In my personal and professional life I am a change agent; I am an activist at heart. Like you don’t already know that.
Be it gender studies, healthcare, progressive politics, access to information, pushing back against intolerance, or making things just work better and more efficiently, I am a gadfly and have no qualms about letting loose. Through this particular breast cancer experience, however, I have truly been able to appreciate the aid and power of the community of bloggers. I never had the patience to sort through the billions of blogs out there, but through this process I’ve not only been able to read good works that focus on my personal issue, but other blogs that open my mind in both subtle and profound ways.
It is because of other bloggers, whether or not they share my specific predilections, that I have been able to learn about breast cancer, how people become aware of and manage the disease, and how I have managed to build a critical network of support. I started to blog as, I imagine, most bloggers do: to merge a desire to work through a particular set of issues with an overall enjoyment of (in my case) writing truthful and deadly sarcasm. It was wholly selfish, but it soon became much more than that.
The first time someone wrote to me and thanked me for expressing what they could not was an abject moment. Somehow I realized that my personal angst, pain, and fear was shared by many other people. And by people I mean the global pool of humankind. I not only felt less alone, but I had a renewed purpose. It fueled a desire to be as honest and no-holds-barred as possible, always with the goal of holding someone else’s hand through this hell. That some posts push the boundaries and make you uncomfortable or angry is a good thing as far as I am concerned, for that means I am successful in doing what I came here to do. Many people have inspired me to these ends: Socrates, Plato, Marcus Aurelius, Jonathan Swift, Matt Groenig–to name a few. I like to think I’m just keeping on with the tradition.
This year’s theme for Blog Action Day is The Power of We. It’s a celebration of people working together to make a positive difference in the world, either for their own communities or for people they will never meet half way around the world. The community of bloggers who share their lives through their writing has made an indelible impression upon me. As always, when we deal with one another as individuals, irrespective of culture, nations, ethnicity, race, religion and every other bloody barrier that only serves to divides us, we become aware of just how much power we have to change the world in positive ways.
Tomorrow I will return with more musings about breast cancer. But I think that this time I will play the Devil’s Advocate and really stir up some dust.