We have all read about beautiful women undressing to raise awareness about cruelty to animals (less handsome women just don’t care about the animals), men and women strutting on runways wearing fashionable clothes to raise awareness about global warming, intrepid souls sailing across vast oceans to raise awareness about plastic waste in the sea, people climbing mountains to raise awareness about cancer and global warming, and swarms of marathoners running many times a year to raise awareness about breast cancer and of late, St. Jude’s Children Research Hospital. To this pantheon of heroes, add the ‘human polar bear’, who recently swam in a glacial lake in the Himalayas to raise awareness about global warming [BBC].
I often wonder how many things we would have remained in dark about had it not been for these heroic men and women, and the camera crews in tow. And then I mull over the contributions they have made to the world. It is work by such serious people and cameras following them that has led 76% of the people to believe that breast cancer is the single most deadly disease afflicting women (it is the fourth largest).
Not only do these men and women raise awareness, they raise money. The ‘acts’ they perform are now sponsored by corporations; the boosters have their boosters. And all of these incredible personal achievements, which only incidentally flood trophy cases and Facebook walls, have been accumulated selflessly in service of some worthy cause (applause). It also reasons that the money and hours that these selfless volunteers spend on training, recovering from training, registering for races, and organizing events, pales in comparison to the money they raise.