Don’t Manipulate Me!

Museum of Natural History; Photo credit: Doree Weller

Museum of Natural History; Photo credit: Doree Weller

I always feel a twinge of guilt when I ignore things like, “Share if you hate cancer!” or “Share if you want a cure for diabetes!”  Well, of course I want to rid the world of cancer, diabetes, childhood diseases, adult diseases, male pattern baldness, and everything else, but I fail to see how my sharing a status that someone else came up with helps anyone.  Do I need to share this because if I don’t, people will assume that I support people getting cancer?

I’m all about supporting my friends.  If you have something going on with you, I’ll be there for you during your fight with whatever.  If you are a writer or an artist, I’ll share your stuff if you want me to.  But some random manipulative status?  No, I’m not going to do that.  It would be like asking me to share a status that says, “Share if you think the sky is blue!”

I get it; it’s all about awareness.  But I’m inundated with so many different things that I’m no longer aware of them, and I’ll bet most other people aren’t either.  Tell me something I don’t know about it.  Tell me something I can do to help.

I don’t mind you posting things about awareness.  Post whatever you want.  It’s just the ones that say “Share if you hate *fill in the blank*” that I dislike.  I don’t mind sharing things that I think are meaningful.  I have a friend who struggled with breast cancer, and she kept a blog about the reality of living with cancer.  I shared that.  I learned so much I didn’t know about breast cancer.  She kept it real and ugly, and showed how brave and beautiful she was, especially on days when she felt neither.  Show me real.

Now, maybe I don’t understand how sharing statuses help promote awareness, and I’m always up for discussion.  If you have a different opinion, I’d love to hear it.

*Note that I purposely left religious statuses out of this.  Part of the reason for that is that someone actually posted about that today, saying that she was saved by Jesus and wants everyone else to be too, which is why she shares things about it, and is her way of praying for others.  I can live with that.

The Fault In Our Stars- A Review

UnknownThe Fault in Our Stars, by John Green, is new to my favorites books list.  The author is careful to state that the book is non-fiction.  It’s about Hazel, who has been terminally ill with cancer since she was 13.  She’s now 17, and knows she’s lived longer than she should have.  Her mother thinks she’s depressed and makes her go to a cancer support group, where she meets Augustus.

Augustus lost a leg to cancer, but is now in remission.  He and Hazel share a dark and unique sense of humor that made me laugh even while it made me think.  Despite Hazel’s death sentence, she and Augustus fall in love.

There’s more to this story, much more, but I wouldn’t want to spoil even a moment for you.  For some people, this book might be depressing, and I’ll admit that there were times it made me cry.  But the fact that the kids lived despite so many things is uplifting to me.

I raced through this book and then bought it.  I can’t wait for it to show up so that I can highlight parts of it.  Yes, THAT’S how much I loved it.

Highly, highly, highly recommend it.  I need to borrow other people’s thumbs in order to give it enough thumb’s up.

Love, Hope, Strength

by The TV Guy

CBS this Morning brings us another wonderful story about hope and change. This time it is an organization that was created out of necessity and has blossomed into a new weapon in the war on cancer. For many years, people suffering from cancer who were in need of bone marrow transplants had to hope and pray that there was a match on the list. The problem has always been getting enough people to join the list. The test is just a swab of the cheek of the mouth and you become a potential donor.

Love-Hope-Strength sets up a booth at large music festivals and concert venues in order to get more potential donors on the list. The organization is responsible for more than 25,000 new potential donors and 291 actual donors since it was started just five years ago.

A simple idea with the backing of more and more artists each day giving hope to cancer patients in need of a donor. This is one of those stories you just want to share with as many people as you can.