I grew a mustache this month. I’ve never really done the ‘facial hair’ thing before – and it certainly wasn’t invited by my spouse.
“Movember” is a movement to raise awareness, and funds, for prostate cancer. It’s kind of fun, and a bit silly, for us guys who tend to usually have a clean-shaven look. And, especially around the university campus, one can pick out those who are participating pretty quickly – so there’s something of a camaraderie in joining in.
To switch gears a bit, and at the risk of sounding heartless, I’m surprised at how many get on board with illness-related fundraisers. Cancer generates all kinds of support and funds for research; I’ve received all kinds of mailings from a multiple sclerosis society; lung disease invites contributions for the ‘seals’ they send out around Christmas time. Is it fear that generates such support? Do people give because it might be insurance for down-the-road, should they, heaven-forbid, get one of those ailments?
I don’t mean to say they aren’t worthy causes. I’m conscious, however, at the amount of energy is put in to promoting such efforts – mailings, commercial advertisements on TV, internet promoting, and so on. Is that what drives people to give? Marketing? (Maybe it is!)
What might encourage people to support life-centred endeavours? I’ve known of faithful church people who, when they have died, their families invite contributions to cancer research, and have forgotten about contributions to their church family.
In all of this, please hear me when I say that I would encourage support of research that can extend peoples’ lives in healthy and happy ways. I would always encourage people to be generous in their support of new findings that can benefit many. My hope is that people will also be generous in their support of smaller groups that may not have the same, high-profile, but who may be contributing positively to the community around.
And, in the back of my mind, I remember my grandfather who died of prostate cancer almost eleven years ago as I sport this ‘mo’ this month. He also gave himself – in time, money, and talents – to his community, and especially his church, in very generous ways.