Information is power. Sometimes information comes through unlikely avenues. In my case, the information I present to you is largely anecdotal. My life story, and the lessons I learn from living such a life I hope to pass on to others, in large part to let you all know you aren’t alone.
Taking that a step further, I believe that empowered parents lead to empowered children and that eventually, those children will grow into empowered adults. At least I have faith that it can work like that.
My hope has always been to empower my reader with the simplicity of understanding. Empower you to know that even though bad things happen to us, we don’t have to lead a bad life. Empower you to know that even though you and I may do things very differently, that’s ok. Empower you to know that even in the worst of moments, everything will be ok. Empower you to know that your efforts are wider reaching than you could ever imagine. I can only wish that as you mobilize all this empathy you have towards me, you can find avenues to turn the tables and revert that empathy and understanding back in your own direction, and cut yourself, and your children a little slack.
I hope you see I'm trying to do that here.
As I type this tears are streaming down my face. I don’t say that to brag about my sensitivity, in fact I’m sure some may see that as a weakness, I say that to let you know that I am sincerely passionate about this community. Every single corner of this community. And by community I mean every person, every loved one, every doctor, every company, every human being affected by diabetes. All diabetes.
So is love enough? Is this heart of mine that swells with adoration, understanding and empathy enough to make a difference in the world? Maybe it could be. Maybe it has been. But right now there is a swelling in my chest that says it isn’t enough. I want to say that my time at the Medtronic Advocate Forum was the antitheses of such swelling, but really it begun several weeks before that as the new year knocked on the door of the old.
Somewhere inside of me I know I need to take what I’m doing to the next level. I didn’t know what that looked like a few weeks ago, but I have a much better understanding of what that looks like now. Am I already there to full enlightenment? No. But I’m ready to take that first step, and that step is to help mobilize the people in my community, (you and I,) towards common goals.
I’ve used the analogy before about the Who’s in Whoville from Horton Hears a Who. Our community is much like that. One voice can make all the difference to making us be heard.
And we need to be heard.
There are policy makers, pharma companys, news outlets, and simply neighbors in our immediate area that need to hear our collective voices. I am going to call on you from time to time to add to the collective to push our influence over the edge. If I promise you it won’t be hard…if I promise you it can take minimal time, like less time than waiting in line for a cup of Starbucks, would you be on board?
I’m asking you to commit to saying yes. I’m asking you to commit to taking action, even before I ask for help. To commit to shunning away the voices that say you aren’t needed.
I’m asking you not turn the other cheek.
I’m asking that of myself too.
In fact, part of my mission this year is to answer the calls for help.
I know I’m being vague, and I promise I’m not leading up to any big initiative announcement, or surprise anything…I am, really, just asking us to let go of ambivalence, and embrace the calls to action. We’ll have our first opportunity to do that in a couple weeks when the annual “Spare a Rose” campaign launches.
If I’ve learned anything the last few days, I’ve learned this: One person can make a huge impact by doing small things. Please don’t underestimate your power or our communities need for your one voice.
My 2014 Mission Statement: I will answer to calls for help in furthering worthwhile causes to benefit the global population of those affected by diabetes. I will examine my strengths and find my unique way to help, whether very big or very small. I will not hold on to the information I glean from others online, instead I will share that information to empower the parent community, and to educate as well.
Big things are happening in the diabetes healthcare landscape, regarding access and FDA approval. Big things are happening around the world with intent to save lives. Big programs are happening that can unite our diabetes community, and help us emotionally as well as eradicate stigmas associated with diabetes as a whole. Let’s start noticing. Let’s start helping.
I promise to do my part to seek out these things, and to let you know what those things are.
I'll take my first step by sharing some of the information I learned this last weekend while attending the Medtronic Advocate Summit. The event was impeccably put together and lent itself to an atmosphere of openness from all sides.
It’s all coming once my brain can settle on what to start with.
(PS In full disclosure, Medtronic and Bayer paid for my flight, food and lodging to this forum. I was not asked to write about it. My views are 100% my own.)