So here’s a new record for you. Tran
Van Hay of Vietnam’s Southern Kien Giang province is hoping to have
his name entered as a Guinness World Record holder for having the
longest head hair – are you ready for it – 6.2 meters – 20 feet
–beating the current record holder by over a metre.
Whow! How do you get hair
that long? My oldest
son’s being growing his for about two years now and it’s not even
half a metre. To catch up
Van Hay he’d need to aim at some 30 years.
Just think of the saving on hair dressers bills – though a
guess you use a fair amount of shampoo on 6.2 metres of hair.
Maybe that’s why, according to the Vietnamese newspaper,
Thanh Nien, he’s not washed it for six years.
Roy Adams might have something to say about that.
He wrote an editorial in the Adventist
Review recently asking people to get their personal hygiene
problems under control. Perhaps
showering a bit more often. Or
washing hands after visiting the “little room”.
He made some valid points, though he did seem to push a little
much on the amount of washing and showering we need – without too
much thought perhaps for the very many people across this planet who
are grateful for any water they can get hold of.
In contrast, there is a school of thought that believes
children in the west are so over-protected from dirt and bacteria that
they never develop the natural immunity they need.
Yes, we do want to prevent disease – but as I read the
article – and I know,
you expected some flak on this – I wondered how much the editorial
was conditioned by the affluent society of
Jump back 50 years and you might have been talking about a bath
once a week, not a shower once or twice a day.
Jump back 50 years before that and the length between baths
might have been a lot longer.
We do seem to be living in a world where we are constantly being
bombarded with advice – or controlled by increasing amounts of
legislation. How much
should the “nanny state” control the choices I make, the way I
treat my children, or, as I grow older, the way my children treat me.
Mind you, the nanny state does seem to be having an effect on one major
advertiser this week. There
is an increasingly vociferous debate going on over the advertising of
children’s food – particularly in the light of increasing obesity
problems and the direct link to the amount of junk food being eaten.
Thus, for instance, there has been criticism that McDonalds, the experts
in fast and fatty junk-food, should be seen as sponsors of the Euro
2004 football tournament. Why
should they be sponsoring sport? It
doesn’t seem consistent. There
are a lot of other firms I could mention, but McDonalds came
particularly to mind as they have reacted to these kind of accusations
so that, at least in
there are now salads and a few healthy options
mixed in among the burgers, chips and coke.
they’ve taken it one step further as they start to positively
promote a “healthy lifestyle. That
means, according to the Independent
Newspaper, that they
will actively promote four messages to children and parents: keep fit,
eat five portions of fruit and vegetables a day, drink plenty of
fluids and "not to have too many treats".
Taylor, the chief executive and chairman of McDonald's
stated, "It seems to us that this is a responsible step for us to
adopt. This is not peripheral activity.
peripheral will be tested, I guess, by the proportion of healthy items
that become available at their restaurants.
guess 6 metres of hair is a lifestyle choice – a personal decision
that will not affect my life or, too much, the lives of those around
me. My son is proud of a
T-shirt that displays the message, “You laugh at me because I am
different. I pity you
because you are the same.” I
think free choice is important. I
think the ability to be able to make the right choices is crucial.
And that’s not just in the areas of hair length, dress code,
or social lifestyle, but also in those more weighty matters of life,
health, death, and eternity. I
may resist a “nanny state” infringing on the edges of my life –
however well intentioned – but I’ve come to appreciate the guiding
principles the Bible offers – maybe summed up best by the three-fold
love affair of Luke 10:27 (NIV)
“Love the Lord your God with all your heart
and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your
mind'; and, 'Love your neighbour as yourself.”