Doctor Love

The Island Newspaper, Ambergris Caye, Belize            Vol. 10, No. 17            April 27, 2000

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Dr. Love is the island's and possibly the world's greatest authority on just about everything. The Doctor answers questions concerning any subject except religion or politics. Persons needing additional assistance or counseling should contact the Family Services Division at 02-77451.         

    You may write to the Doctor at P.O. Box 35, San Pedro Town, Belize, fax  026-2905 or e-mail at

Dr. Love,       

    I am going to graduate soon and cannot make up my mind if I should stay in San Pedro or not. I do not care to be rich but I would like to have a chance to open my own business and work hard to make some money so I can get married and have children. When I talk to business people all I hear them say is how much money they pay in taxes and that they are always having to donate money to help make things better on the island so we can make sure we get tourists to come. It seems that even if I could make some money here I would feel bad if I did not give it to help build a hospital or something that is needed on the island. I helped in the bucket brigade during the fire that almost destroyed the town and it seems that if the town cannot afford to even buy a fire truck that I might be better off moving somewhere else if I want to make some money. I don't really want to leave Belize but I don't want to spend the rest of my life scratching like my parents. What do you think I should do?   

/s/ Torn        

Dear Torn,

    There's some good news and there's some bad news. The good news is that the Doctor is getting a raise. The bad news is that it does not matter where you go, you will still have to scratch for a living. The illusion of moving somewhere like the U.S. and getting a good, easy job is exactly that; an illusion. As a matter of fact, most Belizeans who move to the U.S. or Canada work harder than they would ever work here in Belize and many of them do not have a lot to show for it. One exception is those who join the U.S. armed forces and retire after twenty or thirty years.

    None of this means that Belizeans who move away do not fare well. As a matter of fact, most of them do as well and usually better than many Americans do. By working hard they realize the American dream of putting in sixty or eighty hours a week on the job just so they can buy all of the useless stuff that seems so necessary in the U.S. In the meantime they get gray hair, debt, ulcers and everything else that goes along with a life of worry. The real illusion is that of an easy job. None of them are easy. Furthermore, in the last twenty years, Americans have started to realize that just because you work for a company today does not mean that it will still be in existence in twenty years. Corporate takeovers and buy outs have changed the idea of working for one company until you retire.  

    Think about it. Does that really sound like the life you want?    

Dear Dr. Love,

    Lately you have been taking a lot of stuff from people who are unhappy with you. Everyone seems to take the letters so personally, even when they are obviously a joke. My neighbor is cheating on her husband and every time you have a letter about this, she thinks someone is writing about her. Somehow, I get the feeling that you like it when people get upset, especially if it makes them look foolish. What do you have to say to being the center of so much controversy about nothing?

/s/ The Joker

Dear Joker,

    Hee, hee, hee.

Dr. Love,       

    I have a problem I hope you can help me with. I own a store and several months ago one of my employees who I thought was a friend quit. I was sorry to see her go but wished her well. A while later she opened up her own store and when I went in to see it around Christmas I noticed she carried a lot of the same Christmas things as me. I happened to go in before Easter and noticed once again she had a lot of the same things as me. I have different things in my store that no one else has because I have a supplier in the US that no one knows about. I called them up and asked them if she was ordering from them and they said she was. The only way she could have got their number is if she got into my desk one day and copied it because nobody in the store knows where I order from. I called a lawyer and he said there was nothing I could do. I feel that if she copied my files it is the same is if she stole money or merchandise from me and should be arrested. Do you have any suggestions how I can keep this from happening again and do you think a law should be passed to protect businesses from these kind of thieves?    

/s/ Vexed

Dear Vexed,

    Unless you intend to work the business all by yourself, you eventually must trust someone who works for you to do important things like ordering. You must leave them alone in the business and trust them not to steal from you. Morally, a person who steals information is as reprehensible as a person who steals from the petty cash drawer but the legality is another question. Even if you could prove that the person stole the information from your files you will probably find that they have taken something that you cannot own. You should also realize that there are many people out there that do not have the imagination or intelligence to start or operate a business without stealing or copying from others.

    Why not simply move on with your business and search for another supplier? There are thousands out there who can probably do it even better and cheaper.

Dear Doctor Love,

    Please see if you can help me with my problem. My son has been married for fourteen years and I love my grandchildren very much. Six months ago a woman showed up at my son's house with a six year-old child that she says is his and he did not argue with her. Now, he has the little girl about two week-ends a month and he expects me to treat her just like I treat the other grand-children. I have done my best but it is just hard to accept her even though she resembles my son more than his other children. My two daughters each have children and I treasure them as if they were my own. I have prayed about this and tried to love my son's child but I still favor the ones that I call the "real" grandchildren. Do you have any words of advice that will make it easier for me to accept my new grandchild?

/s/ New Grandmother

Dear Grandmother,

    It is easy to see why you would love your daughter's children unconditionally. After all, you know for a fact that they are directly part of your family line. You know that you bore the daughter and you know that she bore her children. The problem always arises with the son's children. When you love them, it is with a different kind of love than the kind reserved for your daughter's children. This kind of love always calls for a leap of faith. Because the son doesn't bear the children, then you have to believe that those grandchildren are related to you. The solution is to try to love this child for the same reason you love your son's other children. You love them because he believes they are his.

Dear Doctor Love,

    I have been trying so hard to lose weight but nothing seems to work. The diets I have tried are probably good but it is impossible to stick to them. Every week there is a wedding or a quinceaños or a birthday party. The food is always good but it is so fattening and I can't seem to stay away from it. Is there some kind of diet that will work on this island? It has to be something special because things are different here. I lived in Los Angeles for two years and there might be a party once a month or so. Here, it is every weekend and sometimes there are two or three in one weekend. Please help.

/s/ Getting Fat

Dear Fat,

    The Doctor has personally experienced what you are going through and can now safely make the following observations. Diet is only important at one stage of your life. Stage One occurs from the ages of birth to about twenty-five. During this period you can eat or drink anything and it will not affect your weight. Unfortunately, your metabolism changes in the mid-twenties and everything you eat affects your weight. This begins Stage Two, which lasts for about fifteen years. During this period, you deny yourself all of the good things to eat, in hopes of keeping your weight down. When you reach Stage Three, at about the age of forty, you realize the hopelessness of it all and abandon all thoughts of diet. Just like in Stage One, you can eat and drink anything you want. The difference is that you don't care if it affects your weight.

    If you are either entering or are already in Stage Two, why not forget it and skip straight to Stage Three. After all, you can only get so fat. The only other solution is to have your jaws wired shut.
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