Today I Will Say A Prayer For Those Women Who Fought For My Freedoms via @PatFurstenberg

Today I Will Say A Prayer For Those Women Who Fought For My Freedoms

Think of one woman that made an impact on your life. Do you see her with your mind’s eye? Do you see her smile, do you feel her warm arms around you? Do you feel her soft hair touching your cheek? Does this memory make you feel at peace with yourself? Do you draw strength out of it?

Now really try to remember this woman. Do you see the wrinkles around her mouth? The fine lines at the corners of her eyes? Perhaps not, because they were often hidden by her smile, whenever she was watching you. Do you remember her hands were worn out by work, with calluses on her palms and burn marks from cooking? Probably not, because they’ve been hugging you and supporting you, being there for you, but out of view. Have you ever noticed her clothes being out of fashion? Of course not, because they were clean and, more than once, they’ve sheltered your body on cold days and nights.

Do you remember her voice encouraging you? But do you ever remember her complaining about her ailing body? The sleepless nights? The long walks she took each day? The times she went hungry so that you can eat?

Have you ever asked yourself what kept her going? What gives her the strength and energy to get out of bed every morning in a cold room and get going? Do it all over again, day after day? The walking and the working and the waiting and the hoping? Wishing for a better life; for her or for you?

Always for you.

Why did 20,000 women march, peacefully, to the Union Buildings in Pretoria in 1956 and petitioned against the country’s pass laws?

They marched so that they can walk about freely and find better jobs, so that you won’t have to carry a pass, when your turn comes. They did it for you.

Wathint’ Abafazi Wathint’ imbokodo! [Now you have touched the women, you have struck a rock!]

Why do you think it is that 20,000 women march in New York in 1909, asking for better working conditions?

So that they can provide a better life for their children so that when their daughters became of age to look for work, they would do so at no disadvantage at all.

“We’d rather starve quick than starve slow,” was their motto, expressing their anger against the conditions under which they worked in the sweatshops’ factories.

Why, you may ask, did the Suffragettes persist in their fight for votes for women for almost 100 years?

What fueled their march, spanning more than one generation, from 1832 when Mary Smith presented the first women’s suffrage petition to Parliament only to have the women’s exclusion from the vote confirmed, going through the Mud March of 1907, the mass rally of 1908 in Hyde Park when 300,000 – 500,000 activists attended? A time where women and men went through hunger strikes, imprisonment, permanent physical injuries and sexual abuse by police… with all of this only coming to an end in 1928 when the Amendment of the Representation of the People Act finally entitled everyone over the age of 21 to vote.

They did it so that their daughters won’t have to fight the same battle; for their daughters to be seen as human beings, with rights equal to those of men.

Why did tens of thousands of Protestants, mainly women, march in St Petersburg in March 1917, asking for an end to Russia’s involvement in WWI and… bread?

“Feed the children of the defenders of the motherland,” they called.

This movement is what sparked the Russian Revolution and the overthrowing of the Tsar. The Government that came to power granted women the right to vote.

This women’s day I’ll think of the teacher that empowered so many generations of girls and boys with her encouraging smile. I’ll think of the teacher who shared her lunch with that one child in her class so that he wouldn’t feel sidelined. This women’s day I’ll think of Mama Thembile who sells food by the side of the road every day from 6 am… Each day waiting for that one little girl passing by on her way to school and for which she has a special sandwich prepared. She doesn’t know the girl, but she knows the hunger in her eyes. This women’s day I’ll think of Mama Maria who, after a day’s work, still finds the strength to stop by at a children’s home to read stories, because she knows it makes a difference to the children.

This women’s day I’ll say a prayer for the women who fought, all around the world, so that I can think and speak and write, freely; and make my own choices and stand by them, without fear. That I may live as well as enjoy life for what it has to offer, to me and my children, happily.

We are stronger together.

First published on the Huffington Post SA on 9 August 2017

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What the World Cup and Wimbledon Finals, Barack Obama’s Visit to South Africa and Mandela’s Centenary Have Taught Me, #WorldCup #Wimbledon #Obama #Mandela #SA #lessons #tolerance #motivation

What the World Cup and Wimbledon Finals, Barack Obama’s Visit to South Africa and Mandela’s Centenary Have Taught Me

Middle of July is packed with world class sporting and political events. Russia hosted the 2018 FIFA World Cup, South African Kevin Anderson qualified in the Wimbledon 2018 Men’s Single Final (last time South Africa came this far was 97 years ago, Brian Norton in 1921), and former US president Barak Obama will deliver the 2018 Nelson Mandela Annual Lecture, marking the Centenary of Madiba’s birth.

For me, in the FIFA World Cup 2018 the ball really began to roll in the Quarter-finals, with Belgium winning against Brazil 2-1 and Croatia winning on penalties 4-3 against Russia. Then, surprisingly or not, England lost 2-1 against Croatia in the semi-finals.

England’s lost against Croatia taught me that:

Even if you loose, you still achieved so much more simply by participating.

“‘It doesn’t matter that England lost. They came fourth out of all the countries in the world’“:

And that the journey is more important that the destination:

“Just a reminder that England lasted longer than… Germany, Argentina, Portugal, Spain, Brazil, Uruguay, Belgium “:


I was touched by the thank you’s pouring from both sides (fans and team) as a result of The Three Lions’s journey through the Fifa World Cup.

Always remember to thank your supporters, no matter of their numbers or where they might be.

Don’t be afraid to dream.

“To everyone who supported us. To everyone who believed this time was different. To everyone who wasn’t afraid to dream. To everyone who knows this is only the beginning. Thank you. We hope we made you proud.”:

It was touching to hear the English fans singing Oasis as they left the World Cup. That’s the spirit, England!

Pain is easier to endure if shared:

Lessons learned form the Croatian National Soccer Team and their supporters:

To me, the Croatian National Soccer Team was the underdog of the 2018 Fifa World Cup. Their dribbling techniques, sportsmanship, FAIR PLAY and team spirit are equal to none.

Plus they have these amazing supporters.

These Croatian Firefighters have entered in history as they just miss the penalty win for Croatia as Duty calls:

At the end 2018 Fifa Final, when Croatia lost 4-2 against France, the Croatian President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović stood in the rain, without any umbrella, to congratulate, hug and wipe the tears of the Croatian soccer players, showing her support, admiration and appreciation towards their outstanding game.

No matter what you do, you will draw strength from your support team. Make sure you have one.

Because at the end of the day…

it matters what you feel in your heart:

From Wimbledon’s Men’s Single Final there was a lot to learn on fair play, on being humble and on how to graciously accept defeat. The words of South African tennis player Kevin Anderson express all this:


Kevin Anderson also teaches us a great lesson on
giving back and remembering one’s roots:

“It means so much for me to have played in the @Wimbledon final. There are so many positives and great memories I will be taking with me. Thanks to everyone from South Africa and around the world for your support and messages”:

and on endurance and perseverance:

On Barack Obama’s visit to South Africa, to deliver the 2018 Nelson Mandela Annual Lecture – celebrating the centenary of Madiba’s birth.

“A winner is a dreamer who never gives up” (Nelson Mandela)

There is a lot to be said about the Nelson Mandela’s legacy, teaching us that change for the better is always possible, never give up hope.

“Even when the odds are long and the times are dark, change is always possible. But only if we’re willing to work for it and fight for it.” @MichelleObama’s message to gathered in South Africa this week:


Certainly history in the making: pay attention and remember.

LIVE STREAM 16th Nelson Mandela Annual Lecture by Barack Obama, 17 July 2018:


Former US president Barack Obama will deliver the Mandela lecture in Johannesburg on Tuesday, the 17th of July, with 15 000 people expected to attend.

“It’s not about who we like but what we are trying to address in a particular moment and the audience that we are talking to.”(The Mandela Foundation’s chief executive, Sello Hatang)

Barack Obama will inaugurate his most significant international project as an ex-president, with an announcement on Monday that the Obama Foundation plans to convene 200 young people this July in Johannesburg for five days of meetings, workshops and technical training. (The New York Times) Also, Obama’s visit to South Africa:

“It gives him an opportunity to lift up a message of tolerance, inclusivity and democracy at a time when there are obviously challenges to Mandela’s legacy around the world,” (Benjamin J. Rhodes, a former speechwriter for Obama who still advises him.)

“There’s an enhanced sense of tribalism in the world,” he said. “Our unifying theory is that the best way to promote inclusive and democratic societies is by empowering young people in civil society.”

“No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin or his background or his religion…”(Barack Obama)

What a lesson on tolerance.

You might also like to read:

The 5 Lessons I Learned From Madiba

Keep Your Faith South Africa

 

 

 

 

 

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Haiku-San, Father, #Haiku #Sunday #HaikuSan via @PatFurstenberg

Father, a Sunday Haiku: Haiku-San

Careworn, labored hands,

Troubled, creased, smoothed by love,

A dad’s life in short.

~~~~~

I chose the name Haiku-San as it derives from Haiku, meaning unusual verse in Japanese (hai=unusual, ku=verse, strophe) and San, the honorific Japanese title when speaking about people. San is also the phonetic transcription of the first syllable of the English word Sunday, Sun-day hence Haiku-San, a Sunday feature on Alluring Creations involving Haiku I write.

You can find more Haiku in my new book of poetry, As Good AS Gold:

Haikus at the end were tiny diamonds.” (Kathryn Meyer Griffith, long time author)

“This is a truly delightful and uplifting book of poems through the eyes of mans faith friend and companion, his dog. I often use to look into the eyes of my own dogs and just wonder how they saw the world and well I think Pat Furstenberg has probably come up with the nearest possible answers.” (Susan Hampson)

Text and Haiku-San © Patricia Furstenberg.

(Image courtesy Pixabay)

I hope you enjoyed my haiku. Let me know your thoughts in comment below.

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Haiku-San, Cherry Blossoms, #Haiku #Sunday #HaikuSan via @PatFurstenberg

Cherry Blossoms, a Sunday Haiku: Haiku-San

 

 

 

Once upon a time

It snowed in middle summer.

Cherry blossoms life.

 

 

 

 

 

I chose the name Haiku-San as it derives from Haiku, meaning unusual verse in Japanese (hai=unusual, ku=verse, strophe) and San, the honorific Japanese title when speaking about people. San is also the phonetic transcription of the first syllable of the English word Sunday, Sun-day hence Haiku-San, a Sunday feature on Alluring Creations involving Haiku I write.

As Good As Gold by Patricia Furstenberg – A dog’s life in poems. 35 poems and Haiku for all ages

You can find more Haiku in my new book of poetry, As Good AS Gold

Haikus at the end were tiny diamonds.” (Kathryn Meyer Griffith, long time author)

“I loved all the Haiku as little gems of brilliance.” (Linda Hill)

Text and Haiku-San © Patricia Furstenberg.

(Thanks to Karl Fredrickson for making this photo available freely on @unsplash)

I hope you enjoy my poems. Let me know your thoughts in comment below.

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Susan Day – The Best Christmas Gifts are Books

The Top 10 Things Happy Grandparents Never Regret Doing by Susan Day, book cover

It gives me great pleasure to introduce Susan Day,the author of the new and upcoming grand-parenting  book Top 10 Things Happy Grandparents Never Regret Doing.

Susan Day, AuthorSusan Day is a passionate author, educator and, of course, a grandmother. She wants to empower all grandparents to build meaningful relationships with their grandchildren. She is author of the children’s book series Astro’s Adventures which also has its own book club, Astro’s Book Club. Susan also runs a website for grand-parents, The Happy Grandparent.

Here are Susan’s insightful thoughts on why:

The Best Christmas Gifts are Books

Well, it’s nearly time for the silly season, and parents and grandparents will be running to and fro trying to purchase toys for the children in their lives.

While most children will ask Santa to bring them the latest must-have gadgets, dolls and games there is one item which has been a popular favourite for many years.

Books are a wonderful gift for anytime of the year, and should be included in all gift packages. They might not get the initial attention of flashing toys that speak or zooming cars or glitter-covered fairies, but books have a worth that goes far beyond those first few moments of unwrapping.

Books Open Up New Worlds

Children can learn about people, places, and events outside of their own experience. Reading can take them to worlds they may never travel to. They can learn about tribes in deepest, darkest Papua New Guinea. They can learn how the people of Siberia keep warm, and they can learn what life is like for a child just like them in cities far away and unknown.

They can also learn about other cultures, festivals and with the rise in self-help books for children, they can learn how the world around them works. They can also learn what they can do if they feel unhappy or depressed; what to do if their grandparents are sick, or where their little siblings came from!

E-Books Make Great Gifts

Anyone with young children will tell you just how tech-savvy kids are now a days. They are born instinctively knowing how to swipe, download, upload and more. It’s really amazing.

Keeping this in mind, gifting an e-reader such as Kindle is a great idea. Not only are they portable which means children can read anywhere such as the car, the bus or when visiting grandma, but you can literally load hundreds of books onto just one device.

This means that your child can take their favourite books everywhere with them without needing a suitcase to lug them around. And, we all know that books can become our friends and having them close gives children an added sense of security.

Taking Time to Read Together is Important for Bonding

The most important reason why you should be giving books this year, however, is because you can read and share them with your very important small people.

Create wonderful memories cuddled up together sharing lovely stories about dogs, cats, or cheeky monkeys living in Africa.

The children in your life will cherish those times when you both discovered the magic of books. They will always remember how you both laughed at the crazy antics of the characters or hid behind the sofa cushions when the big bad wolf appeared.

Books are remarkably powerful tools that bring so much joy to our lives. They will outlast all toys; they don’t need batteries, and best of all they are not too expensive.

I can’t think of a better gift.

I couldn’t agree more, Susan!

Susan Day is happy to connect with readers of all ages as well as with fellow authors and bloggers, which she always supports. I have the honor of writing the Sunday Column for Susan’s website for puppy-owners and dog-lovers, Mypuppyclub.net.

Connect with Susan on Facebook, Twitter.

Visit Susan’s Websites – The Happy GrandparentAstro’s Book Club, Susan’s  Amazon Author Page .

Amazon US: The Top 10 Things Happy Grandparents Never Regret Doing
Amazon UK: The Top 10 Things Happy Grandparents Never Regret Doing
Amazon Canada: The Top 10 Things Happy Grandparents Never Regret Doing
Amazon Australia: The Top 10 Things Happy Grandparents Never Regret Doing

Susan lives in country Australia with four dogs, three bossy cats, two rescue guinea pigs, and an errant kangaroo.

The Top 10 Things Happy Grandparents Never Regret Doing by Susan Day, book coverTHE TOP 10 THINGS HAPPY GRANDPARENTS NEVER REGRET DOING – Media Release

IT’S TIME TO PUT THE ‘GRAND’ BACK INTO GRANDPARENTING!

The Top 10 Things Happy Grandparents Never Regret Doing! looks at the modern changes of grandparenting. It is an open and honest look at how much the role of grandparenting has changed, and what lies ahead for this growing section of our population.

Written by Dunolly author (Central Victoria), Susan Day, this book aims to empower all grandparents to share their knowledge and experiences with their beloved grandchildren.

Grandparents often worry that their grandchildren will grow up and forget them. Some are concerned about being alone and distant from their families emotionally and physically.

Most grandparents want to have a positive impact on the lives of their grandchildren, and create memories that will last forever.

The Top 10 Things Happy Grandparents Never Regret Doing! takes its readers on an insightful journey into what they need to do to become the best grandparent they can be (even better than the one they are now).

At the end of each chapter are questions to complete. These are designed to create a unique and personal Grandparenting Philosophy. Best of all, readers will then learn how to adapt their own Grandparenting Philosophy into their life.

A Grandparenting Philosophy is an important document that is, not only uniquely about each gran, granny and pop, but about their family, and their goal to connect with their grandchildren.

Readers will also learn the Top 10 Things Happy Grandparents Never Regret Doing! These wonderful values will be incorporated into their Grandparenting Philosophy so they can develop a strong, meaningful relationship with their grandchildren.

As well, there are lots of free educational resources also available for each person who purchases a copy.

Now is the time for grandparents to reclaim and strengthen their relationship with their grandchildren. Grandparents have so much to offer.

Susan Day, AuthorAbout the Author

Susan Day is a passionate author, educator and, of course, a grandmother. She wants to empower all grandparents to build meaningful relationships with their grandchildren.

Susan lives in country Australia with four dogs, three bossy cats, two rescue guinea pigs, and an errant kangaroo.

Website – The Top 10 Things Happy Grandparents Never Regret Doing! 

link: https://thehappygrandparent.com/susanday/

Media Material –

https://thehappygrandparent.com/susanday/media/

Amazon – The Top 10 Things Happy Grandparents Never Regret Doing! 

link: http://amzn.to/2yLj1NI

Interviews can be conducted over the phone or via Skype.

Susan Day can be reached on: 0421 582 067

Skype: susandayauthor (please state which media outlet you are from)

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