I’ve been a Mom to a multiple food allergic child for seven years. Obviously, I’ve thought and observed much about our relationship to food and how others react to food allergies. My son’s allergies have brought clarity to my life. I’ve had the opportunity to do much self-examination to determine what kind of Partner I want to be in creating as normal of a life as possible for my son.
I know the word advocate is used a lot in many different arenas. While I surely can identify myself as an advocate, I much prefer the term Partner. I forge partnerships with people and collaborate to ensure a positive outcome, first and foremost for my son, but also for my stress levels as well.
Advocating doesn’t mean that taking an aggressive approach is the only means to an end. It’s our choice to engage in unfriendliness or diplomatically distance ourselves and move on to find those with likeminded integrity, making a situation be best for all.
It’s easier to be mad, hostile and judgmental. It requires more thought to see life from both sides of the coin and come to the center.
It’s our challenge to determine how to help others adopt a Partner philosophy. As difficult as it may be, leading by example is the best way I know how.
With the upcoming school year drawing near, I encourage each of us to become a Partner, a collaborator with others. We’re all reaching for a common goal, safety of children and a happy school year.