This morning while enjoying my coffee, scrolling through various social media platforms, I came to realize one thing. Those that are considered advocates in any field in which they stand are full of passion that goes beyond recognition. I say this because I know as an advocate often times the hard work we do behind the scenes goes unnoticed or unappreciated. Countless hours spent on planning events, campaigns, Facebook content, or posts that at times, can barely reach immediate family.
Yet, hours on end advocates spend time researching, creating and preaching without backing down. I think back to my Young Leaders training that I attended in both Australia and Vancouver. I think about the mass of advocates that I was surrounded by all focused on one cause, Diabetes. We all stood proud, we stood undefeated and restless all because we believed in advocating for a disease that has taken our time, our strength and without a doubt, likely someone we love. We stood strong. We stood strong on the stage in Melbourne, waving our countries flag, holding brave faces knowing the advocacy work we did and only hoping that the efforts, the tears and the sweat behind each project shone through.
I remember that feeling of overwhelming pride as we walked down the isles of that auditorium, trying to connect with those that passed us by. Hoping that they could see without a doubt that we were there to advocate. We were there to show them that we are not silent. We are not living in fear; rather, we are living to fight.
But, then by the end of the conference we head back to our homes. We continue our work, we press harder for bigger projects, more media recognition, more people to join our fight. We spend the so little time we have between jobs, our families, our friends and we put it to advocating because we believe it matters. We know it matters.
We are not in this for the pay, or the pat on the back. We are in this because we hold so much passion in our hearts for what we advocate. We solely believe that we, as advocates can make a change. A change that is worth the time and frustrations. A change that will be for the greater good, rather than just for ourselves. We hold that passion near to our hearts and together we believe.
I want to say thank you to all the advocates out there that stand for what they believe in. Thank you for all the time you put into your projects, groups, and work. Without advocates change would not happen. Without advocates people who are underserved, or left behind would not have a voice nor a place to turn. Advocates, keep your passion warm and close to your heart and continue to believe that what you're doing will make a difference.