When it comes to prostate cancer activists, one issue in particular has confounded me for years… that is, when I hear statements such as “we are competing against a lot of prostate cancer awareness and advocacy organizations.”
As prostate cancer activists we have only one true competitor… prostate cancer. Any organization working to end prostate cancer death and improve quality of life for patients, survivors, and others impacted by this disease is an ally. Even if we would ordinarily disagree on absolutely everything else – in this fight, they are an ally.
Now, I realize the initially mentioned “quote” is a reference to funding dollars. But let’s be real guys (and gals) anyone who is doing this for the money isn’t doing it for the right reason.
If an organization has the creativity and talent to win dollars for their program, we should be happy for them in the same way that we would be happy for a dear friend who got a new job or some other mechanism that generally improved their ability to achieve success. Even if we applied for those dollars, we should graciously acknowledge that, for whatever reason, they were a better fit for fulfilling the needs of the funding organization – which may or may not translate to exactly what we want to do, or how we believe it needs to be done.
When I look around, I see a wealth of resources… organizations that try to do everything – each shining and excelling at least one thing in particular. If each one focused their energy on their own area of excellence, rather than trying to do what everyone else is doing (a practice that creates an atmosphere of competition over collaboration), we could propel this cause forward in a way that truly reflects the hard work put forward by the advocacy community.
With all my heart, I believe this to be true.