Our most powerful word
I’ve taken an informal poll of the past thousand or so parents with toddlers I’ve come to know. When I ask them what their child’s favorite word is, one answer nearly always leaps out: “No!” Rightly so, I usually reply. “No” is the most powerful word in our vocabulary. With two simple letters, just one simple syllable and we have power. With that word we have control. Behavior is dictated by it. Action is determined, something can be denied. True power!Jump forward to adulthood and it is astounding how easily we forget! I read a piece on MSNBC today and was shocked, dismayed and disappointed. It starts with the global AIDS Conference in Bangkok. Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni brought a controversial issue forward. Speaking from the success in his country of decreasing the Aids epidemic, he called for abstinence from sex. His “ABC” method (abstinence, being faithful and condoms) works. In fact Uganda is a shining light of hope in the AIDS epidemic, having decreased the rate of HIV infection in its population to 6 percent from 30 percent in the 1980s.While addressing the conference, Museveni called for “optimal relationships based on love and trust.” Controversial? It sounds like common sense to me. Not so to U.S. Rep. Barbara Lee, D-Calif. She opposes “abstinence to marriage programs,” believing “women and girls too often do not have the choice to abstain.” She calls such abstinence programs “irresponsible” and “inhumane.”Our county is mired in a similar hotbed. My only question is when did no stop meaning no? We do have a choice. We have power.Let’s get back to basics and think of our childhoods. Let’s remember the most powerful word we know: “No!” No to sex outside of marriage, No to drugs, No to drinking and driving. I hope you have a good and long memory!Dr. Drew Werner of the Eagle Valley Medical Center writes a weekly column for the Daily. He encourages health questions. Write him by e-mail to email@example.com or c/o Editor, Vail Daily, P.O. Box 81, Vail, 81658.