Friday, August 29, 2014

The Miracles of Nature

Miracles abound all around us and capture our imagination. Take a little baby, for instance. What could be more miraculous! Everything about it fills us with awe and amazement.

So helpless, yet it runs our life. So tiny, yet the volume of its voice cannot be ignored. So innocent, yet it never fails to get our attention.

How does Nature pull this off? How can Nature turn a young couple — free and unencumbered — into adoring slaves of this tiny creature? Suddenly, overnight!

It does not only happen among humans; it happens among animals too. We used to refer to it as the mother-instinct. But there’s more to it.

Researchers have finally discovered Nature’s secret, revealing again Nature’s infinite wisdom.  The enigma is veiled in the baby’s little head. That little head exudes a delicate, hardly noticeable odor. When parents nestle the baby’s head against their shoulder, close enough for the nose to absorb the fine scent, they will be caught like a fish on a hook. A deep, deep attachment to the tiny creature starts to envelop them.  Irresistibly, they fall in love with the baby and become devoted guardians.

What wisdom of Nature to prepare parents for the immense task that lies ahead—to protect the little one, to care for it and make life-long sacrifices for their child.

Researchers have found that siblings of the baby, no matter how young, are also affected by the baby’s scent, just as their parents or caregivers are. If they are given a chance often enough to hold their little brother or sister, they will love it and devotedly look out for it. As a result, instead of strife, envy and competition among them, there'll be more harmony and affection. It's a most worthwhile thing a parent can do, let siblings carefully nestle the baby.

Until next time,


Saturday, August 2, 2014


Give me liberty, or give me death — brazen words boldly spoken. Freedom is part of our culture. It is part and parcel of our democracy. We take freedom for granted.

By freedom we mean personal freedom, the right to live as we please as long as we don’t harm others, national freedom implying freedom from foreign control, and political freedom, the right to vote and to be involved in the political process.

Three hundred years ago Voltaire expressed a similar sentiment: I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it. In modern parlance: “You may disapprove of what I say, but I will defend to the death my right to say it.”

We have fought wars to “make the world safe for democracy.” World War I and II are good examples. The First World War and the Versailles Treaty created a restless, disenfranchised people, with dire consequences, while WW II and the Marshall Plan were a resounding success, probably the greatest the world has ever seen.

Freedom is a luxury. We consider Freedom an essential criterion for political success, though those in power may argue that a staff of clever spin-doctors can achieve more. Historians, however, assure us that most of the world believes that Power, not Freedom, is key.

In a totalitarian government where power rules, the people are spared the obligation of making informed decisions, and are usually excluded from the political process. Democracy appears daunting to them, imposing upon the individual the weighty responsibility of self-government.

An effective democracy, however, requires a leader who is guided by a moral compass — such persons do exist, but can and will they be elected? History has shown that all great democracies of the past have declined when an ill-educated and disenfranchised population created the right environment for leaders with lust for power and greed to rise.

Freedom does not imply “free for the asking,” such as free medical care, free legal advice and free housing. A shocking 46,000,000 American families are presently receiving food stamps.

Not surprisingly, most of the world’s nations are currently ruled by powerful governments. Look at China and Russia, at India and the Middle East. Look at most of the nations on the African continent. Is it because the essential criterion for a successful Democracy calls for a well-educated people willing to fight for their freedom and their culture? Or is it the irresistible allure of power?

As Ronald Reagan put it, Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We can’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected and handed on for them to do the same.

Until next time,