Ronald Reagan’s letter to his son

24 May

Hardly do I ever post plagiarized material on this blog for the simple reason that I  would like to keep this space as uniquely me as I possibly can. That said, I found this letter so compelling that I just had to repost it here for the benefit of you my readers (take it as peace offering to my lack of posts recently)
In June of 1971, just days before his 26-year-old son, Michael, got married, future-U.S. President Ronald Reagan sent him the following letter of advice. I think all men ought to read it really. It reminds me of this phrase I picked up on facebook, “cheating is easy, try something more challenging like being faithful to one person”.

Michael Reagan
Manhattan Beach, California
June 1971

Dear Mike:
Enclosed is the item I mentioned (with which goes a torn up IOU). I could stop here but I won’t.
You’ve heard all the jokes that have been rousted around by all the “unhappy marrieds” and cynics. Now, in case no one has suggested it, there is another viewpoint. You have entered into the most meaningful relationship there is in all human life. It can be whatever you decide to make it.

Some men feel their masculinity can only be proven if they play out in their own life all the locker-room stories, smugly confident that what a wife doesn’t know won’t hurt her. The truth is, somehow, way down inside, without her ever finding lipstick on the collar or catching a man in the flimsy excuse of where he was till three A.M., a wife does know, and with that knowing, some of the magic of this relationship disappears. There are more men griping about marriage who kicked the whole thing away themselves than there can ever be wives deserving of blame. There is an old law of physics that you can only get out of a thing as much as you put in it. The man who puts into the marriage only half of what he owns will get that out. Sure, there will be moments when you will see someone or think back to an earlier time and you will be challenged to see if you can still make the grade, but let me tell you how really great is the challenge of proving your masculinity and charm with one woman for the rest of your life. Any man can find a twerp here and there who will go along with cheating, and it doesn’t take all that much manhood. It does take quite a man to remain attractive and to be loved by a woman who has heard him snore, seen him unshaven, tended him while he was sick and washed his dirty underwear. Do that and keep her still feeling a warm glow and you will know some very beautiful music. If you truly love a girl, you shouldn’t ever want her to feel, when she sees you greet a secretary or a girl you both know, that humiliation of wondering if she was someone who caused you to be late coming home, nor should you want any other woman to be able to meet your wife and know she was smiling behind her eyes as she looked at her, the woman you love, remembering this was the woman you rejected even momentarily for her favors.

Mike, you know better than many what an unhappy home is and what it can do to others. Now you have a chance to make it come out the way it should. There is no greater happiness for a man than approaching a door at the end of a day knowing someone on the other side of that door is waiting for the sound of his footsteps.

Love,
Dad

P.S. You’ll never get in trouble if you say “I love you” atleast once a day

For more of Reagan’s letters check Reagan: A Life In Letters

Never say never……and a damsel in distress!

2 Apr

Life has a very dry sense of humour. If life we a person, it would definitely be a Brit.

Sometimes I think it deliberately juggles stuff the wrong way round just to keep itself entertained…….

How else do you explain the fact that whenever I say I will never do something I invariably end up doing it, while life sits smugly on the sidelines with a big, fat “I told you so” grin on its face?

I’m not about to give examples because most are a little er……er…. but let’s just say the last one week has pounded that lesson into me with resounding vehemence. Maybe this time I’ll learn to let life flow, or maybe just to scratch the ‘never’. Hopefully if I don’t say never it won’t happen……

Moving on from life’s bigger lessons, I’ve been harbouring this fantastic idea concerning the blog for a while now but I’m still stuck at the execution stage.

I realized that as random as I am it gets hard to follow my thought process what with each post coming from a different experience. The idea is to lump together posts of a similar nature to make navigating around here even easier. Maybe the lack of clutter might also stimulate my mojo to churn out more posts? For starters I am thinking of about 5 or so segments; Foodie (recipes), Fitness (getting my sexy back), Guest writers (mi casa es su casa, you get to write a post about whatever you’d like, whatever makes the cut is posted here), short stories and finally, The how I met X project (something very exciting that am working on, will talk more about it in a separate post). Of course I shall still post my general, random rumblings which are not quite classifiable into any of these classes.

Long story short, I need someone who’s a bit more tech-savvy than me to assist in making this happen. WordPress is not quite as straight forward as blogger and I’ve been having a bit of a headache making this happen. Kenyan Brutus I hope you’re seeing this seeing as you’ve the voice of my conscience; I promise to be more consistent if only I can get this out of the way.
Rambling over, back to serious Monday business.

Blessed week to you my lovelies!! Love and peace 🙂

Naija this, Naija that!

19 Mar

Apparently while I was hiding under a rock or some similar thing, everything Naija, Nigerian if you like, became cool. Naija is the trending word in Nairobi social circles. Want a hot, rich man? Look for a Naija guy. Want to dress cool? Naija Ankara fabric especially if you can fly to Lagos to buy yourself some at Da Viva. Want to take an African holiday/clubbing experience? Why not fly to Lagos. Want this want that? Get Naija. Huh?

When did Naija become the SI Unit for coolness in this town????

I am not just randomly rumbling. The other day I had a very interesting discussion with some lovely ladies and there was very huge interest in Naija men. Some of the interest was on the sheer endowment in their er “private apparatus” but most of the interest was on the endowment of their pockets. I hear half the rents in Kileleshwa are being paid by said ogaz and so are the big cars being driven around by cute bimbos with long, horse hair on their delicate heads. Don’t even mention the blackberrys and the shopping trips to Dubai and South Africa. 

I know about five girls who are dating Naija men; they’ve even changed their accents to that annoying pidgin. The other girls in their circle hang around them, eyes laden with envy hoping to snag a Naija brother courtesy of their friends’ men. All they talk about is Naija this, Naija that with so much conviction even though some would not even place the country on the map given half a chance. 

Have you seen the number of West African restaurants that have mushroomed in the Kilimani area recently? 

Maybe I get where they are coming from. Most of the Nigerian men I have met and who are personal friends are after all stylish, fairly good looking and devastatingly charming. But the same can be said of our Luo brothers, why aren’t we all moving to the lake side in droves?

Nigeria has a population of about 167million at the last count, that’s a little over 4 times the size of Kenya. There are over a hundred tribes, each with their own mannerisms and habits much in the same way we do in Kenya. We have the typically stingy tribe, the arrogant ones, the broke ones, the strugglers, the baby killers, the sorcerers, the religious extreme fundamentalists, the lazy ones, the con men, etc. They are all there. Infact, half the stuff that goes on Nigeria could make Kenya look like a monastery! I have been to both Lagos and Abuja, I do not see the novelty. 

Do not be fooled ladies, just because your pal’s man is astonishingly handsome, refreshingly charming, stylish to within an inch of his life and throws green bucks around like they grows on trees does not mean all his brothers will inadvertently follow suit/or are even capable of that. Our dear generous brother happens to fall under the 10% successful bracket (oil, government, old family money, etc) that can afford any woman they so desire in whichever country they travel to, your friend included (be so kind as to pass on that bit if she’s truly a friend). Or he could be that Abdul guy that constantly wants to channel 10million dollars through your account if only you could first wire him $1,000 to unblock something or some shady story like that.

If most of these Naija-loving women were to be very honest with themselves, their key reason for needing to date these Naija men is just one, MONEY and a flashy life style. Yes, am calling ya’ll gold diggers. Our Kenyan brothers have wisened up to your gold-digging tactics and now you are selling yourselves to a higher bidder. Casual, classier prostitution is what I call it, if you object I would be happy to take that back if you can convince me otherwise.

Test: If I placed infront of you girls a decent enough, middle class, charming, stylish, polished, classy, relatively financially stable young man with a potential to grow himself in future; most of you would still choose the married Naija guy who jets in with him own gulf stream and makes it rain for your rent and your Range Rover. You know you would, don’t give me that look. 

If you are a Kenyan man reading this and smiling smugly as you think that am defending you, you are sorely mistaken. The majority of you have a long way to go in learning how to treat women and your responsibilities as men within relationships. Improved grooming would be a plus too but that’s a whole other post.

I am not being all holier than thou or anything neither am I on anyone’s side. I would date a Kenyan, a Nigerian, an Asian, blue, black, yellow as long as I genuinely loved the guy and felt respected. I only write this because I am appalled at the wanton greed displayed by these so-called Nairobi socialites under the guise of “there are no good men in Kenya”; they give the rest of the girls a bad name. A hooker by any other name is still just that, a hooker. 

 

P/s: No offence to Nigerians. Wale, W, Yomi, Yinka, Seyi and all my Naija brothers, love ya’ll to bits. 

 

Love and peace! 🙂

 

Kahawa

12 Mar

Kahawa = Coffee in Swahili

I love sitting alone in a coffee house, mocha latte in hand, good book in the other; no disturbance thank you. Sometimes I actually read the book, other times I feign deep thought as I carry out my other favorite pass time; people watching.

It’s amazing how much you can learn by watching a bunch of strangers, not to mention how entertaining it is to guess each particular person’s situation in life. Most times I study their demeanor, dress, general behavior and their drink of choice and draw hypothesis on what kind of person they are. Weird but harmless fun in my books

Most of people at coffee houses are a pretentious lot, I have come to learn. The other half are just looking for cheap and convenient office space to transact their business. Let’s demystify a few of these; the gospel according to me.

There’s the wannabe’s who think its cool and uptown to pay Ksh.300 for a cup of coffee. You will notice them studying the menu like an encyclopedia trying to figure out the difference cappuccino and a latte and comparing prices just in case. They try hard to blend in but sheer awkwardness causes them to stick out like a sore thumb.

Then there’s the seemingly busy professional typing furiously on the latest Mac book or ipad while all along stealing swift yet sweeping glances over the rims of his expensive eye wear to size up the oncoming traffic for potential eye candy. Once in a while the glance will linger 15 seconds longer in appreciation and focus will generally be divided between the gadget and the new object of lust.

The three artistic looking young men who are dressed like Sauti Sol, deeply engrossed in deep-sounding conversation are more likely than not, gay. Don’t ask me why, it’s just my experience and I am not throwing the first stone either.

No coffee house worth its name is complete without a group of older, very kawaida looking men huddled over figures scribbled on a crumpled piece of paper which has been inadvertently retrieved from a do-eared manila envelope. These ones sip tea. If you look closely at the zeros on that piece of paper you may just get dizzy. They transact serious business and hardly notice anyone outside their tight circle. Cuts are agreed upon, calls are made to the right places and deals are sealed. So next time you feel like looking down are the elderly Maasai gentleman in a faded brown Kaunda suit, just remember he probably owns the whole of Kajiado and a not insubstantial amount of shares at your current place of employment. Respect.

The corner table is always occupied by a bunch of very pretty, just-started-working girls chattering away and gesticulating to display well-manicured nails. They are always loud, poised and very intimidating to any insecure woman within their radius, radiating an air of entitlement. They look so carefree as they fret over unpaid bills and cheating boyfriends. Either way, standards must be maintained; showing weakness is not an option.

You ask which category I fall under? Me I just sit here, sip my latte and water, read/pretend to read my book, sometimes write a little but mostly make other people’s business my business 🙂

P/s: This post had been sitting in my drafts for almost an year, in the company of about 20 other posts awaiting editing or completion or something like that. Well I’ve made up my mind to bring them to light as unedited as they please. Forgive any randomness; that is after all very Carole 🙂

Gratitude……

29 Feb

Taking a minute out of my busy life to count a few of my many blessings and give thanks to He who makes it all possible:

 

  • For the gift of life, health, love, light, peace and joy
  • For a mother that my strongest pillar of strength, my prayer warrior, my protector, constant source of joy and amusement and consistent source of encouragement. Bless her lovely heart!
  • For old and new friends, both the seasonal and long-enduring ones
  • For the ability to pay my bills and indulge in the little pleasures of life here and there
  • For the grace of contentment……….
  • And for you who passes by to check on this blog every once in a while. Keep the faith, I do too in my own way.

 

Love and peace lovelies!

Carole

Happy New Year!!!

5 Jan

Happy New Year lovelies!! I acknowledge I’m a little late but that was a wise woman who said better late than never. It couldn’t have been a man. Before you start with me, no, I did not join some feminist movement while on my long sabbatical off the blog; which by the way I am trying to apologize for indirectly (and hopefully succeeding)

The last few months were harrowing on the work front, there were lots of changes in my personal life as well, all or most of which you will hear about soon enough. Between working crazy hours and figuring out all the adjustments in my life, I just couldn’t write at all. That’s how good a friend Mr. Mojo is, deserting me in tough times like that

Anyway, he is not quite back so I just popped over to wish you all a happy New Year and rant randomly for a bit on this New Year business that has everyone seeing silver linings everywhere. I have missed this place so :-(, I hope I will be able to write more often. While on that topic, I decided last year to make some changes to the blog but being a little IT-challenged none of this is working out very well. Anyone willing to help a sister out? *damsel in distress calling!!!

Have you made any New Year resolutions? Do you see yourself keeping then till next week?

I used to be the kind of person that religiously sat down with pen and diary on the 31st of every year and made out a long list of resolutions. I would spend hours noting down my do’s and don’ts for the coming year and fine tuning them; then spend more time convincing myself that they were keep-able (is that even a word?). Top on the list was always losing weight followed by boyfriend stuff, work stuff and all that boring stuff people like to go on about. Unfortunately by the second week of January I would find myself in one coffee house or other ordering a double mocha latte with three helpings of sugar, large cheese burger and an unhealthy serving of fried chips. There goes resolution number one!! The guilt would only last as far as the first bite of those yummy fries.

The rest of the resolution would fly out the window just as quickly and by March I couldn’t even define the word resolution to save my life. Reso-who?

I’m not much of a routine person, so it was only natural that this year in year out routine would bore me senseless. I just didn’t get what the point was. It’s not like I was being accountable to anyone but myself so why keep up the charade? One day I just decide it was not worth it wasting hours writing down resolutions that I had no intention of keeping. So I stopped.

Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against making positive changes in the areas of one’s life that need an overhaul. I am all for self improvement, as a matter of fact I do it all the time. What I have a problem with is living with a negative habit for whatever amount of time, be it months or days, just so one can wait for the “symbolic” New Year to change. That’s self destruction if you ask me.

My policy for my life is this simple. If something needs to change, I change it now. I don’t wait for January or my birthday or for some sign from heaven to change it. I just go ahead and take the plunge. If it works out as planned; more power to me. If it doesn’t I keep trying till I finally succeed or convince myself it’s not worth it any more. I recognize the difference a couple of months/weeks/days can make and I take full advantage of that time.

So this beginning of year, I really have no resolutions to share. I just plan on continuous and sustainable self improvement, God keeping me.

I would love to hear yours though. God bless you all and keep you happy in 2012. Xoxo 🙂

Dancing Sermons

14 Oct

I haven’t posted in eons!! I will not even explain, I will just plead for pardon and move on to this thing that so inspired me today.

It all begins with a call that I received yesterday from a beloved old friend that I haven’t met in almost 3 years telling me he was in Nairobi, which coincidentally I also am. We quickly made plans to do lunch today at his hotel. The last time I saw him was also the first. We met very briefly at Movenpik Hotel in Dar es Salaam after I almost ran over the poor man in my rush to get to a lunch appointment. Ever so gracious, he accepted to forgive me if only I would indulge him in a late afternoon coffee and a chat. Given my gross misconduct, I quickly accepted to meet him a couple of hours later. It helped that there was nothing remotely creepy about him, he had the most impeccable manners and this “IMPORTANT” air about him.

Later that evening, I sat across this gentleman and what was meant to be a brief coffee date turned into hours of witty, intelligent, world-wise conversation that would have fooled anyone around us into thinking we had known each other for ages.

3 years and countless emails and skype chats after that fateful day, I met Trevor Mwamba, the Bishop of Botswana, for lunch today and I was still as much in awe as I was that day 3years ago.

See Trevor is not your average man of the collar, apart from being the Bishop of Botswana, he also played a big part in writing the constitution of Zambia being one of the best constitutional lawyers in Africa, is an honorary head of state in the Commonwealth Summit, is a legal advisor to Standard Chartered Bank in Africa, heads the Africa Assembly of Churches, is a best selling author among other things and still manages to be a husband and father to 3 lovely kids. With this kind of hectic schedule, pinning the man down is hard and our longest talks have been when he is in Airport lounges waiting for his next flight to his next big engagement.

Titles aside, Trevor must be the most humble “larger-than-life” person I have ever met. That he finds time to listen and mentor little old me given all the more important people he could be talking to is humbling and a great honour. The Sowetan best described him, “he comes across as a counselor and a friend to peasants and kings”. To me he is the guy I almost ran over who became a great friend. To most people he is one of the most remarkable Africans of our time, hobnobbing with heads of states and the who is who in Africa. His humility is amazing and humbling.

Anyway, this post is not about heaping praise on Trevor, though deserved. It is more about something he said to me today while he was conjuring up the appropriate way to autograph his gift to me, a copy of his best selling book, “Dancing Sermons”. Most of our conversations have over time been punctuated with him referring to my wit, he calls it unaffected. *blush*. Midway his autograph, he was torn between thanking me for my wit or my friendship without writing too much. That’s when he suddenly turned to me and asked, “why can’t I have it all? Why cant I write them both?”.

Why cant I have it all? I quickly, against better judgement, quipped that people need to make choices in life. Being the wise man that he is, he continued the autograph remarking on both my friendship and my wit in the same vein then engaged me in a conversation that really made a difference to my day and my perspective on life. I really do not have to choose. Not always. It is possible to have it all, unapologetically so.

I must learn to accept things as they are, without judging one aspect and living the other. If a diamond did not have many cuts and facets to it, it would not be quite as magnificent. Why then must I be either one thing or the other? Am I not a sum of all the things that make up Carole the person? Good, bad, big, loud, intelligent, emotional, witty, strong, weak, proud, timid, confident, spiritual, wild, etc. They are all the sum of me. I doubt I would be half the woman I am if I did not exercise all the facets of my character and any person who insists on seeing only the better side of me loses out on knowing a fantastic human being. Emphasis being their loss, not mine.

That goes for other things in life as well. It doesn’t always have to be black or white. Sometimes a little grey is nice, the best of both worlds. Sometimes we take life too seriously and miss out on some pretty awesome adventures and lessons. We create pointless rules for ourselves because we want to fit in or because we have this ill-conceived notions that some things are wrong, mostly because of our upbringing and societal expectations. Well, its time to make your own rules. Life is too short to have that many rules, too good to pass up on the little pleasures, too fast to not take advantage of every passing minute.

If I learned anything today is that I should not pass up any opportunity to have my cake and eat it too. If I can do it all, why not?? For that lesson, I am glad I waited three years.

Have a lovely weekend my lovelies, do it all and enjoy it while you’re at it. Bisous!!!

P/s: You can purchase “Dancing Sermons” on Amazon, to celebrate dancing in rhythm with God’s love.

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