The student news site of Benilde-St. Margaret's School in St. Louis Park, MN

Knight Errant

The student news site of Benilde-St. Margaret's School in St. Louis Park, MN

Knight Errant

The student news site of Benilde-St. Margaret's School in St. Louis Park, MN

Knight Errant

Are your actions really helping the cause?

While the vaccine for smallpox was found through hard work and massive amounts of perseverance, today’s high school population seems to think that they can cure cancer by simply wearing purple.

It seems like more and more people are beginning to think that our world’s issues can be solved with little to no effort, and I’m not talking just cancer. Even though none of these attempts at stopping the problems are hurting their respective causes, they certainly aren’t accomplishing anything worth noting.

Supporters of causes point out that these things all “raise awareness.” That’s great, if you’re sending the message to someone who isn’t aware that cancer exists or that an earthquake occurred in Haiti. Go ahead and wear a certain color to raise bullying awareness, but don’t blissfully throw on a green shirt and think you’re helping anyone.

Think about it. What if the administration decided to end Relay for Life and replace it with “Purple Day?” Relay for Life participants collected almost $100,000 last year alone, but “Purple Day” wouldn’t do anything other than raise awareness.

Worse yet, some students have been throwing away their money to stop breast cancer and don’t even know it. You might think this doesn’t apply to you, but have you ever purchased an “I love boobies” bracelet? You’ve fallen for one of the most brilliant scams of the 21st century.

Wearing the band certainly isn’t hurting anyone, but don’t wear it without realizing that you still haven’t done any good. Sure, every cent you spent on it went to Keep a Breast Foundation, but they put it towards the cost of their business, which, according to their website, is to “use art and artistic expression to inform young people about methods of prevention, early detection, coping and support.” Go ahead and “raise awareness” by wearing it, but chances are you won’t find many people who think breast cancer is a myth.

“So what?” If that’s your reason for wearing purple on that day, then I’ve lost hope in high school students and the causes that they stand for.

View Comments (3)

Comments (3)

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  • C

    Carter RodmanDec 15, 2010 at 8:13 pm

    Without awareness, no progress can be made. SAC is laying the groundwork by spreading awareness.

    Livestrong bracelets raise awareness and give money to where it is needed, and they started the whole plastic bracelet trend.

    Finally, I am saddened to see you have lost hope in what HS students stand for. My only suggestion is that instead of criticizing, you come up with a solution to what you see as a problem. But remember, increased awareness is key to making change. Sure we know cancer exists, but making people even more aware will make way for more change.

    I will leave you with one final question Connor, if you have lost faith in what students stand for, what do you stand for?

  • S

    Spencer ShaverDec 7, 2010 at 10:10 am

    I’m not sure exactly what your trying to say. I don’t think anyone who participated in the purple and white day was naive enough to think that by wearing purple and white they could cure pancreatic and/or lung cancer right then and there. However, they showed their support for those fighting these types of cancer and expressed their hopes that one day no one would have to deal with it. I’m not sure I understand your issue with the support we showed these people, as well as the caregivers that were included. Awareness is extremely important, and putting down events that promote the fighting of cancer is an interesting way to express your opinion about what high school students stand for.

  • M

    Melissa LutherDec 7, 2010 at 12:46 am

    I am an upcoming leader of students against cancer and I disagree with what you are saying. It is almost conceited or arrogant to say that you have lost hope in high school students and the causes that they stand for. The reason for wearing purple is to let people not only learn about cancer, but to allow people to become educated about the depths of the problem. Not for ” today’s high school population to think that they can cure cancer by simply wearing purple”. You said all wearing purple does is raise awareness, if you look up aware in the dictionary it says having knowledge of something because you have observed it or somebody has told you about it, or well informed about what is going on in the world. You see how your article revolves around breast cancer, there are at least 24 other cancers that people don’t hear about daily and aren’t advertised through everyday media. Did you know that for almost every month there is a cancer that is tied in to it and for every type of cancer there is a color that you can wear to show your support of it? Let’s be honest, you probably didn’t because the only cancer you spoke of was breast. Furthermore you clearly one of the stereotypical people who think they know what they need to know about cancer when the truth is you most likely don’t even remotely know anything about it. You are the reason to wear purple, to show and inform students like you about other cancers. So yes bringing awareness and raising it is needed because kids such like you seemingly are not fully aware. From the statistics one in three people will contract cancer, and one in four will die from the disease. I can’t say positively, but my guess is a family friend or someone you know, even if you may not be close to them, has cancer. For me the statistics have been proven true and I have experienced two very close people to me being taken by cancer one started with osteosarcoma and the other esophageal, both were unexpected. -I also bet you haven’t heard of those cancers- One of the fighters attended Benilde- St. Margaret’s and graduated in 2006 you can see his picture in the hallways along side his classmates and many faculty members knew and loved him but he did not get to graduate from college. I am not saying this to make you feel bad, but to allow you to realize we don’t just join these groups, that you have lost all hope for, just for a t-shirt or to look better for colleges, we don’t do these activities just to make our school more spirited, we do it because awareness is needed. We as a group know that we are not making a dramatic change in cancer’s history and probably wont prevent deaths like we wish we could, but at least we are trying to become educated and educate others. Rather then focusing on what color the school is wearing or if we are going to get a good grade in journalism on an opinions piece, which evidently you did no research on and probably didn’t even read the signs for the purple day but whatever. Next time, try learning more on what you are attempting to write about before critiquing it, because never once did we say we are helping find a cure for cancer by wearing purple, that we had ideas to replace relay for life, or even said we are helping to raise money for cancer by having this event. The day was simply to educate uneducated kids such as yourself.

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The student news site of Benilde-St. Margaret's School in St. Louis Park, MN
Are your actions really helping the cause?