Ribbons, Wristbands and Avatars!

I have to say, that I’ve probably gotten into more than my “fair share” of arguments over the years.  99% of the time, it’s because I have zero interest in letting people make sweeping generalizations, proclaim from the mount that one way is the best way (unless you are talking about day baseball, then there IS only one way).  I will say, that by far, the most insipid argument I’ve been involved in is the changing of avatars on facebook, wearing “awareness” bands and other pretty mundane acts that individuals may do to promote awareness or a cause. Nobody can know a snowball/downhill impact of a gesture of somebody seeing a bumper sticker, an avatar, a bracelet and either speaking up or seeking help.

 One person suggested that there wasn’t “quantifiable data” to see if it works: My thought? If Susan G. Komen and the Pink Ribbon awareness campaigns were not around, how much money would be raised for breast cancer? How much early detection would be done? The “slacktivist” (and I despise that word) actions (based on perception) have roots in history from the song Round Her Neck She Wears a Yeller Ribbon (For Her Lover Who Is Fur, Fur Away) from 1917 but the origins of a yellow ribbon for a member in the armed forces traces back to the ENGLISH civil war.

Historically, I think of the red ribbon campaign early in the AIDS era, the pink ribbon for breast cancer, patches worn by teams to honor a fallen teammate or alum, the teal ribbon for awareness and simply wonder “what is wrong with just raising awareness?” Isn’t raising awareness activism in and of itself? And besides, why should *anybody* care if I opt to change a pick, wear a ribbon or wear a bracelet. The last time I checked, nobody made one for drug use, illiteracy or abuse.

The picture of Jackson has him modeling 2 bracelets made by a friend for her daughter: the daughter suffers from crippling migraines. The purpose of the bracelets? In part, to remind her that there are people who care, love and support her.  And, that is what part of being a human is all about! And we never know when a gesture, even simple, can help another person out.


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