Pink this. Pink that. Everywhere pink, pink, pink. October is pink and it's hard to miss the pink, pink, pink. Why doesn't diabetes have a month or a color? Wow, it does? REALLY?
Someone I consider active in the cause recently asked me this question and I stood dumbfounded as I realized that this person—in my estimation someone who is active, involved and diabetes-conscious—had no clue that November is Diabetes Awareness Month and/or that ‘diabetes blue’ is a thing.
Now before you jump to conclusions and say that NO ONE could be active in diabetes causes and not know about the significance of ‘blue’ and/or November 14th...take pause. It could be perfect timing to lock, load, and shoot; but I look at it much differently. I ask, why that person doesn’t know. Why doesn’t your neighbor know? Why doesn’t your postman know? Why do so many…simply not know?
And that my dear partners-in-battle falls squarely upon our shoulders.
It is the fault of all of us, collectively, socially, as a group, as an entity, as a movement. If the world at large does not know about diabetes, the harm it can cause, the damage it can cause, that it is not caused by eating candy, and the list goes on and on…and on. If you blame the world at large, you have fallen prey as many before you who were locked and loaded to make a difference in this world.
But at the end of the day, the world did not listen.
And THAT is our fault.
Why? Because it’s not their job to listen to us. It’s our job to get them to listen. To make them listen. To make the world around us understand a little more about this disease called diabetes.
The ‘pink folks’? Ohhhhh they knew exactly what they were doing. And they didn’t care if others thought it was stupid or weird. pink handguns, pink Kentucky Fried Chicken buckets, and pink Mike’s Hard Lemonade are just some of the tens of thousands of items that have gone pink in October. And there were certainly nay-sayers about these products but when so many pink items are on the market...it becomes news when some of those products are questionable…and yet would we not be happy to just know that a product, ANY PRODUCT, was blue for November?
What about those buildings lit up in blue around the world? I think those buildings look fabulous in the lovely blue light but have we come to know it as ‘the diabetes color’? The truth of that is simply put—does anyone realize they are blue for diabetes? In most cases, the answer is sadly, no.
But do not dwell on that because the reason you see so much ‘pink’ is the very way we can make things blue and that answer is...connections. People who know people who know people.
Chances are someone you know, knows someone who can do something ‘blue’ and raise money for a diabetes cause. Jet Blue, blue corn chips, blue cheeses, Blue Moon Beer—anything with the label ‘blue’ is a good place to start.
Think of it. Why can’t $1.00 of every ticket on Jet Blue go to a diabetes cause? Their marketing department would have a field day touting how great they are for helping to find a cure for such a deadly disease. But it will always come back to the basic question of finding someone who knows someone in a company who will hear a pitch. If you know someone, give me a call. I will gladly be the messenger and deliver the proposal but I've got to get in the door.
So the REAL question is not what are they doing, but rather, WHAT ARE WE DOING in unison to get the word out there about diabetes awareness?
The truth is if we are content and happy with our internal outreach in the diabetes world to know about blue and November—and we do not reach outside our own community to convince them to jump on board—well then it will just be our own community that will ever know.
Time to knock on the doors outside...and get in.
Maybe blue can be the new black…
But no one will know it until we tell them. REALLY tell them. Until such time all of our efforts will keep falling short and that will leave us all feeling a tad...well...blue.
I am a DiabetesDad.