This was the second time I participated in the American Cancer Society annual breast cancer walk. I was so humbled by my experience in last year’s walk that I decided to make a commitment to participate in the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walk each year.
I am unsure how much money I raised last year, but it probably was under $50. I knew I could do better than that, so this year I set a goal of $100. During the last week of fundraising, I met and surpassed that goal. The fact that so many people were willing to help me attain a goal was also very humbling. I’m glad that I was able to contribute to the cause.
While many people would assume that I participate because I know someone or was directly affected by breast cancer. I don’t know anyone personally who has lost the fight, or has become a survivor. This is why I participate. When I read or hear about the stories of women who have overcome, and those who haven’t, I am moved. I’m not just moved because it’s sad, but because at any time my mom, my sister, my aunt or I could discover a lump in one of our breasts. Breast Cancer does not discriminate. As a woman, I feel compelled to do what I can to help someone else’s mom, someone else’s sister, someone else’s aunt, or someone else. This disease affects so many women (and men) every year. I’ve been blessed to have not had it affect me or my loved ones, and I’d like to keep it that way.
This year’s walk was no different from the last. I was again humbled by the experience. I saw women, men and children all walking for a common purpose. Thousands of people, survivors and families of lost loved ones, all walking against breast cancer. It was a beautiful sight to see that many people from all backgrounds, economic classes, educational levels, and ages gather for such an important cause. We all walked 3 miles together and finished 3 miles together.
Life isn’t just about what we can do for ourselves; it’s also about what we can do for others. Find a cause that speaks to you, and look for ways to contribute. It will make life that much more purposeful.
I currently reside in the state of Florida, and today is the last day to register to vote before the upcoming election in November. I’ve been a registered voter since 8/24/2004, and have always exercised my right to vote.
I recently had a brief conversation with a co-worker who said she probably won’t vote because she’s confused about who to vote for. I told her that she should do research on each candidate, and vote for the person she thinks will best represent her lifestyle and values.
It is extremely difficult to do research on a particular candidate without coming across information that is misleading or bias. The media and researchers have developed skills to mask their bias, and have put the inquirers in an unfortunate situation. Politics is and has always been a very heavy topic. It’s easier to make a stand in support of or against something that you’re informed about, but when information is misrepresented, it can be very hard for people to formulate a well-informed opinion. So, I encourage people to not only research their candidates, but also commit to doing research about where and how that research was compiled. We all know that FOX News and MSNBC are two of the most bias media outlets out there. I would not rely on either of these stations to become a well-informed voter. You have to dig deeper than the surface to find out which candidate you should vote for.
Now, I know there are a ton of people who truly believe that their vote means nothing. I know there is no way to persuade you to think differently in that regard, but if you are anything other than a white male, at some point in history your race or gender was not entitled to vote. If those who governed America outlawed women, African-Americans, Hispanics, Asians, etc. from voting, then that form of expression must mean something. Yes, voting and who we elect has changed over the years. However, the essence of why we do it has not changed. Not to mention, people have fought, died and put their lives on the line to ensure that all those who come after them would have the right to vote. So, whether or not you think your vote matters, you should still exercise your right because for many of us, it hasn’t always been an option.
If you’re not registered to vote, be sure to find out when your state’s voter registration deadline is. While registering to vote is the first step, make sure you send in your absentee ballot, vote by mail, or show up at the polls. See the process all the way through!