I noticed that the cashier at a store where I shop was wearing a red dress ribbon, for heart health. I commented on it, and she said, “Oh, yes, we had a promotion for cancer awhile ago. I like the ribbon.”
“Isn’t the red dress for heart health?” I asked.
The cashier thought about it and said, “Oh, I guess your right. I get these ribbons confused sometimes.”
And, so do I. For every color in the rainbow and more, there seems to be an awareness ribbon. And with so many causes linked to so many colored ribbons, I’m beginning to think that the overall effect of each individual cause is becoming diluted, at least on first glance. Lupus, for example, has been associated with purple, but also with orange (although, to be fair, that color generally is on a loop). As for the multi-colored ribbons? Oh, I give up!
With May being Lupus Awareness Month, I thought I’d add to the conversation by saying that whether we have lupus or another illness, really the best way to gain awareness is to be our eager and articulate selves. We live the disease each day, so why not use our experiences as our ribbons, disseminating information to our circle of loved ones first and then, as we grow that circle, to others. If we put the money spent in manufacturing and distributing ribbons and other things, into research and verbal awareness campaigns, thing how much farther along we could be, especially with such under-funded diseases as lupus!
If you feel as if you’re all tied up in ribbons, you’re not alone. But by tackling the “knotty” problem with positive communication and example, we can make it very clear, yes loud and clear, that there are many things beyond ribbons and loops – there are people – and that is truly the point.