This is the quote my tea shared with me this morning. I think most of us probably feel we live with purpose. Since my diagnosis with cancer in 2006, I’ve felt mine is to help the cancer community in whatever ways I can.

A tea bag tag that reads:

But I can’t help but wonder about others. Especially in the age of such divisiveness, where it feels like all the GOP and our president care about is helping themselves and the super rich at the expense of the lower and middle classes. Making even more money seems to be the purpose Trump and people like him live by.

Since my time studying abroad in Italy and traveling in Europe, I’ve felt that one of the things Americans do very wrong is being so self serving, measuring our successes by how much money we make and the things we are able to buy. Yes, I’m guilty of this too, but I want to be better.

I think all of us should strive to be better. Not in how much money we make or how big or luxurious our homes are or how much stuff we can acquire, but in helping others and keeping our focus on that.

We spend so much money on things during the holidays especially. We ignore the fact that some people can’t even pay their medical bills or are engulfed in student debt or are living on the streets because jobs don’t pay enough to afford rent. Some people dont have clean water, food on the table, or the ability to live free of persecution and fear for their lives.

Within our country and outside, our fellow humans are hurting and struggling. I just wish we lived in a time when those of us who are more fortunate cared more about those who are not, and actually did something about it. I think it’s time to make a change. So I’m going to try, and I hope you do too.

So I’m sorry friends and family, unless I already gave in to capitalism to buy you an actual gift, you’re likely going to have a donation to charity in your name and a heartfelt card. And that is a better gift than anything else I could’ve spent money on. I just hope you agree.

PS: If you’re looking for somewhere to donate that’s related to my cause, I’ve listed some below. But you should donate based on whatever you feel your purpose is, so find an organization that speaks to you.

  • Okizu – providing peer support programs for families affected by childhood cancer
  • Stupid Cancer – providing resources and support for AYA cancer patients and survivors
  • BloodSource – Blood bank serving those who need blood products for any medical reason, including injury, chronic illness, recovery from chemotherapy, and more.
  • Leukemia & Lymphoma Society – research for blood cancers
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