I have been thinking a lot lately about what it means to be an advocate. A group of people
recently traveled to Washington DC to advocate for diabetes among our Congressmen.
There was a press release
for an episode of True Life on MTV that was reworded
in response to contact from the diabetes community.
So, what does all that mean? What is an advocate?
First of all, a definition is important, so lets consult the dictionary
An advocate has several related meanings
- To speak or write in favor of; support or urge by argument; recommend publicly.
- A person who speaks or writes in support or defense of a person, cause, etc.
- A person who pleads for or in behalf of another; intercessor.
I find it interesting that there is even evidence of the usage of the word advocate in the New Testament of the Bible. When Jesus is explaining the Holy Spirit that will come to the people after he returns to heaven, He describes the Spirit as an advocate and the word in Greek particularly means
one who pleads another’s cause, who helps another by defending or comforting him. (John 14:16; 15:26; 16:7, Easton’s 1897 Bible Dictionary)
As a Christian, it is encouraging to me to find that the idea of being an advocate is not a new concept, but even more so, that being an advocate is not always about fighting on behalf of someone but can mean actually being a comfort.
If you look through my archive you wont find a copy of the e-mails I sent
to Readers Digest or MTV. If you search through my tweets you wont find more than one or two with comments to share with the people at Medtronic and not an @readersdigest
in the bunch. The controversy about MTV barely hit my radar except for reading the expertly written post
by someone whose name rhymes with shmabby shmayer
I usually participate in my local JDRF walks
and had a meeting (that went nowhere)
with the local representatives about increasing the adult Type 1 involvement, but that is the extent of my connection with them.
I am an advocate.
I advocate by sharing my life. Not just my life with diabetes. I used to feel guilty about that. Not anymore. This is my life.
I advocate by sharing about all the aspect of my life.
You may think that someone with diabetes cant go skydiving. I have.
What about traveling to countries where the temperature reaches over 100 degrees, or those described as third world by some)? Done that too. Since diagnosis Ive been to Mexico, Israel, Jordan, and Haiti
Snorkeling? So far, in the Red Sea and in the Caribbean.
Do people with diabetes heal slower and should avoid piercings and body art? Better not tell the ear I got pierced this weekend about that.
I advocate for the fact that diabetes cannot stop you living your life. Diabetes is not your life.