I often wonder if I deserve to be a voice in the community when I can’t keep my blood sugars in range. Shouldn’t the leadership be left to those who actually succeed at controlling their diabetes?
Here’s my two pennies on this one.
The diabetes community is the sum of its parts. It’s what we make of it, together. Sure, there are some more established, more prominent voices that are the result of years of advocacy, networking, and quite frankly, working tirelessly and sometimes thanklessly to advance and elevate the discussion around diabetes. But community leaders are only respected because of the reputation of the community they lead.
The diabetes community grows because more people join the conversation. The diabetes community thrives because of the variety of opinions and perspectives and experiences that are brought to each conversation. The diabetes community is one large, loud, collective voice. The diabetes community is not a few faint voices trying to stand out among the masses.
More specifically to the subject of the submission I included, literally everyone has rough days managing their diabetes. Some are able to string together more consecutive days of success (however they define it) than others, but I promise you every person with diabetes who is, was, or ever will be active in the goings-on of the diabetes community has had a bad day. That doesn’t make them less valuable to the conversation – it makes them human.
Leadership should be left to those who want to lead. That’s the only requirement.