I don't like the word 'propaganda'. I really don't.
But I think that's because it is so entwined with 'Joseph Goebbels' and 'Das Dritte Reich'.
I prefer the word 'campaign'.
And it's nothing to do with the auditory resemblance to 'champagne'.
Even more enjoyable for me is the notion of a 'counter-campaign'.
Perhaps this is a guilty pleasure...
In any case, I like the idea of creative solutions to impossible problems.
One of the biggest complaints of modern single women is that we have 'no-one to love'. It may not even be verbalised in most cases, but this is a truism. I know this. So does everyone else.
Cuddle bunnies (aherm, don't judge us!), cats, little pint-sized dogs, other people's children...
These are all great solutions.
I have another one.
It's not at all revolutionary, but some people may not like it.
Shrug. It's just an idea.
Although not really intended, this has become somewhat of a dating-themed blog.
But sometimes, it is good to 'branch out' a bit.
'Adopt a man' could just as well be 'Adopt a baby chimp in deepest Africa' or 'Adopt a koala bear in Australia' - which are actually real-life campaigns out there.
It's a general thing.
We are called to 'give up' something for Lent. For most of us (at least in the West), the simplest and most appropriate thing to 'give up' is food. So we omit chocolate or cakes for six weeks and then 'make up for lost time' in Holy Week :-).
For others, it is painful whole-day fasting.
Many people use this time simply to become better persons.
For those with 'anger issues', it is a time to play nice and bite the old tongue.
And then snap at the nearest person on Easter Sunday :-)
For yet others, it is simply a time to reflect.
Which makes this time of year so serenely sacred.
The point is, sometimes it is not so much 'to give up' as to 'add' to one's own life. Or to some other person's life.
As we filed out of the warm church into the cold February air, ash on head, I was introduced to an old lady struggling to balance herself on two sticks. She was absolutely ridden with arthritis.
As I shook her hand (very gently for fear of breaking something), she gave me a compliment which was appearance-related. Which validated me no end :-)
But my little morcel of pleasure was soon blasted into the ether.
For I was told a little while later that the old lady had just recently lost her daughter, to a rather aggressive illness.
It was overwhelmingy sad to hear.
This woman (she looked like she might be a widow) was going to endure the rest of this winter (and her life, of course) without her daughter.
I wondered - did she have any other children? Did she have grandchildren? A good friend? Any other family?
But...none of the above will ever ease the pain of losing a daughter, I am sure.
'Adopting' her as in 'Adopt a Granny' assuming she was now all alone in the world, though, perhaps would go a long way to alleviating her pain and distress at this particularly cruel time.
For many women, the need to reach out to someone else, or some other people is overwhelmingly forceful. And of course there is a use for it.
TPM recently blogged about this trait in women. I find it to be so true.
Which is why I find it so frustrating when I see it underemployed, this nurturing business.
Perhaps we think it should be 'buried' until we are mothers of large families before we 'deploy' the nurturing time-bomb?
But surely it is like a muscle - use it or you lose it, no?
Practice makes perfect.
One of the sins of feminism is that women are taught to be rather coy about showing their nurturing side. It is definitely not 'cool' nowadays in the SMP.
And yet, it is surprisingly cool to those who might benefit.
Wouldn't it be great taking Bellita's example of 'seeing the good in every man' to a new level - just for Lent?
Once a good trait has been identified in the lucky fella (he doesn't even have to be 'Mr. Possible' or 'Mr. Right' - just a random bloke who looks like he may need some nurturing :-)
Then feed and generally treat him for the 6 weeks leading up to Easter. Do something for him that he can't do for himself.
If he is a gourmet chef like Danny, pass him over :-)
It may be necessary to however warn him that this is not a 'favour-carrying' maneouvre. However, if he volunteers to fix that crooked garage-door that your brother promised to fix three years ago, that would be cool and will be rewarded handsomely with a feminine favour of your choice :-)
It may also be necessary to ...um...define the terms of this interaction and the details of exactly which feminine undertaking is on offer...maybe even in writing, lol.
If this is an enjoyable exercise, it could very well be carried on beyond Lent...
The recipient number does not have to be singular, by the way. It all depends on time and availability. It doesn't even have to be a man, (but somehow it does make feminine sense to choose a man for this, it seems to me :-).
All in the name of Lenten sacrifice :-)
Oh the perils of religion...
And one happy side effect of this sort of thing is that it is a counter-reaction to feminism, so... 'happy days' :-)
And another is that, some cynical guy somewhere is suddenly going to think he died and went to Heaven...