When my mom was diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma I immediately went on the internet to learn everything I could about it.
Because it mattered.
Because it was my mom.
And because I had never heard of it before.
When I tell people that my mom has Multiple Myeloma they say, “oh?”
It isn’t until I throw out the word cancer that they pay any mind to it at all.
Then it’s, “I’m so sorry, that’s so awful!”
Because we all know what cancer is, generally speaking.
I don’t see athletes wearing burgundy during MM awareness month, nobody has bracelets that say “save the bone marrow!” and there certainly isn’t any kind of viral Facebook challenge raising awareness and funds for this crippling terminal cancer.
But I wish there was.
I wish more people got involved with everything instead of nothing or only the things that personally affect them.
By now none of us are strangers to the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge that has been sweeping our news feeds by storm.
But what you may still be strangers to is the true impact of this movement.
Eye rollers unite!
I know you’re popping them out at me right now.
But stop complaining about the drought or the narcissism or the non-Eco friendly bucket someone used and take a step back to learn why this movement started in the first place.
And then there’s this:
Oh, and this:
And countless more I am sure.
Facebook is one of the largest media outlets in the world.
I know hardly anyone who watches the news but everyone I know checks their Facebook.
Like it or not, the internet is a great platform for awareness of what is happening around the world as well as in our own backyards and I’m tired of hearing people complain about it.
Is California in a horrible drought?
But tell me, have you started taking cold showers so as not to waste water while it warms up?
Have you protested going in swimming pools or spas?
Have you stopped boiling your food and instead adopted a raw diet in order to conserve?
If you truly are worried about the water crisis then shouldn’t these cut backs take precedent over complaining about using it for the ice bucket challenge (aka, a good cause)?
Wouldn’t protesting efforts be better placed over daily water wasting habits rather than a single isolated event in one’s life?
“People are only doing is at a narcissistic cry for attention!”
But if 5 people do it to look good in a video and 1 person learns something new and donates because of it then why do you care?
15 million dollars have been raised so far compared to the 1.7 million for all of last year.
So don’t tell me that it’s not making an impact because it is.
And if awareness means “jumping on the bandwagon” then sign my ass up every damn time.
Because I couldn’t care less how the word gets out there, only that it does.
Pretending that our world is represented by Buzzfeed quizzes and cute proposal videos is a misuse of our social media and skills.
We all have the power to make a difference.
Cancer, ALS, racism, terrorism, anti-semitism, etc. etc. etc.
Speak out, stand up.
Don’t hide behind a closed envelope donation or quiet support.
The more we share the more people we get to care and that creates a chain reaction.
So post your Ice Bucket Challenges proudly.
Get talking about things that are scary.
If you’re uncomfortable, then good!
It means you’re stepping outside of yourself and seeing the tragedies of this world.
Challenge others to do the same.
Because you ARE making a difference and together we can move mountains.