Choosing Our Battles
When it comes to creating change, attacking is not the only path to take
By Tom Karlya
March 2014 — It just seems, lately, that when someone gets something wrong about diabetes, there is a tide-swelling wall of water in attacking, as if it were the worst misunderstanding since the beginning of time.
No matter how hard we try, people are always going to misunderstand the differences between the many forms of diabetes. People are going to think they have it worse than someone else. And there are some that would rather attack than educate.
Middle ground needs to be reached. Now, I have certainly been on the forefront of charging forward and after the last go-round I had over the Miss Manners situation, I took a long look at myself in the mirror. I also got a tad angry at my reaction.
I got a tad angry at me.
I hate when people feed on the frenzy, and I was as guilty as one could be charged. It was wrong to spend so much time attacking and not finding another way to the solution. I fed into the anger. I lost perspective in that not everyone knows as much as those of us who live this to the extent we do. The realization was very loud.
I was angry with myself. It was the wrong roadway.
How can we expect change when the people we are reaching out to spend more time fending off our attacks than listening to our ‘teachable moment'? I have been on both sides of that coin; and shame on me for not realizing it as it was happening.
It's us getting angry when the relatives say a stupid statement about how our children became diagnosed with diabetes does not change anything. Us demanding a tree limb to hang the idiots who get it wrong on TV will solve nothing. Us demanding that T2 people should live a better life style because they are making those with T1 look bad is just plain wrong. Us thinking that one type is worse than another type is just unfair.
We need to change the ‘us' to include everyone.
Not to be misunderstood, I am all for taking a strong stance, and I am all for fighting the correct battles when it comes to change. Much change needs to happen, but it just seems we are attacking ourselves, our opinions, and the way people do things differently, rather than going after the changes that we should be going after.
My way does not have to be your way. One person's shots does not have to be another person's pump. There are so many ways to battle diabetes — the least on the list is to be battling each other. It happens too often and I don't know how much can change, but I am certainly going to start with the man in the mirror.
We have some work to do. We can be strong, but a better spirit needs to prevail. Would Gandhi or Nelson Mandela change the paradigm of diabetes the way we do?
Food for thought.
I am 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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