By now I’m sure you read the comment made by Jimmy Kimmel regarding the cookies he received from Kelly Ripa (“you are sweeter than diabetes”)? Forget Halloween, the internet lit up like a Christmas tree with tweets and comments slamming the late night host stating that he should know better AND especial because he has entered the limelight of healthcare with issues surrounding his own child.
I’ve been to this rodeo, and in fact, been to it MANY times. On more than one occasion I have even led the charge over a stupid statement or a knee-jerk reaction to something said/done stupid about diabetes in the news, media, television, movie world. When Jimmy apologizes, and my guess is that he will apologize because he knows now that his statement hurt many people, a moral victory will be declared by the diabetes community and the community will move forward knowing that when our voices are unified, people will hear. Jimmy just seems like the kind of guy that is sensitive to issues such as these and hopefully he realizes that many people who have a child with this disease or HAVE this disease themselves……..were hurt. Shortly after he realizes that and apologizes, everyone will be back to their own lives waiting for the next needed public outcry.
I ask, “To what end?”
To clarify, if you are reading this, chances are that you are not even the ones to whom the article is aimed. You’re active. You support diabetes charities.causes/advocacy. You are active in making a difference. You want your voice to be heard. It’s just so unfortunate that the silent majority are the ones that need to speak up. But even they, perhaps, are not involved because they do exactly what we ask them to do, to live life to the fullest. To be in the mainstream. Many do just that…..live with their diabetes.
So the two-edged sword is always, who speaks up/does something and who just moves forward with a disease that always poses the question, “If we do not seek a change for the very disease that is so close to us…….who will?”
Also included in the consideration is knowing that before ‘we were touched’ by diabetes, what did we know, what did we care to know? In truth, we didn’t because it was not important to us and now THAT IT IS we expect others to be sensitive to something that we, honestly, probably never gave a second thought to before it was so close to home.
So what do we do about all of this? 1. We raise our voices every time someone misses the mark. I have discussed before about the ‘Razzies’ –awards given out for ‘worst acting/movies’ of the year…….they have become almost as popular as the Oscars themselves….Award shows have but one purpose—-to keep the people and whoever is giving out the awards in the limelight and hence, in the public consciousness. Might we as a diabetes community consider doing the same; both good and bad in the diabetes world?
2. Don’t do nothing—-said it a million times and is a mantra of mine. If we do not do something ourselves, who will? Who would we expect to? GetDiabetesRight.org is chock full of posters you can print and hang in your community, your school, your shopping centers, and anywhere else where the general public may see and learn……and this site created by Kim May and myself is surely not alone in this effort……so many more efforts exist for the sole purpose of ALLOWING YOU the opportunity to print something and hang something in your community to bring awareness to our word of diabetes.
3. Pick a cause within diabetes to give your efforts/time/donations. A cure. Better Management. Eating Disorders. Advocacy. Female Issues. Family Education. Male Issues. College Issues. Camps. Providing for those in need; both abroad, and here at home. And there are more. There are not just 2-3-4 diabetes organizations anymore; there are quite a few. Some local, some national, some international….all doing GREAT STUFF. Who do you want to help………figure it out……and help.
There are conferences, initiatives, efforts, gatherings, movements, events to satisfy what YOU WANT TO DO. You can write, hang posters, walk, run, iron(wo)man, skip, jump, hop, fly a kite, hit a whiffle ball, discuss, meet, lecture and million other items……….and do you know what we lack…….enough people to get it all done.
So if you raised your voice at Mr. Kimmel, but that’s all you have done, that’s all that will get done. Find a spot. You can be rich, poor, fast, slow, smart, smarter, educated, street-smart and a million things in-between to find a place for your talents and efforts. But the only thing that there is no place for; is to just do nothing.
Don’t Just Do Nothing. Your call.
I am a DiabetesDad.
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