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Friday, February 5, 2010


I was raised to accept people that were different from me. And by different from me, I mean people who looked, acted, believed or behaved different. As a child, I did not pay attention to what a classmate looked like. If they were cool, I was friends with them. I didn't care. As I grew older, I tried to keep things this way. I admit, it didn't always happen that way, and it still doesn't. But it is the way I was raised and I do my best. I recognize that other people have different belief systems from me. I admit to not knowing much about religion. I have learned a bit along the way but there is a lot I don't know. There is a lot that I question. There is a lot that I don't agree with. I am slowly coming to realize what I do agree and believe in now that I have grown older.
Foremost though, I believe in not pushing our beliefs on others. What a person believes is their business and should be respected. If you do not know for a fact how somebody feels about religion, I do not think it is right to send things to them that have to do with the religion you believe in. It's just not a good idea and can often be offensive if done enough.
Believing this as I do, I try to respect others and their beliefs to the best of my abilities and I simply ask for the same in return. Whether a person is a friend, family member, acquaintance, somebody you don't even know or an entire different culture, respect them and what they believe in. It is not our place to say what is right and wrong and we cannot control how other people think and feel.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Making a Difference

So last year, my dear friend Amy found out she was pregnant. Shortly after, her mother was diagnosed with throat cancer in the 3rd and 4th stages. While Amy was going to the doctor's for her pregnancy, her mother was going to the doctors of various kinds for chemo and radiation therapy. It was a long fight that year that included her mother unable to talk for a while. The tumors shrank and all was well. Recently, she went in for a follow up and was told that it's not all gone and that there is possibility that it has spread. So starts another round of chemo and probable surgery to remove her voicebox and lymph nodes at the end of it. This is just one story of how cancer can completely change a life. She is battling this with everything she has and I admire and respect her for that.
On the flip side, there have been a few people in my life or the lives of my friends who did not win the battle. Another recent one was the long time manager of Pet Supplies Plus. He fought his cancer for years and I saw a bit of it first hand. I saw his determination to keep going and fighting. I saw how tired he was all the time because he continued to work while undergoing treatments. I remember working that last day and knowing that something happened but being scared to ask because I didn't want to find out something bad and then have to deal with customers on a Saturday night.
There have been others in my life that have lost the fight. I just don't remember it as well because it was a while ago, I was young and wasn't told as much about it then. But these are the stories and experiences that I keep in the back of my head a lot. These people and the countless others that have had similar situations are the reason why I made the decision to participate in Relay for Life this year. It's something I have always wanted to do. I now have an opportunity to do so and have become a team captain for the Ann Arbor Relay for Life. At the end of the year, when I look back on what I have accomplished this year, this will be near the top of the list. So I ask you to help me in this fight. If you are interested in being part of the team, let me know. Interested in donating, click here to donate. Anything you decide to do will be very appreciated and every little bit helps.