It’s true. Totally against it. I don’t buy pink pens or pink garbage cans or pink shoe laces. In fact, there are times when I’ve specifically chosen product B over product A because product A had a pink ribbon on it.
I also don’t support Heart Disease Awareness, Childhood Cancer Awareness, or AIDS Awareness.
I don’t just not support “Awareness,” I am against others supporting it.
I have felt pretty strongly about this for quite a long time.
You see, I truly believe in my heart of hearts that “thoughts are things.” I have seen it in action. I have seen people focus all of their energy into being “aware” of their lack, their illness, their misery and, without exception they have been the poorest, sickest, most miserable people I’ve known.
On the other hand, I have seen people who are genuinely poor, sick and miserable muster themselves into a place where they could give thanks for whatever blessings they did have and, low and behold, things don’t seem quite as bad for them any more.
Furthermore, I have had an issue with the vast amounts of money being poured into all these foundations with what seems like very little return. My grocery store has an entire department of pink merchandise ranging from cream cheese to toilet paper to mittens. I can’t even fathom how much money is spent on pink (and red and blue etc) stuff. All that cash and we’re still poisoning women with radiation and chemo and chopping off pieces of their precious bodies? Wait… no… we’ve made progress. Now we can predict who has a higher chance of maybe getting these diseases so we can chop of their body parts preemptively.
What is this? The civil war battlefield?
You’re telling me we can decode the human genome, detect the “god-particle” inside and atom, fly a spacecraft outside the solar system and put the entire contents of the library of congress into a device that will fit in my purse but we can’t cure sick people without mutilating them and putting them through hell on earth? Come on Big Pharma. You can do better.
And then there is the other side of the money thing. If I choose to buy… say… Kraft cream cheese over the Meijer brand because Kraft has a pink ribbon on their box and I want $.01 worth of my purchase to support breast cancer awareness doesn’t that mean that Kraft is profiting from the suffering of millions? It’s not as thought they’re going to give 100% of the profits from my purchase. They’re running a business. They want to make money. And that’s OK. Hooray for Capitalism. But I’m not sure that playing on people’s sympathies for the suffering of the ill through some token donation toward “awareness” is OK.
I was talking about all this recently with my big sister who is one of the wisest and most discerning people I know. She always seeks to see every side of a debate.
She has fought hard to keep her own body healthy and strong and she has had her heart broken as she has watched some of her dearest loved ones suffer through the horror of a cancer diagnosis and the brutal treatments only to die too soon anyway.
She lives in the Indianapolis area. The medical industry is to Indy what the automotive industry is to Detroit. If the medical folks ever packed up and left the place would be ruined. There is a hospital, a laboratory, a drug company or an insurance building on every corner. Since October is “Breast Cancer Awareness Month” the city is sporting more pink right now than a 3-year-old girl with a passion for Barbie Fashion.
I was muttering about it. “A whole month of being aware of disease. Blech! Where’s all that money going anyway? Into paying for all those BMWs and Audi’s I see driving around this city, I suppose. Mutter mutter grumble grumble.”
She said, “When I helped raise money for the Susan B. Komen Foundation I wasn’t even thinking about the money going to research, so much. A lot of what we raised paid for support services. They provided wigs and bras and things like spa treatments after chemo. It was a way of showing the person with cancer that we loved them and we were there for them. It was for the survivors, too. It’s such a helpless feeling when your loved one is diagnosed… giving to these causes makes you feel like you’re doing something to help.”
I never thought of it that way.
I hate it when I realize I’ve been acting out of ignorance!
I considered her words for several days. I realized I had missed the point of the “awareness” campaigns, at least in large part.
Maybe, just maybe, I need to re-think that pink key chain. Because maybe, just maybe, some woman I encounter who has just had her life turned upside down by the results of a mammogram needs to see that she’s not facing her nightmare alone.
I still have my reservations about the ethics of where the money is going. I still don’t think that the drug companies and so forth are entirely on the up and up about everything. But if the organization is legit, as many are, well… maybe I’ll have to rethink my little boycott.
I still believe we need to stop putting so much awareness on disease and dysfunction and drugs and start putting more time and money and research into creating healthy society so that our bodies don’t malfunction in the first place. We need to stop focusing on illness and start focusing on the amazing strength of the human spirit.
But maybe… just maybe… I’ll buy a “Save the Ta-Tas” shirt someday because I think women’s bodies are beautiful and I think that the precious spirits that are housed within them deserve to know that we are all in this crazy life together.
When I see some of the ladies I know who have fought more bravely, strongly, and gracefully to regain their health than I probably ever could I want THEM to know that I love them, I am proud of them, I am in awe of them, and I support THEM (not their disease). I want them to know that I do believe they are warriors and I do believe they will be victorious in this battle.
I would love to know how you feel about this. Why do you (or don’t you) buy “ribbon products?”
Are you, too, seeking to save the earth, promote world peace and raise productive citizens without expending too much effort?
Why not follow LazyHippieMama on WordPress, by email, Facebook or Twitter to get all the updates.
If we work on our goals together, they may be a little easier to achieve!