This morning I was inspired to write a blog post – I posted it on US Lyme Advocacy, but wanted to share it here too.
Questions. There are so many questions that come to mind when thinking about the US Lyme Advocacy project. Are you thinking that this has been done before? Are you wondering how this project is different than other things or why we aren’t collaborating with one non-profit or an already existing network? Are you feeling discouraged because the steps you’ve made in the past got you no where? Are you feeling too small to make a difference? Let’s work backwards and progress our way to the top.
Are you feeling too small to make a difference? Shall we answer this question with a question? What other small things create change? We can’t look past the obvious answer of punctuation. A comma, period, exclamation or question marks make a huge impact on the structure of a sentence. If I left even one comma out or failed to use a period, the grammatical integrity of the sentence would not be intact. A question or exclamation mark helps with inflection. We also can’t look past the clear-cut response of children. Children often make a huge impact on the world without even trying. They create fundraisers to help others when there are natural disasters. Sometimes they choose to donate some of their own toys when their preschool floods. They might even draw a picture to cheer someone up. Children are small, but they make a difference.
Lastly, we must include the large impact that insects make. Think about the size of a mosquito. What happens when that mosquito bites you? It almost always leaves a mark. Sometimes in certain people, it leaves a large welt. Sometimes mosquitoes carry disease and those mosquitoes most definitely cause change in people and in pets. By now it should be apparent as to where I am heading with the most obvious “little” big changer. The tick. Ticks can be as small as the size of a period, but ticks can carry big diseases. Can small things make a difference? Yes, they can.
What makes this US Lyme Advocacy project different than others? This question really sums up two other questions of hasn’t this been done before and feeling discouraged because the things you’ve tried in the past have gotten you no where. US Lyme Advocacy project is about the collaboration of many different sources. It’s about taking small (there’s that word small again) steps to make progress. There may not be any noticeable change at first, but over time change takes place. A familiar process is watching a child grow. A baby is born and every day a transformation happens. Those that are close to the child on a daily basis may not realize all of the differences, but those who live further away and only see the child on an occasional holiday will make comments about how much the child has grown.
When I look back and remember where North Carolina was in 2007, I realize we have made great strides. Those steps may not be as impactful as we desire, but do not doubt that we are further down the road of awareness than we were six years ago. We took many of the same steps over again. Repetition is the key to our process and progress. It is the same with treating Lyme Disease. Sometimes a treatment will not work because of certain variables in play, but if you try them again a few years down the road the same treatment may create change in your body. The same goes with awareness and advocacy campaigns. In 2007, a letter campaign may not have worked. With the addition of several other elements, a letter campaign may prove to be the catalyst for further change now. The difference of this project and others are that we are individuals banding together for a common goal. We are not a formal organization. We are simply the small things that want create an impact with the United States when it comes to Lyme Awareness.
We are the ripple effect. Individually, we are each one tiny pebble being tossed into the puddle of life and watching that ripple make changes. You may wonder why we aren’t just stepping into an already existing network or working with one non-profit. One of the things that will make US Lyme Advocacy special is that we plan to work with many non-profit organizations. USLA was created out of the need to collaborate with one another in order to raise awareness through the entire United States. Ultimately, our goal is to work with a variety of organizations, existing networks and support groups throughout each state. Each state will have an official leader. We have already collected 25 leaders to head up each state. Some leaders may find the work too challenging and may step aside to allow others to take over their place while others may flourish in this type of a setting.
Stay tuned for Part 2.