Insight on the News
‘Stabbed with Many Pains’
● “The love of money is a root of all sorts of injurious things,” says the Bible, adding that some who pursue riches “have stabbed themselves all over with many pains.”—1 Tim. 6:10.
An evidence of this comes from the wealthiest county in the state of California. In this county incomes are very high, homes are large and expensive, the natural surroundings beautiful, and the people have every mechanical convenience and recreational activity that money can buy, with much leisure time.
However, this county has the highest divorce rate in the United States; about 90 percent of all real-estate transactions in some areas there are the result of broken marriages. The county has twice as many suicides as the national average. Its alcoholism rate is one of the highest in the nation, and teen-age drinking is a huge problem.
Another evidence that wealth does not buy happiness: there are more psychiatrists and other mental therapists in this county, per capita, than anywhere else in the United States.
Of course, poverty is not conducive to happiness either. So, logically, the Bible writer asked: “Give me neither poverty nor riches.”—Prov. 30:8.
Parental Care Vital
● At a conference of child-care experts in Canada, Dr. John Bowlby, the keynote speaker, stated: “A lot of children are frankly neglected by parents who give them too much freedom and independence.” He noted that such things as children’s camps, day-care centers and baby-sitters only served to put more of a gulf between children and parents. All of this, Bowlby said, produced “conditions unfavorable to family living,” and has had disastrous consequences for many children.
A Chicago study of teen-agers and their families also demonstrated the vital part parental care plays in the development of children. In this study teen-agers were observed over a five-year period, from the age of 12 to 17. At the end, the evidence proved to be “overwhelming” that the 17-year-olds who were friendly, more balanced, effective and valued by others were those whose parents had spent the most time with them.
“Love One Another”
● Historian and author Will Durant, aged 92, summarized what he has learned in a lifetime of studying history by these three simple words: “Love one another.” He observed: “My final lesson of history is the same as that of Jesus,” that “love is the most practical thing in the world.”
In all Western civilization, stated Durant, the person who stands out above all others is Jesus Christ. “He undoubtedly was the most permanent influence on our thoughts,” the historian said. However, he noted that the actions of people in the West “are very seldom Christian.”
Although Durant expressed disappointment at the general lack of love in Christendom, are there no people who make it the guiding force in their lives? There are such people. And they can be identified by the rule Jesus gave: “By this all will know that you are my disciples, if you have love among yourselves.” (John 13:35) They believe what Jesus said nearly 2,000 years ago when he summarized the two greatest commandments: “You must love Jehovah your God with your whole heart and with your whole soul and with your whole mind,” and “you must love your neighbor as yourself.”—Matt. 22:37, 39.
● A Gallup poll taken at the direction of the National Council of Churches in America concluded that some of the results “were ominous for the future of organized religion.”
The poll found that Americans place less importance on religion in their lives than they did in the two previous decades. Those who go to church and those who do not generally find that the churches and synagogues fail to give spiritual direction. The majority agreed that “most churches and synagogues have lost the real spiritual part of religion.”
Gallup said that such results represent “a severe indictment of organized religion.”