Tessa; an instrument of perfect feminine mystique. Mother’s day 2015

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It takes a very feminine woman to bring out the full masculinity in a man, and massage to peaceful repose, the insecurities of his fragile ego.

Tessa is probably the only woman in the world who can manage a man’s ego; she will respect his whims without taking them very seriously.

She will not require her man to behave “correctly”,according to a woman’s handbook on good male behaviour.

And if a man annoys her,she will reprove him without malice,and in strong terms that he deserves and understands.

But any man would melt in Tessa’s feminine ways; she is every man’s dream of what a homely woman should be-feminine,but resolute,and no man can ever resist such guile in a submissive woman who treats her man like a king,but excites his intense passion in private.

In the feminine mystique, there is a sure way for a woman to dream of creation or of the future.

There is a way she can even dream about herself,as her children’s mother, her husband’s wife.

But Tessa doesn’t need to do any of those feminine things that define most women to be a woman;her feminine mystique stands on its own feet.

When a woman,like Tessa, rises up in feminine glory, her energy is magnetic to men and her
sense of possibility contagious.

When men and women are able to respect and accept their differences as a monument of polar attraction, then love has a chance to blossom.

Most women,unlike Tessa, often have little awareness of how truly healing feminine
energy is to men.

Let your radiance touch everyone, because you are beautiful in spirit of what it is to be truly feminine,Tessa,my girl.

You are truly, an instrument of perfect feminine mystique!

Just some random thoughts that came to my mind….©Profarms’ Random Thoughts®

Blessed are the broken hearts, for they shall let in the light

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In 2008, after sixteen years of marriage,
I decided to divorce.

Though my ex and I got along well most of the time, the marriage was missing an intimate, heartfelt romantic connection.

Loneliness and longing for my freedom grew with each
passing year of my dull marriage until I could no longer ignore them.

I knew the kind of intimacy for which I yearned was not possible in my marriage, so I opted for a divorce.

Because my ex- and I actually led mostly
separate lives under the same roof, I assumed the transition through divorce would be fairly smooth.

Boy, was I in for a rude awakening!

Divorce, like most significant losses, takes
the safe and familiar contour of our lives
and blows it to smithereens, leaving us
vulnerable and unprotected until the new
shape forms.

It is easy to underestimate the comfort we draw from what is known,though it is sometimes the very source of our unhappiness.

Shortly after the separation, much like a
Ficus tree seems to all but die when
moved from its familiar spot, I went into a
state of self recrimination.

I reminded myself that,right from the beginning,this marriage was mismatched; it was more as a result of transient bodily lusts than love.

I was a fool to follow my bodily lusts into a sham marriage that was incompatible at all levels.

Much of my suffering was not even related to losing my ex,but cursing my unwise decision in being trapped into a loveless marriage in a moment of weakness.

The pain and hurt I was suffering was directed more inwards to myself,than at the loss of this marriage.

It felt like I was doing penance for my foolish decision that imprisoned me into a very skewed relationship,both at the emotional and intellectual level.

I flogged myself for it.

It was as if my nerve endings were relocated outside my skin, perturbed at even the slightest agitation.

Once- routine tasks, like getting out of bed or
going to the grocery store, seemed barely doable.

I told myself it was not okay to feel the
pain because it was a consequence of my
own choices.

But what about those lost sixteen years of my life?

My emotional suitcases were so heavy with fear, shame, and self-doubt, I thought these feelings defined me.

One night, the struggle reached a crescendo.

Sadness and dread filled my entire body, from the inside out, until I was heaving with sobs and howling like a trapped animal.

I cried for having made a wrong choice that led to loss of my precious youth,time and material investment in this sham that I called marriage.

I was convinced the pain would either not stop or that it would kill me. I secretly wished for the latter.

It was in this moment I realised that some
pain is, quite literally, unsoothable: there
is no one, no place, and nothing in that
moment that can make it better.

The only way out of unsoothable pain is
to go straight through it.

Even with this awareness, however, I still wanted to run.

I realised that at the material time of my sham marriage,what I needed was love,not necessarily marriage.

But I thought then,that love was found in marriage.

How wrong I was!

When we tell ourselves that we need
something, we inadvertently look for it in
places we are guaranteed not find it.

This is life’s clever way of showing us,
again and again,that faking a relationship will always fail.

Through breakups and divorce.

At the base of every true heart connection is acceptance.

We cannot offer acceptance to others until we can accept ourselves, wrenched heart and all.

Three years and two failed relationships
later, I decided to face grief, and to build a solid life on my own.

I have eschewed all romantic relationships,devoting that time to friendships and long-neglected passions, and music. I felt alone,but not lonely and frequently got scared that I no longer held any feelings for women, but fear was outmatched by a deeply held conviction that I was finally free of chains that limited my life to chronic unhappiness.

Though I once hoped it would, I am happy
to report that, unsoothable pain did not kill me.

In fact, the willingness to push through its
contractions has increased my confidence
to handle my other subsequent life’s losses and uncertainties.

The same can be true for anyone willing to
face his/her own darkness.

If you are experiencing unsoothable pain,
you may be tempted to reach for
something or someone to numb yourself.

Avoidance is a way of inviting into your life more of the very thing you are attempting to banish; resistance is futile.

Your feelings are intense because something important is happening, so keep going!

Sometimes unsoothable pain presents itself as fear, telling us the struggle won’t end.

Sometimes it assumes the voice of self-doubt, convincing us we can’t do it.

Sometimes pain is accompanied by shame, which cajoles us into believing there is something fundamentally wrong with us because we are hurting.

Fear, self-doubt, and shame are the
normal, temporary emotional byproducts
of any significant life-change.

Unsoothable pain is the threshold over which we must cross to access more self love and more light within ourselves.

While masking its symptoms won’t cure the disease, taking good emotional, spiritual, and physical care of yourself goes a long way.

Here are a few things to consider:

1. Slow down and breathe.

It may feel like you are dying when you
pause for a bit, but I encourage you to do
it anyway.

When we slow down and sit with hard feelings, we are taking a brave step toward showing ourselves that we are stronger than pain.

2. Create small goals.

During the darkest times, the idea of getting through an entire day felt like a lot, so I broke the day into small chunks to make it more manageable.

My goal list looked like “Shower and groom”
or “Make it to lunch time.”

3. Celebrate achievements.

When I reached each small milestone, I would
sometimes say, out loud and in my goofiest cheerleader voice, “Heck! You made it to bedtime! Another day has turned to
history!”

It may feel silly to celebrate events that
seem otherwise unremarkable but, when
your nerves are inside out, even the
simplest of tasks can feel like a big deal.

4. Trust more and confide often.

Make a short list of the people in your life
you feel safe falling apart with and let
yourself fall apart with them.

There is nothing shameful about unsoothable pain—it is our vulnerability that allows us to create meaningful bonds with other humans.

Sometimes a supportive comment or gesture from a trusted friend can be the encouragement
you need to keep going.

5. Move around.

Please do move your body at least once per day.
Whether your preferred movement is
yoga, walking, running, dancing, hiking, or
biking, remember that emotions are
physical events—we can literally move
through them sometimes.

6. Do something that scares you.

Keeping health and safety in mind, figure
out two or three small things you can do
that are outside of your comfort zone.

I wanted to reconnect with my academic studies
side, so I joined college for further studies.

7. Speak kindly to yourself.

We are more likely to advocate for people
we like; so, when you are in pain, speak to
yourself as if you are your own valued friend.

It is when we are hurting that we are most
deserving of our own tenderness.

Gently remind yourself that you are doing your best to take care of yourself,free of burden of taking care of others.

8. Be patient.

Building a new life shape takes time, so
give it the time it deserves.

Acting hastily merely increases your chances of having to start hurting all over later.

Building a friendlier relationship with
discomfort can eventually diminish its
strength and frequency.

In the meantime, it may help to remember that unsoothable pain is often the sign of a well-lived life—it proves you were courageous enough to risk, to fail, and to be affected by loss.

After all, it is when the shapes of our lives are wide open that the most light can get in.

Broken hearts allow in more light into our lives that helps us reorganise our priorities.

Just some random thoughts that came to my mind….©Profarms’ Random Thoughts®

A stress management lesson from the wild; live your life like forgetful warthogs

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Not very long ago at Mara Game Reserve, I was watching a lioness bent over a hole on the side of an ant hill and digging vigorously.

I stopped to capture the shots when and if the lioness found what she was digging for.

It was not my first time to see something like this.

That is why I knew for sure, the lioness is after something buried within the ant hill.

Aardvarks and anteaters dig holes on the side of anthills to eat the ants inside.

Then the holes are modified and enlarged by a myriad of species of animals including hyenas, warthogs, mongooses and even pythons as their homes.

They make their homes in the holes and even give birth in there.

It is not even strange to find a lioness giving birth inside an anthill hole dug by the aardvarks, if the anthill is well placed in an enclosed area with bushy outcrops around it.

We could term the aardvark in the category of the Keystone species, the species that modify the environment for the benefit of other species who would not survive otherwise.

Among those who benefit from the holes dug by
the aardvarks, warthogs are the most vulnerable.

The rest have a more secure way of keeping off
attackers.

They either put up a sentry at the entry to look out for trouble and alert those inside, as is
the case with the little mongooses, or attack any
intruder bravely using brutal force, as is the case with hyenas.

But for the warthogs, their only means of escape is to dash off from the hole with as much noise as is possible and throwing dust with their snouts on the faces of the intruders in order to confuse them momentarily.

Sometimes they succeed but other times, the intruder is not overly concerned with the noise and the dust.

In the case of a lion or a leopard, they will stay put at the entrance and grab the warthogs for a snack.

That was what I was hoping to happen with this
particular lioness.

She looked hungry and there seemed to be ready food in the hole.

I waited for a while, camera trained on the
hole.

Then it happened so quickly that there was
hardly time to press the record button for the
videos.

Normally in holes that are already occupied by the warthogs, the male sits close to the entrance while the female and the babies settle at the very end of the burrows.

This male came out with his head lowered to the ground ready to use its tusks at the lioness.

Close to the entry point, he scooped up loose soil on the snout and threw it straight into the eyes of the lioness.

A cloud of dust covered the whole anthill
and for a moment, I could hardly see what was happening.

The accompanying noise was so loud that the lioness retreated a few metres from the hole.

By the time she recovered, the last of the babies was galloping away behind the parents at a
speed that surprised all,especially the lioness and I.

The lioness did not even bother to follow.

The warthogs family had made such a lead that it was impossible for her to catch up.

She looked inside the hole with a hope that a baby was late in getting out.

Bad luck.

All had made the escape.

The next course of action for the warthogs family was to find another hole as quickly as possible and hide inside.

When they find a hole, the babies go in first, in reverse, while the parents bring up the rear also the rear end first so that their heads face the entrance.

In this case, the babies saw a culvert drain and went in.

Before the last one disappeared into the culvert, there was another loud squeaks and the whole group was out again in a greater hurry.

But they were minus one baby.

In their customary rear end entry into the hole,
they did not see a hyena already inside the culvert resting away from the scotching sun.

The hyena came out with a baby warthog dangling from his jaws.

The rest of the group was running in the
direction of the first hole, where they had had a
narrow escape from the lioness!!

In such a short period of time, they had forgotten and were not stressed by the episode
with the lioness!!

Lucky for them,the lion had ambled away in defeat.

With only a small loss of one baby,the warthogs were comfortably resettled in their former home within a few minutes that would have meant death for most of the family.

But in the mind of warthogs,that episode seemed to have happened long way back,and it was already mummified in the cobwebs of warthogs short memory.

It no longer stressed them.

They were a happy family again,just a few minutes from the brink of very cruel deaths.

Wouldn’t it be wonderful to live our life stressfree,like warthogs!

Blame it on our solid memories that sometimes haunt us for life.

And isn’t it puzzling too,that our happy memories only seem to be remembered for a few minutes.

Selective memory too,is our bane,as rational beings!

Bernard Wainaina is an Independent Agribusiness Advisor and CEO at Profarms Consultants®,Nairobi,Kenya.

He mainly works with Agribusiness Youth Groups in Eastern African Region.

Just some random thoughts that came to my mind….©Profarms’ Random Thoughts®

Bees always deflate my ego,and dampen my chivalry

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I hate to admit that I fear bees,yes,those tiny insects that others brush off ever so casually off their faces.

My paranoia around bees is informed by past undignified trauma.

I stopped denying that I suffer from an irrational fear of bees long time ago,and that took away a big chip off my bloated male ego..

Sample this recent encounter with a full colony of bees;

A female work colleague has a turned her guest wing into a private office where we spend long hours editing content for content blogging for our online clients on weekends.

On this particular day, I heard bees buzzing on her roof and immediately raised my concerns.

She explained that bees had set up a colony in her ceiling but an ‘expert’ was coming to sort it out.

Her casualness in this awaiting catastrophe was remarkable.

How could she be so calm with danger lurking above, up in her ceiling?

I should have listened to my instincts after all, but instead I listened to my big male ego.

I did not want appear overly paranoid,although I’ve seen a lion scampering into safety of thick bushes in face of these dangerous insects.

An hour into our peaceful afternoon, I heard
footsteps on the roof and a familiar sense
of uneasiness set in.

” Maybe we should step out and let the man on the roof finish his task”. I was dismissed with a wave of hand. “He is an expert. All the way from ICIPE.” ( International Centre of Insect
Physiology and Ecology).

I started to panic and true enough, moments later, an entire hive fell right through the ceiling into the room.

There was no time to think.

In a surge of adrenaline that propelled my flight response, I threw my jacket over the lady
and rushed her out of the door through a
hailstorm of bees.

Not a single bee stung her.

I got hit 9 times! and lived to tell the story,my best try at chivalry in presence of bees,so far.

I generally display a composed manner of a true gentleman, even where noisy banter is approved.

But that calm demeanour is blown to smithereens the moment I hear the distinct buzz of a bee.

The change of reaction surprises people.

Bees scare the daylights out of me.

A single bee drifting towards my coffee mug is
bound to set off all my panic buttons.

In female company, the panic attack is
heightened because at the back of my mind
is the inevitable and sheer embarrassment
of getting my ego stung as well.

Once in the company of an attractive young lady at a business meeting, a bee hovered in front of my face as if taking aim.

I lost track of conversation and was preoccupied with how to get away from the source of threat without breaking into a run.

The lady noticed my obvious discomfort and said reassuringly, “It is only a bee”. Of course, She wouldn’t understand. And her short well meaning observation made a big dent on my male ego.

How can I even pretend to be a “protector” of a lass who doesn’t fear bees?

In certain instances,bees have trampled on my hope for successful dating when they enter the scene.

I become flustered,incoherent,sweaty and stammering all at a low buzz of a single bee,ruining my date!

I can produce a very clear and detailed history of completely unprovoked attack from bees.

I have gotten stung so many times, I reasoned that this level of profiling bees as heartless insects can only be penance for my sins committed in a past life.

I have even been stung while getting interviewed for an agribusiness documentary.

The venue was a tropical garden.

On this one sunny day, a bee decided to crawl up my leg heading up to goodness knows where, and stung me just when I was getting into my groove for this exciting interview.

I took the sting like a man and did not utter
a word. the host was impressed when I told
him about it afterwards and he promptly
roasted me off air afterwards for being stoic.

The Tv man thought it would increased the ratings of the documentary if I had spontaneously hollered in horror in live camera at the sting of that single bee.

My friends told me later that I looked like a
man suffering from a constipation
throughout the remainder of the interview.

In another incident, during an important
fundraiser at a friend’s house, a bee landed on
the edge of my cup of water, placed on the
ground, next to my seat.

When I reached under the seat to take a cool gulp, I got stung on my upper lip.

Of all the cups in a gathering of about 50 people, I became the chosen one for this dishonour.

The commotion that followed was ugly.

I cursed the bee so ferociously in front of little children who started crying in horror of my swear words.

I spilled water over an elderly man, lost my
sense of bearing,charging like a wounded fighter bull for a few seconds as I
stumbled through chairs trying to suppress
the raw panic and the pain of the sting.

People panicked, some started running and if it
was not for a calm MC who laughed off my paranoia to the panicked crowd, I would have set off a stampede.

I was not very happy with my swollen face afterwards that looked like a freak deformed monster pumpkin.

Of course,I love the bees for their honey,but,Oouch! They do sting.

Just some random thoughts that came to my mind….©Profarms’ Random Thoughts®

You could be living through your best moments in life,but you don’t know it,as yet….

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In the ever busy rat-race that we call “a successful life”,you probably have everything that makes your life a ‘true success’ already,but you have not had the insight to realise that you are already a success.

My Buddhist teacher illustrated this paradox to me in the following story when I queried him on how to draw out a plan that will help me achieve my life-goals;

A “successful” cold storage & meat businessman was on vacation in a small lakeside village, when a small boat came ashore and he saw the fisherman pull out several large fish.

Impressed, he asked how long it had taken to catch them, to which the fisherman replied, “Just a little while.”

“Then why didn’t you stay longer and catch more?”

The fisherman replied, “This is enough to feed my whole family.”

“Then what do you do the rest of the day?”

The fisherman smiled and replied, “Well, I have a late breakfast and then I play with my kids. In
the afternoon, I take a nap with my wife, and come evening, I join my buddies in the village for a drink— we play guitar, sing and dance throughout the evening.”

The businessman felt sorry for the fisherman and wanted to help. “I have an MBA in business and I can help you succeed. From now on, you should spend more time at sea and catch as many fish as possible. When you’ve saved enough money, buy a bigger boat and catch even more fish. Soon you will be able to afford our own fleet. Instead of selling your catch to a middleman, you’ll sell directly to the
processor, eventually opening your own plant. You’ll control the product, processing, and distribution. By then, you’ll have moved out of this village to the big city, where you can set up your HQ and manage your operations.”

The fisherman seemed intrigued; “and then what?”

The businessman laughed heartily, “after about
15-20 years, you’ll go public and float your shares in the Stock Exchange. You’ll be rich!”

The fisherman,still listening keenly asked, “and then what?”

The businessman continued; “Afterwards, you can finally retire, move to a small coastal village.
Life will be sweet because you’ll be able to enjoy
fishing, play with your kids, have a nice afternoon nap with your wife, and in the evening, you would join your buddies for a drink, play the guitar, and sing and dance throughout the evening!”

The hapless fisherman was puzzled, “Isn’t that what I am already doing now?”

Our little apocryphal story teaches us that as Henry Ward Beecher once said, “Wealth is not an end of life but an instrument of life”.

The words of an old song put it well, “It can
buy you roses, but money can’t buy you love.” It can buy you a beautiful mattress but money can’t buy you sleep. It can buy you a vacation but money can’t buy you rest. It can help you afford the best education for your kids but money can’t make them succeed in life.”

Now, I’ve nothing against making loads of money.

That’s not my point.

Just a caution this Buddhist meditation week though that as you chase it, you don’t neglect and end up destroying the very things that you are chasing it for.

And guess what,you may already be living through the best days of your life,without knowing it!

Just some random thoughts that came to my mind….©Profarms’ Random Thoughts®

Just some random thoughts that came to my mind….©Profarms’ Random Thoughts®

Just some random thoughts that came to my mind….©Profarms’ Random Thoughts®

Easter Recipes; Cow hoof recipe that is a weird delicacy for middle aged Kenyan men

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If there’s any secret in eating cow hooves
popularly known as “Gumboots” here in Kenya, then many men of approximately 35years and above yearn for it the most.

In very rare cases will you find a woman ordering for “Gumboots” unless she is in company of a middle aged male “chaperon”.. While at Choma Zone joint in Ongata Rongai, in Ngong, one of the places where one can find this delicacy, you will hardly find any youth in their 20s ordering for it, unless it is on doctor’s orders.

“Gumboots” looks like a piece of fat on a hollow bone.

It is also not a meal you will enjoy using a
fork or chop sticks, but rather your hands.

You might only need a spoon to scoop soup from the bowl.

On one Sunday evening, at Choma Zone, a joint I frequent with friends, middle aged men dressed in T-shirts and sandals form most of the crowd.
And mind you,these middle aged Kenyan men are very wealthy judging from their very patronising demeanour and the type of high end cars that they drive into this joint.

I’ve deliberately pointed this trivial detail to disabuse my readers that “Gumboots” is delicacy for the ‘poor patrons’ who want to save on a cheap dish so that they can afford one more bottle of beer.

A few women go to this place,alone.

I’m in good company of my wealthy clients who run a string of agribusinesses in high end residential zone of Karen,Nairobi County.

To take my order, a female light skinned plump chef,known around here by her men patrons fondly as ‘Chiru’ approaches me asking which part of the cow leg I want. Confused, I tell her to bring a piece with fine meat.

She labours to explain that there are different
parts viz “Mahungu” (the hoof), the joint and the pipe.

I get to learn that most people prefer “Mahungu”,the lowest part of the hoof, to any
other.

After enjoying my meal that came with pieces of
steamed banana plaintains, she came to clear the table.

I asked her what it takes to prepare “Gumboots” at home for my partner,Daisy,as a surprise for her Easter treat.

“She may not appreciate it. Women do like these crazy hooves that you middle aged men seem to relish so much”. She retorts,catching me off guard by her sincere observation.

“But she liked it,last time we were here. You served us,remember?”

“That was only meant to caress your delicate ego as a man. Listen,if you want to surprise her “pleasantly”,fry her some potato chips and chicken,and add a lot of Ketch-up,dear man. That’s what we girls like”. She sums up her golden advice with a nice and victorious trot away from my table,or is it seductive?

I’m not sure,but ‘chiru’ has left me more intrigued by her honest and unsolicited advice.

I’m in a funny muse pondering this turn of events as I watch her gigantic derriere swinging on her slender hips as if it had a life of its own.

Sometimes,I find women more beautiful when they are “walking away” from me.

Its a sight to behold,especially in those who are endowed with a massive butt on slender hips,like ‘Chiru’.

Anyway,Chiru is back at my table with a pencil and legal yellow memo pad.

She lowers herself seductively at an opposite chair and hands me down the pencil and the yellow memo pad.

“Write this recipe down for yourself,and please don’t go try to poison your girlfriend with this trash that you men like”;

Recipe for “Gumboots” a.k.a cow hooves.

To prepare “Gumboots”, you need the following:
•Four tomatoes
•Two onions, leeks
•One big green paper
•One big carrot
•A pinch of salt
•Small onion leaves and a teaspoon of black pepper or other spice and salt.

METHOD

•Roast the hided cow hoof over a direct low flame to remove the fur.

•Ensure you do not burn the hooves to charcoal texture!.

•Gently scrape the remaining fur and parts that may have burnt. Cut the hoof into pieces of a
reasonable size.

•Soak in water for about 30 minutes.

•Drain and place in a saucepan.

•Add water and salt and boil for about an hour.

•Add the garlic, leeks, carrot, onion and leave to
simmer on slightly low fire until the soup reduces.
•Add a few pieces of peeled whole Irish potatoes and simmer until Irish is cooked but
not mashed.

Add black pepper and serve.

If the “Gumboots” is from for a younger cow, cook it for four hours, unlike for an old cow that takes six to eight hours .

First roast it so that the fur gets burnt and it is easy to scrap off the skin. After, chop it into the
desirable number of pieces.

“The common mistake that people who prepare it at home do is to fry “Gumboots”. This dilutes or spoils natural nutrients,” she points out.

The waitress asks me if I want to buy some materials for my partner to start cooking it from home but I’m honest that I’m single,most of the times,except over the coming long Easter weekend.

She laughs at me and advises that if I ever
get married, “Gumboots” should be prepared well so that the consumer enjoys all nutrients.

Why others enjoy this delicacy

I shift to the next table where a patron who
identifies himself as Charles Onyi, a resident
of neighbouring Langata sub-urb sits isolated at a distance from where football screens are.

As he sips on beer while waiting for the waitress to take away the dirty plates, I engage him in a chat.

He admits that he enjoys “Gumboots” every evening and in rare cases at lunch time.

“To me, “gumboots” is more than food it is a source of bone marrow that helps in lubricating joints such as knees and elbows,” Onyi explains.

Asked if the sticky fat is of any harm to the body, he explains that when one takes alcohol and develop hangover, the fats help to neutralise the hangover and one feels refreshed after taking “Gumboots” accompanied by its resulting hot soup.

While a first time consumer may only eat the top
soft part of the hoof and throw away the bones, Onyi advises inside the hollow bones is where the most important bone marrow that lubricates body joints is.

“It may not be scooped using hands or a fork but when the consumer holds the bone and sucks it out, they get it all out,” he stresses.

After about a 10-minutes- chat, he excuses himself to go and attend to other duties.

Another patron Robert Mukabi joins me.

He is a fairly tall and old man who is relishing the “Gumboots” side by side with a bottle of beer while watching football.

When his team misses a goal scoring opportunity, he almost forgets about his plate holding a bite on his fingers for what seems like long silent eternity, but seconds later, he resumes eating.

I divert his attention from the pain of watching his favourite team being humiliated on the TV screen to ask what secret he finds in eating “Gumboots” as I sip on a glass of water.

Robert does not hesitate to explain that when a person is low on food appetite, “Gumboots” soup does not only stimulate appetite
but works as a stomach cleanser.

“This soup detoxifies the stomach and leaves one feeling healthier than before,” he beams while explaining.

He adds, “It is also good for aging people. As we grow old, we tend to develop constant back pain.
So when someone begins to experience such a
problem and he or she takes “Gumboots” constantly, they may heal for good,” explaining further that it is food that someone can never get tired of and that it also helps in preventing constipation.

Then he surprises me by adding with a mischievous chuckle; “Mind you,it does wonders for areas around the crotch when one is as old as I am,and the missus is demanding home advantage “replay matches” in the bedroom!”

“Really?”

“Watch yourself this evening. You will bubbling hot in bed with your partner!”

Downtown

I then go to a spot at Visa place Park next to Uchumi Super market,Ongata Rongai Branch at an enclosed construction site.

This is
down town “Ronga” where people mostly those
retiring home from work pass by to feast on
“Gumboots”, it is no secret that the people there also enjoy it.

One by one, on benches positioned next to the
building people are served depending on how
much they want until the saucepan runs dry at
10pm.

Here, some customers are known to ‘Chiru’ who prepares “Gumboots” at Choma Zone. They call out her out on the phone for “outside catering service” since they have depleted the local stock in this joint,

She is able to understand who is calling her on the phone as this is a regular practice among her patrons when they move to other beer joints and what and how they want their evening meal served.

This happens as I look on, seated with Rogers
, a businessman and my treasured client in agribusiness.

As he holds a piece o “Gumboots” in the right hand and the other holding a bowl with few pieces of steamed banana plaintains, I’m
sipping on a cup of black tea and eating a chapatti, not because I do not have the Shs3,00 for “Gumboots”, but because my eating plan excludes having another heavy meal after 7pm.

“That food looks tasty,” I tell Rogers who is
enjoying his meal.

He is quick to respond that he learnt how to enjoy “Gumboots” from a friend about two years ago.

Though he eats it once a week, he is not shy to explain that alongside other benefits it
also increases his sexual performance.

Health experts say…

Madison Maara, a physiotherapist at Orthotech
and Physical Rehabilitation Centre, at Equatorial Hospital in Nairobi, says when you get proteins in the synovial fluids found in the joints and compare it with what you get from eating “Gumboots”, the latter is more important because it mainly targets the joints where it contributes to joint lubrication and softening.

“If a human joint was getting dry and a person takes “Gumboots”, the joint regains its
performance,” Maara notes.

In the process of boiling “Gumboots”, the calcium and phosphates composed in the bones transfers to the soup, and when one takes the soup, Maara says, the minerals help in strengthening and hardening of bones.

On how often one should eat “Gumboots”, he
explains that in case of osteorthritis, a
degenerative disease that one contracts as a result of the wear and tear of joint tissues which is common among people with reduced amounts of calcium in their joints, “gumboots” is a healthy remedy.

He advises that a person with such a condition
should take “Gumboots” twice a week.

However, its fatty quality may pose risks such as
fat accumulation in blood vessels and around the heart that causes hypertension.

Maara advises that after eating it, one should subject themselves to regular exercises like jogging to burn the fats.

And in a situation of a positive rheumatoid factor, a condition where the joint proteins become reactive or incompatible to the proteins in “Gumboots” which may sometimes lead to the swelling of the knee, it is recommended that the affected person should either limit protein intake or identify what causes the swelling commonly referred to as “Gout”.

Then, he or she can stop eating that particular food, be it “Gumboots” especially if the condition happened when the person has eaten it for the first time.

Cost of the delicacy

Depending on where one buys it, which could
either be at a restaurant, hotel or a bar in places
adjacent or within Nairobi City, a piece of
“Gumboots”served with steamed or
roast matooke(Banana plaintains) it costs between Shs2,500 and Shs6,000.

From the market and butcheries in Ongata Rongai Town, a cow leg costs between Shs 4,00 and Shs 8,00.

It is then chopped into hooves, the join
and the pipe.
At Visa Place Park in Rongai, I had to part with
Shs4,00 for a piece served with steamed banana plaintain.

In some cases where it may stay overnight without being eaten, ‘Chiru’ advises that it’s better to separate the soup from the “Gumboot” pieces; because it is likely to cause food poisoning.

Well,go on and have some “Gumboots” for your Easter Dinner this weekend!

Bernard Wainaina is an Independent Agribusiness Advisor and CEO at Profarms Consultants®,Nairobi,Kenya.

He mainly works with Agribusiness Youth Groups in Eastern African Region.

Just some random thoughts that came to my mind….©Profarms’ Random Thoughts®

My thoughts on Easter 2015; I have seen the Lord

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Many years ago, when I was in college,
the arguments were more prominent and
more intense than they are today about
whether Jesus rose historically and bodily
from the dead.

There was widespread consensus among believers and non- believers generally in Africa that deciding about that claim really mattered.

You took a stand—you believed in the resurrection, or you didn’t—and if you did,
you generally believed the rest of the Bible
and called yourself a Christian.

And if you didn’t, then you were intentionally not a Christian,a heathen probably,inspite of being indoctrined in African Religion and spirituality .

Today that question, that debate—Did
Jesus really rise from the dead historically,
bodily?—is not as prominent or as intense
because, at one level, people feel that it
doesn’t matter to them, because different
people believe in different things, and
maybe it happened, maybe it didn’t; and if
it did, or didn’t, and that helps you get
along in life, fine; but it doesn’t make
much difference to me.

I may or may not call myself a Christian, and if the resurrection seems helpful to me, I may
believe it; and if it doesn’t, then I won’t,
and I don’t think any body should tell me
that I have to.

Behind those two different kinds of unbelief—the kind from many years ago and the kind from the present day—is a different set of assumptions.

For example, in my college days the assumption pretty much still held sway, though it was starting to give way with the rise of existentialism, that there are fixed, closed natural laws, that make the world understandable and scientifically manageable, and these laws do not allow the truth of the claim that someone has risen from the dead to live forever.

That was a commonly held assumption: The modern world with its scientific understanding of natural laws does not allow for resurrections.
So unbelief was often rooted in that kind of
assumption.

But today, that’s not the most common
working assumption.

Today the assumption is not that there are natural laws outside of me forbidding the resurrection of Jesus, but there is a personal law inside of me that says: I don’t have to adapt my life to anything I don’t find helpful.

Or you could state it another way: Truth for me is what I find acceptable and helpful.

Now with that assumption in place, and that inner law in place, it doesn’t matter whether Jesus rose from the dead, because, whether he did or didn’t, my issue is: Do I care? Do I find that idea helpful? Do I feel that it helps me flourish as a human being?

And if it seems like it doesn’t, then I will
just view it the way I view UFOs and
possible life in some distant galaxy—I just
don’t need to bother with it.

If it helps you, that’s fine; but don’t press it on me.

Some of us think that way without even
knowing that’s the way you think.

You have simply absorbed it from the culture,
since that way of thinking is woven into
most television shows and advertising and
movies and modern educational curricula.

So what I am attempting to do is raise the
level of everyone’s awareness of how we sift through the realities that are coming at
us every day.

And my hope is that when I put the resurrection of Jesus before you, with heightened self-awareness you will not so easily be carried along by modern assumptions from 40 years ago or post- modern assumptions today, but may, with God’s help have a true concern for what really matters to you—not just what nature
or your own heart says matters to you.

I am going to come to John 20 in a
moment, but let me begin with a sermon
that the apostle Paul preached to
philosophy-lovers on Mars Hill in Athens
about 20 years after the death of Jesus.

It’s found in Acts 17 and ends like this:
The times of ignorance God overlooked,
but now he commands all people everywhere to repent, because he has fixed a day on which he will judge the world in righteousness by a man whom he has appointed; and of this he has
given assurance to all by raising him from the dead. ( Acts 17:30–31)

At that point in the sermon, his listeners cut
him off and mocked him because of the
claim that Jesus was raised from the dead
—which in itself is very significant because it means the amazing spread of Christianity in the early years did not happen in a gullible world that thought resurrections were normal.

But notice what Paul said: God calls the
whole world to repent, because we have all
sinned against him—that is, we have not
treasured him above all things.

We are de facto idolaters.

This repentance is urgent because God is going to judge the world in perfect righteousness.

And he is going to do it by a man, Jesus Christ.

Jesus will be the judge of every human someday.

Every human will stand before the living God-
man, Jesus.

None of our excuses will work in that court.

We will all be guilty unless we have trusted Christ as our Saviour and Authority and Treasure.

This word from the apostle Paul is flying
full force, with love, into the face of the
contemporary assumption that even if
Christ rose from the dead, it doesn’t matter
to me because I don’t find it helpful.

Paul is saying: It will matter to you whether you
find it helpful or not. God’s judgment of the world by Jesus Christ is not like possible life in another galaxy; it’s like death—it is coming, and saying it doesn’t concern you, is like closing your eyes and saying there is no such thing as light because it’s dark behind your eyelids.

The last thing Paul says in his sermon in
Athens is: “Of this God has given assurance (or warrant, or evidence, or proof) to all by raising Jesus from the dead.” To all! In other words, the resurrection of Jesus is designed by God to
be a global warrant or assurance that
repentance is necessary.

How does it do that when 20 years have
gone by, or 20 centuries have gone by?

The answer is that God always intended for the
resurrection to be known and believed through human witnesses.

This doesn’t rule out the work of his Spirit in opening our eyes.

But it is always through witnesses.

There were no tape recordings, no video
cameras, no photographs.

When it happened, God saw to it that there were
witnesses, and that Jesus appeared to witnesses in enough settings that they were fully convinced of his reality and could tell others and then write it down for us to read.

When Paul says, “God has fixed a day on
which he will judge the world in righteousness by a man whom he has appointed; and of this he has given assurance to all by raising him from the dead,” what he meant was that the
testimony of those who saw him will spread through the whole world and be a valid warrant for faith, a valid assurance that this really happened.

Here’s the way another eyewitness besides
Paul puts it.

The apostle Peter in a sermon preached about 8 or 10 years after the resurrection of Jesus said,
God raised [Jesus] on the third day and made him to appear, not to all the people but to us who had been chosen by God as witnesses, who ate and drank with him after he rose from the dead.( Acts 10:40–41)

In other words, it was God’s intentional design not for the risen Christ to be seen by everyone—not even in the day when it happened.

And not today, as much as we might wish we could!

His intentional design is: He appeared repeatedly and with many proofs (Acts 1:3) to a limited group of people whose job it was to bear witness in what they said and what they wrote so
that everyone who hears or reads this witness will be able know the assurance that God provides for the world about the resurrection of his Son.

That’s the way God designed for us to know.

That’s what we have in John 20—John’s
eyewitness account of the resurrection
appearances of Jesus.

That’s what we have in Matthew 28—Matthew’s eyewitness account; Luke 24—Luke was not an
eyewitness but lived and travelled with Paul
who was, and he talked to many others
( Luke 1:2); Mark 16—as we hear Mark’s
echo of Peter’s eyewitness testimony, as well as his own as a young man living in Jerusalem; and other writings in the New Testament.

On either side of John 20, we have this claim.

Look at John 19:35. In the middle of
Jesus’ crucifixion, John breaks off and
says, “He who saw it has borne witness—
his testimony is true, and he knows that he
is telling the truth—that you also may
believe.”

This is what Paul meant: The world can know what happened in those last hours because there were witnesses, and they give testimony and there are ways to test the testimony of witnesses.

Or look at John 21:24: “This is the disciple
who is bearing witness about these things,
and who has written these things, and we
know that his testimony is true.”

The point of this verse is that an eyewitness is telling this story. This is not hearsay. And his
testimony can be checked out with others
in the New Testament.

So let’s let him have his witness to us. And
you judge for yourselves ( Luke 12:57) if
these things are so.

“They Have Taken the Lord” (Verses 1–2)
Look at John 20:1–2.

Now on the first day of the week Mary
Magdalene came to the tomb early, while it was still dark, and saw that the stone had been taken away from the tomb.

So she ran and went to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one whom Jesus loved, and said to them,“They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they
have laid him.”

Mary did not believe the resurrection had happened.

She assumed the body was moved.

This is another evidence how slow the disciples, including the women, were to believe Jesus had been raised.

These were not easily excitable, gullible people.
Peter and John at the Tomb (Verses 3–11)

Then Peter and the other disciple— probably John, the writer of this book—ran to the tomb.

John outran Peter and stood looking in. Verse 5 says, “Stooping to look in, he saw the linen cloths lying there.”

This is what Jesus’ body had been wrapped
in when they buried him (John 19:40).

Then Peter comes and goes right into the
tomb. Verses 6–7: “Then Simon Peter came, following him, and went into the tomb. He saw the linen cloths lying there, and the face cloth, which had been on Jesus’ head, not lying with the linen cloths but folded up in a place by itself.”

What does John want us to learn about the
resurrection from this?

Two things, at least.

1. Risen Bodily, Not Just Spiritually

First, Jesus has risen from the dead bodily,
not just spiritually. Some are willing to talk
about the resurrection as a symbol of Jesus’
ongoing influence or his spirit alive in the
world or his soul returning to God. That is
not John’s point. The body was not there.
He had risen bodily. In fact, one of the
most striking and stubborn historical facts
is that the enemies of Jesus and of
Christianity in those first days and weeks
and months in Jerusalem could not produce
the body. That would have ended the whole
thing.

There was no dead body, because Jesus was raised bodily.

2. Like the Body That Died—But Not Exactly

Second, this body was not exactly like the body that died, and yet it was like the body that died. There is continuity and discontinuity. This is important because the resurrection of Jesus in the New Testament is viewed as the firstfruits of the harvest of the resurrection of all Christians.

As Paul put it: “Christ the firstfruits, then at his
coming those who belong to Christ” ( 1 Corinthians 15:23).

The point of saying the linen cloths were
there, and even mentioning the cloth that
was bound around his face, is probably to
show how this resurrection was different
from Lazarus’ resurrection.

Recall from chapter 11 that Jesus raised Lazarus after he had been dead four days. And John 11:44 it says, “The man who had died
came out, his hands and feet bound with
linen strips, and his face wrapped with a
cloth. Jesus said to them, “Unbind him,
and let him go.”

Different from Lazarus

People had to help Lazarus out of the linen
strips and face covering. That’s because he
had a mortal body. He would die again.
After the resurrection, Jesus did not have
mortal body. He would never die again.

“We know that Christ, being raised from the dead, will never die again” (Romans6:9).

Jesus’ body is different.

He simply passed through those grave cloths the way he passed through doors in John 20:19 and 26. “Although the doors were locked, Jesus
came and stood among them” ( John 20:26).
But at that very moment of entering the room like no ordinary body can, he says to doubting Thomas, “Put your finger here, and see my hands; and put out your hand, and place it in my side. Do not disbelieve, but believe” ( John 20:27).

This was a physical body that you could recognise, and touch. And Luke tells us he ate fish after he had risen ( Luke 24:43).

If you think this does not matter to you,
remember, those who are in Christ—that
is, who believe on him, and belong to him,
and receive forgiveness and reconciliation
from him—will be raised with him.

And Paul says in Philippians 3:21 that Jesus
“will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body, by the power that enables him even to subject all things to himself.”

This is not a UFO, or irrelevant life on another galaxy. This is what will happen when God judges the world by a man, Jesus Christ.

If you belong to him by faith in him, you
will receive a body like his, which will be
suited to see him and enjoy him and enter
finally into the new heavens and the new
earth where you will spend eternity admiring God in all that he has made.

And this world that we love so much, compared
to that one, will be like a candle compared
to the sun.

Here’s the issue: Do you see? In verse 8 it
says, “Then the other disciple [John], who
had reached the tomb first, also went in,
and he saw and believed” ( John 20:8).
What did he see? What did he believe?
Jesus wasn’t there—just some cloths that
he left behind.

Compare this to Mary in verse 18: She has
met Jesus in the garden and spoken to him.
She returns to the disciples and says, “I have seen the Lord” ( John 20:18).

We don’t have Mary’s direct evidence. We are
more like John in the tomb—there is evidence, and either we see through it or we don’t. The issue is: Do you see?

Let me close with an analogy; Your
doorbell rings this afternoon and one of
your friends asks to talk to you.

He comes and says, “I have some really bad news.
Your brother Jim is dead.”

And you say, shaking your head, “I don’t
believe it. I just saw him this morning. He
was fine. I don’t believe it. It can’t be.”

And your friend says, “We went to the game together, and as we were leaving, this car went out of control and jumped the curb, and hit Jim. I knelt over him. I waited for the medical examiner. I saw it. He’s gone.”

And you say, softly, “I see.”

What do you mean, “I see”? You mean that
the witness of your friend has become a window. And the reality in the window has
become plain.

You were not there. You did not see (the way Mary saw), but still you say—and it is right to say—with all your heart, “I see.”

“I Have Seen the Lord”

God has brought you here in my blog for this message and for this Scripture and for this story of the resurrection of Jesus and this witness.

And my prayer for you, as we close is that
you will now or very soon, by God’s grace,
say, “I see.”

There is one main difference between Jesus
and my illustration: He’s alive. It is as
though another messenger crashes through
the door while you are crying and says,
“Jim’s alive. I talked to him.” That’s what
Mary said, “I have seen the Lord.”

And in my own life too,”I have seen the Lord”.

That’s why my heart rings with joy of knowing that my Lord is alive.

And through him,my soul will live through eternity.

All of my genes may all die with my body here on earth,but my soul will live through the resurrection of my Lord and Saviour,Jesus Christ!

Just some random thoughts that came to my mind….©Profarms’ Random Thoughts®

Just some random thoughts that came to my mind….©Profarms’ Random Thoughts®

Chutzpah; learning from a cat

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Jaffa,my cat, has been real company for the solitude that I’ve chosen as my lifestyle.

The fact that I live alone means that Jaffa only comes into contact with only one human being most of the times,and that has its own implications;I sometimes neglect him since I also got my own things to do!

I came to learn about the word chutzpah from an Indian movie.

Chutzpah, in simple terms,means that there is nothing out there stopping you from doing whatever you want to do,irrespective of the consequences.

Let me illustrate: there is this solo bank robber who holds up a bank by passing a little note to the teller which demands that he empties his till into a provided paper bag. This is done pronto as he is armed. Having done that,he then carries his paper bag full of bank notes into a cashier’s window in the same bank and demands that the whole loot is deposited into his bank account! He then walks out of the bank door just as the cops who have been alerted by the robbed teller are coming in to arrest him. But he doesn’t have any money on him. It is both hilarious and complicated to the bank staff and the sceptical cops! That’s what I call Chutzpah,and Jaffa has it all,and more.

There were thousands of things I was certain would be impossible for me to ever do again after leading a complicated life that drained all my energy and enthusiasm for trying new things(that’s a story for another day!)

Jaffa’s attitude was what I needed to get on my feet again.

But that required believing I could actually learn from a cat.

I learned that the word “impossible” was nothing other than a word, which only carried meaning if I allowed it to.

Jaffa believed nothing was impossible.

And by watching him, nothing was.

At the beginning of my life after my ‘big failure’, I saw obstacles as just that – obstacles.

And therefore put them on my “can’t do” list.

But Jaffa never accepted obstacles as anything
other than challenges.

He opened cabinets by putting his paws around
the knobs and pulling.

My after-shave bottles made great rattling noises in the bathroom on crash landings.

I bought child-proof magnets at the hardware
store.

Jaffa simply tugged a little harder.

Back to the hardware store for hook and eye locks.

Jaffa flipped the hooks open with one paw.

Back to the hardware store for deadbolt locks.

He easily slid those bolts to the side.

The guy at the hardware store already had
combination locks on the counter in anticipation of my next visit “for something slightly different” in way of effective locks. He always looked amused about the stories of my “strange cat”,his words,not mine! They at least helped a little.

I was in awe of Jaffa’s tenacity.

By watching him, I learned that words like “can’t” and “hopeless” were just not in his feline vocabulary.

When I’d see a barrier that would prevent me from getting to where I wanted to go, I’d instantly turn around.

This happened recently when I decided to
surprise Daisy,my regular partner, with her favourite bacon, egg and toast breakfast sandwich.

She has a way of scrambling great breakfasts for me,I just wanted to repay back her kindness one fine Saturday morning.

The first lot got the toast burnt up into charcool texture,I’m not a very good chef when I multitask such simple things like whistling my favourite song as well as watching over the grilling toast!

I helped myself to the first lot as a way of ‘destroying’ the evidence before Daisy woke up from her blissful morning slumber to ‘witness’ my horrible breakfast for her!

I was lucky on the second one.

She was really taken in,not knowing I had knots twisting in my protesting gut after helping myself to the first horrible lot,and feigning to enjoy my second helping when sitting at the breakfast table with her that lovely Saturday morning.

I credit Jaffa for my newly found Chutzpah!

He never gives up.

Yet when barriers thwarted Jaffa, he’d never quit trying.

He’d never give up and turn around like I’ve done so many times after encountering barriers.

Every morning, I’d wake to the blaring sound of
Nairobi traffic reports.

That’s because Jaffa learned to push the button on my bedside clock radio.

He wants to wake me so he’d get fed.

Yes, of course I’ve tried moving the radio.

He would simply hunt for two seconds and find it.

Yes, of course ive tried covering it with books on my bedside reading table carefully
placed perfect angles.

Jaffa simply shoves all the books off at once.

There was no way to stop him.
So I did the only sensible thing and locked it in, in one of bedside drawers.

I got rid of the clock radio recently by gifting it to a friend after I lost Jaffa.

It was too much of a memory to keep around my bed.

What else could I do with a cat like
Jaffa? (I heard that similar despair from a close friend of mine!)

To him, anything could fall into the toy category.

He’d unravel entire rolls of toilet paper and play around with the shards whenever he gets bored. I then had to keep it in an empty Nescafe coffee can.

One day years ago, he found something else that will surely go down in the “History of the Best Cat Toys” book.

I was on the phone with a friend, Eddie.

I had barely said “hello”.

That’s when Jaffa came running in with something in his mouth. He had opened the new box of tampons that Daisy bought that morning.

He was flinging the tampon in the air like it was a toy mouse,the stringed end excited him most.

My friend asked if I was all right because not only had I stopped talking barely after greeting in astonishment of this vulgar play, I was
having an earsplitting laughing fit that I just could not control!

He assumed I was having a traumatic stress reaction for living alone and said, “When you live one, you’re often not in control of your emotions and that’s okay. It’s fine to
laugh.”

Living alone with Daisy in my house for a weekend sleepover?

That cracked me up even more.

I managed to blurt out, ” Shh! Daisy is here!!” before seeing the tampon go flying across the room.

Then I hung up — on my friend to let out pearls of laughter.

For the past two years, Jaffa has been sick after a violent encounter with a neighbour’s that almost amputated his tail and disfigured a side of his face.

Ive spent lots of time massaging him on either side of his face.

He always loved that.

On one afternoon, I used my fingers to comb through his lovely full set of whiskers he had eventually grown.

That’s when I saw the one side effect from the medicine he was taking.

As I gently rubbed along his face, all of his whiskers came off in my hands, except for one.

I placed them in a tiny needlepoint purse my partner made for me.

He came into my life with one whisker.

And,presumably that is how he would leave.

Three months ago, on a quiet Sunday afternoon, I kissed his forehead and whispered, “I love you.” He looked up at me.

His face showed the love he was never successful at hiding.

As Daisy softly sang, “Food, glorious food, hot sausage and mustard ,” Jaffa took his last
breath
.
While his body was still warm, I cradled him in my arms and rocked him. I held his head so he was nestled against my neck. I said, “You came into my life when I needed you the most.”

Daisy was crying as She stood next to us, watched me rocking my little soul mate. “Jaffa,” I could barely speak. “You will
always be a part of me.”

I didn’t want to let him go from my arms.

But Daisy, so lovingly and slowly, gently took him away.

And so, I honor the life and the lessons of my
wonderful cat who, from the beginning, stood apart from all the others.

My beautiful cat, my Jaffa, just a plain gray tabby, as common as a housefly,but always so special to me.

There will never be another “Jaffa”,though Daisy hastily got me another kitten and named him Jaffa to console me for my loss.

That’s Chutzpah,but I learnt the true meaning of Chutzpah from my departed soulmate,Jaffa.

Just some random thoughts that came to my mind….©Profarms’ Random Thoughts®

We love best when we do not love out of desperation

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If it is possible to live with a purpose, what should that purpose be?

A purpose might be a guiding principle, a philosophy, or a value of sovereign importance that informs and directs our activities and thoughts.

To have one is to live seriously —though not necessarily wisely — following some track, believing in a hub to the wheeling universe or a
sea toward which we flow or an end before which all the hubbub of civilisation subsides.

What is your purpose, friend, or what should it be?

Now,when I honestly answered this question to my buddhist teacher by telling him that I live for the true love of my soul,he chuckled and said that I’m a naturally born narcissist,then wisely added that,while is narcissim is not entirely wrong,a narcissist like me needs to be taught compassion for others as it is difficult for him to love others;his true love is only for himself.

I couldn’t agree with him more on his honest observation about me.

Perhaps most of us do not come to a clear
conclusion in the matter, but this does not mean we have no other purpose but to love ourselves, only that we do not recognise it or admit it or even choose it for ourselves.

In the unhappiest case nature simply takes its course, which is a turbid meandering through the swamps of desire,not love.

If love means nothing to us, then only pleasure is worthwhile; or if love has meaning and we cannot get at it then still only enjoyment matters — such is the view of narcissists and some sophisticated philosophers.

It slips into the unconscious by default when we hold no other, but we are reluctant to entertain it and will rather, if we think about it, take as our purpose support of family, search for beauty, improvement of society, fame, self-expression, development of talent, and so on.

But it might be fair to say that apart from
these or beneath these the fundamental purpose of many of us is the search for love, particularly
romantic love.

The love of a man for a woman and a woman for a man is often the floor to which people fall after the collapse of other dreams.

It is held to be solid when nothing else is, and though it frequently gives way and dumps them into a basement of despair, it still enjoys a reputation of dependability.

No matter that this reputation is illogical — it still flourishes and will continue to flourish regardless of what is said in any book.

Love, or possibly the myth of love, is the first,
last, and sometimes the only refuge of
uncomprehending humanity.

What else makes our hearts beat so fast?

What else makes us swoon with feeling?

What else renders us so intensely alive and
aching?

The search for love — the sublime, the
nebulous, the consuming — remains sacred in a world that increasingly despises the sacred.

When the heroic and the transcendental are but memories, when religious institutions fill up with bureaucrats and social scientists, when nobody believes there is a sky beyond the ceiling, then there seems no other escape from the prison of self than the abandon of love.

With a gray age of spiritual deadness upon us,
we love, or beg for love, or grieve for love.

We have nothing higher to live for.

Narcissists guarantee themselves true and unfailing love by loving ONLY themselves.

Others have to work hard to secure love from outside of themselves.

Indeed, many take it on faith that romantic love is the highest thing to live for.

Popular literature, movies, art, and music tirelessly celebrate it as the one truth accessible to all.

Such love obliterates reason, as poets have long sweetly lamented, and this is part of its charm and power, because we want to be swept up and spirited out of our calculating selves.

“Want” is the key word, for in the spiritual void of modern life the wanting of love becomes increasingly indistinguishable from love itself.

So powerful, so insistent is it that we seldom notice that the gratification is rare and the craving relentless.

Love from outside oneself is mostly in anticipation; it is an agony of anticipation; it is an ache for a completion not found in the dreary round of mundane routine.

That we never seem to possess it in its imagined fullness does not deter most us who are not narcissists.

It hurts so bad,and that way, it must be good.

Practically nobody questions the supremacy of
romantic love, which is good enough reason to do a little poking around the foundations of its pedestal.

Who is entirely satisfied with the romance in his or her life?

Who has found the sublime rapture previously imagined?

And if one has actually found such a thing, does it last, or does it not rather change and decline from the peak of ecstasy?

And if it declines what becomes of one’s purpose in life?

If a purpose is achieved it is no longer a purpose; it can no longer guide or sustain us.

Does one taste of nectar satisfy us forever?

When we tire of crass, material goals we may go
searching for love instead of, say, religious insight, because love seems both more accessible and more urgent, and because so much of institutional religion in our time has degenerated into insipid humanism.

Some claim refuge here but many more, longing for authentic and moving experience, turn to the vision of the “lover,” that source of wonder, joy, and transcendence, who, it is thought, must be pursued and if captured perfected and if perfected then enjoyed forever — or until some other lover lights up the horizon.

Love is its own justification, especially for the young who have no other inspiration or no
career or responsibilities to dull themselves with as their plodding elders do.

Longing bursts through this one channel that seems open, dizzily insisting that the life of unreflecting passion is the highest they can
aspire to.

They do not reason, but fall.

Their elders do reason — obsessively — but fall all the same, thereby admitting that, with all their thought and experience, they find, when driven to extremity, they have nothing but love to live for.

This is not to say that such a surrender must be bad, only that it happens out of instinct and uninformed passion.

Love is sweet and it is our nature to give
way.

But why do we worship it so ardently and why
do we break off our search for fulfillment here?

Perhaps because we see no other earthly “gods”.

Yet if love is the highest thing to live for then this is a hopeless universe, because we should see in a calm hour that Cupid’s arrows not only thrill us but make us bleed.

“Man Kills Estranged Lover, Then Self.” “Wife Stabs Husband in Domestic Quarrel.” “Love Triangle Leads To Shooting.” So read the headlines with depressing regularity.

The stories behind these are only the most
shocking of countless tales of passion, but they do forcefully suggest that romantic love is not always a blessing.

One might object that hate, not love, spawns such tragedies, but where has such hate
come from if not from a prior attachment now
broken?

We should know from experience how easily
what we call love can turn to bitterness, jealousy, and malice, and though we protest that this is not the fault of love, we ought to notice that where one passion arises another is likely to follow.

Passions are unreliable, volatile, dangerous, and a poor foundation for happiness.

Divorces, suicides, dissipation, violence, depravity,fanaticism, and other miseries great and small follow from passion, and yet passion is still, in the public mind, considered commendable, a mark of vigor and liveliness.

Though everybody will admit that passion
gone awry is dangerous, few realize that passion is by its nature likely to go awry.

Romantic love is a chancy passion that may result in the opposite of what is desired.

It may have happy consequences,
too — else it would not have so many adherents — but it raises the stakes in the gamble of life and makes us more vulnerable both to our own weaknesses and to unpredictable fortune.

As most of us count the joys of successful love (however we define it) worth the pain involved in its pursuit, we must learn to step lightly and with intelligence.

We believe, with some reason, that love can ennoble and redeem us, and call forth our purest energies, but we are slower to see that when the lamp of love flickers out, as it
tragically tends to do, we might lose our way in a fearful labyrinth of suffering.

Granted that few will shun the pursuit of romance out of fear of unhappy consequences, what can be done to ameliorate those consequences?

If we really have nothing higher to live for, nothing to fall back on, the lugubrious truth is that nothing much can be done to ameliorate them, given the volatile nature of human affections, so it would be wise to make sure
there really is no superior, sustaining ideal before committing ourselves exclusively to the chase.

Buddhism, of course, teaches such an ideal, which is nothing less than deliverance from all sorrow, called Nibbana.

While worldly joys are mutable and fleeting,
Nibbana is established, sorrowless, stainless, and secure.

While worldly pains are piercing,unpredictable, and unavoidable, Nibbana is altogether free from pain. It is the end of suffering, the supreme refuge, the ultimate emancipation.

The Buddha himself applied many terms of praise to it while recognising their essential inadequacy.

Nibbana cannot be grasped by language or concept, but it can be known and realised by one who makes the right efforts.

This is a critical point.

Nibbana is not something that happens to us through an external agency; rather it is something that we ourselves may achieve.

The Buddha certainly never would have troubled himself to teach had he not understood that his own realisation was not fortuitous but rightly won and that those who followed his instructions could win realisation for
themselves.

That understanding, passed down, has
sustained the Buddhist religion to the present day.

The diligent are not powerless.

Suffering can be overcome.

Still, knowing ourselves to be sunk in confusion and beset by myriad defilements, we might regard Nibbana as too remote to do us much good here and now.

We persist in seeing an unbridgeable chasm
between saints and ordinary people like ourselves.

We think practically everybody is like us (or worse) while maybe there are one or two genuine saints in the world, they presumably having just been born in that condition or with the exceptional good luck to get themselves elevated — who knows how?

Yet the human condition is not, according to Buddhism, a fixed sentence to this or that level of wisdom and virtue.

Beings are living at all stages of attainment,
and they do not stay in the same place.

They rise through their own good efforts, and
decline through their own negligence in the endless action and reaction of intentional deeds (kamma) and results of deeds (kamma-vipaka).

The Buddha did not teach the Dhamma for the
entertainment of those already perfected; he taught it for the benefit of fallible people like us who were struggling to avoid pain and make sense of the world.

Even to those who came to him with no intention to scale high spiritual summits he imparted the progressive training of giving, morality and mental development.

Why?

Because there is always scope for improvement and because the human alternatives are not limited to holy wisdom or cloddish ignorance.

Suffering lessens and happiness increases when we make an effort to follow the Noble Eightfold Path, whatever our present condition.

In the classic formula, the Dhamma is “directly
visible, timeless, calling one to come and see, leading onwards, to be personally realized by the wise.”

Perhaps we cannot see Nibbana resplendent on the horizon, but we can certainly make out the ground beneath our feet; we can know when we draw a joyful breath or put behind us an old sorrow or refrain from a vicious act or compose an agitated mind.

The Dhamma confers benefits here and now as well as in the future.

Is there not satisfaction in performing a good deed with a clear mind?

Is there not uplift in a moment of quiet contemplation saved from the tumult of the day?

The Dhamma lightens our burdens in the present and gives us grounds for hope.

What then does this have to do with the problems of love?

Simply this. The Dhamma puts the delights and
torments of love into perspective, so that we can
break the illusion of love as the highest of aspirations and most essential of desires.

Henry Thoreau wrote (when young): “The only remedy for love is to love more.”

We might amend this to say: The only remedy
for love is to love better.

The understanding and the practice of the Dhamma do not destroy our capacity
to love or enjoy love — far from it.

The Dhamma purges the grasping, selfish qualities from our love and makes it purer and nobler.

As we come to understand through personal
experience the rightness and goodness of the path of Dhamma, we may discover — slowly or suddenly — that the consuming passions we previously thought to be the only reasons for our existence are really not so, and that something of wondrous value overarches them — indistinct as yet but flashing out now and again from the clouds of possibility.

What do our heaving emotions matter compared with that?

When we lean hard, out of passion, we will fall hard— such is the nature of attachment. But when we do not lean, when instead we stand upright with an eye to the heights, then the love we bestow flows out of us without weakening us, like a superabundance of vigor.

This is metta — loving-kindness devoid of
selfishness.

It becomes purer to the extent we realize
it is not the purest; it becomes happier to the extent we realise it is not the happiest.

Nibbana surpasses
all.

If, through our own ripening knowledge, we
appreciate that our ultimate and highest purpose should be Nibbana, the absolute end of sorrow, then all goals beneath that are cast in a new light.

When we have something to live for that is higher than fame, honor, friendship, or health — higher even than love — we can never be utterly impoverished or ruined.

We are in fact in a much better position to
enjoy whatever may be achieved in worldly life,
because we no longer depend solely on changeable circumstances for our happiness.

Love cools, friendships wane, calamities carry off the good and the beautiful. Who can deny it? If we are to overcome despair and grief we must not invest ourselves obsessively in what is perishable.

We need to keep our minds, and consequently our actions, as free as possible from craving and attendant defilements like covetousness and possessiveness: Our actions are all led by the mind;
mind is their master, mind is their maker.

If one acts or speaks with a defiled state of mind,then suffering follows like the cart-wheel
that follows the foot of the ox.

Our actions are all led by the mind; mind is their master, mind is their maker.

If one acts or speaks with a pure state of mind,
then happiness follows like a shadow that remains behind without departing.

While nobody can cut off craving simply by an act of will, we can certainly loosen its frightful grip on us by following the path and paying attention to the ultimate deliverance that shines at its end.

Love is never the poorer for being accompanied by wisdom.

It is not harmed by being deprived of a crown.

The agonies we endure and inflict in the name
of love come from making love bear too heavy a
weight.

While we are in the world and engaged in the
life of a householder we will naturally form
attachments to family, job, friends, and lovers, but the suffering produced from these attachments will vary according to our wisdom and maturity.

If we see nothing higher at all and abandon ourselves to the lottery of gaining and losing, we will surely suffer great pain, but if we keep the ideals of the Dhamma before us we will gain a measure of insulation against worldly inclemencies.

According to Buddhism, everything that has the
nature of arising has the nature of ceasing, so it is well to place our greatest faith in Nibbana, which, being beyond all concepts and limits, does not “arise,” and thus does not fluctuate with the teetering universe.

An independent mind, intent on deliverance, is not a cold, unfeeling mind, but a mind whose love is uncalculated, beneficent, free — and
empty of the furious I want of ego.

If we don’t live for love we won’t die for it either.
If the windows of our mind are open to the streaming light of Dhamma then that light will bathe our thoughts and actions and distinguish the skillful from the foolish.

Even without understanding of the Dhamma most of us will distinguish in theory between love and infatuation.

We think of infatuation as capricious,
irresponsible, and shallow, and true love as mature, serious, and steady — though in practice it is hard to tell where one ends and the other begins.

At least we recognise some advantage to clear sight and reflection, and this recognition grows sharper with actual experience of the Dhamma.

We become less likely to throw ourselves at the feet of the adored object and more likely to stand erect, honest, and mindful, ready to meet our fortune with bravery.

To a world that knows nothing loftier than the convulsions of craving, this may seem a loss, but to one who truly experiences the refreshment of wisdom there comes no narrowness but rather a loosening of the bonds of fear and selfishness.

One can love without compulsion, out of free will.

How gratifying when affection is given, or received, without a bill for services rendered!

Even under promising circumstances there is no
guarantee that love will be returned in equal
measure, or that it will last long, or that it will provide unalloyed joy.

When we depend on it entirely for our
happiness we must dwell in the shadow of pain,
however bright our amorous interludes.

What if we should lose our heart’s support tomorrow?

We’re okay as long as we have each other, we assure ourselves dreamily.

But we will not have each other long.

Quarrels, time, distance, changes, or finally
death dissolve all unions of friends, lovers, and
relatives, plunging the unwary into despair and
meaninglessness; and if we have no wisdom we too may go creeping about the lonely streets with our eyes staring hungrily into other eyes and seeing the same hunger there.

But in the way of the Buddha there is relief from distress and exile.

In wisdom there is security.

Because love is fragile and temporary it cannot
protect us forever, but if we relax our grip it may bloom even better, allowing us to give and receive without encumbrance, frenzy, or fear, offering to each other our strength instead of our weakness.

In a sense the practice of Dhamma is like gradually filling the abyss of ignorance with knowledge until that terrible vacuum is appeased and neutralized and the heart no more cries for unknown succor.

The perfected one, clinging to nothing here or hereafter, asks nothing and requires nothing, so he is wholly free.

His loving-kindness is just the over-measure,
the overflowing of his goodness quite purified of the need, the visceral wanting and the vacillation of ordinary attachment.

While we cannot all at once purify our sentiments of their dross, we can raise the aim of our thought and conduct, and reflect on — indeed, contemplate — the virtues of the Buddha and the noble ones who are free from taint.

Their achievement is an image to set before our inner eye, something higher to live for,
within and beyond the motions of our conventional life.

No good thing prospers in ignorance.

The more we understand this flawed universe the more skillfully we can live, and the happier we will be.

We love best when we do not love out of desperation.

Just some random thoughts that came to my mind….©Profarms’ Random Thoughts®

Just some random thoughts that came to my mind….©Profarms’ Random Thoughts®

Just some random thoughts that came to my mind….©Profarms’ Random Thoughts®

Grievous humour; He attended the wrong funeral

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Sometimes,grief stiffens our sense of humour,but it doesn’t actually kill it.

In my life,and in the customs of the community I come from, death is a solemn affair.

So,when my associate colleague died,I had to travel to Rwanda for funeral.

That was not so long ago,and there is still a lot of grief clouding my heart for her. R.I.P.

But something funny happened during her funeral service that I find worth sharing with my readers.

We were all sitting solemnly inside a church when I heard the church door open with a hideous creak.

Quick footsteps hurried along the wooden tiled floor.

An exasperated young man looked around briefly and then sat next to me.

He folded his hands and placed them on his lap.

His eyes were brimming with tears.

He began to sniffle.

“I’m late,” he explained, though no explanation was necessary.

After several eulogies from her close friends and family, he leaned over and
commented, “Why do they keep calling
Mary by the name of Margaret?”

“Because, that was her name, Margaret.
Never Mary, no one called her Mary,'” I
whispered.

I wondered why this person couldn’t have
sat on the other side of the church.

He interrupted my grieving with his tears and
fidgeting. Who was this stranger anyway?

“Isn’t this the Lutheran church?”

“No, the Lutheran church is across the
street.”

“Oh.”

“I believe you’re at the wrong funeral, Sir.” I volunteered,if only to shut him up.

Then something very strange happened to me;
The solemness of the occasion mixed with
the realisation of the man’s mistake bubbled up inside me and came out as laughter.

I cupped my hands over my face, hoping it would be interpreted as sobs.

The creaking pew gave me away.

Sharp looks from other mourners only made the situation seem more hilarious.

Was I becoming neurotic or what?

I peeked at the bewildered, misguided man seated beside me.

He was laughing too, as he glanced around, deciding it was too late for an uneventful exit.

I imagined everybody laughing,and that made it even more hilarious.

Grief can sometimes bring out the worst of us.

At the final ‘Amen,’ we both darted out a door
and into the parking lot.

“I do believe we’ll be the talk of the town,” he smiled.

He said his name was Rick and, since he had
missed his aunt’s funeral, asked me out for
a cup of coffee.

That afternoon began a lifelong journey for me with this man who attended the wrong funeral, but was in the right place.

A year after our meeting, he invited me to his wedding and they were married at a country church where he was the assistant pastor.

This time we both arrived at the same church, right on time.

Later,after the ceremony,he sidled up to me with his new bride and was laughing even before he grabbed my hand for an enthusiastic handshake.

“I want you to meet my new bride before the ink settles on our marriage certificate so that you can do this one thing for me…..”

“Anything you ask,I’ll do it for you”,I replied,not really sure what he was going to ask of me.

“Do you think I attended the “right wedding”? He ventured sheepishly as his new bride dropped her eyes in surprise and shame,not knowing what this was all about.

“Let me see”,I said as I lifted the bride’s veil feigning close scrutiny of her face. “I’m afraid you attended the wrong wedding again,but I guess the bride is the right one!”

“Come on!”,he cried out as he grabbed me by the shoulders wrestling me to the ground in mirth of uproarious laughter.

In my time of sorrow, God gave me
laughter.

In place of loneliness and grief, God gave
me laughter again and new love for a stunning young family for friends .

Bernard Wainaina is an Independent Agribusiness Advisor and CEO at Profarms Consultants®,Nairobi,Kenya.

He mainly works with Agribusiness Youth Groups in Eastern African Region.

Just some random thoughts that came to my mind….©Profarms’ Random Thoughts®

Stereotypes; “A lot of Kenyans think cheese is disgusting!”

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Whenever I travel outside my country,Kenya,I’m always surprised by how the rest of the world sees us.

In other words,the Kenyan stereotype.

Recently,when I visited DR Congo on a tour of duty,a lady serving at a local food stall sidled up to my table after serving my lunch and asked me without any preamble; “How many miles do you run each morning?”

I was shocked by her brave intrusiveness.

When I recovered,I meekly told her that the last time I ran was during my high school cross country races which I hated very much,but they were compulsory,all the same.

She didn’t look very satisfied with my answer.

“But you look thin and athletic”.She egged me on.

I honestly didn’t know what to tell her after that.

You see,Kenya is known for successive generations of marathon champions in world races.

The rest of the world seems to think that every other Kenyan is an athlete!

And that was not enough; a white lady colleague during the duration of my stay offered me a package in a recycled carton of biscuits,and told me to take it to “my wife”.

“What is in the box? I was curious.

“Oh-some undies that I don’t want to fly out of here with”. She replied.

Now,at my age,she assumed I had wife,and a big family that was probably in need of clothes.

Kenya,according to WHO statistics has been topping the list of “high fertility and unsustainable population growth”.

I presume this is what informed her decision to donate clothes for “my exploding family”.

All over the world,people have formed stereotypes about other people,and most international interactions are usually based on this stereotypes.

Listen to my taxi driver in Kinshasha literally driving home this stereotype point;

“I can get you a girl to warm your bed tonight;I know Kenyan men like ‘Nyama Choma” (roasted meat) and young girls. Do you want a good girl?”

Me; “No. I already have a young girl who is only 22 years old,very loving,very beautiful; she is my daughter!”

Driver; “I mean one that you can take back to your hotel room”.

Me; “Would you mind if I first consulted someone about this?”

Driver; “Not at all. Let me know about this arrangement after you have consulted”.

He was just not going to give up so easily.

He was probably a pimp,and his cut meant more to him than my screaming morals.

Anyway,I did consult,after all.

I whatsapped my daughter back in Nairobi,breaking the ice first about this uncomfortable topic with a “Hi”.

One hour later,only one tick still displayed in my sent message.

Four hours later,two blue ticks and a reply;

“Hi dad,how was your day?”

Me; “very fine,very interesting!”

Daughter; “Interesting like how,Dad?”

Me; ” I don’t know how I should tell you this,but do you remember the many conversations we’ve had about how you should relate with men,taking care of yourself,I mean?”

Daughter; “Yes Dad,but pliz,let’s not go over that again tonight,pliz.”

Me; “I’m afraid we will have to,Liza,but this time,it is about me”.

Daughter;” What has happened Dad? Shoot!”

Me; “It is like this, Liza, this afternoon,when I was being driven back to my hotel room,my Taxi driver offered to get me a young girl for the night”.

Long pause.

One hour later; “did you take up that offer,Dad?”

Me; “No”.

Daughter; “Thank you Dad,and please take care of yourself!”

Conversation muted from her end.

This conversation must have been nerve-racking for my daughter.

We have talked many times with my daughter about morals,her morals,but never my morals.

She also doesn’t seem to buy the idea of stereotype of “Kenyan men” always wanting “young nubile escort girls,at least,not about her dad.

But who I’m I to argue about the Kenyan stereotype.

I googled “Kenyan stereotype” after this disconcerting episode,and here is what I got from ‘QUORA';

»Question”How is the stereotype of people from Kenya?
Doesn’t have to be right, it’s just a stereotype. Also;
-include stereotypical physical appearance if exist.
-Factual information is easy to get, but cultural info
e.g. stereotypes are hard to analyse.
Cultural stereotype gives insight not only about the stereotyped society, but also the society who
stereotypes.-
and remember, it’s just a stereotype, doesn’t have to be right, and please don’t get emotional over stereotype”.

Best Answer;”Best Answer: They are very friendly, welcoming, and family oriented.
The women work very hard all day long, washing, cooking, pretty much doing everything. The guys have a lot more free time.
They are proud of Obama – he’s Kenyan!
The kids are very good students and get excited
about learning even though the resources aren’t
always there.
A lot of Kenyans will have multiple boyfriends or girlfriends.
This doesn’t necessarily mean they’re sleeping together, often they don’t even live in the same city but someone will say “yeah, I have three
girlfriends!”
The food is pretty basic but the Kenyans love their ‘ugali'(Maize meal Cake). It’s the national food. Most foreigners aren’t huge fans of ‘ugali’, chapatti’s more palatable.
They love sugary things like children – chocolate, soda, especially Fanta. A
lot of Kenyans think cheese is disgusting.
Kenyans are crazy drivers. They also prefer to drive over walking. I’ve never seen a Kenyan out for a jog.
Kenya is very multicultural so everyone has
stereotypes about other groups. For example, the Kikuyu are business people and the Kikuyu women are the hardest to handle! Luhya women are loyal and if their husbands are difficult they will stand by them anyway. The Maasai are the most trustworthy, you can feel very safe in Maasailand. Maasai women
have crazy earrings and jewellery and the men are quite noticeable. People from the coast are really relaxed and friendly. Anyone not from Nairobi will tell you that the city is full of thieves, someone could steal from you and no one will care. Kenyans don’t always trust Somalis.
Kenyans also stereotype white people, believing that we are all rich and well-educated. As for rich, well, most foreigners in Kenya are, so they’re right on target there.
Source(s):
A mix of my own generalizations and stereotypes I
heard while in Kenya by Ryemtl ·

Answer two;”A Kenyan is a party animal who loves beer and nyama choma for a general kenyan, when you go to tribes the luos are
known to be proud and gives ladies a treat of their life, Obama is a luo. The luhyas are known for their love of Ugali and Kuku (maize meal taken with chicken) Kikuyus for their love of money. If you are in kenya just drop a shilling and those who will turn to look at it are kikuyus. kambas for their love for witchcraft.”
Source(s):
for more about kenya http://
http://www.ugandalastminute.com/safaris/…;
ugandalastminute ·

Answer three; “They run fast in Track and Field events because back at home, they have to run from cheetahs and avoid getting trampled by zebras”.
Source(s):
Stereotypes. Not Facts.
Bleh ·

Answer four “They get elected President of the USA”
Wrenchman57 ·

I bet stereotype is the way the rest of the world sees us,no matter the factual truth.

I’m glad that my daughter does not share this view about me as a “Kenyan man” with the rest of the world!

Bernard Wainaina is an Independent Agribusiness Advisor and CEO at Profarms Consultants®,Nairobi,Kenya.

He mainly works with Agribusiness Youth Groups in Eastern African Region.

Just some random thoughts that came to my mind….©Profarms’ Random Thoughts®

Drunk!

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I’m drunk with deep joy that life has
thrown at my heart;I won’t touch any other kind of
wine tonight.

OR;

Maybe I’m too old to keep a good love
going, but tonight you’re on my mind, though
you’ll never know.

But it makes me happy,all the same!

Just some random thoughts that came to my mind….©Profarms’ Random Thoughts®

Cruised round Kampala in 90 minutes,but I never moved an inch!

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Last week,on an ecological study at Mapira forest, I took the chance to revolve in Kampala.

Not in a head-spinning way,as you’ll understand when I explain.

Gently, it was.

It took a full 90 minutes to turn through 360 degrees.

I’m talking about the revolving restaurant at the top of the Golf Course Hotel.

They call it the Seven Hills Revolving
Restaurant.

That’s because Kampala is said to have been built on seven hills: Kasubi Hill, site of the Kasubi Tombs, the tombs of the Kabakas; Mengo Hill, site of the present Kabaka’s palace and the headquarters of the Buganda Court of Justice; Kibuli Hill, with its Kibuli Mosque; Namirembe Hill, topped by the Namirembe Protestant Cathedral; Rubaga Hill, topped by the rival Rubaga Catholic Cathedral; Nsambya, site of the Nsambya Hospital; and finally, the little hill of Impala, once the hunting ground for the Ugandan kings.

I was at the restaurant for dinner,courtesy of my clients.

So it was after dark, and I couldn’t distinguish the seven hills.

But from the way the lights of the city spread out into the visible distance, they showed that Kampala now covers many more hills than the
original seven.

The Seven Hills on the tower of the Golf Course Hotel is one of only six revolving restaurants in Africa.

Nairobi,my city, once had one, didn’t it? At the top of the KICC.

Sadly, it no longer revolves — it doesn’t even exist.

I don’t know why. But it’s a pity. Because the view was magnificent.

It showed that Nairobi is still very much a green city — and usually in the sun.

Mind you, it is still possible to take in the view by riding the lift to the top of the building — but not to linger over it with a juicy steak and a glass of red wine at the now stalled restaurant.

At night, from the Seven Hill Restaurant, one of the most striking features of the view were the unbroken streams of red or yellow lights of the cars moving along the main Yusuf Lule
Road.

My mind went back to a conversation I had with a consultant colleague about late 1990s when we were staying at the Sheraton Hotel in the middle of Kampala.

“Have you seen the hotel’s car park?” I asked him. “It’s crammed with cars — Uganda is recovering.”

“But have you looked at what they are?” he asked back.

“Mainly white Land Cruisers or other four-wheel drives.

Mainly cars of foreign aid agencies.

When the car park is full of city saloons like Mercedes and BMWs and owned by Ugandans, only then can we say Uganda has moved on!”

Anyway, back to Kampala … Yes, Uganda has really moved on.

Except that there are now so many cars of all shapes and sizes that it is difficult to move at all in the city. Not to mention the pesky hordes of motorcycle taxis that run over your feet on pavements!

Another indicator of development that evening as I looked out of the slowly moving windows were the lights down below of the adjacent and huge Garden City shopping complex, with its supermarket, cinema, bowling alley, casino,
banks, forex bureaux, big bookshop and many trendy clothes shops.

The other side of the hotel was the black hole in the undulating carpet of lights that was the city’s central golf course.

In the morning, at breakfast in the attractive ground floor restaurant by the bright blue of the serpentine pool, through the screen of trees you could see a few golfers already engaging in what my old mentor called a “good walk spoilt”.

So, with golf on one side and a shopping complex on the other, the Golf Course Hotel must be attractive for those who like an easy — even a spoilt — walk to many things they
might want to do in Kampala.

For me, I chose it because the meeting I was attending was being held there — not even a walk away but a short lift ride.

The hotel is a bit cheaper than the nearby Sheraton and Serena, and a bit more expensive than the also nearby Speke or the Grand Imperial.

But that was for my clients to sort out.

I like it. The conference room was airy; the view from my room over the golf course was refreshing; the breakfast was as varied as you could wish — and dinner in the revolving
restaurant was unforgettable.

And I miss the one atop KICC back in Nairobi,patriotic pride certainly draws envy.

Bernard Wainaina is an Independent Agribusiness Advisor and CEO at Profarms Consultants®,Nairobi,Kenya.

He mainly works with Agribusiness Youth Groups in Eastern African Region.

Just some random thoughts that came to my mind….©Profarms’ Random Thoughts®

Mr. Independent

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Sometimes I hate you,Jaffa!
Just because you are my cat,
doesn’t mean that I’m your slave!

Why do you carry yourself around
With so much airs,until lunchtime?

You scratch the door,as if you want to come in,
But when I open the door for you,you just put your paws on the door frame;
You haven’t yet made up your mind whether to get in or not.

And I have to hold the door for you;
I’m your butler.
I’m your slave!

Do I own you,
Or do you own me?

What about that fight you picked with my neighbour’s dog?
That was really foolish of you.
You lost the fight to the dog,right?
And your tail was almost amputated by that bite.

But that was not all;
You jumped through my kitchen window howling,
And broke my china set!

That’s you mr. Independent,
Always coming off clean in your innocent cute face,
Feigning innocence after playing the devil!

But guess what,Jaffa?

That’s the very reason I love you,Jaffa,
Because you are independent like me.

But do you have to put on the display for me?

Your cat personality,so aloof,gives me goose pimples!

And did you have to scratch at my girlfriend when she got close?

Are you jealous?

Do you have to show it?

I’m madly in love with you,Jaffa,
But please don’t mess with my human relationships!

Just some random thoughts that came to my mind….©Profarms’ Random Thoughts®

Singing under the shower of ‘gods’ in Samburu

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It is so hot over the day in Samburu.
If you try to take a shower,water dries off your shoulders before you scrub.
I take my showers at night,under the open starry skies.
Around here,we have baptised this practice as “shower of gods”.

I like to do weird things in the
shower, like drink my coffee,
brush my teeth and drink a
smoothie. It’s good time
management,I suppose.
This is all possible now,under the shower of ‘gods’.

But my favourite way to blow off
steam after a busy day is to sing
loud in the shower.(Pity that my friends tell me I sing so off key,it kills all the love they have for good songs!)

Listen to what others tell you
about your voice. If you’re only
singing to please yourself, you
might as well just sing under the
shower. But if you’re singing for
others, you are reliant on them
to ask you to sing.

I have the soul of a singer and
do splendidly in the shower but
the world will never hear it.
Basically, I’m the only Kenyan Soul(sole,I think!) singer
person who can’t carry a tune.

I always sing Adele in the
shower. But everyone should
know you never sing an Adele
song in public because no one’s
better than Adele.

I’d love to sing it proud and sing loud.
But I’m embarrassed I might draw a rude crowd.
So in public I’m dour,
Though I sing in the shower.
It’s the only time singing loud is allowed.

There’s no half-singing in the
shower, you’re either a rock star
or an opera diva.

Singing in the shower is all fun and games until you get soap bubbles in your mouth, then it just becomes a soap opera.

I really enjoyed staying at an
encampment at the top of a hill
in the Samburu Reserve.

You reach it through hard climbing; there is no electricity, no city noises and you sleep and
shower under the Milky Way, with moths fluttering around a kerosene lamp, knowing that there are elephants and lions
roaming free in the valley.

This is all a good experience for the budding-sorry-bathing musician in me.

So I wrote this poem; Shower of ‘gods’ in the shower;

Walking down the crooked street,
Throwaway culture around his feet,
Not one eye dares to meet
The man who sings real loud.
He is of the reactionary kind
The one they label “out of mind!”
One they’ve always tried to bind.
The man who sings real loud.
He swings his bags without a care
Trots around on an invisible mare
You can’t hurt what doesn’t care
The man who sings real loud.
You will hear him before you see
His voice and mind are loud and free
A man you wish that you could be:
The man who sings real loud.

Bernard Wainaina is an Independent Agribusiness Advisor and CEO at Profarms Consultants®,Nairobi,Kenya.

He mainly works with Agribusiness Youth Groups in Eastern African Region.

Just some random thoughts that came to my mind….©Profarms’ Random Thoughts®

Poisoned in Samburu; I could die now, and very peacefully….

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“Do you know what plant this is?” I asked Lolyang,my point-man for my Ethno-botany study excursion in Samburu National Reserve.

“That’s not a good plant. It’s not indigenous to here, and you shouldn’t touch it. You need to wash your hands thoroughly.”

“But, I put it in my mouth.”

Blank stare, followed by Lolyang’s eyes growing wider.

“I took a bite of it and now my mouth is burning. Really burning.”

Anthony my research assistant who is a native of Samburu County,and acts as our other guide, heard me describe my symptoms, and told me that the locals use milk to cut down on the burning, and ran off to get my first of
what would turn out to be several litres of Camel milk for the day.

You see, moments before, while walking to breakfast with my colleague Tessa, I was enjoying breathing in the honey-like smell of a white flowering tree, fresh with the morning’s dew.

Surrounded by the flora and fauna of a new county, I was eager to taste its sweet smells.

I couldn’t help myself from breaking off a
stem of plant I thought I recognised and clamped down on it between my teeth.

I expected to taste the salty flavour of a
drought-resistant plant I had tried days before when learning about the cultural habits of the indigenous Samburu tribe in northern Kenya, who taught us all about the plants and herbs they used for cooking and medicine,both for livestock and man.

Nope. Wrong plant.

Tessa, my fellow colleague from Australia, who is a medicine man there, took one look at the plant I was holding, and named it immediately.

“That’s euphorbia.”

“I put it in my mouth.”

Tessa’s face went white, and the tears starting
flowing down my face.

I have always imagined myself dying a dignified death out of very old age,sorrounded by people who mean something in my life,as well as my catholic priest carrying on with my own final rites of passage.

Now,I’m going to die of such a silly mistake.

I could see my friends laughing me down in an open casket saying,”poor Ben,he was always so childish,and that’s what really did him in in the end!”

It is such disturbing thoughts that made my eyes water,not the impeding death,really.

“Why did you do that?”

“I don’t know.”

“Why are you crying?”

“I’m scared. “

“Of what?”

“Of dying.”

“Well, I’m scared for you, too.
However, I think you would be writhing
on the floor right now if you
ingested too much,so let’s just
closely monitor what happens next.

I’m here to look out for you.”

And that was it.

I calmed down,reassured.

My guardian angel Tessa, was going to be with me, whether I got better or not.

Far from family and friends, and on a work trip in the middle ever expanding Sahara Desert, it was comforting to know that someone I trusted would be there regardless.

I went to the bathroom to compose myself,and steel myself for a dignified death while they called for a doctor.

I took my clean handkerchief and scraped
my tongue, my inner cheeks, and the back of my throat.

I spit profusely, like a worked-up coach on the
sidelines.

But I couldn’t get rid of the taste of what I
did. I had poisoned myself.

WHAT DOESN’T KILL YOU MAKES YOU STRONGER

A local herbalist, the closest thing to a doctor in that area, came over to take a look at me.

Like Tessa, he wanted to know HOW LONG the euphorbia had been in my mouth.

“Not long” I replied. “I bit down on it and it was only in my mouth for a couple of seconds.”

“Well, there really is no antidote for the neurotoxins that are in your body right now. What we CAN do is get you to the nearest doctor for a shot to help alleviate the pain. I don’t think you took enough for it to be lethal. The doctor is a three-hour drive away, two and a half if we leave right now and drive
quickly.”

Wait a minute. Did he just use the word LETHAL? This is really the end of my short stint as a living human being!

What’s the use of all of our vanities?

Wait a minute-who is going to drive my car back to Nairobi? He had better be a good driver who will take good care of “my car” when I’m dead.

What about my cat,Jaffa? How will he manage all by himself?

More tears.

“More than likely, you are just going to have to wait four to five days for the poison to course its way through your system.”

Great! I can bear all the suffering,but death!-there is some finality in that name that may spell chaos in terms of all “my unfinished business”.

At this point in the waiting game, my body had
entered a defensive phase, and was in total “fight” mode.

The surge of adrenaline was impressive.

I felt like a Superman! I think the saying “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger” is completely true.

“Anybody need any cars lifted, or heavy loads
carried?” I asked.

“Wow! Your humorous demeanour during this time is astounding,” said Tessa, in disbelief that I could be so jovial despite the circumstances.

“Well, I’m either going to live, or I’m going to die.

Might as well make the most of it now with my soon-to-be useless lump of flesh.”

After my initial adrenaline panic, my mind and body slowed down and I thought, “Could this really be the end? Am I really going to be sent home in a box because I ate a wrong bush in Samburu?”

I then succumbed to a certain calmness I have never known before.

I felt a profound sense of peace.

My life held no regrets.

I had a great family, good friends.

I had seen a lot of the world and met some
incredible people.

I could die now here, and peacefully.

During this time I also had visions.

I imagined how my friends and colleagues at the Ethno-botany Summit that was taking place
the following day would be affected by my loss,
knowing that my death would put a damper on the whole event. I envisioned my fellow colleagues back at the office getting word
that I had passed away while on my trip, and could see our tea girl shaking her head, saying “Oh, Ben,” partly disappointed that I had been so silly in contributing to my own death, and yet on the other hand, not at all surprised.

She above anybody else knew that I had the curiosity of a three-year-old child when it comes to sweet smelling food.

It made me love my colleagues more for
understanding me so well.

Everyone else, I saw, would miss me, but would
remember fondly my curiosity of the world, and my courage in making it a large part of my life.

I saw that I had even inspired a few people to make positive changes, and that made me proud. I could go now…

But, I didn’t go. And soon after these visions, my Samburu tour group (who were more like my family now) and I needed to continue on our journey.

After driving for over three hours
through vast landscapes, they asked if I wanted to stop in at the doctor of the nearby town, but I opted not to go for the pain shot.

The Camel milk was doing wonders for the
burning sensation, even though I couldn’t go more than about seven seconds without the burning returning.

My biggest challenge at that point was not
vomiting, as a stomach full of milk and acid,
combined with driving on remote, bumpy roads in a Land Rover were not really compatible.

I learned more about the plant from our local guides as we drove.

Locals use this euphorbia as a barrier, protecting their crops or homesteads, as most
animals steer clear of the plant, so it’s used quite a bit in hedges.

Apparently, the only wild animal that can eat the euphorbia plant and get away with it is
the rhino.

Last time I checked, I weighed much less
than a rhino.

The name of Rhino Charge stuck for the
duration of the trip.

Later I learned that this euphorbia plant was also used to put on the ends of arrowheads, in order to paralyse and/or kill the targeted prey.

As for me, I dealt with horrible symptoms as the
poison made its way down my body, including
massive heart-burn and excruciating pain as it
coursed through my liver and kidneys, so much that I thought something was bursting.

But, with Tessa’s guidance and reassurance, and with another higher spiritual protector, I made it to our destination alive, perhaps a bit more humbled,but not dead, not as yet.

Bernard Wainaina is an Independent Agribusiness Advisor and CEO at Profarms Consultants®,Nairobi,Kenya.

He mainly works with Agribusiness Youth Groups in Eastern African Region.

Just some random thoughts that came to my mind….©Profarms’ Random Thoughts®

Stories from the wild; On this tree,I’ll build my church!

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The sun can be hot around Samburu:I’ve heard stories of chicken laying “boiled” eggs in this kind of heat.

But last Sunday,I was thinking less of boiled eggs,and more about such things like firm foundations-a verse in the bible says;build your house on a firm foundation…this was the day’s sermon at the lodge chapel.

I was following a troop of baboons grazing in the plains of Samburu National Reserve.

As is the usual thing in a group of
baboons, they had arranged themselves in their usual military plan.

In the front, were the expendable males consisting of juveniles and low-ranking sub adults.

They act as the front buffers and scouts on the route.

Should they see any danger, they are supposed to confront the danger if they can.

If the danger is too much, they should alert the rest of the troop and the big boys will come to boost the war chest.

But should the enemy attack before the big bosses come, the troop will not lose much because the front liners are not the
most important in the group.

As the troop was digging for tubers in the soil, one of them noticed a lion walking along the shores of the river.

The lion was on the opposite side from where the baboons were grazing.

The scouts gave out the sound of alarm, but a weak one.

Like to say, “you may need to think about fast exit if the lion decide to cross over to our side”.

The troop leaders understood very well there was no hurry, but preparations were in order.

So, the biggest among the leaders of the group looked around to pick a tree which could be used as a safe refuge when trouble struck.

He chose an acacia tree full of dry thorns and with branches that hung loosely near the
ground.

He went up the tree and did something that got me laughing with admiration.

He literally interrogated the tree to see whether it was strong enough to hold the whole family
should the need arise.

He was shaking and swinging the branches until he was sure the tree would hold.

When he came down, the whole troop looked at ease feeding near the tree of life, while the scouts kept watch over the lion.

He walked back to the grazing troop as if to say
;“On this tree, I will build my church”.

Like these baboons, make plans with firm foundation

Bernard Wainaina is an Independent Agribusiness Advisor and CEO at Profarms Consultants®,Nairobi,Kenya.

He mainly works with Agribusiness Youth Groups in Eastern African Region.

Just some random thoughts that came to my mind….©Profarms’ Random Thoughts®

The stigma of “Skinny men”

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This post is inspired by an embarrassing incident with one of my new and very good client that I met for the first time last week in Kigali, Rwanda.

I’m not going to into the details of this incident here,but suffice to say that a good business deal was clicked after some uncomfortable grilling by my client,in relation to my dwarfish stature.

It was even more uncomfortable for me since my client was a tall hefty lady.

In my regular medical check-ups,I always feel ridiculed when a physically endowed nurse quips after recording my body weight; “do you really eat?”

What I’m I supposed to think after such a statement?

Is it a complement?

Is it ridicule?

At 50 plus now,I weigh 56kg and height of 175 cm.

I grew up skinny. Athletic since birth, I was always very active and played a sport for every season from elementary school through high school.

To be totally honest, I was so skinny that rather than being bullied for being overweight, I was
bullied for being underweight.

Even though I was healthy and had an athletic build, I still didn’t break the 50kg. mark on the scale until I was a senior in high school.

Because I was skinny and had a fairly high self-esteem (as high as a high school boy can have), I never gave much thought to what I ate.

As long as it tasted good, I didn’t really care what it was made of where it came from – as evidenced by my numerous sausage eating contest with my friends over weekends.

When I was a senior in high school I started to purposefully put on weight so that I could gain more muscle mass. I ate as much as I could as often as I could and eventually I gained about 5kg – most of it muscle.

I finally stopped being ridiculed about my low weight and I felt like a true athlete for the first time in my life.

I had a very successful year of dating and I vowed that I would continue hitting the gym even when I went to college so that I wouldn’t
lose the muscle that I worked so hard for.

A funny thing happened in college – I kept up my promise to myself and continued to work out regularly and I actually lost about 5kg, rather than gaining the so-called “Freshman”
5kg.

Though my weight crept up slowly for the next four years, I still ate what I wanted, when I wanted and didn’t put any thought into it because I never saw any negative consequences from my actions. After
my 21st birthday, when my doctor expressed some concern about my lack of weight gain I started to eat everything I could get my
hands on.

Still, nothing. Zilch! No weight gain.

I started hitting the gym five days a week, but months went by and I didn’t see any results. I couldn’t gain the weight.

After a while of hitting the gym and trying to get back into the required shape of a “protective man” with big biceps, I got frustrated with the lack of results and basically gave up. I didn’t know what to do or how to feel.

I was very down on myself about my
weight and I forced myself to make peace with the fact that I
would never be “big”.

Growing up skinny had skewed my perception of weight so much that, to an extent, I shut down.

Food is something I’ve always loved. I love to cook and I love to sit at the dinner and enjoy a meal.

The office tea-girl

“Ugh. I wish I had your problem!!”

This has become a constant refrain from our office tea-girl.

Initially she used to urge me on to clear my tea biscuits.

She had no idea that I could eat all the servings on the table meant for all the staff and still not gain a gram in weight over a year.

After realising later on that I take hefty amounts of any type of food without adding on any weight,she only shrugged and remarked;”Uug,I wish I had your problem.”

Yes, my “problem,” annoyingly dismissed by so many well-meaning people throughout my life, is that I’ve always been chronically underweight. Stick-thin. Skin and bones. Nothing to me. Size 000. (Okay, they don’t
make a triple zero. But I was super jazzed the day they came out with the double so I wouldn’t have to buy clothes from the kids’ department, anymore.)

I never wanted to be this way. When I had high
school teachers accusing me of being anorexic, I wished they would have known that I actually
probably had the exact opposite type of disorder — an obsession with wanting to gain weight.

But I couldn’t.

And, as alone as I have often felt in this struggle, I know that I really am not.

Us skinnies are definitely in the minority, but there are plenty of people out there who are underweight and do not wish to be.

And lots of families with kids who were just like me, and “failing to thrive.”

Pick the tabs

I have however learnt to live with it.

I used to be thoroughly embarrassed when I took my friends oout for a treat,and the waiters would keep pushing the bills to my “bigger” friends; their reasoning,I presume is that the bigger guy has the ability to “pay” the bills!

Or when a client who has been referred to my office by another client keeps on insisting that he wants to talk to the “CEO”.

It is quite difficult to picture a “skinny CEO” when comparatively looking at other “bigger” staff.

I won’t even go into the social side of it-girls want bigger “protective men”.

The society expects your body size to reflect your “social status”.

The list is endless!

Who said only the “fat” people are shamed,ridiculed,and stigmatised!

Bernard Wainaina is an Independent Agribusiness Advisor and CEO at Profarms Consultants®,Nairobi,Kenya.

Just some random thoughts that came to my mind….©Profarms’ Random Thoughts®

A grilled monkey for my lunch at a Kinshasha food stall,and the economics of Ebola in the game meat business

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I’m hungry.

I’m hungry in Congo,Kinshasha,to be precise,

But I can’t see any food here,sorry,I mean,some decent food.

There is only very un-edifying portions on game meat on offer at the capital food stalls.

Anything from tortoise, snake and monkey meat is a mouth-watering delicacy that goes on the menu in Democratic Republic of Congo.

That may sound nauseating, to East Africans, but Congolese have experimented with so much bush meat that it has become part of them.

Yet it comes at a deadly cost.

Last year, it cost them 49 lives when a rural bush hunter in Jeera, about 1,000km north of Kinshasa stumbled upon a dead monkey. It became part of the family dinner.

Days later, the hunter, his wife and children were dead.

Medical personnel who attended to them died later as well.

It was the beginning of another Ebola outbreak in DRC.

Since then, Congolese have become wary about
game meat, but they just haven’t stayed away from it.

“It is our way of life…customers did not stop
buying when Ebola broke out,” says Mama
Jeanette Elofa, 53, who has operated a market stall since 1988.

When the Ebola outbreak was reported, game
meat suddenly was not as popular at Marche de
libertie Market, built in 2003 to honour former
President Laurent Kabila.

On a busy day, hundreds of residents flock to the market to buy food.

The shopping list includes game meat brought into the city from the south and North of the country.

To a visitor in Kinshasa, the display can leave you dealing with culture shock.

There is the stunning sight of charcoal grilled snake, monkey meat or antelope meat laid out for customers to sample.

Game meat, which is sold by part not in kilos can fetch from $15 (Sh1,320) at the low to a high of $30(Sh2,640) while tortoise meat can fetch $10(Sh880).

When cut up, each of the piece of flesh for sale can average about a kilo a piece just by visually judging.

There is no weighing scale in sight.

Mama Elofa’s stall can get pretty busy, especially on weekdays.

On a good week, she can collect $1,000(Sh88,000) cementing the vibrancy of the
business.

Or as the Congolese like to say, it accentuates
“Lokasa na mbongo” (the flow of money).

But that flow, for many stall owners, was rudely
interrupted when the Ebola outbreak was reported last August in DRC. Suddenly, the customers vanished and tonnes of game meat lay at the market uncollected by consumers.

“Before the outbreak, we could sell eight or nine monkeys a day. Since then, we sell much less. We don’t have Ebola in Kinshasa and our families are starving,” says Mama Maggie Noseka, 50.

She claims reports on Ebola have ruined their
business.

The Ebola outbreak has complicated the menu
option for many Congolese and they have to
balance between popular delicacy and their
health. It is a fact that concerns even the DRC
Health minister Dr Felix Kabange.

“Makaka (monkey meat) is a delicacy among
residents. But we have to encourage them to roast the meat first before bringing it to the market. The exposure to heat eliminates the presence of Ebola virus in the meat,” he says.

But education on the deadly virus has gone a
notch higher in markets of Kinshasa, the country’s largest arena for game meat.

It has included public announcements through loudspeakers around the market.

Even the most dingy market has a radio station run by government and discusses sex, personal health and Ebola, among other issues.

This is attributed in part to why Ebola was kept out of Kinshasa, a nightmare scenario that would put at risk 12million residents.

Even so, when the news about Ebola was over and World Health Organiation declared DRC Ebola free last November, meat customers were already trickling back to the stalls in search of their favourite game meat.

At the Kabila Market, Mama Maggie Noseka is
already busy calling customers to her stall
sprawling with a variety of bush meat. “I have
eaten game meat since I was a child and have
never fallen ill,” she says, a swarm of flies
hovering over the sight of charcoal grilled monkey meat spread in front of her.

“ I don’t fear Ebola, I have no relatives who have died of Ebola,” she says defiantly.”

But does she take preventive measures? “What
preventive measures?” With that, she turns to a
waiting customer who purchases a collection of
roasted snakes.

Mafuta Roseli is a regular seller of game meat.

She has a stock of four monkeys, which will fetch an average of $40 (Sh3,520). She says demand is high.

Another game meat dealer, Yangisa Ewayi, 55,
wonders why anyone would stop buying game
meat because of Ebola. He gets on average 100kg to 150kg a day of game meat from Bandundu and Bakongo.

The market is a beehive of activity on any day. Besides game meat, Ebola notwithstanding, vegetables, clothes, shoes, dress materials find their way on the floor of stalls.

Talk of cultural shock!

Just some random thoughts that came to my mind….©Profarms’ Random Thoughts®

My journey,alone

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I am an old man,
holding my walking stick in one hand,
A handkerchief on the other hand to wipe sweat off my brows.

I can see very far,though my eyesight is failing,
But in this last journey,I must walk alone.

My feet are heavy now, but on I go,
My head erect beneath the tragic toll of many years.

The way is steep, but I would have it so;
And dusty, but I lay-off the dust with my tears,
Though none can see me weep: alone I climb
The rugged path that leads me out of time –
Out of time and out of all;

Singing yet in sun and rain,
‘Heel and toe from dawn to dusk,
Round the world and home again.’
Farewell the hope that mocked, farewell despair
That went before me still and made the pace.

The earth is full of graves, and mine was there
Even before my life began, my resting-place;
And I shall find it out and be with my fellow dead men
Lie down for ever, all my sayings said –
Deeds all done and songs all sung,
While others chant in sun and rain,
‘Heel and toe from dawn to dusk,
Round the world and home again.’

This is my last journey,
And in this journey,
I know,and I have always known,
That I must walk alone.

Just some random thoughts that came to my mind….©Profarms’ Random Thoughts®

Tessa

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Your kindness and your smile will always light up the world of those unhappy and unfortunate people.

I thank God for allowing me to meet you and thank you for teaching me kindness.

I promised myself to do good things in your honour, regardless of whether you love me or not on the day I met you.

TO me you are more than someone I love, a
teacher, a friend and a motivator.

You have motivated me to do good things in my life.

I am not a good person, but every time I think of the good things you do, I would like to change. I know you are a quiet, shy and homely girl.

Among all the girls I have ever met in my life, you are the kindest.

You are the prettiest girl I know in my life.

The reason I like you is not because of your beauty, but your kindness,and that inspires me to be kind too.

I know you do charity to help poor children and this has been an ambition of mine during childhood days which I forgot, and I thank you for bringing kindness back into my life.

I can’t speak French very well, but I
learned it to speak to you.

You are the kindest girl I ever met in my life, no girl I knew in my life is even close to you.

What I love about you is your kindness, you may not be the prettiest girl in the world, but you are the prettiest girl to me because you are
kind, gentle , honest and caring.

You are a girl that any guy would dream of.

A kind that will come only once in every million years.

I helped an old grandma in my neighbourhood to clean up the house, I usually don’t do that,but I learnt it from you.

I know you are kind and I want to learn to be kind like you,away from this cold man that I normally am.

Your kindness is contagious, like a light to my life.

I learnt to cook because I know you like homely guys and I would also love to cook for the
unfortunate people, I promise you this, if I ever grow rich, I will promise myself to make sure I will always help those around me in your
honour.

I really love you,how I wish I could wake up every morning with you beside me and I would cook for you,and your big family of homeless and elderly people breakfast, I love to cook and to be a family man.

I wish I could help clean your house and look after your parents when they are old.

It is said that if you love a woman, you will love their family too.

I wish I could take care of them.

If you do not like me I am still ok.

I just want to be a friend who will help during happy and times of hardship.

It is my honour to help a person as kind as you.

The reason I do not go after you is because I want you to have a better guy than me who has more to offer.

I am afraid I cannot live up to my promise of being a good guy.

I’d rather lose you than to make you unhappy.

Everything I do is in the interest of you. But I only want one thing from you,and that is to be your friend when you need me.

My love for you has no boundaries.

I thought to myself; if I really love you and I know I do,the best thing is to let you be,to let you serve the poor and the unfortunate without my distraction.

You have stolen my heart.

I ask myself this, if one day you do not look pretty anymore would I still love you?

And yes,I still would,because of kindness,and that never changes!

I thought hard and I told myself I would proudly go out and let everybody know I love you.

Looks is only physical part, but no one can ever take this away from you;

Your kindness.

I will love you no matter what happens.

Please take care of yourself.

Just some random thoughts that came to my mind….©Profarms’ Random Thoughts®

Detachment eases the baggage that our life-long experiences use to hold us back from greatness

Featured

Tags

, , , , , , ,


Detachment is the art of withdrawing desire from lesser things, letting them fall away, so
as to harness their power to reach the heights of what a human being can attain.

I’m surprised that there is one great lesson about life that can be learned from Rocket Science…

When scientists began contemplating the conquest of space, the first problem they encountered – a problem that had to be solved before they could make any headway at all – was how to get beyond the pull of the earth’s gravity.

A rocket has to build up a speed of twenty-five thousand miles per hour to escape this pull, and engineers quickly ran into a kind of “catch-22”: to attain this speed, an ordinary rocket
would have to be so large that its sheer weight would never allow it to escape the pull of gravity.

Yet the human spirit delights in overcoming
obstacles.

Undaunted, scientists finally came up with
the idea of a multi-stage rocket, with one or more independent boosters attached.

Each booster holds fuel, which it burns in one great leap upward.

As soon as its fuel is expended, its job is done and the booster is dropped, freeing the spacecraft from the burden of its great weight.

This is how our very own life should play-out;we shouldn’t drag the unnecessary baggage from our past life into the future.

This is the kind of journey that in our own life brings an overflowing, ever-present
sense of joy.

The Buddha, who almost never talked about himself, once admitted quietly, “I am the
happiest of mortals. There is no one happier than I am.”

This is the joy for which every one of us is born.

Not tuppenny-ha’penny pleasures, not tinsel delights or costume jewellery, but a jewel that is beyond price: the jewel hidden in the very depths of our hearts.

Detachment not only releases joy; it is also the
secret of health.

It is the best medical insurance in the world, and not only because it can keep us free from physical habits that sap our vitality.

Most illness has a serious emotional element.

While there is an important place for physical measures in the treatment of disease, a mind at peace and a heart flooded with love can release healing powers that strengthen and revitalize the physical system.

Strength can be regained even after years of
emotional instability.

In extreme cases, I believe recovery can be brought about even from what seems a terminal illness.

Today, of course, it is widely appreciated that
because of advances in medical knowledge, we can expect to live much longer than was reasonable at the beginning of the twentieth century.

But we can lead lives that are not only longer but richer, more loving, and more productive.

The next steps in stretching the limits of human health and longevity, I believe, will not be in biotechnology.

They will come from learning to govern the way we think and feel.

Detachment is a longevity skill.

Freedom from compulsive emotional entanglements is the best insurance against stress.

More than that, by opening a window onto a fuller, loftier view of life than that dictated by self-interest, detachment brings a sense
of purpose.

Without a reason for living, the human
being withers and dies inside.

However paradoxical it may sound, it is detachment that enables us to give ourselves wholeheartedly to worthwhile work without
ever getting depressed, despondent, or burned out – right into the last days of our lives.

Most people who work hard – which means most men and women – bring their work
home with them, yapping like a poodle at their heels.

At the dinner table, when they sit thinking about their deadlines and responsibilities, the poodle is nestled under the chair, whining away.

They curl up with it at night and dream about reports that haven’t been filed, statistics that don’t point to the right conclusions, mail that hasn’t been responded to or that has been sent out with the wrong memo attached.

Detachment gives us the capacity to
concentrate completely while on the job and to drop our work completely when we walk out the door.

A detached worker is a reliable worker, a
cheerful worker, a harmonious worker.

And when you can drop your work completely at the end of the day, you arrive home ready to give all your love to your family and friends.

You feel fresh, relaxed.

You have no need to give vent to the kind of frustration that millions of good people air: “Leave me alone. I’ve had a misera-ble day!”

Mahatma Gandhi worked fifteen hours a day for fifty years for all of us who want a politically free world.

When he was asked,“Don’t you want a vacation, Mr. Gandhi?” he said quietly, “I’m always on vacation.”

It wasn’t a flippant reply; he meant every word of it. So don’t content yourself with two weeks in July or two weeks at a sunbath resort in January.

You deserve three hundred and sixty-five days of vacation, and that is exactly what detachment can give you.

Detachment brings this kind of protection at
every stage of life.

Many of the physical problems associated with old age, for example, are not at all a
necessary part of aging.

The fact that they are common does not mean they are inevitable.

Not only senility but even certain physical problems may well have more to do with life-style and thought-style than with changes triggered by some biological clock.

As researchers have observed, we have focused
so much on “ordinary aging” – what happens to the majority – that we have ignored “successful aging,” which we can observe in men and women like Mahatma Gandhi, George Bernard Shaw, and Mother Teresa, who grow in wisdom and vitality right into the last days of a long, creative, fulfilling life.

I grant you that in the evening of your life you may not be able to compete successfully on Centre Court at Wimbledon.

But every one of us can enjoy the vitality,
resourcefulness, and unerring judgment that come from a heart full of love and a vast reservoir of experience.

Detachment and love relationships

In English the word detachment sounds passive,
callous, unfeeling.

Yet it is just the opposite, and the best way to see this is to look at its application in personal relationships.

Sanskrit have two words that are often
translated as “love” – two words with a world of
difference between them, and the difference is
detachment.

Prema is pure love, in which I want nothing but your happiness. Your joy is my joy.

Karma, on the other hand, is self-centered personal attachment, generally with romantic overtones.

In the language of karma, “I love you” means “you please me.” It also follows this with a condition:”You have to love me back!”

Most of us need no formal introduction to
karma.

Selfish attachment(reward & punishment) is what holds most romantic novels together, what most popular songs are based on, what most films depict in graphic detail.

It is discouragingly easy to mistake selfish
attachment for love if we do not really know what love is.

If you want to see some of the greatest lov-
ers of all time, don’t look to Romeo or Juliet; look at Saint Francis of Assisi, or lovely Saint Teresa of Avila.

All you need do is read Teresa’s autobiograph-ical accounts to know that she lived in the empire of love.

What a won-derful paradox: to know what love
means, we have to turn to men and women who we say have “renounced the world”!

Listen to Jacob Boehme, the “cosmic cobbler” of medieval Germany, as he tells us how he knew when he was in love – eternal love:

No life can express, nor tongue so much as
name, what this enflaming, all-consuming love of God is.

It is brighter than the sun, it is sweeter than
anything called sweet; it is stronger than all strength;
it is more nutrimental than food, more cheering to the heart than wine, and more pleasant than all the joy and pleasantness of the world.

Whoever obtaineth it is richer than any monarch on earth; and he who getteth it is nobler than any emperor can be,and more potent and absolute than all power and
authority.

Boehme is talking about love in the truest sense.

The mark of true love is as simple as it is rare: it is detachment from the tangle of personal motives that makes us seek happiness in making others conform to our desires.

Detachment and love go hand in hand.

When all selfish attachments are gone, what is
left is pure love.

The other person is so dear to you that you never have to ask yourself the question,
“What is she going to give me?” – in the way of
respect, of affection, of loyalty.

Once you efface that question from your vocabulary completely, you and that person are no longer separate; both of you are one. That is what love means.

The secret to transforming relationships through detachment

All of us begin the quest for love with a great deal of selfish attachment. That is human nature.

But with the help of meditation and the allied disciplines we can diminish this selfish element day by day, by putting the welfare of those around us first and our own personal predilections last.

But practicing detachment in personal
relationships does not come easily.

No other arena of life is more challenging.

Disrupted relationships are endemic today, and not because people are immoral or because they don’t care about one another; they just don’t know how to develop detachment.

If you cannot stand back from your own
pleasure and profit, you cannot help manipulating other people.

Naturally, this kind of manipulation corrodes loyal relationships of any kind.

It leads to their speedy end, as we can see in the lives of millions of lonely people today.

When you practice detachment continuously – at home, at work, among friends, and especially with difficult people – you will find how much security it brings you in your relationships.

A spiritually detached person, which to me means a very loving person, will never allow relationships to degenerate to stimulus and response.

The test is simple: Even if you are angry with me, can I stay calm and loving with you and help you overcome your anger?

If you persist in disliking me, can I continue to like you?

For it is when you dislike me that I have all the more reason to be loyal to you, to show you what loyalty really means.

This problem of disliking people, which is a very
common one today, is essentially a problem of
disliking the images we have formed of them.

It is a reflection on us rather than on those we do not like.

For in almost all human relationships, we see others not as they really are but as we are.

To a suspicious person, everybody seems suspect; to a resentful person, every action is worthy of resentment.

Similarly, to a loving person, everybody is worthy of love; every occasion is an opportunity to practice love.

It is not that situations never get difficult when
you are detached, or that people are never
unpleasant.

But the choice of response is in your hands.

All of us can develop the detachment not to
react to the way we are treated.

This is the easiest, most effective way to solve problems in human relationships.

I once read a good aphorism from Buckminster
Fuller. “We are not nouns,” he says pointedly; “we are verbs.”

People who are content with rigid images of
others are thinking of themselves and others as
nouns, as things.

Those who keep trying to get closer to others, to understand and appreciate them more all the time, are verbs: active, creative, dynamic, able
to change themselves and to make changes in the world they live in.

Here is the practical difference: When we don’t
like somebody, we say, “He upsets me. I’m not going to go near him.”

That relationship is static; it has no chance of improving.

On the other hand, when we can go against our dislikes, we can actually enjoy the opportunity such a person presents us.

Just imagine the freedom!

We enjoy being with people who like us,
of course, but we can also enjoy being with people who don’t like us.

Sometimes I think Gandhi used to look forward to this kind of opportunity, because he knew it would draw up from within him the deeper
creative resources he needed for his work.

Without this kind of freedom, “love” is more an
inclination that comes and goes like the wind.

When your girlfriend is catering to you, doing all the things you like, you say you love her.

But when she turns around and does something that irritates you, you blurt out, “Get lost!”

Doesn’t this happen all too often?

To love truly, you must be able to love when
things are going your way and equally well when things are not going your way.

This is the test of detachment.

After all, when your partner is being especially nice to you, it’s easy to be pleasant in return.

It is when she goes out of her way to offend
you that you should not walk out.

That is just the time to sit by her side and for every unkind word she utters, as Jesus says, give her seven words that are kind.

For every shove she gives you, try to move that
much closer.

To do this at home in the morning, at work
throughout the day, and then in the evening among family and friends, you have to have a good measure of detachment from yourself.

These are challenges that can appeal to us deeply: the “acts of will” that Saint Teresa of Avila says the Lord wants of us.

They are difficult, but they can be practiced, and to great effect.

To grow to our full potential in love, we need
to try every day to develop a little more detachment from ourselves.

Those who get angry and walk out, who get resentful and won’t sit at the same table with
others, are refusing to try to grow.

Their problem can be solved very simply, to the benefit of everyone around them: they need to practice detachment every day in every situation, in every relationship.

This reminds me of a beautiful incident from the life of Saint Thérèse of Lisieux, a young woman of our own century of whom I am very fond.

In her convent was a certain nun who had a knack for alienating others.

She seemed always to be waiting for someone to upset.

Naturally her sisters tended to avoid her – even Thérèse, the Little Flower, as she is sweetly called.

No one meant to be unkind; it was just that avoiding the unpleasant is so natural.

Then, with a shock, Thérèse realized what she
had been doing.

With her, as with Saint Francis – here is the mark of a saint! – to understand was to
act.

Immediately she began to make a point of giving her irritating sister a smile, answering her with kind words, doing little things to help her: although inside, she confesses, she used to wince with the effort.

One day, in a moment of marvelous simplicity,
that nun stopped Thérèse and surprised her with a question. “Sister, whenever we meet, you always give me such a sweet smile. Will you please tell me what attracts you so much to me?”

“Ah!” Thérèse confides to us. “How could I tell
her that what attracts me is Jesus, hidden in the
depths of her soul – Jesus who makes sweet that
which is most bitter!”

Jesus had taught her, “Bless them that curse you.

Do good to them that hate you.” That is love at its greatest.

In order to love like this, we cannot be attached to ourselves.

It is because we think so much about ourselves that we strike back, show resentment, speak harshly, move away.

Jesus’ words do not mean agreeing with
everything people say or supporting whatever they do.

In my role as a teacher wayback in time, I sometimes had to oppose people I love. Yet I did it tenderly, and I haven’t lost a single student friend from that part of my past.

On the contrary, my not so good friends now say, “Here is somebody who will stand by me
through thick and thin. If I make a mistake, he’ll support me, but he’ll do his best not to let me make that mistake again. If I’m going astray, he’ll bar my way with loving arms.”

As Shakespeare says, “Love bears it out even to
the edge of doom.” This is the secret of loving.

Let me repeat, for a long, long time everybody finds it difficult.

Everybody finds it distressing.

But when you go to bed after a day of practicing this kind of love, you know that you have grown.

You can stand against the wall and see that you have grown a full inch in spiritual stature.

Inch by inch, day by day, you can grow until your head is crowned with the stars.

That is our human destiny – the destiny for which all of us have been born.

Just some random thoughts that came to my mind….©Profarms’ Random Thoughts®

Just some random thoughts that came to my mind….©Profarms’ Random Thoughts®

Detachment eases the baggage that our life experiences use to hold us back from greatness

Featured

Tags

, , , , , , ,


Detachment is the art of withdrawing desire from lesser things, letting them fall away, so
as to harness their power to reach the heights of what a human being can attain.

I’m surprised that there is one great lesson about life that can be learned from Rocket Science…

When scientists began contemplating the conquest of space, the first problem they encountered – a problem that had to be solved before they could make any headway at all – was how to get beyond the pull of the earth’s gravity.

A rocket has to build up a speed of twenty-five thousand miles per hour to escape this pull, and engineers quickly ran into a kind of “catch-22”: to attain this speed, an ordinary rocket
would have to be so large that its sheer weight would never allow it to escape the pull of gravity.

Yet the human spirit delights in overcoming
obstacles.

Undaunted, scientists finally came up with
the idea of a multi-stage rocket, with one or more independent boosters attached.

Each booster holds fuel, which it burns in one great leap upward.

As soon as its fuel is expended, its job is done and the booster is dropped, freeing the spacecraft from the burden of its great weight.

This is how our very own life should play-out;we shouldn’t drag the unnecessary baggage from our past life into the future.

This is the kind of journey that in our own life brings an overflowing, ever-present
sense of joy.

The Buddha, who almost never talked about himself, once admitted quietly, “I am the
happiest of mortals. There is no one happier than I am.”

This is the joy for which every one of us is born.

Not tuppenny-ha’penny pleasures, not tinsel delights or costume jewellery, but a jewel that is beyond price: the jewel hidden in the very depths of our hearts.

Detachment not only releases joy; it is also the
secret of health.

It is the best medical insurance in the world, and not only because it can keep us free from physical habits that sap our vitality.

Most illness has a serious emotional element.

While there is an important place for physical measures in the treatment of disease, a mind at peace and a heart flooded with love can release healing powers that strengthen and revitalize the physical system.

Strength can be regained even after years of
emotional instability.

In extreme cases, I believe recovery can be brought about even from what seems a terminal illness.

Today, of course, it is widely appreciated that
because of advances in medical knowledge, we can expect to live much longer than was reasonable at the beginning of the twentieth century.

But we can lead lives that are not only longer but richer, more loving, and more productive.

The next steps in stretching the limits of human health and longevity, I believe, will not be in biotechnology.

They will come from learning to govern the way we think and feel.

Detachment is a longevity skill.

Freedom from compulsive emotional entanglements is the best insurance against stress.

More than that, by opening a window onto a fuller, loftier view of life than that dictated by self-interest, detachment brings a sense
of purpose.

Without a reason for living, the human
being withers and dies inside.

However paradoxical it may sound, it is detachment that enables us to give ourselves wholeheartedly to worthwhile work without
ever getting depressed, despondent, or burned out – right into the last days of our lives.

Most people who work hard – which means most men and women – bring their work
home with them, yapping like a poodle at their heels.

At the dinner table, when they sit thinking about their deadlines and responsibilities, the poodle is nestled under the chair, whining away.

They curl up with it at night and dream about reports that haven’t been filed, statistics that don’t point to the right conclusions, mail that hasn’t been responded to or that has been sent out with the wrong memo attached.

Detachment gives us the capacity to
concentrate completely while on the job and to drop our work completely when we walk out the door.

A detached worker is a reliable worker, a
cheerful worker, a harmonious worker.

And when you can drop your work completely at the end of the day, you arrive home ready to give all your love to your family and friends.

You feel fresh, relaxed.

You have no need to give vent to the kind of frustration that millions of good people air: “Leave me alone. I’ve had a misera-ble day!”

Mahatma Gandhi worked fifteen hours a day for fifty years for all of us who want a politically free world.

When he was asked,“Don’t you want a vacation, Mr. Gandhi?” he said quietly, “I’m always on vacation.”

It wasn’t a flippant reply; he meant every word of it. So don’t content yourself with two weeks in July or two weeks at a sunbath resort in January.

You deserve three hundred and sixty-five days of vacation, and that is exactly what detachment can give you.

Detachment brings this kind of protection at
every stage of life.

Many of the physical problems associated with old age, for example, are not at all a
necessary part of aging.

The fact that they are common does not mean they are inevitable.

Not only senility but even certain physical problems may well have more to do with life-style and thought-style than with changes triggered by some biological clock.

As researchers have observed, we have focused
so much on “ordinary aging” – what happens to the majority – that we have ignored “successful aging,” which we can observe in men and women like Mahatma Gandhi, George Bernard Shaw, and Mother Teresa, who grow in wisdom and vitality right into the last days of a long, creative, fulfilling life.

I grant you that in the evening of your life you may not be able to compete successfully on Centre Court at Wimbledon.

But every one of us can enjoy the vitality,
resourcefulness, and unerring judgment that come from a heart full of love and a vast reservoir of experience.

Detachment and love relationships

In English the word detachment sounds passive,
callous, unfeeling.

Yet it is just the opposite, and the best way to see this is to look at its application in personal relationships.

Sanskrit have two words that are often
translated as “love” – two words with a world of
difference between them, and the difference is
detachment.

Prema is pure love, in which I want nothing but your happiness. Your joy is my joy.

Karma, on the other hand, is self-centered personal attachment, generally with romantic overtones.

In the language of karma, “I love you” means “you please me.” It also follows this with a condition:”You have to love me back!”

Most of us need no formal introduction to
karma.

Selfish attachment(reward & punishment) is what holds most romantic novels together, what most popular songs are based on, what most films depict in graphic detail.

It is discouragingly easy to mistake selfish
attachment for love if we do not really know what love is.

If you want to see some of the greatest lov-
ers of all time, don’t look to Romeo or Juliet; look at Saint Francis of Assisi, or lovely Saint Teresa of Avila.

All you need do is read Teresa’s autobiograph-ical accounts to know that she lived in the empire of love.

What a won-derful paradox: to know what love
means, we have to turn to men and women who we say have “renounced the world”!

Listen to Jacob Boehme, the “cosmic cobbler” of medieval Germany, as he tells us how he knew when he was in love – eternal love:

No life can express, nor tongue so much as
name, what this enflaming, all-consuming love of God is.

It is brighter than the sun, it is sweeter than
anything called sweet; it is stronger than all strength;
it is more nutrimental than food, more cheering to the heart than wine, and more pleasant than all the joy and pleasantness of the world.

Whoever obtaineth it is richer than any monarch on earth; and he who getteth it is nobler than any emperor can be,and more potent and absolute than all power and
authority.

Boehme is talking about love in the truest sense.

The mark of true love is as simple as it is rare: it is detachment from the tangle of personal motives that makes us seek happiness in making others conform to our desires.

Detachment and love go hand in hand.

When all selfish attachments are gone, what is
left is pure love.

The other person is so dear to you that you never have to ask yourself the question,
“What is she going to give me?” – in the way of
respect, of affection, of loyalty.

Once you efface that question from your vocabulary completely, you and that person are no longer separate; both of you are one. That is what love means.

The secret to transforming relationships through detachment

All of us begin the quest for love with a great deal of selfish attachment. That is human nature.

But with the help of meditation and the allied disciplines we can diminish this selfish element day by day, by putting the welfare of those around us first and our own personal predilections last.

But practicing detachment in personal
relationships does not come easily.

No other arena of life is more challenging.

Disrupted relationships are endemic today, and not because people are immoral or because they don’t care about one another; they just don’t know how to develop detachment.

If you cannot stand back from your own
pleasure and profit, you cannot help manipulating other people.

Naturally, this kind of manipulation corrodes loyal relationships of any kind.

It leads to their speedy end, as we can see in the lives of millions of lonely people today.

When you practice detachment continuously – at home, at work, among friends, and especially with difficult people – you will find how much security it brings you in your relationships.

A spiritually detached person, which to me means a very loving person, will never allow relationships to degenerate to stimulus and response.

The test is simple: Even if you are angry with me, can I stay calm and loving with you and help you overcome your anger?

If you persist in disliking me, can I continue to like you?

For it is when you dislike me that I have all the more reason to be loyal to you, to show you what loyalty really means.

This problem of disliking people, which is a very
common one today, is essentially a problem of
disliking the images we have formed of them.

It is a reflection on us rather than on those we do not like.

For in almost all human relationships, we see others not as they really are but as we are.

To a suspicious person, everybody seems suspect; to a resentful person, every action is worthy of resentment.

Similarly, to a loving person, everybody is worthy of love; every occasion is an opportunity to practice love.

It is not that situations never get difficult when
you are detached, or that people are never
unpleasant.

But the choice of response is in your hands.

All of us can develop the detachment not to
react to the way we are treated.

This is the easiest, most effective way to solve problems in human relationships.

I once read a good aphorism from Buckminster
Fuller. “We are not nouns,” he says pointedly; “we are verbs.”

People who are content with rigid images of
others are thinking of themselves and others as
nouns, as things.

Those who keep trying to get closer to others, to understand and appreciate them more all the time, are verbs: active, creative, dynamic, able
to change themselves and to make changes in the world they live in.

Here is the practical difference: When we don’t
like somebody, we say, “He upsets me. I’m not going to go near him.”

That relationship is static; it has no chance of improving.

On the other hand, when we can go against our dislikes, we can actually enjoy the opportunity such a person presents us.

Just imagine the freedom!

We enjoy being with people who like us,
of course, but we can also enjoy being with people who don’t like us.

Sometimes I think Gandhi used to look forward to this kind of opportunity, because he knew it would draw up from within him the deeper
creative resources he needed for his work.

Without this kind of freedom, “love” is more an
inclination that comes and goes like the wind.

When your girlfriend is catering to you, doing all the things you like, you say you love her.

But when she turns around and does something that irritates you, you blurt out, “Get lost!”

Doesn’t this happen all too often?

To love truly, you must be able to love when
things are going your way and equally well when things are not going your way.

This is the test of detachment.

After all, when your partner is being especially nice to you, it’s easy to be pleasant in return.

It is when she goes out of her way to offend
you that you should not walk out.

That is just the time to sit by her side and for every unkind word she utters, as Jesus says, give her seven words that are kind.

For every shove she gives you, try to move that
much closer.

To do this at home in the morning, at work
throughout the day, and then in the evening among family and friends, you have to have a good measure of detachment from yourself.

These are challenges that can appeal to us deeply: the “acts of will” that Saint Teresa of Avila says the Lord wants of us.

They are difficult, but they can be practiced, and to great effect.

To grow to our full potential in love, we need
to try every day to develop a little more detachment from ourselves.

Those who get angry and walk out, who get resentful and won’t sit at the same table with
others, are refusing to try to grow.

Their problem can be solved very simply, to the benefit of everyone around them: they need to practice detachment every day in every situation, in every relationship.

This reminds me of a beautiful incident from the life of Saint Thérèse of Lisieux, a young woman of our own century of whom I am very fond.

In her convent was a certain nun who had a knack for alienating others.

She seemed always to be waiting for someone to upset.

Naturally her sisters tended to avoid her – even Thérèse, the Little Flower, as she is sweetly called.

No one meant to be unkind; it was just that avoiding the unpleasant is so natural.

Then, with a shock, Thérèse realized what she
had been doing.

With her, as with Saint Francis – here is the mark of a saint! – to understand was to
act.

Immediately she began to make a point of giving her irritating sister a smile, answering her with kind words, doing little things to help her: although inside, she confesses, she used to wince with the effort.

One day, in a moment of marvelous simplicity,
that nun stopped Thérèse and surprised her with a question. “Sister, whenever we meet, you always give me such a sweet smile. Will you please tell me what attracts you so much to me?”

“Ah!” Thérèse confides to us. “How could I tell
her that what attracts me is Jesus, hidden in the
depths of her soul – Jesus who makes sweet that
which is most bitter!”

Jesus had taught her, “Bless them that curse you.

Do good to them that hate you.” That is love at its greatest.

In order to love like this, we cannot be attached to ourselves.

It is because we think so much about ourselves that we strike back, show resentment, speak harshly, move away.

Jesus’ words do not mean agreeing with
everything people say or supporting whatever they do.

In my role as a teacher wayback in time, I sometimes had to oppose people I love. Yet I did it tenderly, and I haven’t lost a single student friend from that part of my past.

On the contrary, my not so good friends now say, “Here is somebody who will stand by me
through thick and thin. If I make a mistake, he’ll support me, but he’ll do his best not to let me make that mistake again. If I’m going astray, he’ll bar my way with loving arms.”

As Shakespeare says, “Love bears it out even to
the edge of doom.” This is the secret of loving.

Let me repeat, for a long, long time everybody finds it difficult.

Everybody finds it distressing.

But when you go to bed after a day of practicing this kind of love, you know that you have grown.

You can stand against the wall and see that you have grown a full inch in spiritual stature.

Inch by inch, day by day, you can grow until your head is crowned with the stars.

That is our human destiny – the destiny for which all of us have been born.

Just some random thoughts that came to my mind….©Profarms’ Random Thoughts®

Heck! There are a thousand things I like about you,and then some more….

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I’m sitting here wondering
I’m sitting here thinking
Thinking, wondering about you,
What it is about you that I like
And I can’t seem to stop thinking
Of the endless things I like about you.

I’m caved in my little haven thinking
I like your lopsided smile, I like your laugh,
I like your simplicity, I like your lightheartedness,
I like your down to earth attitude
I like your adventurous spirit
I like your generosity and giving spirit.

And just when I think I’ve ran out of things
Things I like about you, then another thought pops in my head…
I like the way you take life as it comes,
I like your open mindedness,
I like your non judgmental attitude
I like the way you bring out your inner child
I like the way you are eager to learn and embrace new things.

I still keep thinking
I like the way your eyes light up
As you narrate about things that you like
In a spirited and animated way
I like the way you absorb in things
Even the nitty gritty details that most can’t be
bothered with
And that you remember them when necessary,
I like the way you can carry a deep conversation
I like your humour and that you don’t take life too seriously.

Wait, there’s still more things I like about you
That can’t fit in this limited media
That can’t all be said in a day, week, month or year
That can take a lifetime for me to say
Things that can only be appreciated forever
All this made me realize
That I like you, for you
And everything you are all about,
That I won’t be running out of things
That make me like you that easily
And it made me realize
That you must be a very special person
For me to sit down and think and wonder
And come up with an endless list
Of all the reasons I like you, and more….

Just some random thoughts that came to my mind….©Profarms’ Random Thoughts®

Lessons on love from the Wild; Like a dik dik, hold on to love that is yours and stray no more!

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I’m always fascinated by animal behaviour,especially more so because animals cannot tell us their thoughts,or explain their behaviour;we can only collate their perspectives about life from observing their behaviour.

I visited Samburu last week,and I saw dikdiks.

Those lucky enough to have the opportunity
to visit our national parks in Kenya, especially in areas of Samburu or Tsavo must have seen a very small gazelle, the dikdik.

It is the second smallest gazelle from the suni family.

It is also possible to see them outside the parks,
especially in semi-arid environment.

Being very small and not fast enough, the dikdiks are usually vulnerable to their predators.

The female poses tiny pointed horns that may be
basically useless against predators.

Although males develop slightly tougher horns, they use them more in courtship displays, and
against other males when protecting a territory.

But the horns are basically useless against the super predators.

Against all this odds, dikdiks still thrive and
are not among the endangered species. How
do they do it?

They employ what we call disruptive camouflage.

When danger calls they stand very still against a brush of dry vegetation, which effectively merges with the colour of the gazelle.

They don’t even blink.

Even with very sharp eyes of the eagles, it
would be very difficult to spot a dikdik if it has
already seen the enemy.

Another method the dikdik uses as a way of avoiding being eaten is to limit their numbers per territory.

They do this by chasing their children away from home as soon as they are weaned.

When they keep the numbers per area to minimum two, then there are ample areas to hide and also enough food to eat, so they don’t have to wonder around a large area looking for grazing ground.

In the bush, most times you will find the dikdiks living in twos.

Male and female. If there is a third one, it may well be a juvenile on his way out of home.

When they are feeding, one member of the couple would be watching, while the other one feeds.

They alternate as such and keep their back covered all the time.

In this case then, it is right to say that that dikdiks pair for life.

They are as celibate as the French and stay
true to the adage, “till death do we part”.

In their quest to protect their small territories, they mark the boundaries with a smelly oily secretions from a preorbital gland situated below the eyes.

They also deposit their dung in a communal spot, more like using a common toilet.

But at times, consumed by the male ego to show off to his wife, his will and commitment to protect her, he does it all the way to death.

He may become so preoccupied to watching
out for invading males, that he forgets that trouble may fall from heavens. The sky can fall.

I was driving around in Samburu National Park with clients on ecological study.

We were to be there for three days and each
time we went out for a game drive, the drive out of the lodge was the same.

There was a small thicket near the lodge which had a big acacia umbrella tree growing in the middle.

There was this couple of dikdiks that lived there.
They had made a good heap of dung in a small clearing to mark their territory.

The tree was also in the path of elephants heading to the river.

One day, a herd of elephants decided to use
the tree near the river as a shade.

As usual, they destroyed the bushes around the tree and there was no more ground cover for the dikdiks.

The elephants also dropped their dung all over the place, including on the dung heap of the dikdiks.

Thinking that the elephants were claiming their territory, the male dikdik waited until the elephants left the shade, then carefully dropped a pellet of his dung on top of the huge dropping of the elephant.

He was busy reclaiming his territory and reassuring his wife that however big the elephant dung was, his was on the top and the territory was restored.

He did not notice that he was completely in the open.

The bush cover had been destroyed by the elephants.

The female was well hidden away from the clearing but watching keenly what the male was doing.

Suddenly, the sky came tumbling down on the male dikdik.

A huge martial eagle had spotted the male dikdik from above and came down for lunch.

Sometimes it becomes necessary to change your
mind when situation changes,but who said love is a reasonable state of mind?

The male dikdik was only trying to hold to love that was his,and his alone;for that noble cause,he paid with his life!

Just some random thoughts that came to my mind….©Profarms’ Random Thoughts®

After we stop trying so hard to chase “happiness,” to control life and make it look the way it ought to look, then we can probably begin to have a pretty good time

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“If only we’d stop trying to be happy, we could
have a pretty good time.” ~Edith Wharton

Eighteen years ago a well-known Zen Master
accepted me as a long distance student.

In one of our first email exchanges I wrote, “Dear Teacher, I am trying to sit every day for thirty minutes and in my practice I am trying to follow my breath.”

“Please,” he wrote back, “stop trying. You are your breath.”

I remember reading his words and feeling
perplexed, confused, almost annoyed.

What in the world did he mean?

Wasn’t it obvious that we had no choice but to be our breath?

Weren’t we all breathing beings?

And how did “being breath” in the end relate to my life, to my meditation, to my hope of becoming a better human being.

When my teacher’s words arrived, getting to my meditation mat was a huge effort.

Once I finally managed to get to the meditation
mat, I would set the timer and start counting my
breath: one (breathe in), two (breathe out), three (breathe in), four (breathe out), five (breathe in), six (breathe out), seven (breathe in)…

Needless to say, my thoughts would
immediately jump in and I would find myself
losing track of my breath and my counting.

I would have to start back from number one,
only to see the distractions appear all over
again.

I don’t remember ever getting to number
ten.

Not only was carving out thirty minutes for
meditation a huge effort, even the apparently
simple task of counting the breaths revealed itself to be an exhausting endeavour.

I knew at an intuitive level that it shouldn’t have
been like that—I knew that my teacher was right—but I couldn’t quite put my finger on what I was doing wrong.

It took me eight years, and many major life crises, failures, losses, and divorce to understand the meaning of his words.

Now that my life has fallen apart like I never
thought it would or could, I know what my Zen
teacher meant: I was trying too hard.

I can now see that in my meditation I was not
actually “following” my breath.

I was trying, very hard, to catch it.

I was chasing it. I was trying to grasp it, trying to hold onto it, trying to make it fit into my orderly numbered, counting boxes.

I was trying so hard to reign it in. I was trying so hard to control it.

Once I realised that, it only took a moment of self- honesty and one quick look at myself to see how that same impulse to control my breath was
operating in all aspects of my life.

I was “trying” to be a good man and always
promptly responded to needs of others, even when their needs could have probably waited just a bit longer—enough, maybe, to give me a chance to finish a chore or a much treasured cup of tea.

I was “trying” to be a good man and “tried” to
always be available for conversation, even when all I wanted and most needed was some quiet time to myself or simply some peace to concentrate on cooking my dinner.

I was “trying” to be the do-it-all man and took on a full-time teaching job, one hour away, while still teaching evening music classes.

I was “trying” to keep the social life of the family rich and fun and took on social commitments during the weekend even though most of it needed to be spent cleaning my house or going to a walk.

Just like I did with my breathing, I was chasing
my life in the attempt to reign it in, to catch it,
to grasp it in the hope of gaining some control
over it.

It took a messy divorce and loss of my financial security, two moves in less then a year, financial
uncertainty, and more losses of friends to finally
admit that I just could not “try” anymore.

I could no longer make my life unfold the way I
wanted it to unfold or make it look the way I
thought it should look.

I could no longer “try” to make people happy; I
could no longer be what I thought they wanted me to be.

I desperately wanted healing, and yet I didn’t even have the physical strength or the mental clarity to begin to mend the broken pieces of my shattered life.

Unlike other financially stable people, I could not take off and go on a meditation retreat in India in the hope to find my own lost self; my cat and dogs needed me.

Nor could I go to Sychelles to be with my
friends who had gone there on vacation.

Instead, I found myself completely alone after
having lost the entire social circle I shared in my failed marriage, and after moving to a small apartment in a struggling small rural town where I had no connections whatsoever.

There, I had no choice but to confront my
brokenness and aloneness; there I had to accept all the limitations of my new life, and as Charles
Bukowski says in his poem “Alone,” there, I had to learn my walls, I had to accept them and learn to love them.

It turned out that for me the only way out of
my darkness was not to escape it but to plunge
right into it.

Among the walls of my apartment I found myself gravitating to the mat again only to find out this time that I couldn’t even physically sit.

I had so much emotional pain stuck in my abdomen and chest that I couldn’t even feel my breathing.

Since the only way I could become aware of my
breath was by lying down, I decided to meditate in a supine position, shavasana style.

Once I gave myself the permission to do that,
something great happened: I experienced gravity, and gravity held me and healed me.

My abdomen relaxed; I could finally feel my belly muscles rising and falling; I could finally feel my breath.

With gravity’s healing support, I could then observe the breath; I could notice it, witness it.

In my brokenness I had to finally let go of
control, surrendered to whatever my life was
and had become, trusting that the breath of
life would take me where I needed to be, every
day, every moment.

That was only few years ago and now I am finally able to sit on my meditation pillow.

Following the breath is also quite a different
experience.

When I sit, I am able to be a viewer, an observer.

I watch my breath, I watch what it’s doing, I observe its rhythm, its ups and downs, its
ins and outs, and I just let it be. I accept it with all its irregularities. I just let it do its thing.

I am not sure yet how all of this is getting played out in my life.

One thing I have learned, however, is that letting go of how we think our life should be
and letting ourselves fall, maybe even backward, into radical self-acceptance and radical self-love are gifts to be treasured—even if those gifts come through harsh life lessons and losses.

Some of us were lucky enough to come into the
world with those gifts built into our system.

Some of us have to consciously make an effort and work hard at cultivating them—sometimes at creating them, sculpting them from the raw matter of our mistakes and failures, inventing them out of nothingness because nothing or too little was given to us.

But that, in my opinion, is where it’s worth trying.

That is an effort worth making—one that will not assure us of a smooth ride but that might bring us to a place of inner peace, joy, appreciation, and gratitude, where a lasting transformation might actually happen.

And then, after we stop trying so hard to chase
“happiness,” to control life and make it look the way it ought to look, then we can probably begin to have a pretty good time.

Just some random thoughts that came to my mind….©Profarms’ Random Thoughts®

Walking yourself to a place of unconditional forgiveness

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“The greatest insight to personal awareness and freedom is when you arrive at a place in your life when you start feeling sorry for your enemy’s suffering.
Forgiveness does not change your past suffering and hurts, but it does enlarge your future”.

It is freeing to become aware that we do not have to be victims to our past hurts and slights, and can learn new ways of responding.

But there is a step beyond this recognition… It is the step of forgiveness.

Forgiveness is love practised among people who love us poorly.

It sets us free without wanting anything in return from them,they who have hurt us.

Having said that,I must start by confessing that I’m the type of person to hold a grudge.

It’s not that I want power over people, which is often the motive for holding a grudge, it’s just that I want all-due glory for my suffering.

This is what I mean: if somebody is causing me
some pain, I want them to know I am bearing it for them.

For this reason, it’s hard for me to forgive my enemies.

If people slam me on the internet,or even in real life, it’s hard to forgive.

If people undercut me in a business deal, it’s hard to forgive, too.

And for so long it seemed there was nothing I could do about it.

I knew I’d be better off to forgive, but how?

What are the steps to controlling your uncontrollable emotions?

I don’t fully know the answer to that question.

Part of the reason it’s so hard to forgive is pride.

If I forgive someone, it feels like I’m also saying that the other person had the right to do me wrong.

That doesn’t feel right.

But it’s a real feeling.

Even more difficult is having to forgive someone who hasn’t even recognised they’ve done me wrong.

So why forgive?

Before I say why, I should say how.

Here’s how:

•Go through the stages of grief.

Let the offence shock you, then let it completely hurt you.

Don’t avoid the pain.

Sit with it and feel it no matter how unbearable it is.

Please know it will end in time.

It will get 2% easier every day.

Just feel it like a toothache and soon enough it will transition into something bearable.

•Then let the offence make you angry.

Don’t lash it out to your perceived enemy, or you’ll be guilty yourself.

Talk about it with trusted friends but confess you’re angry and your emotions aren’t under control.

And don’t feel bad for being angry.

The last thing you need is anger and shame.

Just punch a pillow and make it through.

The anger, like the pain, will lessen over time.

•Then after being angry, accept what has been done.

Just accept it as a fact and don’t over analyse it. It happened.

This will still be shocking at first, but in time, you will accept it as a fact that you can’t change.

From there, you’re at a place to forgive.

It will be hard work, but it’s worth it.

Sit and pray for the person you’ve been hating.

Sit and imagine them with a good life, them
coming to realize that what they did was wrong, maybe not to you, but to somebody, perhaps to God.

•Then be willing to love them in your heart.

Want the best for them.

Hope for the best for them.

Stop praying for God to destroy them and pray
for God to bless them.

Pray for God to open up their hearts so they can receive the love that will stop them from hurting others.

This is the only way I know how to forgive.
• • •
Why then, should we feel obliged forgive?

Well, there are many reasons, but I’m only going to focus on a few.

The first is because, believe it or not, forgiveness is a pleasurable experience.

No kidding, it feels much better than anger or hate.

God has designed forgiveness as a powerful
blessing for those who have been hurt.

The experience of truly forgiving somebody can make you more happy than if you’d never been hurt in the first place.

•The second reason for you to forgive is that it removes you from being entangled in the rather dark thing that hurt you in the first place.

If it was a bad business deal, then you get to
be free of it and maintain your integrity.

If it was a family member talking behind your back, you get to remove yourself completely from all the complications of gossip.

Forgiveness sets you free from being bogged down in knee-deep mud of self destruction.

Forgiveness gives you a taste of what it feels like to obey God’s will that we forgive and love one another, and it’s a terrific feeling.

God forgave us because it gave Him pleasure to do so.

He was happy to do so.

Love forgives, and so does God, and so can you.

•The third reason to forgive is that you open yourself up to amazing possibilities for a happy life.

When you don’t forgive, you draw the curtains in your soul and your life gets dark.

When you forgive you let the light in again, and you go on about your life in peace. And don’t you want some peace?

Isn’t it time for some peace in your life?

The greatest thing about forgiveness is it will allow you to love again.

It will allow you to love and be loved.

And believe me, it’s worth it.

Forgiveness is tough, for sure, but love is infinitely more valuable than the pain of forgiveness costs.

No matter what you have to go through to forgive, you’re getting a steal of a deal to be able to love and be loved again.

Pay the price and I promise you’ll be happy you did.

Take a walk to a place of forgiveness in your life,and you will be glad you did it,more so for your own good,that that of your enemies.

Just some random thoughts that came to my mind….©Profarms’ Random Thoughts®

Why Approval Addiction Makes Everyone Miserable

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“To put it simply, addiction to approval puts your happiness under the control of others.”

If wanting the approval of others is a natural
desire as social scientists tell us, how can it be a problem?

The problem is that, like any drug, the high you get from getting approval eventually wears off.

If having the approval of others is the only way you know how to feel happy, then you’re going to be miserable until you get your next “fix.”

What this means is that simply wanting approval isn’t the problem.

The real issue is being too attached to getting approval from others as the only way to feel fulfilled.

To put it simply, addiction to approval puts your
happiness under the control of others.

Because their happiness depends on others,
approval addicts can be the most easily
manipulated.

I often see this with unhealthy or even abusive relationships.

All an abuser has to do is threaten to make the approval addict feel rejected or like they’re being selfish, and they’ll stay under the abuser’s spell.

Approval addiction leads to a lack of boundaries and ultimately resentment.

Many times I felt resentment toward others because they crossed my boundaries, and yet I would remain silent. I didn’t want to come across as rude for speaking up about how someone upset me.

The problem is this would lead to pent up
resentment over time, because there’s a constant
feeling that people should just “know better.”

When I took an honest look at the situation, though, I had to consider whose fault it was if resentment built up because my boundaries were crossed.

Is it the fault of the person who unknowingly
crossed those boundaries, or the person who failed to enforce boundaries out of fear of rejection?

Looking at my own life, I actually appreciate when someone I care about lets me know I’ve gone too far.

It gives me a chance to make things right.

If I don’t let others know how they’ve hurt me because of fear of rejection, aren’t I actually robbing them of the opportunity to seek my forgiveness and do better?

This leads me to my final point, approval addiction leads to being selfish.

The deception is that the selfishness is often disguised and justified as selflessness.

As a person who works with public and communities at a professional level, I’m exposed to critics.

If I don’t overcome a desire for wanting approval from everyone, then their opinions can stop me from sharing something incredibly helpful with those who’d benefit from my work.

Approval addiction is a surefire way to rob the
world of your gifts.

How selfish is it to withhold what I have to offer to others all because I’m thinking too much about what some people may think of me?

As strange as it sounds, doing things for others can be selfish.

On an airplane,in case of an emergency, they say to put the oxygen mask on yourself before putting it on a child.

This is because if the adult passes out trying
to help the child, both are in trouble.

In much the same way, approval addiction can lead a person to martyr themselves to the point that everyone involved suffers.

For instance, if a person spends so much time
helping others that they neglect their own health, then in the long run, it may be everyone else who has to take care of them when they get sick, causing an unnecessary burden.

Selfless acts, done at the expense of one’s greater priorities, can be just as egotistical and destructive as selfish acts.

•How to Overcome Approval Addiction

The first way to overcome approval addiction is to be gentle with yourself.

Wanting to feel connected with others is normal.
It’s only an issue when it’s imbalanced with other priorities like having boundaries.

What approval addicts are often missing is self-
approval.

We all have an inner critic that says things like, “You’re not good enough. You’re nothing
compared to these people around you. If you give yourself approval, you’re being selfish.”

You can’t get rid of this voice.

What you can do is choose whether or not to buy into it or something greater.

You also have a part of yourself that says, “You’re worthy. You’re good enough. You’re just as valuable as anyone else.”

The question becomes: “Which voice do I choose to align to?”

This often means asking yourself questions like,
“Can I give myself some approval right now? What is something I appreciate about myself?”

The next step is to then be willing to actually allow yourself to receive that approval.

To break approval addiction, remember to treat
yourself the way you want others to treat you.

In much the same way, you can overcome approval addiction by equally valuing other important things, such as your need for significance and control.

While wanting to control things can be taken too far just like wanting approval, it is the Yang to approval-seeking’s Yin.

Both are necessary for balance.

Questions that typically help me are: “Do I want
other people’s opinions have power over me?
Would I rather let this person control me or
maintain control over my own life?”

Finally, there is the ultimate key to overcoming
approval addiction.

It’s by using the greatest motivator— unconditional love.

Worrying about what other people think
masquerades as love.

In reality, when you really love someone, you’re willing to have their disapproval.

Imagine a parent with a child.

If the parent is too concerned about the child’s opinion of them, they might not discipline their child for fear of the child disliking them.

Have you ever seen a parent who lets their child get away with anything because they don’t want to be the “bad guy?” Is this truly loving?

To break approval addiction, I realised I had to ask one of the most challenging questions anyone could ask themselves: Am I willing to love this person enough to have them hate me?

If you really care for someone, telling them, “You’re screwing up your life” and having them feel the pain of that statement might be the most loving thing you can do.

This comes with the very real possibility they will
reject you for pointing out the truth.

However, if you love someone, wouldn’t you rather have them go through a little short-term pain in order to save them a lot of pain down the road?

On the upside, many people will eventually come to appreciate you more in the long term if you’re willing to be honest with them and prioritise your love for them over your desire for their approval.

If you have to share a harsh truth, my mentor, Joseph Nderu Kimani , taught me that you can make this easier by first asking, “Can I be a true friend?” to let them know what you’re about to say is coming from a place of love.

I’ve found that everything, including the desire for approval, can serve or enslave you depending on how you respond to it.

Do you use your desire for approval as a force to help you see things from other people’s
perspective, or do you use it as a crutch on which you base your happiness?

Do you use your desire for approval as a reminder to give yourself approval, or do you use it as an excuse to be miserable when others don’t give you approval?

Finally, are you willing show the ultimate
demonstration of genuine love—sacrificing your desire for approval in order to serve another?

I believe the best type of approval would be your own self-approval;other peoples approval should only work as a bonus to this,and that is not selfish-it is just as we are told to “love others as much as we love ourselves”.

Can you love others “more”,if you love yourself “less”?

Hmmmmm. Ponder that. Or even much better,meditate on it!

Just some random thoughts that came to my mind….©Profarms’ Random Thoughts®

Just some random thoughts that came to my mind….©Profarms’ Random Thoughts®

Little surprises and deliberately scripted “happiness routine” that bring great happy moments

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You know the feeling when you find your own money that had slipped down the back of the couch?

Or when you find something that you totally forgot you had?

What if you could manufacture your life to have more positive experiences like these?

I’ve been experimenting with this too.

I’ve tried setting random calendar notes or reminders for several weeks’ time, each with a short positive note or inspirational message to myself.

Both add a nice surprise to the day when you receive them out of the blue.

Perhaps order yourself a gift to arrive in the distant future and totally forget about it until it arrives.

Or maybe leave hidden notes in completely random places all over the house.

Get creative, because anything goes.

Even better still, begin crafting these little surprises for others too.

A couple of times a month think of somebody close to you and figure out a way you can help them.

Maybe that’s with a call or a surprise visit.

Maybe that’s a thoughtful gift or simply paying them a genuine compliment.

The world needs more pleasant surprises.

A few weeks ago I found myself having a bad day.

The frustrating thing was that on the outside
everything was okay, nothing had explicitly gone wrong, but inside everything was a mess.

It was one of those days where you’re in a constant battle with yourself.

At the beginning of this century I saved up enough to be able to quit my job and focus on building my own private business.

But on this particular day I felt nothing but doubt about my general progress and direction in life.

I couldn’t get my head straight, my business creativity was drained, and with everything I attempted I came up against a mental block.

In silent despair, I sank into my office chair and
stared blankly across the room.

As I gazed ahead, I looked at pictures from my travels stuck on the wall.

Each was a reminder of good times I’ve had
and things to look forward to in the future.

To the left, Steve Jobs’ biography sat staring at me on the shelf.

It’s tactfully put there, so that on days where I feel like I’m incapable of producing anything worthwhile, I get a reminder of what’s possible.

I’ve recently been experimenting with
incorporating things in my daily life to add
extra inspiration.

Things that give extra motivation when days are good and provide a weatherproof layer for the days when things aren’t going so well.

If our routines and everyday life occur by chance, it’s unlikely that they set us up to have the happiest, most meaningful and productive days that we’re capable of.

So I’ve started being deliberate in how I sculpt and script my days and routines. I guess you could call it happiness architecture.

Of course, true lasting happiness takes practice.
It’s a long-term commitment of expressing gratitude, being aware of our negative self-talk, and developing the ability to see the world around us with more optimism.

So, while designing your days isn’t a quick fix for instant happiness, it’s a way to help cultivate a fertile environment for happiness to grow.

Here are some of the things I’ve been toying with:

•Physical space and aesthetics

The easiest place to start sculpting a happier life is with your physical space.

Design your surroundings so they inspire you.

This doesn’t mean you have to move to the Himalayas or to a villa beside the sea,but instead craft your current surroundings so they
make you happier.

The reason Disneyland is considered one of the
happiest places on Earth isn’t by chance, but
because around every corner is a Mickey Mouse, a Disney Princess, or another deliberately crafted inspiring moment.

Craft your own daily Disneyland.

This is the reason for my strategically placed
biography of Steve Jobs.

It’s the reason I drink coffee out of a mug that reads “Follow Your Dreams.”

It’s the reason for the inspiring quotes
and messages all over my walls and on the
wallpaper of my computer.

Have daily reminders of your goals dotted around the house.

Surround yourself with plants, paintings,
colours, and other visual elements that make you happy.

Anything that can help ensure that not a single day goes by without some sort of visual kick-up-the-backto inspire you to be happier.

• The Company you keep

The people you spend time with can either raise or squander your energy and positivity.

If you want to be happier, be deliberate in choosing who you spend your time with.

I’m not the most extroverted of people, so who I’m spending time with can be the difference between me coming across as some crazy, passionate guy or a timid, bashful guy.

The latter of which tends to leave me questioning myself—“ What’s wrong with
me?” “Why am I so quiet?”

Very few of us are fortunate enough to be able to spend 24/7 around inspiring people who light us up, but we can craft opportunities to spend time with (or at very least call) somebody who inspires us a couple of times a week.

We often default to whatever company is available to us, just to avoid being alone.

We don’t pay any attention to how negatively that company might affect us.

Be totally honest with yourself and ask: does
spending time with these people make me come
away feeling better or worse?

If the answer is worse, then maybe it’s not worth it after all.

•Time for passionate things

Perhaps most importantly, we need to be very
deliberate with how we spend our time.

It’s so easy to fall into a routine and stay there no matter how counter-productive or negative it may be.

I try to do something I’m passionate about every single day.

For you, this could be taking an action that contributes toward a big goal, or maybe it’s
learning to dance Salsa, playing an instrument, or another activity you love to do.

You don’t have to spend long on it, but there’s a lot of satisfaction that can be had knowing that no matter how manic and stressful life may be, you are still working toward something that is
meaningful to you.

Make time to lose yourself in a book.

Give yourself a sacred fifteen minutes every morning to savour and enjoy a steaming of tea or coffee.

Make time to meditate, to enjoy the moment and to feel gratitude for all that you have.

Dedicate a part of your day to going out into nature and noticing the sound of the birds, the crisp bite of the wind, or simply the gentle crunch of the leaves beneath your feet.

Your time is the most precious thing in your life.

Without it, nothing else could exist.

•Elimination the negative by dealing with it,whichever way

With that in mind, just adding more positivity to
our days will always have limited success without eliminating the negative too.

I find it useful to eliminate the news from my life—I found that watching it caused me to see the world with so much more fear and negativity.

That’s not to say I turn a blind eye to that which is happening in the world, but instead I choose to ignore the negative slander that the news puts on everything.

Look at your own day and try to figure out what you can take out. What needs pruning?

What routines or habits have you got that add
nothing to your life—or worse, which ones actually have a negative effect?

Maybe you find the traffic always leaves you angry on the way to work, so search for a different route instead.

The road through the countryside may take
you longer, but if it inspires you more and leaves you more positive, then it’s time well spent.

Take the time to notice the other stressors in your life.

Which of these can you remove completely?

And if you can’t remove them, how can you reduce their impact?

Life is short.

We all have a limited time here, so it’s so important that we’re deliberate in how we use it.

That means being intentional and designing our lives to leave us as happy and fulfilled as possible.

Don’t leave that up that chance.

Enjoy your little moments;when these litlle moments add up in your lifetime,you will look back and say;” I lived a “great life” in my little moments!

Just some random thoughts that came to my mind….©Profarms’ Random Thoughts®

Just some random thoughts that came to my mind….©Profarms’ Random Thoughts®

Random Thoughts

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Do you enjoy sipping your strong tea like I do?

In modern society most of us don’t want to be in touch with ourselves; we want to be in touch with other things like religion,sports, politics, a book – we want to forget ourselves.

Anytime we have leisure, we want to invite something else to enter us,opening ourselves to the television and telling the television to
come and colonise us

Anxiety, the illness of our time, comes primarily from our inability to dwell in the present moment.

You must be completely awake in the present to enjoy the tea.

Only in the awareness of the present, can your hands feel the pleasant warmth of the cup.

Only in the present, can you savour the aroma, taste the sweetness, appreciate the delicacy.

If you are ruminating about the past, or worrying about the future, you will completely miss the experience of enjoying the cup of tea.

You will look down at the cup, and the tea will be gone.

Life is like that.

If you are not fully present, you will look around and it will be gone.

You will have missed the feel, the aroma, the delicacy and beauty of life.

It will seem to be speeding past you.

The past is finished.

Learn from it and let it go.

The future is not even here yet.

Plan for it, but do not waste your time worrying about it.

Worrying is worthless.

When you stop ruminating about what has already happened, when you stop worrying about what might never happen, then you will be in the present moment.

Then you will begin to experience joy in life.

As much as this was about tea,its modest aim is to teach us to savour the present moment.

From time to time, to remind ourselves to relax and be peaceful, we may wish to set aside some time for a retreat, a day of mindfulness, when we can walk slowly, smile, drink tea with a friend, enjoy being together as if we are the happiest people on Earth.

Just some random thoughts that came to my mind….©Profarms’ Random Thoughts®

Giving up and letting go-are they one and the same thing?

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“Holding on is believing that there’s only a past;letting go is knowing that there’s a future”.

I want a lot of things in this life.

Some of them are things I imagine in passing it would be nice to have, but some of them are things I truly intend to obtain,in my mind,by all means.

In other words, for the things I truly desire, I am willing to work hard,humble myself, and sacrifice.

I sincerely intend to make them happen and will do whatever is within my power to make them happen.

And yet, while doing so has helped me successfully achieve many goals I have set in my
life, there are still things I want that I haven’t
gotten, despite having executed the strategy
described above.

Some of them are general life goals, some are fitness goals, and some are personal goals.

I understand that we only have so much time,
energy, and attention to devote to anything, which limits the number of goals we can meaningfully intend to achieve.

But sometimes it’s not a matter of me spreading
myself too thin or not setting aside the time to make the magic happen.

Sometimes I do everything “right,” but the prize just doesn’t come to pass.

Despite my best efforts and appropriate focus and intention, I don’t always get the results I want.

I don’t get to build the house I dreamed of.

I did everything right, but it doesn’t pan out.

It sucks.

But it’s part of being human.

Over time, I have realised when something like this happens, I have a choice: I can give up, or I can let go.

At first glance, the two may seem to be similar, because they both result in me acknowledging that what I wanted isn’t likely or definitely isn’t going to happen.

But there are some subtle yet significant differences.

Read on for an explanation of the distinctions
between giving up and letting go and for an
explanation of why they matter.

See if you agree with my belief that it is better to let go than to give up.

•Giving Up

When I give up, I decide it’s futile even to try anymore-at anything.

I decide there is a finite amount of satisfaction and fulfilment in the world, and now that
I’ve been thwarted in this goal, there is less of it for me to get.

The fact that someone else prevailed where I wanted to means they are standing in the way of my happiness.

So I start to dislike that person, and any person who might get any other thing I want, even if they worked as hard or harder.

I develop a sense of entitlement, and I don’t feel like working hard anymore, because what’s the use?

•Letting Go

When I let go, on the other hand, I make a point of remembering how good my life is, even without the thing I want.

I appreciate that the very process of pursuing what I wanted helped me make strides toward self-actualisation.

I recognise there might actually be some good to me not getting the thing I want.

Maybe I’m not ready, or maybe what I actually
wanted was something I thought only achieving my goal could give me, only now I’ve figured out I could get it in another way.

I redouble my efforts to work for the things I want, because I understand I will be a
better person for the effort no matter the outcome.

Now. Lest you think I sound contradictory, rest assured that in order for me to get to the letting go, I almost always first have to go through the giving up.

But ultimately, I am able to get there, albeit maybe after some wallowing and self-pity.

Another surprising outcome of the letting go
rather than the giving up is that sometimes it is
after I have let go that I finally do get the thing I want.

It seems it is only once I truly come to realize
that my life will be fine whether I get the thing or not, that I can be equally happy with or without it, that I’m in a position to appreciate the thing as part of the constellation of good things that make up my life, rather than putting the pressure on it that needing to have it does.

Put in a different way,giving up creates resentment out of a false sense of entitlement,while letting go is liberating in that,my happiness is not totally linked to the outcome of letting go.

Letting go somehow becomes a joyful loss to things that I should lose to create room for new and better things in my life.

Just some random thoughts that came to my mind….©Profarms’ Random Thoughts®

My deepest respect is for that single girl who chooses to drink alone

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I’m some sort of an expert on Women.

I mean,that’s what you would call my pretence to understand women.

But I respect women.

Especially the confident single woman.

Picture this;

She walks in and perches herself on a stool, retrieves her phone from her handbag then leans over and hooks her purse under the counter.

She smiles at the barman and they have a brief conversation.

When she smiles you see a little crease at the corner of her eye.

Which means she is not a day under 34.

Plus her elbows tell a story.

They can hide their age with their lips and with their makeup, but their elbows will always tell the truth.

She, very flittingly, looks around then settles on the TV above.

She’s bedecked in a crisp white top with a greenish skirt that she might insist on calling lime.

She has hips, you can tell, by the way they spread out on that stool.

At the end of her endless long legs are these sexy dark-red high heels – the colour of
an ox’s heart.

Drinking ritual

Her drink is set before her; a frosty glass of white wine.

She mouths a “thank you” to the barman and sends him away with a gracious smile.

She holds the stem of her glass but doesn’t sip it immediately; she just holds it there, staring at it, as if she is saying a small prayer for God to bless the hearts of all the men who grow
grapes in the vast vineyards of Stellenbosch.

That ritual looks like how we treat our first double of whisky,or cold beer; with reverence, with occasion, with expectation.

Finally she brings the glass to her glistening lip-glossed lips and takes a small, delicate and almost cautious, sip.

Then there is that moment when her throat moves as she swallows.

And the whole room swallows with her.

She isn’t drop-dead gorgeous, this girl.

I suspect most drop-dead gorgeous women can’t bear to sit alone in bars, not because they will be hit on, but because that kind of beauty
brings with it loneliness.

This lady is average-looking, with an interesting face; a sort of angular face with a nicely curved jawline, flawless skin and eyes that sparkle with knowledge.

The kind of lady who you won’t have to explain to what Charlie Hebdo is.

Even though her beauty doesn’t jump right at you immediately, you can feel her confidence and charisma occupy the empty seat next to her.

Terrific personality

You can tell that she has a terrific personality by the way she sits with her back straight.

The way her chin remains upward.

The way she wears that look that is aloof but without being aggressively unfriendly at the same time.

She could be married or divorced, in a relationship or single,she could be a lesbian or a mother, or both, but what we know for a fact is what we can see; that she isn’t wearing a wedding band.

But even that could mean anything.

You can tell she has been around the block.

That all the innocence of her 20’s has been replaced with a hard-won cynicism in her 30s.

You can tell she has fought many fights, some small, others big.

She has fought men and she has fought women and she has lost some and won a few, but that all the wins didn’t give her as much pleasure as she imagined they would because they were about making a statement, not derivatives of
pleasure.

You can tell that at that age her circle of friends has grown smaller and smaller over time because she has continually appraised them and weeded out those who have become
baggage.

And she finds herself here, at this point of her life where she can come to a bar like this alone and order a drink because she doesn’t have to prove anything to anyone, least of all,herself.

You know she is alone, and isn’t waiting for anyone because she isn’t looking at the door, or her watch.

She isn’t on her phone to go on Facebook or Twitter because she is trying to kill time, to look engaged or distracted.

She is just happy to be alone.

With her thoughts.

With her drink.

With her time.

We are about five men on this particular bar counter and she is the only lady.

We have recognised her presence, all right,
even though she doesn’t seem to have recognised ours.

But I’m sure she might have because she is a woman, and they are subtle and alert.

I can bet if we asked her, she will tell us
what colour of socks all of us are wearing at that counter.

Including the barman.

That’s how women are with minutiae.

Because the bar we are in is those bars where we don’t assume a lone woman needs company, we don’t bother her.

Nobody sends her a drink.

Nobody ogles at her.

At this point we don’t even see her as a lady.

We don’t see her as a man either.

She is just one of us without being like us.

She’s the lone lady at the bar.

I’m forever fascinated by this type.

I always sit and wonder who they are, what they do, where they come from, the struggles they face, what they are thinking and I always play this game in my head where I profile them.

Show of poise

The lone lady at the bar is the type who manages to sit alone without looking lonely.

The type who you know doesn’t want your company, or your business card, or your lame opening lines.

And it’s sexy because it’s not even a show of independence; it’s a show of poise.

However, there is a difference between this girl and a high- class hooker.

While you might attempt to catch this girl’s eye,
the hooker will attempt to catch yours.

She will hold your gaze ever so briefly, then look away as if she is just too shy to look you in the eye.

Well, she isn’t shy at all.

She is a long-tailed fox.

But the lone lady at the bar decides how many glasses of whatever she is drinking she is going to consume and then she will run her card and get off her stool.

We will all watch her go, with a mixture of feelings: regret, thin-veiled admiration, fascination, wonder, lust…

It takes quite a woman to sit alone at a bar, amongst men, and not feel like she’s over her head.

To sit in the lair of men and command respect.

To buy her own drink and own her own space in that bar without drawing too much attention to her sex.

For that I raise our glass to you, because it’s sexy.

And just to be clear, sexiness is not a dress you wear.

Sexiness is how your presence wears a room.

Just some random thoughts that came to my mind….©Profarms’ Random Thoughts®

My minimalist life,away from spotlight

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Under the Radar,Life was cold and everything was so damn complicated.

My heart was stuck in the middle, it
was so intimidated.

Every small move I made was watched
with sneer.

Every effort I made held with scepticism.

That’s what I used to be, but now, the
sorrows have disintegrated.

Out of radar,I guess now is the time for
me to show that I run fast, and suddenly I found everything quickly grows into a solid purpose.

But I’ll always remember a little man in
the afterglow of a lost race,trying to prove a thing or two to the world.

Well, that’s little me, covered by dust
not so long ago…from a fall that shook the ground around me.

Out of radar, maybe you’ll never know who I am.

Far away from the crowds, you might never
know who this man is.

Suddenly time goes by and here is
where I barely stand.

You’ll never know me now, I’ve ‘done all the best I can,
But still,it proves nothing to the world.

Nothing in my life,as I now realise,was meant to prove anything to the world;it was always meant to serve my self-centred interests.

In my heart,I know all my struggles and
small victories.

None in the world needs to declare me
a victor or a loser; It’s for my life that I live.

Out of radar,suddenly all the dust storms turn to gold, and once again these eyes of mine blink and blink again;this is the kind of life I’ve been wishing for!

The glory of a shining crown wipes away all my sorrows and tears.

Well, maybe I have lost everything in order to gain everything.

I’ve been dying before this, but you can
see that now I’m breathing.

On the radar, in the darkness of the
day, I drowned;

It’s like I was the worst thing on earth,
cynically the world frowned on me.

I’ve tried to be good, but then mercilessly,life on spotlight always brought me down.

But look at me now and see who’s finally got the crown!

Out of radar, I’ve been up and down in
this long journey of life.

Been trying to be anything else but
then realize it’s not me.

All the miseries have gone and the
pain has turned to history.

Slowly but sure, I finally found the
right person who to be;I want to be out
of everyone’s radar.

…Coz that’s the only way I can be that
person that I want to be; And that is to be Myself.

Just some random thoughts that came to my mind….©Profarms’ Random Thoughts®

Flying Solo: Loneliness is the price we pay for our personal freedom

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“Too late for second-guessing, too late to go back to sleep, it’s time to trust my instincts, close my eyes:
and leap…and if I’m flying solo, at least I’m flying free…”~Soundtrack lyrics from the Movie “Wicked”

I personally, think one of the highest prices of
freedom is loneliness.

Being LONELY, just typing that word makes it feel like whining.

No one likes to admit it. I hate it, but it’s true.

They say, stand up for what you believe in, even if you’re standing alone.

“They” (whoever they are) weren’t kidding.

When we were 20something,we were all striving to find that place and find what it is we’re supposed to be standing up for and when we get the gumption to stand up, sometimes we find that we really are standing alone.

Sometimes that feeling of loneliness can be
overwhelming!

It can engulf our mood and be a catalyst for a what-is-wrong-with-me pity party that we all tend to throw occasionally for ourselves.

But isn’t that what we want?

Isn’t “being on our own” the goal?

Well yes, but we didn’t want to feel ALONE while we’re out enjoying being independent and free.

We fought for our intellectual, financial and personal independence… so why are we whining about it?

I’ll tell you, because while we forged forward we
forget the price and the bottom line… loneliness
hurts!

So when that feeling hit us, do we sit down?

Do we retreat home, back to the comfort zone?

HECK, NO!

We work thorough it and we keep going
forward.

As a child, “The Wizard of Oz” was my all-time favourite movie.

I watched it so many times I wore the VHS out.

(I know the young things today will never understand the true magnitude of that statement, because they never watched tapes, they only understand DVR or DVD, but for us 40soemthings and above, I know you can
appreciate that)

I loved that movie. (I also attribute my fear of
thunderstorms to that movie.)
Anyhow, to see “Wicked” for my 50th birthday was amazing.

I sat wide-eyed soaking in every moment.

Wicked explained a lot of the “why” questions that arose for me as a child while watching the Wizard of Oz.

Why is the witch so mean, why is the lion a
coward, why is the scarecrow a fool?

You know all that stuff.

It explained the back-story of the characters
and the “price” they paid to get to where they are.

There is a breaking point for the Wicked Witch, (who P.S is NOT so wicked) and she decides to take the road less travelled.

In this scene, her character is depicted as a 20something and I thought the lyrics
were very appropriate;

“Too late for second-guessing, too late to go back to sleep, it’s time to trust my instincts, close my eyes:
and leap…and if I’m flying solo, at least I’m flying free…”

I loved those lyrics.

I ran out and bought the soundtrack at a local music store,”Assanads of Moi Avenue,Nairobi” (which was insanely overpriced and I could have bought from street vendors for ½ the price.)

However, I bought it because that song
spoke to our generation and where we are in our lives.

It leaves out any visions of grandeur of yellow
brick roads and gets right to the truth- that…there comes a point when we break away, from family, friends, old habits, old routines and stand on the brink of our lives and are faced with a decision—we either leap or not.

Before we take the plunge, we think about the price, we think about the ramifications of our actions.

Could we fail?

Could we get our hearts broken?

Can we get our spirit broken?

Will we lose faith in our dreams, or worse, ourselves?

Will we lose touch with friends or an old love?

Will we regret it?

Will we end up alone?

We run a million questions through our head, we think about the price of freedom and independence, the things we have been avoiding while we worked to get to this point.

But now we’re here on the edge, so what do you do?

Run back to what you know or close your eyes and take a leap of faith into your personal freedom?

We survived high school, in some cases college
and now we are adults.

We have made tons of mistakes at all points in our lives.

But from mistakes comes wisdom and experience.

We have to mess up to keep figuring it all out.

But, the only way to move forward is to close your eyes and leap onto the next.

Leave the questions, the past mistakes and the
doubts behind.

Hold onto the reality that it won’t be all rainbows and sunshine.

That sometimes… you’re flying solo, fighting off the feeling of loneliness, but remember; at least you’re flying.

Loneliness is a funny thing… you can sit in an
apartment 2 hours from home and feel it, but it can also follow you to a crowded bar and still make you feel like you’re on your own.

But shake it off!

That crappy “alone” feeling will pass and when it does, we will be happy that we didn’t sacrifice our fight for intellectual, financial and
personal independence.

Loneliness is the price we pay for our freedom!

Just some random thoughts that came to my mind….©Profarms’ Random Thoughts®

A New Year Resolution for my neighbour~please buy a new bed!

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There is something I have been meaning to get off my chest for the last three years, but for some reason, whenever I sit down to write about it, I end up writing about something else.

This time round, however, nothing will derail me, so allow me to tell you what happened to me many years ago.

A squeaky bed is quite irritating and awkward.

You don’t have to alert your neighbours every time you are engaging in bedroom gym activities.
I was only two months into my first job after college when I moved into a new flat.

I was not enthusiastic about the move — if you have ever moved house, you know how hectic it is, it can be a headache-inducing affair.

However, the move was absolutely necessary; therefore I grinned and took it like a man — at least the flats were new, so we would not have to go through the unpleasant job of scrubbing and sterilising the toilet and bathroom.

Like any other reasonable co-tenant in an apartment, I would mute the TV, radio, and anything else that needed muting after 10.00pm in the night.

I also closed the windows, and abstained from opening the kitchen or bathroom tap, tiptoe, and open doors in slow motion. Yes,but I now see it; I was a difficult person to live with then …

Anyway, I managed to move without breaking a glass, and by evening, all the necessary items had been unpacked and put in their respective place.

Poor me!I was so exhausted; I must have fallen into a deep dreamless slumber a second after dropping into my bed — only for loud screeching and thumping to rudely wake me up about three hours later.

In my confusion, I thought someone had broken into the house, but once the cobwebs of sleep cleared, I realised that the commotion was coming from somewhere above me.

A few more seconds of the rude sounds and it finally dawned on me that my bedroom ceiling was someone else’s bedroom floor.

What is the standard furniture in bedrooms — beds and wardrobes, right?

Since we do not sleep in wardrobes, then you know what was making those ungodly noises at 3a.m…

I almost wept with frustration, because I knew there was no way I could go back to sleep with all that commotion, but even worse, because I knew that it was just a matter of time before that rocking bed planted sinful thoughts into my “innocent” mind.

Sure enough, it did, and my dear sleep was gone,for eternity till dawn.

Dear readers, the creaking bed upstairs had mercy on me about 20 minutes later (not that I was counting) and by then, I was ready to storm upstairs and haul the randy couple out of
bed.

It took me no less than two hours to go back to sleep, but by then, my neighbours were getting up, so there was a lot of slamming of doors and
footsteps moving back and forth.

The following night, the affectionate couple was at it again at 3 a.m., and the routine of me and my irritable son was repeated once again.

Though I was tempted several times, I restrained myself from marching upstairs to tell my active neighbours to buy a new
bed. Instead, I embarked on looking for another house to rent in earnest.

By the end of that month; I was out of there, hopeful that my next upstairs neighbours had a firmer bed.

Lucky for me, they did.

My fellow Kenyans, when someone mentions the word investment, most of us picture farms,plots and rental houses.

I beseech you, whatever big project you plan to invest your hard-earned money on this year, if your bed groans whenever you turn, and you live in a flat, please, first invest in a new bed, a firm bed — you could just have preserved the sanity of a lonely and unattached single man downstairs!

Just some random thoughts that came to my mind….©Profarms’ Random Thoughts®

A New Year,an old-fashioned sort of loving!

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I used to have a great time dating, but somehow things feel quite different now.

In my20s, every relationship was exciting.

But that’s changed.

Somehow far fewer women fit my needs nowadays.

Maybe I’m getting pickier?

Could that be it?

Dating used to be all about fun; being with someone where I felt a spark.

Compatible could wait.

Now I want more stability.

Even if I still feel it’s too soon to commit, I
want someone I can have a peaceful future with.

Someone who has their life held together nicely.
Who is responsible and reliable.

It used to be I just wanted someone hot and sexy.

Instant passion.

Looks were everything.

Now I want character.

Someone who’ll help me to be a better person.

And desire that lasts.

Now I won’t sleep with someone until I’m
sure I know exactly what I want in her bed, and not just how to get it.

In the past,having similar interests was enough.
Now I need compatible life- goals.

I used to be happy if someone treated me nicely.
Now I want someone who goes on caring, long after the first few heady weeks of falling in love.

It used to be that all I wanted was someone to love.

Now I want someone who knows how to love me.

And who can cope with all my crazy habits and shortcomings.

Years ago, I would probably have given an ex another chance.

I wouldn’t now, because I’ve realised there’s
always an important reason that can’t be fixed when a relationship fails,even once,even for a trivial reason.

I’M TIRED OF DRAMA

I used to want someone who would make me happy.

But now that’s not enough.

I need someone who consistently shows they appreciate my presence in their life, who doesn’t start taking me for granted.

I’ve learned that neither great beauty,nor chemistry on a date means joy in the bedroom.

Just because our communication is
totally synchronised, doesn’t mean our bodies will be.

I’ve grown tired of drama.

My date’s jealousy or temper doesn’t necessarily show their love,but most probably their psychopath tendencies.

It shows they’re incapable of having a healthy relationship.

I’ve grown tired of flaky behaviour — like saying they’ll call and then they don’t.

Or lending them money and never ever getting it back.

Or being hard on my waiter — one day that will be me on the receiving end.

I can tell a lot about someone by the way they interact with people in the service industries.

I’ve discovered that the truth really matters.

That saying exactly how I see things, right from the beginning, is what creates genuine attraction.

And that it’s honesty that builds that attraction into a solid relationship.

So yes, I’m pickier.

My interests and values have changed, and my goals and interests become more deeply defined.

Now I know what really matters.

And realise that love is elusive, dreams don’t come true, and nothing in life works out
quite as you planned.

And that’s actually a much more solid base on which to build a relationship.

One that will sustain me through years of joy
and happiness right into my ripe old age.

Just some random thoughts that came to my mind….©Profarms’ Random Thoughts®

Dont be the one to beat yourself down this new year!

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tibetan monk self-immolation photo

tibetan monk self-immolation photo

If you keep on scrubbing your life to make it perfectly clean of all human errors,faux paus,mistakes and wrong judgements,you will never be left with enough time to live it.

long pencil stem,short eraser end photo

long pencil stem,short eraser end photo

The reason that a pencil has a very short
eraser end and longer stem is that,you are not
expected to erase everything you write,even when it is bound to be “all wrong” sometimes.

The same thing applies to life~there is not enough time to correct all the mistakes you have made in your life,in just one lifetime!

Just some random thoughts that came to my mind….©Profarms’ Random Thoughts®

This is where life lives, in the little moments

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Over the years I’ve learned dozens of little tricks and insights for making life more fulfilling.

They’ve added up to a significant improvement in the ease and quality of my day-to-day life.

I call them;the little moments where life actually lives.

But the major breakthroughs have come from a handful of insights that completely rocked my world and redefined reality forever.

The world now seems to be a completely different one than the one I lived in about ten years ago, when I started looking into the mechanics of quality of life through Buddhist meditation.

It wasn’t the world (and its people) that changed really, it was how I thought of it.

Maybe you’ve had some of the same insights.

Or maybe you’re about to.

• You are not your mind.

The first time I heard somebody say that, I didn’t like the sound of it one bit. What else could I be?

I had taken for granted that the mental chatter in my head was the central “me” that all the experiences in my life were happening to.

I see quite clearly now that life is nothing but passing experiences, and my thoughts are just one more category of things I experience.

Thoughts are no more fundamental than smells, sights and sounds.

Like any experience, they arise in my awareness, they have a certain texture, and then they give way to something else.

If you can observe your thoughts just like you can observe other objects, who’s doing the observing?

Don’t answer too quickly.

This question, and its unspeakable answer, are at the centre of all the great religions and spiritual traditions.

• Life unfolds only in little moments.

Of course! I once called this the most important thing I ever learned.

Nobody has ever experienced anything that wasn’t part of a single moment unfolding.

That means life’s only challenge is dealing
with the single moment you are having right now.

Before I recognised this, I was constantly trying to solve my entire life — battling problems that weren’t actually happening.

Anyone can summon the resolve to deal with a single, present moment, as long as they are truly aware that it’s their only point of contact with life, and therefore there is nothing else one can do that can possibly be useful.

Nobody can deal with the past or future, because, both only exist as thoughts, in the present.

But we can kill ourselves trying.

• Quality of life is determined by how you deal
with your moments, not which moments happen
and which don’t.

I now consider this truth to be Happiness 101, but it’s amazing how tempting it still is to grasp at control of every circumstance to try to make sure I get exactly what I want.

To encounter an undesirable situation and work with it willingly is the mark of a wise and
happy person.

Imagine getting a flat tire, falling ill at a bad time, or knocking something over and breaking
it — and suffering nothing from it.

There is nothing to fear if you agree with yourself to deal willingly with adversity whenever it does show up.

That is how to make life better.

The typical, low-leverage method is to hope that you eventually accumulate power over your circumstances so that you can get what you
want more often.

There’s an excellent line in a Modest Mouse song, celebrating this side-effect of wisdom: As life gets longer, awful feels softer.

• Most of life is imaginary.

Human beings have a habit of compulsive thinking that is so pervasive that we lose sight of the fact that we are nearly always thinking.

Most of what we interact with is not the world itself, but our beliefs about it, our expectations of it, and our personal interests in it.

We have a very difficult time observing
something without confusing it with the thoughts we have about it, and so the bulk of what we experience in life is imaginary things.

As Mark Twain said: “I’ve been through some terrible things in my life, some of which actually happened.”

The best treatment I’ve found?

Cultivating a free-flow mindfulness.

• Human beings have evolved to suffer, and we
are better at suffering than anything else.

Heck. It doesn’t sound like a very liberating discovery.

I used to believe that if I was suffering it meant that there was something wrong with me — that I was doing life “wrong.”

Suffering is completely human and completely normal, and there is a very good reason for its existence.

Life’s persistent background hum of “this isn’t quite okay, I need to improve this,”coupled with occasional intense flashes of horror and adrenaline are what kept human beings alive for millions of years.

This urge to change or escape the present moment drives nearly all of our behaviour.

It’s a simple and ruthless survival mechanism which works exceedingly well for keeping us alive, but it has a horrific side effect: human beings suffer greatly by their very nature.

This, for me, redefined every one of
life’s problems as some tendrils of the human
condition.

As grim as it sounds, this insight is liberating because it means:
1) that suffering does not necessarily mean my life is going wrong,
2) that the ball is always in my court, so the degree to which I suffer is ultimately up to me, and
3) that all problems have the same cause and the same solution.

• Emotions exist to make us biased.

This discovery was a complete 180 from my old
understanding of emotions.

I used to think my emotions were reliable indicators of the state of my life — of whether I’m on the right track or not.

Your passing emotional states can’t be trusted for measuring your self-worth or your position in life, but they are great at teaching you what it is you can’t let go of.

The trouble is that emotions make us both
more biased and more forceful at the same time.

Another survival mechanism with nasty side-effects.

• All people operate from the same two
motivations: to fulfil their desires and to escape
their own suffering.

Learning this allowed me to finally make sense of how people can hurt each other so badly.

The best explanation I had before this was that some people are just bad.

What a mis-thought.

No matter what kind of behaviour other people exhibit, they are acting in the most effective way they are capable of (at that moment) to fulfil a desire or to relieve their own suffering.

These are motives we can all understand;
we only vary in method, and the methods each of us has at our disposal depend on our upbringing and our experiences in life, as well as our state of consciousness.

Some methods are skillful and helpful
to others, others are un skillful and destructive, and almost all destructive behaviour is unconscious.

So there is no good and evil people by nature, only smart and dumb (or wise and foolish.)

Understanding this completely shook my long-held notions of morality and justice.

• Beliefs are nothing to be proud of,not unless they are the right beliefs.

Believing something is not an accomplishment.

I grew up thinking that beliefs are something to be proud of, but they’re really nothing but opinions one refuses to reconsider.

Beliefs are easy.

The stronger your beliefs are, the less open you are to growth and wisdom, because “strength of belief” is only the intensity with which you resist questioning yourself.

As soon as you are proud of a belief, as soon as you think it adds something to who you are, then you’ve made it a part of your ego.

Listen to any “die-hard” conservative or liberal talk about their deepest beliefs and you are listening to somebody who will never hear what you say on any matter that matters to them — unless you believe the same.

It is gratifying to speak forcefully, it is gratifying to be agreed with, and this high is what the die-hards are chasing.

Wherever there is a belief, there is a closed
door.

Take on the beliefs that stand up to your most
honest, humble scrutiny, and never be afraid to lose them.

• Objectivity is subjective.

Life is a subjective experience and that cannot be escaped.

Every experience I have comes through my
own, personal, un-sharable viewpoint.

There can be no peer reviews of my direct experience, no real corroboration.

This has some major implications for
how I live my life.

The most immediate one is that I realize I must trust my own personal experience, because nobody else has this angle, and I only have
this angle.

Another is that I feel more wonder for the
world around me, knowing that any “objective”
understanding I claim to have of the world is built entirely from scratch, by me.

What I do build depends on the books I’ve read, the people I’ve met, and the experiences I’ve had.

It means I will never see the world quite like anyone else, which means I will never live in quite the same world as anyone else — and therefore I mustn’t let outside observers be
the authority on who I am or what life is really like for me.

Subjectivity is primary experience — it is real
life, and objectivity is something each of us builds on top of it in our minds, privately, in order to explain it all.

This truth has world-shattering implications for
the roles of religion and science in the lives of those who grasp it.

Just some random thoughts that came to my mind….©Profarms’ Random Thoughts®

One good deed at a time, and today’s despair slowly transforms itself into tomorrow’s hope

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“Happiness is not a destination where, upon
arrival, we get to unpack our bags and stay forever.
Happiness is just one of many “rest stops” on the highway of life”.

Approaching our shame with loving curiosity
eventually reduces shame’s need to manifest itself in ways that don’t serve us.

If you have been spending more than your fair
share of time at the rest stops of shame and
despair, I urge you to consider asking yourself how you can bring to the world the change you wish to see.

Healing can be found in unexpected places when we embody the change we hope to see.

A few years back, I saw a sticker that read, “Be the change you wish to see in the world. –Gandhi.”

My knee-jerk reaction was annoyance because the sticker was affixed to the bumper of a car that turned right in front of me.

I was in the middle of a long stretch of bad days, so pretty much anything
would have set me off.

My search for happiness during that bleak period seemed fruitless, most likely because I didn’t know that happiness is not a destination where, upon arrival, we get to unpack our bags and stay forever.

Happiness is just one of many “rest stops” on the highway of life.

After ending a toxic marriage, I was spending an inordinate amount of time at the
rest stop of shame.

Not only had I allowed myself to stay in a
relationship with someone who treated me poorly, I felt like a failure when the marriage
ended.

Seems I had special talent for beating
myself up, both coming and going.

Each one of our feelings speaks to us in its own
unique voice.

For me, shame sounded like, “You’re
a loser!” or “You’re boring!” or, my personal
favourite, “No one will ever love you again!”

The voices of our feelings can tell us things that feel true but, in fact, are not true.

When I heard the voice of shame, it took everything in my power to fight the urge to isolate from a world I was convinced I didn’t deserve to be part of.

The world seemed pretty dark at the time and I
worried I would never find the light again. (This is what hopelessness sounds like, by the way.)

It was at precisely this time that Gandhi’s
words came along, disguised as an obstacle in
my path.

Seeing those words reminded me that we cannot control how we feel; we can only control what we do with how we feel.

While I could not control shame, I could control
how small I allowed it to make my world.

I had no idea how to “make” myself happy, but I was desperate to try anything.

I decided to conduct a little social experiment to test Gandhi’s words.

Because I wanted to transform shame into
happiness, despair into love, it was up to me to
sprinkle happiness and love into the world.

Just as rest stops are meant to come and go, so
is happiness.

We recognise a feeling in our conscious field, stretch into that feeling for as long as needed, and, eventually, get back in the car and “drive” until the next one comes along.

Of course, there are other stops along the highway as well: loneliness, excitement, hope, anger, longing, etc.

I challenged myself to perform at least one good
deed per week.

The good deed could be any action, small or large, as long as the net result would put
more positive energy into the world.

I wasn’t feeling too positively energetic at the time, so a week seemed plenty of time to do at least one small thing. (After all, starting from ground zero, there was nowhere to go but upward.)

Once the goal was set, I noticed a slight positive
shift in perspective.

I was no longer wondering what in the world could make the pain stop, I was asking myself what I could do to bring more love into the world,my world,to be more precise,because I believe the rest of the world was still full of love.

The experiment began.

If I appreciated something about someone, I went out of my way to tell them.

If I knew someone who was struggling and needed a sympathetic ear, I called and listened.

If I saw a piece of trash on the sidewalk, I picked it up and put it right back into the trash can.

A friend needed help redesigning her IT department in her office, so I did it.

Momentum didn’t take long to build, so I quickly bumped the target up to three thoughtful deeds per week.

Augmenting the goal brought with it another
noticeable shift in my world view: a significant
uptick in the compassion.

This was encouraging.

If a car turned right in front of me, I told myself the driver was probably lost and needed help; if
someone was rude at the grocery store, I assumed they were having a bad day and needed extra patience; if I screwed something up, I spoke nicely and encouragingly to myself.

I began to believe—I mean in-my-core believe—
that all human beings, even those who hurt us,
are deserving of love and compassion.

It’s been almost seven years since my Thoughtful Deed Project started.

I am happy to report the shame that once felt like a constant companion has given way to greater connectedness with the people around me (whether they are trusted friends or complete strangers) and with myself.

Overall, thankfully, I spend less time in despair and more time in contentment.

It hasn’t been all wine and parties since I started the project—shame still shows up on the highway from time to time.

The difference is, where I once would
have addressed the voice of shame with harshness and criticism, I now speak to it in a kinder, gentler voice; as if I were a child in pain.

Approaching our shame with loving curiosity
eventually reduces shame’s need to manifest itself in ways that don’t serve us.

Inside each of us is a deep well of love, patiently awaiting our own recognition.

Mindful acts of kindness and compassion, however large or small, are the portals to this love.

The voice of shame may try to convince you that
you cannot do it.

Shame lies; don’t believe it.

It is easy to overlook the gifts we can offer the
world, just by showing up and giving of ourselves.

Perhaps there is someone in your life who could
benefit from a pair of good ears and strong
shoulders; a park in your neighbourhood that could use a little clean sweep; an overdue birthday card that needs a stamp.

Start small and, if you feel inspired, work your way up from there.

Shame can be stubborn and may stick around
for a while, and that is okay.

It is when we are visiting the rest stop of shame that we are most worthy of our own loving support.

When you feel the darkness, gently remind yourself that this is where you are right now; it is not who you are for always.

Feelings are temporary—the next one will come
along eventually.

In the meantime, remind yourself that you are doing everything in your power to put loving energy into the world; this is enough.

Healing can be found in unexpected places when we embody the change we hope to see.

Acting in service of bringing love and light into the world helps us find the love and light within
ourselves.

One good deed at a time, and today’s despair
slowly transforms itself into tomorrow’s hope.

Just some random thoughts that came to my mind….©Profarms’ Random Thoughts®

Letting go is a catharsis for a troubled soul

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letting go is  tipping the balance in your favour

letting go is tipping the balance in your favour

If we contemplate desires and
listen to them, we are actually
no longer attaching to them; we
are just allowing them to be the
way they are.

Then we come to
the realisation that the origin of
suffering, desire, can be laid
aside and let go of.

How do you let go of things?

If you let go a little you will have a little happiness.

If you let go a lot you will have a lot of
happiness.

If you let go completely you will be totally happy and free too!

This means you leave them as
they are; it does not mean you
annihilate them or throw them
away.

It is more like setting
down and letting them be.

Through the practice of letting
go we realise that there is the
origin of suffering, which is the
attachment to desire, and we
realise that we should let go of
these three kinds of desire.

Then we realise that we have let go of
these desires; there is no longer
any attachment to them.

When you find yourself
attached, remember that ‘letting
go’ is not ‘getting rid of’ or
‘throwing away’.

If I’m holding onto this clock and you say, ‘Let
go of it!’, that doesn’t mean
‘throw it out’.

I might think that I
have to throw it away because
I’m attached to it, but that would
just be the desire to get rid of it.

We tend to think that getting rid
of the object is a way of getting
rid of attachment.

But if I can
contemplate attachment, this
grasping of the clock, I realise
that there is no point in getting
rid of it – it’s a good clock; it
keeps good time and is not
heavy to carry around.

The clock
is not the problem.

The problem
is grasping the clock.

So what do
I do?

Let it go, lay it aside – put it
down gently without any kind of
aversion.

Then I can pick it up
again, see what time it is and lay
it aside when necessary.

You can apply this insight into
‘letting go’ to the desire for
sense pleasures.

Maybe you
want to have a lot of fun.

How would you lay aside that desire
without any aversion?

Simply. recognise the desire without
judging it.

You can contemplate
wanting to get rid of it – because
you feel guilty about having such
a foolish desire – but just lay it
aside.

Then, when you see it as
it is, recognising that it’s just
desire, you are no longer
attached to it.

So the way is always working
with the moments of daily life.

When you are feeling depressed
and negative, just the moment
that you refuse to indulge in that
feeling is an enlightenment
experience.

When you see that,
you need not sink into the sea of
depression and despair and
wallow in it.

You can actually
stop by learning not to give
things a second thought.

You have to find this out
through practice so that you will
know for yourself how to let go
of the origin of suffering.

Can you let go of desire by wanting
to let go of it?

What is it that is
really letting go in a given
moment?

You have to
contemplate the experience of
letting go and really examine
and investigate until the insight
comes.

Keep with it until that
insight comes: ‘Ah, letting go,
yes, now I understand.

Desire is being let go of.’

This does not
mean that you are going to let
go of desire forever but, at that
one moment, you actually have
let go and you have done it in
full conscious awareness.

There is an insight then.

This is what
we call insight knowledge.

In Pali,a transcendial level in buddhist meditation, we call it nanadassana or
profound understanding.

I had my first insight into letting
go in my first year of meditation.

I figured out intellectually that
you had to let go of everything
and then I thought: ‘How do you
let go?’

It seemed impossible to
let go of anything.

I kept on
contemplating: ‘How do you let
go?’

Then I would say, ‘You let go
by letting go.’ ‘Well then, let go!’

Then I would say:
‘But have I let go yet?’ and, ‘How
do you let go?’ ‘Well just let go!’

I went on like that, getting more
frustrated.

But eventually it
became obvious what was
happening.

If you try to analyse
letting go in detail, you get
caught up in making it very
complicated.

It was not
something that you could figure
out in words any more, but
something you actually did.

So I. just let go for a moment, just
like that.

Now with personal problems
and obsessions, to let go of
them is just that much.

It is not
a matter of analysing and
endlessly making more of a
problem about them, but of
practising that state of leaving
things alone, letting go of them.

At first, you let go but then you
pick them up again because the
habit of grasping is so strong.

But at least you have the idea.

Even when I had that insight into
letting go, I let go for a moment
but then I started grasping by
thinking: ‘I can’t do it, I have so
many bad habits!’

But don’t trust
that kind of nagging, disparaging
thing in yourself.

It is totally
untrustworthy.

It is just a matter
of practising letting go.

The more you begin to see how to
do it, then the more you are
able to sustain the state of non-
attachment.

Just some random thoughts that came to my mind….©Profarms’ Random Thoughts®

What’s better than freedom!

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I'm now a truly  free man

I’m now a truly free man

The chains have been broken
I’m no longer oppressed
Free from my burdens
No longer depressed
Took long to figure out
where I want to be
Too long to figure out
that I had the only key
Ropes are gone
the gate is open
Open to the ocean
open to the mountain
Finally I run
wild and free
Grass plains and open ground
as far as I can see
This world of warmth
colours explode
From my cage
black, grey and cold
A kind word resounds
loud in my ears
A warm touch to ease
all my doubts and fears
I see you calling
for me to return
My absence from you
your cause for concern
But I will continue
free I will run
Straight to the warmth
of the ever present sun
So go find yourself
a new “someone”
Because this is all mine
my personal freedom

Just some random thoughts that came to my mind….©Profarms’ Random Thoughts®

Things I’ve learnt from Jaffa, my cat….

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•When life is hard, then take a long nap.

•It’s okay to one day ignore people,then the next day, annoy them.

•When in doubt,cultivate an indifferent attitude.

•Curiosity never killed anything except maybe a few hours of your time trying to unravel an ‘obvious’ mystery.

•Climb your way to the top by all means, that’s why the drapes and curtains are there in the house.

•Never sleep alone when you can sleep on someone’s face.

•If you’re not receiving enough attention,
try knocking over several expensive lamps and chinaware.

•Make your mark in the world or at least spray your pee in each corner of the room.

•When you go out into the world, remember:
being placed on a pedestal is your right, not a privilege.

•You can sleep anywhere, on any table, any chair,top of piano, window-ledge, in the middle, on the Master’s bed,just about anywhere….
open drawers, empty shoe, or just on anybody’s lap;every place on earth will do,’cause well,the world is your bedroom!

•And don’t bother anyone,unless you are hungry or thirsty….!

•And you don’t have to take orders from your boss,unless he is holding goodies that you can see with your own eyes,otherwise,just ignore all other forms of patronising sweet-talks and promises!

Thank you Jaffa,for making me the most anti-social person that have ever lived,and regal too!

Just some random thoughts that came to my mind….©Profarms’ Random Thoughts®

I want a love so deep it’d make the ocean jealous

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God, my deliberate solitude feels so good, but lately I’ve craving something more, something deeper.

I want love
But not just any kind of Love, no,
I want a love so deep it’d make the ocean jealous.

But I’ll only have you if you’re sweeter than my
solitude.

You must love me for everything I’m worth
and then more.

Start with my eyes, look into them like you want to know all the good, bad, and anything beyond.

From my eyes go to my mind, love me for everything I know and love me just as much to teach me what I do not.

Hold me in your arms, and love me for everything I am, from my strengths to my weaknesses, and even the scars that others have left behind.

But tell me if you’re not up for it…Not that you don’t want me but rather you can’t handle me.

And please don’t say, “I won’t be like those other girls and break your heart.”

You see my solitude has always been sweet, and
during that time I learned to love myself before I could learn to love anyone else.

Give me the love that I’ve been craving, make the ocean jealous.

Fall for my eyes without knowing me
just yet.

And then kiss me like you want to be loved just as much.

Remember that I want to be loved as deep as the ocean, but remember that I am like the ocean-
I can slip through your fingers, but manage to hold up an army of ships.

Kiss me, hold me, love me, but tell me if you’re not up for it.

I’ll only have you if you’re sweeter than my solitude

I want a love so deep….or just like I’ve done many times in my life,I just want to be alone this Christmas one more time,till eternity comes!

Just some random thoughts that came to my mind….©Profarms’ Random Thoughts®

Small moments to live for in your life this Christmas season

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None of these things are grand or profound, and that’s the whole point. I believe that life becomes happier and so much more special if we start to enjoy the little things.

Bring Out the Child in you and regain that carefree nature of childhood when you are older.

Go ahead, do something silly and have a good laugh!

Be Grateful for What You Already Have
’cause so much in life that we take for granted that many can only dream of.

Do you have time for hobbies?

I used to feel that I didn’t, until I figured that a hobby does not require half an hour a day. Five minutes is enough.

Take Care of Yourself too.
You might be giving time to your work, your
ambitions, and your family. Are you taking good care of yourself?

Love Yourself!

Before I felt that I had enough in life, I had to love myself enough.

Do Something for Someone Else.
Giving creates a feeling of abundance like few other things do.

Pamper Your Senses….and
No, you don’t need to go to a spa!

Let’s remember how fortunate we are when we experience these ordinary moments.

1. Watch the leaves fall on a windy day.
2. Wake up early and listen to the silence.
3. Look at the clouds and try to find shapes and
maybe even faces.
4. Listen to the birds chirping.
5. Check out some breathtaking photos on National Geographic.
6. Watch a butterfly flutter away.
7. Listen to the thunder on a rainy day.
8. Sit on a park bench and enjoy the greenery.
9. Walk barefoot on grass.
10. Enjoy drinking a glass of water. Eight hundred million people in the world do not have access to clean water.
11. Be grateful for the food on your plate. Over
eight hundred million people do not get enough to eat.
12. Be grateful for the people in your life.
13. Just be grateful that you are alive.
14. Think of ten other things you are grateful for.
15. Read an Archie comic book.
16. Blow soap bubbles.
17. Catch snowflakes with your tongue.
18. Take a walk in the rain.
19. Lick a fast melting ice-cream.
20. Practice your Kung Fu moves or air guitar in front of the mirror!
21. Play a song on your guitar (or any instrument).
22. Listen to a song you love. (Keep a playlist in
your phone).
23. Better still, sing aloud.
24. Learn a new dance move from YouTube.
25. Capture an urban scene with your camera
phone.
26. Read your favourite part from that novel you really love.
27. Read a new book for just five minutes before you go to bed.
28. Exercise for just five minutes—skip rope, jog,
do five pushups and squats. Exercise releases
endorphins, which make you happier.
29. Relish a delicious serving of fruits.
30. Pen down your thoughts in a journal.
31. Tidy up a corner of your house.
32. Mediate for five minutes.
33. Think of five things that you love about who you
are as a person.
34. Every night before going to bed, think of at least
one thing you achieved on that day, however small
or insignificant it might seem.
35. Give yourself a hug. (It works.)
36. Feed a stray dog or cat.
37. Help a neighbor with an errand.
38. Help out a co-worker with your expertise.
39. Send flowers and a card to that relative you
haven’t spoken to in years.
Connect with People
Work was an excuse for me to not find time for my
loved ones. Does it really take much to cherish
these relationships?
40. Call a friend and say hello. (Don’t text!)
41. Cuddle with your partner in the morning.
42. Call your parents.
43. Remember a happy moment with your loved
ones.
44. Forgive someone for a small offence. (This
makes it easier to forgive people for the big
offences.)
45. Apologise to someone.
46. Look at old pictures that bring back memories.
47. Slowly sip a good cappuccino.
48. Listen to the sound of an ocean track (on the
internet).
49. Sit in the sun (on your terrace or backyard).
50. Light aroma candles or incense sticks, like
lavender or lemon grass.
51. Feel the wind in your hair as you drive.
52. Enjoy your Christmas time as you used to do in your childhood days by bringing back the magic of small moments in your life!

Just some random thoughts that came to my mind….©Profarms’ Random Thoughts®

This is the real you!

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Each of our actions, our words, our attitudes is cut off from the ‘world,’ from the people who have not directly perceived it, by a medium the permeability of which is of infinite variation and remains unknown to ourselves; having learned by experience that some important utterance which we eagerly hoped would be disseminated … has found itself, often simply on account of our anxiety, immediately hidden under a bushel, how immeasurably less do we suppose that some tiny word, which we ourselves have forgotten, or else a word never uttered by us but formed on its course by the imperfect refraction of a different word, can be transported without ever halting for any obstacle to infinite distances … and succeed in diverting at
our expense the banquet of the gods.

What we actually recall of our conduct remains unknown to our nearest neighbor; what we have forgotten that we ever said, or indeed what we never did say, flies to provoke hilarity even in another planet, and the image that other people form of our actions and behaviour is no more like that which we form of them ourselves, than is like an original drawing a spoiled copy in which, at one point, for a black line, we find
an empty gap, and for a blank space an
unaccountable contour.

It may be, all the same, that what has not been transcribed is some non-existent feature, which we behold, merely in our purely-blind self-esteem, and that what seems to us added is
indeed a part of ourselves, but so essential a part as to have escaped our notice.

So that this strange print which seems to us to have so little resemblance to ourselves bears sometimes the same stamp of truth,scarcely flattering, indeed, but profound and useful,
as a photograph taken by X-rays.

Not that there is any reason why we should recognise ourselves in it.

A man who is in the habit of smiling in the glass at his handsome face and stalwart figure, if you show him their X-Ray radiograph, will have come face to face with that rosary of bones, labelled as being the image of himself, the same suspicion of error as the visitor to an art gallery who, on coming to the portrait of a girl, reads in his catalogue: “Dromedary resting.”

Later on, this discrepancy between our portraits,
according as it was our own hand that drew them or another, I was to register in the case of others than myself, living placidly in the midst of a collection of photographs which they themselves had taken while round about them grinned frightful faces, invisible to them as a rule, but plunging them in stupor if an accident were to reveal them with the warning: “This is the real you.

Just some random thoughts that came to my mind….©Profarms’ Random Thoughts®

Just some random thoughts that came to my mind….©Profarms’ Random Thoughts®

Watching my sleeping beauty is the most rapturous moment in my life

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Sleep makes children of all of us.

It cloaks us with divine beauty and innocence

I know because I often love watching my partner,Daisy,when she sleeps.

It is amazing that we do not include the pleasures we enjoy in sleep in
the inventory of the pleasures we have experienced in the course of our existence.

By shutting her eyes, by losing consciousness,
Daisy strips off, one after another, the
different human personalities with which she has used to deceive me ever since the day when I had first made her acquaintance.

She is animated now only by the unconscious life of plants, of trees, a life more different from my own, more alien, and yet one that belonged more to me.

Her personality is not constantly escaping, as when we talk, by the outlets of her unacknowledged thoughts and of her eyes.

She has called back into herself everything of
her that lays outside, has withdrawn, enclosed,
re-absorbed herself into her body.

In keeping her in front of my eyes, in my hands, I have an impression of possessing her entirely which I never have when she is awake.

Her life is submitted to me, exhaled towards me its gentle breath.

I listen to her dozy murmuring, mysterious emanation, soft as a sea breeze, magical as a gleam of moonlight, that is her in sleep.

So long as it lasts, I’m free to dream about her and yet at the same time to look at her, and when that sleep grows deeper, to touch, to kiss her.

What I feel now is a love as pure, as immaterial, as mysterious, as if I’m. in the presence of those inanimate creatures which are the beauties of nature.

And indeed, as soon as her sleep becomes at all deep, she ceases to be merely the plant that she had been; her sleep,on the margin of which I remain musing, with a fresh delight of which I never tire, which I can go on enjoying indefinitely, is to me a whole
landscape that we call love.

Her sleep brings within my reach something as serene, as sensually delicious as those nights of full moon on the beach, calm as a lake over which the branches barely stir, where, stretched out upon the stand, one could listen for
hours on end to the surf breaking and receding.

On entering her room, I remain standing in
the doorway, not venturing to make a sound, and hearing none but that of her breath rising to expire upon her lips at regular intervals, like the reflux of the sea, but drowsier and softer.

And at the moment when my ear absorbs that divine sound, I feet that It is condensed in her whole person, the whole life of the charming captive outstretched there before my eyes.

Vehicles go rattling past in the street, but her brow remains as smooth and untroubled, her breath as light, reduced to the simple expulsion of the necessary quantity of air.

Now, seeing that her sleep would not be disturbed, I would advance cautiously, sit down on the chair that stood by the bedside, then on the bed itself.

.

Just some random thoughts that came to my mind….©Profarms’ Random Thoughts®

Our most treasured memories are the ones buried in oblivion

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What best remind us of a person is precisely what we had forgotten (because it was of no importance, and we therefore left it in full possession of its strength).

That is why the better part of our memories exist outside us, in a splatter of rain, in the smell of an un-aired room or of the first crackling
brushwood fire in a cold grate: wherever, in short, we happen upon what our mind, having no use for it, had rejected, the last treasure that the past has in store, the richest, that which, when all our flow of tears seems to have dried at the source, can make us weep again. Outside us?

Within us, rather, but hidden from our eyes in an oblivion more or less prolonged. It is thanks to this oblivion alone that we can from time to time recover the person that we were, place ourselves in relation to things as he was placed, suffer anew because we are no longer
ourselves but he, and because he loved what now leaves us indifferent.

In the broad daylight of our habitual memory the images of the past turn gradually pale and fade out of sight, nothing remains of them, we shall never recapture it.

Or rather we should never recapture it had not a few words been carefully locked away in oblivion, just as an author deposits in the National Library a copy of a book which might otherwise become unobtainable.

For, like desire, regret seeks not to be analysed but to be satisfied.

When one begins to love, one spends one’s time, not in getting to know what one’s love really is, but in making it possible to meet next day.

When one abandons love one seeks not to know
one’s grief but to offer to her who is causing it that expression of it which seems to one the most moving.

One says the things which one feels the need of saying, and which the other will not understand, one speaks for oneself alone.

I wrote: ‘I had thought that it would not be possible. Alas, I see now that it is not so difficult.’ I said also: ‘I shall probably not see you again;’ I said it while I continued to avoid showing a coldness which she might think affected, and the words, as I wrote them, made me weep because I felt that they expressed not what I should have liked to believe but what was probably going to happen.

We suffer injustices both in love,and out of love;in my cowardice I became at once a man, and did what all we grown men do when face to face with suffering and injustice; I preferred not to see them.

And wasn’t my mind also like another baby crib in the depths of which I felt I remained ensconced, even in order to watch what was happening outside?

When I saw an external object, my awareness that I was seeing it would remain between me and it, lining it with a thin spiritual border that prevented me from ever directly touching its substance; it would volatize in some way before I could make contact with it, just as an incandescent body brought near a wet object never touches its moisture because it is always preceded by a zone of evaporation.

And so it is with our own past. It is a labour in vain to attempt to recapture it: all the efforts of our intellect must prove futile.

The past is hidden somewhere outside the realm, beyond the reach of intellect, in some material object (in the sensation which that material object will give us) of which we have no inkling. And it depends on chance whether
or not we come upon this object before we
ourselves must die.

Just some random thoughts that came to my mind….©Profarms’ Random Thoughts®

The true paradises are the paradises that we have lost

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There is no one, no matter how wise he is, who has not in his youth said things or done things that are so unpleasant to recall in later life that
he would expunge them entirely from his memory if that were possible.

The magic of all the paradises we have lost in our lives still hold us in a spell.

It is often hard to bear the tears that we ourselves have caused.

The thirst for something other than what we have… to bring something new, even if it is worse, some emotion, some sorrow; when our sensibility, which happiness has silenced like an idle harp, wants to resonate under some hand, even a rough one, and even if it might be broken by it.

People who are not in love fail to understand how an intelligent man can suffer because of a very ordinary woman. This is like being surprised that anyone should be stricken with cholera because of a creature so insignificant as the common bacillus.

Now there is one thing I can tell you: you will enjoy certain pleasures you would not fathom now. When you still had your mother you often thought of the days when you would have her no longer. Now you will often think of days past when you had her.

When you are used to this horrible thing that they will forever be cast into the past, then you will gently feel her revive, returning to take her place, her entire place, beside you. At the present time, this is not yet possible. Let yourself be inert, wait till the incomprehensible power … that has broken you restores you a little, I say a little, for henceforth you will always keep something broken about you.

Tell yourself this, too, for it is a kind of pleasure to know that you will never love less, that you will never be consoled, that you will constantly
remember more and more.

These days,my destination is no longer a place, rather a new way of seeing the familiar old things in new light.

There are perhaps no days of our childhood we lived so fully as those we believe we left without having lived them, those we spent with a favourite book.

And then there are all those cute and young innocent friends that we lost along the way,too young to die.

I still remember them.

Love is not vain because it is frustrated, but because it is fulfilled. The people we love turn to ashes when we possess them. We glorify their lives only when we lose them again.

People who we love do not die for us immediately, but remain bathed in a sort of aura of life which bears no relation to true immortality but through which they continue to occupy our thoughts in the same way as
when they were alive. It is as though they were traveling abroad.

But,time, which changes people, does not alter the image we have of them.

Sometimes,a divine illumination comes to our rescue at the very moment when all seems lost; we have knocked at every door and they open on nothing until, at last, we stumble unconsciously against the only one through which we can enter the kingdom we have
sought in vain a hundred years – and it opens.

We believe that we can change the things around us in accordance with our desires—we believe it because otherwise we can see no favourable outcome. We do not think of the outcome which generally comes to pass and is also favourable: we do not succeed in changing things in accordance with our desires, but gradually our desires change. The situation that we hoped to change because it was intolerable becomes unimportant to us. We have failed to surmount the obstacle, as we were absolutely determined to do, but life has taken us round it, led us beyond it, and then if we turn round
to gaze into the distance of the past, we can barely see it, so imperceptible has it become.

People claim that we recapture for a moment the self that we were long ago when we enter some house or garden in which we used to live in our youth. But these are most hazardous pilgrimages, which end as often in disappointment as in success. It is in ourselves that we should rather seek to find those fixed places, contemporaneous with different years.

All the paradises that we lost in our lives,still live in our hearts;when we sit still,they can still come back to life!

Just some random thoughts that came to my mind….©Profarms’ Random Thoughts®

Loving fathers in Kenya are those who pay bills,not the ones who care most!

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I hate driving.

I hate driving myself to work.

I love driving.

I love driving myself for leisure.

My car radio is normally my moderator on these two ambivalent perspectives on my feelings about driving.

I love my car stereo.

It makes my driving a leisure at all times.

I enjoy the banter that goes on in Radio talk shows and call-in sessions during my early morning drives.

Recently,a local radio station Capital FM, carried out an interesting social experiment.

They gathered a group of young men in their 20s and early 30s and asked each one to call their fathers and utter three dreaded
words in Mars, “I love you”.

That this coincided with the recent uproar of “Deadbeat Dads” where useless fathers like me were told off for not being responsible fathers by footing all their family bills,I was all ears,hoping to hear gallant sons who are proud of their fathers sing praise to them.

My estranged sons would definitely “roast” anyone trying to tell them that I’m a good dad.

But back to the Radio Talk.

The anxiety expressed was real.

Where does one start?

How to broach the subject?

“The old man will think I have lost the plot or
thoroughly high on something herbal?”

Eventually after some relentless pressure, the guys each called their fathers in turn.

They mostly started by beating about the bush with windy salutations before blurting out the words like a bashful teenagers stuck in a lift with an older crush, “Dad… some guys told me to tell you, I love you”.

The reactions of the fathers on the other end of the line was positive, if not somewhat surprised as if to say, “What the hell?”

Nonetheless, they were very receptive and the gratitude was expressed all around.

The initial fears expressed appeared
unwarranted.

So, why don’t Kenyan men tell their dads that they love them more often?

Probably because we believe our fathers would not appreciate that level of validation?

Try making a habit of calling your 60 year old plus old man every so often to tell him how much you love him and he will politely ask you to contain yourself.

If you really must appreciate his efforts in bringing you up, then make something of out of your life and give him something to brag about amongst his peers.

If the same experiment was carried out between
mothers and sons, the response would have been quick and swift.

But “I love you dad” does not roll off
the tongue that easy.

I suppose it is a cultural specific thing.

The phrase “I love you” in the conservative African mindset has a very precise context.

That is a western romantic notion that
usually reserved for gooey eyed lovers.

Love, like sex,has a certain level of sacredness in the traditional African homestead.

These are not things to be discussed in public surely!

It does not mean that you do not love your dad
because one does not show eagerness to give him a bear hug every time he appears.

Out in Kenyan mano-sphere, there is a different language of love.

Those who know do not need to tell.

Actions have always spoken louder than words.

For some people receiving gifts is what makes them feel appreciated.

A bottle of top shelf whisky is a very loving gesture.

For others, it is just quality time, shooting the breeze, dissecting politics and roasting meat.

An African man from an early age is socialised to show, rather than tell.

Hence, male courtship is all about grand gestures and the very reason diamonds stand pre-eminent.

Nothing says “I love you” like a big shiny and pricey rock.

It is also the reason men break their backs to be
seen as able providers to their women and families.

Loving fathers in Kenya are those who pay bills.

Culturally, daddies were always placed on a pedestal but they had to earn their respect.

I was socialised to never bother trying to understand my dads’ motivation for anything.

It was not my place to figure him out.

One learnt to accept him for who he was and if you did not like his style, then wait until you
could start your own family.

Indeed, we never understand the love of a parent until we become parents ourselves.

Ultimately, all that good fathers’ desire, is to make their children better versions of themselves.

My father wished I could follow his advice but I ended up following his examples.

Men,contrary to all other false beliefs.would love to hear an affirmative declaration of love from their sons!

Just some random thoughts that came to my mind….©Profarms’ Random Thoughts®

A Vagabond mind in the depth of the night

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It is 11:45pm on a dark evening.

I’m disturbed by an image of a street girl who I saw sleeping on a street verandah this evening as I drove home from town.

As a matter of fact, I still do not know why I am
writing this because right now, I have so many
things going on in my mind.

Sssshhhh!

Can you hear that?

The silence is deafening and the clock won’t stop ticking.

I am wide awake and I do not know why.

Well, apart from my mind’s constant thoughts of grabbing something to bite, I am staring right into my computers screen.

I have access to unlimited internet but I have run out of things to Google.

Who gets this blank minded anyway?

Maybe, this is that point when you should be throwing the ‘get a life!’ words at me.

And yes, I have a life, many lives than the nine lives of a cat by the way.

Well, a part of me wants to get this beauty sleep I hear everyone blabbing about but a part of me tells me not yet.

I would not want to blame this entire mystery on
insomnia because then again, I have been sleeping the whole (okay, almost) the whole day-

That is what you do when you are tired of drinking the lemonades from life’s given lemons.

That is a story for another day but the bottom line is; sometimes you toast, sometimes you pass.

It is questionable why someone in their golden old age like me would have so much going on especially at this hour when they could be
dancing themselves crazy to “Mugithi” folk songs in some old geezers night club.

Sincerely, I do not have a perfect answer to that and I will tell you for sure that you are better off on the darker side because some things, once you know them, you may wish to bet your life to un know them but the thought alone, is impossible.

As I continue to write, there are drops of rain on the roof, slowly and then rapidly and then slowly again.

Naturally, it should be melody to my soul or can I say a sweet soothing lullaby?

The virtual remote control in my mind wants so badly to switch my thoughts into something else.
A thought crosses my mind that there is a small girl in the streets who needs this bed I am sitting on to keep herself warm. Or even share this bed with me for a night-what kind of pervert thoughts are these,running through my blank mind?

It crosses my mind that she may not have had any meal for the better part of the day and as she lays on the corner of some shop’s verandah to catch some sleep, she can’t help but get herself soaked not from her piss but from the heavy downpour. She is just a hapless street girl.

It is devastating.

I did not see this coming but now I am in deeper thought.

The question that constantly resonates on
my mind is; why do we take the most basic and
simple things we have in life for granted?

Like now, I have a roof over my head, I took all three meals during the day and I have the hands to type what I feel right now and the eyes to skim through my computer’s screen to follow through.

Why am I not happy?

Or better still, why can’t I be in bed asleep?

That I cannot get people to like me for who I am, does that make me worse than this girl?

That a part of me has become fatter overnight (that’s what we say), is it worth sulking for the rest of my life?

That people won’t appreciate the little gestures you express to them, does the world have to come to an end?

I have come to learn that in as much as life is not fair (which is sensible because can you imagine how it would be if it were), it is a matter of choice whether you live happily or whether you drown in melancholy.

Whether you consider it fair or unfair entirely depends on what you want to make of it.

Learn to make the best even out of the worst
situations, like that woman who has a passion in art but her lack of hands will not kill her dreams.

Just know that sometimes what is abnormal to you may be the normal someone somewhere is craving for.

In the end, people will come and go, people will love and hate, people will laugh and cry, people will make and break but what really sticks out is the gentle touch you give to someone’s soul when they most need it.

Don’t stop because they don’t want you
to…Stop when they don’t need you to.

Actually, I am seriously feeling hungry now.

I guess I will have to go now.

Just some random thoughts that came to my mind….©Profarms’ Random Thoughts®

Tessa; an instrument of perfect feminine mystique. Mother’s day 2015

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It takes a very feminine woman to bring out the full masculinity in a man, and massage to peaceful repose, the insecurities of his fragile ego.

Tessa is probably the only woman in the world who can manage a man’s ego; she will respect his whims without taking them very seriously.

She will not require her man to behave “correctly”,according to a woman’s handbook on good male behaviour.

And if a man annoys her,she will reprove him without malice,and in strong terms that he deserves and understands.

But any man would melt in Tessa’s feminine ways; she is every man’s dream of what a homely woman should be-feminine,but resolute,and no man can ever resist such guile in a submissive woman who treats her man like a king,but excites his intense passion in private.

In the feminine mystique, there is a sure way for a woman to dream of creation or of the future.

There is a way she can even dream about herself,as her children’s mother, her husband’s wife.

But Tessa doesn’t need to do any of those feminine things that define most women to be a woman;her feminine mystique stands on its own feet.

When a woman,like Tessa, rises up in feminine glory, her energy is magnetic to men and her
sense of possibility contagious.

When men and women are able to respect and accept their differences as a monument of polar attraction, then love has a chance to blossom.

Most women,unlike Tessa, often have little awareness of how truly healing feminine
energy is to men.

Let your radiance touch everyone, because you are beautiful in spirit of what it is to be truly feminine,Tessa,my girl.

You are truly, an instrument of perfect feminine mystique!

Just some random thoughts that came to my mind….©Profarms’ Random Thoughts®

Blessed are the broken hearts, for they shall let in the light

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In 2008, after sixteen years of marriage,
I decided to divorce.

Though my ex and I got along well most of the time, the marriage was missing an intimate, heartfelt romantic connection.

Loneliness and longing for my freedom grew with each
passing year of my dull marriage until I could no longer ignore them.

I knew the kind of intimacy for which I yearned was not possible in my marriage, so I opted for a divorce.

Because my ex- and I actually led mostly
separate lives under the same roof, I assumed the transition through divorce would be fairly smooth.

Boy, was I in for a rude awakening!

Divorce, like most significant losses, takes
the safe and familiar contour of our lives
and blows it to smithereens, leaving us
vulnerable and unprotected until the new
shape forms.

It is easy to underestimate the comfort we draw from what is known,though it is sometimes the very source of our unhappiness.

Shortly after the separation, much like a
Ficus tree seems to all but die when
moved from its familiar spot, I went into a
state of self recrimination.

I reminded myself that,right from the beginning,this marriage was mismatched; it was more as a result of transient bodily lusts than love.

I was a fool to follow my bodily lusts into a sham marriage that was incompatible at all levels.

Much of my suffering was not even related to losing my ex,but cursing my unwise decision in being trapped into a loveless marriage in a moment of weakness.

The pain and hurt I was suffering was directed more inwards to myself,than at the loss of this marriage.

It felt like I was doing penance for my foolish decision that imprisoned me into a very skewed relationship,both at the emotional and intellectual level.

I flogged myself for it.

It was as if my nerve endings were relocated outside my skin, perturbed at even the slightest agitation.

Once- routine tasks, like getting out of bed or
going to the grocery store, seemed barely doable.

I told myself it was not okay to feel the
pain because it was a consequence of my
own choices.

But what about those lost sixteen years of my life?

My emotional suitcases were so heavy with fear, shame, and self-doubt, I thought these feelings defined me.

One night, the struggle reached a crescendo.

Sadness and dread filled my entire body, from the inside out, until I was heaving with sobs and howling like a trapped animal.

I cried for having made a wrong choice that led to loss of my precious youth,time and material investment in this sham that I called marriage.

I was convinced the pain would either not stop or that it would kill me. I secretly wished for the latter.

It was in this moment I realised that some
pain is, quite literally, unsoothable: there
is no one, no place, and nothing in that
moment that can make it better.

The only way out of unsoothable pain is
to go straight through it.

Even with this awareness, however, I still wanted to run.

I realised that at the material time of my sham marriage,what I needed was love,not necessarily marriage.

But I thought then,that love was found in marriage.

How wrong I was!

When we tell ourselves that we need
something, we inadvertently look for it in
places we are guaranteed not find it.

This is life’s clever way of showing us,
again and again,that faking a relationship will always fail.

Through breakups and divorce.

At the base of every true heart connection is acceptance.

We cannot offer acceptance to others until we can accept ourselves, wrenched heart and all.

Three years and two failed relationships
later, I decided to face grief, and to build a solid life on my own.

I have eschewed all romantic relationships,devoting that time to friendships and long-neglected passions, and music. I felt alone,but not lonely and frequently got scared that I no longer held any feelings for women, but fear was outmatched by a deeply held conviction that I was finally free of chains that limited my life to chronic unhappiness.

Though I once hoped it would, I am happy
to report that, unsoothable pain did not kill me.

In fact, the willingness to push through its
contractions has increased my confidence
to handle my other subsequent life’s losses and uncertainties.

The same can be true for anyone willing to
face his/her own darkness.

If you are experiencing unsoothable pain,
you may be tempted to reach for
something or someone to numb yourself.

Avoidance is a way of inviting into your life more of the very thing you are attempting to banish; resistance is futile.

Your feelings are intense because something important is happening, so keep going!

Sometimes unsoothable pain presents itself as fear, telling us the struggle won’t end.

Sometimes it assumes the voice of self-doubt, convincing us we can’t do it.

Sometimes pain is accompanied by shame, which cajoles us into believing there is something fundamentally wrong with us because we are hurting.

Fear, self-doubt, and shame are the
normal, temporary emotional byproducts
of any significant life-change.

Unsoothable pain is the threshold over which we must cross to access more self love and more light within ourselves.

While masking its symptoms won’t cure the disease, taking good emotional, spiritual, and physical care of yourself goes a long way.

Here are a few things to consider:

1. Slow down and breathe.

It may feel like you are dying when you
pause for a bit, but I encourage you to do
it anyway.

When we slow down and sit with hard feelings, we are taking a brave step toward showing ourselves that we are stronger than pain.

2. Create small goals.

During the darkest times, the idea of getting through an entire day felt like a lot, so I broke the day into small chunks to make it more manageable.

My goal list looked like “Shower and groom”
or “Make it to lunch time.”

3. Celebrate achievements.

When I reached each small milestone, I would
sometimes say, out loud and in my goofiest cheerleader voice, “Heck! You made it to bedtime! Another day has turned to
history!”

It may feel silly to celebrate events that
seem otherwise unremarkable but, when
your nerves are inside out, even the
simplest of tasks can feel like a big deal.

4. Trust more and confide often.

Make a short list of the people in your life
you feel safe falling apart with and let
yourself fall apart with them.

There is nothing shameful about unsoothable pain—it is our vulnerability that allows us to create meaningful bonds with other humans.

Sometimes a supportive comment or gesture from a trusted friend can be the encouragement
you need to keep going.

5. Move around.

Please do move your body at least once per day.
Whether your preferred movement is
yoga, walking, running, dancing, hiking, or
biking, remember that emotions are
physical events—we can literally move
through them sometimes.

6. Do something that scares you.

Keeping health and safety in mind, figure
out two or three small things you can do
that are outside of your comfort zone.

I wanted to reconnect with my academic studies
side, so I joined college for further studies.

7. Speak kindly to yourself.

We are more likely to advocate for people
we like; so, when you are in pain, speak to
yourself as if you are your own valued friend.

It is when we are hurting that we are most
deserving of our own tenderness.

Gently remind yourself that you are doing your best to take care of yourself,free of burden of taking care of others.

8. Be patient.

Building a new life shape takes time, so
give it the time it deserves.

Acting hastily merely increases your chances of having to start hurting all over later.

Building a friendlier relationship with
discomfort can eventually diminish its
strength and frequency.

In the meantime, it may help to remember that unsoothable pain is often the sign of a well-lived life—it proves you were courageous enough to risk, to fail, and to be affected by loss.

After all, it is when the shapes of our lives are wide open that the most light can get in.

Broken hearts allow in more light into our lives that helps us reorganise our priorities.

Just some random thoughts that came to my mind….©Profarms’ Random Thoughts®

A stress management lesson from the wild; live your life like forgetful warthogs

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Not very long ago at Mara Game Reserve, I was watching a lioness bent over a hole on the side of an ant hill and digging vigorously.

I stopped to capture the shots when and if the lioness found what she was digging for.

It was not my first time to see something like this.

That is why I knew for sure, the lioness is after something buried within the ant hill.

Aardvarks and anteaters dig holes on the side of anthills to eat the ants inside.

Then the holes are modified and enlarged by a myriad of species of animals including hyenas, warthogs, mongooses and even pythons as their homes.

They make their homes in the holes and even give birth in there.

It is not even strange to find a lioness giving birth inside an anthill hole dug by the aardvarks, if the anthill is well placed in an enclosed area with bushy outcrops around it.

We could term the aardvark in the category of the Keystone species, the species that modify the environment for the benefit of other species who would not survive otherwise.

Among those who benefit from the holes dug by
the aardvarks, warthogs are the most vulnerable.

The rest have a more secure way of keeping off
attackers.

They either put up a sentry at the entry to look out for trouble and alert those inside, as is
the case with the little mongooses, or attack any
intruder bravely using brutal force, as is the case with hyenas.

But for the warthogs, their only means of escape is to dash off from the hole with as much noise as is possible and throwing dust with their snouts on the faces of the intruders in order to confuse them momentarily.

Sometimes they succeed but other times, the intruder is not overly concerned with the noise and the dust.

In the case of a lion or a leopard, they will stay put at the entrance and grab the warthogs for a snack.

That was what I was hoping to happen with this
particular lioness.

She looked hungry and there seemed to be ready food in the hole.

I waited for a while, camera trained on the
hole.

Then it happened so quickly that there was
hardly time to press the record button for the
videos.

Normally in holes that are already occupied by the warthogs, the male sits close to the entrance while the female and the babies settle at the very end of the burrows.

This male came out with his head lowered to the ground ready to use its tusks at the lioness.

Close to the entry point, he scooped up loose soil on the snout and threw it straight into the eyes of the lioness.

A cloud of dust covered the whole anthill
and for a moment, I could hardly see what was happening.

The accompanying noise was so loud that the lioness retreated a few metres from the hole.

By the time she recovered, the last of the babies was galloping away behind the parents at a
speed that surprised all,especially the lioness and I.

The lioness did not even bother to follow.

The warthogs family had made such a lead that it was impossible for her to catch up.

She looked inside the hole with a hope that a baby was late in getting out.

Bad luck.

All had made the escape.

The next course of action for the warthogs family was to find another hole as quickly as possible and hide inside.

When they find a hole, the babies go in first, in reverse, while the parents bring up the rear also the rear end first so that their heads face the entrance.

In this case, the babies saw a culvert drain and went in.

Before the last one disappeared into the culvert, there was another loud squeaks and the whole group was out again in a greater hurry.

But they were minus one baby.

In their customary rear end entry into the hole,
they did not see a hyena already inside the culvert resting away from the scotching sun.

The hyena came out with a baby warthog dangling from his jaws.

The rest of the group was running in the
direction of the first hole, where they had had a
narrow escape from the lioness!!

In such a short period of time, they had forgotten and were not stressed by the episode
with the lioness!!

Lucky for them,the lion had ambled away in defeat.

With only a small loss of one baby,the warthogs were comfortably resettled in their former home within a few minutes that would have meant death for most of the family.

But in the mind of warthogs,that episode seemed to have happened long way back,and it was already mummified in the cobwebs of warthogs short memory.

It no longer stressed them.

They were a happy family again,just a few minutes from the brink of very cruel deaths.

Wouldn’t it be wonderful to live our life stressfree,like warthogs!

Blame it on our solid memories that sometimes haunt us for life.

And isn’t it puzzling too,that our happy memories only seem to be remembered for a few minutes.

Selective memory too,is our bane,as rational beings!

Bernard Wainaina is an Independent Agribusiness Advisor and CEO at Profarms Consultants®,Nairobi,Kenya.

He mainly works with Agribusiness Youth Groups in Eastern African Region.

Just some random thoughts that came to my mind….©Profarms’ Random Thoughts®

Bees always deflate my ego,and dampen my chivalry

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I hate to admit that I fear bees,yes,those tiny insects that others brush off ever so casually off their faces.

My paranoia around bees is informed by past undignified trauma.

I stopped denying that I suffer from an irrational fear of bees long time ago,and that took away a big chip off my bloated male ego..

Sample this recent encounter with a full colony of bees;

A female work colleague has a turned her guest wing into a private office where we spend long hours editing content for content blogging for our online clients on weekends.

On this particular day, I heard bees buzzing on her roof and immediately raised my concerns.

She explained that bees had set up a colony in her ceiling but an ‘expert’ was coming to sort it out.

Her casualness in this awaiting catastrophe was remarkable.

How could she be so calm with danger lurking above, up in her ceiling?

I should have listened to my instincts after all, but instead I listened to my big male ego.

I did not want appear overly paranoid,although I’ve seen a lion scampering into safety of thick bushes in face of these dangerous insects.

An hour into our peaceful afternoon, I heard
footsteps on the roof and a familiar sense
of uneasiness set in.

” Maybe we should step out and let the man on the roof finish his task”. I was dismissed with a wave of hand. “He is an expert. All the way from ICIPE.” ( International Centre of Insect
Physiology and Ecology).

I started to panic and true enough, moments later, an entire hive fell right through the ceiling into the room.

There was no time to think.

In a surge of adrenaline that propelled my flight response, I threw my jacket over the lady
and rushed her out of the door through a
hailstorm of bees.

Not a single bee stung her.

I got hit 9 times! and lived to tell the story,my best try at chivalry in presence of bees,so far.

I generally display a composed manner of a true gentleman, even where noisy banter is approved.

But that calm demeanour is blown to smithereens the moment I hear the distinct buzz of a bee.

The change of reaction surprises people.

Bees scare the daylights out of me.

A single bee drifting towards my coffee mug is
bound to set off all my panic buttons.

In female company, the panic attack is
heightened because at the back of my mind
is the inevitable and sheer embarrassment
of getting my ego stung as well.

Once in the company of an attractive young lady at a business meeting, a bee hovered in front of my face as if taking aim.

I lost track of conversation and was preoccupied with how to get away from the source of threat without breaking into a run.

The lady noticed my obvious discomfort and said reassuringly, “It is only a bee”. Of course, She wouldn’t understand. And her short well meaning observation made a big dent on my male ego.

How can I even pretend to be a “protector” of a lass who doesn’t fear bees?

In certain instances,bees have trampled on my hope for successful dating when they enter the scene.

I become flustered,incoherent,sweaty and stammering all at a low buzz of a single bee,ruining my date!

I can produce a very clear and detailed history of completely unprovoked attack from bees.

I have gotten stung so many times, I reasoned that this level of profiling bees as heartless insects can only be penance for my sins committed in a past life.

I have even been stung while getting interviewed for an agribusiness documentary.

The venue was a tropical garden.

On this one sunny day, a bee decided to crawl up my leg heading up to goodness knows where, and stung me just when I was getting into my groove for this exciting interview.

I took the sting like a man and did not utter
a word. the host was impressed when I told
him about it afterwards and he promptly
roasted me off air afterwards for being stoic.

The Tv man thought it would increased the ratings of the documentary if I had spontaneously hollered in horror in live camera at the sting of that single bee.

My friends told me later that I looked like a
man suffering from a constipation
throughout the remainder of the interview.

In another incident, during an important
fundraiser at a friend’s house, a bee landed on
the edge of my cup of water, placed on the
ground, next to my seat.

When I reached under the seat to take a cool gulp, I got stung on my upper lip.

Of all the cups in a gathering of about 50 people, I became the chosen one for this dishonour.

The commotion that followed was ugly.

I cursed the bee so ferociously in front of little children who started crying in horror of my swear words.

I spilled water over an elderly man, lost my
sense of bearing,charging like a wounded fighter bull for a few seconds as I
stumbled through chairs trying to suppress
the raw panic and the pain of the sting.

People panicked, some started running and if it
was not for a calm MC who laughed off my paranoia to the panicked crowd, I would have set off a stampede.

I was not very happy with my swollen face afterwards that looked like a freak deformed monster pumpkin.

Of course,I love the bees for their honey,but,Oouch! They do sting.

Just some random thoughts that came to my mind….©Profarms’ Random Thoughts®

You could be living through your best moments in life,but you don’t know it,as yet….

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In the ever busy rat-race that we call “a successful life”,you probably have everything that makes your life a ‘true success’ already,but you have not had the insight to realise that you are already a success.

My Buddhist teacher illustrated this paradox to me in the following story when I queried him on how to draw out a plan that will help me achieve my life-goals;

A “successful” cold storage & meat businessman was on vacation in a small lakeside village, when a small boat came ashore and he saw the fisherman pull out several large fish.

Impressed, he asked how long it had taken to catch them, to which the fisherman replied, “Just a little while.”

“Then why didn’t you stay longer and catch more?”

The fisherman replied, “This is enough to feed my whole family.”

“Then what do you do the rest of the day?”

The fisherman smiled and replied, “Well, I have a late breakfast and then I play with my kids. In
the afternoon, I take a nap with my wife, and come evening, I join my buddies in the village for a drink— we play guitar, sing and dance throughout the evening.”

The businessman felt sorry for the fisherman and wanted to help. “I have an MBA in business and I can help you succeed. From now on, you should spend more time at sea and catch as many fish as possible. When you’ve saved enough money, buy a bigger boat and catch even more fish. Soon you will be able to afford our own fleet. Instead of selling your catch to a middleman, you’ll sell directly to the
processor, eventually opening your own plant. You’ll control the product, processing, and distribution. By then, you’ll have moved out of this village to the big city, where you can set up your HQ and manage your operations.”

The fisherman seemed intrigued; “and then what?”

The businessman laughed heartily, “after about
15-20 years, you’ll go public and float your shares in the Stock Exchange. You’ll be rich!”

The fisherman,still listening keenly asked, “and then what?”

The businessman continued; “Afterwards, you can finally retire, move to a small coastal village.
Life will be sweet because you’ll be able to enjoy
fishing, play with your kids, have a nice afternoon nap with your wife, and in the evening, you would join your buddies for a drink, play the guitar, and sing and dance throughout the evening!”

The hapless fisherman was puzzled, “Isn’t that what I am already doing now?”

Our little apocryphal story teaches us that as Henry Ward Beecher once said, “Wealth is not an end of life but an instrument of life”.

The words of an old song put it well, “It can
buy you roses, but money can’t buy you love.” It can buy you a beautiful mattress but money can’t buy you sleep. It can buy you a vacation but money can’t buy you rest. It can help you afford the best education for your kids but money can’t make them succeed in life.”

Now, I’ve nothing against making loads of money.

That’s not my point.

Just a caution this Buddhist meditation week though that as you chase it, you don’t neglect and end up destroying the very things that you are chasing it for.

And guess what,you may already be living through the best days of your life,without knowing it!

Just some random thoughts that came to my mind….©Profarms’ Random Thoughts®

Just some random thoughts that came to my mind….©Profarms’ Random Thoughts®

Just some random thoughts that came to my mind….©Profarms’ Random Thoughts®

Easter Recipes; Cow hoof recipe that is a weird delicacy for middle aged Kenyan men

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If there’s any secret in eating cow hooves
popularly known as “Gumboots” here in Kenya, then many men of approximately 35years and above yearn for it the most.

In very rare cases will you find a woman ordering for “Gumboots” unless she is in company of a middle aged male “chaperon”.. While at Choma Zone joint in Ongata Rongai, in Ngong, one of the places where one can find this delicacy, you will hardly find any youth in their 20s ordering for it, unless it is on doctor’s orders.

“Gumboots” looks like a piece of fat on a hollow bone.

It is also not a meal you will enjoy using a
fork or chop sticks, but rather your hands.

You might only need a spoon to scoop soup from the bowl.

On one Sunday evening, at Choma Zone, a joint I frequent with friends, middle aged men dressed in T-shirts and sandals form most of the crowd.
And mind you,these middle aged Kenyan men are very wealthy judging from their very patronising demeanour and the type of high end cars that they drive into this joint.

I’ve deliberately pointed this trivial detail to disabuse my readers that “Gumboots” is delicacy for the ‘poor patrons’ who want to save on a cheap dish so that they can afford one more bottle of beer.

A few women go to this place,alone.

I’m in good company of my wealthy clients who run a string of agribusinesses in high end residential zone of Karen,Nairobi County.

To take my order, a female light skinned plump chef,known around here by her men patrons fondly as ‘Chiru’ approaches me asking which part of the cow leg I want. Confused, I tell her to bring a piece with fine meat.

She labours to explain that there are different
parts viz “Mahungu” (the hoof), the joint and the pipe.

I get to learn that most people prefer “Mahungu”,the lowest part of the hoof, to any
other.

After enjoying my meal that came with pieces of
steamed banana plaintains, she came to clear the table.

I asked her what it takes to prepare “Gumboots” at home for my partner,Daisy,as a surprise for her Easter treat.

“She may not appreciate it. Women do like these crazy hooves that you middle aged men seem to relish so much”. She retorts,catching me off guard by her sincere observation.

“But she liked it,last time we were here. You served us,remember?”

“That was only meant to caress your delicate ego as a man. Listen,if you want to surprise her “pleasantly”,fry her some potato chips and chicken,and add a lot of Ketch-up,dear man. That’s what we girls like”. She sums up her golden advice with a nice and victorious trot away from my table,or is it seductive?

I’m not sure,but ‘chiru’ has left me more intrigued by her honest and unsolicited advice.

I’m in a funny muse pondering this turn of events as I watch her gigantic derriere swinging on her slender hips as if it had a life of its own.

Sometimes,I find women more beautiful when they are “walking away” from me.

Its a sight to behold,especially in those who are endowed with a massive butt on slender hips,like ‘Chiru’.

Anyway,Chiru is back at my table with a pencil and legal yellow memo pad.

She lowers herself seductively at an opposite chair and hands me down the pencil and the yellow memo pad.

“Write this recipe down for yourself,and please don’t go try to poison your girlfriend with this trash that you men like”;

Recipe for “Gumboots” a.k.a cow hooves.

To prepare “Gumboots”, you need the following:
•Four tomatoes
•Two onions, leeks
•One big green paper
•One big carrot
•A pinch of salt
•Small onion leaves and a teaspoon of black pepper or other spice and salt.

METHOD

•Roast the hided cow hoof over a direct low flame to remove the fur.

•Ensure you do not burn the hooves to charcoal texture!.

•Gently scrape the remaining fur and parts that may have burnt. Cut the hoof into pieces of a
reasonable size.

•Soak in water for about 30 minutes.

•Drain and place in a saucepan.

•Add water and salt and boil for about an hour.

•Add the garlic, leeks, carrot, onion and leave to
simmer on slightly low fire until the soup reduces.
•Add a few pieces of peeled whole Irish potatoes and simmer until Irish is cooked but
not mashed.

Add black pepper and serve.

If the “Gumboots” is from for a younger cow, cook it for four hours, unlike for an old cow that takes six to eight hours .

First roast it so that the fur gets burnt and it is easy to scrap off the skin. After, chop it into the
desirable number of pieces.

“The common mistake that people who prepare it at home do is to fry “Gumboots”. This dilutes or spoils natural nutrients,” she points out.

The waitress asks me if I want to buy some materials for my partner to start cooking it from home but I’m honest that I’m single,most of the times,except over the coming long Easter weekend.

She laughs at me and advises that if I ever
get married, “Gumboots” should be prepared well so that the consumer enjoys all nutrients.

Why others enjoy this delicacy

I shift to the next table where a patron who
identifies himself as Charles Onyi, a resident
of neighbouring Langata sub-urb sits isolated at a distance from where football screens are.

As he sips on beer while waiting for the waitress to take away the dirty plates, I engage him in a chat.

He admits that he enjoys “Gumboots” every evening and in rare cases at lunch time.

“To me, “gumboots” is more than food it is a source of bone marrow that helps in lubricating joints such as knees and elbows,” Onyi explains.

Asked if the sticky fat is of any harm to the body, he explains that when one takes alcohol and develop hangover, the fats help to neutralise the hangover and one feels refreshed after taking “Gumboots” accompanied by its resulting hot soup.

While a first time consumer may only eat the top
soft part of the hoof and throw away the bones, Onyi advises inside the hollow bones is where the most important bone marrow that lubricates body joints is.

“It may not be scooped using hands or a fork but when the consumer holds the bone and sucks it out, they get it all out,” he stresses.

After about a 10-minutes- chat, he excuses himself to go and attend to other duties.

Another patron Robert Mukabi joins me.

He is a fairly tall and old man who is relishing the “Gumboots” side by side with a bottle of beer while watching football.

When his team misses a goal scoring opportunity, he almost forgets about his plate holding a bite on his fingers for what seems like long silent eternity, but seconds later, he resumes eating.

I divert his attention from the pain of watching his favourite team being humiliated on the TV screen to ask what secret he finds in eating “Gumboots” as I sip on a glass of water.

Robert does not hesitate to explain that when a person is low on food appetite, “Gumboots” soup does not only stimulate appetite
but works as a stomach cleanser.

“This soup detoxifies the stomach and leaves one feeling healthier than before,” he beams while explaining.

He adds, “It is also good for aging people. As we grow old, we tend to develop constant back pain.
So when someone begins to experience such a
problem and he or she takes “Gumboots” constantly, they may heal for good,” explaining further that it is food that someone can never get tired of and that it also helps in preventing constipation.

Then he surprises me by adding with a mischievous chuckle; “Mind you,it does wonders for areas around the crotch when one is as old as I am,and the missus is demanding home advantage “replay matches” in the bedroom!”

“Really?”

“Watch yourself this evening. You will bubbling hot in bed with your partner!”

Downtown

I then go to a spot at Visa place Park next to Uchumi Super market,Ongata Rongai Branch at an enclosed construction site.

This is
down town “Ronga” where people mostly those
retiring home from work pass by to feast on
“Gumboots”, it is no secret that the people there also enjoy it.

One by one, on benches positioned next to the
building people are served depending on how
much they want until the saucepan runs dry at
10pm.

Here, some customers are known to ‘Chiru’ who prepares “Gumboots” at Choma Zone. They call out her out on the phone for “outside catering service” since they have depleted the local stock in this joint,

She is able to understand who is calling her on the phone as this is a regular practice among her patrons when they move to other beer joints and what and how they want their evening meal served.

This happens as I look on, seated with Rogers
, a businessman and my treasured client in agribusiness.

As he holds a piece o “Gumboots” in the right hand and the other holding a bowl with few pieces of steamed banana plaintains, I’m
sipping on a cup of black tea and eating a chapatti, not because I do not have the Shs3,00 for “Gumboots”, but because my eating plan excludes having another heavy meal after 7pm.

“That food looks tasty,” I tell Rogers who is
enjoying his meal.

He is quick to respond that he learnt how to enjoy “Gumboots” from a friend about two years ago.

Though he eats it once a week, he is not shy to explain that alongside other benefits it
also increases his sexual performance.

Health experts say…

Madison Maara, a physiotherapist at Orthotech
and Physical Rehabilitation Centre, at Equatorial Hospital in Nairobi, says when you get proteins in the synovial fluids found in the joints and compare it with what you get from eating “Gumboots”, the latter is more important because it mainly targets the joints where it contributes to joint lubrication and softening.

“If a human joint was getting dry and a person takes “Gumboots”, the joint regains its
performance,” Maara notes.

In the process of boiling “Gumboots”, the calcium and phosphates composed in the bones transfers to the soup, and when one takes the soup, Maara says, the minerals help in strengthening and hardening of bones.

On how often one should eat “Gumboots”, he
explains that in case of osteorthritis, a
degenerative disease that one contracts as a result of the wear and tear of joint tissues which is common among people with reduced amounts of calcium in their joints, “gumboots” is a healthy remedy.

He advises that a person with such a condition
should take “Gumboots” twice a week.

However, its fatty quality may pose risks such as
fat accumulation in blood vessels and around the heart that causes hypertension.

Maara advises that after eating it, one should subject themselves to regular exercises like jogging to burn the fats.

And in a situation of a positive rheumatoid factor, a condition where the joint proteins become reactive or incompatible to the proteins in “Gumboots” which may sometimes lead to the swelling of the knee, it is recommended that the affected person should either limit protein intake or identify what causes the swelling commonly referred to as “Gout”.

Then, he or she can stop eating that particular food, be it “Gumboots” especially if the condition happened when the person has eaten it for the first time.

Cost of the delicacy

Depending on where one buys it, which could
either be at a restaurant, hotel or a bar in places
adjacent or within Nairobi City, a piece of
“Gumboots”served with steamed or
roast matooke(Banana plaintains) it costs between Shs2,500 and Shs6,000.

From the market and butcheries in Ongata Rongai Town, a cow leg costs between Shs 4,00 and Shs 8,00.

It is then chopped into hooves, the join
and the pipe.
At Visa Place Park in Rongai, I had to part with
Shs4,00 for a piece served with steamed banana plaintain.

In some cases where it may stay overnight without being eaten, ‘Chiru’ advises that it’s better to separate the soup from the “Gumboot” pieces; because it is likely to cause food poisoning.

Well,go on and have some “Gumboots” for your Easter Dinner this weekend!

Bernard Wainaina is an Independent Agribusiness Advisor and CEO at Profarms Consultants®,Nairobi,Kenya.

He mainly works with Agribusiness Youth Groups in Eastern African Region.

Just some random thoughts that came to my mind….©Profarms’ Random Thoughts®

My thoughts on Easter 2015; I have seen the Lord

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Many years ago, when I was in college,
the arguments were more prominent and
more intense than they are today about
whether Jesus rose historically and bodily
from the dead.

There was widespread consensus among believers and non- believers generally in Africa that deciding about that claim really mattered.

You took a stand—you believed in the resurrection, or you didn’t—and if you did,
you generally believed the rest of the Bible
and called yourself a Christian.

And if you didn’t, then you were intentionally not a Christian,a heathen probably,inspite of being indoctrined in African Religion and spirituality .

Today that question, that debate—Did
Jesus really rise from the dead historically,
bodily?—is not as prominent or as intense
because, at one level, people feel that it
doesn’t matter to them, because different
people believe in different things, and
maybe it happened, maybe it didn’t; and if
it did, or didn’t, and that helps you get
along in life, fine; but it doesn’t make
much difference to me.

I may or may not call myself a Christian, and if the resurrection seems helpful to me, I may
believe it; and if it doesn’t, then I won’t,
and I don’t think any body should tell me
that I have to.

Behind those two different kinds of unbelief—the kind from many years ago and the kind from the present day—is a different set of assumptions.

For example, in my college days the assumption pretty much still held sway, though it was starting to give way with the rise of existentialism, that there are fixed, closed natural laws, that make the world understandable and scientifically manageable, and these laws do not allow the truth of the claim that someone has risen from the dead to live forever.

That was a commonly held assumption: The modern world with its scientific understanding of natural laws does not allow for resurrections.
So unbelief was often rooted in that kind of
assumption.

But today, that’s not the most common
working assumption.

Today the assumption is not that there are natural laws outside of me forbidding the resurrection of Jesus, but there is a personal law inside of me that says: I don’t have to adapt my life to anything I don’t find helpful.

Or you could state it another way: Truth for me is what I find acceptable and helpful.

Now with that assumption in place, and that inner law in place, it doesn’t matter whether Jesus rose from the dead, because, whether he did or didn’t, my issue is: Do I care? Do I find that idea helpful? Do I feel that it helps me flourish as a human being?

And if it seems like it doesn’t, then I will
just view it the way I view UFOs and
possible life in some distant galaxy—I just
don’t need to bother with it.

If it helps you, that’s fine; but don’t press it on me.

Some of us think that way without even
knowing that’s the way you think.

You have simply absorbed it from the culture,
since that way of thinking is woven into
most television shows and advertising and
movies and modern educational curricula.

So what I am attempting to do is raise the
level of everyone’s awareness of how we sift through the realities that are coming at
us every day.

And my hope is that when I put the resurrection of Jesus before you, with heightened self-awareness you will not so easily be carried along by modern assumptions from 40 years ago or post- modern assumptions today, but may, with God’s help have a true concern for what really matters to you—not just what nature
or your own heart says matters to you.

I am going to come to John 20 in a
moment, but let me begin with a sermon
that the apostle Paul preached to
philosophy-lovers on Mars Hill in Athens
about 20 years after the death of Jesus.

It’s found in Acts 17 and ends like this:
The times of ignorance God overlooked,
but now he commands all people everywhere to repent, because he has fixed a day on which he will judge the world in righteousness by a man whom he has appointed; and of this he has
given assurance to all by raising him from the dead. ( Acts 17:30–31)

At that point in the sermon, his listeners cut
him off and mocked him because of the
claim that Jesus was raised from the dead
—which in itself is very significant because it means the amazing spread of Christianity in the early years did not happen in a gullible world that thought resurrections were normal.

But notice what Paul said: God calls the
whole world to repent, because we have all
sinned against him—that is, we have not
treasured him above all things.

We are de facto idolaters.

This repentance is urgent because God is going to judge the world in perfect righteousness.

And he is going to do it by a man, Jesus Christ.

Jesus will be the judge of every human someday.

Every human will stand before the living God-
man, Jesus.

None of our excuses will work in that court.

We will all be guilty unless we have trusted Christ as our Saviour and Authority and Treasure.

This word from the apostle Paul is flying
full force, with love, into the face of the
contemporary assumption that even if
Christ rose from the dead, it doesn’t matter
to me because I don’t find it helpful.

Paul is saying: It will matter to you whether you
find it helpful or not. God’s judgment of the world by Jesus Christ is not like possible life in another galaxy; it’s like death—it is coming, and saying it doesn’t concern you, is like closing your eyes and saying there is no such thing as light because it’s dark behind your eyelids.

The last thing Paul says in his sermon in
Athens is: “Of this God has given assurance (or warrant, or evidence, or proof) to all by raising Jesus from the dead.” To all! In other words, the resurrection of Jesus is designed by God to
be a global warrant or assurance that
repentance is necessary.

How does it do that when 20 years have
gone by, or 20 centuries have gone by?

The answer is that God always intended for the
resurrection to be known and believed through human witnesses.

This doesn’t rule out the work of his Spirit in opening our eyes.

But it is always through witnesses.

There were no tape recordings, no video
cameras, no photographs.

When it happened, God saw to it that there were
witnesses, and that Jesus appeared to witnesses in enough settings that they were fully convinced of his reality and could tell others and then write it down for us to read.

When Paul says, “God has fixed a day on
which he will judge the world in righteousness by a man whom he has appointed; and of this he has given assurance to all by raising him from the dead,” what he meant was that the
testimony of those who saw him will spread through the whole world and be a valid warrant for faith, a valid assurance that this really happened.

Here’s the way another eyewitness besides
Paul puts it.

The apostle Peter in a sermon preached about 8 or 10 years after the resurrection of Jesus said,
God raised [Jesus] on the third day and made him to appear, not to all the people but to us who had been chosen by God as witnesses, who ate and drank with him after he rose from the dead.( Acts 10:40–41)

In other words, it was God’s intentional design not for the risen Christ to be seen by everyone—not even in the day when it happened.

And not today, as much as we might wish we could!

His intentional design is: He appeared repeatedly and with many proofs (Acts 1:3) to a limited group of people whose job it was to bear witness in what they said and what they wrote so
that everyone who hears or reads this witness will be able know the assurance that God provides for the world about the resurrection of his Son.

That’s the way God designed for us to know.

That’s what we have in John 20—John’s
eyewitness account of the resurrection
appearances of Jesus.

That’s what we have in Matthew 28—Matthew’s eyewitness account; Luke 24—Luke was not an
eyewitness but lived and travelled with Paul
who was, and he talked to many others
( Luke 1:2); Mark 16—as we hear Mark’s
echo of Peter’s eyewitness testimony, as well as his own as a young man living in Jerusalem; and other writings in the New Testament.

On either side of John 20, we have this claim.

Look at John 19:35. In the middle of
Jesus’ crucifixion, John breaks off and
says, “He who saw it has borne witness—
his testimony is true, and he knows that he
is telling the truth—that you also may
believe.”

This is what Paul meant: The world can know what happened in those last hours because there were witnesses, and they give testimony and there are ways to test the testimony of witnesses.

Or look at John 21:24: “This is the disciple
who is bearing witness about these things,
and who has written these things, and we
know that his testimony is true.”

The point of this verse is that an eyewitness is telling this story. This is not hearsay. And his
testimony can be checked out with others
in the New Testament.

So let’s let him have his witness to us. And
you judge for yourselves ( Luke 12:57) if
these things are so.

“They Have Taken the Lord” (Verses 1–2)
Look at John 20:1–2.

Now on the first day of the week Mary
Magdalene came to the tomb early, while it was still dark, and saw that the stone had been taken away from the tomb.

So she ran and went to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one whom Jesus loved, and said to them,“They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they
have laid him.”

Mary did not believe the resurrection had happened.

She assumed the body was moved.

This is another evidence how slow the disciples, including the women, were to believe Jesus had been raised.

These were not easily excitable, gullible people.
Peter and John at the Tomb (Verses 3–11)

Then Peter and the other disciple— probably John, the writer of this book—ran to the tomb.

John outran Peter and stood looking in. Verse 5 says, “Stooping to look in, he saw the linen cloths lying there.”

This is what Jesus’ body had been wrapped
in when they buried him (John 19:40).

Then Peter comes and goes right into the
tomb. Verses 6–7: “Then Simon Peter came, following him, and went into the tomb. He saw the linen cloths lying there, and the face cloth, which had been on Jesus’ head, not lying with the linen cloths but folded up in a place by itself.”

What does John want us to learn about the
resurrection from this?

Two things, at least.

1. Risen Bodily, Not Just Spiritually

First, Jesus has risen from the dead bodily,
not just spiritually. Some are willing to talk
about the resurrection as a symbol of Jesus’
ongoing influence or his spirit alive in the
world or his soul returning to God. That is
not John’s point. The body was not there.
He had risen bodily. In fact, one of the
most striking and stubborn historical facts
is that the enemies of Jesus and of
Christianity in those first days and weeks
and months in Jerusalem could not produce
the body. That would have ended the whole
thing.

There was no dead body, because Jesus was raised bodily.

2. Like the Body That Died—But Not Exactly

Second, this body was not exactly like the body that died, and yet it was like the body that died. There is continuity and discontinuity. This is important because the resurrection of Jesus in the New Testament is viewed as the firstfruits of the harvest of the resurrection of all Christians.

As Paul put it: “Christ the firstfruits, then at his
coming those who belong to Christ” ( 1 Corinthians 15:23).

The point of saying the linen cloths were
there, and even mentioning the cloth that
was bound around his face, is probably to
show how this resurrection was different
from Lazarus’ resurrection.

Recall from chapter 11 that Jesus raised Lazarus after he had been dead four days. And John 11:44 it says, “The man who had died
came out, his hands and feet bound with
linen strips, and his face wrapped with a
cloth. Jesus said to them, “Unbind him,
and let him go.”

Different from Lazarus

People had to help Lazarus out of the linen
strips and face covering. That’s because he
had a mortal body. He would die again.
After the resurrection, Jesus did not have
mortal body. He would never die again.

“We know that Christ, being raised from the dead, will never die again” (Romans6:9).

Jesus’ body is different.

He simply passed through those grave cloths the way he passed through doors in John 20:19 and 26. “Although the doors were locked, Jesus
came and stood among them” ( John 20:26).
But at that very moment of entering the room like no ordinary body can, he says to doubting Thomas, “Put your finger here, and see my hands; and put out your hand, and place it in my side. Do not disbelieve, but believe” ( John 20:27).

This was a physical body that you could recognise, and touch. And Luke tells us he ate fish after he had risen ( Luke 24:43).

If you think this does not matter to you,
remember, those who are in Christ—that
is, who believe on him, and belong to him,
and receive forgiveness and reconciliation
from him—will be raised with him.

And Paul says in Philippians 3:21 that Jesus
“will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body, by the power that enables him even to subject all things to himself.”

This is not a UFO, or irrelevant life on another galaxy. This is what will happen when God judges the world by a man, Jesus Christ.

If you belong to him by faith in him, you
will receive a body like his, which will be
suited to see him and enjoy him and enter
finally into the new heavens and the new
earth where you will spend eternity admiring God in all that he has made.

And this world that we love so much, compared
to that one, will be like a candle compared
to the sun.

Here’s the issue: Do you see? In verse 8 it
says, “Then the other disciple [John], who
had reached the tomb first, also went in,
and he saw and believed” ( John 20:8).
What did he see? What did he believe?
Jesus wasn’t there—just some cloths that
he left behind.

Compare this to Mary in verse 18: She has
met Jesus in the garden and spoken to him.
She returns to the disciples and says, “I have seen the Lord” ( John 20:18).

We don’t have Mary’s direct evidence. We are
more like John in the tomb—there is evidence, and either we see through it or we don’t. The issue is: Do you see?

Let me close with an analogy; Your
doorbell rings this afternoon and one of
your friends asks to talk to you.

He comes and says, “I have some really bad news.
Your brother Jim is dead.”

And you say, shaking your head, “I don’t
believe it. I just saw him this morning. He
was fine. I don’t believe it. It can’t be.”

And your friend says, “We went to the game together, and as we were leaving, this car went out of control and jumped the curb, and hit Jim. I knelt over him. I waited for the medical examiner. I saw it. He’s gone.”

And you say, softly, “I see.”

What do you mean, “I see”? You mean that
the witness of your friend has become a window. And the reality in the window has
become plain.

You were not there. You did not see (the way Mary saw), but still you say—and it is right to say—with all your heart, “I see.”

“I Have Seen the Lord”

God has brought you here in my blog for this message and for this Scripture and for this story of the resurrection of Jesus and this witness.

And my prayer for you, as we close is that
you will now or very soon, by God’s grace,
say, “I see.”

There is one main difference between Jesus
and my illustration: He’s alive. It is as
though another messenger crashes through
the door while you are crying and says,
“Jim’s alive. I talked to him.” That’s what
Mary said, “I have seen the Lord.”

And in my own life too,”I have seen the Lord”.

That’s why my heart rings with joy of knowing that my Lord is alive.

And through him,my soul will live through eternity.

All of my genes may all die with my body here on earth,but my soul will live through the resurrection of my Lord and Saviour,Jesus Christ!

Just some random thoughts that came to my mind….©Profarms’ Random Thoughts®

Just some random thoughts that came to my mind….©Profarms’ Random Thoughts®

Chutzpah; learning from a cat

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Jaffa,my cat, has been real company for the solitude that I’ve chosen as my lifestyle.

The fact that I live alone means that Jaffa only comes into contact with only one human being most of the times,and that has its own implications;I sometimes neglect him since I also got my own things to do!

I came to learn about the word chutzpah from an Indian movie.

Chutzpah, in simple terms,means that there is nothing out there stopping you from doing whatever you want to do,irrespective of the consequences.

Let me illustrate: there is this solo bank robber who holds up a bank by passing a little note to the teller which demands that he empties his till into a provided paper bag. This is done pronto as he is armed. Having done that,he then carries his paper bag full of bank notes into a cashier’s window in the same bank and demands that the whole loot is deposited into his bank account! He then walks out of the bank door just as the cops who have been alerted by the robbed teller are coming in to arrest him. But he doesn’t have any money on him. It is both hilarious and complicated to the bank staff and the sceptical cops! That’s what I call Chutzpah,and Jaffa has it all,and more.

There were thousands of things I was certain would be impossible for me to ever do again after leading a complicated life that drained all my energy and enthusiasm for trying new things(that’s a story for another day!)

Jaffa’s attitude was what I needed to get on my feet again.

But that required believing I could actually learn from a cat.

I learned that the word “impossible” was nothing other than a word, which only carried meaning if I allowed it to.

Jaffa believed nothing was impossible.

And by watching him, nothing was.

At the beginning of my life after my ‘big failure’, I saw obstacles as just that – obstacles.

And therefore put them on my “can’t do” list.

But Jaffa never accepted obstacles as anything
other than challenges.

He opened cabinets by putting his paws around
the knobs and pulling.

My after-shave bottles made great rattling noises in the bathroom on crash landings.

I bought child-proof magnets at the hardware
store.

Jaffa simply tugged a little harder.

Back to the hardware store for hook and eye locks.

Jaffa flipped the hooks open with one paw.

Back to the hardware store for deadbolt locks.

He easily slid those bolts to the side.

The guy at the hardware store already had
combination locks on the counter in anticipation of my next visit “for something slightly different” in way of effective locks. He always looked amused about the stories of my “strange cat”,his words,not mine! They at least helped a little.

I was in awe of Jaffa’s tenacity.

By watching him, I learned that words like “can’t” and “hopeless” were just not in his feline vocabulary.

When I’d see a barrier that would prevent me from getting to where I wanted to go, I’d instantly turn around.

This happened recently when I decided to
surprise Daisy,my regular partner, with her favourite bacon, egg and toast breakfast sandwich.

She has a way of scrambling great breakfasts for me,I just wanted to repay back her kindness one fine Saturday morning.

The first lot got the toast burnt up into charcool texture,I’m not a very good chef when I multitask such simple things like whistling my favourite song as well as watching over the grilling toast!

I helped myself to the first lot as a way of ‘destroying’ the evidence before Daisy woke up from her blissful morning slumber to ‘witness’ my horrible breakfast for her!

I was lucky on the second one.

She was really taken in,not knowing I had knots twisting in my protesting gut after helping myself to the first horrible lot,and feigning to enjoy my second helping when sitting at the breakfast table with her that lovely Saturday morning.

I credit Jaffa for my newly found Chutzpah!

He never gives up.

Yet when barriers thwarted Jaffa, he’d never quit trying.

He’d never give up and turn around like I’ve done so many times after encountering barriers.

Every morning, I’d wake to the blaring sound of
Nairobi traffic reports.

That’s because Jaffa learned to push the button on my bedside clock radio.

He wants to wake me so he’d get fed.

Yes, of course I’ve tried moving the radio.

He would simply hunt for two seconds and find it.

Yes, of course ive tried covering it with books on my bedside reading table carefully
placed perfect angles.

Jaffa simply shoves all the books off at once.

There was no way to stop him.
So I did the only sensible thing and locked it in, in one of bedside drawers.

I got rid of the clock radio recently by gifting it to a friend after I lost Jaffa.

It was too much of a memory to keep around my bed.

What else could I do with a cat like
Jaffa? (I heard that similar despair from a close friend of mine!)

To him, anything could fall into the toy category.

He’d unravel entire rolls of toilet paper and play around with the shards whenever he gets bored. I then had to keep it in an empty Nescafe coffee can.

One day years ago, he found something else that will surely go down in the “History of the Best Cat Toys” book.

I was on the phone with a friend, Eddie.

I had barely said “hello”.

That’s when Jaffa came running in with something in his mouth. He had opened the new box of tampons that Daisy bought that morning.

He was flinging the tampon in the air like it was a toy mouse,the stringed end excited him most.

My friend asked if I was all right because not only had I stopped talking barely after greeting in astonishment of this vulgar play, I was
having an earsplitting laughing fit that I just could not control!

He assumed I was having a traumatic stress reaction for living alone and said, “When you live one, you’re often not in control of your emotions and that’s okay. It’s fine to
laugh.”

Living alone with Daisy in my house for a weekend sleepover?

That cracked me up even more.

I managed to blurt out, ” Shh! Daisy is here!!” before seeing the tampon go flying across the room.

Then I hung up — on my friend to let out pearls of laughter.

For the past two years, Jaffa has been sick after a violent encounter with a neighbour’s that almost amputated his tail and disfigured a side of his face.

Ive spent lots of time massaging him on either side of his face.

He always loved that.

On one afternoon, I used my fingers to comb through his lovely full set of whiskers he had eventually grown.

That’s when I saw the one side effect from the medicine he was taking.

As I gently rubbed along his face, all of his whiskers came off in my hands, except for one.

I placed them in a tiny needlepoint purse my partner made for me.

He came into my life with one whisker.

And,presumably that is how he would leave.

Three months ago, on a quiet Sunday afternoon, I kissed his forehead and whispered, “I love you.” He looked up at me.

His face showed the love he was never successful at hiding.

As Daisy softly sang, “Food, glorious food, hot sausage and mustard ,” Jaffa took his last
breath
.
While his body was still warm, I cradled him in my arms and rocked him. I held his head so he was nestled against my neck. I said, “You came into my life when I needed you the most.”

Daisy was crying as She stood next to us, watched me rocking my little soul mate. “Jaffa,” I could barely speak. “You will
always be a part of me.”

I didn’t want to let him go from my arms.

But Daisy, so lovingly and slowly, gently took him away.

And so, I honor the life and the lessons of my
wonderful cat who, from the beginning, stood apart from all the others.

My beautiful cat, my Jaffa, just a plain gray tabby, as common as a housefly,but always so special to me.

There will never be another “Jaffa”,though Daisy hastily got me another kitten and named him Jaffa to console me for my loss.

That’s Chutzpah,but I learnt the true meaning of Chutzpah from my departed soulmate,Jaffa.

Just some random thoughts that came to my mind….©Profarms’ Random Thoughts®

We love best when we do not love out of desperation

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If it is possible to live with a purpose, what should that purpose be?

A purpose might be a guiding principle, a philosophy, or a value of sovereign importance that informs and directs our activities and thoughts.

To have one is to live seriously —though not necessarily wisely — following some track, believing in a hub to the wheeling universe or a
sea toward which we flow or an end before which all the hubbub of civilisation subsides.

What is your purpose, friend, or what should it be?

Now,when I honestly answered this question to my buddhist teacher by telling him that I live for the true love of my soul,he chuckled and said that I’m a naturally born narcissist,then wisely added that,while is narcissim is not entirely wrong,a narcissist like me needs to be taught compassion for others as it is difficult for him to love others;his true love is only for himself.

I couldn’t agree with him more on his honest observation about me.

Perhaps most of us do not come to a clear
conclusion in the matter, but this does not mean we have no other purpose but to love ourselves, only that we do not recognise it or admit it or even choose it for ourselves.

In the unhappiest case nature simply takes its course, which is a turbid meandering through the swamps of desire,not love.

If love means nothing to us, then only pleasure is worthwhile; or if love has meaning and we cannot get at it then still only enjoyment matters — such is the view of narcissists and some sophisticated philosophers.

It slips into the unconscious by default when we hold no other, but we are reluctant to entertain it and will rather, if we think about it, take as our purpose support of family, search for beauty, improvement of society, fame, self-expression, development of talent, and so on.

But it might be fair to say that apart from
these or beneath these the fundamental purpose of many of us is the search for love, particularly
romantic love.

The love of a man for a woman and a woman for a man is often the floor to which people fall after the collapse of other dreams.

It is held to be solid when nothing else is, and though it frequently gives way and dumps them into a basement of despair, it still enjoys a reputation of dependability.

No matter that this reputation is illogical — it still flourishes and will continue to flourish regardless of what is said in any book.

Love, or possibly the myth of love, is the first,
last, and sometimes the only refuge of
uncomprehending humanity.

What else makes our hearts beat so fast?

What else makes us swoon with feeling?

What else renders us so intensely alive and
aching?

The search for love — the sublime, the
nebulous, the consuming — remains sacred in a world that increasingly despises the sacred.

When the heroic and the transcendental are but memories, when religious institutions fill up with bureaucrats and social scientists, when nobody believes there is a sky beyond the ceiling, then there seems no other escape from the prison of self than the abandon of love.

With a gray age of spiritual deadness upon us,
we love, or beg for love, or grieve for love.

We have nothing higher to live for.

Narcissists guarantee themselves true and unfailing love by loving ONLY themselves.

Others have to work hard to secure love from outside of themselves.

Indeed, many take it on faith that romantic love is the highest thing to live for.

Popular literature, movies, art, and music tirelessly celebrate it as the one truth accessible to all.

Such love obliterates reason, as poets have long sweetly lamented, and this is part of its charm and power, because we want to be swept up and spirited out of our calculating selves.

“Want” is the key word, for in the spiritual void of modern life the wanting of love becomes increasingly indistinguishable from love itself.

So powerful, so insistent is it that we seldom notice that the gratification is rare and the craving relentless.

Love from outside oneself is mostly in anticipation; it is an agony of anticipation; it is an ache for a completion not found in the dreary round of mundane routine.

That we never seem to possess it in its imagined fullness does not deter most us who are not narcissists.

It hurts so bad,and that way, it must be good.

Practically nobody questions the supremacy of
romantic love, which is good enough reason to do a little poking around the foundations of its pedestal.

Who is entirely satisfied with the romance in his or her life?

Who has found the sublime rapture previously imagined?

And if one has actually found such a thing, does it last, or does it not rather change and decline from the peak of ecstasy?

And if it declines what becomes of one’s purpose in life?

If a purpose is achieved it is no longer a purpose; it can no longer guide or sustain us.

Does one taste of nectar satisfy us forever?

When we tire of crass, material goals we may go
searching for love instead of, say, religious insight, because love seems both more accessible and more urgent, and because so much of institutional religion in our time has degenerated into insipid humanism.

Some claim refuge here but many more, longing for authentic and moving experience, turn to the vision of the “lover,” that source of wonder, joy, and transcendence, who, it is thought, must be pursued and if captured perfected and if perfected then enjoyed forever — or until some other lover lights up the horizon.

Love is its own justification, especially for the young who have no other inspiration or no
career or responsibilities to dull themselves with as their plodding elders do.

Longing bursts through this one channel that seems open, dizzily insisting that the life of unreflecting passion is the highest they can
aspire to.

They do not reason, but fall.

Their elders do reason — obsessively — but fall all the same, thereby admitting that, with all their thought and experience, they find, when driven to extremity, they have nothing but love to live for.

This is not to say that such a surrender must be bad, only that it happens out of instinct and uninformed passion.

Love is sweet and it is our nature to give
way.

But why do we worship it so ardently and why
do we break off our search for fulfillment here?

Perhaps because we see no other earthly “gods”.

Yet if love is the highest thing to live for then this is a hopeless universe, because we should see in a calm hour that Cupid’s arrows not only thrill us but make us bleed.

“Man Kills Estranged Lover, Then Self.” “Wife Stabs Husband in Domestic Quarrel.” “Love Triangle Leads To Shooting.” So read the headlines with depressing regularity.

The stories behind these are only the most
shocking of countless tales of passion, but they do forcefully suggest that romantic love is not always a blessing.

One might object that hate, not love, spawns such tragedies, but where has such hate
come from if not from a prior attachment now
broken?

We should know from experience how easily
what we call love can turn to bitterness, jealousy, and malice, and though we protest that this is not the fault of love, we ought to notice that where one passion arises another is likely to follow.

Passions are unreliable, volatile, dangerous, and a poor foundation for happiness.

Divorces, suicides, dissipation, violence, depravity,fanaticism, and other miseries great and small follow from passion, and yet passion is still, in the public mind, considered commendable, a mark of vigor and liveliness.

Though everybody will admit that passion
gone awry is dangerous, few realize that passion is by its nature likely to go awry.

Romantic love is a chancy passion that may result in the opposite of what is desired.

It may have happy consequences,
too — else it would not have so many adherents — but it raises the stakes in the gamble of life and makes us more vulnerable both to our own weaknesses and to unpredictable fortune.

As most of us count the joys of successful love (however we define it) worth the pain involved in its pursuit, we must learn to step lightly and with intelligence.

We believe, with some reason, that love can ennoble and redeem us, and call forth our purest energies, but we are slower to see that when the lamp of love flickers out, as it
tragically tends to do, we might lose our way in a fearful labyrinth of suffering.

Granted that few will shun the pursuit of romance out of fear of unhappy consequences, what can be done to ameliorate those consequences?

If we really have nothing higher to live for, nothing to fall back on, the lugubrious truth is that nothing much can be done to ameliorate them, given the volatile nature of human affections, so it would be wise to make sure
there really is no superior, sustaining ideal before committing ourselves exclusively to the chase.

Buddhism, of course, teaches such an ideal, which is nothing less than deliverance from all sorrow, called Nibbana.

While worldly joys are mutable and fleeting,
Nibbana is established, sorrowless, stainless, and secure.

While worldly pains are piercing,unpredictable, and unavoidable, Nibbana is altogether free from pain. It is the end of suffering, the supreme refuge, the ultimate emancipation.

The Buddha himself applied many terms of praise to it while recognising their essential inadequacy.

Nibbana cannot be grasped by language or concept, but it can be known and realised by one who makes the right efforts.

This is a critical point.

Nibbana is not something that happens to us through an external agency; rather it is something that we ourselves may achieve.

The Buddha certainly never would have troubled himself to teach had he not understood that his own realisation was not fortuitous but rightly won and that those who followed his instructions could win realisation for
themselves.

That understanding, passed down, has
sustained the Buddhist religion to the present day.

The diligent are not powerless.

Suffering can be overcome.

Still, knowing ourselves to be sunk in confusion and beset by myriad defilements, we might regard Nibbana as too remote to do us much good here and now.

We persist in seeing an unbridgeable chasm
between saints and ordinary people like ourselves.

We think practically everybody is like us (or worse) while maybe there are one or two genuine saints in the world, they presumably having just been born in that condition or with the exceptional good luck to get themselves elevated — who knows how?

Yet the human condition is not, according to Buddhism, a fixed sentence to this or that level of wisdom and virtue.

Beings are living at all stages of attainment,
and they do not stay in the same place.

They rise through their own good efforts, and
decline through their own negligence in the endless action and reaction of intentional deeds (kamma) and results of deeds (kamma-vipaka).

The Buddha did not teach the Dhamma for the
entertainment of those already perfected; he taught it for the benefit of fallible people like us who were struggling to avoid pain and make sense of the world.

Even to those who came to him with no intention to scale high spiritual summits he imparted the progressive training of giving, morality and mental development.

Why?

Because there is always scope for improvement and because the human alternatives are not limited to holy wisdom or cloddish ignorance.

Suffering lessens and happiness increases when we make an effort to follow the Noble Eightfold Path, whatever our present condition.

In the classic formula, the Dhamma is “directly
visible, timeless, calling one to come and see, leading onwards, to be personally realized by the wise.”

Perhaps we cannot see Nibbana resplendent on the horizon, but we can certainly make out the ground beneath our feet; we can know when we draw a joyful breath or put behind us an old sorrow or refrain from a vicious act or compose an agitated mind.

The Dhamma confers benefits here and now as well as in the future.

Is there not satisfaction in performing a good deed with a clear mind?

Is there not uplift in a moment of quiet contemplation saved from the tumult of the day?

The Dhamma lightens our burdens in the present and gives us grounds for hope.

What then does this have to do with the problems of love?

Simply this. The Dhamma puts the delights and
torments of love into perspective, so that we can
break the illusion of love as the highest of aspirations and most essential of desires.

Henry Thoreau wrote (when young): “The only remedy for love is to love more.”

We might amend this to say: The only remedy
for love is to love better.

The understanding and the practice of the Dhamma do not destroy our capacity
to love or enjoy love — far from it.

The Dhamma purges the grasping, selfish qualities from our love and makes it purer and nobler.

As we come to understand through personal
experience the rightness and goodness of the path of Dhamma, we may discover — slowly or suddenly — that the consuming passions we previously thought to be the only reasons for our existence are really not so, and that something of wondrous value overarches them — indistinct as yet but flashing out now and again from the clouds of possibility.

What do our heaving emotions matter compared with that?

When we lean hard, out of passion, we will fall hard— such is the nature of attachment. But when we do not lean, when instead we stand upright with an eye to the heights, then the love we bestow flows out of us without weakening us, like a superabundance of vigor.

This is metta — loving-kindness devoid of
selfishness.

It becomes purer to the extent we realize
it is not the purest; it becomes happier to the extent we realise it is not the happiest.

Nibbana surpasses
all.

If, through our own ripening knowledge, we
appreciate that our ultimate and highest purpose should be Nibbana, the absolute end of sorrow, then all goals beneath that are cast in a new light.

When we have something to live for that is higher than fame, honor, friendship, or health — higher even than love — we can never be utterly impoverished or ruined.

We are in fact in a much better position to
enjoy whatever may be achieved in worldly life,
because we no longer depend solely on changeable circumstances for our happiness.

Love cools, friendships wane, calamities carry off the good and the beautiful. Who can deny it? If we are to overcome despair and grief we must not invest ourselves obsessively in what is perishable.

We need to keep our minds, and consequently our actions, as free as possible from craving and attendant defilements like covetousness and possessiveness: Our actions are all led by the mind;
mind is their master, mind is their maker.

If one acts or speaks with a defiled state of mind,then suffering follows like the cart-wheel
that follows the foot of the ox.

Our actions are all led by the mind; mind is their master, mind is their maker.

If one acts or speaks with a pure state of mind,
then happiness follows like a shadow that remains behind without departing.

While nobody can cut off craving simply by an act of will, we can certainly loosen its frightful grip on us by following the path and paying attention to the ultimate deliverance that shines at its end.

Love is never the poorer for being accompanied by wisdom.

It is not harmed by being deprived of a crown.

The agonies we endure and inflict in the name
of love come from making love bear too heavy a
weight.

While we are in the world and engaged in the
life of a householder we will naturally form
attachments to family, job, friends, and lovers, but the suffering produced from these attachments will vary according to our wisdom and maturity.

If we see nothing higher at all and abandon ourselves to the lottery of gaining and losing, we will surely suffer great pain, but if we keep the ideals of the Dhamma before us we will gain a measure of insulation against worldly inclemencies.

According to Buddhism, everything that has the
nature of arising has the nature of ceasing, so it is well to place our greatest faith in Nibbana, which, being beyond all concepts and limits, does not “arise,” and thus does not fluctuate with the teetering universe.

An independent mind, intent on deliverance, is not a cold, unfeeling mind, but a mind whose love is uncalculated, beneficent, free — and
empty of the furious I want of ego.

If we don’t live for love we won’t die for it either.
If the windows of our mind are open to the streaming light of Dhamma then that light will bathe our thoughts and actions and distinguish the skillful from the foolish.

Even without understanding of the Dhamma most of us will distinguish in theory between love and infatuation.

We think of infatuation as capricious,
irresponsible, and shallow, and true love as mature, serious, and steady — though in practice it is hard to tell where one ends and the other begins.

At least we recognise some advantage to clear sight and reflection, and this recognition grows sharper with actual experience of the Dhamma.

We become less likely to throw ourselves at the feet of the adored object and more likely to stand erect, honest, and mindful, ready to meet our fortune with bravery.

To a world that knows nothing loftier than the convulsions of craving, this may seem a loss, but to one who truly experiences the refreshment of wisdom there comes no narrowness but rather a loosening of the bonds of fear and selfishness.

One can love without compulsion, out of free will.

How gratifying when affection is given, or received, without a bill for services rendered!

Even under promising circumstances there is no
guarantee that love will be returned in equal
measure, or that it will last long, or that it will provide unalloyed joy.

When we depend on it entirely for our
happiness we must dwell in the shadow of pain,
however bright our amorous interludes.

What if we should lose our heart’s support tomorrow?

We’re okay as long as we have each other, we assure ourselves dreamily.

But we will not have each other long.

Quarrels, time, distance, changes, or finally
death dissolve all unions of friends, lovers, and
relatives, plunging the unwary into despair and
meaninglessness; and if we have no wisdom we too may go creeping about the lonely streets with our eyes staring hungrily into other eyes and seeing the same hunger there.

But in the way of the Buddha there is relief from distress and exile.

In wisdom there is security.

Because love is fragile and temporary it cannot
protect us forever, but if we relax our grip it may bloom even better, allowing us to give and receive without encumbrance, frenzy, or fear, offering to each other our strength instead of our weakness.

In a sense the practice of Dhamma is like gradually filling the abyss of ignorance with knowledge until that terrible vacuum is appeased and neutralized and the heart no more cries for unknown succor.

The perfected one, clinging to nothing here or hereafter, asks nothing and requires nothing, so he is wholly free.

His loving-kindness is just the over-measure,
the overflowing of his goodness quite purified of the need, the visceral wanting and the vacillation of ordinary attachment.

While we cannot all at once purify our sentiments of their dross, we can raise the aim of our thought and conduct, and reflect on — indeed, contemplate — the virtues of the Buddha and the noble ones who are free from taint.

Their achievement is an image to set before our inner eye, something higher to live for,
within and beyond the motions of our conventional life.

No good thing prospers in ignorance.

The more we understand this flawed universe the more skillfully we can live, and the happier we will be.

We love best when we do not love out of desperation.

Just some random thoughts that came to my mind….©Profarms’ Random Thoughts®

Just some random thoughts that came to my mind….©Profarms’ Random Thoughts®

Just some random thoughts that came to my mind….©Profarms’ Random Thoughts®

Grievous humour; He attended the wrong funeral

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Sometimes,grief stiffens our sense of humour,but it doesn’t actually kill it.

In my life,and in the customs of the community I come from, death is a solemn affair.

So,when my associate colleague died,I had to travel to Rwanda for funeral.

That was not so long ago,and there is still a lot of grief clouding my heart for her. R.I.P.

But something funny happened during her funeral service that I find worth sharing with my readers.

We were all sitting solemnly inside a church when I heard the church door open with a hideous creak.

Quick footsteps hurried along the wooden tiled floor.

An exasperated young man looked around briefly and then sat next to me.

He folded his hands and placed them on his lap.

His eyes were brimming with tears.

He began to sniffle.

“I’m late,” he explained, though no explanation was necessary.

After several eulogies from her close friends and family, he leaned over and
commented, “Why do they keep calling
Mary by the name of Margaret?”

“Because, that was her name, Margaret.
Never Mary, no one called her Mary,'” I
whispered.

I wondered why this person couldn’t have
sat on the other side of the church.

He interrupted my grieving with his tears and
fidgeting. Who was this stranger anyway?

“Isn’t this the Lutheran church?”

“No, the Lutheran church is across the
street.”

“Oh.”

“I believe you’re at the wrong funeral, Sir.” I volunteered,if only to shut him up.

Then something very strange happened to me;
The solemness of the occasion mixed with
the realisation of the man’s mistake bubbled up inside me and came out as laughter.

I cupped my hands over my face, hoping it would be interpreted as sobs.

The creaking pew gave me away.

Sharp looks from other mourners only made the situation seem more hilarious.

Was I becoming neurotic or what?

I peeked at the bewildered, misguided man seated beside me.

He was laughing too, as he glanced around, deciding it was too late for an uneventful exit.

I imagined everybody laughing,and that made it even more hilarious.

Grief can sometimes bring out the worst of us.

At the final ‘Amen,’ we both darted out a door
and into the parking lot.

“I do believe we’ll be the talk of the town,” he smiled.

He said his name was Rick and, since he had
missed his aunt’s funeral, asked me out for
a cup of coffee.

That afternoon began a lifelong journey for me with this man who attended the wrong funeral, but was in the right place.

A year after our meeting, he invited me to his wedding and they were married at a country church where he was the assistant pastor.

This time we both arrived at the same church, right on time.

Later,after the ceremony,he sidled up to me with his new bride and was laughing even before he grabbed my hand for an enthusiastic handshake.

“I want you to meet my new bride before the ink settles on our marriage certificate so that you can do this one thing for me…..”

“Anything you ask,I’ll do it for you”,I replied,not really sure what he was going to ask of me.

“Do you think I attended the “right wedding”? He ventured sheepishly as his new bride dropped her eyes in surprise and shame,not knowing what this was all about.

“Let me see”,I said as I lifted the bride’s veil feigning close scrutiny of her face. “I’m afraid you attended the wrong wedding again,but I guess the bride is the right one!”

“Come on!”,he cried out as he grabbed me by the shoulders wrestling me to the ground in mirth of uproarious laughter.

In my time of sorrow, God gave me
laughter.

In place of loneliness and grief, God gave
me laughter again and new love for a stunning young family for friends .

Bernard Wainaina is an Independent Agribusiness Advisor and CEO at Profarms Consultants®,Nairobi,Kenya.

He mainly works with Agribusiness Youth Groups in Eastern African Region.

Just some random thoughts that came to my mind….©Profarms’ Random Thoughts®

Stereotypes; “A lot of Kenyans think cheese is disgusting!”

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Whenever I travel outside my country,Kenya,I’m always surprised by how the rest of the world sees us.

In other words,the Kenyan stereotype.

Recently,when I visited DR Congo on a tour of duty,a lady serving at a local food stall sidled up to my table after serving my lunch and asked me without any preamble; “How many miles do you run each morning?”

I was shocked by her brave intrusiveness.

When I recovered,I meekly told her that the last time I ran was during my high school cross country races which I hated very much,but they were compulsory,all the same.

She didn’t look very satisfied with my answer.

“But you look thin and athletic”.She egged me on.

I honestly didn’t know what to tell her after that.

You see,Kenya is known for successive generations of marathon champions in world races.

The rest of the world seems to think that every other Kenyan is an athlete!

And that was not enough; a white lady colleague during the duration of my stay offered me a package in a recycled carton of biscuits,and told me to take it to “my wife”.

“What is in the box? I was curious.

“Oh-some undies that I don’t want to fly out of here with”. She replied.

Now,at my age,she assumed I had wife,and a big family that was probably in need of clothes.

Kenya,according to WHO statistics has been topping the list of “high fertility and unsustainable population growth”.

I presume this is what informed her decision to donate clothes for “my exploding family”.

All over the world,people have formed stereotypes about other people,and most international interactions are usually based on this stereotypes.

Listen to my taxi driver in Kinshasha literally driving home this stereotype point;

“I can get you a girl to warm your bed tonight;I know Kenyan men like ‘Nyama Choma” (roasted meat) and young girls. Do you want a good girl?”

Me; “No. I already have a young girl who is only 22 years old,very loving,very beautiful; she is my daughter!”

Driver; “I mean one that you can take back to your hotel room”.

Me; “Would you mind if I first consulted someone about this?”

Driver; “Not at all. Let me know about this arrangement after you have consulted”.

He was just not going to give up so easily.

He was probably a pimp,and his cut meant more to him than my screaming morals.

Anyway,I did consult,after all.

I whatsapped my daughter back in Nairobi,breaking the ice first about this uncomfortable topic with a “Hi”.

One hour later,only one tick still displayed in my sent message.

Four hours later,two blue ticks and a reply;

“Hi dad,how was your day?”

Me; “very fine,very interesting!”

Daughter; “Interesting like how,Dad?”

Me; ” I don’t know how I should tell you this,but do you remember the many conversations we’ve had about how you should relate with men,taking care of yourself,I mean?”

Daughter; “Yes Dad,but pliz,let’s not go over that again tonight,pliz.”

Me; “I’m afraid we will have to,Liza,but this time,it is about me”.

Daughter;” What has happened Dad? Shoot!”

Me; “It is like this, Liza, this afternoon,when I was being driven back to my hotel room,my Taxi driver offered to get me a young girl for the night”.

Long pause.

One hour later; “did you take up that offer,Dad?”

Me; “No”.

Daughter; “Thank you Dad,and please take care of yourself!”

Conversation muted from her end.

This conversation must have been nerve-racking for my daughter.

We have talked many times with my daughter about morals,her morals,but never my morals.

She also doesn’t seem to buy the idea of stereotype of “Kenyan men” always wanting “young nubile escort girls,at least,not about her dad.

But who I’m I to argue about the Kenyan stereotype.

I googled “Kenyan stereotype” after this disconcerting episode,and here is what I got from ‘QUORA';

»Question”How is the stereotype of people from Kenya?
Doesn’t have to be right, it’s just a stereotype. Also;
-include stereotypical physical appearance if exist.
-Factual information is easy to get, but cultural info
e.g. stereotypes are hard to analyse.
Cultural stereotype gives insight not only about the stereotyped society, but also the society who
stereotypes.-
and remember, it’s just a stereotype, doesn’t have to be right, and please don’t get emotional over stereotype”.

Best Answer;”Best Answer: They are very friendly, welcoming, and family oriented.
The women work very hard all day long, washing, cooking, pretty much doing everything. The guys have a lot more free time.
They are proud of Obama – he’s Kenyan!
The kids are very good students and get excited
about learning even though the resources aren’t
always there.
A lot of Kenyans will have multiple boyfriends or girlfriends.
This doesn’t necessarily mean they’re sleeping together, often they don’t even live in the same city but someone will say “yeah, I have three
girlfriends!”
The food is pretty basic but the Kenyans love their ‘ugali'(Maize meal Cake). It’s the national food. Most foreigners aren’t huge fans of ‘ugali’, chapatti’s more palatable.
They love sugary things like children – chocolate, soda, especially Fanta. A
lot of Kenyans think cheese is disgusting.
Kenyans are crazy drivers. They also prefer to drive over walking. I’ve never seen a Kenyan out for a jog.
Kenya is very multicultural so everyone has
stereotypes about other groups. For example, the Kikuyu are business people and the Kikuyu women are the hardest to handle! Luhya women are loyal and if their husbands are difficult they will stand by them anyway. The Maasai are the most trustworthy, you can feel very safe in Maasailand. Maasai women
have crazy earrings and jewellery and the men are quite noticeable. People from the coast are really relaxed and friendly. Anyone not from Nairobi will tell you that the city is full of thieves, someone could steal from you and no one will care. Kenyans don’t always trust Somalis.
Kenyans also stereotype white people, believing that we are all rich and well-educated. As for rich, well, most foreigners in Kenya are, so they’re right on target there.
Source(s):
A mix of my own generalizations and stereotypes I
heard while in Kenya by Ryemtl ·

Answer two;”A Kenyan is a party animal who loves beer and nyama choma for a general kenyan, when you go to tribes the luos are
known to be proud and gives ladies a treat of their life, Obama is a luo. The luhyas are known for their love of Ugali and Kuku (maize meal taken with chicken) Kikuyus for their love of money. If you are in kenya just drop a shilling and those who will turn to look at it are kikuyus. kambas for their love for witchcraft.”
Source(s):
for more about kenya http://
http://www.ugandalastminute.com/safaris/…;
ugandalastminute ·

Answer three; “They run fast in Track and Field events because back at home, they have to run from cheetahs and avoid getting trampled by zebras”.
Source(s):
Stereotypes. Not Facts.
Bleh ·

Answer four “They get elected President of the USA”
Wrenchman57 ·

I bet stereotype is the way the rest of the world sees us,no matter the factual truth.

I’m glad that my daughter does not share this view about me as a “Kenyan man” with the rest of the world!

Bernard Wainaina is an Independent Agribusiness Advisor and CEO at Profarms Consultants®,Nairobi,Kenya.

He mainly works with Agribusiness Youth Groups in Eastern African Region.

Just some random thoughts that came to my mind….©Profarms’ Random Thoughts®

Drunk!

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I’m drunk with deep joy that life has
thrown at my heart;I won’t touch any other kind of
wine tonight.

OR;

Maybe I’m too old to keep a good love
going, but tonight you’re on my mind, though
you’ll never know.

But it makes me happy,all the same!

Just some random thoughts that came to my mind….©Profarms’ Random Thoughts®

Cruised round Kampala in 90 minutes,but I never moved an inch!

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Last week,on an ecological study at Mapira forest, I took the chance to revolve in Kampala.

Not in a head-spinning way,as you’ll understand when I explain.

Gently, it was.

It took a full 90 minutes to turn through 360 degrees.

I’m talking about the revolving restaurant at the top of the Golf Course Hotel.

They call it the Seven Hills Revolving
Restaurant.

That’s because Kampala is said to have been built on seven hills: Kasubi Hill, site of the Kasubi Tombs, the tombs of the Kabakas; Mengo Hill, site of the present Kabaka’s palace and the headquarters of the Buganda Court of Justice; Kibuli Hill, with its Kibuli Mosque; Namirembe Hill, topped by the Namirembe Protestant Cathedral; Rubaga Hill, topped by the rival Rubaga Catholic Cathedral; Nsambya, site of the Nsambya Hospital; and finally, the little hill of Impala, once the hunting ground for the Ugandan kings.

I was at the restaurant for dinner,courtesy of my clients.

So it was after dark, and I couldn’t distinguish the seven hills.

But from the way the lights of the city spread out into the visible distance, they showed that Kampala now covers many more hills than the
original seven.

The Seven Hills on the tower of the Golf Course Hotel is one of only six revolving restaurants in Africa.

Nairobi,my city, once had one, didn’t it? At the top of the KICC.

Sadly, it no longer revolves — it doesn’t even exist.

I don’t know why. But it’s a pity. Because the view was magnificent.

It showed that Nairobi is still very much a green city — and usually in the sun.

Mind you, it is still possible to take in the view by riding the lift to the top of the building — but not to linger over it with a juicy steak and a glass of red wine at the now stalled restaurant.

At night, from the Seven Hill Restaurant, one of the most striking features of the view were the unbroken streams of red or yellow lights of the cars moving along the main Yusuf Lule
Road.

My mind went back to a conversation I had with a consultant colleague about late 1990s when we were staying at the Sheraton Hotel in the middle of Kampala.

“Have you seen the hotel’s car park?” I asked him. “It’s crammed with cars — Uganda is recovering.”

“But have you looked at what they are?” he asked back.

“Mainly white Land Cruisers or other four-wheel drives.

Mainly cars of foreign aid agencies.

When the car park is full of city saloons like Mercedes and BMWs and owned by Ugandans, only then can we say Uganda has moved on!”

Anyway, back to Kampala … Yes, Uganda has really moved on.

Except that there are now so many cars of all shapes and sizes that it is difficult to move at all in the city. Not to mention the pesky hordes of motorcycle taxis that run over your feet on pavements!

Another indicator of development that evening as I looked out of the slowly moving windows were the lights down below of the adjacent and huge Garden City shopping complex, with its supermarket, cinema, bowling alley, casino,
banks, forex bureaux, big bookshop and many trendy clothes shops.

The other side of the hotel was the black hole in the undulating carpet of lights that was the city’s central golf course.

In the morning, at breakfast in the attractive ground floor restaurant by the bright blue of the serpentine pool, through the screen of trees you could see a few golfers already engaging in what my old mentor called a “good walk spoilt”.

So, with golf on one side and a shopping complex on the other, the Golf Course Hotel must be attractive for those who like an easy — even a spoilt — walk to many things they
might want to do in Kampala.

For me, I chose it because the meeting I was attending was being held there — not even a walk away but a short lift ride.

The hotel is a bit cheaper than the nearby Sheraton and Serena, and a bit more expensive than the also nearby Speke or the Grand Imperial.

But that was for my clients to sort out.

I like it. The conference room was airy; the view from my room over the golf course was refreshing; the breakfast was as varied as you could wish — and dinner in the revolving
restaurant was unforgettable.

And I miss the one atop KICC back in Nairobi,patriotic pride certainly draws envy.

Bernard Wainaina is an Independent Agribusiness Advisor and CEO at Profarms Consultants®,Nairobi,Kenya.

He mainly works with Agribusiness Youth Groups in Eastern African Region.

Just some random thoughts that came to my mind….©Profarms’ Random Thoughts®

Mr. Independent

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Sometimes I hate you,Jaffa!
Just because you are my cat,
doesn’t mean that I’m your slave!

Why do you carry yourself around
With so much airs,until lunchtime?

You scratch the door,as if you want to come in,
But when I open the door for you,you just put your paws on the door frame;
You haven’t yet made up your mind whether to get in or not.

And I have to hold the door for you;
I’m your butler.
I’m your slave!

Do I own you,
Or do you own me?

What about that fight you picked with my neighbour’s dog?
That was really foolish of you.
You lost the fight to the dog,right?
And your tail was almost amputated by that bite.

But that was not all;
You jumped through my kitchen window howling,
And broke my china set!

That’s you mr. Independent,
Always coming off clean in your innocent cute face,
Feigning innocence after playing the devil!

But guess what,Jaffa?

That’s the very reason I love you,Jaffa,
Because you are independent like me.

But do you have to put on the display for me?

Your cat personality,so aloof,gives me goose pimples!

And did you have to scratch at my girlfriend when she got close?

Are you jealous?

Do you have to show it?

I’m madly in love with you,Jaffa,
But please don’t mess with my human relationships!

Just some random thoughts that came to my mind….©Profarms’ Random Thoughts®

Singing under the shower of ‘gods’ in Samburu

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It is so hot over the day in Samburu.
If you try to take a shower,water dries off your shoulders before you scrub.
I take my showers at night,under the open starry skies.
Around here,we have baptised this practice as “shower of gods”.

I like to do weird things in the
shower, like drink my coffee,
brush my teeth and drink a
smoothie. It’s good time
management,I suppose.
This is all possible now,under the shower of ‘gods’.

But my favourite way to blow off
steam after a busy day is to sing
loud in the shower.(Pity that my friends tell me I sing so off key,it kills all the love they have for good songs!)

Listen to what others tell you
about your voice. If you’re only
singing to please yourself, you
might as well just sing under the
shower. But if you’re singing for
others, you are reliant on them
to ask you to sing.

I have the soul of a singer and
do splendidly in the shower but
the world will never hear it.
Basically, I’m the only Kenyan Soul(sole,I think!) singer
person who can’t carry a tune.

I always sing Adele in the
shower. But everyone should
know you never sing an Adele
song in public because no one’s
better than Adele.

I’d love to sing it proud and sing loud.
But I’m embarrassed I might draw a rude crowd.
So in public I’m dour,
Though I sing in the shower.
It’s the only time singing loud is allowed.

There’s no half-singing in the
shower, you’re either a rock star
or an opera diva.

Singing in the shower is all fun and games until you get soap bubbles in your mouth, then it just becomes a soap opera.

I really enjoyed staying at an
encampment at the top of a hill
in the Samburu Reserve.

You reach it through hard climbing; there is no electricity, no city noises and you sleep and
shower under the Milky Way, with moths fluttering around a kerosene lamp, knowing that there are elephants and lions
roaming free in the valley.

This is all a good experience for the budding-sorry-bathing musician in me.

So I wrote this poem; Shower of ‘gods’ in the shower;

Walking down the crooked street,
Throwaway culture around his feet,
Not one eye dares to meet
The man who sings real loud.
He is of the reactionary kind
The one they label “out of mind!”
One they’ve always tried to bind.
The man who sings real loud.
He swings his bags without a care
Trots around on an invisible mare
You can’t hurt what doesn’t care
The man who sings real loud.
You will hear him before you see
His voice and mind are loud and free
A man you wish that you could be:
The man who sings real loud.

Bernard Wainaina is an Independent Agribusiness Advisor and CEO at Profarms Consultants®,Nairobi,Kenya.

He mainly works with Agribusiness Youth Groups in Eastern African Region.

Just some random thoughts that came to my mind….©Profarms’ Random Thoughts®

Poisoned in Samburu; I could die now, and very peacefully….

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“Do you know what plant this is?” I asked Lolyang,my point-man for my Ethno-botany study excursion in Samburu National Reserve.

“That’s not a good plant. It’s not indigenous to here, and you shouldn’t touch it. You need to wash your hands thoroughly.”

“But, I put it in my mouth.”

Blank stare, followed by Lolyang’s eyes growing wider.

“I took a bite of it and now my mouth is burning. Really burning.”

Anthony my research assistant who is a native of Samburu County,and acts as our other guide, heard me describe my symptoms, and told me that the locals use milk to cut down on the burning, and ran off to get my first of
what would turn out to be several litres of Camel milk for the day.

You see, moments before, while walking to breakfast with my colleague Tessa, I was enjoying breathing in the honey-like smell of a white flowering tree, fresh with the morning’s dew.

Surrounded by the flora and fauna of a new county, I was eager to taste its sweet smells.

I couldn’t help myself from breaking off a
stem of plant I thought I recognised and clamped down on it between my teeth.

I expected to taste the salty flavour of a
drought-resistant plant I had tried days before when learning about the cultural habits of the indigenous Samburu tribe in northern Kenya, who taught us all about the plants and herbs they used for cooking and medicine,both for livestock and man.

Nope. Wrong plant.

Tessa, my fellow colleague from Australia, who is a medicine man there, took one look at the plant I was holding, and named it immediately.

“That’s euphorbia.”

“I put it in my mouth.”

Tessa’s face went white, and the tears starting
flowing down my face.

I have always imagined myself dying a dignified death out of very old age,sorrounded by people who mean something in my life,as well as my catholic priest carrying on with my own final rites of passage.

Now,I’m going to die of such a silly mistake.

I could see my friends laughing me down in an open casket saying,”poor Ben,he was always so childish,and that’s what really did him in in the end!”

It is such disturbing thoughts that made my eyes water,not the impeding death,really.

“Why did you do that?”

“I don’t know.”

“Why are you crying?”

“I’m scared. “

“Of what?”

“Of dying.”

“Well, I’m scared for you, too.
However, I think you would be writhing
on the floor right now if you
ingested too much,so let’s just
closely monitor what happens next.

I’m here to look out for you.”

And that was it.

I calmed down,reassured.

My guardian angel Tessa, was going to be with me, whether I got better or not.

Far from family and friends, and on a work trip in the middle ever expanding Sahara Desert, it was comforting to know that someone I trusted would be there regardless.

I went to the bathroom to compose myself,and steel myself for a dignified death while they called for a doctor.

I took my clean handkerchief and scraped
my tongue, my inner cheeks, and the back of my throat.

I spit profusely, like a worked-up coach on the
sidelines.

But I couldn’t get rid of the taste of what I
did. I had poisoned myself.

WHAT DOESN’T KILL YOU MAKES YOU STRONGER

A local herbalist, the closest thing to a doctor in that area, came over to take a look at me.

Like Tessa, he wanted to know HOW LONG the euphorbia had been in my mouth.

“Not long” I replied. “I bit down on it and it was only in my mouth for a couple of seconds.”

“Well, there really is no antidote for the neurotoxins that are in your body right now. What we CAN do is get you to the nearest doctor for a shot to help alleviate the pain. I don’t think you took enough for it to be lethal. The doctor is a three-hour drive away, two and a half if we leave right now and drive
quickly.”

Wait a minute. Did he just use the word LETHAL? This is really the end of my short stint as a living human being!

What’s the use of all of our vanities?

Wait a minute-who is going to drive my car back to Nairobi? He had better be a good driver who will take good care of “my car” when I’m dead.

What about my cat,Jaffa? How will he manage all by himself?

More tears.

“More than likely, you are just going to have to wait four to five days for the poison to course its way through your system.”

Great! I can bear all the suffering,but death!-there is some finality in that name that may spell chaos in terms of all “my unfinished business”.

At this point in the waiting game, my body had
entered a defensive phase, and was in total “fight” mode.

The surge of adrenaline was impressive.

I felt like a Superman! I think the saying “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger” is completely true.

“Anybody need any cars lifted, or heavy loads
carried?” I asked.

“Wow! Your humorous demeanour during this time is astounding,” said Tessa, in disbelief that I could be so jovial despite the circumstances.

“Well, I’m either going to live, or I’m going to die.

Might as well make the most of it now with my soon-to-be useless lump of flesh.”

After my initial adrenaline panic, my mind and body slowed down and I thought, “Could this really be the end? Am I really going to be sent home in a box because I ate a wrong bush in Samburu?”

I then succumbed to a certain calmness I have never known before.

I felt a profound sense of peace.

My life held no regrets.

I had a great family, good friends.

I had seen a lot of the world and met some
incredible people.

I could die now here, and peacefully.

During this time I also had visions.

I imagined how my friends and colleagues at the Ethno-botany Summit that was taking place
the following day would be affected by my loss,
knowing that my death would put a damper on the whole event. I envisioned my fellow colleagues back at the office getting word
that I had passed away while on my trip, and could see our tea girl shaking her head, saying “Oh, Ben,” partly disappointed that I had been so silly in contributing to my own death, and yet on the other hand, not at all surprised.

She above anybody else knew that I had the curiosity of a three-year-old child when it comes to sweet smelling food.

It made me love my colleagues more for
understanding me so well.

Everyone else, I saw, would miss me, but would
remember fondly my curiosity of the world, and my courage in making it a large part of my life.

I saw that I had even inspired a few people to make positive changes, and that made me proud. I could go now…

But, I didn’t go. And soon after these visions, my Samburu tour group (who were more like my family now) and I needed to continue on our journey.

After driving for over three hours
through vast landscapes, they asked if I wanted to stop in at the doctor of the nearby town, but I opted not to go for the pain shot.

The Camel milk was doing wonders for the
burning sensation, even though I couldn’t go more than about seven seconds without the burning returning.

My biggest challenge at that point was not
vomiting, as a stomach full of milk and acid,
combined with driving on remote, bumpy roads in a Land Rover were not really compatible.

I learned more about the plant from our local guides as we drove.

Locals use this euphorbia as a barrier, protecting their crops or homesteads, as most
animals steer clear of the plant, so it’s used quite a bit in hedges.

Apparently, the only wild animal that can eat the euphorbia plant and get away with it is
the rhino.

Last time I checked, I weighed much less
than a rhino.

The name of Rhino Charge stuck for the
duration of the trip.

Later I learned that this euphorbia plant was also used to put on the ends of arrowheads, in order to paralyse and/or kill the targeted prey.

As for me, I dealt with horrible symptoms as the
poison made its way down my body, including
massive heart-burn and excruciating pain as it
coursed through my liver and kidneys, so much that I thought something was bursting.

But, with Tessa’s guidance and reassurance, and with another higher spiritual protector, I made it to our destination alive, perhaps a bit more humbled,but not dead, not as yet.

Bernard Wainaina is an Independent Agribusiness Advisor and CEO at Profarms Consultants®,Nairobi,Kenya.

He mainly works with Agribusiness Youth Groups in Eastern African Region.

Just some random thoughts that came to my mind….©Profarms’ Random Thoughts®

Stories from the wild; On this tree,I’ll build my church!

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The sun can be hot around Samburu:I’ve heard stories of chicken laying “boiled” eggs in this kind of heat.

But last Sunday,I was thinking less of boiled eggs,and more about such things like firm foundations-a verse in the bible says;build your house on a firm foundation…this was the day’s sermon at the lodge chapel.

I was following a troop of baboons grazing in the plains of Samburu National Reserve.

As is the usual thing in a group of
baboons, they had arranged themselves in their usual military plan.

In the front, were the expendable males consisting of juveniles and low-ranking sub adults.

They act as the front buffers and scouts on the route.

Should they see any danger, they are supposed to confront the danger if they can.

If the danger is too much, they should alert the rest of the troop and the big boys will come to boost the war chest.

But should the enemy attack before the big bosses come, the troop will not lose much because the front liners are not the
most important in the group.

As the troop was digging for tubers in the soil, one of them noticed a lion walking along the shores of the river.

The lion was on the opposite side from where the baboons were grazing.

The scouts gave out the sound of alarm, but a weak one.

Like to say, “you may need to think about fast exit if the lion decide to cross over to our side”.

The troop leaders understood very well there was no hurry, but preparations were in order.

So, the biggest among the leaders of the group looked around to pick a tree which could be used as a safe refuge when trouble struck.

He chose an acacia tree full of dry thorns and with branches that hung loosely near the
ground.

He went up the tree and did something that got me laughing with admiration.

He literally interrogated the tree to see whether it was strong enough to hold the whole family
should the need arise.

He was shaking and swinging the branches until he was sure the tree would hold.

When he came down, the whole troop looked at ease feeding near the tree of life, while the scouts kept watch over the lion.

He walked back to the grazing troop as if to say
;“On this tree, I will build my church”.

Like these baboons, make plans with firm foundation

Bernard Wainaina is an Independent Agribusiness Advisor and CEO at Profarms Consultants®,Nairobi,Kenya.

He mainly works with Agribusiness Youth Groups in Eastern African Region.

Just some random thoughts that came to my mind….©Profarms’ Random Thoughts®

The stigma of “Skinny men”

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This post is inspired by an embarrassing incident with one of my new and very good client that I met for the first time last week in Kigali, Rwanda.

I’m not going to into the details of this incident here,but suffice to say that a good business deal was clicked after some uncomfortable grilling by my client,in relation to my dwarfish stature.

It was even more uncomfortable for me since my client was a tall hefty lady.

In my regular medical check-ups,I always feel ridiculed when a physically endowed nurse quips after recording my body weight; “do you really eat?”

What I’m I supposed to think after such a statement?

Is it a complement?

Is it ridicule?

At 50 plus now,I weigh 56kg and height of 175 cm.

I grew up skinny. Athletic since birth, I was always very active and played a sport for every season from elementary school through high school.

To be totally honest, I was so skinny that rather than being bullied for being overweight, I was
bullied for being underweight.

Even though I was healthy and had an athletic build, I still didn’t break the 50kg. mark on the scale until I was a senior in high school.

Because I was skinny and had a fairly high self-esteem (as high as a high school boy can have), I never gave much thought to what I ate.

As long as it tasted good, I didn’t really care what it was made of where it came from – as evidenced by my numerous sausage eating contest with my friends over weekends.

When I was a senior in high school I started to purposefully put on weight so that I could gain more muscle mass. I ate as much as I could as often as I could and eventually I gained about 5kg – most of it muscle.

I finally stopped being ridiculed about my low weight and I felt like a true athlete for the first time in my life.

I had a very successful year of dating and I vowed that I would continue hitting the gym even when I went to college so that I wouldn’t
lose the muscle that I worked so hard for.

A funny thing happened in college – I kept up my promise to myself and continued to work out regularly and I actually lost about 5kg, rather than gaining the so-called “Freshman”
5kg.

Though my weight crept up slowly for the next four years, I still ate what I wanted, when I wanted and didn’t put any thought into it because I never saw any negative consequences from my actions. After
my 21st birthday, when my doctor expressed some concern about my lack of weight gain I started to eat everything I could get my
hands on.

Still, nothing. Zilch! No weight gain.

I started hitting the gym five days a week, but months went by and I didn’t see any results. I couldn’t gain the weight.

After a while of hitting the gym and trying to get back into the required shape of a “protective man” with big biceps, I got frustrated with the lack of results and basically gave up. I didn’t know what to do or how to feel.

I was very down on myself about my
weight and I forced myself to make peace with the fact that I
would never be “big”.

Growing up skinny had skewed my perception of weight so much that, to an extent, I shut down.

Food is something I’ve always loved. I love to cook and I love to sit at the dinner and enjoy a meal.

The office tea-girl

“Ugh. I wish I had your problem!!”

This has become a constant refrain from our office tea-girl.

Initially she used to urge me on to clear my tea biscuits.

She had no idea that I could eat all the servings on the table meant for all the staff and still not gain a gram in weight over a year.

After realising later on that I take hefty amounts of any type of food without adding on any weight,she only shrugged and remarked;”Uug,I wish I had your problem.”

Yes, my “problem,” annoyingly dismissed by so many well-meaning people throughout my life, is that I’ve always been chronically underweight. Stick-thin. Skin and bones. Nothing to me. Size 000. (Okay, they don’t
make a triple zero. But I was super jazzed the day they came out with the double so I wouldn’t have to buy clothes from the kids’ department, anymore.)

I never wanted to be this way. When I had high
school teachers accusing me of being anorexic, I wished they would have known that I actually
probably had the exact opposite type of disorder — an obsession with wanting to gain weight.

But I couldn’t.

And, as alone as I have often felt in this struggle, I know that I really am not.

Us skinnies are definitely in the minority, but there are plenty of people out there who are underweight and do not wish to be.

And lots of families with kids who were just like me, and “failing to thrive.”

Pick the tabs

I have however learnt to live with it.

I used to be thoroughly embarrassed when I took my friends oout for a treat,and the waiters would keep pushing the bills to my “bigger” friends; their reasoning,I presume is that the bigger guy has the ability to “pay” the bills!

Or when a client who has been referred to my office by another client keeps on insisting that he wants to talk to the “CEO”.

It is quite difficult to picture a “skinny CEO” when comparatively looking at other “bigger” staff.

I won’t even go into the social side of it-girls want bigger “protective men”.

The society expects your body size to reflect your “social status”.

The list is endless!

Who said only the “fat” people are shamed,ridiculed,and stigmatised!

Bernard Wainaina is an Independent Agribusiness Advisor and CEO at Profarms Consultants®,Nairobi,Kenya.

Just some random thoughts that came to my mind….©Profarms’ Random Thoughts®

A grilled monkey for my lunch at a Kinshasha food stall,and the economics of Ebola in the game meat business

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I’m hungry.

I’m hungry in Congo,Kinshasha,to be precise,

But I can’t see any food here,sorry,I mean,some decent food.

There is only very un-edifying portions on game meat on offer at the capital food stalls.

Anything from tortoise, snake and monkey meat is a mouth-watering delicacy that goes on the menu in Democratic Republic of Congo.

That may sound nauseating, to East Africans, but Congolese have experimented with so much bush meat that it has become part of them.

Yet it comes at a deadly cost.

Last year, it cost them 49 lives when a rural bush hunter in Jeera, about 1,000km north of Kinshasa stumbled upon a dead monkey. It became part of the family dinner.

Days later, the hunter, his wife and children were dead.

Medical personnel who attended to them died later as well.

It was the beginning of another Ebola outbreak in DRC.

Since then, Congolese have become wary about
game meat, but they just haven’t stayed away from it.

“It is our way of life…customers did not stop
buying when Ebola broke out,” says Mama
Jeanette Elofa, 53, who has operated a market stall since 1988.

When the Ebola outbreak was reported, game
meat suddenly was not as popular at Marche de
libertie Market, built in 2003 to honour former
President Laurent Kabila.

On a busy day, hundreds of residents flock to the market to buy food.

The shopping list includes game meat brought into the city from the south and North of the country.

To a visitor in Kinshasa, the display can leave you dealing with culture shock.

There is the stunning sight of charcoal grilled snake, monkey meat or antelope meat laid out for customers to sample.

Game meat, which is sold by part not in kilos can fetch from $15 (Sh1,320) at the low to a high of $30(Sh2,640) while tortoise meat can fetch $10(Sh880).

When cut up, each of the piece of flesh for sale can average about a kilo a piece just by visually judging.

There is no weighing scale in sight.

Mama Elofa’s stall can get pretty busy, especially on weekdays.

On a good week, she can collect $1,000(Sh88,000) cementing the vibrancy of the
business.

Or as the Congolese like to say, it accentuates
“Lokasa na mbongo” (the flow of money).

But that flow, for many stall owners, was rudely
interrupted when the Ebola outbreak was reported last August in DRC. Suddenly, the customers vanished and tonnes of game meat lay at the market uncollected by consumers.

“Before the outbreak, we could sell eight or nine monkeys a day. Since then, we sell much less. We don’t have Ebola in Kinshasa and our families are starving,” says Mama Maggie Noseka, 50.

She claims reports on Ebola have ruined their
business.

The Ebola outbreak has complicated the menu
option for many Congolese and they have to
balance between popular delicacy and their
health. It is a fact that concerns even the DRC
Health minister Dr Felix Kabange.

“Makaka (monkey meat) is a delicacy among
residents. But we have to encourage them to roast the meat first before bringing it to the market. The exposure to heat eliminates the presence of Ebola virus in the meat,” he says.

But education on the deadly virus has gone a
notch higher in markets of Kinshasa, the country’s largest arena for game meat.

It has included public announcements through loudspeakers around the market.

Even the most dingy market has a radio station run by government and discusses sex, personal health and Ebola, among other issues.

This is attributed in part to why Ebola was kept out of Kinshasa, a nightmare scenario that would put at risk 12million residents.

Even so, when the news about Ebola was over and World Health Organiation declared DRC Ebola free last November, meat customers were already trickling back to the stalls in search of their favourite game meat.

At the Kabila Market, Mama Maggie Noseka is
already busy calling customers to her stall
sprawling with a variety of bush meat. “I have
eaten game meat since I was a child and have
never fallen ill,” she says, a swarm of flies
hovering over the sight of charcoal grilled monkey meat spread in front of her.

“ I don’t fear Ebola, I have no relatives who have died of Ebola,” she says defiantly.”

But does she take preventive measures? “What
preventive measures?” With that, she turns to a
waiting customer who purchases a collection of
roasted snakes.

Mafuta Roseli is a regular seller of game meat.

She has a stock of four monkeys, which will fetch an average of $40 (Sh3,520). She says demand is high.

Another game meat dealer, Yangisa Ewayi, 55,
wonders why anyone would stop buying game
meat because of Ebola. He gets on average 100kg to 150kg a day of game meat from Bandundu and Bakongo.

The market is a beehive of activity on any day. Besides game meat, Ebola notwithstanding, vegetables, clothes, shoes, dress materials find their way on the floor of stalls.

Talk of cultural shock!

Just some random thoughts that came to my mind….©Profarms’ Random Thoughts®

My journey,alone

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I am an old man,
holding my walking stick in one hand,
A handkerchief on the other hand to wipe sweat off my brows.

I can see very far,though my eyesight is failing,
But in this last journey,I must walk alone.

My feet are heavy now, but on I go,
My head erect beneath the tragic toll of many years.

The way is steep, but I would have it so;
And dusty, but I lay-off the dust with my tears,
Though none can see me weep: alone I climb
The rugged path that leads me out of time –
Out of time and out of all;

Singing yet in sun and rain,
‘Heel and toe from dawn to dusk,
Round the world and home again.’
Farewell the hope that mocked, farewell despair
That went before me still and made the pace.

The earth is full of graves, and mine was there
Even before my life began, my resting-place;
And I shall find it out and be with my fellow dead men
Lie down for ever, all my sayings said –
Deeds all done and songs all sung,
While others chant in sun and rain,
‘Heel and toe from dawn to dusk,
Round the world and home again.’

This is my last journey,
And in this journey,
I know,and I have always known,
That I must walk alone.

Just some random thoughts that came to my mind….©Profarms’ Random Thoughts®

Tessa

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Your kindness and your smile will always light up the world of those unhappy and unfortunate people.

I thank God for allowing me to meet you and thank you for teaching me kindness.

I promised myself to do good things in your honour, regardless of whether you love me or not on the day I met you.

TO me you are more than someone I love, a
teacher, a friend and a motivator.

You have motivated me to do good things in my life.

I am not a good person, but every time I think of the good things you do, I would like to change. I know you are a quiet, shy and homely girl.

Among all the girls I have ever met in my life, you are the kindest.

You are the prettiest girl I know in my life.

The reason I like you is not because of your beauty, but your kindness,and that inspires me to be kind too.

I know you do charity to help poor children and this has been an ambition of mine during childhood days which I forgot, and I thank you for bringing kindness back into my life.

I can’t speak French very well, but I
learned it to speak to you.

You are the kindest girl I ever met in my life, no girl I knew in my life is even close to you.

What I love about you is your kindness, you may not be the prettiest girl in the world, but you are the prettiest girl to me because you are
kind, gentle , honest and caring.

You are a girl that any guy would dream of.

A kind that will come only once in every million years.

I helped an old grandma in my neighbourhood to clean up the house, I usually don’t do that,but I learnt it from you.

I know you are kind and I want to learn to be kind like you,away from this cold man that I normally am.

Your kindness is contagious, like a light to my life.

I learnt to cook because I know you like homely guys and I would also love to cook for the
unfortunate people, I promise you this, if I ever grow rich, I will promise myself to make sure I will always help those around me in your
honour.

I really love you,how I wish I could wake up every morning with you beside me and I would cook for you,and your big family of homeless and elderly people breakfast, I love to cook and to be a family man.

I wish I could help clean your house and look after your parents when they are old.

It is said that if you love a woman, you will love their family too.

I wish I could take care of them.

If you do not like me I am still ok.

I just want to be a friend who will help during happy and times of hardship.

It is my honour to help a person as kind as you.

The reason I do not go after you is because I want you to have a better guy than me who has more to offer.

I am afraid I cannot live up to my promise of being a good guy.

I’d rather lose you than to make you unhappy.

Everything I do is in the interest of you. But I only want one thing from you,and that is to be your friend when you need me.

My love for you has no boundaries.

I thought to myself; if I really love you and I know I do,the best thing is to let you be,to let you serve the poor and the unfortunate without my distraction.

You have stolen my heart.

I ask myself this, if one day you do not look pretty anymore would I still love you?

And yes,I still would,because of kindness,and that never changes!

I thought hard and I told myself I would proudly go out and let everybody know I love you.

Looks is only physical part, but no one can ever take this away from you;

Your kindness.

I will love you no matter what happens.

Please take care of yourself.

Just some random thoughts that came to my mind….©Profarms’ Random Thoughts®

Detachment eases the baggage that our life-long experiences use to hold us back from greatness

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Detachment is the art of withdrawing desire from lesser things, letting them fall away, so
as to harness their power to reach the heights of what a human being can attain.

I’m surprised that there is one great lesson about life that can be learned from Rocket Science…

When scientists began contemplating the conquest of space, the first problem they encountered – a problem that had to be solved before they could make any headway at all – was how to get beyond the pull of the earth’s gravity.

A rocket has to build up a speed of twenty-five thousand miles per hour to escape this pull, and engineers quickly ran into a kind of “catch-22”: to attain this speed, an ordinary rocket
would have to be so large that its sheer weight would never allow it to escape the pull of gravity.

Yet the human spirit delights in overcoming
obstacles.

Undaunted, scientists finally came up with
the idea of a multi-stage rocket, with one or more independent boosters attached.

Each booster holds fuel, which it burns in one great leap upward.

As soon as its fuel is expended, its job is done and the booster is dropped, freeing the spacecraft from the burden of its great weight.

This is how our very own life should play-out;we shouldn’t drag the unnecessary baggage from our past life into the future.

This is the kind of journey that in our own life brings an overflowing, ever-present
sense of joy.

The Buddha, who almost never talked about himself, once admitted quietly, “I am the
happiest of mortals. There is no one happier than I am.”

This is the joy for which every one of us is born.

Not tuppenny-ha’penny pleasures, not tinsel delights or costume jewellery, but a jewel that is beyond price: the jewel hidden in the very depths of our hearts.

Detachment not only releases joy; it is also the
secret of health.

It is the best medical insurance in the world, and not only because it can keep us free from physical habits that sap our vitality.

Most illness has a serious emotional element.

While there is an important place for physical measures in the treatment of disease, a mind at peace and a heart flooded with love can release healing powers that strengthen and revitalize the physical system.

Strength can be regained even after years of
emotional instability.

In extreme cases, I believe recovery can be brought about even from what seems a terminal illness.

Today, of course, it is widely appreciated that
because of advances in medical knowledge, we can expect to live much longer than was reasonable at the beginning of the twentieth century.

But we can lead lives that are not only longer but richer, more loving, and more productive.

The next steps in stretching the limits of human health and longevity, I believe, will not be in biotechnology.

They will come from learning to govern the way we think and feel.

Detachment is a longevity skill.

Freedom from compulsive emotional entanglements is the best insurance against stress.

More than that, by opening a window onto a fuller, loftier view of life than that dictated by self-interest, detachment brings a sense
of purpose.

Without a reason for living, the human
being withers and dies inside.

However paradoxical it may sound, it is detachment that enables us to give ourselves wholeheartedly to worthwhile work without
ever getting depressed, despondent, or burned out – right into the last days of our lives.

Most people who work hard – which means most men and women – bring their work
home with them, yapping like a poodle at their heels.

At the dinner table, when they sit thinking about their deadlines and responsibilities, the poodle is nestled under the chair, whining away.

They curl up with it at night and dream about reports that haven’t been filed, statistics that don’t point to the right conclusions, mail that hasn’t been responded to or that has been sent out with the wrong memo attached.

Detachment gives us the capacity to
concentrate completely while on the job and to drop our work completely when we walk out the door.

A detached worker is a reliable worker, a
cheerful worker, a harmonious worker.

And when you can drop your work completely at the end of the day, you arrive home ready to give all your love to your family and friends.

You feel fresh, relaxed.

You have no need to give vent to the kind of frustration that millions of good people air: “Leave me alone. I’ve had a misera-ble day!”

Mahatma Gandhi worked fifteen hours a day for fifty years for all of us who want a politically free world.

When he was asked,“Don’t you want a vacation, Mr. Gandhi?” he said quietly, “I’m always on vacation.”

It wasn’t a flippant reply; he meant every word of it. So don’t content yourself with two weeks in July or two weeks at a sunbath resort in January.

You deserve three hundred and sixty-five days of vacation, and that is exactly what detachment can give you.

Detachment brings this kind of protection at
every stage of life.

Many of the physical problems associated with old age, for example, are not at all a
necessary part of aging.

The fact that they are common does not mean they are inevitable.

Not only senility but even certain physical problems may well have more to do with life-style and thought-style than with changes triggered by some biological clock.

As researchers have observed, we have focused
so much on “ordinary aging” – what happens to the majority – that we have ignored “successful aging,” which we can observe in men and women like Mahatma Gandhi, George Bernard Shaw, and Mother Teresa, who grow in wisdom and vitality right into the last days of a long, creative, fulfilling life.

I grant you that in the evening of your life you may not be able to compete successfully on Centre Court at Wimbledon.

But every one of us can enjoy the vitality,
resourcefulness, and unerring judgment that come from a heart full of love and a vast reservoir of experience.

Detachment and love relationships

In English the word detachment sounds passive,
callous, unfeeling.

Yet it is just the opposite, and the best way to see this is to look at its application in personal relationships.

Sanskrit have two words that are often
translated as “love” – two words with a world of
difference between them, and the difference is
detachment.

Prema is pure love, in which I want nothing but your happiness. Your joy is my joy.

Karma, on the other hand, is self-centered personal attachment, generally with romantic overtones.

In the language of karma, “I love you” means “you please me.” It also follows this with a condition:”You have to love me back!”

Most of us need no formal introduction to
karma.

Selfish attachment(reward & punishment) is what holds most romantic novels together, what most popular songs are based on, what most films depict in graphic detail.

It is discouragingly easy to mistake selfish
attachment for love if we do not really know what love is.

If you want to see some of the greatest lov-
ers of all time, don’t look to Romeo or Juliet; look at Saint Francis of Assisi, or lovely Saint Teresa of Avila.

All you need do is read Teresa’s autobiograph-ical accounts to know that she lived in the empire of love.

What a won-derful paradox: to know what love
means, we have to turn to men and women who we say have “renounced the world”!

Listen to Jacob Boehme, the “cosmic cobbler” of medieval Germany, as he tells us how he knew when he was in love – eternal love:

No life can express, nor tongue so much as
name, what this enflaming, all-consuming love of God is.

It is brighter than the sun, it is sweeter than
anything called sweet; it is stronger than all strength;
it is more nutrimental than food, more cheering to the heart than wine, and more pleasant than all the joy and pleasantness of the world.

Whoever obtaineth it is richer than any monarch on earth; and he who getteth it is nobler than any emperor can be,and more potent and absolute than all power and
authority.

Boehme is talking about love in the truest sense.

The mark of true love is as simple as it is rare: it is detachment from the tangle of personal motives that makes us seek happiness in making others conform to our desires.

Detachment and love go hand in hand.

When all selfish attachments are gone, what is
left is pure love.

The other person is so dear to you that you never have to ask yourself the question,
“What is she going to give me?” – in the way of
respect, of affection, of loyalty.

Once you efface that question from your vocabulary completely, you and that person are no longer separate; both of you are one. That is what love means.

The secret to transforming relationships through detachment

All of us begin the quest for love with a great deal of selfish attachment. That is human nature.

But with the help of meditation and the allied disciplines we can diminish this selfish element day by day, by putting the welfare of those around us first and our own personal predilections last.

But practicing detachment in personal
relationships does not come easily.

No other arena of life is more challenging.

Disrupted relationships are endemic today, and not because people are immoral or because they don’t care about one another; they just don’t know how to develop detachment.

If you cannot stand back from your own
pleasure and profit, you cannot help manipulating other people.

Naturally, this kind of manipulation corrodes loyal relationships of any kind.

It leads to their speedy end, as we can see in the lives of millions of lonely people today.

When you practice detachment continuously – at home, at work, among friends, and especially with difficult people – you will find how much security it brings you in your relationships.

A spiritually detached person, which to me means a very loving person, will never allow relationships to degenerate to stimulus and response.

The test is simple: Even if you are angry with me, can I stay calm and loving with you and help you overcome your anger?

If you persist in disliking me, can I continue to like you?

For it is when you dislike me that I have all the more reason to be loyal to you, to show you what loyalty really means.

This problem of disliking people, which is a very
common one today, is essentially a problem of
disliking the images we have formed of them.

It is a reflection on us rather than on those we do not like.

For in almost all human relationships, we see others not as they really are but as we are.

To a suspicious person, everybody seems suspect; to a resentful person, every action is worthy of resentment.

Similarly, to a loving person, everybody is worthy of love; every occasion is an opportunity to practice love.

It is not that situations never get difficult when
you are detached, or that people are never
unpleasant.

But the choice of response is in your hands.

All of us can develop the detachment not to
react to the way we are treated.

This is the easiest, most effective way to solve problems in human relationships.

I once read a good aphorism from Buckminster
Fuller. “We are not nouns,” he says pointedly; “we are verbs.”

People who are content with rigid images of
others are thinking of themselves and others as
nouns, as things.

Those who keep trying to get closer to others, to understand and appreciate them more all the time, are verbs: active, creative, dynamic, able
to change themselves and to make changes in the world they live in.

Here is the practical difference: When we don’t
like somebody, we say, “He upsets me. I’m not going to go near him.”

That relationship is static; it has no chance of improving.

On the other hand, when we can go against our dislikes, we can actually enjoy the opportunity such a person presents us.

Just imagine the freedom!

We enjoy being with people who like us,
of course, but we can also enjoy being with people who don’t like us.

Sometimes I think Gandhi used to look forward to this kind of opportunity, because he knew it would draw up from within him the deeper
creative resources he needed for his work.

Without this kind of freedom, “love” is more an
inclination that comes and goes like the wind.

When your girlfriend is catering to you, doing all the things you like, you say you love her.

But when she turns around and does something that irritates you, you blurt out, “Get lost!”

Doesn’t this happen all too often?

To love truly, you must be able to love when
things are going your way and equally well when things are not going your way.

This is the test of detachment.

After all, when your partner is being especially nice to you, it’s easy to be pleasant in return.

It is when she goes out of her way to offend
you that you should not walk out.

That is just the time to sit by her side and for every unkind word she utters, as Jesus says, give her seven words that are kind.

For every shove she gives you, try to move that
much closer.

To do this at home in the morning, at work
throughout the day, and then in the evening among family and friends, you have to have a good measure of detachment from yourself.

These are challenges that can appeal to us deeply: the “acts of will” that Saint Teresa of Avila says the Lord wants of us.

They are difficult, but they can be practiced, and to great effect.

To grow to our full potential in love, we need
to try every day to develop a little more detachment from ourselves.

Those who get angry and walk out, who get resentful and won’t sit at the same table with
others, are refusing to try to grow.

Their problem can be solved very simply, to the benefit of everyone around them: they need to practice detachment every day in every situation, in every relationship.

This reminds me of a beautiful incident from the life of Saint Thérèse of Lisieux, a young woman of our own century of whom I am very fond.

In her convent was a certain nun who had a knack for alienating others.

She seemed always to be waiting for someone to upset.

Naturally her sisters tended to avoid her – even Thérèse, the Little Flower, as she is sweetly called.

No one meant to be unkind; it was just that avoiding the unpleasant is so natural.

Then, with a shock, Thérèse realized what she
had been doing.

With her, as with Saint Francis – here is the mark of a saint! – to understand was to
act.

Immediately she began to make a point of giving her irritating sister a smile, answering her with kind words, doing little things to help her: although inside, she confesses, she used to wince with the effort.

One day, in a moment of marvelous simplicity,
that nun stopped Thérèse and surprised her with a question. “Sister, whenever we meet, you always give me such a sweet smile. Will you please tell me what attracts you so much to me?”

“Ah!” Thérèse confides to us. “How could I tell
her that what attracts me is Jesus, hidden in the
depths of her soul – Jesus who makes sweet that
which is most bitter!”

Jesus had taught her, “Bless them that curse you.

Do good to them that hate you.” That is love at its greatest.

In order to love like this, we cannot be attached to ourselves.

It is because we think so much about ourselves that we strike back, show resentment, speak harshly, move away.

Jesus’ words do not mean agreeing with
everything people say or supporting whatever they do.

In my role as a teacher wayback in time, I sometimes had to oppose people I love. Yet I did it tenderly, and I haven’t lost a single student friend from that part of my past.

On the contrary, my not so good friends now say, “Here is somebody who will stand by me
through thick and thin. If I make a mistake, he’ll support me, but he’ll do his best not to let me make that mistake again. If I’m going astray, he’ll bar my way with loving arms.”

As Shakespeare says, “Love bears it out even to
the edge of doom.” This is the secret of loving.

Let me repeat, for a long, long time everybody finds it difficult.

Everybody finds it distressing.

But when you go to bed after a day of practicing this kind of love, you know that you have grown.

You can stand against the wall and see that you have grown a full inch in spiritual stature.

Inch by inch, day by day, you can grow until your head is crowned with the stars.

That is our human destiny – the destiny for which all of us have been born.

Just some random thoughts that came to my mind….©Profarms’ Random Thoughts®

Just some random thoughts that came to my mind….©Profarms’ Random Thoughts®

Detachment eases the baggage that our life experiences use to hold us back from greatness

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Detachment is the art of withdrawing desire from lesser things, letting them fall away, so
as to harness their power to reach the heights of what a human being can attain.

I’m surprised that there is one great lesson about life that can be learned from Rocket Science…

When scientists began contemplating the conquest of space, the first problem they encountered – a problem that had to be solved before they could make any headway at all – was how to get beyond the pull of the earth’s gravity.

A rocket has to build up a speed of twenty-five thousand miles per hour to escape this pull, and engineers quickly ran into a kind of “catch-22”: to attain this speed, an ordinary rocket
would have to be so large that its sheer weight would never allow it to escape the pull of gravity.

Yet the human spirit delights in overcoming
obstacles.

Undaunted, scientists finally came up with
the idea of a multi-stage rocket, with one or more independent boosters attached.

Each booster holds fuel, which it burns in one great leap upward.

As soon as its fuel is expended, its job is done and the booster is dropped, freeing the spacecraft from the burden of its great weight.

This is how our very own life should play-out;we shouldn’t drag the unnecessary baggage from our past life into the future.

This is the kind of journey that in our own life brings an overflowing, ever-present
sense of joy.

The Buddha, who almost never talked about himself, once admitted quietly, “I am the
happiest of mortals. There is no one happier than I am.”

This is the joy for which every one of us is born.

Not tuppenny-ha’penny pleasures, not tinsel delights or costume jewellery, but a jewel that is beyond price: the jewel hidden in the very depths of our hearts.

Detachment not only releases joy; it is also the
secret of health.

It is the best medical insurance in the world, and not only because it can keep us free from physical habits that sap our vitality.

Most illness has a serious emotional element.

While there is an important place for physical measures in the treatment of disease, a mind at peace and a heart flooded with love can release healing powers that strengthen and revitalize the physical system.

Strength can be regained even after years of
emotional instability.

In extreme cases, I believe recovery can be brought about even from what seems a terminal illness.

Today, of course, it is widely appreciated that
because of advances in medical knowledge, we can expect to live much longer than was reasonable at the beginning of the twentieth century.

But we can lead lives that are not only longer but richer, more loving, and more productive.

The next steps in stretching the limits of human health and longevity, I believe, will not be in biotechnology.

They will come from learning to govern the way we think and feel.

Detachment is a longevity skill.

Freedom from compulsive emotional entanglements is the best insurance against stress.

More than that, by opening a window onto a fuller, loftier view of life than that dictated by self-interest, detachment brings a sense
of purpose.

Without a reason for living, the human
being withers and dies inside.

However paradoxical it may sound, it is detachment that enables us to give ourselves wholeheartedly to worthwhile work without
ever getting depressed, despondent, or burned out – right into the last days of our lives.

Most people who work hard – which means most men and women – bring their work
home with them, yapping like a poodle at their heels.

At the dinner table, when they sit thinking about their deadlines and responsibilities, the poodle is nestled under the chair, whining away.

They curl up with it at night and dream about reports that haven’t been filed, statistics that don’t point to the right conclusions, mail that hasn’t been responded to or that has been sent out with the wrong memo attached.

Detachment gives us the capacity to
concentrate completely while on the job and to drop our work completely when we walk out the door.

A detached worker is a reliable worker, a
cheerful worker, a harmonious worker.

And when you can drop your work completely at the end of the day, you arrive home ready to give all your love to your family and friends.

You feel fresh, relaxed.

You have no need to give vent to the kind of frustration that millions of good people air: “Leave me alone. I’ve had a misera-ble day!”

Mahatma Gandhi worked fifteen hours a day for fifty years for all of us who want a politically free world.

When he was asked,“Don’t you want a vacation, Mr. Gandhi?” he said quietly, “I’m always on vacation.”

It wasn’t a flippant reply; he meant every word of it. So don’t content yourself with two weeks in July or two weeks at a sunbath resort in January.

You deserve three hundred and sixty-five days of vacation, and that is exactly what detachment can give you.

Detachment brings this kind of protection at
every stage of life.

Many of the physical problems associated with old age, for example, are not at all a
necessary part of aging.

The fact that they are common does not mean they are inevitable.

Not only senility but even certain physical problems may well have more to do with life-style and thought-style than with changes triggered by some biological clock.

As researchers have observed, we have focused
so much on “ordinary aging” – what happens to the majority – that we have ignored “successful aging,” which we can observe in men and women like Mahatma Gandhi, George Bernard Shaw, and Mother Teresa, who grow in wisdom and vitality right into the last days of a long, creative, fulfilling life.

I grant you that in the evening of your life you may not be able to compete successfully on Centre Court at Wimbledon.

But every one of us can enjoy the vitality,
resourcefulness, and unerring judgment that come from a heart full of love and a vast reservoir of experience.

Detachment and love relationships

In English the word detachment sounds passive,
callous, unfeeling.

Yet it is just the opposite, and the best way to see this is to look at its application in personal relationships.

Sanskrit have two words that are often
translated as “love” – two words with a world of
difference between them, and the difference is
detachment.

Prema is pure love, in which I want nothing but your happiness. Your joy is my joy.

Karma, on the other hand, is self-centered personal attachment, generally with romantic overtones.

In the language of karma, “I love you” means “you please me.” It also follows this with a condition:”You have to love me back!”

Most of us need no formal introduction to
karma.

Selfish attachment(reward & punishment) is what holds most romantic novels together, what most popular songs are based on, what most films depict in graphic detail.

It is discouragingly easy to mistake selfish
attachment for love if we do not really know what love is.

If you want to see some of the greatest lov-
ers of all time, don’t look to Romeo or Juliet; look at Saint Francis of Assisi, or lovely Saint Teresa of Avila.

All you need do is read Teresa’s autobiograph-ical accounts to know that she lived in the empire of love.

What a won-derful paradox: to know what love
means, we have to turn to men and women who we say have “renounced the world”!

Listen to Jacob Boehme, the “cosmic cobbler” of medieval Germany, as he tells us how he knew when he was in love – eternal love:

No life can express, nor tongue so much as
name, what this enflaming, all-consuming love of God is.

It is brighter than the sun, it is sweeter than
anything called sweet; it is stronger than all strength;
it is more nutrimental than food, more cheering to the heart than wine, and more pleasant than all the joy and pleasantness of the world.

Whoever obtaineth it is richer than any monarch on earth; and he who getteth it is nobler than any emperor can be,and more potent and absolute than all power and
authority.

Boehme is talking about love in the truest sense.

The mark of true love is as simple as it is rare: it is detachment from the tangle of personal motives that makes us seek happiness in making others conform to our desires.

Detachment and love go hand in hand.

When all selfish attachments are gone, what is
left is pure love.

The other person is so dear to you that you never have to ask yourself the question,
“What is she going to give me?” – in the way of
respect, of affection, of loyalty.

Once you efface that question from your vocabulary completely, you and that person are no longer separate; both of you are one. That is what love means.

The secret to transforming relationships through detachment

All of us begin the quest for love with a great deal of selfish attachment. That is human nature.

But with the help of meditation and the allied disciplines we can diminish this selfish element day by day, by putting the welfare of those around us first and our own personal predilections last.

But practicing detachment in personal
relationships does not come easily.

No other arena of life is more challenging.

Disrupted relationships are endemic today, and not because people are immoral or because they don’t care about one another; they just don’t know how to develop detachment.

If you cannot stand back from your own
pleasure and profit, you cannot help manipulating other people.

Naturally, this kind of manipulation corrodes loyal relationships of any kind.

It leads to their speedy end, as we can see in the lives of millions of lonely people today.

When you practice detachment continuously – at home, at work, among friends, and especially with difficult people – you will find how much security it brings you in your relationships.

A spiritually detached person, which to me means a very loving person, will never allow relationships to degenerate to stimulus and response.

The test is simple: Even if you are angry with me, can I stay calm and loving with you and help you overcome your anger?

If you persist in disliking me, can I continue to like you?

For it is when you dislike me that I have all the more reason to be loyal to you, to show you what loyalty really means.

This problem of disliking people, which is a very
common one today, is essentially a problem of
disliking the images we have formed of them.

It is a reflection on us rather than on those we do not like.

For in almost all human relationships, we see others not as they really are but as we are.

To a suspicious person, everybody seems suspect; to a resentful person, every action is worthy of resentment.

Similarly, to a loving person, everybody is worthy of love; every occasion is an opportunity to practice love.

It is not that situations never get difficult when
you are detached, or that people are never
unpleasant.

But the choice of response is in your hands.

All of us can develop the detachment not to
react to the way we are treated.

This is the easiest, most effective way to solve problems in human relationships.

I once read a good aphorism from Buckminster
Fuller. “We are not nouns,” he says pointedly; “we are verbs.”

People who are content with rigid images of
others are thinking of themselves and others as
nouns, as things.

Those who keep trying to get closer to others, to understand and appreciate them more all the time, are verbs: active, creative, dynamic, able
to change themselves and to make changes in the world they live in.

Here is the practical difference: When we don’t
like somebody, we say, “He upsets me. I’m not going to go near him.”

That relationship is static; it has no chance of improving.

On the other hand, when we can go against our dislikes, we can actually enjoy the opportunity such a person presents us.

Just imagine the freedom!

We enjoy being with people who like us,
of course, but we can also enjoy being with people who don’t like us.

Sometimes I think Gandhi used to look forward to this kind of opportunity, because he knew it would draw up from within him the deeper
creative resources he needed for his work.

Without this kind of freedom, “love” is more an
inclination that comes and goes like the wind.

When your girlfriend is catering to you, doing all the things you like, you say you love her.

But when she turns around and does something that irritates you, you blurt out, “Get lost!”

Doesn’t this happen all too often?

To love truly, you must be able to love when
things are going your way and equally well when things are not going your way.

This is the test of detachment.

After all, when your partner is being especially nice to you, it’s easy to be pleasant in return.

It is when she goes out of her way to offend
you that you should not walk out.

That is just the time to sit by her side and for every unkind word she utters, as Jesus says, give her seven words that are kind.

For every shove she gives you, try to move that
much closer.

To do this at home in the morning, at work
throughout the day, and then in the evening among family and friends, you have to have a good measure of detachment from yourself.

These are challenges that can appeal to us deeply: the “acts of will” that Saint Teresa of Avila says the Lord wants of us.

They are difficult, but they can be practiced, and to great effect.

To grow to our full potential in love, we need
to try every day to develop a little more detachment from ourselves.

Those who get angry and walk out, who get resentful and won’t sit at the same table with
others, are refusing to try to grow.

Their problem can be solved very simply, to the benefit of everyone around them: they need to practice detachment every day in every situation, in every relationship.

This reminds me of a beautiful incident from the life of Saint Thérèse of Lisieux, a young woman of our own century of whom I am very fond.

In her convent was a certain nun who had a knack for alienating others.

She seemed always to be waiting for someone to upset.

Naturally her sisters tended to avoid her – even Thérèse, the Little Flower, as she is sweetly called.

No one meant to be unkind; it was just that avoiding the unpleasant is so natural.

Then, with a shock, Thérèse realized what she
had been doing.

With her, as with Saint Francis – here is the mark of a saint! – to understand was to
act.

Immediately she began to make a point of giving her irritating sister a smile, answering her with kind words, doing little things to help her: although inside, she confesses, she used to wince with the effort.

One day, in a moment of marvelous simplicity,
that nun stopped Thérèse and surprised her with a question. “Sister, whenever we meet, you always give me such a sweet smile. Will you please tell me what attracts you so much to me?”

“Ah!” Thérèse confides to us. “How could I tell
her that what attracts me is Jesus, hidden in the
depths of her soul – Jesus who makes sweet that
which is most bitter!”

Jesus had taught her, “Bless them that curse you.

Do good to them that hate you.” That is love at its greatest.

In order to love like this, we cannot be attached to ourselves.

It is because we think so much about ourselves that we strike back, show resentment, speak harshly, move away.

Jesus’ words do not mean agreeing with
everything people say or supporting whatever they do.

In my role as a teacher wayback in time, I sometimes had to oppose people I love. Yet I did it tenderly, and I haven’t lost a single student friend from that part of my past.

On the contrary, my not so good friends now say, “Here is somebody who will stand by me
through thick and thin. If I make a mistake, he’ll support me, but he’ll do his best not to let me make that mistake again. If I’m going astray, he’ll bar my way with loving arms.”

As Shakespeare says, “Love bears it out even to
the edge of doom.” This is the secret of loving.

Let me repeat, for a long, long time everybody finds it difficult.

Everybody finds it distressing.

But when you go to bed after a day of practicing this kind of love, you know that you have grown.

You can stand against the wall and see that you have grown a full inch in spiritual stature.

Inch by inch, day by day, you can grow until your head is crowned with the stars.

That is our human destiny – the destiny for which all of us have been born.

Just some random thoughts that came to my mind….©Profarms’ Random Thoughts®

Heck! There are a thousand things I like about you,and then some more….

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I’m sitting here wondering
I’m sitting here thinking
Thinking, wondering about you,
What it is about you that I like
And I can’t seem to stop thinking
Of the endless things I like about you.

I’m caved in my little haven thinking
I like your lopsided smile, I like your laugh,
I like your simplicity, I like your lightheartedness,
I like your down to earth attitude
I like your adventurous spirit
I like your generosity and giving spirit.

And just when I think I’ve ran out of things
Things I like about you, then another thought pops in my head…
I like the way you take life as it comes,
I like your open mindedness,
I like your non judgmental attitude
I like the way you bring out your inner child
I like the way you are eager to learn and embrace new things.

I still keep thinking
I like the way your eyes light up
As you narrate about things that you like
In a spirited and animated way
I like the way you absorb in things
Even the nitty gritty details that most can’t be
bothered with
And that you remember them when necessary,
I like the way you can carry a deep conversation
I like your humour and that you don’t take life too seriously.

Wait, there’s still more things I like about you
That can’t fit in this limited media
That can’t all be said in a day, week, month or year
That can take a lifetime for me to say
Things that can only be appreciated forever
All this made me realize
That I like you, for you
And everything you are all about,
That I won’t be running out of things
That make me like you that easily
And it made me realize
That you must be a very special person
For me to sit down and think and wonder
And come up with an endless list
Of all the reasons I like you, and more….

Just some random thoughts that came to my mind….©Profarms’ Random Thoughts®

Lessons on love from the Wild; Like a dik dik, hold on to love that is yours and stray no more!

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I’m always fascinated by animal behaviour,especially more so because animals cannot tell us their thoughts,or explain their behaviour;we can only collate their perspectives about life from observing their behaviour.

I visited Samburu last week,and I saw dikdiks.

Those lucky enough to have the opportunity
to visit our national parks in Kenya, especially in areas of Samburu or Tsavo must have seen a very small gazelle, the dikdik.

It is the second smallest gazelle from the suni family.

It is also possible to see them outside the parks,
especially in semi-arid environment.

Being very small and not fast enough, the dikdiks are usually vulnerable to their predators.

The female poses tiny pointed horns that may be
basically useless against predators.

Although males develop slightly tougher horns, they use them more in courtship displays, and
against other males when protecting a territory.

But the horns are basically useless against the super predators.

Against all this odds, dikdiks still thrive and
are not among the endangered species. How
do they do it?

They employ what we call disruptive camouflage.

When danger calls they stand very still against a brush of dry vegetation, which effectively merges with the colour of the gazelle.

They don’t even blink.

Even with very sharp eyes of the eagles, it
would be very difficult to spot a dikdik if it has
already seen the enemy.

Another method the dikdik uses as a way of avoiding being eaten is to limit their numbers per territory.

They do this by chasing their children away from home as soon as they are weaned.

When they keep the numbers per area to minimum two, then there are ample areas to hide and also enough food to eat, so they don’t have to wonder around a large area looking for grazing ground.

In the bush, most times you will find the dikdiks living in twos.

Male and female. If there is a third one, it may well be a juvenile on his way out of home.

When they are feeding, one member of the couple would be watching, while the other one feeds.

They alternate as such and keep their back covered all the time.

In this case then, it is right to say that that dikdiks pair for life.

They are as celibate as the French and stay
true to the adage, “till death do we part”.

In their quest to protect their small territories, they mark the boundaries with a smelly oily secretions from a preorbital gland situated below the eyes.

They also deposit their dung in a communal spot, more like using a common toilet.

But at times, consumed by the male ego to show off to his wife, his will and commitment to protect her, he does it all the way to death.

He may become so preoccupied to watching
out for invading males, that he forgets that trouble may fall from heavens. The sky can fall.

I was driving around in Samburu National Park with clients on ecological study.

We were to be there for three days and each
time we went out for a game drive, the drive out of the lodge was the same.

There was a small thicket near the lodge which had a big acacia umbrella tree growing in the middle.

There was this couple of dikdiks that lived there.
They had made a good heap of dung in a small clearing to mark their territory.

The tree was also in the path of elephants heading to the river.

One day, a herd of elephants decided to use
the tree near the river as a shade.

As usual, they destroyed the bushes around the tree and there was no more ground cover for the dikdiks.

The elephants also dropped their dung all over the place, including on the dung heap of the dikdiks.

Thinking that the elephants were claiming their territory, the male dikdik waited until the elephants left the shade, then carefully dropped a pellet of his dung on top of the huge dropping of the elephant.

He was busy reclaiming his territory and reassuring his wife that however big the elephant dung was, his was on the top and the territory was restored.

He did not notice that he was completely in the open.

The bush cover had been destroyed by the elephants.

The female was well hidden away from the clearing but watching keenly what the male was doing.

Suddenly, the sky came tumbling down on the male dikdik.

A huge martial eagle had spotted the male dikdik from above and came down for lunch.

Sometimes it becomes necessary to change your
mind when situation changes,but who said love is a reasonable state of mind?

The male dikdik was only trying to hold to love that was his,and his alone;for that noble cause,he paid with his life!

Just some random thoughts that came to my mind….©Profarms’ Random Thoughts®

After we stop trying so hard to chase “happiness,” to control life and make it look the way it ought to look, then we can probably begin to have a pretty good time

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“If only we’d stop trying to be happy, we could
have a pretty good time.” ~Edith Wharton

Eighteen years ago a well-known Zen Master
accepted me as a long distance student.

In one of our first email exchanges I wrote, “Dear Teacher, I am trying to sit every day for thirty minutes and in my practice I am trying to follow my breath.”

“Please,” he wrote back, “stop trying. You are your breath.”

I remember reading his words and feeling
perplexed, confused, almost annoyed.

What in the world did he mean?

Wasn’t it obvious that we had no choice but to be our breath?

Weren’t we all breathing beings?

And how did “being breath” in the end relate to my life, to my meditation, to my hope of becoming a better human being.

When my teacher’s words arrived, getting to my meditation mat was a huge effort.

Once I finally managed to get to the meditation
mat, I would set the timer and start counting my
breath: one (breathe in), two (breathe out), three (breathe in), four (breathe out), five (breathe in), six (breathe out), seven (breathe in)…

Needless to say, my thoughts would
immediately jump in and I would find myself
losing track of my breath and my counting.

I would have to start back from number one,
only to see the distractions appear all over
again.

I don’t remember ever getting to number
ten.

Not only was carving out thirty minutes for
meditation a huge effort, even the apparently
simple task of counting the breaths revealed itself to be an exhausting endeavour.

I knew at an intuitive level that it shouldn’t have
been like that—I knew that my teacher was right—but I couldn’t quite put my finger on what I was doing wrong.

It took me eight years, and many major life crises, failures, losses, and divorce to understand the meaning of his words.

Now that my life has fallen apart like I never
thought it would or could, I know what my Zen
teacher meant: I was trying too hard.

I can now see that in my meditation I was not
actually “following” my breath.

I was trying, very hard, to catch it.

I was chasing it. I was trying to grasp it, trying to hold onto it, trying to make it fit into my orderly numbered, counting boxes.

I was trying so hard to reign it in. I was trying so hard to control it.

Once I realised that, it only took a moment of self- honesty and one quick look at myself to see how that same impulse to control my breath was
operating in all aspects of my life.

I was “trying” to be a good man and always
promptly responded to needs of others, even when their needs could have probably waited just a bit longer—enough, maybe, to give me a chance to finish a chore or a much treasured cup of tea.

I was “trying” to be a good man and “tried” to
always be available for conversation, even when all I wanted and most needed was some quiet time to myself or simply some peace to concentrate on cooking my dinner.

I was “trying” to be the do-it-all man and took on a full-time teaching job, one hour away, while still teaching evening music classes.

I was “trying” to keep the social life of the family rich and fun and took on social commitments during the weekend even though most of it needed to be spent cleaning my house or going to a walk.

Just like I did with my breathing, I was chasing
my life in the attempt to reign it in, to catch it,
to grasp it in the hope of gaining some control
over it.

It took a messy divorce and loss of my financial security, two moves in less then a year, financial
uncertainty, and more losses of friends to finally
admit that I just could not “try” anymore.

I could no longer make my life unfold the way I
wanted it to unfold or make it look the way I
thought it should look.

I could no longer “try” to make people happy; I
could no longer be what I thought they wanted me to be.

I desperately wanted healing, and yet I didn’t even have the physical strength or the mental clarity to begin to mend the broken pieces of my shattered life.

Unlike other financially stable people, I could not take off and go on a meditation retreat in India in the hope to find my own lost self; my cat and dogs needed me.

Nor could I go to Sychelles to be with my
friends who had gone there on vacation.

Instead, I found myself completely alone after
having lost the entire social circle I shared in my failed marriage, and after moving to a small apartment in a struggling small rural town where I had no connections whatsoever.

There, I had no choice but to confront my
brokenness and aloneness; there I had to accept all the limitations of my new life, and as Charles
Bukowski says in his poem “Alone,” there, I had to learn my walls, I had to accept them and learn to love them.

It turned out that for me the only way out of
my darkness was not to escape it but to plunge
right into it.

Among the walls of my apartment I found myself gravitating to the mat again only to find out this time that I couldn’t even physically sit.

I had so much emotional pain stuck in my abdomen and chest that I couldn’t even feel my breathing.

Since the only way I could become aware of my
breath was by lying down, I decided to meditate in a supine position, shavasana style.

Once I gave myself the permission to do that,
something great happened: I experienced gravity, and gravity held me and healed me.

My abdomen relaxed; I could finally feel my belly muscles rising and falling; I could finally feel my breath.

With gravity’s healing support, I could then observe the breath; I could notice it, witness it.

In my brokenness I had to finally let go of
control, surrendered to whatever my life was
and had become, trusting that the breath of
life would take me where I needed to be, every
day, every moment.

That was only few years ago and now I am finally able to sit on my meditation pillow.

Following the breath is also quite a different
experience.

When I sit, I am able to be a viewer, an observer.

I watch my breath, I watch what it’s doing, I observe its rhythm, its ups and downs, its
ins and outs, and I just let it be. I accept it with all its irregularities. I just let it do its thing.

I am not sure yet how all of this is getting played out in my life.

One thing I have learned, however, is that letting go of how we think our life should be
and letting ourselves fall, maybe even backward, into radical self-acceptance and radical self-love are gifts to be treasured—even if those gifts come through harsh life lessons and losses.

Some of us were lucky enough to come into the
world with those gifts built into our system.

Some of us have to consciously make an effort and work hard at cultivating them—sometimes at creating them, sculpting them from the raw matter of our mistakes and failures, inventing them out of nothingness because nothing or too little was given to us.

But that, in my opinion, is where it’s worth trying.

That is an effort worth making—one that will not assure us of a smooth ride but that might bring us to a place of inner peace, joy, appreciation, and gratitude, where a lasting transformation might actually happen.

And then, after we stop trying so hard to chase
“happiness,” to control life and make it look the way it ought to look, then we can probably begin to have a pretty good time.

Just some random thoughts that came to my mind….©Profarms’ Random Thoughts®

Walking yourself to a place of unconditional forgiveness

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“The greatest insight to personal awareness and freedom is when you arrive at a place in your life when you start feeling sorry for your enemy’s suffering.
Forgiveness does not change your past suffering and hurts, but it does enlarge your future”.

It is freeing to become aware that we do not have to be victims to our past hurts and slights, and can learn new ways of responding.

But there is a step beyond this recognition… It is the step of forgiveness.

Forgiveness is love practised among people who love us poorly.

It sets us free without wanting anything in return from them,they who have hurt us.

Having said that,I must start by confessing that I’m the type of person to hold a grudge.

It’s not that I want power over people, which is often the motive for holding a grudge, it’s just that I want all-due glory for my suffering.

This is what I mean: if somebody is causing me
some pain, I want them to know I am bearing it for them.

For this reason, it’s hard for me to forgive my enemies.

If people slam me on the internet,or even in real life, it’s hard to forgive.

If people undercut me in a business deal, it’s hard to forgive, too.

And for so long it seemed there was nothing I could do about it.

I knew I’d be better off to forgive, but how?

What are the steps to controlling your uncontrollable emotions?

I don’t fully know the answer to that question.

Part of the reason it’s so hard to forgive is pride.

If I forgive someone, it feels like I’m also saying that the other person had the right to do me wrong.

That doesn’t feel right.

But it’s a real feeling.

Even more difficult is having to forgive someone who hasn’t even recognised they’ve done me wrong.

So why forgive?

Before I say why, I should say how.

Here’s how:

•Go through the stages of grief.

Let the offence shock you, then let it completely hurt you.

Don’t avoid the pain.

Sit with it and feel it no matter how unbearable it is.

Please know it will end in time.

It will get 2% easier every day.

Just feel it like a toothache and soon enough it will transition into something bearable.

•Then let the offence make you angry.

Don’t lash it out to your perceived enemy, or you’ll be guilty yourself.

Talk about it with trusted friends but confess you’re angry and your emotions aren’t under control.

And don’t feel bad for being angry.

The last thing you need is anger and shame.

Just punch a pillow and make it through.

The anger, like the pain, will lessen over time.

•Then after being angry, accept what has been done.

Just accept it as a fact and don’t over analyse it. It happened.

This will still be shocking at first, but in time, you will accept it as a fact that you can’t change.

From there, you’re at a place to forgive.

It will be hard work, but it’s worth it.

Sit and pray for the person you’ve been hating.

Sit and imagine them with a good life, them
coming to realize that what they did was wrong, maybe not to you, but to somebody, perhaps to God.

•Then be willing to love them in your heart.

Want the best for them.

Hope for the best for them.

Stop praying for God to destroy them and pray
for God to bless them.

Pray for God to open up their hearts so they can receive the love that will stop them from hurting others.

This is the only way I know how to forgive.
• • •
Why then, should we feel obliged forgive?

Well, there are many reasons, but I’m only going to focus on a few.

The first is because, believe it or not, forgiveness is a pleasurable experience.

No kidding, it feels much better than anger or hate.

God has designed forgiveness as a powerful
blessing for those who have been hurt.

The experience of truly forgiving somebody can make you more happy than if you’d never been hurt in the first place.

•The second reason for you to forgive is that it removes you from being entangled in the rather dark thing that hurt you in the first place.

If it was a bad business deal, then you get to
be free of it and maintain your integrity.

If it was a family member talking behind your back, you get to remove yourself completely from all the complications of gossip.

Forgiveness sets you free from being bogged down in knee-deep mud of self destruction.

Forgiveness gives you a taste of what it feels like to obey God’s will that we forgive and love one another, and it’s a terrific feeling.

God forgave us because it gave Him pleasure to do so.

He was happy to do so.

Love forgives, and so does God, and so can you.

•The third reason to forgive is that you open yourself up to amazing possibilities for a happy life.

When you don’t forgive, you draw the curtains in your soul and your life gets dark.

When you forgive you let the light in again, and you go on about your life in peace. And don’t you want some peace?

Isn’t it time for some peace in your life?

The greatest thing about forgiveness is it will allow you to love again.

It will allow you to love and be loved.

And believe me, it’s worth it.

Forgiveness is tough, for sure, but love is infinitely more valuable than the pain of forgiveness costs.

No matter what you have to go through to forgive, you’re getting a steal of a deal to be able to love and be loved again.

Pay the price and I promise you’ll be happy you did.

Take a walk to a place of forgiveness in your life,and you will be glad you did it,more so for your own good,that that of your enemies.

Just some random thoughts that came to my mind….©Profarms’ Random Thoughts®

Why Approval Addiction Makes Everyone Miserable

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“To put it simply, addiction to approval puts your happiness under the control of others.”

If wanting the approval of others is a natural
desire as social scientists tell us, how can it be a problem?

The problem is that, like any drug, the high you get from getting approval eventually wears off.

If having the approval of others is the only way you know how to feel happy, then you’re going to be miserable until you get your next “fix.”

What this means is that simply wanting approval isn’t the problem.

The real issue is being too attached to getting approval from others as the only way to feel fulfilled.

To put it simply, addiction to approval puts your
happiness under the control of others.

Because their happiness depends on others,
approval addicts can be the most easily
manipulated.

I often see this with unhealthy or even abusive relationships.

All an abuser has to do is threaten to make the approval addict feel rejected or like they’re being selfish, and they’ll stay under the abuser’s spell.

Approval addiction leads to a lack of boundaries and ultimately resentment.

Many times I felt resentment toward others because they crossed my boundaries, and yet I would remain silent. I didn’t want to come across as rude for speaking up about how someone upset me.

The problem is this would lead to pent up
resentment over time, because there’s a constant
feeling that people should just “know better.”

When I took an honest look at the situation, though, I had to consider whose fault it was if resentment built up because my boundaries were crossed.

Is it the fault of the person who unknowingly
crossed those boundaries, or the person who failed to enforce boundaries out of fear of rejection?

Looking at my own life, I actually appreciate when someone I care about lets me know I’ve gone too far.

It gives me a chance to make things right.

If I don’t let others know how they’ve hurt me because of fear of rejection, aren’t I actually robbing them of the opportunity to seek my forgiveness and do better?

This leads me to my final point, approval addiction leads to being selfish.

The deception is that the selfishness is often disguised and justified as selflessness.

As a person who works with public and communities at a professional level, I’m exposed to critics.

If I don’t overcome a desire for wanting approval from everyone, then their opinions can stop me from sharing something incredibly helpful with those who’d benefit from my work.

Approval addiction is a surefire way to rob the
world of your gifts.

How selfish is it to withhold what I have to offer to others all because I’m thinking too much about what some people may think of me?

As strange as it sounds, doing things for others can be selfish.

On an airplane,in case of an emergency, they say to put the oxygen mask on yourself before putting it on a child.

This is because if the adult passes out trying
to help the child, both are in trouble.

In much the same way, approval addiction can lead a person to martyr themselves to the point that everyone involved suffers.

For instance, if a person spends so much time
helping others that they neglect their own health, then in the long run, it may be everyone else who has to take care of them when they get sick, causing an unnecessary burden.

Selfless acts, done at the expense of one’s greater priorities, can be just as egotistical and destructive as selfish acts.

•How to Overcome Approval Addiction

The first way to overcome approval addiction is to be gentle with yourself.

Wanting to feel connected with others is normal.
It’s only an issue when it’s imbalanced with other priorities like having boundaries.

What approval addicts are often missing is self-
approval.

We all have an inner critic that says things like, “You’re not good enough. You’re nothing
compared to these people around you. If you give yourself approval, you’re being selfish.”

You can’t get rid of this voice.

What you can do is choose whether or not to buy into it or something greater.

You also have a part of yourself that says, “You’re worthy. You’re good enough. You’re just as valuable as anyone else.”

The question becomes: “Which voice do I choose to align to?”

This often means asking yourself questions like,
“Can I give myself some approval right now? What is something I appreciate about myself?”

The next step is to then be willing to actually allow yourself to receive that approval.

To break approval addiction, remember to treat
yourself the way you want others to treat you.

In much the same way, you can overcome approval addiction by equally valuing other important things, such as your need for significance and control.

While wanting to control things can be taken too far just like wanting approval, it is the Yang to approval-seeking’s Yin.

Both are necessary for balance.

Questions that typically help me are: “Do I want
other people’s opinions have power over me?
Would I rather let this person control me or
maintain control over my own life?”

Finally, there is the ultimate key to overcoming
approval addiction.

It’s by using the greatest motivator— unconditional love.

Worrying about what other people think
masquerades as love.

In reality, when you really love someone, you’re willing to have their disapproval.

Imagine a parent with a child.

If the parent is too concerned about the child’s opinion of them, they might not discipline their child for fear of the child disliking them.

Have you ever seen a parent who lets their child get away with anything because they don’t want to be the “bad guy?” Is this truly loving?

To break approval addiction, I realised I had to ask one of the most challenging questions anyone could ask themselves: Am I willing to love this person enough to have them hate me?

If you really care for someone, telling them, “You’re screwing up your life” and having them feel the pain of that statement might be the most loving thing you can do.

This comes with the very real possibility they will
reject you for pointing out the truth.

However, if you love someone, wouldn’t you rather have them go through a little short-term pain in order to save them a lot of pain down the road?

On the upside, many people will eventually come to appreciate you more in the long term if you’re willing to be honest with them and prioritise your love for them over your desire for their approval.

If you have to share a harsh truth, my mentor, Joseph Nderu Kimani , taught me that you can make this easier by first asking, “Can I be a true friend?” to let them know what you’re about to say is coming from a place of love.

I’ve found that everything, including the desire for approval, can serve or enslave you depending on how you respond to it.

Do you use your desire for approval as a force to help you see things from other people’s
perspective, or do you use it as a crutch on which you base your happiness?

Do you use your desire for approval as a reminder to give yourself approval, or do you use it as an excuse to be miserable when others don’t give you approval?

Finally, are you willing show the ultimate
demonstration of genuine love—sacrificing your desire for approval in order to serve another?

I believe the best type of approval would be your own self-approval;other peoples approval should only work as a bonus to this,and that is not selfish-it is just as we are told to “love others as much as we love ourselves”.

Can you love others “more”,if you love yourself “less”?

Hmmmmm. Ponder that. Or even much better,meditate on it!

Just some random thoughts that came to my mind….©Profarms’ Random Thoughts®

Just some random thoughts that came to my mind….©Profarms’ Random Thoughts®

Little surprises and deliberately scripted “happiness routine” that bring great happy moments

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You know the feeling when you find your own money that had slipped down the back of the couch?

Or when you find something that you totally forgot you had?

What if you could manufacture your life to have more positive experiences like these?

I’ve been experimenting with this too.

I’ve tried setting random calendar notes or reminders for several weeks’ time, each with a short positive note or inspirational message to myself.

Both add a nice surprise to the day when you receive them out of the blue.

Perhaps order yourself a gift to arrive in the distant future and totally forget about it until it arrives.

Or maybe leave hidden notes in completely random places all over the house.

Get creative, because anything goes.

Even better still, begin crafting these little surprises for others too.

A couple of times a month think of somebody close to you and figure out a way you can help them.

Maybe that’s with a call or a surprise visit.

Maybe that’s a thoughtful gift or simply paying them a genuine compliment.

The world needs more pleasant surprises.

A few weeks ago I found myself having a bad day.

The frustrating thing was that on the outside
everything was okay, nothing had explicitly gone wrong, but inside everything was a mess.

It was one of those days where you’re in a constant battle with yourself.

At the beginning of this century I saved up enough to be able to quit my job and focus on building my own private business.

But on this particular day I felt nothing but doubt about my general progress and direction in life.

I couldn’t get my head straight, my business creativity was drained, and with everything I attempted I came up against a mental block.

In silent despair, I sank into my office chair and
stared blankly across the room.

As I gazed ahead, I looked at pictures from my travels stuck on the wall.

Each was a reminder of good times I’ve had
and things to look forward to in the future.

To the left, Steve Jobs’ biography sat staring at me on the shelf.

It’s tactfully put there, so that on days where I feel like I’m incapable of producing anything worthwhile, I get a reminder of what’s possible.

I’ve recently been experimenting with
incorporating things in my daily life to add
extra inspiration.

Things that give extra motivation when days are good and provide a weatherproof layer for the days when things aren’t going so well.

If our routines and everyday life occur by chance, it’s unlikely that they set us up to have the happiest, most meaningful and productive days that we’re capable of.

So I’ve started being deliberate in how I sculpt and script my days and routines. I guess you could call it happiness architecture.

Of course, true lasting happiness takes practice.
It’s a long-term commitment of expressing gratitude, being aware of our negative self-talk, and developing the ability to see the world around us with more optimism.

So, while designing your days isn’t a quick fix for instant happiness, it’s a way to help cultivate a fertile environment for happiness to grow.

Here are some of the things I’ve been toying with:

•Physical space and aesthetics

The easiest place to start sculpting a happier life is with your physical space.

Design your surroundings so they inspire you.

This doesn’t mean you have to move to the Himalayas or to a villa beside the sea,but instead craft your current surroundings so they
make you happier.

The reason Disneyland is considered one of the
happiest places on Earth isn’t by chance, but
because around every corner is a Mickey Mouse, a Disney Princess, or another deliberately crafted inspiring moment.

Craft your own daily Disneyland.

This is the reason for my strategically placed
biography of Steve Jobs.

It’s the reason I drink coffee out of a mug that reads “Follow Your Dreams.”

It’s the reason for the inspiring quotes
and messages all over my walls and on the
wallpaper of my computer.

Have daily reminders of your goals dotted around the house.

Surround yourself with plants, paintings,
colours, and other visual elements that make you happy.

Anything that can help ensure that not a single day goes by without some sort of visual kick-up-the-backto inspire you to be happier.

• The Company you keep

The people you spend time with can either raise or squander your energy and positivity.

If you want to be happier, be deliberate in choosing who you spend your time with.

I’m not the most extroverted of people, so who I’m spending time with can be the difference between me coming across as some crazy, passionate guy or a timid, bashful guy.

The latter of which tends to leave me questioning myself—“ What’s wrong with
me?” “Why am I so quiet?”

Very few of us are fortunate enough to be able to spend 24/7 around inspiring people who light us up, but we can craft opportunities to spend time with (or at very least call) somebody who inspires us a couple of times a week.

We often default to whatever company is available to us, just to avoid being alone.

We don’t pay any attention to how negatively that company might affect us.

Be totally honest with yourself and ask: does
spending time with these people make me come
away feeling better or worse?

If the answer is worse, then maybe it’s not worth it after all.

•Time for passionate things

Perhaps most importantly, we need to be very
deliberate with how we spend our time.

It’s so easy to fall into a routine and stay there no matter how counter-productive or negative it may be.

I try to do something I’m passionate about every single day.

For you, this could be taking an action that contributes toward a big goal, or maybe it’s
learning to dance Salsa, playing an instrument, or another activity you love to do.

You don’t have to spend long on it, but there’s a lot of satisfaction that can be had knowing that no matter how manic and stressful life may be, you are still working toward something that is
meaningful to you.

Make time to lose yourself in a book.

Give yourself a sacred fifteen minutes every morning to savour and enjoy a steaming of tea or coffee.

Make time to meditate, to enjoy the moment and to feel gratitude for all that you have.

Dedicate a part of your day to going out into nature and noticing the sound of the birds, the crisp bite of the wind, or simply the gentle crunch of the leaves beneath your feet.

Your time is the most precious thing in your life.

Without it, nothing else could exist.

•Elimination the negative by dealing with it,whichever way

With that in mind, just adding more positivity to
our days will always have limited success without eliminating the negative too.

I find it useful to eliminate the news from my life—I found that watching it caused me to see the world with so much more fear and negativity.

That’s not to say I turn a blind eye to that which is happening in the world, but instead I choose to ignore the negative slander that the news puts on everything.

Look at your own day and try to figure out what you can take out. What needs pruning?

What routines or habits have you got that add
nothing to your life—or worse, which ones actually have a negative effect?

Maybe you find the traffic always leaves you angry on the way to work, so search for a different route instead.

The road through the countryside may take
you longer, but if it inspires you more and leaves you more positive, then it’s time well spent.

Take the time to notice the other stressors in your life.

Which of these can you remove completely?

And if you can’t remove them, how can you reduce their impact?

Life is short.

We all have a limited time here, so it’s so important that we’re deliberate in how we use it.

That means being intentional and designing our lives to leave us as happy and fulfilled as possible.

Don’t leave that up that chance.

Enjoy your little moments;when these litlle moments add up in your lifetime,you will look back and say;” I lived a “great life” in my little moments!

Just some random thoughts that came to my mind….©Profarms’ Random Thoughts®

Just some random thoughts that came to my mind….©Profarms’ Random Thoughts®

Random Thoughts

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Do you enjoy sipping your strong tea like I do?

In modern society most of us don’t want to be in touch with ourselves; we want to be in touch with other things like religion,sports, politics, a book – we want to forget ourselves.

Anytime we have leisure, we want to invite something else to enter us,opening ourselves to the television and telling the television to
come and colonise us

Anxiety, the illness of our time, comes primarily from our inability to dwell in the present moment.

You must be completely awake in the present to enjoy the tea.

Only in the awareness of the present, can your hands feel the pleasant warmth of the cup.

Only in the present, can you savour the aroma, taste the sweetness, appreciate the delicacy.

If you are ruminating about the past, or worrying about the future, you will completely miss the experience of enjoying the cup of tea.

You will look down at the cup, and the tea will be gone.

Life is like that.

If you are not fully present, you will look around and it will be gone.

You will have missed the feel, the aroma, the delicacy and beauty of life.

It will seem to be speeding past you.

The past is finished.

Learn from it and let it go.

The future is not even here yet.

Plan for it, but do not waste your time worrying about it.

Worrying is worthless.

When you stop ruminating about what has already happened, when you stop worrying about what might never happen, then you will be in the present moment.

Then you will begin to experience joy in life.

As much as this was about tea,its modest aim is to teach us to savour the present moment.

From time to time, to remind ourselves to relax and be peaceful, we may wish to set aside some time for a retreat, a day of mindfulness, when we can walk slowly, smile, drink tea with a friend, enjoy being together as if we are the happiest people on Earth.

Just some random thoughts that came to my mind….©Profarms’ Random Thoughts®

Giving up and letting go-are they one and the same thing?

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“Holding on is believing that there’s only a past;letting go is knowing that there’s a future”.

I want a lot of things in this life.

Some of them are things I imagine in passing it would be nice to have, but some of them are things I truly intend to obtain,in my mind,by all means.

In other words, for the things I truly desire, I am willing to work hard,humble myself, and sacrifice.

I sincerely intend to make them happen and will do whatever is within my power to make them happen.

And yet, while doing so has helped me successfully achieve many goals I have set in my
life, there are still things I want that I haven’t
gotten, despite having executed the strategy
described above.

Some of them are general life goals, some are fitness goals, and some are personal goals.

I understand that we only have so much time,
energy, and attention to devote to anything, which limits the number of goals we can meaningfully intend to achieve.

But sometimes it’s not a matter of me spreading
myself too thin or not setting aside the time to make the magic happen.

Sometimes I do everything “right,” but the prize just doesn’t come to pass.

Despite my best efforts and appropriate focus and intention, I don’t always get the results I want.

I don’t get to build the house I dreamed of.

I did everything right, but it doesn’t pan out.

It sucks.

But it’s part of being human.

Over time, I have realised when something like this happens, I have a choice: I can give up, or I can let go.

At first glance, the two may seem to be similar, because they both result in me acknowledging that what I wanted isn’t likely or definitely isn’t going to happen.

But there are some subtle yet significant differences.

Read on for an explanation of the distinctions
between giving up and letting go and for an
explanation of why they matter.

See if you agree with my belief that it is better to let go than to give up.

•Giving Up

When I give up, I decide it’s futile even to try anymore-at anything.

I decide there is a finite amount of satisfaction and fulfilment in the world, and now that
I’ve been thwarted in this goal, there is less of it for me to get.

The fact that someone else prevailed where I wanted to means they are standing in the way of my happiness.

So I start to dislike that person, and any person who might get any other thing I want, even if they worked as hard or harder.

I develop a sense of entitlement, and I don’t feel like working hard anymore, because what’s the use?

•Letting Go

When I let go, on the other hand, I make a point of remembering how good my life is, even without the thing I want.

I appreciate that the very process of pursuing what I wanted helped me make strides toward self-actualisation.

I recognise there might actually be some good to me not getting the thing I want.

Maybe I’m not ready, or maybe what I actually
wanted was something I thought only achieving my goal could give me, only now I’ve figured out I could get it in another way.

I redouble my efforts to work for the things I want, because I understand I will be a
better person for the effort no matter the outcome.

Now. Lest you think I sound contradictory, rest assured that in order for me to get to the letting go, I almost always first have to go through the giving up.

But ultimately, I am able to get there, albeit maybe after some wallowing and self-pity.

Another surprising outcome of the letting go
rather than the giving up is that sometimes it is
after I have let go that I finally do get the thing I want.

It seems it is only once I truly come to realize
that my life will be fine whether I get the thing or not, that I can be equally happy with or without it, that I’m in a position to appreciate the thing as part of the constellation of good things that make up my life, rather than putting the pressure on it that needing to have it does.

Put in a different way,giving up creates resentment out of a false sense of entitlement,while letting go is liberating in that,my happiness is not totally linked to the outcome of letting go.

Letting go somehow becomes a joyful loss to things that I should lose to create room for new and better things in my life.

Just some random thoughts that came to my mind….©Profarms’ Random Thoughts®

My deepest respect is for that single girl who chooses to drink alone

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I’m some sort of an expert on Women.

I mean,that’s what you would call my pretence to understand women.

But I respect women.

Especially the confident single woman.

Picture this;

She walks in and perches herself on a stool, retrieves her phone from her handbag then leans over and hooks her purse under the counter.

She smiles at the barman and they have a brief conversation.

When she smiles you see a little crease at the corner of her eye.

Which means she is not a day under 34.

Plus her elbows tell a story.

They can hide their age with their lips and with their makeup, but their elbows will always tell the truth.

She, very flittingly, looks around then settles on the TV above.

She’s bedecked in a crisp white top with a greenish skirt that she might insist on calling lime.

She has hips, you can tell, by the way they spread out on that stool.

At the end of her endless long legs are these sexy dark-red high heels – the colour of
an ox’s heart.

Drinking ritual

Her drink is set before her; a frosty glass of white wine.

She mouths a “thank you” to the barman and sends him away with a gracious smile.

She holds the stem of her glass but doesn’t sip it immediately; she just holds it there, staring at it, as if she is saying a small prayer for God to bless the hearts of all the men who grow
grapes in the vast vineyards of Stellenbosch.

That ritual looks like how we treat our first double of whisky,or cold beer; with reverence, with occasion, with expectation.

Finally she brings the glass to her glistening lip-glossed lips and takes a small, delicate and almost cautious, sip.

Then there is that moment when her throat moves as she swallows.

And the whole room swallows with her.

She isn’t drop-dead gorgeous, this girl.

I suspect most drop-dead gorgeous women can’t bear to sit alone in bars, not because they will be hit on, but because that kind of beauty
brings with it loneliness.

This lady is average-looking, with an interesting face; a sort of angular face with a nicely curved jawline, flawless skin and eyes that sparkle with knowledge.

The kind of lady who you won’t have to explain to what Charlie Hebdo is.

Even though her beauty doesn’t jump right at you immediately, you can feel her confidence and charisma occupy the empty seat next to her.

Terrific personality

You can tell that she has a terrific personality by the way she sits with her back straight.

The way her chin remains upward.

The way she wears that look that is aloof but without being aggressively unfriendly at the same time.

She could be married or divorced, in a relationship or single,she could be a lesbian or a mother, or both, but what we know for a fact is what we can see; that she isn’t wearing a wedding band.

But even that could mean anything.

You can tell she has been around the block.

That all the innocence of her 20’s has been replaced with a hard-won cynicism in her 30s.

You can tell she has fought many fights, some small, others big.

She has fought men and she has fought women and she has lost some and won a few, but that all the wins didn’t give her as much pleasure as she imagined they would because they were about making a statement, not derivatives of
pleasure.

You can tell that at that age her circle of friends has grown smaller and smaller over time because she has continually appraised them and weeded out those who have become
baggage.

And she finds herself here, at this point of her life where she can come to a bar like this alone and order a drink because she doesn’t have to prove anything to anyone, least of all,herself.

You know she is alone, and isn’t waiting for anyone because she isn’t looking at the door, or her watch.

She isn’t on her phone to go on Facebook or Twitter because she is trying to kill time, to look engaged or distracted.

She is just happy to be alone.

With her thoughts.

With her drink.

With her time.

We are about five men on this particular bar counter and she is the only lady.

We have recognised her presence, all right,
even though she doesn’t seem to have recognised ours.

But I’m sure she might have because she is a woman, and they are subtle and alert.

I can bet if we asked her, she will tell us
what colour of socks all of us are wearing at that counter.

Including the barman.

That’s how women are with minutiae.

Because the bar we are in is those bars where we don’t assume a lone woman needs company, we don’t bother her.

Nobody sends her a drink.

Nobody ogles at her.

At this point we don’t even see her as a lady.

We don’t see her as a man either.

She is just one of us without being like us.

She’s the lone lady at the bar.

I’m forever fascinated by this type.

I always sit and wonder who they are, what they do, where they come from, the struggles they face, what they are thinking and I always play this game in my head where I profile them.

Show of poise

The lone lady at the bar is the type who manages to sit alone without looking lonely.

The type who you know doesn’t want your company, or your business card, or your lame opening lines.

And it’s sexy because it’s not even a show of independence; it’s a show of poise.

However, there is a difference between this girl and a high- class hooker.

While you might attempt to catch this girl’s eye,
the hooker will attempt to catch yours.

She will hold your gaze ever so briefly, then look away as if she is just too shy to look you in the eye.

Well, she isn’t shy at all.

She is a long-tailed fox.

But the lone lady at the bar decides how many glasses of whatever she is drinking she is going to consume and then she will run her card and get off her stool.

We will all watch her go, with a mixture of feelings: regret, thin-veiled admiration, fascination, wonder, lust…

It takes quite a woman to sit alone at a bar, amongst men, and not feel like she’s over her head.

To sit in the lair of men and command respect.

To buy her own drink and own her own space in that bar without drawing too much attention to her sex.

For that I raise our glass to you, because it’s sexy.

And just to be clear, sexiness is not a dress you wear.

Sexiness is how your presence wears a room.

Just some random thoughts that came to my mind….©Profarms’ Random Thoughts®

My minimalist life,away from spotlight

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Under the Radar,Life was cold and everything was so damn complicated.

My heart was stuck in the middle, it
was so intimidated.

Every small move I made was watched
with sneer.

Every effort I made held with scepticism.

That’s what I used to be, but now, the
sorrows have disintegrated.

Out of radar,I guess now is the time for
me to show that I run fast, and suddenly I found everything quickly grows into a solid purpose.

But I’ll always remember a little man in
the afterglow of a lost race,trying to prove a thing or two to the world.

Well, that’s little me, covered by dust
not so long ago…from a fall that shook the ground around me.

Out of radar, maybe you’ll never know who I am.

Far away from the crowds, you might never
know who this man is.

Suddenly time goes by and here is
where I barely stand.

You’ll never know me now, I’ve ‘done all the best I can,
But still,it proves nothing to the world.

Nothing in my life,as I now realise,was meant to prove anything to the world;it was always meant to serve my self-centred interests.

In my heart,I know all my struggles and
small victories.

None in the world needs to declare me
a victor or a loser; It’s for my life that I live.

Out of radar,suddenly all the dust storms turn to gold, and once again these eyes of mine blink and blink again;this is the kind of life I’ve been wishing for!

The glory of a shining crown wipes away all my sorrows and tears.

Well, maybe I have lost everything in order to gain everything.

I’ve been dying before this, but you can
see that now I’m breathing.

On the radar, in the darkness of the
day, I drowned;

It’s like I was the worst thing on earth,
cynically the world frowned on me.

I’ve tried to be good, but then mercilessly,life on spotlight always brought me down.

But look at me now and see who’s finally got the crown!

Out of radar, I’ve been up and down in
this long journey of life.

Been trying to be anything else but
then realize it’s not me.

All the miseries have gone and the
pain has turned to history.

Slowly but sure, I finally found the
right person who to be;I want to be out
of everyone’s radar.

…Coz that’s the only way I can be that
person that I want to be; And that is to be Myself.

Just some random thoughts that came to my mind….©Profarms’ Random Thoughts®

Flying Solo: Loneliness is the price we pay for our personal freedom

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“Too late for second-guessing, too late to go back to sleep, it’s time to trust my instincts, close my eyes:
and leap…and if I’m flying solo, at least I’m flying free…”~Soundtrack lyrics from the Movie “Wicked”

I personally, think one of the highest prices of
freedom is loneliness.

Being LONELY, just typing that word makes it feel like whining.

No one likes to admit it. I hate it, but it’s true.

They say, stand up for what you believe in, even if you’re standing alone.

“They” (whoever they are) weren’t kidding.

When we were 20something,we were all striving to find that place and find what it is we’re supposed to be standing up for and when we get the gumption to stand up, sometimes we find that we really are standing alone.

Sometimes that feeling of loneliness can be
overwhelming!

It can engulf our mood and be a catalyst for a what-is-wrong-with-me pity party that we all tend to throw occasionally for ourselves.

But isn’t that what we want?

Isn’t “being on our own” the goal?

Well yes, but we didn’t want to feel ALONE while we’re out enjoying being independent and free.

We fought for our intellectual, financial and personal independence… so why are we whining about it?

I’ll tell you, because while we forged forward we
forget the price and the bottom line… loneliness
hurts!

So when that feeling hit us, do we sit down?

Do we retreat home, back to the comfort zone?

HECK, NO!

We work thorough it and we keep going
forward.

As a child, “The Wizard of Oz” was my all-time favourite movie.

I watched it so many times I wore the VHS out.

(I know the young things today will never understand the true magnitude of that statement, because they never watched tapes, they only understand DVR or DVD, but for us 40soemthings and above, I know you can
appreciate that)

I loved that movie. (I also attribute my fear of
thunderstorms to that movie.)
Anyhow, to see “Wicked” for my 50th birthday was amazing.

I sat wide-eyed soaking in every moment.

Wicked explained a lot of the “why” questions that arose for me as a child while watching the Wizard of Oz.

Why is the witch so mean, why is the lion a
coward, why is the scarecrow a fool?

You know all that stuff.

It explained the back-story of the characters
and the “price” they paid to get to where they are.

There is a breaking point for the Wicked Witch, (who P.S is NOT so wicked) and she decides to take the road less travelled.

In this scene, her character is depicted as a 20something and I thought the lyrics
were very appropriate;

“Too late for second-guessing, too late to go back to sleep, it’s time to trust my instincts, close my eyes:
and leap…and if I’m flying solo, at least I’m flying free…”

I loved those lyrics.

I ran out and bought the soundtrack at a local music store,”Assanads of Moi Avenue,Nairobi” (which was insanely overpriced and I could have bought from street vendors for ½ the price.)

However, I bought it because that song
spoke to our generation and where we are in our lives.

It leaves out any visions of grandeur of yellow
brick roads and gets right to the truth- that…there comes a point when we break away, from family, friends, old habits, old routines and stand on the brink of our lives and are faced with a decision—we either leap or not.

Before we take the plunge, we think about the price, we think about the ramifications of our actions.

Could we fail?

Could we get our hearts broken?

Can we get our spirit broken?

Will we lose faith in our dreams, or worse, ourselves?

Will we lose touch with friends or an old love?

Will we regret it?

Will we end up alone?

We run a million questions through our head, we think about the price of freedom and independence, the things we have been avoiding while we worked to get to this point.

But now we’re here on the edge, so what do you do?

Run back to what you know or close your eyes and take a leap of faith into your personal freedom?

We survived high school, in some cases college
and now we are adults.

We have made tons of mistakes at all points in our lives.

But from mistakes comes wisdom and experience.

We have to mess up to keep figuring it all out.

But, the only way to move forward is to close your eyes and leap onto the next.

Leave the questions, the past mistakes and the
doubts behind.

Hold onto the reality that it won’t be all rainbows and sunshine.

That sometimes… you’re flying solo, fighting off the feeling of loneliness, but remember; at least you’re flying.

Loneliness is a funny thing… you can sit in an
apartment 2 hours from home and feel it, but it can also follow you to a crowded bar and still make you feel like you’re on your own.

But shake it off!

That crappy “alone” feeling will pass and when it does, we will be happy that we didn’t sacrifice our fight for intellectual, financial and
personal independence.

Loneliness is the price we pay for our freedom!

Just some random thoughts that came to my mind….©Profarms’ Random Thoughts®

A New Year Resolution for my neighbour~please buy a new bed!

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There is something I have been meaning to get off my chest for the last three years, but for some reason, whenever I sit down to write about it, I end up writing about something else.

This time round, however, nothing will derail me, so allow me to tell you what happened to me many years ago.

A squeaky bed is quite irritating and awkward.

You don’t have to alert your neighbours every time you are engaging in bedroom gym activities.
I was only two months into my first job after college when I moved into a new flat.

I was not enthusiastic about the move — if you have ever moved house, you know how hectic it is, it can be a headache-inducing affair.

However, the move was absolutely necessary; therefore I grinned and took it like a man — at least the flats were new, so we would not have to go through the unpleasant job of scrubbing and sterilising the toilet and bathroom.

Like any other reasonable co-tenant in an apartment, I would mute the TV, radio, and anything else that needed muting after 10.00pm in the night.

I also closed the windows, and abstained from opening the kitchen or bathroom tap, tiptoe, and open doors in slow motion. Yes,but I now see it; I was a difficult person to live with then …

Anyway, I managed to move without breaking a glass, and by evening, all the necessary items had been unpacked and put in their respective place.

Poor me!I was so exhausted; I must have fallen into a deep dreamless slumber a second after dropping into my bed — only for loud screeching and thumping to rudely wake me up about three hours later.

In my confusion, I thought someone had broken into the house, but once the cobwebs of sleep cleared, I realised that the commotion was coming from somewhere above me.

A few more seconds of the rude sounds and it finally dawned on me that my bedroom ceiling was someone else’s bedroom floor.

What is the standard furniture in bedrooms — beds and wardrobes, right?

Since we do not sleep in wardrobes, then you know what was making those ungodly noises at 3a.m…

I almost wept with frustration, because I knew there was no way I could go back to sleep with all that commotion, but even worse, because I knew that it was just a matter of time before that rocking bed planted sinful thoughts into my “innocent” mind.

Sure enough, it did, and my dear sleep was gone,for eternity till dawn.

Dear readers, the creaking bed upstairs had mercy on me about 20 minutes later (not that I was counting) and by then, I was ready to storm upstairs and haul the randy couple out of
bed.

It took me no less than two hours to go back to sleep, but by then, my neighbours were getting up, so there was a lot of slamming of doors and
footsteps moving back and forth.

The following night, the affectionate couple was at it again at 3 a.m., and the routine of me and my irritable son was repeated once again.

Though I was tempted several times, I restrained myself from marching upstairs to tell my active neighbours to buy a new
bed. Instead, I embarked on looking for another house to rent in earnest.

By the end of that month; I was out of there, hopeful that my next upstairs neighbours had a firmer bed.

Lucky for me, they did.

My fellow Kenyans, when someone mentions the word investment, most of us picture farms,plots and rental houses.

I beseech you, whatever big project you plan to invest your hard-earned money on this year, if your bed groans whenever you turn, and you live in a flat, please, first invest in a new bed, a firm bed — you could just have preserved the sanity of a lonely and unattached single man downstairs!

Just some random thoughts that came to my mind….©Profarms’ Random Thoughts®

A New Year,an old-fashioned sort of loving!

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I used to have a great time dating, but somehow things feel quite different now.

In my20s, every relationship was exciting.

But that’s changed.

Somehow far fewer women fit my needs nowadays.

Maybe I’m getting pickier?

Could that be it?

Dating used to be all about fun; being with someone where I felt a spark.

Compatible could wait.

Now I want more stability.

Even if I still feel it’s too soon to commit, I
want someone I can have a peaceful future with.

Someone who has their life held together nicely.
Who is responsible and reliable.

It used to be I just wanted someone hot and sexy.

Instant passion.

Looks were everything.

Now I want character.

Someone who’ll help me to be a better person.

And desire that lasts.

Now I won’t sleep with someone until I’m
sure I know exactly what I want in her bed, and not just how to get it.

In the past,having similar interests was enough.
Now I need compatible life- goals.

I used to be happy if someone treated me nicely.
Now I want someone who goes on caring, long after the first few heady weeks of falling in love.

It used to be that all I wanted was someone to love.

Now I want someone who knows how to love me.

And who can cope with all my crazy habits and shortcomings.

Years ago, I would probably have given an ex another chance.

I wouldn’t now, because I’ve realised there’s
always an important reason that can’t be fixed when a relationship fails,even once,even for a trivial reason.

I’M TIRED OF DRAMA

I used to want someone who would make me happy.

But now that’s not enough.

I need someone who consistently shows they appreciate my presence in their life, who doesn’t start taking me for granted.

I’ve learned that neither great beauty,nor chemistry on a date means joy in the bedroom.

Just because our communication is
totally synchronised, doesn’t mean our bodies will be.

I’ve grown tired of drama.

My date’s jealousy or temper doesn’t necessarily show their love,but most probably their psychopath tendencies.

It shows they’re incapable of having a healthy relationship.

I’ve grown tired of flaky behaviour — like saying they’ll call and then they don’t.

Or lending them money and never ever getting it back.

Or being hard on my waiter — one day that will be me on the receiving end.

I can tell a lot about someone by the way they interact with people in the service industries.

I’ve discovered that the truth really matters.

That saying exactly how I see things, right from the beginning, is what creates genuine attraction.

And that it’s honesty that builds that attraction into a solid relationship.

So yes, I’m pickier.

My interests and values have changed, and my goals and interests become more deeply defined.

Now I know what really matters.

And realise that love is elusive, dreams don’t come true, and nothing in life works out
quite as you planned.

And that’s actually a much more solid base on which to build a relationship.

One that will sustain me through years of joy
and happiness right into my ripe old age.

Just some random thoughts that came to my mind….©Profarms’ Random Thoughts®

Dont be the one to beat yourself down this new year!

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tibetan monk self-immolation photo

tibetan monk self-immolation photo

If you keep on scrubbing your life to make it perfectly clean of all human errors,faux paus,mistakes and wrong judgements,you will never be left with enough time to live it.

long pencil stem,short eraser end photo

long pencil stem,short eraser end photo

The reason that a pencil has a very short
eraser end and longer stem is that,you are not
expected to erase everything you write,even when it is bound to be “all wrong” sometimes.

The same thing applies to life~there is not enough time to correct all the mistakes you have made in your life,in just one lifetime!

Just some random thoughts that came to my mind….©Profarms’ Random Thoughts®

This is where life lives, in the little moments

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Over the years I’ve learned dozens of little tricks and insights for making life more fulfilling.

They’ve added up to a significant improvement in the ease and quality of my day-to-day life.

I call them;the little moments where life actually lives.

But the major breakthroughs have come from a handful of insights that completely rocked my world and redefined reality forever.

The world now seems to be a completely different one than the one I lived in about ten years ago, when I started looking into the mechanics of quality of life through Buddhist meditation.

It wasn’t the world (and its people) that changed really, it was how I thought of it.

Maybe you’ve had some of the same insights.

Or maybe you’re about to.

• You are not your mind.

The first time I heard somebody say that, I didn’t like the sound of it one bit. What else could I be?

I had taken for granted that the mental chatter in my head was the central “me” that all the experiences in my life were happening to.

I see quite clearly now that life is nothing but passing experiences, and my thoughts are just one more category of things I experience.

Thoughts are no more fundamental than smells, sights and sounds.

Like any experience, they arise in my awareness, they have a certain texture, and then they give way to something else.

If you can observe your thoughts just like you can observe other objects, who’s doing the observing?

Don’t answer too quickly.

This question, and its unspeakable answer, are at the centre of all the great religions and spiritual traditions.

• Life unfolds only in little moments.

Of course! I once called this the most important thing I ever learned.

Nobody has ever experienced anything that wasn’t part of a single moment unfolding.

That means life’s only challenge is dealing
with the single moment you are having right now.

Before I recognised this, I was constantly trying to solve my entire life — battling problems that weren’t actually happening.

Anyone can summon the resolve to deal with a single, present moment, as long as they are truly aware that it’s their only point of contact with life, and therefore there is nothing else one can do that can possibly be useful.

Nobody can deal with the past or future, because, both only exist as thoughts, in the present.

But we can kill ourselves trying.

• Quality of life is determined by how you deal
with your moments, not which moments happen
and which don’t.

I now consider this truth to be Happiness 101, but it’s amazing how tempting it still is to grasp at control of every circumstance to try to make sure I get exactly what I want.

To encounter an undesirable situation and work with it willingly is the mark of a wise and
happy person.

Imagine getting a flat tire, falling ill at a bad time, or knocking something over and breaking
it — and suffering nothing from it.

There is nothing to fear if you agree with yourself to deal willingly with adversity whenever it does show up.

That is how to make life better.

The typical, low-leverage method is to hope that you eventually accumulate power over your circumstances so that you can get what you
want more often.

There’s an excellent line in a Modest Mouse song, celebrating this side-effect of wisdom: As life gets longer, awful feels softer.

• Most of life is imaginary.

Human beings have a habit of compulsive thinking that is so pervasive that we lose sight of the fact that we are nearly always thinking.

Most of what we interact with is not the world itself, but our beliefs about it, our expectations of it, and our personal interests in it.

We have a very difficult time observing
something without confusing it with the thoughts we have about it, and so the bulk of what we experience in life is imaginary things.

As Mark Twain said: “I’ve been through some terrible things in my life, some of which actually happened.”

The best treatment I’ve found?

Cultivating a free-flow mindfulness.

• Human beings have evolved to suffer, and we
are better at suffering than anything else.

Heck. It doesn’t sound like a very liberating discovery.

I used to believe that if I was suffering it meant that there was something wrong with me — that I was doing life “wrong.”

Suffering is completely human and completely normal, and there is a very good reason for its existence.

Life’s persistent background hum of “this isn’t quite okay, I need to improve this,”coupled with occasional intense flashes of horror and adrenaline are what kept human beings alive for millions of years.

This urge to change or escape the present moment drives nearly all of our behaviour.

It’s a simple and ruthless survival mechanism which works exceedingly well for keeping us alive, but it has a horrific side effect: human beings suffer greatly by their very nature.

This, for me, redefined every one of
life’s problems as some tendrils of the human
condition.

As grim as it sounds, this insight is liberating because it means:
1) that suffering does not necessarily mean my life is going wrong,
2) that the ball is always in my court, so the degree to which I suffer is ultimately up to me, and
3) that all problems have the same cause and the same solution.

• Emotions exist to make us biased.

This discovery was a complete 180 from my old
understanding of emotions.

I used to think my emotions were reliable indicators of the state of my life — of whether I’m on the right track or not.

Your passing emotional states can’t be trusted for measuring your self-worth or your position in life, but they are great at teaching you what it is you can’t let go of.

The trouble is that emotions make us both
more biased and more forceful at the same time.

Another survival mechanism with nasty side-effects.

• All people operate from the same two
motivations: to fulfil their desires and to escape
their own suffering.

Learning this allowed me to finally make sense of how people can hurt each other so badly.

The best explanation I had before this was that some people are just bad.

What a mis-thought.

No matter what kind of behaviour other people exhibit, they are acting in the most effective way they are capable of (at that moment) to fulfil a desire or to relieve their own suffering.

These are motives we can all understand;
we only vary in method, and the methods each of us has at our disposal depend on our upbringing and our experiences in life, as well as our state of consciousness.

Some methods are skillful and helpful
to others, others are un skillful and destructive, and almost all destructive behaviour is unconscious.

So there is no good and evil people by nature, only smart and dumb (or wise and foolish.)

Understanding this completely shook my long-held notions of morality and justice.

• Beliefs are nothing to be proud of,not unless they are the right beliefs.

Believing something is not an accomplishment.

I grew up thinking that beliefs are something to be proud of, but they’re really nothing but opinions one refuses to reconsider.

Beliefs are easy.

The stronger your beliefs are, the less open you are to growth and wisdom, because “strength of belief” is only the intensity with which you resist questioning yourself.

As soon as you are proud of a belief, as soon as you think it adds something to who you are, then you’ve made it a part of your ego.

Listen to any “die-hard” conservative or liberal talk about their deepest beliefs and you are listening to somebody who will never hear what you say on any matter that matters to them — unless you believe the same.

It is gratifying to speak forcefully, it is gratifying to be agreed with, and this high is what the die-hards are chasing.

Wherever there is a belief, there is a closed
door.

Take on the beliefs that stand up to your most
honest, humble scrutiny, and never be afraid to lose them.

• Objectivity is subjective.

Life is a subjective experience and that cannot be escaped.

Every experience I have comes through my
own, personal, un-sharable viewpoint.

There can be no peer reviews of my direct experience, no real corroboration.

This has some major implications for
how I live my life.

The most immediate one is that I realize I must trust my own personal experience, because nobody else has this angle, and I only have
this angle.

Another is that I feel more wonder for the
world around me, knowing that any “objective”
understanding I claim to have of the world is built entirely from scratch, by me.

What I do build depends on the books I’ve read, the people I’ve met, and the experiences I’ve had.

It means I will never see the world quite like anyone else, which means I will never live in quite the same world as anyone else — and therefore I mustn’t let outside observers be
the authority on who I am or what life is really like for me.

Subjectivity is primary experience — it is real
life, and objectivity is something each of us builds on top of it in our minds, privately, in order to explain it all.

This truth has world-shattering implications for
the roles of religion and science in the lives of those who grasp it.

Just some random thoughts that came to my mind….©Profarms’ Random Thoughts®

One good deed at a time, and today’s despair slowly transforms itself into tomorrow’s hope

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“Happiness is not a destination where, upon
arrival, we get to unpack our bags and stay forever.
Happiness is just one of many “rest stops” on the highway of life”.

Approaching our shame with loving curiosity
eventually reduces shame’s need to manifest itself in ways that don’t serve us.

If you have been spending more than your fair
share of time at the rest stops of shame and
despair, I urge you to consider asking yourself how you can bring to the world the change you wish to see.

Healing can be found in unexpected places when we embody the change we hope to see.

A few years back, I saw a sticker that read, “Be the change you wish to see in the world. –Gandhi.”

My knee-jerk reaction was annoyance because the sticker was affixed to the bumper of a car that turned right in front of me.

I was in the middle of a long stretch of bad days, so pretty much anything
would have set me off.

My search for happiness during that bleak period seemed fruitless, most likely because I didn’t know that happiness is not a destination where, upon arrival, we get to unpack our bags and stay forever.

Happiness is just one of many “rest stops” on the highway of life.

After ending a toxic marriage, I was spending an inordinate amount of time at the
rest stop of shame.

Not only had I allowed myself to stay in a
relationship with someone who treated me poorly, I felt like a failure when the marriage
ended.

Seems I had special talent for beating
myself up, both coming and going.

Each one of our feelings speaks to us in its own
unique voice.

For me, shame sounded like, “You’re
a loser!” or “You’re boring!” or, my personal
favourite, “No one will ever love you again!”

The voices of our feelings can tell us things that feel true but, in fact, are not true.

When I heard the voice of shame, it took everything in my power to fight the urge to isolate from a world I was convinced I didn’t deserve to be part of.

The world seemed pretty dark at the time and I
worried I would never find the light again. (This is what hopelessness sounds like, by the way.)

It was at precisely this time that Gandhi’s
words came along, disguised as an obstacle in
my path.

Seeing those words reminded me that we cannot control how we feel; we can only control what we do with how we feel.

While I could not control shame, I could control
how small I allowed it to make my world.

I had no idea how to “make” myself happy, but I was desperate to try anything.

I decided to conduct a little social experiment to test Gandhi’s words.

Because I wanted to transform shame into
happiness, despair into love, it was up to me to
sprinkle happiness and love into the world.

Just as rest stops are meant to come and go, so
is happiness.

We recognise a feeling in our conscious field, stretch into that feeling for as long as needed, and, eventually, get back in the car and “drive” until the next one comes along.

Of course, there are other stops along the highway as well: loneliness, excitement, hope, anger, longing, etc.

I challenged myself to perform at least one good
deed per week.

The good deed could be any action, small or large, as long as the net result would put
more positive energy into the world.

I wasn’t feeling too positively energetic at the time, so a week seemed plenty of time to do at least one small thing. (After all, starting from ground zero, there was nowhere to go but upward.)

Once the goal was set, I noticed a slight positive
shift in perspective.

I was no longer wondering what in the world could make the pain stop, I was asking myself what I could do to bring more love into the world,my world,to be more precise,because I believe the rest of the world was still full of love.

The experiment began.

If I appreciated something about someone, I went out of my way to tell them.

If I knew someone who was struggling and needed a sympathetic ear, I called and listened.

If I saw a piece of trash on the sidewalk, I picked it up and put it right back into the trash can.

A friend needed help redesigning her IT department in her office, so I did it.

Momentum didn’t take long to build, so I quickly bumped the target up to three thoughtful deeds per week.

Augmenting the goal brought with it another
noticeable shift in my world view: a significant
uptick in the compassion.

This was encouraging.

If a car turned right in front of me, I told myself the driver was probably lost and needed help; if
someone was rude at the grocery store, I assumed they were having a bad day and needed extra patience; if I screwed something up, I spoke nicely and encouragingly to myself.

I began to believe—I mean in-my-core believe—
that all human beings, even those who hurt us,
are deserving of love and compassion.

It’s been almost seven years since my Thoughtful Deed Project started.

I am happy to report the shame that once felt like a constant companion has given way to greater connectedness with the people around me (whether they are trusted friends or complete strangers) and with myself.

Overall, thankfully, I spend less time in despair and more time in contentment.

It hasn’t been all wine and parties since I started the project—shame still shows up on the highway from time to time.

The difference is, where I once would
have addressed the voice of shame with harshness and criticism, I now speak to it in a kinder, gentler voice; as if I were a child in pain.

Approaching our shame with loving curiosity
eventually reduces shame’s need to manifest itself in ways that don’t serve us.

Inside each of us is a deep well of love, patiently awaiting our own recognition.

Mindful acts of kindness and compassion, however large or small, are the portals to this love.

The voice of shame may try to convince you that
you cannot do it.

Shame lies; don’t believe it.

It is easy to overlook the gifts we can offer the
world, just by showing up and giving of ourselves.

Perhaps there is someone in your life who could
benefit from a pair of good ears and strong
shoulders; a park in your neighbourhood that could use a little clean sweep; an overdue birthday card that needs a stamp.

Start small and, if you feel inspired, work your way up from there.

Shame can be stubborn and may stick around
for a while, and that is okay.

It is when we are visiting the rest stop of shame that we are most worthy of our own loving support.

When you feel the darkness, gently remind yourself that this is where you are right now; it is not who you are for always.

Feelings are temporary—the next one will come
along eventually.

In the meantime, remind yourself that you are doing everything in your power to put loving energy into the world; this is enough.

Healing can be found in unexpected places when we embody the change we hope to see.

Acting in service of bringing love and light into the world helps us find the love and light within
ourselves.

One good deed at a time, and today’s despair
slowly transforms itself into tomorrow’s hope.

Just some random thoughts that came to my mind….©Profarms’ Random Thoughts®

Letting go is a catharsis for a troubled soul

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letting go is  tipping the balance in your favour

letting go is tipping the balance in your favour

If we contemplate desires and
listen to them, we are actually
no longer attaching to them; we
are just allowing them to be the
way they are.

Then we come to
the realisation that the origin of
suffering, desire, can be laid
aside and let go of.

How do you let go of things?

If you let go a little you will have a little happiness.

If you let go a lot you will have a lot of
happiness.

If you let go completely you will be totally happy and free too!

This means you leave them as
they are; it does not mean you
annihilate them or throw them
away.

It is more like setting
down and letting them be.

Through the practice of letting
go we realise that there is the
origin of suffering, which is the
attachment to desire, and we
realise that we should let go of
these three kinds of desire.

Then we realise that we have let go of
these desires; there is no longer
any attachment to them.

When you find yourself
attached, remember that ‘letting
go’ is not ‘getting rid of’ or
‘throwing away’.

If I’m holding onto this clock and you say, ‘Let
go of it!’, that doesn’t mean
‘throw it out’.

I might think that I
have to throw it away because
I’m attached to it, but that would
just be the desire to get rid of it.

We tend to think that getting rid
of the object is a way of getting
rid of attachment.

But if I can
contemplate attachment, this
grasping of the clock, I realise
that there is no point in getting
rid of it – it’s a good clock; it
keeps good time and is not
heavy to carry around.

The clock
is not the problem.

The problem
is grasping the clock.

So what do
I do?

Let it go, lay it aside – put it
down gently without any kind of
aversion.

Then I can pick it up
again, see what time it is and lay
it aside when necessary.

You can apply this insight into
‘letting go’ to the desire for
sense pleasures.

Maybe you
want to have a lot of fun.

How would you lay aside that desire
without any aversion?

Simply. recognise the desire without
judging it.

You can contemplate
wanting to get rid of it – because
you feel guilty about having such
a foolish desire – but just lay it
aside.

Then, when you see it as
it is, recognising that it’s just
desire, you are no longer
attached to it.

So the way is always working
with the moments of daily life.

When you are feeling depressed
and negative, just the moment
that you refuse to indulge in that
feeling is an enlightenment
experience.

When you see that,
you need not sink into the sea of
depression and despair and
wallow in it.

You can actually
stop by learning not to give
things a second thought.

You have to find this out
through practice so that you will
know for yourself how to let go
of the origin of suffering.

Can you let go of desire by wanting
to let go of it?

What is it that is
really letting go in a given
moment?

You have to
contemplate the experience of
letting go and really examine
and investigate until the insight
comes.

Keep with it until that
insight comes: ‘Ah, letting go,
yes, now I understand.

Desire is being let go of.’

This does not
mean that you are going to let
go of desire forever but, at that
one moment, you actually have
let go and you have done it in
full conscious awareness.

There is an insight then.

This is what
we call insight knowledge.

In Pali,a transcendial level in buddhist meditation, we call it nanadassana or
profound understanding.

I had my first insight into letting
go in my first year of meditation.

I figured out intellectually that
you had to let go of everything
and then I thought: ‘How do you
let go?’

It seemed impossible to
let go of anything.

I kept on
contemplating: ‘How do you let
go?’

Then I would say, ‘You let go
by letting go.’ ‘Well then, let go!’

Then I would say:
‘But have I let go yet?’ and, ‘How
do you let go?’ ‘Well just let go!’

I went on like that, getting more
frustrated.

But eventually it
became obvious what was
happening.

If you try to analyse
letting go in detail, you get
caught up in making it very
complicated.

It was not
something that you could figure
out in words any more, but
something you actually did.

So I. just let go for a moment, just
like that.

Now with personal problems
and obsessions, to let go of
them is just that much.

It is not
a matter of analysing and
endlessly making more of a
problem about them, but of
practising that state of leaving
things alone, letting go of them.

At first, you let go but then you
pick them up again because the
habit of grasping is so strong.

But at least you have the idea.

Even when I had that insight into
letting go, I let go for a moment
but then I started grasping by
thinking: ‘I can’t do it, I have so
many bad habits!’

But don’t trust
that kind of nagging, disparaging
thing in yourself.

It is totally
untrustworthy.

It is just a matter
of practising letting go.

The more you begin to see how to
do it, then the more you are
able to sustain the state of non-
attachment.

Just some random thoughts that came to my mind….©Profarms’ Random Thoughts®

What’s better than freedom!

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I'm now a truly  free man

I’m now a truly free man

The chains have been broken
I’m no longer oppressed
Free from my burdens
No longer depressed
Took long to figure out
where I want to be
Too long to figure out
that I had the only key
Ropes are gone
the gate is open
Open to the ocean
open to the mountain
Finally I run
wild and free
Grass plains and open ground
as far as I can see
This world of warmth
colours explode
From my cage
black, grey and cold
A kind word resounds
loud in my ears
A warm touch to ease
all my doubts and fears
I see you calling
for me to return
My absence from you
your cause for concern
But I will continue
free I will run
Straight to the warmth
of the ever present sun
So go find yourself
a new “someone”
Because this is all mine
my personal freedom

Just some random thoughts that came to my mind….©Profarms’ Random Thoughts®

Things I’ve learnt from Jaffa, my cat….

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•When life is hard, then take a long nap.

•It’s okay to one day ignore people,then the next day, annoy them.

•When in doubt,cultivate an indifferent attitude.

•Curiosity never killed anything except maybe a few hours of your time trying to unravel an ‘obvious’ mystery.

•Climb your way to the top by all means, that’s why the drapes and curtains are there in the house.

•Never sleep alone when you can sleep on someone’s face.

•If you’re not receiving enough attention,
try knocking over several expensive lamps and chinaware.

•Make your mark in the world or at least spray your pee in each corner of the room.

•When you go out into the world, remember:
being placed on a pedestal is your right, not a privilege.

•You can sleep anywhere, on any table, any chair,top of piano, window-ledge, in the middle, on the Master’s bed,just about anywhere….
open drawers, empty shoe, or just on anybody’s lap;every place on earth will do,’cause well,the world is your bedroom!

•And don’t bother anyone,unless you are hungry or thirsty….!

•And you don’t have to take orders from your boss,unless he is holding goodies that you can see with your own eyes,otherwise,just ignore all other forms of patronising sweet-talks and promises!

Thank you Jaffa,for making me the most anti-social person that have ever lived,and regal too!

Just some random thoughts that came to my mind….©Profarms’ Random Thoughts®

I want a love so deep it’d make the ocean jealous

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God, my deliberate solitude feels so good, but lately I’ve craving something more, something deeper.

I want love
But not just any kind of Love, no,
I want a love so deep it’d make the ocean jealous.

But I’ll only have you if you’re sweeter than my
solitude.

You must love me for everything I’m worth
and then more.

Start with my eyes, look into them like you want to know all the good, bad, and anything beyond.

From my eyes go to my mind, love me for everything I know and love me just as much to teach me what I do not.

Hold me in your arms, and love me for everything I am, from my strengths to my weaknesses, and even the scars that others have left behind.

But tell me if you’re not up for it…Not that you don’t want me but rather you can’t handle me.

And please don’t say, “I won’t be like those other girls and break your heart.”

You see my solitude has always been sweet, and
during that time I learned to love myself before I could learn to love anyone else.

Give me the love that I’ve been craving, make the ocean jealous.

Fall for my eyes without knowing me
just yet.

And then kiss me like you want to be loved just as much.

Remember that I want to be loved as deep as the ocean, but remember that I am like the ocean-
I can slip through your fingers, but manage to hold up an army of ships.

Kiss me, hold me, love me, but tell me if you’re not up for it.

I’ll only have you if you’re sweeter than my solitude

I want a love so deep….or just like I’ve done many times in my life,I just want to be alone this Christmas one more time,till eternity comes!

Just some random thoughts that came to my mind….©Profarms’ Random Thoughts®

Small moments to live for in your life this Christmas season

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None of these things are grand or profound, and that’s the whole point. I believe that life becomes happier and so much more special if we start to enjoy the little things.

Bring Out the Child in you and regain that carefree nature of childhood when you are older.

Go ahead, do something silly and have a good laugh!

Be Grateful for What You Already Have
’cause so much in life that we take for granted that many can only dream of.

Do you have time for hobbies?

I used to feel that I didn’t, until I figured that a hobby does not require half an hour a day. Five minutes is enough.

Take Care of Yourself too.
You might be giving time to your work, your
ambitions, and your family. Are you taking good care of yourself?

Love Yourself!

Before I felt that I had enough in life, I had to love myself enough.

Do Something for Someone Else.
Giving creates a feeling of abundance like few other things do.

Pamper Your Senses….and
No, you don’t need to go to a spa!

Let’s remember how fortunate we are when we experience these ordinary moments.

1. Watch the leaves fall on a windy day.
2. Wake up early and listen to the silence.
3. Look at the clouds and try to find shapes and
maybe even faces.
4. Listen to the birds chirping.
5. Check out some breathtaking photos on National Geographic.
6. Watch a butterfly flutter away.
7. Listen to the thunder on a rainy day.
8. Sit on a park bench and enjoy the greenery.
9. Walk barefoot on grass.
10. Enjoy drinking a glass of water. Eight hundred million people in the world do not have access to clean water.
11. Be grateful for the food on your plate. Over
eight hundred million people do not get enough to eat.
12. Be grateful for the people in your life.
13. Just be grateful that you are alive.
14. Think of ten other things you are grateful for.
15. Read an Archie comic book.
16. Blow soap bubbles.
17. Catch snowflakes with your tongue.
18. Take a walk in the rain.
19. Lick a fast melting ice-cream.
20. Practice your Kung Fu moves or air guitar in front of the mirror!
21. Play a song on your guitar (or any instrument).
22. Listen to a song you love. (Keep a playlist in
your phone).
23. Better still, sing aloud.
24. Learn a new dance move from YouTube.
25. Capture an urban scene with your camera
phone.
26. Read your favourite part from that novel you really love.
27. Read a new book for just five minutes before you go to bed.
28. Exercise for just five minutes—skip rope, jog,
do five pushups and squats. Exercise releases
endorphins, which make you happier.
29. Relish a delicious serving of fruits.
30. Pen down your thoughts in a journal.
31. Tidy up a corner of your house.
32. Mediate for five minutes.
33. Think of five things that you love about who you
are as a person.
34. Every night before going to bed, think of at least
one thing you achieved on that day, however small
or insignificant it might seem.
35. Give yourself a hug. (It works.)
36. Feed a stray dog or cat.
37. Help a neighbor with an errand.
38. Help out a co-worker with your expertise.
39. Send flowers and a card to that relative you
haven’t spoken to in years.
Connect with People
Work was an excuse for me to not find time for my
loved ones. Does it really take much to cherish
these relationships?
40. Call a friend and say hello. (Don’t text!)
41. Cuddle with your partner in the morning.
42. Call your parents.
43. Remember a happy moment with your loved
ones.
44. Forgive someone for a small offence. (This
makes it easier to forgive people for the big
offences.)
45. Apologise to someone.
46. Look at old pictures that bring back memories.
47. Slowly sip a good cappuccino.
48. Listen to the sound of an ocean track (on the
internet).
49. Sit in the sun (on your terrace or backyard).
50. Light aroma candles or incense sticks, like
lavender or lemon grass.
51. Feel the wind in your hair as you drive.
52. Enjoy your Christmas time as you used to do in your childhood days by bringing back the magic of small moments in your life!

Just some random thoughts that came to my mind….©Profarms’ Random Thoughts®

This is the real you!

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Each of our actions, our words, our attitudes is cut off from the ‘world,’ from the people who have not directly perceived it, by a medium the permeability of which is of infinite variation and remains unknown to ourselves; having learned by experience that some important utterance which we eagerly hoped would be disseminated … has found itself, often simply on account of our anxiety, immediately hidden under a bushel, how immeasurably less do we suppose that some tiny word, which we ourselves have forgotten, or else a word never uttered by us but formed on its course by the imperfect refraction of a different word, can be transported without ever halting for any obstacle to infinite distances … and succeed in diverting at
our expense the banquet of the gods.

What we actually recall of our conduct remains unknown to our nearest neighbor; what we have forgotten that we ever said, or indeed what we never did say, flies to provoke hilarity even in another planet, and the image that other people form of our actions and behaviour is no more like that which we form of them ourselves, than is like an original drawing a spoiled copy in which, at one point, for a black line, we find
an empty gap, and for a blank space an
unaccountable contour.

It may be, all the same, that what has not been transcribed is some non-existent feature, which we behold, merely in our purely-blind self-esteem, and that what seems to us added is
indeed a part of ourselves, but so essential a part as to have escaped our notice.

So that this strange print which seems to us to have so little resemblance to ourselves bears sometimes the same stamp of truth,scarcely flattering, indeed, but profound and useful,
as a photograph taken by X-rays.

Not that there is any reason why we should recognise ourselves in it.

A man who is in the habit of smiling in the glass at his handsome face and stalwart figure, if you show him their X-Ray radiograph, will have come face to face with that rosary of bones, labelled as being the image of himself, the same suspicion of error as the visitor to an art gallery who, on coming to the portrait of a girl, reads in his catalogue: “Dromedary resting.”

Later on, this discrepancy between our portraits,
according as it was our own hand that drew them or another, I was to register in the case of others than myself, living placidly in the midst of a collection of photographs which they themselves had taken while round about them grinned frightful faces, invisible to them as a rule, but plunging them in stupor if an accident were to reveal them with the warning: “This is the real you.

Just some random thoughts that came to my mind….©Profarms’ Random Thoughts®

Just some random thoughts that came to my mind….©Profarms’ Random Thoughts®

Watching my sleeping beauty is the most rapturous moment in my life

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Sleep makes children of all of us.

It cloaks us with divine beauty and innocence

I know because I often love watching my partner,Daisy,when she sleeps.

It is amazing that we do not include the pleasures we enjoy in sleep in
the inventory of the pleasures we have experienced in the course of our existence.

By shutting her eyes, by losing consciousness,
Daisy strips off, one after another, the
different human personalities with which she has used to deceive me ever since the day when I had first made her acquaintance.

She is animated now only by the unconscious life of plants, of trees, a life more different from my own, more alien, and yet one that belonged more to me.

Her personality is not constantly escaping, as when we talk, by the outlets of her unacknowledged thoughts and of her eyes.

She has called back into herself everything of
her that lays outside, has withdrawn, enclosed,
re-absorbed herself into her body.

In keeping her in front of my eyes, in my hands, I have an impression of possessing her entirely which I never have when she is awake.

Her life is submitted to me, exhaled towards me its gentle breath.

I listen to her dozy murmuring, mysterious emanation, soft as a sea breeze, magical as a gleam of moonlight, that is her in sleep.

So long as it lasts, I’m free to dream about her and yet at the same time to look at her, and when that sleep grows deeper, to touch, to kiss her.

What I feel now is a love as pure, as immaterial, as mysterious, as if I’m. in the presence of those inanimate creatures which are the beauties of nature.

And indeed, as soon as her sleep becomes at all deep, she ceases to be merely the plant that she had been; her sleep,on the margin of which I remain musing, with a fresh delight of which I never tire, which I can go on enjoying indefinitely, is to me a whole
landscape that we call love.

Her sleep brings within my reach something as serene, as sensually delicious as those nights of full moon on the beach, calm as a lake over which the branches barely stir, where, stretched out upon the stand, one could listen for
hours on end to the surf breaking and receding.

On entering her room, I remain standing in
the doorway, not venturing to make a sound, and hearing none but that of her breath rising to expire upon her lips at regular intervals, like the reflux of the sea, but drowsier and softer.

And at the moment when my ear absorbs that divine sound, I feet that It is condensed in her whole person, the whole life of the charming captive outstretched there before my eyes.

Vehicles go rattling past in the street, but her brow remains as smooth and untroubled, her breath as light, reduced to the simple expulsion of the necessary quantity of air.

Now, seeing that her sleep would not be disturbed, I would advance cautiously, sit down on the chair that stood by the bedside, then on the bed itself.

.

Just some random thoughts that came to my mind….©Profarms’ Random Thoughts®

Our most treasured memories are the ones buried in oblivion

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What best remind us of a person is precisely what we had forgotten (because it was of no importance, and we therefore left it in full possession of its strength).

That is why the better part of our memories exist outside us, in a splatter of rain, in the smell of an un-aired room or of the first crackling
brushwood fire in a cold grate: wherever, in short, we happen upon what our mind, having no use for it, had rejected, the last treasure that the past has in store, the richest, that which, when all our flow of tears seems to have dried at the source, can make us weep again. Outside us?

Within us, rather, but hidden from our eyes in an oblivion more or less prolonged. It is thanks to this oblivion alone that we can from time to time recover the person that we were, place ourselves in relation to things as he was placed, suffer anew because we are no longer
ourselves but he, and because he loved what now leaves us indifferent.

In the broad daylight of our habitual memory the images of the past turn gradually pale and fade out of sight, nothing remains of them, we shall never recapture it.

Or rather we should never recapture it had not a few words been carefully locked away in oblivion, just as an author deposits in the National Library a copy of a book which might otherwise become unobtainable.

For, like desire, regret seeks not to be analysed but to be satisfied.

When one begins to love, one spends one’s time, not in getting to know what one’s love really is, but in making it possible to meet next day.

When one abandons love one seeks not to know
one’s grief but to offer to her who is causing it that expression of it which seems to one the most moving.

One says the things which one feels the need of saying, and which the other will not understand, one speaks for oneself alone.

I wrote: ‘I had thought that it would not be possible. Alas, I see now that it is not so difficult.’ I said also: ‘I shall probably not see you again;’ I said it while I continued to avoid showing a coldness which she might think affected, and the words, as I wrote them, made me weep because I felt that they expressed not what I should have liked to believe but what was probably going to happen.

We suffer injustices both in love,and out of love;in my cowardice I became at once a man, and did what all we grown men do when face to face with suffering and injustice; I preferred not to see them.

And wasn’t my mind also like another baby crib in the depths of which I felt I remained ensconced, even in order to watch what was happening outside?

When I saw an external object, my awareness that I was seeing it would remain between me and it, lining it with a thin spiritual border that prevented me from ever directly touching its substance; it would volatize in some way before I could make contact with it, just as an incandescent body brought near a wet object never touches its moisture because it is always preceded by a zone of evaporation.

And so it is with our own past. It is a labour in vain to attempt to recapture it: all the efforts of our intellect must prove futile.

The past is hidden somewhere outside the realm, beyond the reach of intellect, in some material object (in the sensation which that material object will give us) of which we have no inkling. And it depends on chance whether
or not we come upon this object before we
ourselves must die.

Just some random thoughts that came to my mind….©Profarms’ Random Thoughts®

The true paradises are the paradises that we have lost

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There is no one, no matter how wise he is, who has not in his youth said things or done things that are so unpleasant to recall in later life that
he would expunge them entirely from his memory if that were possible.

The magic of all the paradises we have lost in our lives still hold us in a spell.

It is often hard to bear the tears that we ourselves have caused.

The thirst for something other than what we have… to bring something new, even if it is worse, some emotion, some sorrow; when our sensibility, which happiness has silenced like an idle harp, wants to resonate under some hand, even a rough one, and even if it might be broken by it.

People who are not in love fail to understand how an intelligent man can suffer because of a very ordinary woman. This is like being surprised that anyone should be stricken with cholera because of a creature so insignificant as the common bacillus.

Now there is one thing I can tell you: you will enjoy certain pleasures you would not fathom now. When you still had your mother you often thought of the days when you would have her no longer. Now you will often think of days past when you had her.

When you are used to this horrible thing that they will forever be cast into the past, then you will gently feel her revive, returning to take her place, her entire place, beside you. At the present time, this is not yet possible. Let yourself be inert, wait till the incomprehensible power … that has broken you restores you a little, I say a little, for henceforth you will always keep something broken about you.

Tell yourself this, too, for it is a kind of pleasure to know that you will never love less, that you will never be consoled, that you will constantly
remember more and more.

These days,my destination is no longer a place, rather a new way of seeing the familiar old things in new light.

There are perhaps no days of our childhood we lived so fully as those we believe we left without having lived them, those we spent with a favourite book.

And then there are all those cute and young innocent friends that we lost along the way,too young to die.

I still remember them.

Love is not vain because it is frustrated, but because it is fulfilled. The people we love turn to ashes when we possess them. We glorify their lives only when we lose them again.

People who we love do not die for us immediately, but remain bathed in a sort of aura of life which bears no relation to true immortality but through which they continue to occupy our thoughts in the same way as
when they were alive. It is as though they were traveling abroad.

But,time, which changes people, does not alter the image we have of them.

Sometimes,a divine illumination comes to our rescue at the very moment when all seems lost; we have knocked at every door and they open on nothing until, at last, we stumble unconsciously against the only one through which we can enter the kingdom we have
sought in vain a hundred years – and it opens.

We believe that we can change the things around us in accordance with our desires—we believe it because otherwise we can see no favourable outcome. We do not think of the outcome which generally comes to pass and is also favourable: we do not succeed in changing things in accordance with our desires, but gradually our desires change. The situation that we hoped to change because it was intolerable becomes unimportant to us. We have failed to surmount the obstacle, as we were absolutely determined to do, but life has taken us round it, led us beyond it, and then if we turn round
to gaze into the distance of the past, we can barely see it, so imperceptible has it become.

People claim that we recapture for a moment the self that we were long ago when we enter some house or garden in which we used to live in our youth. But these are most hazardous pilgrimages, which end as often in disappointment as in success. It is in ourselves that we should rather seek to find those fixed places, contemporaneous with different years.

All the paradises that we lost in our lives,still live in our hearts;when we sit still,they can still come back to life!

Just some random thoughts that came to my mind….©Profarms’ Random Thoughts®

Loving fathers in Kenya are those who pay bills,not the ones who care most!

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I hate driving.

I hate driving myself to work.

I love driving.

I love driving myself for leisure.

My car radio is normally my moderator on these two ambivalent perspectives on my feelings about driving.

I love my car stereo.

It makes my driving a leisure at all times.

I enjoy the banter that goes on in Radio talk shows and call-in sessions during my early morning drives.

Recently,a local radio station Capital FM, carried out an interesting social experiment.

They gathered a group of young men in their 20s and early 30s and asked each one to call their fathers and utter three dreaded
words in Mars, “I love you”.

That this coincided with the recent uproar of “Deadbeat Dads” where useless fathers like me were told off for not being responsible fathers by footing all their family bills,I was all ears,hoping to hear gallant sons who are proud of their fathers sing praise to them.

My estranged sons would definitely “roast” anyone trying to tell them that I’m a good dad.

But back to the Radio Talk.

The anxiety expressed was real.

Where does one start?

How to broach the subject?

“The old man will think I have lost the plot or
thoroughly high on something herbal?”

Eventually after some relentless pressure, the guys each called their fathers in turn.

They mostly started by beating about the bush with windy salutations before blurting out the words like a bashful teenagers stuck in a lift with an older crush, “Dad… some guys told me to tell you, I love you”.

The reactions of the fathers on the other end of the line was positive, if not somewhat surprised as if to say, “What the hell?”

Nonetheless, they were very receptive and the gratitude was expressed all around.

The initial fears expressed appeared
unwarranted.

So, why don’t Kenyan men tell their dads that they love them more often?

Probably because we believe our fathers would not appreciate that level of validation?

Try making a habit of calling your 60 year old plus old man every so often to tell him how much you love him and he will politely ask you to contain yourself.

If you really must appreciate his efforts in bringing you up, then make something of out of your life and give him something to brag about amongst his peers.

If the same experiment was carried out between
mothers and sons, the response would have been quick and swift.

But “I love you dad” does not roll off
the tongue that easy.

I suppose it is a cultural specific thing.

The phrase “I love you” in the conservative African mindset has a very precise context.

That is a western romantic notion that
usually reserved for gooey eyed lovers.

Love, like sex,has a certain level of sacredness in the traditional African homestead.

These are not things to be discussed in public surely!

It does not mean that you do not love your dad
because one does not show eagerness to give him a bear hug every time he appears.

Out in Kenyan mano-sphere, there is a different language of love.

Those who know do not need to tell.

Actions have always spoken louder than words.

For some people receiving gifts is what makes them feel appreciated.

A bottle of top shelf whisky is a very loving gesture.

For others, it is just quality time, shooting the breeze, dissecting politics and roasting meat.

An African man from an early age is socialised to show, rather than tell.

Hence, male courtship is all about grand gestures and the very reason diamonds stand pre-eminent.

Nothing says “I love you” like a big shiny and pricey rock.

It is also the reason men break their backs to be
seen as able providers to their women and families.

Loving fathers in Kenya are those who pay bills.

Culturally, daddies were always placed on a pedestal but they had to earn their respect.

I was socialised to never bother trying to understand my dads’ motivation for anything.

It was not my place to figure him out.

One learnt to accept him for who he was and if you did not like his style, then wait until you
could start your own family.

Indeed, we never understand the love of a parent until we become parents ourselves.

Ultimately, all that good fathers’ desire, is to make their children better versions of themselves.

My father wished I could follow his advice but I ended up following his examples.

Men,contrary to all other false beliefs.would love to hear an affirmative declaration of love from their sons!

Just some random thoughts that came to my mind….©Profarms’ Random Thoughts®

A Vagabond mind in the depth of the night

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It is 11:45pm on a dark evening.

I’m disturbed by an image of a street girl who I saw sleeping on a street verandah this evening as I drove home from town.

As a matter of fact, I still do not know why I am
writing this because right now, I have so many
things going on in my mind.

Sssshhhh!

Can you hear that?

The silence is deafening and the clock won’t stop ticking.

I am wide awake and I do not know why.

Well, apart from my mind’s constant thoughts of grabbing something to bite, I am staring right into my computers screen.

I have access to unlimited internet but I have run out of things to Google.

Who gets this blank minded anyway?

Maybe, this is that point when you should be throwing the ‘get a life!’ words at me.

And yes, I have a life, many lives than the nine lives of a cat by the way.

Well, a part of me wants to get this beauty sleep I hear everyone blabbing about but a part of me tells me not yet.

I would not want to blame this entire mystery on
insomnia because then again, I have been sleeping the whole (okay, almost) the whole day-

That is what you do when you are tired of drinking the lemonades from life’s given lemons.

That is a story for another day but the bottom line is; sometimes you toast, sometimes you pass.

It is questionable why someone in their golden old age like me would have so much going on especially at this hour when they could be
dancing themselves crazy to “Mugithi” folk songs in some old geezers night club.

Sincerely, I do not have a perfect answer to that and I will tell you for sure that you are better off on the darker side because some things, once you know them, you may wish to bet your life to un know them but the thought alone, is impossible.

As I continue to write, there are drops of rain on the roof, slowly and then rapidly and then slowly again.

Naturally, it should be melody to my soul or can I say a sweet soothing lullaby?

The virtual remote control in my mind wants so badly to switch my thoughts into something else.
A thought crosses my mind that there is a small girl in the streets who needs this bed I am sitting on to keep herself warm. Or even share this bed with me for a night-what kind of pervert thoughts are these,running through my blank mind?

It crosses my mind that she may not have had any meal for the better part of the day and as she lays on the corner of some shop’s verandah to catch some sleep, she can’t help but get herself soaked not from her piss but from the heavy downpour. She is just a hapless street girl.

It is devastating.

I did not see this coming but now I am in deeper thought.

The question that constantly resonates on
my mind is; why do we take the most basic and
simple things we have in life for granted?

Like now, I have a roof over my head, I took all three meals during the day and I have the hands to type what I feel right now and the eyes to skim through my computer’s screen to follow through.

Why am I not happy?

Or better still, why can’t I be in bed asleep?

That I cannot get people to like me for who I am, does that make me worse than this girl?

That a part of me has become fatter overnight (that’s what we say), is it worth sulking for the rest of my life?

That people won’t appreciate the little gestures you express to them, does the world have to come to an end?

I have come to learn that in as much as life is not fair (which is sensible because can you imagine how it would be if it were), it is a matter of choice whether you live happily or whether you drown in melancholy.

Whether you consider it fair or unfair entirely depends on what you want to make of it.

Learn to make the best even out of the worst
situations, like that woman who has a passion in art but her lack of hands will not kill her dreams.

Just know that sometimes what is abnormal to you may be the normal someone somewhere is craving for.

In the end, people will come and go, people will love and hate, people will laugh and cry, people will make and break but what really sticks out is the gentle touch you give to someone’s soul when they most need it.

Don’t stop because they don’t want you
to…Stop when they don’t need you to.

Actually, I am seriously feeling hungry now.

I guess I will have to go now.

Just some random thoughts that came to my mind….©Profarms’ Random Thoughts®

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