Everyday Inspirations


~ how to ~

Participants at Salt Lake's 2010 Making Strides Against Breast Cancer

I realize what I'm about to say may cause people to want to throw things at me or call a party pooper. But I think it's worth the conversation.

I'm an active Facebooker and have read status after status about where my friends like to keep their handbags (on the floor, the couch, etc.). Last year, it was the color of our bras. Even though it's supposed to be fun, it keeps bugging me because of the "meaning" behind these silly statuses. According to invitational emails I have received, these statuses are meant to increase awareness of breast cancer during the month of October. The Huffington Post reported that the game "is an attempt for women to unite around that cause in a top secret way."

Sorry, but how?

I'd understand if that was actually stated ("I like it on top of the fridge... and I just gave $100 to the American Cancer Society") or, even if it wasn't stated, it was encouraged in the email passed around. But just trying to increase awareness? I don't quite know if I buy that, particularly since everything turns pink in October. The awareness is out. In fact, I didn't even know breast cancer awareness was the point of the Facebook game until a week or so ago. I just thought it was something girls did to leave out the boys.

My problem isn't with the game but with the idea that simply putting something on your status somehow makes a difference. Maybe I'm wrong, but isn't it much more effective to actually encourage your friends and family to give to a cause you believe in?

Yesterday I participated in Salt Lake's Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walk. I also donated money to the cause -- not a crazy amount, but something I felt would be beneficial and actually make a difference to a woman struggling with one of the scariest things she's ever had to go through. This is not me saying, "Hey look! I'm so much better than anyone else!" It is me trying not to be a hypocrite when I say it's time we really start to put our money where our mouths are. To not just talk, but to act.

The organizers of yesterday's walk did a great job helping me understand that any donation (even five bucks) is generous and makes a big difference. For example, my money could go toward keeping phone lines open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. That is so awesome: a resource for women who need to talk, even at 4 a.m. This could one day be someone I love -- or me. It's worth it to help out a family for that reason alone.

What I'm trying to say is don't stop playing the games. Enjoy them. Have fun. Giggle with your friends. But also make sure you're doing something besides just talking. Donate to a cause you believe in, whether you're able to give $5 or $5,000 (truly, any amount helps). You can also make a big difference by volunteering your time. Giving back to others is part of being human and will inspire you more than you will believe.
10/10/2010 11:15:48 pm

A-MEN! Those silly facebook status don't do anything productive. There are so many easy ways to help the cause that can actually make an impact. I always make a point to buy the "pink" products that area available this month - for example, the Eggland's Best eggs that are stamped with the pink ribbon - as part of proceeds go towards Breast Cancer research. But you've inspired me to just make a straight-up donation.

10/10/2010 11:33:32 pm

Thank you, Teri! You're so sweet and I'm glad you were inspired.

I love that you go out of your way to buy pink products. I think it's awesome when companies give part of their proceeds to a cause. Every little bit goes a LONG way. :)


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