Yes, you can change things. Look at the bill that we (those at Pancreatic Cancer Action Network, key Senators and Representatives, and thousands of other advocates) worked tirelessly to get passed – The Recalcitrant Cancer Research Act. When we were lobbying it in Washington DC, we were told, point blank – “we will not support disease specific bills,” “there is no money,” and “Congress is not getting along.” And we didn’t take “no” for an answer. For us, it was something that just had to be done.
And on January 2, 2013, the bill (the bill that was not supposed to get passed) was signed into law by President Obama. It was a blissful moment.
If we can get this impossible bill to be made into law, what else can we do in our lives?
I take a look at my own life. In the past few years since my husband died, I’ve been pretty out of almost everything. As I look at moving back into work I had been doing before, I have to wonder – have people forgotten me? My work arena is competitive, and has a very short memory. As they say, you’re only as good as your last job, and mine has been ? On top of that, I have the double whammy of being a woman, and statistically expect to have a much tougher time.
There are so many reasons out there for why “I can’t,” that I could (and sometimes do) spend all day long adding them up until I have a huge, impenetrable list of why “I cant’s,” when the most important and empowering thought for me has always been – “why not?”
Give me one good reason, I mean, really good reason, why not.
Like all of us were in Washington DC, “no” was not the answer we wanted. (I had a friend once who said, “If you keep hearing ‘no,’ it just because you haven’t asked in the right way yet”). I’ve always known that when I’m at my very best, I don’t care what the odds are. I do it anyway. In spite of what people and statistics say.
You do it anyway.
“No’s” and “cant’s” are like an invisible barrier. Take away the invisible barrier and behind it is –empowerment.
In addition to this bill’s passage giving incredible, much-needed hope to thousands of people, it is empowering to me now. It’s a reminder that what I think may be impossible, just might not be so. And if we can effect change on such a National, and ultimately Global level, what can I do in my own little life?