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Posts tagged ‘Achievements’

Vexatiously the stereotype


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There is art and there is science. There is religion and then there is the occult. We have the clever foolish and the stupid treacherous kind. The world as is has given us views of scenery, aesthetic beautiful nature and the absurd even weird (in our biased reasoning). Then there is the plain – true, pure, unadulterated and serene. The approach that we gain over the years given our history and culture, shapes our outlook. We are stitched by threads picked from old, new, rich, poor and annoyingly but creative tones. We are walking montages and present a collage in all we do. We even sometimes portray split characters as situations arise. “Wow! Isn’t she an adorable drummer?” we quip and all along we never knew this as we only saw her as the startup entrepreneur.

The potential within is amazing and unique. It is regrettable that we only live to scratch but the surface of our gifts and talents. The possibilities that lay untapped are annoyingly loud masterpieces that remain silent yet an applause await them. How sarcastic it is to expect the best in people but we are never willing to encourage their feeble start. Albert Einstein was a struggling student. Richard Branson is dyslexic. Jackie Chan struggles with English. Arnold Schwarzenegger was a struggling bodybuilder with small calves. The list of poor starters is as wide as all seas combined and as deep as space. But the progress and finish of many poor starters is astoundingly marvelous. Come out all ye that itch with gifts and talents. Push and assert yourselves!

Fall ye not in the trap of cheap mockery or the disillusionment of self pity. Many overcome barriers and limitations beyond our imaginations. Julius Yego – with no trainer and improvised equipment trained for the Olympics in a village and country that knew nothing about Javelin. Even now my guess is that there are none if any Javelin expert in Kenya!

It is easy to watch from a distance and critic. It is another thing to be blind to the now and focus on the possible future of success and great achievement. Pursue your dreams! Commit and work on it until aches cheer you on! Athletes push themselves harder than their targets. When I was training for the half marathon my coach shocked me to set the target at 40kms. I remember how difficult it was to even do the 21kms when we started. But after painfully pushing my limits I could muster 21kms in 2hrs. Looking back when we started and all I could do (since my waistline was 42inches then) was run for five minutes walk for three minutes. Today I can comfortably run for two hours with very few slow paces in between.

When the target is higher than the focus then all else becomes a breeze. I like what the sub-marine inventors Cornelis Jacobszoon Drebbel (Dutch) and John Philip Holland (Irish) believed and did the unorthodox. In 1620 the late Engineer Drebbel sketches his first sub marine – remember ships had not been storm proofed as today. It must have been ridiculous to onlookers. I can imagine the debacle and damning findings the sprocket of engineers had to dispute the viability of Drebbel’s venture. But he did make the first sub marine vessel. Advancing on this the late John Phillip Holland a ship builder in 1878 designed and fabricated a big submarine and it passed depths unimaginable before. His type 6 design after many years (1880-1900s) of struggle and lobbying was finally accepted by the US Navy and named “Uncle Sam’s Devil of the Deep”. Look beyond the common, push your dream farther than your energy and you will soar in the clouds of greatness with the eagles of achievement.

Type 1 Sub Design by Holland

Love is the greatest victim of stereotypes. We get in with full abandon then as the swimming gets rigorous we wade to the shallow end. Where our feet are on the pool floor and we can scamper to safety at the slightest alarm. Many want the benefits but are not willing to build the production units that generate them. Build each other up – support his/her ambitions, buy in their toil, like the coach train them into champions. It may mean a push here, a shove there but more encouraging and cajoling gets the job done. I like a female athlete from Kenya whose husband is the coach – I can only imagine the orgasm levels when “they” win as they have so many races!

The society we live in has too many of us that get carried away by mob psychology. We fall into the trap of negative peer pressure and stereotype labels. “Girls are not loyal”; “all men are players”; “there is no honest Kikuyu”; “Luos are lazy”; “Kambas are sly”; “Luhyas are gluttons” among many others. When we are captured in these innuendos we set ourselves into the respite and slavery of mediocrity. Unfortunately, we live up to these stereotypes with chagrin in our secret lives and when politicking. Father in heaven, save us from ourselves – we have sinned and we require mercy and grace more so in the renewal of our minds. We need the divine perspective of unity in purpose. To operate in interdependent harmony as designed by you and as witnessed in all nature. Do not tire on me my love – with you we can do all things and win many races in life. I am sorry for the slow start, mistakes and the losses in between. I love you!!

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Prof. Wangari Maathai’s Awards:


 Daughter of the Soil, Kenyan by Birth, Global by all standards; Wangari Maathai Salute!
2010: Earth Hall of Fame, Kyoto (Japan)

2009: Earth Hall of Fame, Kyoto (Japan)

2009: Humanity 4 Water Award for Outstanding Commitment 2 Action

2009: The Order of the Rising Sun, Japan

2009: Judge, 2009 Geotourism Challenge, National Geographic, USA

2009: NAACP Chairman’s Award , USA

2008: Dignitas Humana Award, St John’s School of Theology, USA

2008: Cinema Verite, Honorary President, France

2008: Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA), Honorary Fellowship, UK

2007: The Nelson Mandela Award for Health & Human Rights, South Africa

2007: The Jawaharlal Nehru Award for International Understanding, India

2007: Cross of the Order of St Benedict, Benedictine College, Kansas, USA

2007: World Citizenship Award, World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts

2006: The Indira Gandhi International Award for Peace, Disarmament & Development, India

2006: Premio Defensa Medio Ambiente, Club Internacional De Prensa, Spain

2006: 6th in 100 Greatest Eco-Heroes of All Time, The Environment Agency, UK

2006: Medal for Distinguished Achievement, University of Pennsylvania, USA

2006: Woman of Achievement Award from the American Biographical Institute Inc., USA

2006: The Kenya National Commission on Human Rights,

Milele(Lifetime) Achievement Award

2006: Legion D’Honneur, Government of France

2006: The IAIA Global Environment Award,

International Association for Impact Assessment, Norway

2006: Disney Wildlife Conservation Fund Award, USA

2006: World Citizenship Award

2005: New York Women’s Century Award, New York Women’s Foundation, USA

2005: One of the 100 Most Influential People in the World: Time magazine, USA

2005: One of the 100 Most Powerful Women in the World: Forbes magazine, USA

2004: Nobel Peace Prize, the Norwegian Nobel Committee, Norway

2004: Sophie Prize, the Sophie Foundation, Norway

2004: Elder of the Golden Heart, Republic of Kenya

2004: Petra Kelly Environment Prize, Heinrich Boell Foundation, Germany

2004: J. Sterling Morton Award, Arbor Day Foundation, USA

2004: Conservation Scientist Award,

Center for Environmental Research and Conservation, Columbia University, USA

2003: Elder of the Burning Spear, Republic of Kenya

2003: WANGO Environment Award,

World Association of Non-Governmental Organizations , USA

2002: Outstanding Vision and Commitment Award, Bridges to Community, USA

2001: Excellence Award, Kenyan Community Abroad, USA

2001: The Juliet Hollister Award, Temple of Understanding, USA

1997: One of 100 in the World Who’ve Made a Difference in the Environment:

Earth Times, USA

1995: International Women’s Hall of Fame,

International Women’s Forum Leadership Foundation, USA

1994: The Order of the Golden Ark Award, the Netherlands

1993: The Jane Addams Leadership Award, Jane Addams Conference, USA

1993: The Edinburgh Medal, Medical Research Council, Scotland

1991: The Hunger Project’s Africa Prize for Leadership, United Nations, USA

1991: Global 500 Hall of Fame: United Nations Environment Programme, USA

1991: The Goldman Environmental Prize, the Goldman Foundation, USA

1990: The Offeramus Medal, Benedictine College, USA

1989: Women of the World Award, WomenAid, UK

1988: The Windstar Award for the Environment, Windstar Foundation, USA

1986: Better World Society Award, USA

1984: Right Livelihood Award, Sweden

1983: Woman of the Year Award

Yes we mourn your loss, we also celebrate your life so full and we seek to pursue the great intentions and bold steps in making earth more habitable.

Go in peace, go rest as we work somemore.

Adapted from Cyprian Nyamwamu’s email to NYSA

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