I read an interesting article on CNN.com today about the LIVESTRONG brand. In it, the writer posits the question about whether or not it's appropriate to continue wearing the iconic yellow LIVESTRONG bracelet.
In light of all the crap that has been going on with Lance Armstrong and the ultimate outcome announced today that the International Cycling Union is banning him for life from the sport and officially stripping him of all seven of his Tour de France wins, should people still wear the bracelet?
[image courtesy of CNN iReport]
Both the writer and the subject of his story who has been wearing his LIVESTRONG bracelet for years say YES.
I wholly agree.
"Yes" because, even though Lance Armstrong founded LIVESTRONG, the organization has become so much more than its founder. It is a source of help and inspiration for millions of people living with cancer and for those living with friends and family who have cancer.
I love LIVESTRONG because it is one of the only organizations based on battling all forms of cancer. They don't single out testicular or ovarian or breast or colon or any of the many other types of cancer that plague humanity. LIVESTRONG supports the fight against all of them.
LIVESTRONG has eclipsed Lance in importance to the point where I can't say I've even seen his face on any of the bright yellow pieces of merchandise they sell. In the beginning, the marketing focused on Lance so that you knew for sure that this was his charity.
Now, an item simply needs to be that blindingly bright yellow and odds are it's a LIVESTRONG product and proceeds will go the fight against cancer.
I like to think that this brand identity means that LIVESTRONG can survive this time. It can move past the transgressions of its founder and still serve the community in the way it always has. They will find a new chairperson and be just as strong (ba-dum-BSSHHH) as they were before.
At least I hope they can and do.
Lately, Katie and I have found ourselves, when trying to figure out what Nathan wants at a particular time, asking the question, "Wha'cha thinkin', Stinkin'?" We don't know where this came from but we do it and we get a kick out of it because we ask it as though he's actually going to answer it and all of the issues of the moment will be resolved.
I mentioned to Katie yesterday that we may as well enjoy saying this now as, odds are, the time will come when Nathan will be able to talk and will look at us and say, "Mommy! Daddy! Stop calling me 'Stinkin'."
It will likely be reiterated over the years as old habits are hard to break.
Eventually we'll get to the low hissing "Mom... Dad... Cut that out. My friends are here. Don't embarrass me."
And we'll still do it because we all know parents are nothing if not a constant source of embarrassment to their kids.
Then it will become, "For the love of God! Will you stop calling me that or I won't bring your grandkids by to visit anymore!"
It will continue because we'll be old and we won't be able to remember him asking us to stop.
Finally, it will be, "Oh sweet Jesus, did you really have to put 'Survived by Stinkin' in your obituaries and have it carved on your headstones??"
Oh well. Such is life.