, even though
his English didn’t.

After two glasses of wine, I settle the tab, climbed off
the bar stool and took a quick glance at how
“English” Man was fairing.

The tide didn’t look to
wash for him.

She was tediously supporting her head
on her hand, and not in that rapt attention way, but
that stoic tolerant way.

And the level of her drink
hadn’t gone down much.

English man was at sea
without a sail and as the cab pulled away into the
night I prayed he had an ace up his sleeve.

This book is a nirvana.

It’s a painful book – if you
open yourself to pain – because really cancer is
painful.

But the author makes cancer charming, he
almost romanticizes it.

Almost.

It has many laughs,
but it’s a different kind of laugh, like when you were
a kid and you knocked your shin and it hurt like hell
but people were watching and you didn’t want to cry,
so you laughed.

A pain-peppered laughter.

But a laugh nonetheless.

I’m on chapter 11.

I dread finishing it, because then I
will feel like an orphan again.

Here is something
Hazel wrote, that struck a chord:
…. Sometimes you read a book and it fills you with
this weird and evangelic zeal and you become
convinced that the shattered world will never be put
together unless and until all the human beings read
that book, and then there are books so special and
rare and yours that advertising your affection for it
feels like a betrayal.

That kid is talking to me.

Just some random thoughts that came to my mind….

My Past. My Pain. My Glory

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Like everyone, I’ve had my share of unpleasant,
difficult, and down right heart breaking
experiences.

For the longest time I was angry at the world
because I’d experienced them.

I hated the mistakes
I made.

I berated myself for my screw-ups and
stupid choices.

I felt defined by them—
embarrassed and soiled—like I should be wearing a
T-Shirt with the words “Damaged Goods” on it.

One day, a very wise person said these words to
me:
Everything that has ever happened to you is
the perfect preparation for the person you’re
destined to become.

And everything clicked;

Those things that I had regretted so much, had
shaped me.

What’s more, I had a choice in it.

I had inadvertently used those things that had happened
to me as things that drove me forward.

Many of the things I’d become interested in, my passions, and
my values were driven by those very experiences.

Don’t hate your past.

No matter what it contained
or what it did to you, the past shapes who you are,
not just for the things you felt damaged you but for
the lessons you can take from it.

I love working and making friends with the people I call the world
shakers.

They’re the people who want to make a
difference in the world so that they leave it in a
slightly better way than they found it.

I love these types of people because they’re so
driven by their heart and passion for others.

They’re kind.

They value people.

You know what else these people have in common?

They have empathy for others and a desire to make
the world a better place.

Not in a showy, “give me
the Nobel Peace Prize” kind of way (although a bit
more showy-ness wouldn’t go amiss!) but in a
gentle, modest way.

Do you know what really amazes and inspires me
about world shakers?

They’ve had their own hurts,
challenges, and heartbreaks but instead of letting
those things harden them and make them brittle,
they’ve allowed themselves to stay open and
vulnerable.

They’ve taken those things that have
wounded, battered, and pierced them and
transformed the experiences into fierce
empathy for others.

They can’t walk past the person who’s struggling
because they know how it feels to struggle.

They have a way of recognizing the human condition in
all of us.

They turn it outward and use it as a learning
experience, one that enhances their ability to
empathize and drives their conviction to change
things for others.

It could be the mother who refuses to pass on the
cycle of abuse she experienced to her own kids, or
the teacher who bans the world “stupid” from his
classroom because he can remember how much it
crippled him to hear it as a child.

It could be the man who gives coffee to the
homeless guy every day because he can know
what it’s like to feel like no one cares about you, or
the recovering addict who works with troubled
teens to try and save them the pain of his
experiences.

World shaking is often driven by a need to
make things better because of the pain
we’ve suffered ourselves.

Still, I still have to catch myself when I bemoan the
things that have happened to me over the years.

I realized that resilience is a practice, not some
innate skill that you either have or you don’t.

I learned how to develop my own resilience and that
made me immensely driven to help others do it,
too.

My dark times also forged my sense of empathy, a
key skill I bring to my life.

If I’d had the
“charmed” life I’d originally wanted, would this
have been the case? Somehow I doubt it.

All of the lessons I’ve learned led to wisdom that
can only be gained through experiencing life’s ups
and downs.

Hard lessons learned are deep lessons.

They shape us.

Most of us are familiar with the
term post-traumatic stress, but did you know
there is also a phenomenon called post-
traumatic growth?

It’s the ability to grow through adversity—to come
out the other end stronger, clearer, and with a
renewed zest for life.
I think that’s what many of us fail to recognize in
ourselves, that those dark times, far from
diminishing us, can give us the most profound of
gifts—the gift of recognizing human life in all its
messy, painful, courageous glory.

We can take those gifts and use them to be a
beacon to others to say, “It’s okay. I’ve been there.
This too will pass.”

And that surely is a real gift worth giving.

My past,my past pain,has become my glory-my leading light into a bright self-conscious future.

Just some random thoughts that came to my mind….

The “Generous” Miser


Originally posted on Profarms' Random Thoughts:

When i was a young boy,i knew and loved a man who was notoriously stingy with his money.

He was often inconsiderate of others.
Although he managed to make quite a lot of money,he never did thoughtful things for other people nor did he sacrifice himself too devotedly on community projects.

Yet when he died many years later,the whole village wept.

Everybody adored him,and no one quite seemed to know why.
Everyone missed him.
They still miss him.

As for me,and at that young age,his best contribution to my life was his juicy,succulent,sweet and almost rotting mangoes that he used to dole out to us boys on our way back from school.

He had a big farm and grew mangoes for sale.

After grading them for the market,he would give us the over-ripe mangoes that he couldn’t otherwise sell,maybe as a bribe so that we won’t be tempted to sneak…

View original 229 more words

Tomb Of Unknown Love


Originally posted on Profarms' Random Thoughts:

They laid him to lie on state over his bar counter.

His body looked waxen chocolate.
His cold hands neatly folded over his breast held a smooth stone.

He had never travelled much in his life,but through his patrons, he had covered the breadth and the width of this world.

He lived alone and tended his pub;
Always smiling as he laid out a drink on the table.
Nobody knew where he had come from or whether he had any relations.

But you wouldn’t have believed your eyes the day they moved his body from the pub to the church.

People started singing rebel songs of the drunks,but they were sober.
The queues stretched out on both sides of the road all the way to church’s door far back as anyone could see.

When they placed him in the slim coffin,there was a frightful hush of voices.
Six men hitched…

View original 375 more words

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