Monday, October 1, 2012

The Prince

PictureLooking at one of my favorite classics 'The Sound Of Music' for the umpteenth time I again heard baroness Schreider explain to uncle Max how she was planning to 'take care' of  George's seven children by sending them to a boarding school, to which uncle Max replied, Baroness Machiavelli.  This particular time, after promising myself to look up that word many times before, I decided to immediately get on the internet and find out the meaning of the word Machiavelli.

I found out that the word comes from a certain man named Niccolo Machiavelli.  He was born in 1469 and was a man who wore many hats. He was a historian, a diplomat, a philosopher, a playwright, a writer, and many more. He is most famous for his controversial book, The Prince - which was the inspiration behind the derogatory term Machiavellian, and even his nickname "Old Nick" became an English term for the devil - which speaks about how social benefits can and should be achieved through moral corruption. Machiavelli believed that in order to rule, a ruler would have to be willing to act immorally, exercise brute force, deceit, etc. This way a ruler would be both feared and loved, however, since these two rarely went hand in hand, Machiavelli believed that it is better to be feared than to be loved.

The devious plan of the baroness toward both George and his seven children became clear to me and I did not feel bad for her anymore when he finally dumped her.

It can sometimes be very tempting to ascribe to the Machiavelli's philosophy of leadership. It may be easier to lead based on fear than on love but the problem with that is that with fear you only can do so much and only for so long before people revolt. This is clearly seen throughout the history of the world.  Eventually all dictatorships, tyrannies, socialisms, etc. fall because fear cannot rule forever. Eventually people get so used to being afraid that they actually stop fearing fear. And then... revolt.

Over 2000 years ago another Ruler was born who also wore many hats.  His whole philosophy was based on love and love alone. With love He managed to save us, prove to the universe that His government style is just and merciful, and defeat Satan at the same time.  And He did not stoop to the use of immorality, deceit, hate etc. It is not easy to rule with love as the foundation but it sure is the best way, in fact the only way to achieve real and lasting loyalty, relationships, freedom, peace, and joy.  And unlike 'Old Nick' His rule will last forever.  So ignore 'Old Nick' (both of them) and follow 'The True Prince' who loves you and wants a healthy, happy and peaceful relationship with you.

AAH Director

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Tap Out   

A very important and self preserving option that mixed martial artists and grapplers use is called a 'tap out.'  When a fighter is caught in a lock or position that could result in major injury, unconsciousness or even death and he realizes his potential danger on the one hand and the advantage of his opponent on the other, the fighter has two options.  He can stubbornly persist in the fight and reap the imminent consequences or he can choose to tap out of the fight, in which case his opponent releases his grip and the "loser" is set free. 

People associate tapping out with defeat, yielding to the opponent, and being a loser.  However, it can be viewed from a different perspective. 

I once saw a leopard  bring down a large gazelle for dinner. Suddenly he was surrounded by a pack of hungry hyena's who also wanted his dinner.  The leopard had 2 options.  He could try to fight off the pack of hyena's and loose both his life and his dinner or he could choose to walk away - to tap out, and preserve his hunting ability, his life, and the lives of those depending on him.    
No matter who you are, life will sometimes throw some nasty opponents your way.  These could be unfair situations where you know you are innocent, where you know you have done your best and given your all, situations that hurt deeply and bring hot tears to your eyes.  It is in times like these that you, like the mixed martial artist, the grappler and the leopard must look further than the present, and no matter how difficult a pill it is to swallow, you must take stock of your options and act wisely.  You could stand up for your rights and fight to the death or you could choose to tap out, back off and walk away.

It's your call.

AAH Director

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Curious... as in inquisitive or peculiar

The 'Rum Tum Tugger,'  the main character of a poem written by T.S. Elliot and made famous in the Broadway production CATS by Andrew Lloyd Webber is a curious cat constantly longing and craving for the opposite or for something other than what he already had or was offered.  This curious cat seems to be suffering from the 'greener grass on the other side of the fence' syndrome.  And as the poem explains "there isn't any call to shout it, because the curious cat will do as he do do, and there's no doing anything about it."

In so many ways the Rum Tum Tugger is good portrayal of humanity. No matter what we have, we are seldom satisfied. If we have straight hair, we curl it. If it is curly, we relax it. If we are short, we wish we were tall, the tall ones are dying to be short or shorter, and so on. We spend our lives chasing after the wind only to find that even after attaining that precious thing we so desired, it does not make good on its promised satisfaction.  Solomon, the wise preacher, warned us about this enigma.  He said: fame won't satisfy you, money won't, friends & family won't, a job won't... actually nothing will.  Yet, ironically enough, each generation again ups and repeats the same struggle.
The Rum Tum Tugger poem has posed the challenge of elusive satisfaction to us again.  So what can we do? Is this all there is to life? Not at all! There is One Who can break this 'dog [or cat] chasing its tail cycle' -- GOD!  He is the only One big enough to satisfy our every desire, our every craving and our every aspiration in life. With God, the sun will rise in our lives making us curious Rum Tum Tuggers instead of curious Rum Tum Tuggers.

AAH Director

Thursday, July 5, 2012


"Natural impossibilities cannot prevent the work of the Omnipotent One." -- Desire of Ages p. 535

Ship in a bottleA group of over 1 million people... Before them, the red sea, high rugged mountains to the right and left, behind them... the enemy.  Nowhere to run. End of the line. Or is it? 
A man, dead for four days, body already in the far stages of decomposition, the stench is unbearable.  End of the line.  Or is it?

The Antillean Adventist Hospital, November 1, 2010, a flood of filthy fresh and salt water combined burst through its doors causing mass destruction.  The hospital is shut down.  End of the line.  Or is it?
Enter God.

When all looks hopeless, God steps in and does His impossible thing. And when He does, He takes the least likely way out - He cuts a path, gives new life, and provides solutions straight through the impossibility.  The Omnipotent One creates a 'line' at the end of the line and laughs in the face of impossibilities.  The rest is history.  Nothing, and I reiterate, nothing can prevent the work of the Omnipotent One. You can take that to the bank.

AAH Director

Thursday, June 28, 2012

The tragedy of life
The tragedy of life is not that it ends so soon, but that we wait so long to begin it.

There was once a man who walked past a cemetery and remarked to his friend what a terrible place the cemetery was. His friend nodded, "Yes, it's a pity lives were cut short like that."
"No," the first man replied. "Even though it is a pity that the lives were ended, the real pity is that so many of these lives were full of untapped potential. The cemetery is a resting place for the world's untapped potential."

It really is a tragedy, that so many people spend their whole lives either wishing for things to happen or complaining about their lot in life. Instead of actually going out there and making life happen, they are wasting their lives wishing or hoping for life to be lived to its fullest. The secret lies in making life happen by reaching for our goals and living out our dreams.  This will only happen when we get up and use whatever abilities we do have, find the abilities we don't, and live a full life where it seemed impossible to live one.  We only get one shot at life.  So get up!  Cheat the cemetery out of your untapped potential. 


AAH Director