Advocacy is a topic that is often discussed in the Diabetes Online Community. But what does it really mean to be an advocate? Can you be one and not even know it? Let’s go back to our January 15th chat on advocacy and explore the following . . . .
What is your definition of an advocate?
I could give you the textbook definition of what an advocate is. Or, I can tell you straight from the heart what it means to me. I believe it takes a lot of strength and courage to be an advocate of something. There are many discussions about this group and that one and who will advocate for them. I never thought I needed one in concern to my diabetes and I certainly never considered myself to be one. Until I really evaluated what advocacy meant…
It means someone is on your side. Rooting for you, sticking up for you, and encouraging you. People reminding you that they are always in your corner no matter the weather and plan to stay there because they care.
Sometimes these advocates, who help you discover your voice in a sea of conversations, are fighting the same battle as you..whatever that may be..and sometimes they are there just because.
When I first joined the Diabetes Online Community I did so because I was looking for individuals who felt the way that I did. Who would support me through every obstacle and cheer me on when I succeed. I found that. And then a beautiful thing happened, I became that beacon of light for someone else.
Not meaning to, not looking for the job, not knowing how or what I was in for..I became an advocate. Speaking up for people with diabetes every chance I am given. It doesn’t have to be on a large spectrum either. It can be debunking diabetes myths rather than letting them continue. Standing up for what you believe to be right. Letting others know about the disease and that the people who live with it every day are human, are more than just numbers, and they are strong.
Maybe you write a blog, maybe you tweet about it, maybe you Facebook it, or vine it, or instagram it..however you get your positive message out there makes YOU an advocate. You don’t have to have a million followers. If you get one person to listen and understand then you are doing your best and that’s what counts.
Believing in all that you do and who you do it for.
“This post is my February entry in the DSMA Blog Carnival. If you’d like to participate too, you can get all of the information athttp://diabetescaf.org/2014/02/february-dsma-blog-carnival-3/“