Saturday, September 6, 2014

We're all just different colors on the ribbon rainbow

So many things going through my mind lately; Robin Williams' suicide; ALS Ice Bucket Challenges; and my cousin, Celina's battle with Crohn's Disease are all part of that. All of these things got me thinking about "raising awareness" about so many things people face every day.

If you think about it, the next time you are out-and-about, pay attention to awareness "ribbons" or other car decor to see what is important to that car owner. My prediction is that you will see a lot of pink; some yellow ribbon shaped magnets; and, on occasion, a multi-colored puzzle "ribbon." You would know right away that people feel passionate about breast cancer, supporting U.S. troops, and autism. Then, if I asked you what a red ribbon would signify, you may be able to recall that it was for HIV/AIDS awareness. Of those colors/patterns, a simple Google search seems to reveal that breast cancer has exclusive rights to pink. Most of the other colors/patterns seem to be sharing a color. 

In my case, I could have a yellow ribbon for endometriosis awareness. After Robin Williams' death, quite a few ribbons could be used for raising awareness because you might want to do it with a general mental health color, suicide-prevention color, depression, or drug dependency, for examples. ALS awareness seems like it may have its very own pattern of navy blue and white pin-stripes. This pattern is an homage to Lou Gehrig's Yankees' uniform. Purple seems to be the main color for Crohn's, but I did find some lists with Crohn's being blue.

I kind of want to say, "Fuck the ribbons!" I've become aware of so many important things that so many people struggle with on a daily basis that keeping up with ribbons would lead to needing more cars or just an entire outfit. With some colors having a list of various things associated with them, they're not going to do as well as something like pink and breast cancer. Those things get lost in the shuffle. They also may be the issues no one wants to talk about. But, they are important things.

Maybe we can stop making sufferers of different diseases and/or social issues feel like they need to hide what they face each day. Let's not feel shame, but start to share with one another. Talk, tweet, post wherever you can to get the word out to others. Let's educate each other. We may not have the same struggle, but we are the same in that we each struggle in some way. 

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