October 31, Halloween, is a time of an abundance of Hershey's Chocolate products in the stores, homes, and stomachs of many Americans. It is a reminder to me of my visit to Hershey, Pennsylvania (written about in a previous blog), and the eye-opening (not to mention "mouth-opening") experience it was for me. That is because it was not until that visit that I realized what a truly remarkable human being it was who founded Hershey Chocolates---Milton S. Hershey. He was a man of the Christian faith (a Mennonite) and he demonstrated his Christian love by the way he cared for the employees that worked for him, and his incredible philanthropy. He founded and FUNDED a school for orphaned children that is still in existence. Its mission now has been expanded to cover not only orphaned children, but other at-risk youngsters. In Hershey, you can tour the school, where the students live, study, eat and work, with all of their expenses covered, including their medical care. If they choose to go to college after high school graduation, that cost is also covered. You might wonder how all this is paid for. The answer is that 100 percent of the profits from the sale of Hershey's Products goes to the non-profit Milton Hershey School Trust and the M.S. Hershey Foundation. So when I titled this blog post as "Hershey Wall Builders", I was referring in part to the walls of buildings throughout Hershey, Pennsylvania, that have been built because of the generosity of Milton Hershey. But another reason I called it "Hershey Wall Builders" is because many of us use those Hershey candies (as well as any other candies that come across our paths) to build a wall of fat around our bodies, subconsciously thinking this will insulate us from life's troubles. We may use the temporary high we get from sweets to numb us to what is really going on in our lives that we would rather not face. I first learned of this type of wall when doing a First Place 4 Health Bible study called "Healthy Boundaries" that was based on the book of Nehemiah. Of all the Bible Studies I have ever done, the "Healthy Boundaries" one has been the most insightful to help me understand my own behavior, as well as the behavior of others.
www.WallBuilders.com). There they explain that their name is based on the Old Testament book of Nehemiah that recounts the story of how the nation of Israel rallied together in a grassroots movement to help rebuild the walls of Jerusalem. WallBuilders uses this history lesson to represent allegorically, the call for citizen involvement in rebuilding our nation's foundations. Their number one goal is to educate the nation regarding the Godly foundation of the United States of America. They state their mission as presenting America's forgotten history and heroes with an emphasis on our moral, religious, and constitution heritage.
So this day of "Hershey saturation" is a time for each of us to examine the kind of walls we are building. It is a time to ponder the words of Psalm 11:3 that says "When the foundations are being destroyed, what can the righteous do?" Will the walls we build be a legacy that benefits future generations, or will we only build the kind of wall that isolates and insulates us from the surrounding world? Wishing you miles of BENEFICIAL wall building! Tricia