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Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman

Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman
Daniel Kahneman’s Thinking, Fast and Slow (2011) – a recapitulation of the decades of research that led to his winning the Nobel Prize – explains his contributions to our current understanding of psychology and behavioral economics. Over the years, Kahneman and his colleagues, whose work the book discusses at length, have significantly contributed to a new understanding of the human mind. We now have a better understanding of how decisions are made, why certain judgment errors are so common and how we can improve ourselves.

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Sunday, August 23, 2020

The City Heroes

 By Omoruyi Uwuigiaren

The City Heroes by Omoruyi Uwuigiaren. Published by Open Books


Tonight during story time take a trip to the heart of Africa.

Make new friends including a clutter of cats otherwise known as The City Heroes. Follow a pair of jungle ants as they rescue their friend from a raging storm. Tag along with a country boy as he hunts wild birds to prepare a feast for his father's arrival. Understand the true meaning of mercy and charity when a stranger is caught stealing eggs from a farmer. Help a baby named Thomas find his way home after he strays from his father's boat. Follow Blaize and his newfound canine friend Thatcher as they thwart a group of kidnappers in Blaize and the Master of Enchantment.

Beautifully illustrated pictures help tell all six stories including The City Heroes, The Jungle Ants, The Country Boy, Stranger on the Farm, Baby Thomas and Blaize and the Master of Enchantment. Encounter adventures beyond your wildest dreams, learn about the beautiful country of Nigeria, and see how easy and how fun it is to learn about a new culture in the heart of Africa.

The City Heroes and other stories from the Heart of Africa by Nigerian writer Omoruyi Uwuigiaren is a perfect introduction for young readers to learn about the African experience. Suitable for middle grade readers, the stories within the collection contain messages and themes about forgiveness, charity, redemption and loyalty all from a decidedly African perspective.



EXCERPT OF THE CITY HEROES

“Three nights ago I chased a rat into his kitchen. The little devil disappeared into a hole in the wall, which was near my master’s soup pot. I wanted to leave the kitchen, but I knew that as soon as I’d gone, the rat would come out of the hole and devour the soup. So I stayed back to keep vigil over the old man’s meal and possibly snuff the life out of the foolish rat if he ventured out of hiding. As I lay silently in the corner, hoping I would take care of the unfortunate soul if the opportunity presented itself, I heard a squeak and was not disappointed when I raised my head and saw the rat. It was heading towards the soup pot on the table. Seeing that the rat was too close to the pot, I pounced.” Dag paused and fought gallantly to hold back his tears. “But I missed the little devil and fell on the pot, and the soup poured out. The rat, happy with my fate, squeaked and disappeared through a little opening on the window frame.” Dag heaved at the indignity of his memory.

          “It was silly of the rat to mock you,” Pork reacted.

          Dag continued. “The disturbance almost presented me with a meal, it’s true. But before I had even a taste of the soup my master, an old dwarf of a man, rushed into the kitchen and pointed his torch in the direction of the chaos. He found me at the center of the mess and was disappointed. His face went red with rage because he thought I was trying to feast on his soup. This might have been true if I’d had the opportunity, but before I could blink, he grabbed the broomstick by the doorpost and gave me the beating of my life. When I finally broke free of his angry grip, I fled from the kitchen. That night I slept on a mango tree by the old fence in his compound.”

          Pork’s countenance fell. “Anybody in your master’s shoes would have done the same. Don’t get me wrong; I do not mean that you were at fault. You had good intentions, but your master did not understand. Well, such is life! And don’t blame yourself, because mistakes make our world go round. Like every cat, your duty is to get rid of the rats. But that was not your night, Dag, and apparently your master could not understand why such a deed was committed under his roof.”

          “I doubt if he will ever trust me again,” Dag said sadly. “I have not been myself since he chased me out of the house.”

          “Don’t be drowned by your misfortune. And don’t expect too much from people. Let it go, Dag. The only thing that is constant in life is change. Besides, you are not the only one with a sad story. Fred told me that his master’s new wife doesn’t like him,” Pork said. He looked at Fred, who frowned as if he had not tasted a befitting meal for a while.

          “That’s too bad,” said Dag.

          Fred spoke in his kindest voice: “Every cat knows how important it is to be loved by the master and his family.”

          Dag coughed a bit and said, “So true! At my age, I have no business with people who do not love me. But as long as I get my meals, I’m okay.”

          “I understand you, Dag. But what happened to me was a miserable experience. My master’s wife is a witch!” Fred disclosed.

          Pork was alarmed. “Ah, that’s a horrible suspicion.”

          “I know what I am saying. I cannot count the number of times that she threw me from the balcony,” Fred replied.

          “What?” Dag mused. “You mean she threw you from the second story of the building?”

          Fred nodded. “Yes! The last time she did it; I fell on top of a car and fractured my leg.”

          “So that’s why we didn’t see you for a few weeks,” Dag said with a frown.

          “I had to stay away to avoid embarrassing questions,” Fred replied.

          “Was your master aware of her treachery?” Pork asked.

          “No!” Fred replied.

          “That’s where you went wrong. If I were you, I would have disgraced his wife before him,” Pork boasted.

          “How?” Fred drew his haunches into a tight ball as the stars began to disappear from the bare chest of the sky.                                  

“Good question… I would make sure he saw me as soon as he returned home,” Pork replied.

          “I tried it several times. But the woman always locked me out. My master never once set his large, innocent eyes on me,” Fred said.

          Dag cleared his throat as if an idea had flown into his head. “I wonder when all this will end. If we are not beaten, then we are killed without guilt or mercy, like an antelope that strays into the den of a deadly predator.”

          “I do not foresee any end to our tragedies because the people do not care about us. They seem to be swimming in a strange pool. They are selfish and self-centered. To be optimistic, our victory might be in the next world,” Fred declared.

          Pork disagreed with them: “We are not all suffering. Blaize has a good master and he is doing well.” He looked about. “I wonder why the little soul is not here. Maybe he is under the spell of sleep. Of course that is what to expect when the going is good.”

          “Why would a rich cat venture into such a humble neighborhood to find his meal? Blaize told me he has the luxury of feasting on the same fare as his master, whose heart flows with the milk of human kindness,” Fred said.

          Suddenly, a strange movement from behind alarmed them. “Who is that?” Dag inquired. He cast a weak glance at the darkness that wrapped itself around the silent night.

          “Who do you think?” said a tiny voice, laughing.

          Blaize advanced grinning from ear to ear, his tail held high and the tip curled forward. “Good evening, guys?” he greeted.

          “Blaize, it’s you!” Dag smiled and thrust his face forward, as if trying to spy a thief on a cold night. “I didn’t know that you would be here tonight. And what is it that you’ve brought with you?”

          “A roasted fish—for you guys,” Blaize replied and dropped the meal before them. A ray of hope flushed over their faces. Pork smiled like a man under the spell of liquor. “Fish from you, Blaize?” He moved a few steps closer and smelled the fish. “It smells like the gate of heaven!” he said. Then he looked at Dag and Fred and said, “What are we waiting for?”

          And all three cats feasted as if there were no tomorrow.

“The stars have disappeared,” Blaize observed. “Let’s make it snappy; I am afraid it may rain tonight.”

          “Rain is good,” said Pork. “It washes the dust away.” Then he returned to the meal.

          Blaize was apologetic: “The fish seems not enough for you guys. Perhaps you will need to find something else to eat in the neighborhood.”

          “The neighborhood is for all of us,” Dag said, chewing noisily. The joy of all three cats almost reached the high heaven as they licked their mouths and the meal settled well in their bellies.

          “Thanks, Blaize,” said Pork. “What a lovely way to begin the evening.”

          “What are friends for?” said the fortunate Blaize. “I would give more if I had my way.”

          “Now, let’s see what we can get in the neighborhood,” Dag suggested.

          Enthusiastic Fred agreed. “Not a bad idea!”

          Blaize led the way down the bungalow’s rainspout, and one after the other, they disappeared into the warm hands of the darkness.

  

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Life is Short but you can Conquer

 By Omoruyi Uwuigiaren

Ruyi's world of books and stories


Life is short. As you enjoy the beautiful earth, be careful because the waster, the devil, he walks to and fro seeking whom to devour. 1Peter 5:8, “Be sober-minded and be watchful. Your adversary the devil walks to and fro like a lion, seeking whom to devour.” The devil does not need your approval or permission to strike or put you under pressure. Do not be the worst enemy of your own life. Live a decent life and embrace holiness without which no human shall see God. Hebrews 12:14, “Strive for peace with everyone and for holiness without which no man shall see God.”

You may wonder how it is possible to be the worst enemy of yourself. Anyone that fails to acknowledge God and receive Jesus Christ as Lord and savior is on the highway to hell. A man who is the worst enemy of himself is like the poor soul that dug a hole and finally falls into it. As a man thinks, so he is. Be free from habits that will ruin your future. There must be a striking resemblance between your lifestyle and that of Jesus Christ. That is when you will be a Christian. “…and when he had found him, he brought him to Antioch. For a whole year, they met with the church and taught a great many people. And in Antioch the disciples were first called Christians,” Acts 11:26.

You can conquer sin. You will become as pure as gold if you embrace Jesus. Do not despise God’s gracious act of mercy. Forgiveness is on the agenda because God loves you. John 3:16, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have everlasting life.” There is room for you in God. You can fight for survival because it is within your rights to choose the kind of life you want to live. I will suggest you choose a good life in Christ Jesus. Sin will drag you away from the right path. “For the wages of sin is death but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord,” Romans 6:23.

You cannot win against God. The bible says all things are yours. You can rule and possess the earth as a child of God. Let no one deceive you. Being born again is not a death sentence. It does not mean you have signed a pact with poverty. It only means you have decided to embrace the supernatural and rule in the affair of men. God is ever ready to save you! Make yourself available and you be redeemed from the cruel hands of the enemy. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 11: 28, “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden and I will give you rest.”

You do not have to live contrary to God’s will before you can get the best out of life. Remember, no one goes to the grave with all he acquired here on earth. As humans, you can lead and enjoy a good life. Nothing will stop you from achieving your goal if you have Jesus Christ. You will win because Jesus has paid the price for you! Embrace the truth and be free.



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Monday, August 17, 2020

BED OF ROSES from the work in Progress Love Birds

 By Omoruyi Uwuigiaren

omoruyiu.blogspot.com


Life is no bed of roses. I dressed up in clean clothes. The blouse was stunning see-through, skirt fits closely around the waist, slightly wider at the bottom and sleek heel shoes. It was elegant, graceful and showing the shape of my body. One last time, I stood before the mirror, checked my face, body and clothes. My narrow hips were powerful and well developed. Everyone has where he or she belongs. Today, I belong to the mountaintop. There was a chair and table beside the large mirror. I sat down on the chair and the table was within my reach. I pulled the drawer, took out my watch and wore it on the right hand. It fitted nicely on the wrist that sticks out. I gently rose to my feet, grabbed my handbag, hung it on the shoulder and walked out of the door.

I connected a taxi that took me to where Jimmy asked us to meet. It was a nice place, especially if you are decent and on a mission. My past relationship was taking its toll. I felt used. If I do not discipline myself, I will be the loser. A man will bruise the petals and walk out the door. My body is all I have. I must cherish it. 

I turned up few minutes late at the popular restaurant. My eyes travelled about. I saw him seated in the corner perfect for two. I wanted a situation where he had to wait for me and that achieved. I want to be in control. I was not willing to start on a wrong footing as I did with Dalmos. I went past a few seats and arrived at the table.

My new friend finally noticed my presence. He sat up. His face broke into a gap-toothed smile as I took the empty seat before him. “Good evening, Jimmy,” I greeted and settled in nicely into the seat. Gently I placed my handbag on the table.

“Good evening, Lizzy,” he had a beautiful smile. “You are gorgeous. I thought you were not going to come. Thank you for accepting my invite.” He sat back and looked straight at me. He threw out a question, “What do I offer you?”

“Soft drink,” I replied. “I do not want much.”

“Okay.” He raised his head, signaled the waiter to our corner. The man arrived quickly. Jimmy ordered for drinks while I watched him closely. His shirt and pair of jeans looked good on him. His outfit was not a tragedy. He was not boring, weak and unfashionable like a deformed little goat. As the man disappeared from sight, he turned to me, he disclosed, “I got something for you. I think you will like it.” He brought out a pack. He opened it, placed it on the table and pushed it to me. He sank into his seat, with his eyes on me. His face beamed with smile and crossed his arms over his body.

I pulled the case to my side and then looked closely. It was a portable timepiece, attached by silver metal bracelet. It was a modern wristwatch featuring solar charging and atomic time reception capabilities. It was befitting! Getting such a gift on my first date was wonderful. I could not believe this would happen. It was a gorgeous metal, sparkling like a diamond ring. “Where did you get this?” I adjusted, raised my head and asked.

He smiled, he shook his head and answered, “Does it matter?” he scratched his head.

“I know it does not but I just want to know,” Now we were smiling at each other as if we have been friends for forever. I sat up, examined the watch again. I flung a glance at him and said, “Thank you!”

He turned away, avoiding eye contact. He nodded almost a million times and disclosed, “Well, I am happy you like it. I initially ordered it from the internet as a gift for my sister whose birthday is next week. However, arriving here, I changed my mind. I will get her another one in two days. The wristwatch is for special people. How much is a diamond ring worth? Your gift is top quality. Since you like it, you can keep it.”

“Thank you!” I exclaimed.

The waiter’s arrival disrupted our conversation. He served us drinks. Jimmy and I drank quietly in the belly of the evening. This was the first time that I would be completely happy with a male friend. We have barely just started the journey. It is already looking green on all sides. Jimmy ticks all the boxes. He was an upgrade of Dalmos. However, these are early days. I must not throw caution to the wind.  

 


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Wednesday, August 12, 2020

From the Largest Digital Library in Africa, The Adventures of Nihu by Omoruyi Uwuigiaren

 


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Old Phil’s time was up. The next day he would be leaving for the countryside. “I am already dreaming of home. It will be the new start to the life I have always wished to live. It will be a heaven every night. A man is for himself, but God is for us all.” Old Phil was once again seated on the log outside the hut.      

          “Yes. You are right.” Nihu was straddled next to him. He nodded. “God is for everyone.”

“Even me. Surviving the perils in this Lonely Forest means so much to me. I ought to give gratitude to the one that protects my soul. I do not do it ordinarily. I have to be tough.”

          “I expect that of you. God is a tough mogul. We need to be worthy if we hope to find His favor.”

          “But which god do you think I’m talking about, Nihu?”

          “The god of our forefathers.”

          “Does he really exist?” He brought his hands together, making recitations as if he was praying. Then he stopped and turned to Nihu. “Any result in that? Nothing. I will say my prayers facing heaven henceforth. My deliverance must have come from there.”

          “Are you sure?”

          “I don’t know. I just want try new things since my past had not yielded any result other than troubles. However, I have prayed throughout my life. Good moral conduct must be trapped somewhere in my heart ever since I set my foot into this world of beauty and terror. Do you believe me, Nihu?” He looked deep into the boy’s eyes.

          “I can’t find falsehood in that, at all. But I think it is too late to start finding perpetual faults in your life.”

          “Oh, faults? They are gone. In the past, I had many. My life was no better than a rat’s, which is left to struggle for survival in the heart of the red sea. My weaknesses brought me a hard knock life. Macques would tell you my odds of survival if he were here with us. He tells my story more accurately and with a lot more feeling than I do. However, he had a talking impediment. Often, his tongue added more excitement to every word that walked out of him. One would think his words drop like wind-blown rain.”

          “That’s a terrible burden to carry.” Nihu thought of something else Phil had said. “Do you derive much pleasure in mediations?”

          “Yes, oh yes. My meditations have yielded results. The last time I was under the influence of morning mediation, I saw dwarf angel. It looked like a green mallard. It told me all would be well with me. I am sure it had come to give me hope of returning to glory after the truckload of the misfortunes I have experienced here. I will hold a holy service of songs when I return home. That is the first thing I will do when I get there.”

          “But you have nothing now. The King now owns your house.”

          “Of course. I expect to join my brother right away. He will be very happy to see me alive. The celebration will carry to the next level.”

“What does he do for a living?” Nihu shifted on the log.

“He is a farmer. And his well is deep enough to swallow ten of your stature.”

          “Then you will be well. I thought you were just like every journeyman whose heaven is the street inn or corner. After every blessed day, he seeks comfort in a wonder of unholy women. When the police come to raid, you will only see his back.”

“This journeyman has served his time for offending others.” Old Phil removed his old hat that revealed rivers of sweat that were carefully gliding down his hollow cheeks. With the back of his hand, he rubbed them off his face and slapped the hat back on his head.

“I have a dream, a big one indeed. My survival means I was not guilty at all. There are people who believed in me because I have had a positive effect on their lives.” Old Phil straightened his shoulders, raising his chin.

“Things will be different for you now. Your travails are over.” Nihu sighed quietly, chin in hand. 

          “Surviving the Lonely Forest to tell the people of the devils here is news. No one in recent memory has returned from here alive. Do you realize that? I am the first. If you survive too, you can expect to increase your fortune ten-fold when you get back to the countryside. God will see to that.”

          “That will be a grand accomplishment for an old soldier like you. I can not hope to follow you.” Nihu revealed a trail of discouragement on his face. “I will be well into my years by the time I am allowed to walk out of here. If I survive to that day.” He gazed desolately at the old man.

Old Phil looked straight into the eye of the disenfranchised youth, “Nihu, there is always hope. God has made sure of that. I believe you can survive just as I have survived all these years. Live bravely, your day will come.”

          He rose to his feet, “Let’s go out together to hunt for the last time. The animal we bring in will be my parting gift for you.” He smiled at the boy. Nihu returned it weakly. Old Phil would soon be gone for good.

“I will be with you in a moment.” The old man said. “I want to bring my old Dane gun that has always hit its mark.” He entered the hut as Nihu lowered his head between his thighs scratching in the Earth with a stick.

          In a few minutes, Phil emerged, fully dressed in his hunting attire. “Boy, you must get ready. The forest awaits our ambitions. So it would seem. But it is a beginning that brings us closer to the end.”          Nihu got slowly to his feet, as if he was being forced to go against his principles. He went into the hut to get all he would need for the hunt. He took the spear that was in the doorway and returned to Old Phil’s side. “I am ready,” he said quietly.      

          “Look, Nihu, upon our return to the cabin, we shall have a long swim in the river, you hear me?”

          “Okay.”

          “And I remember you told me you have a flute and that you can play very well. You must play for me. I will dance like a man celebrating in triumph before leaving for the countryside.”

          “I will play as well as I can. May the gods find favor.”

          “You will engender favor by celebrating with me. It is well that a body casts doubt and fear aside so that he might honor another’s good fortune. So, Nihu, I want the best from you.” He coughed and his hat fell off his head. He went for it and added, “I will send prayers for you every day that your sojourn here will be as uneventful as possible.”

          They walked down the path in silence for a while. Presently, Old Phil inquired if Nihu had his flute with him.

“No, I left it in my rucksack in the hut.”

          “I was tempted to ask you to play now a dreamy song of the countryside.” Old Phil sighed. “Oh well, it will wait until we return.”

They trampled the dry leaves, heading for the interior of the forest, Old Phil leading Nihu who followed slowly behind. Phil was almost skipping in happy anticipation as if heading to a glorious alter. After some time, the forest swallowed them up, as if wanting them to become a part of the Lonely Forest forever. It is hard to say which of them would have bargained harder for his freedom.

          By sunset, the two had not yet found a single animal that Old Phil could have gotten with a clean shot. The evening was beginning to stare them down and there was no animal in sight. The day had finally surrendered to the coming of the evening powers. Both were tired and had little strength left. Old Phil’s shoulder has sagged and Nihu could barely lift his feet. Without speaking, they stopped to rest under a tree. Old Phil broke the long silence that had stood between them. “Nihu, what shall we do? We cannot remain here like stagnant waters on the street of the local district. I wanted to celebrate properly, not in such a weak manner. The fun must start right away.”

          “What shall we do?”

“Just watch me. You may learn the way the army of the countryside celebrates their victories after a hard fought battle.” The old man got to his feet and sent bullets from his old Dane gun into the air. As excitement within him grew, he let more bullets into the air, chanting old spirited songs of victory that every soldier of the countryside sings when the mission has gone the right way. Old Phil let go more bullets until he had none left in his gun.

          Satisfied he turned to Nihu, “Boy, let’s return to the hut. The bullets have served their purpose. I feel as good as if they had brought down a tasty beast. What is more exciting than forest life? A forest where even the trees now believe in my prowess and wits?” He caught Nihu’s eye. “I can see you are glum. Lively up, Nihu. No need to bury your head in discouragement. We can get one of the monkeys near the hut to fill our bellies. I will show you the stores of provisions I have made and of course, the hut is yours to live in.  Tomorrow, I leave you to your life. A solitary life is not such a bad thing.  I have new-found confidence after I have eaten and lived with the jungle devils that never cease to arrive at my doorstep.”

          “At least, I was able to get to know you for a little while,” Nihu was resigned to his fate. “Living with you was not written into my banishment order. It was luck that I met you here and now circumstance is now setting us apart. Your time here is done. The providence that kept you alive all these years can also deliver me from painful claws of death.”

“It is good to hear you say such things. Nevertheless, be careful. Macquesemis had much faith in providence, but today his remains rest under the shade of an old oak tree. Let us go.” Old Phil put his hand on the boy’s shoulder as they set off in the direction of the hut.

          The light was waning and they went along quietly. The dry leaves crackled under their boots. Nihu’s eyes spied a walnut tree; the ripe fruits among its leaves spoke to his stomach. Up the tree he went. With a hand on one of the tree’s fruits, he called out, “Phil, I will be along presently. No need to wait but a moment.” He went for another as Old Phil continued alone.

“I will wait for you by the river. Just be careful.” His voice carried back as Nihu faded into the tree.

“Who would find me up here?” Nihu wondered in a whisper. “I will pluck some walnuts and catch up to him before the river.”

          Old Phil waved his left arm into the air by way of farewell as he went down the path, suffering the dry leaves and grasses under his worn boots. Just as he pursed his lips to whistle a tune for companionship, a lion leapt onto his path. Seeing the old man, it charged without hesitation. Old Phil had less than two seconds to face the animal with his Dane gun, ready with his finger on the trigger to dispatch the animal to its grave. In a twinkling, it dawned on him that the gun was empty and he had no other option but to flee. As he turned to run, the lion pounced.

          Nihu heard the roar and knew Old Phil was in peril. An agonized cry from the old man and another roar from the beast set the forest ablaze in the quiet night. Nihu jumped from the tree, took hold of his spear that he had left leaning against it, and hurried to the scene where Old Phil was battling to stay alive underneath a wild lion. The lion had the attack advantage and had Phil pinned to the ground. Old Phil was trying his best to roll away from the lion’s claws and teeth, but he cried aloud and panted for air.

          Nihu raised his spear above his head and raced into the melee to save Old Phil from becoming a meal for the wild beast. He struck the lion in the neck, a little below the mane. The spear stuck deep in the neck of the lion, but the handle came apart in his hand and Nihu could only hope that a second strike would not be necessary. He stood back, as the lion, knocked off his feet, struggled with fate. Old Phil, battling hard to overcome blackout, made a final effort to send his foe to the world beyond. He drew his jackknife from his boot, sat up and slit the lion’s belly. The lion lay still at last.

          Old Phil sank back and began to gasp for his life in the pool of his blood. Nihu rushed to him in a horrible fright, to see if he could save the old man from dying at the brink of his release. He knelt by the old man’s bloody head, took it onto his lap and tried to encourage the old soldier back to life. “Phil, you are strong. Stronger than the willows in the brook. You must not die.” Tears flooded his eyes. “I will care for you in the hut for as long as it takes.”

          Old Phil struggled valiantly against the incoming blackness. “No, Nihu, it is too late already for medicine. I have met my fate today. A soldier never travels through the woods with an empty gun. Had I remembered that, I would be worthy to see my home again. Former deeds cannot insure survival in hell. My life is tragedy and I hope you might learn something from it. I advise you to take your own life, my boy. Do not wait for the devil of beast or disease to ravage you. You must find a way out of here . . .” He gasped and choked as speech left him. His head rolled to one side as the last of life faded from his lips.

          Nihu stroked Old Phil’s face and wept bitterly as he recognized that the old man’s ghost had gone. “No, no, Phil. No! You cannot leave like this. This is not how it’s supposed to be!” He fell on the dead man and wept, harder than ever before in his life. He wailed aloud in the dark until he could cry no more.

          Somehow, he managed to drag the remains of the old man back to the hut where he found a shovel to dig a grave. After he finished the mound, he built a small fire and went in for his flute. Returning to the graveside, he began to pay Old Phil his last respects. The melody was a dirge, played for fallen heroes in the countryside. It was equally good enough to move one’s feet. However, Nihu remained seated on a log as he played out his despair.


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Saturday, August 8, 2020

From Blinkist, Choose the format that fits your life. Read or Listen to The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R Covey

 

 Covey presents an approach to being effective in attaining goals by aligning oneself to what he calls "true north" principles based on a character ethic that he presents as universal and timeless.

Covey defines effectiveness as the balance of obtaining desirable results with caring for that, which produces those results. He illustrates this by referring to the fable of the goose that laid the golden eggs. He further claims that effectiveness can be expressed in terms of the P/PC ratio, where P refers to getting desired results and PC is caring for that which produces the results.

Covey's best-known book has sold more than 25 million copies worldwide since its first publication. The audio version became the first non-fiction audio-book in U.S. publishing history to sell more than one million copies. Covey argues against what he calls "the personality ethic", that he sees as prevalent in many modern self-help books. He promotes what he labels "the character ethic": aligning one's values with so-called universal and timeless principles. In doing this, Covey is deliberately and mindfully separating principles and values. He sees principles as external natural laws, while values remain internal and subjective. Our values govern our behavior, while principles ultimately determine the consequences. Covey presents his teachings in a series of habits, manifesting as a progression from dependence through independence on to interdependence.

 

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Monday, August 3, 2020

From the Book of Iniquity by Omoruyi Uwuigiaren

Books of Iniquity by Omoruyi Uwuigiaren



He secured the door. I followed him to the sitting room where he sank into his favourite seat. “You can make yourself comfortable,” he pointed at the sofa. Without a word, I placed my bag on the sofa and slowly settled down. My eyes travelled round the room. The atmosphere was refreshing. No foul smell, he was organized. Attracted to the books carefully arranged on the shelf. I got up and walked there. I picked one of them and flipped through the pages. It did not look bad. I glanced at him, our eyes met. I said, “I like books. I read a lot.”

He nodded almost a million times, and noted, “It’s good to read. What can I offer you?”

I placed the book back on the shelf and returned to my seat. I turned to him and our eyes met again. I understand why he is staring at me. He was expecting my response. I sighed deeply and answered, “I am not overly choosy. Give me what you have!”

“What if I offer myself?”

I chuckled, “That will be asking for too much. Do you have soft drink?”

“Sure.” He rose from the chair and disappeared into a corner of the house. Moments later, he appeared with two bottles of soft drink. He pulled the side table to my side. He sat beside me and placed the drink on the table. He opened his bottle and sent some of the content down his throat. As soon as the drink settled down, he let go a belch that could kill a dove. “That was good,” he said. He slammed the drink on the table, “Life is good.”

I took my drink as well. I placed my bottle next to his. I glanced at him as he fixed his gaze on the TV. I asked, “Where is your wife?”

“Good you asked. I am not married,” he chuckled. And turned to me. Our eyes met. I turned away. “It is difficult to believe.”

I nodded in agreement. “Yes, I thought you were married.”

“I was…”

“So what happened? Where is she?” I took another sip, waiting for his explanation.

“She had cancer. We fought gallantly against it but could not prevail. Ever since she died, my life had been empty. I have been struggling and burning at the same time.” He turned to me, “Have I answered your question?”

“Yes,” I nodded. “Sorry for your loss…”

“That is what I always hear. Dalmos, sorry for your loss. Dalmos sorry for this and Dalmos sorry that blah, blah, blah. Soon you will leave and I will be all alone again. This loneliness is killing me.”

“I do not intend to leave too soon…No I mean…I…I will,” I do not know what came over me.

When he did not say a word, I thought he did not hear me. I took another sip from the bottle. I faced the television and hoped he did not hear me or go back to the subject. Something in me seemed to be edging me close to him. But how could I be so cheap.

After emptying his bottle of drink into his stomach, he sat up, and asked, “Did you say you will stay with me?”

“So you heard me?”

“Yes, you remind me of my late wife. She was outspoken. She never hid her feelings. When you said that, you brought back some good memories. I would not mind if you stay with me as long as you want.”

I chuckled, shook my head. “We barely knew one another…”

“I have nothing to hide. This is me,” he stretched his hands and palms up. “There is nothing else other than this.”

I turned away. “I did not come here for this. I came to thank you for saving my life,” I told him.

He rose to his feet and walked out of the sitting room.

“Where are you going?”

There was no answer.

I jumped to my feet as my gaze followed him to the corner.  He opened a door, went into the room and shut the door behind him. I sat back confused and did not know what to do. After seating in the sitting room alone for some time, I decided to find out what was wrong with the man. Gently, I got back on my feet and walked to the door. Quietly I opened the door and tossed my head inside. I met Dalmos by the window, staring outside. I entered the room and shut the door behind us. “What are you doing here? Why did you leave in the room?”

“I am sorry. I just could not stand you. The more I stared at you, the more I remember my wife. You are just like her. I felt guilty again. I did not do enough to keep her alive. That was why I had to leave,” he spoke with a quivering voice.

“You need to forgive yourself and move on.” I went to the window and stood by his side. As we gazed at the beautiful earth, Dalmos hands were on the burglary proof. As he lowered his hand, he brushed my nipple. I moaned a little. My eyes stumbled on his trousers; his cock was hard inside his pants. Sensing the invitation, he raised my shirt. He leaned forward, grabbed my breasts and wrapped his long tongue around it. I was wet. I begged him not to stop. I held his head and pulled him close to my body. Everything started very fast. We had plenty of motivation.

Dalmos snatched me from the ground and tossed me to the bed. I watched him unzip his trousers. His penis was very hard and was growing bigger and larger. I undressed, took his cock in my hand and slipped it into my mouth. As I pulled back and forth softly, he moaned aloud. Then I pulled away, lay with my back to the bed, and spread my legs for him to invade me. He did not disappoint. He drilled me so hard. By the time he descended, his load was inside of me. Dalmos was a remarkable man.