From Our Readers
We must protest in the strongest possible terms at the misleading representation of a Gypsy on the cover and inside of your August 22, 1986, issue. The media-generated stereotype of the Gypsy with the crystal ball, beads, and bandanna is a far cry from what we are actually like. Members of your faith died with us in Hitler’s Germany; it is all the more to be wondered at, then, that you would have so little regard for our dignity and sensibilities.
S. C., Romani Union, United States
We did not intend to offend the sensitivities of Gypsies, who are, in fact, not even mentioned in our articles on “The Mystery Behind the Occult.” What we were illustrating is fortune-telling with the use of the crystal ball, something readily identified with the occult the world over. While some Gypsies used to specialize in fortune-telling, this occupation is by no means limited to Gypsies. Further, though Gypsies may have made great use of the beads and the bandanna, many people of other cultures and ethnic backgrounds also use this form of dress. Fortune-tellers often use such a costume though they have no Gypsy origins or connections. Please see our article “Gypsies—Are They Misunderstood?” (May 22, 1986) for more information.—ED.
Why Not Cheat?
How timely and much needed was the information in your article “Young People Ask . . . Cheat—Why Not?” (June 8, 1986) Our son, who is now 11, has been raised on Bible principles since he was 2. But much to our dismay, one school morning we received a phone call from his teacher informing us that our son had been cheating in class. What failures as Christian parents we both felt. What more could we say to impress upon him the seriousness of what he had done? My heart nearly skipped a beat when my husband handed me the June 8 Awake! from the day’s mail. Here in the “Young People Ask . . ” article was exactly what we needed to help our young son! As parents, how appreciative we are for the help we receive from such articles. We pray that the days ahead will prove that this information not only reached our young son’s mind but reached his heart as well.
P. W., United States
Giving Up Smoking
As a smoker who for more than ten years consumed 20 cigarettes per day, I read with great interest your issue “Hooked! Will the World Kick the Habit?” (April 8, 1986) I have tried just about everything to overcome this bad habit but without success. Now I feel I must and can quit, for it is very important for me to do what is pleasing to Jehovah. Thank you for your help.
H. F. D., Brazil
Thank you for your most recent article on smoking, entitled “Why People Smoke, Why They Shouldn’t.” (July 22, 1986) Not only will it benefit those trying to quit smoking, but it is a great help to those of us who have quit, to keep us on the right track. Actually, the anxiety of quitting is much worse than quitting cold turkey. I tried getting away from cigarettes by using little cigars, then a prescription to use in my mouth to make tobacco so distasteful I wouldn’t care to smoke. Nothing worked, because I was toying around with the tobacco in my mouth. It was my heart that had to be reached. It meant putting on “the new personality.”—Colossians 3:10.
L. C., United States