From Our Readers
Disabilities I have been suffering from severe farsightedness since the age of six. I felt jealous of anyone having normal eyesight and almost had a complex about wearing my glasses—they have very thick lenses. The article on special needs (August 22, 1989) helped me to realize that others, like the blind and deaf girl Janice, are able to serve God in spite of having much greater difficulties than mine.
S. J., France
Bullies The “Young People Ask . . ” article on bullies (August 8, 1989) came at the right time! Last year almost the whole class bullied me because they thought I wasn’t “cool.” And they teased me. Sometimes it hurt my feelings so bad that tears would form in my eyes. Since I have a fresh start this new school year, I am going to try some of the suggestions.
Y. P., United States
Safe Food I enjoyed your articles on food preparation (June 22, 1989), but I was concerned about the advice to boil questionable water. It is true that boiling will kill bacteria, but the water in certain areas, such as the rural Midwestern United States, may be severely contaminated with nitrates. Boiling that water and using it for drinking water can be very dangerous, especially for infants. Nitrates are not boiled away, so boiling only increases the concentration of nitrates in the water. Please inform readers to have their water sources checked (where practical) for nitrate contamination before boiling it for drinking.
M. C., United States
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency told “Awake!” that it may indeed be unwise to boil drinking water that has been contaminated with nitrates from fertilizer or sewage. Much would depend upon the degree of contamination involved. In developing lands, it may often be difficult, if not impossible, for readers to have local water sources accurately tested for nitrate content. Nevertheless, boiling questionable drinking water is still a wise precaution in lands where the dangers of bacteriological contamination outweigh those of nitrate pollution.—ED.
Courtship The April 22, 1989, article on courtship left me confused. Even a little holding hands, embracing, or kissing can increase the desire to go farther. A couple should be encouraged to leave out unnecessary touching.
K. R., United States
There is a need for balance in this matter. Previous articles have specifically dealt with the subject of remaining chaste. (See “Awake!” of November 8 and December 8, 1985.) And the article in question likewise cautioned that expressions of endearment should not be done out of selfish passion. However, appropriate displays of affection before marriage are not ruled out in the Scriptures. (Song of Solomon 1:2; 2:6; 8:5) Individuals must therefore make a personal decision on this matter, bearing in mind their own feelings and limitations, the viewpoints of others, and their obligation to remain chaste in God’s eyes.—ED.
Quitting Smoking Thank you for the article “Ten Ways to Stop Smoking.” (July 8, 1989) I am using it to help a person who has long been a smoker and has not been able to stop. I also took some enlarged copies of the article and placed them at my workplace, where many smokers pass. They were impressed with the material, and some are applying what they read.
R. L. B. S., Brazil