Sunday, August 24, 2014

That thing you're doing*

*The full title of this post is actually "That thing you're doing right now, and don't even know it", but for Twittery reasons, I have shortened it. :)

An advocate cares. 
An advocate wants to affect change. 
An advocate wants to engage, influence, and chart new paths in churning chaos. 

Advocates are all that, and none if that. It's like saying all ALS supporters want to have buckets of ice water thrown on their heads. There are as many types of advocates as there are people. 

I call myself an advocate, because I speak what's on my mind, usually about diabetes but not always, albeit I often edit it just to keep it in the realm of being family friendly ;)

~Mahatma Gandhi~
But far from the advocacy 'stars' (bless them!), I am a small tiny star just trying to make a tiny difference. I choose to share my thoughts about diabetes in a blog, on Twitter, and with my co-workers if they ask me about it. 

When I see others struggling with diabetes, or with any other challenges online, I break out of the mindset that "they will work it out" or "Somebody Else will help them", and I will offer suggestions, or if nothing else, give them a little virtual pat on the shoulder if I don't have an answer. 

I am sometimes inspired to write letters to organizations, but not often, because I usually end up feeling my efforts seemingly go unnoticed. I do when I think it's important though, and I do harbour a little hope that somebody out there is sharing that email with others, exclaiming, "See this??! Isn't this brilliant??!"

All this being said, I'd also venture to say that you are an advocate too, because you are reading this blog post. You probably have read some other, much more inspiring posts and commentary than this. You have come down a different path to get here, whether it was looking for insight, looking for clarity, or just a little curious. 

Whatever it is, whatever brought you here, and however you get to where you are going, you will take away a new fresh perspective all your very own. And one day, you may find yourself sharing your own take on things with others - your partner, your extended family, or your best friend, over a cold lemonade and a package of Oreos. And maybe your sharing with them can expand their world just a little bit too as they go on their own life journey.

And that makes you an advocate too.

It doesn't take much. Just as Mahatma Gandhi said, be the change you wish to see in the world.