Recently, I have been thinking a lot about tolerance, and as a diabetic I think it is fair to say that intolerance has hurt all of us at some point. There are many times that we have no other option than to draw blood while testing our blood sugar or lift up our shirt a little for a shot while in public. Although we don’t mean to disturb anybody, there are still the people who will give looks and make faces. However, I am not about to write a blog about how people should be more respectful to diabetics, but rather, about how we should be the ones setting an example and learning to ‘live and let live.'
For this, I look to Gandhi for inspiration as he said, “be the change you want to see in the world.” We can all agree that the looks are painful, especially when you are on the receiving end, yet we have all, at some point, judged someone before we knew her or her whole story. There are so many examples of where not knowing the whole story can lead us to make judgments we shouldn’t. If someone is being rude, maybe they are dealing with something very painful. If someone is making noises that may be annoying to someone, maybe they have a medical condition and they can’t help it.
It would be nice if we never had to be self-conscious about our diabetes while in public, but as of now, that is not the case. To ‘live and let live’ means that we don’t question other peoples actions or behaviors, and hopefully in return, they do not question our own. But this change won’t happen overnight, nor will it happen by just stepping back and hoping the change comes. We must be the leaders of this change. From all of our past experiences I think we are very qualified to embrace this. So the next time the guy next to you is playing his music so loud that you can hear it, rather than disturbing his peace and demanding he turn down the volume, simply move, or better yet, don’t think anything of it. Live and let live.
Hello! My name is Adam and I will be a junior in high school this fall. I am vice president of our student body, active in many groups at school, play tennis, swim, volunteer at my church and I am passionate about protecting our environment. I also have type one diabetes.