Monday, 06 December 2010

The Difference Between Awareness And Action

I continue to be surprised by efforts focusing on the "awareness" of a disease or issue. I often hear something saying it's about "breast cancer awareness." Raise your hand if reading this blog is the first time you heard about breast cancer. We're all aware of it, but what is any of us DOING about it?

All the pink ribbons on Facebook profiles make little difference if people aren't doing anything about it. The main thing you can do is donate money to causes that will promote research, treatments, and cures. Causes that help the loved ones who survive when the patient does not. Volunteering your time with patients and families. There is SO much you can do. Wearing a ribbon just isn't enough.

My car has a ribbon magnet on it. It's for donating your organs. I hope you will see it, and decide to donate your organs. Other than that, you have probably heard about organ donation. It's not about "awareness."

This week, they are saying that you should change your Facebook profile picture to a cartoon from your childhood for child abuse awareness. I'm not bothering because the sad truth is that all the cartoon Facebook profile pictures out there are not helping ONE child UNLESS you are ALSO doing something else. The profile picture does NOTHING. Where is the ACTION that will really help a child?

When these Facebook memes come around, think about action. Posting something to your profile once about "special needs children" or changing your profile picture helped zero children. You want to help children? Do it. Make a donation. Volunteer. Talk to a child you think is being hurt. Get them help. Get them to safety.

I take this rather personally because there is a sentence a relative said to me once about my childhood, and it will stick with me forever. She said, "We saw some things we couldn't make sense of, but we didn't think it was our place to say anything." So let me just assure you that all the changed Facebook profile pictures in the world wouldn't have made a day of my childhood different. You know what would have? Someone who saw something saying and doing something.

Go DO something.

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