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February 8, 2000

Fatherless
Families
BREAKING
THE CYCLE
Fatherless Fam ilies
B reaking the Cycle 3-11
Increasing numbers of children are being
raised without fathers. What is behind this
Average Printing 20,381,000 disturbing trend? How can families be
Published in 82 Languages helped to remain intact?

Fatherless Families
Stairway to A Sign of the Times 3
the Sky 16 Fathers Why They Are Disappearing 4
The rice terraces of Fatherless Families
the Cordillera Central Breaking the Cycle 8
sjjF % % ; w _
have been called the
Crossword Puzzle 12
eighth wonder of the
world. Find out why. Try a Pair of the Quick Ones! 13

The Black Death


Scourge of Medieval Europe 22

M l( Lying Is It Ever Quetzal The Resplendent Bird 26


Justified? 20
mmX | i
If 1 i
If | )j - Many feel that so-called
Watching the World 28

From Our Readers 30


white lies are harmless.
i^ y E But does the Bible agree The Gap Between Rich
and Poor Is Widening 31
with this popular notion?
'It Helped Me to Examine My Life 32

2 Awake! February 8, 2000


Fatherless Families
A SI6N OF THE TIMES
HAT w ould you say is the m ost young ones becam e fatherless was the death

W significant social problem of the of a father. Today, says w riter David Blank-
day? Alm ost 80 percent of those enhorn, the principal cause of fatherless
polled in a U.S. G allup survey believeness
thatisit paternal choice. Indeed, as we will
is the physical absence o f the father from see, the rising num ber o f fatherless children
the hom e. According to G allup, over 27 mil gives evidence that m any people today are
lion children in the U nited States live apart w ithout n atu ral affection. A ccording to
from their biological fathers, and that num the Bible, this is just one m ore proof that we
ber is rapidly increasing. A report by the are living in the last days.2 Timothy 3:
United Nations C hildrens Fund states that 1-3.
about 50 p e rcen t o f w hite children born For young children, however, the disap
in the U nited States since 1980 will spend pearance of a father from their lives is a per
some part of their childhood in a singlepar sonal tragedy. It initiates a cycle of pain and
ent family. For black children the propor devastation that can have long-lasting conse
tion is about 80%. USA Today thus designat quences. Therefore, in this series we will dis
ed the U nited States the world leader in cuss this cycle, not to dishearten readers, but
families w ithout fathers. to provide inform ation that can help fami
N evertheless, an article in The Atlantic lies to halt this destructive trend.
Monthly observes: T he rise in family dis
ruption is no t u n iq u e to A m erican soci
ety. It is evident in virtually all advanced na
tions, including Japan. And while statistics
are hard to come by, m any developing lands
seem to be facing a sim ilar crisis. Accord
ing to the magazine World Watch, men
[in poor countries] often aban
don th e ir w ives and c h il
dren because of increasing
econom ic p re ssu re s. In
deed, a survey in a Carib
bean country revealed that
only 22 percent o f fathers with
eight-year-old children actually lived
with their children.
Fatherless children were com m on even in
Bible tim es. (D eu tero n o m y 27:19; Psalm
94:6) Back then, however, the main reason

Awake! February 8, 2000


Fathers
WHY THEY ARE
DISAPPEARING
I dont rem em ber Mom and Dad fighting or arguing. All I
know is that Dad was there, and thenboom!one day he wasnt
there. I dont know where my dad is to this day. I know I dont
feel anything toward him .Bruce.
harm children but m ight
I was the only kid a t school who didnt have two parents
a c tu a lly be good fo r
and didnt live in a house . . . I always felt like I stood out. I
them, couples opted for
always felt very different from everyone else my age.Patricia.
divorce in reco rd n u m
bers. Says the book Divid
H E crisis of fatherless families has its ed Families What Happens to Children When

T roots in the industrial revolution. As Parents Part, by Frank F. Furstenberg, Jr.,


factory jobs began luring men away and Andrew J. Cherlin: In Belgium, France,
from their homes, the fathers influence in and Switzerland rates [of divorce] have dou
the family began to wane; m others took on a bled [since the 1960s], while in Canada, E n
greater share of child rearing * Even so, m ost gland, and the N etherlands they have risen
fathers rem ained with their families. During threefold.
the mid-1960s, however, the divorce rate in Although children usually stay with their
the United States began a dram atic upward
m other after a divorce, m ost departing dads
spiral. Religious, economic, and social barri
want to m aintain a relationship w ith th e
ers to divorce started to crumble. Spurred
children. Joint custody is one p o p u lar so
on by the advice of self-proclaimed experts
who asserted th at divorce not only didnt lution. Yet, m ost divorced fathers m aintain
surprisingly little co n tact w ith th eir c h il
* Interestingly, before industrialization, child-rearing man dren. One survey revealed that only 1 child
uals in the United States were generally addressed to fathers,
not mothers. in 6 sees his or her divorced father o n a

Why Awake! Is Published Awake! is for the enlightenment of the entire family. It shows how to cope with
todays problems. It reports the news, tells about people in many lands, examines religion and science. But it does more.
It probes beneath the surface and points to the real meaning behind current events, yet it always stays politically neutral
and does not exalt one race above another. Most important, this magazine builds confidence in the Creators promise of
a peaceful and secure new world that is about to replace the present wicked, lawless system of things.
Unless otherwise indicated, New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures With References is used.

/4ntf/re/(ISSN 0 0 0 5 -2 3 7 X ) is published sem im onthly by W atchtower Bible and Tract Society of New York, Inc.; Milton G. Henschel, President; Lyman
A. Swingle, Secretary-Treasurer; 25 Columbia Heights, Brooklyn, NY 11201-2483. Periodicals Postage Paid at Brooklyn, N.Y., and at additional m ail
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Vol. 81, No. 3 Printed in U.S.A. 2 0 0 0 Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania. All rights reserved. Sem im onthly ENGLISH

4 Awake! February 8, 2000


weekly basis. Alm ost half the children had ture the father-child relationship.Journal
not seen their father for an entire year! o f Marriage and the Family, May 1994.
The Failure of Shared Custody H urt and angry at being cut off from their
childrens livesor perhaps ju st coldly in
For divorced couples to share custody, it
different some m en abandon th eir fam i
requires enorm ous co operation and trust
lies, failing to give needed financial su p
qualities often in short supply. Research
port.* (1 T im othy 5:8) I d o n t th in k o f
ers Furstenberg and Cherlin put it this way:
anything about my father that I like, says
A m ajor reason why fathers stop seeing one bitter teenage boy. Hes really out o f the
their children is that they want to have noth picture, not supporting us or anything, and I
ing to do with their form er wives. And many think that stinks.
women adopt the same attitude toward their
form er husbands. Unwed Parents
True, many divorced fathers do see their R ecord n u m b ers o f illeg itim ate b irth s
children regularly. But because they are no have caused the biggest growth in the num
longer involved in the day-to-day lives o f bers o f fatherless children. A bout one-third
their children, it is difficult for some to be of all childbirths in the [United States] now
have like fathers when they are with them. occur outside o f m arriage, says the book
Fatherless America. O ut of the approxim ate
M any opt for the role of playmate, spend
ly 500,000 babies born each year to those
ing virtually all of their time together in rec
from 15 to 19 years o f age, 78 percent are to
reation or shopping. Fourteen-year-old Ari
unm arried teens. Teen pregnancy is a global
d escribes his w eekend visits w ith his fa
problem, however. And program s that teach
ther, saying: Theres no set schedule, no Be
c o n tra ce p tio n o r preach abstinence have
home by five-thirty kind of stuff. Its open.
done little to change the sexual behavior of
I ts free. A nd my fath er is always buying teens.
me presents.How It Feels When Parents Di
The book Teenage Fathers, by Bryan E.
vorce, by Jill Krementz.
Robinson, explains: Out-of-wedlock preg
A loving father should know how to give nancy no longer carries the shame and hu
good gifts to his children. (M atthew 7:11) miliation it did during the 1960s because of
But gifts are no substitute for needed guid more liberalized social attitudes towards sex
ance and discipline. (Proverbs 3:12; 13:1)
* According to researchers Sara McLanahan and Gary
When one trades the role o f parent for that Sandefur, in the United States, about 40 percent of children
of playmate or visitor, the father-child rela who are theoretically eligible for child support do not have a
tionship is bound to deteriorate. One study those[court ordered] child support award at all, and a quarter of
with an award receive nothing. Less than a third of
concluded: Divorce can perm anently rup children receive the full amount they are owed.

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Awake! February 8, 2000 5


and prem arital pregnancy__ Also the youth relationship with their children. A ccord
o f today are constantly bom barded with sex ing to one study of young unm arried dads,
uality through advertising, music, m otion 70 percent visited their child once a week.
pictures, and television. The American me However, cautions the article, as the chil
dia tell adolescents th at sex is romantic, ex dren get older, the am ount o f visitation de
citing, and titillating w ithout ever showing creases.
the real-life consequences o f spontaneous One 17-year-old father sum m ed up why,
and irresponsible sexual behavior. saying: If Id only known how hard it was
M any youngsters seem blissfully unaware going to be, Id never let this happen. Few
o f th e c o n seq u e n c e s o f illicit sex. N ote youths have either the em otional m aturity
some o f the com m ents that author Robin or the experience to handle the dem ands of
son heard: She didnt look like the type parenthood. N or do many have the educa
[to get pregnant]; We only had sex once a tion or the employment skills needed to earn
week; or I didnt think you could get preg a living. R ather than cope with the hum ilia
nant the first time. O f course, some young tion of failure, m any young men simply walk
men know all too well that sex can result away from their children. My life is pret
in pregnancy. The book Young Unwed Fathers ty m uch of a mess, confesses one young fa
observes: To m any boys [in the inner city], ther. A nother laments: I can hardly look af
sex is an im portant symbol o f local social ter myself; I dont know what I would do if I
status; sexual conquests becom e so m any had to look after [my son] too.
notches on ones belt. M any o f the girls offer
Sour Grapes
sex as a gift in their bargaining for the atten
In Bible times the Jews had a saying: The
tions o f a young m an. In some inner-city cir
parents ate the sour grapes, but the children
cles, boys who have not fathered a baby may
got the sour taste. (Ezekiel 18:2, Todays En
even be teased for being a virgin!
glish Version) G od told the Jews that it did
T he picture gets even darker when you
not need to be th at way, th at past errors
c o n sid e r th e re su lts o f a 1993 study o f
need not be repeated in the future. (Ezekiel
school-age m others in California. It turns
18:3) Nevertheless, millions of children to
out that two thirds of the girls had become
day seem to be tasting the bitterness of their
pregnant, not by teenage boyfriends, but by
parents sour grapespaying the penal
men over 20 years o f age! In fact, some stud
ty for their parents im m aturity, irresponsi
ies indicate th at m any unwed teen moms
bility, and m arital failures. The research is
are victims o f statutory rapeor even child
simply overwhelming in dem onstrating that
abuse. Such widespread exploitation reveals
children who grow up w ithout a father are
how sick and depraved modern-day society
exposed to a plethora of physical and emo
has become.2 Timothy 3:13.
tional risks. (See the box on page 7.) Particu
Why Young Men Walk Away larly distressing is the fact that the legacy of
Teenage boys who father children rarely a fatherless home is often passed on from
take long-term responsibility for their off generation to generationa continuing cy
spring. Said one boy whose girlfriend be cle of pain and misery.
cam e pregnant: I ju s t told her, See ya Are fatherless families doom ed to failure?
ro u n d . However, as an article in Fami N ot at all. In fact, the good news is that the
ly Life Educator points out, m ost young fa cycle of fatherless families can be broken.
thers express a strong desire to have a close O ur next article will discuss how.

6 Awake! February 8, 2000


THE RISKS OF GROWING UP WITHOUT A FATHER
G ro w in g up w ith o u t a fa t h e r p o s e s s e rio u s un w e d m o th e rs e n d up in a life o f p ro s titu tio n
ris k s fo r c h ild re n . W h ile th e fo llo w in g in fo rm a a n d d ru g tra ffic k in g . T h e s itu a tio n m ay n o t be
tio n m ay be p a in fu l fo r s o m e to co n s id e r, b e in g m u c h b e tte r in W e s te rn la n d s . In th e U n ite d
aw are o f th e ris k s is th e firs t s te p in p re v e n tin g S ta te s , 1 0 p e rc e n t o f c h ild r e n in tw o -p a re n t
or a t le a s t m in im iz in g th e d a m a g e . R ealize, too, fa m ilie s w e re in p o v e rty [in 1 9 9 5 ], c o m p a re d
th a t s ta tis tic a l s tu d ie s a p p ly to g ro u p s a n d n o t to 5 0 p e rc e n t in fe m a le h o u s e h o ld e r fa m ilie s .
to in d iv id u a ls . M a n y c h ild re n grow up in fa th e r America's Children: Key National Indicators of
less h o m e s w ith o u t e x p e rie n c in g a n y o f th e s e Well-Being 1997.
p ro b le m s. As o u r fin a l a rtic le w ill show , p a re n ta l Neglect F o rc e d to fe n d fo r th e m s e lv e s ,
in te rv e n tio n a n d th e a p p lic a tio n o f B ib le p rin c i s o m e s in g le p a re n ts a re o v e rw h e lm e d by th e ir
ples can do m u ch to m itig a te th e s e p o te n tia l d if re s p o n s ib ilitie s a n d a re u n a b le to s p e n d a d e
fic u ltie s . C o n s id e r, th e n , s o m e o f th e p o s s ib le q u a te tim e w ith th e ir c h ild re n . O ne d iv o rc e e re
ris k s a fa th e rle s s c h ild m ay fa c e . ca lls : I w as w o rk in g by day and g o in g to sch o o l
Increased Dangers of Sexual Abuse a t n ig h tru n n in g m y s e lf ragged . I d e fin ite ly ne
R e se a rch c le a rly s h o w s th a t fa th e rle s s n e s s g le c te d th e k id s ."
in c re a s e s th e ris k o f c h ild s e x u a l a b u s e . O ne Emotional Damage C o n tra ry to th e c la im
s tu d y re ve a le d th a t o u t o f 5 2 ,0 0 0 ca se s o f c h ild o f s o m e e x p e rts th a t c h ild re n q u ic k ly b o u n c e
a b u s e , 7 2 p e rc e n t in v o lv e d c h ild re n liv in g in b a ck a fte r a d iv o rc e , re s e a rc h e rs , s u c h as Dr. Ju
a h o u s e h o ld w ith o u t o n e o r b o th b io lo g ic a l par d ith W a lle rs te in , have fo u n d th a t d iv o rc e in flic ts
e n ts ." T h e b o o k Fatherless America a s s e rts : lo n g -la s tin g e m o tio n a l w o u n d s . O ver a th ird o f
The e s c a la tin g ris k o f c h ild h o o d s e xu a l a b u s e th e yo u n g m en an d w o m e n b e tw e e n th e ages o f
n in e te e n and tw e n ty -n in e have little or no a m b i
in o u r s o c ie ty s te m s p r im a r ily fro m th e g ro w
tio n te n ye a rs a fte r th e ir p a re n ts d iv o rc e . They
ing a b s e n c e o f m a rrie d fa th e rs a n d th e g ro w in g
are d riftin g th ro u g h life w ith no s e t go a ls . . . and
p re s e n c e o f s te p fa th e rs , b o y frie n d s , a n d o th e r
a s e n s e o f h e lp le s s n e s s ." (Second Chances, by
u n re la te d o r tra n s ie n t m a le s ."
Dr. J u d ith W a lle rs te in a n d S a n d ra B la k e s le e )
Increased Risk of Early Sexual Behavior Low s e lf-e s te e m , d e p re s s io n , d e lin q u e n t b e h a v
B e ca u se th e re is lik e ly le ss p a re n ta l s u p e rv i ior, and p e rs is te n t a n g e r w e re o b s e rv e d a m o n g
sion in a s in g le -p a re n t h o m e , yo u n g o n e s o fte n m any c h ild re n o f d iv o rc e .
h ave m o re o p p o r t u n it ie s to e n g a g e in im m o r
The book The Single-Parent Family says: Nu
al c o n d u c t. Less p a re n ta l tra in in g m ay a lso be a m e ro u s s tu d ie s s h o w th a t boys ra ise d w ith o u t a
fa c to r. G irls w ith o u t a fa th e r in th e ir life are tw o s tro n g m a le p re s e n c e in th e ir live s sh o w in s e c u
and a h a lf tim e s as lik e ly to g e t p re g n a n t," says rity a b o u t t h e ir g e n d e r id e n tity , lo w s e lf
th e U.S. D e p a rtm e n t o f H e a lth a nd H um an S e r e s te e m , a n d , la te r in t h e ir liv e s , tro u b le fo r m
vices. in g in tim a te re la tio n s h ip s . The
Poverty A s tu d y o f p r o b le m s g ir ls m a y d e v e l
b la c k te e n a g e g ir ls in op fro m liv in g w ith o u t m ale
S o u th A fr ic a c o n c lu d e d ro le m o d e ls d o n t u s u
th a t p o v e rty is a c o m m o n a lly s h o w up u n til a d o
conse q u e n ce o f unw ed le s c e n c e o r la te r, a n d
p a re n th o o d . In a b o u t in c lu d e h a v in g d iffic u l
50% o f ca s e s ," say th e ty fo rm in g s u c c e s s fu l
s tu d y s a u th o r s , th e m a le /fe m a le re la
te e n a g e r is u n lik e ly to tio n s h ip s in a d u lt
re tu rn to s c h o o l. M any h o o d .
Fatherless Families
BREAKING THE CYCLE
F PR ESEN T trends continue, fatherless homes. Even in successful stepfamilies, it

I families will soon be the norm. A report


by the U.S. D epartm ent of Health and
H um an Services claims: Children raised by
a single parent tend to receive lower grades,
sometimes takes several years before a step
father is accepted by the children*
Similarly, there are no quick fixes to the
problem o f teen pregnancy. A bortion, for
have m ore b ehavior problem s, and have example, violates G ods law and requires a
higher rates of chronic health and psychi young woman to shut the door o f her tender
atric disorders. . . . Being raised in a single compassions upon the tiny life developing
m other fam ily is associated with elevated within her. (Exodus 20:13; 21:22, 23; Psalm
risks o f teenage childbearing, high school 139:14-16; com pare 1 John 3:17.) How could
dropout, [and] incarceration. that not leave emotional scars? Giving up a
Little wonder, then, th at social scientists, child for adoption is seen by m any as a more
family counselors, educators, and even pol hum ane solution, but it too can leave emo
iticians desperately seek ways to halt this tional scarson both m other and child.
devastating trend. Large-scale rallies for men No, quick fixes will not break the cycle
have been held to ignite pride in fa th e r of fatherless families. C urrent family trends
hood and to confirm m ens com m itm ent to will be halted only if people are willing to
family. Books on fatherhood have flooded
the market. Efforts have even been made to * Information to help stepparents was published in the
March 1, 1999, issue of our companion journal, The Watch-
force fathers to care for their responsibili tower.
ties. In the United States, deadbeat dads
have been castigated by judges, assailed on By follo w in g B ib le prin cip les, a single p a re n t
TV talk shows, and even subjected to public can have success in raisin g child ren
humiliation. Such efforts, though, have pro
duced feeble results.
Quick Fixes
A quick fix may likewise produce dubious
results. For example, a divorced woman may
rem arry in haste, hoping to give her chil
dren a new father. But while remarriage may
have its advantages, there can be problems.
Children are sometimes resistant to accept
ing someone new as their father. Sometimes
they never do. One study revealed that near
ly tw o-thirds o f wom en who lived with a
stepparent had left home before age 19 . . . ,
c o m p a red to 50% o f w om en from in tact
make profound changes in their thinking,
their attitudes, th eir behavior, their m or
als. Som ething m ore th a n high-sounding
talk and pop psychology is needed if people
are to be m otivated to make such sweeping
changes. T hat som ething m ore is found in
G ods Word, the Bible. After all, it is G od
himself who instituted the family arrange
ment. (Ephesians 3:14, 15) He knows better
than anyone else what children need.
Bible Principles Help Families to Cope
But can the Bible really help children who
have an absentee parent? Are they not dam
aged beyond repair? No, they are not. At the
beginning of this article, we quoted a U.S.
governm ent report th at itemized many of
the risks these children face. Dire words not
w ithstanding, the re p o rt concluded: D e
spite co n sisten t evidence of g reater risk, Conducting a regular hom e Bible study
the research also shows th at the m ajority with ones children is an essential way to help
o f children in single parent families develop them grow up to be balanced, m ature adults.
normally. Yes, the consequences of being fa (Deuteronomy 6:6-9) Among Jehovahs Wit
therless can be eliminated or at least mini nesses many single parents use Bible-based
mized. This is especially so if Bible principles publications specifically developed for young
are applied in child rearing. ones, such as Questions Young People AskAn
This requires hard work on the part of swers That Work* The inform ation therein
a single parenta prospect that may seem helps young ones to develop moral standards
overwhelming at first. But if you are in this that can help them to avoid making their par
ion, you can learn to rely fully on ents mistakes. As children come to know Je
Jehovah G od. (Proverbs 3:1, 2) hovah God, they can begin to perceive that
Some Christian women in Bible they have a heavenly F a th e r w ho deeply
tim es faced grievous situations, cares for them. (Psalm 27:10) This can enable
such as w idow hood. Regarding them to cope with feelings o f abandonment.
such ones the Bible says: T he A British girl who experienced her parents
woman who is actually a widow breakup recalls: Through all of it, M um in
and left destitute has put her hope stilled in me the need for prayer and com
in God and persists in supplica plete reliance on Jehovah. T hat enabled us to
tions and prayers night and day. cope.
(1 Timothy 5:5) Rem ember that
Jehovah calls him self a father of Maintaining the Parent-Child Bond
fatherless boys. (Psalm 68:5) You The Bible makes it clear that a child m ust
can be assured that he will sup h o n o r b o th his m o th e r and his fa th e r.
port a God-fearing woman in her * Published by the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of
efforts to raise her children. New York, Inc.

Awake! February 8, 2000


(E xodus 20:12) A nd divorce does not anxious care, but do so with someone oth
break the father-child bond. Though the ex- er than your children perhaps a tru sted
husband may no longer live at home, the chil friend. (Proverbs 12:25) Try to m aintain a
dren can still benefit from having a warm re positive attitude and avoid dwelling on the
lationship with him * The problem is that the past. (Ecclesiastes 7:10) D oing so can do
m other may feel angry toward him and re much to help mitigate your anger.
sent his involvement with the children. How Finally, rem em ber th a t the Bible c o m
can the m other cope with these feelings? mands a child to respect his fathereven if
The Bible gives good advice when it cau his fathers conduct has been less than adm i
tions: Take care that rage does not allure rable. (Ephesians 6:2, 3) So try to help your
you into spiteful [actions] . . . Be on your children to put their fathers shortcomings in
guard th at you do not turn to what is hurt perspective. One young woman who grew up
ful. (Job 36:18-21) G ranted, its not easy to in a broken home says: By viewing my fa
speak kindly of someone who has hurt or ther objectivelyas a fallible, im perfect hu
abandoned you. But ask yourself: Can a girl m anIve finally come to terms with him.
learn to trust a man if she is constantly told By encouraging your children to resp e c t
how bad her father is? Can a boy develop a th eir fath er, you help them to develop a
stable, manly personality if he is chastised by healthy view of your parental authority!
being told, Youre just like your father? Can It is also im portant that you not blur the
children have a healthy view of authority if boundaries between you and your children.
they are taught to despise their father or are They are still under the law of their m other.
discouraged from seeing him at all? Clear (Proverbs 1:8) Sons can feel overburdened
ly, underm ining your childrens relationship if they are expected to be the m an of the
with their father is damaging. house. D a u g h te rs can likew ise be o v er
It might surprise you to know that the Bi whelmed by having to serve as their m others
ble does not condemn righteous indignation. confidante. Children need to be assured that
Be w rathful, says the Bible, and yet do you the parent will care for them not vice
not sin. (Ephesians 4:26) Being angry is not versa. (Com pare 2 C orinthians 12:14.) Such
the sin, but being controlled by wrath, an assurance can make them feel secure, even
ger, badness, abusive sp eech is. (Colos- though their family situation is not ideal.
sians 3:8) So avoid father basl
ing in front of your childrer
If you feel the need to expres
your frustrations, follow the B
bles suggestion to share you
* This would not apply when a child
is in danger of being physically or sex
ually abused by a father.

C hristian m en can o fte n


rescue th e fa th e rle s s boy
by ta k in g a s in c e re a n d
h e a lth y In te re s t In him

10
Surrogate Fathers Nowadays, many children have fathers in
W hat if the father is entirely out of the the house and yet can still be called father
picture? Experts say that children can ben less. C laim s one ex pert in fam ily issues:
efit from having m ale association. W hile The biggest problem facing . . . children to
the kindly interest th at an uncle or a neigh day is a lack of time with and attention from
bor takes in a child can do some good, he their parents. G ods Word addresses this is
will p articu la rly benefit from the w hole sue head-on. It comm ands fathers regarding
some male association th at exists within the their children: Give them the instruction,
Christian congregation. Jesus promised that and the correction, which belong to a Chris
the congregation would be like a supportive tian upbringing. (Ephesians 6:4, New English
family.M ark 10:29, 30. Bible; Proverbs 24:27) W hen fathers follow
In Bible times young Timothy grew up to the Bibles advice, children have no fear of be
be an outstanding m an of God, w ithout the ing abandoned.
support of a believing father. The Bible gives Is it realistic to believe, though, that peo
m uch o f the cre d it for this to his loving ple will turn to the Bible on a large scale?
m other and grandm other. (Acts 16:1; 2 Tim Hardly. (M atthew 7:14) But Jehovahs Wit
othy 1:1-5) However, he also benefited from nesses have helped millions to find happi
association with a C hristian m anthe apos ness in their family life through a program
tle Paul. Paul called Timothy his beloved of home Bible study* O f course, the Bible
and faithful child in the Lord. (1 C orin warns that all m arried couples will suffer
thians 4:17) Similarly today, Jehovahs Wit tribulation in their flesh because of im per
nesses are encouraged to heed the Bibles fection. (1 C orinthians 7:28) But those who
counsel to look after orphans and widows. truly respect G ods Word seek to work out
(James 1:27) They are urged to rescue fa their problems, not to divorce at the first sign
therless boys by taking a sincere, balanced of trouble. Admittedly, there are times when
interest in such ones. (Job 29:12) A young a Christian may appropriately consider sepa
woman named A nnette recalls the healthy ration or even divorce. (M atthew 5:32) How
interest a C hristian elder took in her when ever, knowing the possible im pact this could
she was young, saying: He was the only real have on his or her children will move a Chris
father figure I ever had. tian to seek ways to salvage the marriage if at
all possible.
Breaking the Cycle
Follow ing th e Bible will do m ore th an
These principles can help fatherless chil
save your family now. It can make it possi
dren to succeed. In spite of their disadvan
ble for all of you to live forever! Jesus said:
taged childhoods, they can become balanced,
This means everlasting life, their taking in
productive adults as well as loving, faithful,
knowledge of you, the only true God, and of
and com m itted parents. Even so, prevention
the one whom you sent forth, Jesus Christ.
is far better than any cure. And ultimately,
(John 17:3) Reading and applying the coun
the cycle of fatherless families can be broken
sel found in G ods Word is one of the best
only when men and women make a com m it
ways to make sure that your family will re
m ent to apply the Bible in their livesfor
main intact forever.
example, by adhering to the Bibles prohibi
tion on sex before marriage and by following * The book The Secret of Family Happiness (published by
the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of New York, Inc.)
the standards the Bible sets for husbands and has much Bible-based advice that can help families. It can be
wives. 1 Corinthians 6:9; Ephesians 5:21-33. obtained by contacting Jehovahs Witnesses locally.

Awake! February 8, 2000 11


C R O S S W O R D P U Z Z L E

Clues Across assigned this lowly position 9. Name given an army officer
1. Expression often used by [3 words] (Joshua 9:27) in charge of a hundred men
Jesus to impress on hear Clues Down (Luke 7:6, K in g J a m e s Ver
ers the accuracy of his state sio n )
1. Designation given the disci
ments [5 words] (Matthew ples whom Jesus personally 14. Ezekiel said that the ex
5:18) selected [2 words] (Matthew panse over the heads of
7. One of 11 swift and coura 10:2-4) the living creatures sparkled
geous mighty men of the 2. Jesus told his disciples that like this (Ezekiel 1:22)
tribe of Gad who joined Da they should not be called 15. A fluid found in plants
vid in the wilderness this (Matthew 23:10) (Job 8:16)
(1 Chronicles 12:12)
3. The land where Paul wrote 18. One of the territories com
8. The mother of Joab, Abish- the book of Hebrews prising the domain of Phil
ai, and Asahel, valiant fight (Hebrews 13:24) ip, the son of Herod the
ers for David (2 Samuel Great (Luke 3:1)
2:18) 4. Job said that he barely
10. To place full confidence in escaped death by the skin 20. A son of Gilead and great-
of these (Job 19:20) grandson of Manasseh
someone (Psalm 37:5) (Joshua 17:2)
11. Tall (Matthew 4:8) 5. Of less age (1 Timothy 5:1,2)
6. Place in ancient times where 23. State of being free from dis
12. One must endure until this turbance (Job 21:9)
to be saved (Mark 13:13) grain was separated from
the stalk and the chaff 24. In Josephs dream, his alone
13. One of Hamans ten sons, [2 words] (Ruth 3:3) stood erect (Genesis 37:7)
killed by the Jews (Esther
9:9)
15. A spirit creature of this type
touched Isaiahs lips with a
glowing coal so that Isaiah
could fulfill his prophetic as
signment (See Isaiah 6:6,7.)
16. Herods man in charge
(Luke 8:3)
17. A position of responsibility
(1 Timothy 3:1)
19. One of four rivers branch
ing out from the river issu
ing out of Eden (Genesis 2:
10, 11)
21. A liquid measure (Exodus
29:40)
22. Paul pointed out that a little
leaven will ferment all of
this (Galatians 5:9)
24. One of Noahs three sons
(Genesis 9:18)
25. The prophet Samuels
father (1 Samuel 1:19,20)
26. Many decisive battles were
fought around this strategic
city overlooking the Jezreel
Valley (Judges 5:19)
27. The Gibeonites were

12 Awake! February 8, 2000


Try a Pair of the
"Q u ick O nes !
BY AWAKE! CORRESPONDENT IN TAIW AN

ROM the look o f sheer delight on her In these days o f mass pro

F face, it is obvious that the little girl is duction, m any re s ta u ra n ts


enjoying her meal. In her left hand provide p rep ack ag ed ch o p -
is a bowl piled to the brim w ith rice, smallsticks th a t are still jo ined at
pieces of vegetables, and fish. In her right the upper end. The diner m ust i
hand is a pair o f thin bam boo sticks. W ork pull them apart before they can
ing the sticks w ith her tiny fingers, the girl be used. Because they are for one- Jr
picks out her favorite m orsels and places time use only, such chopsticks are
them neatly in her m outh. Som etimes she m ade o f p lain w ood o r b am b o o .
takes the bowl up to her lips and, with a few Chopsticks used at m ore expensive
quick strokes o f the sticks, scoops the rice establishm ents or in the hom e are of
right into her m outh. It all looks so natural, ten q u ite b e a u tifu l, m ade o f p o lish e d
easy, and neat. bam boo, lacquered wood, plastic, stainless
W hat the little girl has in her hand are, steel, or perhaps even silver or ivory. They
of course, the fabled chopsticks. In Chinese may also be inscribed w ith poetry or deco
they are called k uai tzu (Pinyin, kuaizi), rated with a painting.
w hich m eans q u ick o n e s. T he English
word chopsticks is said to have come from How to Use Chopsticks
the pidgin term chop, m eaning quick. At M any visitors to O riental countries such
any rate, they are found in ju st about every as China and Japan are fascinated when they
household in Southeast Asia. Perhaps you see a small child o f perhaps ju st two years of
have tried to use them while dining in a age eating with a pair o f seemingly oversized
Chinese restaurant. But do you know where chopsticks. In no tim e at all, the contents o f
the idea o f chopsticks cam e from? O r how the bowl are transferred piece by piece to
and when they were first used? And would the childs m outh. It really looks easy.
you like to know how to use them correctly? Would you like to try using a pair o f the
The Quick Ones quick ones? At first you may find it awk
Chopsticks are slender sticks about eight ward to get the chopsticks to move in the
to ten inches long. The u pper half o f the way you w ant them to, b u t w ith a little prac
stick is often squared. This makes it eas tice, it becom es easy and the chopsticks be
ier to grasp and prevents it from rolling come like an extension o f your hand.
around on the table. The lower half is usu C hopsticks are held in one hand only,
ally rounded. O ften, Japanese chopsticks usually the right hand. (See the illustrations
are shorter and end in m ore o f a point than on page 15.) First, cup your hand, w ith your
Chinese ones. thum b apart from your fingers. Place one

Awake! February 8, 2000 13


table. Now, keeping the bottom chopstick
stationary, move the top one by flexing your
A Little Chopstick History
index and middle fingers up and down. Prac
tice until you can bring the tips of the chop
S o m e C h in e se s c h o la rs b e lie v e th a t th e sticks together easily. You are now ready
firs t chopsticks were used, not fo r eating, but to use these versatile im plem ents to pick
fo r c o o k in g . S m a ll p ie c e s o f raw fo o d w ere up any o f the delicious morsels served in a
w ra p p e d in leaves, and s tic k s w ere used to Chinese m ealfrom a single grain o f rice to
tra n s fe r h e a te d p e b b le s in to th e w ra p p in g .
In th is way food could be cooked w itho ut th e
a quails egg! Chopsticks and Chinese food
co o k g e ttin g b u rn e d ! Late r in history, ch o p go well together because the food is usually
s tic k s w ere used to rem ove p ie c e s o f fo o d cut into bite-size pieces.
from th e cooking pot. W hat about dishes in which a chicken, a
Early chopsticks were likely m ade of perish duck, or a pork rum p is served whole, w ith
a b le w ood or b a m b o o .* T h a t is one reason out being cut up into small pieces? U sual
why it is n e a rly im p o s s ib le to s ta te w ith a c
ly the m eat is cooked to such a degree that
c u ra c y ju s t w h e n th e y w e re fir s t used.
Som e believe th a t c h o p s tic k s w ere used in chopsticks can easily be used to separate
China as e arly as th e S h ang d ynasty (about a bite-size portion. Chopsticks are ideal for
the 16th to th e 11th century B.C.E.). A histor fish, which is often served whole; you can
ical docum ent from ju s t a fte r Confucius tim e avoid bones w ith a facility not so easily
(551-479 B.C.E.) spoke o f pinching food from achieved with a knife and fork.
soup, indicating th a t chopsticks o f som e so rt
W hat about eating rice? If the occasion
were used.
is in fo rm a l, you m ay pick u p th e rice
A p p a re n tly by th e e a rly Han d y n a s ty
(2 0 6 B.C.E. to 2 2 0 C.E.), e a tin g w ith c h o p bowl with your left hand, take it up to your
s tic k s had b e c o m e a c o m m o n p ra c tic e . A m outh, and scoop the rice into your m outh
grave of th a t period was excavated in Chang with the chopsticks. At a m ore form al meal,
sha, Hunan Province, in which was found a set however, you would pick up the rice with
of lacquered e a tin g utensils, inclu d in g chop the chopsticks, a small am ount at a time.
sticks.
W hat about soup, which is always a com
The J a p a n e s e , th e K o re a n s , th e V ie t
n a m e se , a n d o th e rs in th e O rie n t a lso use
p o n e n t o f a C h in ese m eal? A p o rc e la in
chopsticks, and th is is largely because of the spoon is usually provided. But if the soup
influence o f Chinese culture. contains noodles or dum plings or pieces
of vegetable, meat, or fish, try using your
* In ancient Chinese both characters for k uai tzu
(quick ones) were written with the bam boo radical, sug
chopsticks in your right hand to pick up the
gesting the m aterial with which chopsticks were initial food and the spoon in your left hand to help
ly m ade. transport it to your m outh.
Etiquette and Chopsticks
chopstick in between your thum b and fin When you are invited to a Chinese home
gers, resting it against the base o f your index for a m eal, it is h e lp fu l to be aw are o f
finger and the tip of your ring finger. Then Chinese table m anners, or etiquette. First,
place the second chopstick parallel with the several dishes are placed in the center of the
first, and hold it with your thum b and index table. Wait until the host or the head o f the
and middle fingers, as you would a pencil. family picks up his chopsticks and m otions
G et the ends even by tapping them on the for all to start. T hat is the proper m om ent

14 Awake! February 8, 2000


for the guests to acknowledge the invitation, host or the head o f the fam ily who brings
pick up their chopsticks, and proceed. the meal to a close by rising and inviting all
U nlike som e W estern-style m eals, the to leave the table.
dishes are no t p a sse d a ro u n d th e table. Now th at you know how to use them , all
Rather, all at the table help themselves. In a you need to do is get some chopsticks and
family meal, it is custom ary for each m em practice with them. The next tim e someone
ber to use his or her own pair o f chopsticks invites you to a C hinese restau ran t or to
to take pieces from the com m on dishes and their hom e for a C hinese meal, why not try
put them right into the m outh. Even so, it is a pair of the quick ones? It may even make
considered bad m anners to slurp your food, the food taste better!
lick the ends o f your chopsticks, or pick
through the dishes for your favorite piece.
M others in the O rient instruct their chil
dren not to bite the ends o f their chopsticks,
not only because they are concerned about
hygiene but also because it spoils the ap
pearance of the chopsticks.
O ut o f co n sid eratio n for guests, som e
tim es serving spoons or additional c h o p
sticks are provided. These are used to take
pieces from the center dishes to another
dish or to your rice bowl. Still, do not be of
fended if your host uses his chopsticks to
P ra c tic e
pick out a choice m orsel and place it right m akes p e rfe c t
into your bowl. A fter all, he wants to make
sure th at his honored guest gets the best
piece!
It is considered bad m anners
to p o in t w ith ch o p stick s, ju s t
as it is with knives and forks. It
is equally bad m anners to pick
up something else while you still
have y o u r c h o p stic k s in y o u r
hand. So when you need to use
the serving spoon or to pick up
a napkin or a teacup, first put
down your chopsticks. Small, a t
tractive chopstick stands are of
ten provided for this purpose.
W hen you finish eating, p u t
your chopsticks down neatly, sit
back, and wait. It is bad m anners
to leave the table before every
one finishes. Once again, it is the
TS total length is said to be ten times that of the G reat Wall of

I China. Some say that if its sections were placed end to end,
it would reach 14,000 milesor halfway around the earth!
Some even call it the eighth wonder of the world. Nevertheless,
many people have never heard of this awesome sight
ordillera
ftordi]
in the Philippines. W hat is it? The stairway to the Centr;
ntral
sky, the rice terraces of the Cordillera Central.
Tucked away in the heights of Luzon, the terraces
are an amazing display of beauty and ingenuity.
Why were they built? The precipitous m oun
tains of the Cordilleras are so steep that they
could normally not be used for farming. The
incline of some slopes exceeds 50 percent.
But ancient farmers were not deterred by this. At
an elevation of 4,000 feet or more, they carved /
thousands of terraces into the sides of the verdant mountains.
Sometimes 25, 30, or more are stacked like a stairway reaching
skyward. And each terrace is a cultivated pond field, lined with
earthen dikes and retained with stone walls. M ost are planted
with rice and follow the contour of the mountains; some slopes
are concave, others convex.
O f course, agricultural terraces are hardly unique to the Phil
ippines. Terraced fields are found in other countries too, partic
ularly in Southeast Asia, South America, and some parts of Af
rica. But in many ways the rice terraces of the Philippines are
unique. M ario Movillon, of the International Rice Research In
stitute, told Awake!:The Philippine rice terraces are on a much
larger scale than terraces in other countries. They cover a big
part of the mountains of the Cordillera. A large proportion are
in Ifugao Province. One cannot help but be impressed by the
sheer num ber of terraces. They add a sculptured beauty to the
natural flow of the mountains. y
A Wonder of the World?
Is it an exaggeration to call them the eighth wonder of the
world? Well, consider this fact: They may be the largest single
Saving the Terraces D e s p ite th e s e ctio n s o f th e te rra c e s w h e n w h o le m o u n ta in
p re s e n t b e a u ty o f th e te rra c e s , th e ir co n tin u e d sid e s cam e tu m b lin g dow n.
e xiste n ce is th re a te n e d . M a n y o f th e you n g e r S te p s a re b e in g ta k e n , th o u g h , to fo re s ta ll
g e n e ra tio n o f m o u n ta in in h a b ita n ts are shying th e d is a p p e a ra n c e o f th e te rra c e s . An e x e c
aw ay fro m p la n tin g rice a n d are lo o kin g fo r em u tiv e o rd e r w a s is s u e d in 1 9 9 6 to c re a te
p lo y m e n t in o th e r a re a s . T h is c o u ld c re a te a th e Ifugao Terraces C om m ission. Its ta s k ? The
s h o rta g e o f s k ille d fa rm e rs to m a in ta in th e te r m a in te n a n ce o f th e te rra ce s, in c lu d in g th e s u p
races. p o rtin g w a te r system and th e a re a s c u ltu re , as
A u rora A m m ayao, a n a tive o f Ifugao asso ci w ell as th e re s to ra tio n o f any da m a g e d areas.
a te d w ith th e In te rn a tio n a l R ice R esearch In T h e in c lu s io n o f th e te r r a c e s in th e
s t it u t e , to ld Awake! o f a n o th e r d a n g e r: W orld H eritage L ist o f th e U nited N atio ns Edu
T h e te rra c e s s h o u ld a lw a ys be k e p t w et, b u t c a tio n a l, S c ie n tific , a n d C u ltu ra l O rg a n iz a tio n
now th e re is a w a te r s h o rta g e as a re s u lt (UNESCO) fu rth e r c o m m its th e P h ilip p in e
o f d e fo r e s ta tio n . T h e d ry in g u p g o v e rn m e n t to p re s e rv in g th e site .
o f th e w a te rsh e d w o u ld m ean And a cco rd in g to Jean Tuason,
th e d e s tru c tio n o f th e te r- d e p u ty e x e c u tiv e d ir e c to r
races. a t U N E S C O s M a n ila o f-
H iS a k fice, UNESCO m ay a lso
N a tu ra l d is a s te rs oc- p ro v id e te c h n ic a l a n d
c a s io n a lly c a u se prob- p P j L fin a n c ia l a s s is ta n c e
le m s to o . In 1 9 9 0 1 * ^ & > -&! fo r th e p ro tection and
a n e a r th q u a k e d e - c o n s e rv a tio n o f th e
s tro y e d a n u m b e r o f .J iM B M B iB W rice te rra c e s .

agricultural project in hu- \ J* get water to seep in, sing


m an history. In D ecem ing as they go. Others are
ber 1995, th e U n ited Na- ^ planting rice, transplanting
tions Educational, Scientific, seedlings, or harvesting their
and C ultural O rganization de crop. If you visit when new rice
cided to include the Ifugao rice ter is coming up, the terraces make a
races in its World Heritage List. As a re beautiful mosaic of varying hues o f green.
sult, the terraces are now equated with other Wet varieties of rice cannot survive w ithout
sites o f great historical and cultural value, such
large amounts of water. So an intricate irriga
as the Taj M ahal in India, the Galapagos Islands
tion system is in place. M ountain streams are
of Ecuador, the G reat Wall of China, and Ang
tapped, and water is sluiced to the terraces by a
kor Wat of Cambodia. But unlike other ancient
complex system of canals and bam boo tubes.
construction projects, the terraces were evident
Driven by gravity, a reliable supply of water is
ly built by com m unity effortnot slave labor.
Also, they are not an abandoned site but are still distributed from terrace to terrace. Far from be
actively cultivated by the Ifugao. ing a dead monument, the terraces truly are a
If you visit the terraces, you can personally living wonder!
experience their breathtaking beauty. You will Who Built Them?
see people working in the terraces, which range It goes w ithout saying that these thousands of
from a few square feet to 100,000 square feet. terraces could not have been built overnight, or
Some workers are poking the soil with sticks to even in a few years. Remember, this construc
ts Awake! February 8, 2000
tion was done w ithout any modern tools or m ountain slope, the terraces are in the shape
machinery. It is therefore believed that the of a huge am phitheater. They paint an in
terrace building began, at the very least, sev teresting pattern o f lines, one level on top
eral hundred years ago. of another, like a stairway to the sky. As we
Some archaeologists even believe that the approach the village, we see the old-style Ifu
work began as far back as 2,000 years ago. gao houses, which dot the village like giant
Anthropologists suggest that the builders mi grass-covered m ushroom s.
grated from northern Indochina or from In T he p e o p le are frie n d ly and extend
donesia and settled in Luzon, bringing with a greeting to us as we pass them working
them their wet-rice terracing culture. After in the terraces. You may be am azed as you
the terraces were built, newer levels were add watch the local people walk agilely along the
ed gradually. edge o f a rock terrace wall, using it as their
How to Enjoy Them path to get from point to point. O thers climb
Let us now take an im aginary tour of the from level to level with the surefootedness of
terraces. First we take an air-conditioned bus a m ountain goat, using strategically placed
from M anila to the town of Banaue, Ifugao. rocks as their stairway. A closer look reveals
The trip takes about nine hours. Now we are that they are barefoot. A nd all around them
faced with a num ber of options. We might is this spectacular view of m ountain terraces
decide to walk, take a tricycle (a motorcycle a rare instance where m ans building work
with a sidecar), or ride in a jeepney to vari fits into and com plem ents the environment.
ous points of interest. And if we have the will D oes it sound interesting? Then, by all
and the stam ina, we might want to take one means, if you visit the Philippines, do not
of the trails that go into m ountain areas that pass up the opportunity to see the stairway
are accessible only on foot. These offer some to the sky, a living wonder th at you will not
of the m ost spectacular views of the terraces easily forget.
and give one a better feel for the vastness of
CROSSWORD SOLUTIONS
this man-made wonder.
We opt to take a jeepney to the village of T R U L Y I S A Y T O Y O U
Batad. It takes us m ore than an hour of rid W E T E O T
ing on the rough m ountain road to reach the E L Z A B A D Z E R U I Ai H
seven-mile point. From here on, we hike on L D L C T N R
a footpath. It takes us through a variety of V R E L Y E H I G H E
m ountain vegetation as we gradually climb E R E N D E S
up to a ridge betw een two higher points. A R I S A I T S E R A P H
(There is a shorter route, but it is very steep P C H U Z A I
and is not recom m ended for those not used R P IS H O N
O F F I C 1
to strenuous climbing.) From the ridge we
S T H I N H G
slowly descend to Batad on a narrow trail. *r-.
T L U M P O S H E M F
After having walked for a couple of hours,
L R E N H M L
enjoying the fresh m ountain air along the
E L K A N A H M E G I D D O
way, we finally reach our destination. Here
the terraces p resen t a feast for o u r eyes. S E C A D O
Since Batad is located against a concave D R A W E R S O F W A T E R

Awake! February 8, 2000 19


THE B I B L E S V I E W P O I N T

Lying
-I s It Ever Justified?
A LITTLE INACCURACY SOMETIMES SAVES TONS OF EXPLANATION.

HIS com m ent illus Is this true? A re there


T tra te s how m any
people feel about lying.
occasions w hen C h ris
tians may be justified in
T h eir rationale is th a t telling a lie?
lying is not wrong if it The Bibles
does not harm anyone. Exalted Standard
Such reasoning even has T h e Bible ro u n d ly
an academ ic nam esit co n d em n s all so rts o f
u a tio n e th ic s, w hich lying. [God] will d e
says th a t the only law stroy those speaking a
you n eed to follow is lie, declares the psalm
the so-called law o f love. ist. (Psalm 5:6; see Rev
In other words, explains elation 22:15.) At Prov
author Diane Komp, if erbs 6:16-19, the Bible
your m otivation is right lists seven things that Je
and your heart is right hovah detests. A false
(then the) fact that you tongue and a false wit
lied . . . is no big deal. ness that launches forth
A nanias and Sapphira lo st th e ir lives
Such a v ie w p o in t is because o f lying lies are prom inently in
c o m m o n in to d a y s cluded in this list. Why?
w o rld . S c a n d a ls in v o lv in g lies to ld by B ecause Je h o v ah h a te s the h a rm false
p ro m in e n t p o litic ia n s an d o th e r w orld hood causes. T hat is one reason why Jesus
leaders have rocked society. Influenced called Satan a liar and a manslayer. His lies
by this clim ate, m any people have relaxed plunged hum anity into misery and death.
th eir com m itm ent to telling the tru th . In Genesis 3:4,5; John 8:44; Romans 5:12.
some dom ains lying has even becom e of Just how seriously Jehovah views lying is
ficial policy. Im paid to lie. I win sales highlighted by what happened to Ananias
contests and get rave annual reviews if I and Sapphira. These two deliberately lied to
lie. . . . This seems to be the core of re the apostles in an apparent attem pt to ap
tail sales training everyw here, com plains pear more generous than they really were.
one salesclerk. M any believe th a t there is Their action was deliberate and prem editat
no real harm in so-called little w hite lies. ed. The apostle Peter thus declared: You

20 Awake! February 8, 2000


have played false, not to men, but to G od. doves. (M atthew 10:16; John 15:19) Jesus
F or th is, they b o th died a t G o d s hand. did not always disclose the full tru th , espe
Acts 5:1-10. cially when revealing all the facts could have
Years later the apostle Paul admonished brought unnecessary harm to him self or his
Christians: Do not be lying to one another. disciples. Still, even at such times, he did not
(Colossians 3:9) This exhortation is particu lie. Instead, he chose either to say nothing or
larly vital in the C hristian congregation. Je to divert the conversation in another direc
sus said that principled love would be the tion.M atthew 15:1 -6; 21:23-27; John 7:3-10.
identifying m ark of his true followers. (John Faithful m en and wom en m entioned in
13:34,35) Such unhypocritical love can only the Bible, such as Abraham , Isaac, Rahab,
grow and flourish in an environm ent of com and David, were likewise shrewd and cau
plete honesty and trust. It is difficult to love tious when dealing w ith potential enemies.
someone if we cannot be confident that he (Genesis 20:11-13; 26:9; Joshua 2:1-6; 1 Sam
will always tell us the truth. uel 21:10-14) The Bible classifies such men
While all lying is reprehensible, some lies and wom en as faithful w orshipers whose
are more serious than others. For example, lives were characterized by obedience. That
one person may lie out o f em barrassm ent or makes them worthy o f im itation. Romans
fear. A nother may wickedly make a practice 15:4; Hebrews 11:8-10,20, 31, 32-39.
of lying with the intent to harm or injure. There may be tim es when lying seeming
Because of his malicious m otivation, such a ly provides an easy way out. But Christians
willful liar is a danger to others and would today do well to im itate Jesus course and
be disfellowshipped from the congregation follow their Bible-trained conscience when
if he does not repent. Since not all lies are in facing particularly difficult situations. He
spired by maliciousness, care m ust be tak brews 5:14.
en not to condem n unnecessarily but to be The Bible encourages us to be truth fu l
sure one knows all the factors involved when and honest. Lying is wrong, and we should
someone has told a lie. Motives and exten follow the Bible counsel: Speak tru th each
uating circum stances should be taken into one of you w ith his neighbor. (Ephesians 4:
consideration.James 2:13. 25) By doing so, we will keep a clean con
science, prom ote peace and love in the con
Cautious as Serpents gregation, and continue to honor the G od
O f course, being tru th fu l does not m ean of tru th . Psalm 31:5; Hebrews 13:18.
that we are obligated to divulge all inform a
tion to anyone who asks it of us. D o not
give what is holy to dogs, neither throw your
IN O U R N E X T I S S U E
pearls before swine, th at they may n e v e r. . .
turn around and rip you open, warned Je Suicide Who Are Most at Risk?
sus, at M atthew 7:6. For example, individu
A Bright Outlook
als with wicked intent may have no right to
Despite Infirmities
know certain things. C hristians understand
that they are living in a hostile world. Thus, Russians Treasure
Jesus advised his disciples to be cautious Freedom of Worship
as serpents while rem aining innocent as

Awake! February 8, 2000 21


The year was 1347. The plague had already ravaged the Far East.
Now it had arrived at the door of Europes eastern outskirts.

H E Mongols were besieging the for more than the disease itself. A num ber of

S tified Genoese trading post of Kaffa, factors worked to exacerbate this disaster,
now called Feodosiya, in the Crimea. Deci
one of them being religious fervor. The doc
mated by the mysterious disease themselves, trine of purgatory is one example. By the
the Mongols called off their attack. But be end of the 13th century, purgatory was every
fore withdrawing, they made a deadly parting w here, says French h isto rian Jacques le
shot. Using giant catapults, they hurled the Goff. Early in the 14th century, D ante pro
still-warm bodies of plague victims over the duced his influential work The Divine Come
city walls. W hen a few of the Genoese de dy, with its graphic descriptions of hell and
fenders later boarded their galleys to escape purgatory. A religious clim ate thus devel
the now plague-ridden town, they spread the oped where people were inclined to meet the
disease to every port they visited. plague with surprising apathy and resigna
W ithin m onths the whole of Europe was tion, viewing it as a punishm ent from G od
rid d led w ith d eath . R apidly it spread to himself. As we will see, such a pessimistic
N orth Africa, Italy, Spain, England, France, mind-set actually fueled the spread of the
A ustria, H ungary, Sw itzerland, G erm any, disease. Nothing could have provided more
Scandinavia, and the Baltics. In a little over promising material on which a plague might
two years, more than a fourth of the popula feed, notes the book The Black Death, by
tion of Europe, some 25 million souls, fell vic Philip Ziegler.
tim to what has been called the most brutal Then, too, there was the problem of repeat
demographic catastrophe hum anity has ever ed crop failures in Europe. As a result, the
knownthe Black Death.* continents burgeoning population was mal
Setting the Stage for Disaster nourishedill-equipped to resist illness.
The tragedy of the Black D eath involved The Plague Spreads
* People of that time called it the great pestilence or the According to the personal physician of
epidemic. Pope C lem ent VI, G uy de C hauliac, two

Awake! February 8, 2000


ty p es o f plague had invaded E urope: Lucky charms, images of Christ, and phy
pneumonic and bubonic. He graphically de lacteries were also popular antidotes. Oth
scribed these ailm ents, writing: The first ers turned to superstition, magic, and pseu
lasted two m onths, with continuous fever do medicine for cures. Perfum es, vinegar,
and spitting o f blood, and from this one and special potions were said to ward off the
died in three days. The second lasted for the disease. Bloodletting was another favorite
rest of the period, also with continuous fe
ver but with apostum es [abscesses] and car
buncles on the external parts, principally on
the arm pits and groin. From this one died in en and women gave
five days. Doctors were helpless to halt the
plagues progress.
all they had to the church,
M any people fled in panic- leaving thou hoping that God would
sands o f in fected ones behind. Indeed,
among the first to flee were wealthy noble shield them from illness
men and professionals. Although some cler
ics likewise fled, many religious orders hid
in their abbeys, hoping to escape contam ina
tion. rem edy. T he lea rn ed m edical faculty of
the University of Paris even attributed the
In the midst of this panic, the pope de
plague to the alignment of planets! Bogus ex
clared 1350 to be a Holy Year. Pilgrims who
planations and cures, however, did nothing
made the trip to Rome would be granted
direct access to paradise without having to to halt the progress of this killer plague
pass through purgatory! Hundreds of thou Lasting Effects
sands of pilgrims heeded the callspreading Within five years the Black D eath final
the plague as they traveled. ly seemed to have run its course. But be
Vain Efforts fore the end of the century, it would recur at
Efforts to control the Black D eath were in least four times. The aftereffects of the Black
vain because no one really knew how it was D eath have thus been com pared to those
transmitted. M ost realized that contact with of World War I. There is virtually no dis
a suffereror even with his clothingwas agreement amongst modern historians that
dangerous. Some even feared an afflicted the advent of endemic plague had profound
ones stare! The residents of Florence, Italy, consequences for both the economy and for
however, blamed the plague on its cats and society after 1348, notes the 1996 book The
dogs. They slaughtered these animals, little Black Death in England. The plague wiped out
realizing that in doing so, they were giving a large portion of the population, and cen
free rein to a creature actually involved in turies passed before some areas recovered.
spreading the contam inationthe rat. With a diminished work force, the price of la
As deaths m ounted, some turned to God bor naturally rose. Once-wealthy landowners
for help. Men and women gave all they had went broke, and the feudal systema hall
to the church, hoping that G od would shield mark of the Middle Agescollapsed in ruin.
them from illnessor at least reward them The plague was, therefore, an im petus for
with heavenly life if they died. This put enor political, religious, and social change Prior
m ous w ealth in the hands of the church. to the plague, French was comm only spoken

Awake! February 8, 2000 23


The Sect of the Flagellants
V ie w in g th e p la g u e as a p u n is h m e n t fro m Flagellation was one o f th e few o u tle ts open
G od, s o m e s o u g h t to a b a te G o d s a n g e r to a fear-ridden population, notes th e book Me
th ro u g h se lf-in flic te d w h ip p in g , o r fla g e lla tio n . dieval Heresy. Flagellants were also prom inent
The B ro th e rh o o d o f th e F la g e lla n ts , a m ove in denouncing th e hierarchy o f th e church and
m e n t said to n u m b e r up to 8 0 0 ,0 0 0 , reached in u nderm ining th e c h u rch s lucrative practice
its p eak o f p o p u la rity d u rin g th e B lack Death. o f granting absolution. Little wonder, then, th a t
The s e c ts rules fo rb a d e spe a kin g w ith wom en, in 1 3 4 9 th e pope condem ned th e sect. In th e
w ash ing, o r ch a n g in g c lo th in g . Public fla g e lla end, though, th e m ovem ent w aned on its own
tio n was practiced tw ice a day. a fte r th e Black Death passed.

among the educated class in England. The on art, death becoming a comm on artistic
death o f num erous French teachers, how theme. The fam ous danse m acabre genre,
ever, helped the English language to gain as commonly representing skeletons and corps
cendancy over French in Britain. Changes es, became a popular allegory o f the power of
also came in the religious sphere. As French death. Unsure of the future, many survivors
historian Jacqueline Brossollet notes, b e of the plague threw all restraint to the wind.
cause of the shortage of candidates for the Thus morals sank to shocking depths. As for
priesthood, the Church too often recruited the church, because of its failure to prevent
ignorant, apathetic individuals. Brossollet the Black D eath, medieval m an felt th at
asserts that the decadence of [church] cen his Church had let him down. ( Black
ters of learning and faith was one of the caus Death) Some historians also say that the so
es of the Reformation. cial changes that followed in the wake o f the
The Black D eath certainly left its mark Black D eath fostered individualism and en-

24 Awake! February 8, 2000


terprise and increased social and econom years later another Frenchm an, Paul-Louis
ic mobilitythe precursors of capital Simond, discovered the role of the flea
ism. (carried by rodents) in transm itting
The Black D eath also spurred the disease. A vaccine was soon
governm ents to establish sys developed th at enjoyed limited
tem s o f san itary co n tro l. Af success.
ter the plague subsided, Ven Is the plague a thing of the
ice took m easures to clean up past? Hardly. In the winter of
its city streets. King John II of 1910, some 50,000 people died
France, called the G ood, like from the plague in M anchuria.
wise ordered street cleaning as And each year the World Health
a m eans o f c o u n te rin g the O rg a n iz a tio n reg iste rs th o u
th reat o f an epidem ic. The king sands of new casesthe num ber
took this step after learning of continues to rise. New strains of
an an cien t G reek d o c to r who A lexan d re Yersin the disease have also been dis
had saved Athens from a plague is o la te d th e bacillu s coveredstrains th at are resis
by cleaning and w ashing the causing th e p lag u e ta n t to tre a tm e n t. Yes, unless
C ulver P ictu res
streets. M any medieval streets, basic hygienic standards are ad
which had been open sewers, were finally hered to, the plague rem ains a threat to m an
cleaned up. kind. The book Pourquoi la peste? Le rat, la
puce et le bubon (Why the Plague? The Rat,
A Thing of the Past? the Flea, and the Bubo), edited by Jacque
It was not until 1894, though, that French line Brossollet and Henri M ollaret, thus con
bacteriologist Alexandre Yersin isolated the cludes that far from being a disease of old
bacillus responsible for the Black Death. It Europe in the Middle A ges,. . . sad to say, the
was nam ed Yersinia pestis after him. Four plague is perhaps a disease of the future.

Awake! February 8, 2000 25


Q uetzal
The
Resplendent
Bird

BY AWAKE! CORRESPONDENT IN
Costa Rica
OSTA RICA c o v e rs le s s

C th a n 0 .0 3 p e rc e n t o f
th e e a rth s s u rfa c e , yet it
is h om e to 8 7 5 registered
s p e c ie s o f b ird s . A c c o rd in g to o n e
s o u rc e , th a t is m o re th a n th e n u m
be r fo u n d in C anada a n d th e U nite d
S ta te s c o m b in e d . It is, th e re fo re , n o t
s u rp ris in g th a t Costa Rica has becom e
a p rin c ip a l d e s tin a tio n fo r b ird -w a tch in g
e n th u s ia s ts . L e t us s h a re w ith you o u r
jo u rn e y to view one o f th e s e birds, th e re
s p le n d e n t q uetzal.
In th e e a rly 1 5 0 0 s, th e S p a n ish c o n q u is ta
d o r H e rn a n C o rte s a rriv e d in M e xico . T h e re , as
a g ift fro m th e Aztecs, he re ce ive d a h e a d d re ss o f
quetzal fe a th e rs. Only Aztec royalty had th e privilege o f
w e a rin g such h ighly e ste e m e d a d o rn m e n ts . The ja d e -
g re e n p lu m e s o f th e q u e tz a l m ay have be e n c o n s id
ered m ore v a lu a b le th a n gold.
Today th is e x tra o rd in a rily b e a u tifu l bird cla im s as its
h a b ita t a v a s t te rrito ry fro m M e x ico to P a n a m a. The
quetzal can be fo u n d in cloud fo re s ts a t a ltitu d e s o f be
tw e e n 4 ,0 0 0 a n d 1 0 ,0 0 0 fe e t. The c lo u d s in th e fo r
e sts are th e p ro d u c t o f ris in g w arm a ir co o lin g quickly.
26 Awake! February 8, 2000
The re s u lts a re y e a r-ro u n d lu s h U pon re tu rn in g to th e re s e rv e cro sse d its p a th . The fe m a le s its
v e g e ta tio n in v e rd a n t to n e s a n d o ffice , w e h e a r a n o th e r q u e tz a l. ju s t above us, g iv in g us a s c o ld in g
m assive tre e s th a t reach one h u n G lid in g g ra c e fu lly an d tra ile d by look fo r in tru d in g .
dred fe e t o r m ore in to th e fog. its green stre a m e rs , it lands on a W e a re a ls o to ld th a t a n o th e r
A b o u t 1 0 0 m ile s n o rth o f S an lim b n o t m o re th a n 1 6 fe e t fro m f r u it th e y e n jo y is th e b la c k b e r
Jose is th e S a nta Elena Forest Re w here we are s ittin g ! The guide in ry, w h ic h g ro w s on th o rn y b u s h
servea good lo ca tio n to o b se rve fo rm s us th a t a c h ic k has d is a p es. As th e q u e tz a ls s w o o p d ow n
th e quetzal in its n a tu ra l e n v iro n peared fro m its nest. The fa th e r is to g ra b th e fru it, th e y s o m e tim e s
m ent. W ith th e h elp o f a g uide, we g o in g fro m tre e to tre e in s e a rc h get th e ir s tre a m e rs c a u g h t in th e
begin our q u e s t to s ig h t a re s p le n o f its o ffsp rin g . We learn th a t only th o rn s a n d lo s e th e m . E v e n tu a l
d e n t quetzal. B e cau se o f its ja d e a b o u t 2 5 p e rc e n t o f eggs su rvive ly, th o u g h , th e ir ta il fe a th e rs grow
like coloring, th e bird is d iffic u lt to to m a tu rity . T h e re s t a re lo s t to back.
su ch p re d a to rs as s q u irre ls , e m
see, a s it b le n d s in to th e fo re s ts In th is way th e bird can live up
e ra ld to u c a n e ts , b ro w n ja y s ,
foliage. O ur gu id e b egins to m im to its n a m e . Q u e tz a l is ta k e n
w e a s e ls , a n d ta y ra s . A n o th e r
ic its so ft, m e llo w call. The so u n d fro m th e A z te c w o rd quetzaUi,"
ch a lle n g e to th e q u e tz a ls s u rv iv
is s im ila r to a w h im p e rin g pup. In m e a n in g p re c io u s o r b e a u ti
al in v o lv e s th e lo c a tio n o f th e ir
fa c t, upo n h e a rin g th e q u e tz a ls fu l. U n fo rtu n a te ly, its beauty has
n e s ts , w h ic h a re w o o d p e c k e r
re s p o n s e , o n e w o m a n in o u r p o s e d a t h r e a t to th e q u e tz a ls
like holes th a t q u etzals m ake be
group a c tu a lly th in k s th a t th e re is su rv iva l. In fa c t, th e quetzal is list
tw e e n 1 0 a nd 6 0 fe e t above th e
a dog lo s t in th e fo re s t! ed a s an e n d a n g e re d s p e c ie s .
g ro u n d in o ld d e c a y in g tre e
Soon, so m e 5 0 fe e t up, a m a le tru n k s . W hen heavy rain fa lls , th e They have b e e n h u n te d fo r th e ir
shyly co m e s o u t on a b ranch to in holes can flood or collapse. s k in s , w h ic h h a v e b e e n s o ld as
ve s tig a te . Throu gh b in o c u la rs its sou ve n irs. S om e o f th e birds have
We also learn th a t th e q u e tz a ls
ra d ia n t c o lo rs a p p e a r even m o re been ca p tu re d a live to be sold as
fa v o rite food is th e w ild avocado.
s p e c ta c u la r th a n w e h a d im a g p e ts . H o w e v e r, a c c o rd in g to
It w ill s it on a lim b eyeing an avo
ined. Its b re a s t is a d e e p crim so n - o u r guide, th e quetzal now enjoys
cado th a t dangles from th e branch
red, c o n tra s tin g w ith its ja d e lik e s o m e le g a l p ro te c tio n fro m such
o f a ne ig h b o rin g tree. Then, w ith a
fe a th e rs . A d d in g to its s tu n n in g flu rry o f bea tin g w ings, it w ill zero p lu n d e rin g .
s p le n d o r a re its w h ite ta il fe a th in on its target, grab th e fru it w ith Yet a n o th e r th re a t to its su rv iv
ers, w hich c o n tra s t w ith its tw o ir its m o u th , and return to its roost. al is d e fo re s ta tio n , w h ic h re s u lts
id e s c e n t g re e n o n e s . K n o w n as It s w a llo w s th e f r u it w h o le a n d in loss o f h a b ita t. For th e p ro te c
s tre a m e rs , th e y m e a s u re s o m e som e 2 0 to 3 0 m inutes later regur tio n o f th is re s p le n d e n t bird and
2 4 in c h e s in le n g th . To s e e th e g ita te s th e avocados large seed. o th e r w ild life , a b o u t 27 p e rc e n t o f
quetzal s ittin g high on a lim b w ith In th e ir s e a rc h fo r w ild a v o c a C osta Rica has been s e t a side as
its lo n g s tre a m e rs flo w in g g e n tly d o s, q u e tz a ls w ill m ig ra te to d if prese rve d areas.
in th e breeze is a s ig h t o f tra n q u il fe re n t s lo p e s o f th e C o n tin e n ta l O ur jo u rn e y to view th e quetzal
beauty. D ivide. For e x a m p le, fro m July to h a s tr u ly b e e n re w a rd in g . T ru e ,
A q u e tz a l s ig h tin g is a u n iq u e S e p te m b e r, th e y are a t h o m e on you c a n s e e th e h e a d d r e s s o f
e x p e rie n c e . In fa c t, o u r g u id e th e Pacific slope. Then in O ctober q u e tz a l fe a th e rs given to H ernan
m e n tio n e d t h a t it o fte n ta k e s th e y m ove to th e C a rib b e a n s id e C o rte s in th e B ritis h M u s e u m in
m o re th a n o n e t r ip in to th e f o r to fe e d on a n e w c ro p o f a v o c a London. B u t q u etzal fe a th e rs are
e s t to se e o n e . T h e b e s t tim e to dos. fa r m o re in te re s tin g w h e n s e e n
o b s e rv e q u e tz a ls is d u rin g th e ir As w e c ro s s a s u s p e n d e d on a livin g bird in th e w ild ! For th e
n e s tin g se a so n , w h ich ru n s fro m b rid g e a b o u t 1 0 0 fe e t above th e tim e being, a t least, w ild q u e tza ls
M a rc h to J u n e . D u rin g th is tim e fo re s t floor, a quetzal a lm o s t flie s c o n tin u e to e n jo y fre e d o m a n d
they m ay have tw o b ro o d s o f tw o into us! It se e m s th a t th is bird w as re la tive s a fe ty in th e cloud fo re s ts
eggs each. in p u r s u it o f its lu n c h w h e n w e o f C entral A m erica.
Awake! February 8, 2000 27
W A T C H I N G THE W O R L D
More Mummies Discovered bonic plague respectively. Lep will satisfy most peoples water
Archaeologists in Egypt rosy is still a problem in Congo, needs.
have announced the discovery Ethiopia, Mozambique, Niger,
and Nigeria. All of this, add Napping on the Job
of at least 200 mummies, some
of them with golden masks, in a ed to the fact that malaria is Some Canadian businesses
huge cemetery in the Western rampant throughout much of are waking up to the benefits of
Desert, says a BBC News dis the continent, is causing serious napping on the job, says the To
patch. The burial area is near concern because, as Cameron ronto Star newspaper. Employ
a desert oasis and within the remarked, borders are no bar ers have introduced alertness
city of Bawiti, some 185 miles rier against disease. recovery rooms for night-shift
southwest of Cairo. According workers. The rooms are dim
Most Vital Substance to Life
to Egypts Middle East News ly lit, cool, quiet and equipped
Agency, the cemetery may con with alarm clocks, couches or
tain over 10,000 mummies. It reclining chairs, says the Star.
has been renamed Valley of But old perceptions die hard.
the Mummies. The six-mile- Companies that provide nap
long cemetery dates back 2,000 ping areas dont tend to broad
years, to the early Graeco- cast it. Mary Perugini, a sleep
Roman era. Some of the mum clinician at Royal Ottawa Hos
mies excavated so far were cov pitals Sleep Disorders Centre,
ered in linen or coated with states: Were working more
plaster, and a number wore hours, our stress levels are high
golden masks with magnif Water is the most vital sub er and we keep taking on more.
icent designs of ancient Egyp stance to life, because the body Being able to devote 20 minutes
tian divinities on their chests, is mostly fluid, reports the To a day to sleep would be benefi
says antiquities director Zahi ronto Star newspaper. Even a cial. It would definitely increase
Hawass. 20-per cent drop in body wa productivity (and) keep stress
ter can be fatal. Water not levels down.
Pestilences Plague Africa only regulates our body tem
A ttem pts by the World perature but also carries nu Threat From Shrinking Glaciers
Health Organization to have trients and waste products to The worlds largest body of
polio completely eradicated and from the organs through ice outside the polar regions
in Africa by the end of the the bloodstream and body sys will disappear within 40 years
year have been thwarted, re tems. It also lubricates the if the current rate of melting
ports the Cape Times. The war joints and colon, helping pre continues, reports The Sunday
in Angola has resulted in po vent constipation. An aver Telegraph of London. A com
lio reaching epidemic propor age adult requires two to three bination of rising global tem
tions in that country. Accord quarts of water daily. Drink peratures and the relatively
ing to Neil Cameron, director ing coffee, pop, or alcohol may low latitude of the Himalayas
of communicable disease con actually increase the need for threatens the regions 15,000
trol at South Africas Depart pure water because they can glaciers. The Gangotri glacier,
ment of Health, it could be contribute to dehydration. Ac which is one of the sources of
another ten years before polio cording to one dietitian, thirst the Ganges River, has shrunk
is eradicated in Angola. In ad should not serve as a reminder by almost one third of its length
dition, Angolas neighbors, Na to take in water because by the in the past 50 years. Syed Has-
mibia and the Democratic Re time you feel parched, you are nain, a scientist who monitors
public of Congo, are trying to likely already dehydrated. The the glaciers, warns that if the
cope with outbreaks of Ebola- paper states that drinking a current rate continues, rivers
like hemorrhagic fever and bu glass every hour during the day such as the Ganges, the Indus

28 Awake! February 8, 2000


and the Brahmaputra, which re The UNESCO Courier. These study found that those who
ceive about 70 to 80 per cent tourists are expected to spend snatched a few days away were
of their water from snow and over two trillion U.S. dollars, 17% more likely to have a heart
glacial melt, will dry up. The making tourism the worlds attack and 12% more likely to
result would be an ecological leading industry. So far, Eu have a car crash than those
disaster, he warns. Meantime, rope has been the most popular who took a week or more off,
the risk of serious flooding destination. France is the most the paper said. My message is
grows. When glaciers shrink, visited country, with 70 million not that short breaks are inher
lakes are formed that are sur visitors in 1998. However, by ently dangerous, but that peo
rounded by fragile walls of ice, the year 2020, China is expect ple should take care and pre
boulders, and sand. As melting pare properly, said Dr. Pasini,
ed to take first place. Interna quoted in the London Daily Tele
continues, the walls burst, sendtional travel, though, remains
ing devastating floods to the val graph. People now take shorter
the prerogative of a privileged and shorter vacations and race
leys below. few. In 1996, only 3.5 percent around trying to pack every
Tobacco Dangers for Children of the worlds population trav thing into a few days, but that is
eled abroad. The WTO fore not a good way to relax. In fact,
The World Health Organiza casts that this figure will reach it is very stressful.
tion (WHO) estimates that the 7 percent by 2020.
health of 50 percent of the Rattlesnake Revenge
worlds children is at risk be Minibreak Hazards?
cause of exposure to tobacco Rattlesnakes can strike you
smoke, reports Londons Guard from beyond the graveand
ian newspaper. Ailments as this bizarre form of posthu
sociated with passive smok mous revenge is surprisingly
ing include asthma and other common, reports New Scientist.
respiratory difficulties, sud Of 34 patients treated for rattle
den infant death syndrome, snake bites in Arizona, U.S.A.,
middle-ear disease, and can over an 11-month period, 5 said
cer. Research also shows that that the snake attacked them af
children of smokers suffer ac ter it had been killed, say two
doctors studying the phenome
ademically and have more be The minibreak, a holiday non. One victim shot a snake,
havioral problems. If both par weekend currently being pro cut off its body below the head,
ents smoke, their children are moted by the European trav waited for it to stop moving,
70 percent more likely to ex el industry as a quick and easy and then picked up the head.
perience health problems, and way to relax away from lifes It lunged and bit him on both
even one smoker in the fami stresses, may actually do more hands. Previous studies have
ly will increase the likelihood harm than good, reports the- shown that a severed rattle
by 30 percent. WHO is urging Guardian newspaper of Lon snake head will try to attack
both health education for par don. According to cardiologist objects waved in front of it for
ents to help them realize the Dr. Walter Pasini, of the World up to an hour after death, the
danger their tobacco habit pos Health Organization, packing, magazine states. Herpetologists
es to the family and a ban on rushing to an airport, and fly believe that this is a reflex ac
smoking in schools and other ing, along with changes in tem tion, triggered by infrared sen
places frequented by children. perature, food, and time zones, sors in the pit organ, a struc
contribute to exhaustion and ture between the nostril and
Triumph of Tourism
are potentially dangerous. The eye that detects body heat.
According to forecasts by the body takes a few days to re Dr. Jeffrey Suchard warns that
World Tourism Organization lax and adjust to a different cli a decapitated rattler should be
(WTO), international tour mate and life-style, and when treated as a very short snake.
ist arrivals will climb from this does not happen, the cir If you really have to touch it,
the present 625 million a year culation and sleep patterns are he said, I suggest you use a
to 1.6 billion in 2020, reports adversely affected. Dr. Pasinis very long stick.

Awake! February 8, 2000 29


F R O M OUR R E A D E R S

Too Short? Im a neurosurgeon, and I no Universe I want to thank you very much
ticed something wrong with a picture that for the series Our UniverseMade for a
appeared in the article Your BrainA Purpose? (June 22, 1999) As an am ateur
Marvel of Intricacy. (May 8, 1999) You astronomer, I loved these articles. The won
showed a cross section of the brain with a derful spectacle that takes place every night
dotted line pointing to the pituitary gland. invites us to reflect on the immense power,
It appears to me that the line is too short knowledge, and love of our Creator.
and that this line is pointing toward the op V V., Spain
tic chiasma.
The articles were easy to understand, even
A. W., Japan
for the nonscientific mind. T hank you for
Oursharp-eyed reader is correct, and we apol helping me to get to know Jehovah better.
ogize for the error.ED. After 58 years of marriage, my wife recently
died. So this enlightening understanding of
Hurricane Mitch Thank you for the stir our Creator couldnt have come at a more ap
ring article Rescue From the Killer propriate time in my life.
Storm! (June 8, 1999) I often receive infor E W., United States
mation via E-mail regarding disasters that
have afflicted our brothers, but I never Women Construction Workers Thank you
know how much of the information is reli so much for the article The Women Have
able. The way the information was present Had a Large Share. (June 22, 1999) About
ed in the article was very encouraging and a year ago, I moved from California to
upbuilding. It served as a sober reminder of Thailand. We recently had the privilege of
the critical times in which we live. constructing our own Kingdom Hall. Like
the women in Zimbabwe, our sisters helped
C. P, United States mix cement, tie steel rods, lay tile, and care
for numerous other construction jobs. With
I realize that many lost all their belong
Jehovahs help we got the work done in
ings in this catastrophe, b u t it was th rill about three months. Thank you for ac
ing to read about our worldwide b rother knowledging the share women have had in
hood going into action, even in the face of the worldwide construction work.
great danger. The picture of the brother in
front of his destroyed home gave me food for R. G., Thailand
thought. W hat right do I have to complain My parents and I had the opportunity to
about things? help at a quickly built Kingdom Hall proj
R.C.N., Brazil ect for the first time. You can imagine how
happy I was when I saw how women all over
Guarana Your article Coffee, Tea, or Gua- the world are contributing to the worldwide
rana? (June 8, 1999) was enlightening. As a construction of branch offices and Kingdom
full-time minister serving along the banks Halls of Jehovahs Witnesses. Construction
of the Amazon River, I work near areas projects like the one in Zimbabwe are prep
where guarana is cultivated. I often see it aration for the work we will do in the new
being prepared. The next time somebody world. If we can enjoy such projects now,
offers me guarana, I know what my answer imagine what it will be like when all mankind
will be. is perfect and united in serving Jehovah!
J.R.S.M., Brazil S.W.S., Brazil

30 Awake! February 8, 2000


The Gap Between
Rich and Poor Is
W I D E N I N G
More progress has been made in reducing
global poverty in the past five decades than in the
previous five centuries, states Today, a pub
lication of the United Nations Development Pro
gramme. Developing countries have halved child
death rates since 1960, reduced malnutrition by one-
third and raised school [enrollment] rates by one-
quarter. Yet, the same source admits that despite
this progress, global poverty remains widespread.
Even worse, inequities within and between soci
eties are growing. Compared to one year ago, says
Catherine Bertini, the UN World Food Programmes
executive director, many more people in the world
are suffering from malnutrition and hunger. In fact,
today some 840 million people in the developing
world live with constant hunger, well over a billion
have no access to water that is safe to drink, and near
ly 1.5 billion people scrape along on less than a dol
lar a day. Mary Robinson, UN High Commissioner
for Human Rights, warns that we are in danger of
reaching a point where the world is divided not be
tween developing and developed states, but between
over-developed and never to be developed [states].
What would it cost todays world community of
six billion people to narrow the gap between the rich
and the poor? Less than one may think. The UN cal
culates that an additional $9 billion ($1.50 per per
son) a year would be required to provide sanitation
and clean water worldwide and that an additional
$13 billion (about $2.00 per person) a year would
be needed to ensure basic health and nutrition for
everyone on earth. Although these are considerable
amounts, they seem to shrink when compared with
what the world spends on other services. To illus
trate, in one recent year, the world spent $435 billion
(over $70 per person) on advertising and $780 bil
lion ($130 per person) on military matters. Clear
ly, narrowing the gap between the worlds haves and
have-nots is not so much a matter of finding sufficient
funds as it is a matter of setting proper priorities.
HAT is w h a t a n 18-year-

T
in g
o ld g irl n a m e d M a ria
fro m th e c ity o f C h e re
p o v e ts s a id r e g a r d
th e b o o k Questions
Young People Ask Answers
That Work. S h e w ro te th e
fo llo w in g to th e b ra n c h o ffic e
o f J e h o v a h s W itn e s s e s n e a r
St. P e te rs b u rg , R u s s ia , s o m e
2 5 0 m ile s fro m C h e re p o v e ts .
T h is p u b lic a tio n h a s h e lp e d
m e to e x a m in e m y s e lf, m y
g o a ls , a n d p e o p le a ro u n d m e.
I fo u n d a n s w e rs to th e q u e s
tio n s th a t c o n c e rn m e m o s t of
a ll. W h ile I w a s r e a d in g th e
b o o k , te a r s o f t h a n k f u ln e s s
ro lle d d o w n m y c h e e k s ."
M a ria a d d e d : It fe lt a s if a
v e il h a d b e e n ta k e n o ff m y
e y e s , w h ic h w e re w id e o p e n
w ith e x c ite m e n t. T h is b o o k is
th e b e s t o n e I h a v e re a d in m y
e n tire life. N o o th e r o n e c o m
p a r e s to it, s in c e it is b a s e d
o n th e B ib le a n d th e a d v ic e o f
J e h o v a h G o d is th e b e s t.

g O O -E 2/8

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