Thursday, January 4, 2018

5 lessons learnt on the commute

I spend an average of 3 hours a day in a matatu. That adds up to 21 hours in a week, 84 in a month. I spend 3 and half days in a month sitting a matatu.
So anyway, I started reading. From the minute I get a seat, even if it’s the crack between two seats, I get out a book and read. At night, I use the torch in my phone. I was actually blown when I noticed how many books I was churning out just by reading on my commute.

So if you don’t have time to read, maybe you should leave the car at home few days in a month.
  1. Your thoughts can derail perspective
One of the new things that people began to find out in the last century was that thoughts-just mere thoughts-are as powerful as electric batteries-as good for one as sunlight is, or as bad for one as poison. To let a sad thought or a bad one get into your mind is as dangerous as letting a scarlet fever germ get into your body,,, If you let it stay there after it has got in you may never get over it as long as you live.
As long as Mistress Mary’s mind was full of disagreeable thoughts about her dislikes and sour opinions of people and her determination not to be pleased by or interested in anything, she was a yellow-faced, sickly, bored and wretched child..but when her mind gradually filled itself with robins, a moor boy and his creatures, springtime,,,they was no room left for her disagreeable thoughts which affected her liver and her digestion and made her yellow and tired.
Frances Hodgson Burnett, The secret Garden. 1911.

  1. On Possessions
Everything should exist in the right place, in the right way. Store each thing carefully, giving attention to the fact that there are differences between caring for something by putting it in a safe place and hoarding it or imprisoning it. Storing items poorly or forgetting about them is no different from abandonment. Even if something is being put away for a great length of time, visit from time to time, remembering how it came to you, reminding yourself of its value, and checking on its condition. Make periodic inventories of any new possessions you’ve acquired. Lay them out and look at them. Don’t be afraid to acknowledge mistakes you may have made in selecting them. Above all, don’t ignore what you have.
Gary Thorp- The Sweeping Broom. 2000.

This little paragraph had me finally settle on a capsule wardrobe that works for my needs. When you accumulate stuff you stop appreciating it, and head out to Kawangware market to buy some more.
  1. Positive Thinking doesn’t  just come, you need practice
Ken, you know the world is full of unpleasant things. Pain and operations and sickness and discomfort. You mustn’t mind. That’s just the way life is. Besides all, there is health and goodness and soundness and fun and happiness too for horses as well as boys-much more of the good things than the bad-
My friend Flicka, Mary O’Hara- 1940

-Even soldiers don’t like to go to war-
Frances Hodgson Burnett, The little Princess-1905

  1.  What Love looks like
-I saw more than anything, that relationships are not sustained by violence but by love. Love is a creative act. When you love someone you create a new world for them. My mother did that for me, and with the progress I made and the things I learned, I came back and created a new world and new understanding for her.
Born a crime- Trevor Noah, 2016

If you find love-if a person or an animal finds love-it’s the same as finding safety, isn’t it? It’s comfort and friendliness and help. Everyone longs for it-any kind of love
But if Flicka-we’ll say-had found  it and yet didn’t have sense enough to know she’d found it-and went on being crazy and silly with fear-
Then she’s be loco?
Nelly noded.
My friend Flicka, Mary O’Hara- 1940

(I agree, if we let fear blind us from the safety of love, we are loco. Every dreamer should read this.  Also, your love towards a person or another life should have you fighting for their rights)
- I ought to of shot that dog myself, George. I shouldn’t ought to let no stranger shoot my dog.
John Steinbeck, Of Mice and Men- 1937

I won’t say we human beings still don’t have much to learn sometimes.
 We love and hate without thought. We expect too much from one another and often we are wrong.
Gail Tsukiyama, The Samurai’ Garden-1996

         5. Don’t be a loner if you can avoid it.

A guy sets alone out here at night, maybe reading books or thinkin’ or stuff like that. Sometimes he gets thinkin,’ an’ he got nothing to tell him what’s so an’ what ain’t so. Maybe if he sees it too. He can’t tell. He got nothing to measure by. I seen things out here. I wasn’t drunk. I don’t know if I was asleep. If some guy was with me, he could tell me  if I was asleep, an’ then it would be all right. But I jus’ don’t know.’
John Steinbeck, Of Mice and Men- 1937

So, what did I learn?
Relationships are what makes us humans. With people, with ourselves, with animals, with things but we have got to be actively involved in all of these. It is our responsibility.

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