Soccer & HIV Prevention in South Africa (Part 2)

Watch more of Grassroot Soccer project coordinator Nolusindiso "Titie" Plaatjie, who uses soccer to educate South African youth about HIV/AIDS prevention.

Soccer & HIV Prevention in South Africa

Grassroot Soccer project coordinator Nolusindiso "Titie" Plaatjie uses soccer to educate South African youth about HIV/AIDS prevention. She describes her childhood in the poverty-stricken city of Port Elizabeth and how soccer gave her gave her the drive to be who she is today.

 

See the second video in this series.

 

More Thoughts on the Art of Giving

Each family has a heritage of how we give to others and how we ask for what we need.

Here are a few more questions to ponder. I hope they help you and your daughter talk about this important topic.

Individually, write down your answers to these questions. When you’re both done, share you answers with each other and then ask (don’t preach) and talk to learn more.

What’s been your most surprising experience with giving?

What have been your most surprising and pleasant experiences with asking for help?

As a child, when did you first become aware of the idea and benefits of giving to others? What did you see? What were you curious about?

As a child, when did you first become aware of the idea and benefits of asking others for help? What did you see? What were you curious about?

How is your giving and asking for help similar to that of your parents and siblings, and how is it different? How much are you influenced by them?

This article is adapted from my book “The Dads & Daughters Togetherness Guide: 54 Fun Activities to Help Build a Great Relationship.”

Paper or Plastic?

Today we are confronted at the supermarket checkout with a recurring question, "Do you want paper or plastic?" The environmental concerns play both ways, making it difficult to know which is really the better choice.
Any bag requires natural resources and energy to manufacture and transport. When you bring the bags back to reuse, you conserve and reduce waste. Some grocery stores will even give you a five to 10 cent credit for every bag you reuse.

Palin: Hometown Girl or Seductress?

After my first and only political Shadow Blog, I received more mail from my readers than I’ve received in my entire career. Thank you for your overwhelming response. Obviously, my message gave voice to what many of you were already feeling. I apologize once again to those of you I’ve offended. (If you were offended by the last one, don’t be a masochist. Close this one now as you’re certainly going to be offended by this one as well.)

Even at the risk of losing more of my readers, I feel compelled to continue to share my views on the upcoming election because we’ve got one of the best shadow figures — literally — that we’ve seen in a long time. And being a shadow lover, I just can’t pass it up. We’re all very lucky that this election gives us an unprecedented opportunity to see the shadow in all its disguises and all its glory. I would be remiss to ignore it.

This week, like most of you, I sat glued to my TV watching the vice presidential debate. Within three minutes and after the first wink, I became fascinated once again with Sarah Palin. I asked myself, “What is the deal with this woman? Why is she winking at me? Is she flirting with me?” I had to take a deep breath because I noticed this queasy feeling growing in the pit of my stomach.

Then it flashed before me. I recognized her. I had met her before, in many forms, and here she was again. All of a sudden, it dawned on me that the reason I was having this reaction is because Sarah Palin is the living expression of The Seductress, one of the 20 masks, the faces of the wounded ego, that I outline in my latest book. Of course I felt disturbed — she was working me right through my HDTV!

In “Why Good People Do Bad Things,” I suggest that those who don the mask of The Seductress are after one thing and one thing only: to make themselves feel better about who they are by getting whatever they might be after. Birthed out of the fear that they are not good enough, loved enough, or smart enough, they search until they find suitable targets to trap in their energetic webs — in the case of Sarah Palin, first the citizens of the great state of Alaska and now the entire country.

I consider The Seductress a predator because her main goal is to feed on the self-esteem of others in order to soothe her own emotional wounds. The Seductress literally throws out an energetic hook by being kind, loving, interested, sexual and, in this case, folksy — luring her victims closer, all the while planning her next move. She spends her time thinking about how she looks, how others will perceive her, how she can win, and how she can get more of what she’s after. The Seductress’ “catch” enhances her inner perception of herself and covers, at least for the moment, the enormous pain and self-loathing that are stored in her psyche.

In my book, “dangerous, poisonous, and venomous” are the qualities I use to describe The Seductress because her main attack is disguised in love and, in this instance, service. Her signal broadcasts in all directions, sometimes loudly and at other times as a soft whisper: “I will give you some love and take care of you if you give me your power. I am going to make you feel better about yourself if you give me some control. I am going to tell you everything you ever wanted to hear if you just make me the next Vice President of the United States of America.”

Can we as a nation afford to fall under the spell of Sarah Palin and give her what she wants? I would suggest that the cost is too high for all of us. No amount of twisting (“Oh Joe you’re going backwards again,” she croons) will be able to distract us from who she is, what she believes, what she’s really after, and what it would cost us if she and McCain are elected. This is not a beauty or a personality contest. This is not a time to pick someone because of their smile, their style, their charisma, their down-home cloak, or their biting tongue. Instead, this is a time to dissect who Sarah Palin is — her views, her experience (or in this case her inexperience), and how she lives her life. She will, if elected the next Vice President, be a role model for our daughters, sons and future generations. We must look at her carefully, behind her smiling, cute, winking persona. We must take off her very hip glasses (not her clothes, gentlemen!) to see what’s hidden there. We must ask ourselves, “Does this woman have the ability to govern the greatest nation in the world?”

Although many will argue that we must stop focusing on Palin, it’s vital that we take a closer look because she is a microcosm of the narrow, outdated views of the Republican Party. I’m not even going to talk about her choice to drag her four-month-old special needs child around the country to big events to prove that she’s a good mother except to ask if she had a healthy baby, would she be dragging it around all night? You do have to wonder since most of us mothers know that their child shouldn’t be in big public places with tens of thousands of people at 10:00 at night.

Instead, let’s look at her choice to use her sexuality to lure innocent voters and hearts into her web. Rather than choosing to reflect the brilliance, the smarts, the power, or the merit she must obviously possess (even if hidden from view from some of us), she winks and flirts, reinforcing all the things for which women are mocked and not taken seriously in the political arena. Can you even imagine powerful female leaders like Indira Gandhi, Golda Meir, or Margaret Thatcher winking at an audience? Here’s what I’d like to say to Sarah Palin right now, from one pretty woman to another: Stop it! I know you want to take away our right to choose but do you really have to minimize our equality just to get votes? (And for those who of you who are now mad at me and projecting on me, for the record, I have never winked at an audience, although maybe I should try it since she’s getting 15,000 people at her events.)

The choice of Sarah Palin as a running mate tells us loud and clear what kind of man “the maverick” John McCain is. Is he someone who diligently seeks to find the best person to take his place in the unfortunate circumstance of his death? Is he the kind of man that surrounds himself with brilliant thinkers of tomorrow who promise to take us out of the dark age of war, hate, and economic disaster? Or is he the kind of hungry politician who would sell his and his nation’s soul just to win? We should all take a big exhale because John McCain’s shadow has been exposed. He has proven not to be the hero of our time but instead an egocentric opportunist in search of the ultimate power. In one of the most important decisions of his political career, he picked an inexperienced woman because he believed that she could help him win over the Hillary Clinton voters. We all know this. Does he really think American women are that stupid? That we can’t see the motives behind this irresponsible choice?

And on a final note, if you’re not convinced that she would not be the best choice, Sarah Palin told us all loud and clear Thursday night, looking straight into the camera, that the only thing that matters is that we win this war. Not that we bring our troops home safely. Not that we heal the hatred that permeates our world. She didn’t speak of justice, fairness or the good of all people. Because she is a good Seductress, all she wants is to win.

My friends, we must join together to pull off the blinders for those who are sucked into the trance of this now very famous and potentially very dangerous Seductress. If you’re not registered to vote, register today and make it your duty to find just one unregistered person to invite into this most important election.

With love, respect, and blessings,
Debbie Ford