My whole mind and soul is still reeling on the heels of MasterLab at FFL.
The MasterLab agenda was filled with informative and motivational speakers, the most compelling being Michael Mangianello. He was a key disturber of the AIDS movement, and played a pivotal role in putting a face on AIDS and getting policy and moneys allocated for the cause.
At the Children with Diabetes Friends for Life conference you are given a bracelet at registration. A green bracelet means you have Type 1, a Orange bracelet means you love someone with Type 1.
Michael said so many things that socked me in the chest. Completely paraphrasing: "I walk down the hall and see these little tiny children with Green bracelets. It makes me angry. There are too many green bracelets. You are too comfortable with the status quo. You have the numbers, you have the leaders, you have the means and the social networks....it's time to start a movement."
Which begs the question, is our community passionate enough to start a movement?
Are we angry enough to start a movement?
I'm afraid we might not have it in us. Yet.
I say that because I know that JDRF, the ADA and others have asked us to do simple things for our cause, and for the most part, we don't do them.
They, on occasion, have asked us to call our congressman. Did we do that? Very very few of us do. One phone call, and most of us can't even make it.
We are asked to write. We are asked to comment. Are we?
If we can't do the little things, how can we rise up and do the big? How can we shut down the White House switch board when we can't even get a handful to make the calls? What is stopping us?
I think I have a small inkling of what it may be.
During the MasterLab event there was a presentation on the Spare a Rose Campaign. It highlighted the good the DOC can do when we put our collective forces together. Spare a Rose raised money for children all around the world in developing countries who don't have access to insulin. It saved lives. Literally.
But the comment was made: "What about the children in the US? Why aren't we helping them."
And another comment, "How can $5 save a child for an entire month? It just doesn't make sense."
I think sometimes we realize that our helping is only a drop in the bucket, or in our case, a drop in the silo. We see clearly there is so much that needs to be done...surely my $5, my call, my letter won't make any real difference at all.
Which brings us back to the starfish principle. The little girl that was throwing starfishes back into the ocean after the tide went out? A gentleman, after looking down the beach at the thousands and thousands of starfish questioned why she was even bothering when she barely would make a dent...she wasn't really making a difference, right?
"Well, I just made a difference to this one." She said as she threw another starfish back in the ocean.
Small things done collectively can make giant changes in the world.
Until we start believing that nothing will change.
Don't depend on others to tell your story. Your story is unique and important. One of my favorite quotes from MasterLab is, "You know how the saying goes, if you've spoken to one diabetic, you've spoken to one diabetic."
Our uniqueness is powerful. We are letting it divide us, when really it should be used to unite us. The fact that everyone's diabetes is different is one of the reasons we need to make a fuss. The world is making blanket assumptions about Diabetes, and we're letting them.
Your voice is needed in the din. It could be yours that finally brings our voices to the surface, just like that little Who down in Whoville that made all the difference to his community.
Is there something moving in your chest yet?
Is there fire there?
If yes. Good.
If no. Find that match.
This is our time.
The movement has begun.