Insight on the News
Since WW II—150 Wars!
● According to a recent report in “Esquire” magazine, in the 33 years since the end of World War II, there have been about 150 additional wars, large and small, that have taken an estimated 25 million lives. Moreover, researchers from the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute say that ‘on any given day, there is an average of 12 wars going on somewhere in the world.’
“Esquire” also notes that “as one Hungarian professor computed it, ‘there were no more than twenty-six days [since WW II] . . . in which there was no war somewhere in the world.’” The article is accompanied by a list, year by year, of the 150 wars and their death tolls. “We can count on war—every day, every year,” it concludes. “War is here to stay.”
Certainly this record of war and bloodshed fits the apostle John’s prophetic vision of a fiery-colored horse and its rider who would “take peace away from the earth so that they should slaughter one another.” This unprecedented period began with the first world war in 1914, and, as noted above, is continuing to the present time. It is one of the major evidences that Jesus said would mark the “conclusion of the system of things.”—Rev. 6:4; Matt. 24:3-14.
Loyalty—from Mouth or Heart?
● “Loyalty to the Nation: Not in Mere Words,” is the headline of a column appearing in the Lagos, Nigeria, “Daily Times.” In it the writer, Abel Emiko, comments on the case of two students expelled from school for failure, on religious grounds, to recite the pledge of loyalty to the nation. Emiko notes that “the rationale behind the requirement of the loyalty pledge is to inculcate in the youths of this country, early enough the instinct of loyalty to the fatherland.”
However, he asks: “Is there any assurance that the mere recitation of words will actually inculcate a sense of loyalty in the youths? . . . Words uttered under coercion are proofs of loyalty to nothing. Love of country and loyalty to the nation must spring from willing hearts and free minds . . .
“We have no evidence before us now to prove that the Commissioner for Education who ordered the latest expulsion of the two students . . . is more loyal to this nation than the students expelled.
“Any spark of love for this country, which may be generated in a child or his associates by forcing him to make what is to him an empty gesture and recite words barren of meaning wrung from him, contrary to his religious beliefs, is overshadowed by the desirability of preserving freedom of conscience to the full.”
● “I boasted that I could store food in an open container for a whole week and keep it safely out of the reach of house ants,” says O. A. Battista, president of the American Institute of Chemists. However, the ants “put me to shame,” he writes in “Science Digest.” Battista had placed some chocolate candy on top of a tall stool that was standing in the middle of a large wooden tub of water. Around the tub, he painted a wide band of slow-drying glue. But when he returned six days later to check his “ant trap,” “ants were swarming over the bait!” How did they do it?
Well, the ants had made a bridge across the glue with their own (sacrificed) bodies. After reaching the water, he relates, “they had assembled tiny shreds of grass and slivers of wood no longer than a thirty-second of an inch [.8 millimeter], and had glued them together with saliva until their bridge” reached the stool’s leg. Not only that, but some ants were walking across the ceiling and, “when they came directly over the bait, they let themselves fall squarely into the middle of their merry brethren.”
After citing several other amazing feats, Battista marvels at the ants’ “instinctive wisdom.” This is also noted in the Bible, where ants are listed among creatures that are “instinctively wise.” Surely this instinctive wisdom reflects the work of an all-wise Creator, rather than the vagaries of time and chance.—Prov. 30:3, 24, 25.