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Thursday, 20 March 2014

Acceptance and Awareness

"Problems cannot be solved at the same level of awareness that created them."
Albert Einstein

Yesterday's blog post was a little heavy and I apologise for that. As much as I want this blog to be a positive representation of living with disability, I also want it to be truthful. I don't want it to come across like I look at things with rose tinted glasses, nor do I want to pretend I don't have struggles. Everyone has struggles, and we all deal with them differently. How I choose to deal with mine is by rationalising them and then accepting them. I accept that my life will get a little tough sometimes, just like everybody else's and that's okay. There is no point dwelling on the things you cannot change. That being said, there is a big difference in burying your head in the sand and accepting a problem before figuring out how to move forward. Yesterdays entry wasn't a self indulgent attempt at throwing myself a pity party. That was me unloading all these thoughts I had in my head and rationalising them, so I could accept what was happening and then figure out the best way forward in dealing with it. Today is another day and I feel considerably better today than I did yesterday. The worst thing is bottling up your problems. Granted spilling your guts online isn't for everyone, but I think it's important if I'm going create this blog about my life and share my story, that I am honest and show a full representation. But yes, I hope that very heavy post didn't put anyone off. 

Now, on to what the Albert Einstein quote above is about. Unless you've been living in a Wifi'less cave or for whatever reason abstain from Facebook, you've probably noticed over the last two or so days the abundance of 'no make-up selfies' floating around. My own Facebook feed was full of them on one hand, and on the other I had a bunch of people wondering what the point of it all was. Eventually someone mentioned it was to raise awareness for breast cancer. 

Initially I didn't really see the point. I thought it was another pointless bandwagon, but then a friend posted hers with a number you could text to donate £3 to Cancer Research UK. That made a little more sense to me. At that point I decided maybe I'd get involved after all, so I took my selfie and posted it on Facebook and Instagram and urged people to text 'BEAT' to 70007 to donate £3. 

Still people were complaining that it was silly and pointless, and to be fair.. a lot of people were doing the selfies and not really saying what they were for or how people could donate. However I woke up today and seen someone had posted a link to a news article about how, "The ‘no make-up selfie’ trend has helped charity Cancer Research UK raise more than £1 million through 800,000 text donations since yesterday." and I was astounded. I was even more surprised to read that the no make up selfies hadn't even been something any cancer charity had started themselves. It had started as something completely unrelated and like a game of Chinese whispers, people started associating it with breast cancer awareness. It just shows you the power of social media. 

There are still people criticising it. Saying people are just being self indulgent and will use any excuse to take a selfie, or they just want to look good saying they've donated and how it didn't really educate anyone. I think though for whatever reason a person took part or whether it taught anyone about cancer or not, you have to look at the positives. 

People might not know more about breast cancer or cancer than they did yesterday, and maybe not everyone that took a selfie also donated. But I know for a fact that if it hadn't been for the bunch of make-up'less faces clogging up my Facebook feed, I probably wouldn't have given cancer a second thought yesterday and I definitely wouldn't have donated. And it's not for a lack of caring or only doing it so I can jump on a bandwagon, but most people don't generally spend a lot of time thinking about these things until we're presented with a reminder. And that's why raising awareness by any means is important to research. 

Everything aside, I think it's a really amazing example of the power of social media. And even better because it's in relation to doing something positive and productive. 

On to what none of you have been 
waiting for. My 'no make-up selfie'

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Remember whether you want to take part in the 'no make-up selfie' thing or 
not you can still donate £3 to Cancer Research UK by texting 'BEAT' to 70007

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