Bigger Than Us All
To help is bigger than any single entity, company, foundation, or incident.
By Tom Karlya
November 2006 — It's November.
I remember when November just meant getting ready for Thanksgiving, leading off the holiday season. November is a great month. The gateway to festivities surrounding friends, relatives, presents, parties and the "a good time was had by all" attitude. November is also diabetes awareness month. Not exactly a celebration but a milestone to reflect on what is happening around us and more importantly, asking the question; "What am I doing to make a difference?"
I am one of the chief balloonists in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade - have been for many years (Hey someone has to do it—right?). Every year I lead a large group of people down Broadway in rain, sunshine, and any weather that comes along so the millions along the parade route can see one of the most spectacular views during the holidays - those humongous helium balloons. Million and millions of people come together to enjoy the official kick off to the holiday season. I love it.
I don't know who exactly designated Macy's Parade to kickoff the holiday season and I am also unsure who designated November as diabetes month. But they both come every year. And every year we look to them both as a time of significance. This year, as you get ready to give thanks for the gazillion things you have to be thankful for, ask yourself what small thing you might do in the next year to help out in the world of diabetes.
Perhaps it's just a matter of doing something more than you might usually do, or doing something because you have been on the sidelines for years or "away" from the way you used to be involved. Perhaps you feel burned out a bit because you have run nine million fundraisers. Perhaps you feel that the foundation you support doesn't say thank you as many times as they should and you stepped back a little. Perhaps someone pissed you off and because of it you have decided not to work with someone or some foundation. Perhaps you are part of an association or a foundation and you might take a step toward working with another organization for the betterment of the cause.
Whatever the reason, perhaps you can ask your self how you might get back in the swing of things again.
Because, you see, those with diabetes don't get a break. They still have to live everyday managing their diabetes whether people, associations, foundations, or companies work together or not. People with diabetes will suffer hypoglycemic reactions whether someone gets involved or not because they feel stepped on or burned out. Regardless of whether or not you are thanked for your participation in a certain event, people with diabetes will still die from their disease. Helping in this diabetes community is so much bigger than any single person, entity, company, foundation or incident.
So this November, commit yourself to do something that you haven't done before for the simple reason it needs to be done for a person with diabetes – a loved one, a relative, a co-worker, a friend, and the millions like them. Doing something that you think might be so simple could have great results.
You can't really see helium you know - but pump a zillion cubic feet into a Snoopy Balloon and a million people will look up and not fully understand why it makes them smile. But it does and it kicks off the holiday time. Do something this November.
I'm a Diabetes Dad.
dLife's Viewpoints columnists are not all medical experts, but everyday people living with diabetes and sharing their personal experiences, most often at a set point in time. While their method of diabetes management may work for them, everyone is different. Please consult with your diabetes care team before acting on anything you read here to find out what will work best for you.
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