Preparing our children for war

Abstract: Ever stopped to think how you may be emotionally and psychologically preparing your children to fight?... Every day, without knowing it, we prepare our children for war. We do things and we say things that prepare them mentally and emotionally to fight. We do this calmly, even rationally; and we do it because we love them and because we think we're doing the right thing. Have you ever asked your 8-year old child what is his or her political affiliation? Are they an ANC supporter, or do they identify more with the centralist liberal ideology of the DA? Perhaps they consider the ANC sell-outs, and yearn more for the fiery rhetoric of the SACP? Of course, you're not going to ask them because they're far too young. How is an 8-year old supposed to understand the subtle and twisted shifts in politics? Besides,

Reality check: The world isn’t binary

Abstract: Binary thinking is a devastating human weakness... You can bet your next Christmas bonus that George W. Bush will never be included with Mandela, Lincoln and Churchill as a political figure with the capacity for inspirational, statesman-like oratory. However, there remains one speech he delivered where he, albeit unwittingly, managed to encapsulate the reason there's a propensity within the human condition for social upheaval, the likes of which we should expect closer to home in the period leading up to elections. In the days that followed the 9/11 attacks, the world scrutinised Bush for leadership and direction; and he replied in force on 20th September 2001 with a rally of fighting talk before a joint session of congress in which he drew a line and laid down the parameters for his war on terror. The standout message was the following: "Either you

Hearts on our sleeves

Abstract: How can we expect to win by 'working together for a better South Africa'? We each need to take our respective bows... As far as international sport is concerned, August was a month of mixed blessings for South Africa: We were emasculated in Sri Lanka; in Athens we scored what SABC radio news called a 'haul' of medals (less gold medals than a single swimmer - Michael Phelps - and only a few more in total than we collected 12 years ago in Barcelona); and yet we powered our way to victory in the Tri-Nations. Does this mean our cricket team are pathetic, our athletes kind of so-so, but our rugby team are kings of the world? No. But it does convey the impression that magic muti works. Think about it. Other than sheer bulk, what is it that our rugby team had

When ‘gut feel’ goes big

Abstract: There really is a powerful 'emotion' that comes from the stomach... Regular readers of this column will know that I have been afflicted with a most colourful malady - I tend to become infected with words and phrases. I doubt if there's a cure for it, and the last time I visited my doctor he literally threw the book at me - it was a rather large copy of the Oxford English Dictionary. Leaving his office, with said book bouncing off the back of my head, I heard him shout, "Come back to me when you have something more worrying than a dose of visceral morality!" This 'visceral morality' thing had been bugging me for a while. Whereas some words and phrases are like burrs and hook themselves to my conscience during my daily stroll through life; others are like lint, coalescing near