Thursday, October 3, 2013


Let’s have the pink ribbon conversation one more time, shall we?  Some of us embrace the pink ribbon.  It makes us feel good.  Some of us abhor that ribbon because for us, it’s symbolic of decades of failure and a constant reminder of the senseless deaths that we blame directly on that failure.  Some of us could care less.

Those are the choices and we all fit into one of those three categories: Love it, Hate it, Don't give a shit.  Oh... I suppose there COULD be a fourth category although I have no idea in which galaxy this might exist but technically, category 4..... What's a pink ribbon?  Yeah.  Didn't think so.  Not even in my wildest fantasy dreams.

Moving right along......In this land of the free, I believe we must live with an understanding that we are all different and I’m not a proponent of cramming my feelings down another’s throat.  I will explain my position.  I will listen to theirs.  One of us may change our opinion.  Or not.  But in an honest and healthy discussion, in a constructive conversation, each party should walk away with a better understanding of views different than their own. 

This is good.  This is diversity.  This is what it means to be free and to live in a country where we have the ability to exercise our right to free speech.  Most importantly, in listening to others, we learn.  We broaden our views.   I believe my life is enriched each time I learn from another, whether we are polar opposites or we appear to be long lost twins separated at birth.

Similarly, the language of cancer elicits some rather strong opinions.  The war metaphors are distasteful to some of us.  To others, those words are empowering.   In the home of the brave, it’s not up to me to sit in judgment of others.  If those words are comforting, who am I to be critical of a grieving family for referring to the death of a loved one by using phrases like “lost her battle” or “after a brave and valiant fight.”  Because that’s not my preference, does that make it okay for me to impose my will upon others?  I think not.  It’s up to me to be a mindful and decent human being.  It’s up to me to respect the feelings of others.  That doesn’t mean I can’t state my opinion, but I’m mindful of the fact that this is solely my opinion.

If someone wants to slap a ribbon on a product, can we ALL agree that we should know what’s happening with the money being made from the sale of that pink thingamajigee?  

We are not going to untangle this mess quickly or by attacking the problem haphazardly.  This is going to require the efforts of all of us.  If we do this in a very focused and carefully coordinated manner, we will succeed.  Let's ALL master these skills first and then use this as a foundation to go deeper.

As long as there are pink ribbons, let's make sure we are getting our money's worth.  Let's make sure WE, those for whom the pink bells toll, are squeezing every red cent out of those bills and then sending those dollars to people who are going to make sure to get the most bang for the buck, whether it's research, helping the underserved, assisting women after surgery, buying groceries... whatever matters to YOU... just make sure those who are spending YOUR money, are doing so wisely.  We have to start somewhere.  I think this is a good starting point.  Three simple questions. 
  • How much money from this purchase is being donated to a charitable organization (and is there a cap)
  • What organization is receiving the funds?
  • How does THAT organization spend their donor dollars? 
This is an abbreviated version of something I posted quite some time ago.  Many MILLIONS of dollars will change hands this month.  Let's make sure we are choosing wisely.  Or, donate directly....  No, I haven't lost my edge, I'm just trying desperately to make real headway this year!  

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