Insight on the News
Source of World Disunity?
● Why is the world so disunited in spite of efforts by many apparently sincere and dedicated world leaders? Philippine educator Primo L. Tongko commented on one factor in “PHP” magazine.
He observes that “national anthems and national flags have frequently given rise to a very questionable human motive of extreme or blind love of country, they have tended to make people fanatically nationalistic, so much so that sometimes they have not been ashamed even to say, ‘My country right or wrong.’”
“Nationalistic attitudes” have filled the “pages of history with continuous wars for conquest, colonization, exploitation and oppression,” Tongko notes, “thus giving rise to all kinds of prejudices, suspicions and hatred that now divide the world.”
Then he asks: “Is it not high time that we reverse the course of history from that of division to that of union, by getting rid of or abolishing these practices that have caused the sad state of affairs we now have in our divided and confused world?”
As a result of their Bible training, Jehovah’s Witnesses world wide have long ago done this. Already demonstrating a unique international unity, they decline participation in such nationalistic practices and the hateful conflicts these encourage.
Chimps and Language—Almost Human?
● Since chimpanzees can be taught certain sign communications, have they reached the mental level of a small child on the evolutionary scale? Research recently reported in “Science” magazine indicates not. Six deaf children aged one and a half to four years were watched to see how well they would communicate with their mothers without any prior training in a standard sign language.
Not only did the little ones develop signs of their own to represent objects or actions, but also frequently linked signs together in the equivalent of sentences. The children’s mothers were found to have little influence on this “language.” In fact, the tots “produced many more multisign phrases . . . than did their mothers,” note the researchers.
But what about chimp language feats? “This achievement [of human babies] is cast into bold relief by comparison with the meager linguistic achievements of chimpanzees,” declares the report. “While chimpanzees seem to learn from manual language training, they have never been shown to spontaneously develop a language-like communication system without such training.”
“On the other hand,” the report says, “even under difficult circumstances, the human child reveals a natural inclination to develop a structured communication system.” Why this “natural inclination”? Surely because humans are not the product of evolution, but were created “in God’s image.”—Gen. 1:26, 27.
Children of the “Golden Ghetto”
● A meeting of the American Psychiatric Association considered the emotional problems of children of the rich. One psychiatrist discussed fifteen children of millionaires whom he had treated, describing these children of the “golden ghetto” as “emotional zombies.” The report in the Los Angeles “Times” says that they were generally “defensive, self-centered, mildly depressed, bored, shallow, disinterested in work, short on values, goals or ideals, and operating on the notion that they could spend their way out of all frustrations.”
What causes this poor personality development? “With the majority of these patients,” said the psychiatrist, “the villain is not the money but the parental relationship. These are deprived children; they have no valuing, interested parents. What the family has gained in money it has lost in feelings, and at times even common sense. Some of the most simple sensible child-rearing practices are beyond the parents’ imagination.”
This is why the Bible states that it is not money itself, but the ‘determination to be rich’ and the “love of money” that “is a root of all sorts of injurious things.” Parents who are motivated by this desire above all else often find that they “have stabbed,” not only themselves, but their children “all over with many pains.”—1 Tim. 6:9, 10.