Today’s Prompt: COMPLETE
“Pick a stick from this bag,” said the facilitator at last night’s “Happy Hour” focused on STD Prevention. (For the record, the bag was filled with popsicle sticks of varying colors and condoms.) I took one, no questions asked.
Once everyone had chosen a stick, the facilitator told me what our sticks represented:
As you can see below, I “had” chlamydia.
This is an exercise educators use to help young people (and, apparently 53-year-old people) understand the effects of their actions.
“Did you think to ask me ‘why should I take that stick?’ he asked us.” NO. We just did it, because he offered.
In addition to the samples of how the educators connect with young people (like the popsicle stick activity), there were discussions of the basics about STDs and how they are transmitted.
More than the graphic pictures and the clinical discussion, though, I was struck by something the educator said overtly once or twice but implied throughout: people have sex with other people, even in situations that they may *know* are risky, because they lack the self esteem to advocate for themselves.
They see it as something that will make them complete, yet it may lead to illness, pain and an altered life course.
This is why we owe it to our fellow human beings to help do something to build up, not tear down, self esteem when possible.