Thinking of something worthwhile to post today I came across the thoughts I have on advocacy (in my ever-so jumbled mess of of a mind). Sorting through the massive amounts of thoughts that pass through my head on a daily basis is daunting and takes a lot of energy! Sometimes I wish I could slow my thoughts down…always going 90 mph.
Advocacy is simply defined as ‘giving aid to a cause’. Pretty simple, right? One would think so, but truth be told advocacy is a much harder act to follow through with. Intentions are meant well but life seems to get in the way. In nursing school it was drilled into us to always be a patient advocate. Where we provide information to our patients to help them make better informed decisions, fight for better care, and what is right. It is part of our job and scope of practice. So it seems to come natural when I am doing my ‘job’.
I am not sure that I have ever been much of an advocate for anything besides being a patient advocate when I was working because I was told to. Not because I didn’t want to; I just never realized I should or even could. There are no rules on how to be an advocate, what standards you must meet or what you can be an advocate on. Being an advocate is simply giving aid to a cause, any cause.
I find myself on a daily basis in one way or another being an advocate for diabetes, for my children, for my family. Once you take the step, you realize that you become an advocate for life in general, in all that you do and all things you love. Passion seems to be that driving force. I look for opportunities to teach about T1D and spread awareness. You would be surprised how many misconceptions are out there about T1D, and I was once guilty of having misconceptions…well maybe not misconceptions, but lack of education about this disease. By being an advocate I am letting my voice be heard and counted.
I think of advocacy as reaching out for a greater good, something bigger than you, for the benefit of others; continually pushing beyond your comfort zone and limits. I think about being a pioneer when it comes to advocacy…not everyone wants to carve that path, but someone has to do it. I want my children to be avid advocates and learn to advocate for themselves. Sure, I hope they are advocates for diabetes, but in all honesty, being an advocate for anything is awesome.
Every person has something to offer, and power often times resides in numbers. “The squeaky wheel gets the grease” quote comes to mind when I think about advocacy. If I don’t be an advocate for what I believe in and for who I love, then who will? In the past, I was quick to think that someone else will do a better job, someone else had it covered. I now know that is the farthest from the truth.
Have you ever stopped to think about in which ways you advocate? Do you join causes to support those you love? Do you advocate for your children? Is there a cause you think is worth the effort? I urge everyone to always advocate, no matter how small or large the cause. Be that voice when no other voice can be heard…you will never know who you can reach until you try.
So I leave you with a challenge. Be an active advocate in your life, find a cause and contribute to it. Let your passion spread the message