I Know!

How to Educate the Mind

The September 2013 edition of reader’s digest magazine (Canada) has an interesting article on how to educate the mind. The article which is a reprint from the first U.S issue of reader’s digest is inspired by an answer that Alexander Graham Bell gave when he was asked how he had managed to keep his thinking fresh.

In the article Graham talks of a rule of three. It is a simple rule; Observe, Remember, Compare.

First make observations of events and things. Remember your observations. Compare your observations. Note the likeness and differences of your observations. Make your conclusions. The conclusions are real knowledge and this is knowledge created by you.

A good example of the rule of three is the stereotypes we have of people. These  stereotypes are science. They are conclusions made after several observations and comparisons. I know we shouldn’t stereotype, because not everybody fits into the stereotypes, but trust me the stereotypes don’t emerge from thin air. They come after several observations. Think of any stereotype that you hold. Is it just something that people say, or is it something that you can attest to be true?

To put this into perspective let me tell you the story of Opicho my uncle. When uncle Opicho first arrived in Nairobi in 1987, he was never a skeptical man. He was all trusting. But after seeing his friends fall for tricks of conmen and after himself being a victim too, he is no longer the all trusting Joe. He has become wiser. He has educated himself on the ways of the urban people.

In conclusion, if we are keen to make observations, if we remember to compare our observations and make correct inferences , then we develop first hand  knowledge  that is essential for life.

The Extremely Distinguished Person

Image of Obama
“Change is never easy, but always possible.” – Barack Obama

The amplified bible describes Isaac as a man who became extremely distinguished. In Genesis 26:13, Isaac is described as a person who became great, gained more, and became extremely distinguished.

It is the extremely distinguished people that lead us into progress on the challenges we face in life. To end poverty, fight disease and bring peace to nations needs highly distinguished persons(HDPs).

One question that is asked of extremely distinguished persons is not if they fit the description, but what made them achieve the status. In this article, I describe  the habits and character traits that result into extreme success. My opinions in this article may not be wholly mine; arguments from books I have read, and people that I have listened to have informed my thoughts. In the final paragraph, I have listed some of the books and some of the leaders  that i have borrowed from.

What do the extremely distinguished persons do right? What do they do different? Read On.

…Continue reading

My Struggles With the Word Responsible

I have struggled with the word responsible since when I was a young boy.

The first time I heard  this word  was from my class teacher in class 3, She was admonishing us not to litter the play ground; “responsible people don’t go around littering”. From this, i understood the word responsible meant  not littering places.

I  grew, became old and joined high school. In high school, one day the the deputy head teacher called me and asked me to tuck in my shirt. He explained  that responsible people do tuck in their shirts. This was different from what i knew and thus a little confusing. But I decided OK, seems responsible people don’t litter and they tuck in their shirts.

I didn’t think that this word will cross my path again, but  it did. One day still in high school, the school principal asked to have a Tet a Tete talk with the big boys; the form threes and fours. In this talk, he advised  that responsible men own up to their mistakes. Teenage pregnancies were at significant rates  at the time and the advice was in this direction. He advised that responsible men own up.They make effort to earn and provide. As i keenly listened i came to note that the word responsible had taken on another meaning.

As an adult I have heard the word responsible thrown in, in a lot of sentences. Sentences that have words like drinking, leadership, corporate and so on.Responsible drinking, responsible leadership, responsible ……  Seems the word means different things at different times.

But seriously what does this word really mean ? After lot’s of consultative discussions with several people, I have agreed on a meaning that ties together all my  previous understandings of the word. To be  responsible is simply to do the right thing or the correct thing at the given time. People and societies differ on what is right.  So seems this word will continue to have different meanings in different places and with different people.

But at least we could agree that if you don’t litter and if you do tuck in your shirt, then you are responsible :).

Raila is Wrong About the Kenya-Uganda Bilateral Agreement

President Uhuru Kenyatta of Kenya, and his Ugandan Counterpart Yoweri Museveni have signed a pack that will see Kenya accept sugar Imports from Uganda, and in turn export Meat and dairy Products to Uganda.
Raila Odinga the Opposition Leader in Kenya has criticized this agreement and warned that it will lead to a total collapse of the kenyan sugar Industry.
Raila is wrong on this. The kenyan Sugar Industry has been on the decline now for sometime,many say that the decline is because of cheap sugar imports. The question is, why isn’t the kenyan sugar millers improving their processes so that they are able to produce sugar at competitive prices?
In my opinion, rather than protect inefficient systems, why not provide a motivation that would cause millers to upgrade their systems so that they produce sugar at prices equal to, or better than competitors from other countries? In my opinion, another player in the market is a good motivation for the local sugar industry.