Saturday, April 18, 2009
It's about the experience, not the money.
As I sit here watching everyone at the Boston University Relay for Life, people throw footballs and frisbees, people walk around the track, and there is an overall feeling of camaraderie. A little over an hour ago, people snapped glow sticks in honor of loved ones that have passed away from cancer, are still fighting, or beat it and are survivors. Both of my grandfathers are survivors of prostate cancer, and it never really affected me that much before tonight because, in both cases, their cancer was caught early and treatment was fairly simple and noninvasive. But tonight, cracking the glow stick in honor of Papa and Goofy, Chandini's aunt, the Sandia swimming coach, and all those others touched by the cold hands of cancer, I couldn't help but feel so deeply sad. But at the same time, I remembered that I'm lucky. My grandfathers are survivors. I'm so incredibly grateful for that. And then I realize: I wasn't crying because I was sad about cancer... I was crying because I have so much hope. Hope for those who have cancer, hope for those who are in remission, and most of all, hope for humankind. People of all walks of life gathered in the indoor track center for Relay; they could have been out partying, sleeping, or doing an infinite number of other things. But everyone is here. And I became so overwhelmed with pride in my fellow Terriers and everyone else at this particular Relay event. Everyone has good in them. Despite the flaws that irk us and even the flaws we "can't stand," people are good. It doesn't matter if they're giving up twelve hours on a Saturday night. And that's why Relay isn't about the money they raise: yes, the money is important, but what really matters is that people are here, walking in teams around a track for twelve hours and not sleeping. So, even though this world holds so much turmoil, it doesn't matter. People are still good. And I have hope.