Close to a decade ago, I came across my little brother’s exercise book. I must say the book was old judging by the wrinkled and stained pages contained therein. It would pass for paper used in firing up a charcoal stove. However, something caught my attention. Indeed as they say, never judge a book by its cover, I proved this adage to be true. In the middle of the book were written the words STOP STOP STOP. The final stop had been broken down into an acronym with each letter standing for something.


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I began to connect the dots. Previously, he had written the word ‘STOP’ on the wall using a red marker pen. We couldn’t understand why he wrote it. In fact, mom gave him a thorough beating for dirtifying the walls with nonsense. Later in the evening, I asked what really pushed him to the extent of writing on the wall. His reply was unimpeachable.

“Teacher alituambia tuandike pahali tunaezaona kila siku. Sa mi nkaona ukuta ndio poa!”

You know how kids are innocent. From this experience, I was able to draw one lesson. And that lesson is the importance of taking a pause. At times we may find ourselves stuck between a rock and a hard place. This is the point when we need to STOP. In that period of a pause, we need to examine the current situation and determine the causes of the setback. We need to think of a way out and then devise a plan to take us to our destination.

Games have halftimes, conferences have tea and lunch breaks, racing competitions have checkpoints, and schools have break times. You also need to have a break time in your schedule. This is a time where you reflect the seeds planted so far and the results achieved in the day, the week, the month or even the year. That is the reason jobs have leave days and holidays.


Despite having tight schedules, short deadlines and the desire to achieve more, just find it within your schedule to set aside time to STOP. It acts like a checkpoint towards your destiny. So the next time you feel restless or are stressed, STOP!

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