Friday, May 13, 2011

Is your one enough?

I read an article in the LA Times about a man in Nigeria who has married 107 women and fathered 185 children. WHAT IN THE WORLD?????

This Nigerian man is also a faith healer and will not allow his wives or children to go to the doctor or use any medicine when they fall ill. He claims the angel Gabriel told him to marry all his wives and that if God can give him all these wives and children He can also take them away when He wants to. Many of them have died of easily curable sicknesses.

Apparently all his wives are content and many of them are fiercly loyal. He has divorced twelve of his wives because of disobedience, and yet he himself is disobedient to the government and Islamic leaders who demand he divorce all but 4 of his wives, which is all the Koran allows. When he was arrested for his disobedience, his wives protested for his relaease and testified in court that he takes care of them well, and they are happy - so the government and church dropped the charges and he was released.

I have heard numerous men complain about managing with just one wife. Of course my husband is very content with me and never says things like that (to my face). How does this faith healer manage to maintain this household of almost 300?? Here are some of the elements of his success:

1) He has a 4-storey, 89-room home taking up a full city block (everyone has their space).

2) He has a large compound surrounding his home, in which his followers live and help run the household. This includes a large number of personal aides that do his every bidding and treat him like a god (lots of servants and blind obedience).

3) He has an intercom system where he can talk into his microphone and speakers on every floor and facing out into the compound and even the street blare out his words, requests, demands, etc. (easy means of communicating so all can hear and no one can claim they didn't know what he wanted them to do - I think I need an intercom in my house).

4) If a wife is disobedient he divorces her and simply finds a new one every week or so (anyone starting to feel like he treats his wives like Kleenex? Use them up, wear them out, make them obey, or get rid of them - whatever works).

I am a believer in "Live and Let Live" and am usually the type of person who thinks that if someone is minding their own business and their life does not break any major laws and they don't try to force me to do what they think I should, then I can mind my own business too.

But I do feel I have to say that I am appalled at the fact that he will not get medical treatment for his wives and children. I feel that God has aided and led many scientists and doctors to develop the medical treatments offered today; to ignore that is like saying you do not want a gift someone has offered you.

As to his numerous wives???: although I do believe in personal revelation I am extrememly skeptical, to say the least, that the Angel Gabriel actually visited him and told him God wanted him to take all these wives. I think that what he is doing is bogus and ridiculous, but if they are happy so be it. I am happy to let God be his judge.

So, what do you think about this man and his life and wives???

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Weelky Awesome Person

I have decided, like a friend of mine, to honor one person a week that I think is or was (death does not disqualify you) an awesome person. My friend has the coolest ideas.

This week I want to honor Milton Hershey (1857 - 1945), the creator of Hershey's milk chocolate.

Now that fact that he created one of my favorite fatties (see previous blog) is enough reason to honor him, but I have a better reason (one with substance). Milton Hershey suceeded at building his chocolate empire after utterly failing as a confectioner, not once, but twice. So Milton I honor you for your PERSEVERANCE.

It all began after years of struggling and failure in school, So his parents decided to apprentice to a printer at the age of 14. This too was a utter failure. He then was able to secure another apprenticeship as a confectioner. After learning this trade that he loved, he decdided to open his own confectioner's shop. He borrowed money from his uncles and set up shop. He struggled in vain to make a profit, and ultimately his business failed.

He thought that maybe he needed a change of scenery, and so he left his home in Pennsylvania and moved to New York. With more borrowed money from his uncles he set up shop again, and struggled and failed again. His parents told him to give up and come home; he could always work on one of his uncle's farms. Milton persisted, though and went to Denver, Colorado where he worked for a time at a large candy factory.

After his Colorado experience, he decided that what he needed to do was specialize in one type of candy so as to maximize his profits. He moved back home and went to see his uncles. They, however, told him they would give him no more money and to give up his dream. Undeterred, Milton convinced a local banker to give him a 90-day loan. He was on his way. He was going to build his caramel empire (that's right I said CARAMEL - not chocolate).

Milton worked hard and specialized in his caramels (which he had learned to make so well while in Colorado - I knew I liked Colorado.) He built a hugely successful business that he later sold in 1900 for $1,000,000 to the American Caramel Co. $1,000,000 back then was a vast fortune! He was set for life and could retire and travel the world. He decided, however, to start a new company and a town along with it: Hershey, Pennsylvania - where he built a giant chocolate company that makes the best chocolates in the USA and maybe the world!

Thanks for persevering Milton - the world is a yummier place because of you!

Cats vs. Dogs

Growing up I had always considred myself a "dog person"; I used to hate cats and take significant pleasure in their discomfort. I have no idea why this was the case other than the fact that they make me sneeze. Maybe it could also be the trauma assosciated with the fact that when I was a baby the kitten we had would sit at the end of my crib and everytime I moved my feet it would scratch them. (This is probably totally unfounded as I have no recollection of this at all and only knew of it because my Mom told me about it. Maybe it was even my sister that was the one getting scratched - can't remember.)

Over time I have come to realize that I am not a dog person at all! My mother is a dog person and as such we always had at least one dog in the family. I thought back on this and realized that even while I was thus fooling myself that I was a dog person (simply because my family had always owned a dog)I never really liked most of the dogs we had. I even detested some of them. Yes Bonnie Bell, I'm talking about you!!!

Over the last year or so I had begun to fool myself again. I began to think I was deep down a cat person.

We have a very nice cat who eats all of our mice and is very useful. He usually keeps to himself and doesn't meow very much and will happily sleep outside and as such I have had little or no trouble with cat allergies. Recently, however, he has started to assert his "rights" a bit more. He will meow louder for food when hungry, he will constantly try to stay inside all day long, and will most annoyingly walk right between my legs when I walk. He has never been taught to be an indoor cat so if I forget he is in the house he usually leaves us a present somewhere. Beginning to irritate!!!

So I get to thinking again. Am I a cat person or a dog person? I have spent time pondering this (since it is such a weighty matter you know). The result? ... wait for it ... I AM NEITHER!

It was an epiphany for me. I realized that for the most part, I dislike animals. Kind of like when I had another epiphany a few years back and realized that for the most part I dislike other people's children. But that's a different story.

So when I see our cat, I smile at him because he eats the mice but am freed of the burden of thinking I have to like him. I think back on the "dog years" and of enduring face-lickings, and not being able to play in the back yard for fear of the silent, squishy, stink-bombs hidden in the grass and I smile because there is nothing that would EVER make me get a dog. And that's okay.

So I say to the world: You don't have to be a dog person or a cat person. You can happily and gratefully be neither. Come join the ranks of the animal tolerators, and know that your home is a slobber-free, poop-free, pet-hair-free zone and breath a deep satisifying breath with me.