Buy A Book, Save A Breast
Originally uploaded by lorenzodom
Buy A Book, Save A Breast
Every woman is special.
I just spent a blithesome happy hour with my good friend Stephanie and she helped me realize that my love for all women was really about my belief that—every woman is special.
She also helped me realize that all breasts are special too.
(Requisite Disclaimer: I am not familiar with Stephanie’s breasts; I’ve never seen them, sized them up or manually examined them for that matter. Albeit, I presume that they are in fact quite special)
Nonetheless and allthemore, we were discussing our ideas for promoting 25 Lessons and how the launch of the book was an opportunity to make a positive impact on the world as well.
I’ve been reading Inside Her Pretty Little Head: A new theory of female motivation and what it means for marketing, by Jane Cunningham & Philippa Roberts. It was recently published by my publisher, Cyan Books (cyanbooks.com).
(If you’re interested (only if you’re interested) there’s a link on the homepage to the US Spring 2007 Catalogue with a blurb on my forthcoming book is on page 10.)
The authors contend that there are four primary codes that companies should be aware of if they want to appeal to women. These include the Altruism, Aesthetic, Ordering and Connecting Codes.
The primary code that most immediately appealed to and inspired me was the Altruism Code, which in sum concludes that “women are naturally altruistic, nurturing, and ‘others’-focused.”
I think this is true and I believe that it is the only reason we have survived so long as a human race. For if it weren’t for women, men simply wouldn’t be. Were too barbaric and self-centered at heart to think much beyond the survival of ourselves. Individualism, competitiveness, survival of the fittest and the compulsion to excel above others are usually the primary codes that we abide by.
Hence, the saving grace of woman-kind.
Philippa & Jane further explain that:
“The Altrusim Code is a way of ensuring that life in Utopia* is an enjoyable, positive experience. It’s a ‘do unto others…’ approach to life and living. It is a way of mitigating the Hobbesian nightmare—‘the life of man, solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short.’ Utopia is an optimistic upbeat and positive place, where you can rely on the goodwill and kindness of other people and expect to be treated as you yourself would like to be treated. As Martha Barletta puts it:
Women are more philanthropic, giving more time and proportionately more money than men. Whereas men are most likely to think the nation’s most pressing issues are budget and cutting spending, women—across age, income, race and social class—are more inclined to favour social programmes and services, such as education, healthcare, childcare, poverty, joblessness, environment, world hunger and the United Nations.”
Moreover, I will add, if merely for amusement sake, I contend that every astute man knows that a woman is a connection to the divine—not only via copulation, but also because she is in tune with nature, she possesses the power to give life, her intuition and inclination to love and nurture have allowed humanity to survive and thrive more than any invention (a) man has made, her form has long been the paragon by which we judge all beauty by, her gentle touch and supreme sensitivity to all things allows men to reconvene with life in holistic harmony and to recompose themselves as the once holy-whole—that all-fulfilling hole of an empty ego where, via an enraptured intertwining, mere mortals can escape all worldly purpose and become one with the divine once again.
Thus, Women have long been both the bane of and muse for mankind, because from Her comes everything—inspiration, motivation, desire, life and love. Men are merely predestined to recreate, as well as salivate and supplicate for their sustenance. Which might explain why women have historically been repressed by envious men who whine and wile as a merciless means of defiling the sacred, and making themselves meaningful through an illusion of profane potency.
There was no Big Bang. For a little imagination can readily see that this explosive theory was merely the measly result of a flashing moment of male fantasy. For, In the beginning there was simply a big giant Womb. And as every fertile inheritor of the sacred power knows today, She gave birth to the universe. That's right, wherefore from women—comes everything.
Back in college, via my freshman Psychology 101 course, I was not only turned onto a lifelong love and fascination with the human mind and behavior, but I was also introduced to the ancient debate regarding whether or not human nature was fundamentally good (altruistic) or bad (selfish, self-centered) at heart.
I concluded that most of us are naturally altruistic, but that we are often nurtured into being competitive, individualistic, and ultimately, selfish.
Albeit I was raised Catholic and attended a Jesuit College Preparatory, and thus was well-versed in Christian principles (which primarily focuses on Agape, the principle of universal love for your fellow man) along with an avid interest in psychology, I pursued an intensive study of most of the world’s religions while in school.
Ultimately, I found that regardless of culture, place, or time “love” (as opposed to war) has generally been a guiding principle for civilized man from the very beginning. Hence, as oppressive as some religions have been, in general they have served much the same purpose as women—to ensure the survival of mankind.
Moreover, in my junior year, a certain Jean Wong turned me on to some critical bits of inspirational literature that changed the course of my life. She gave me her copy of Martin Luther King Jr’s Why We Cant’ Wait.
For the next couple of years I spent a lot of time reading about the words and work of King and other social activists like Mahatma Gandhi, Mother Theresa, Eleanor Roosevelt and Jesus Christ. I was convinced that ultimately my life was designed to likewise have a positive impact; that if indeed I had “a purpose” it was to inspire others to love others with respect, kindness, understanding and good will.
Which is why I am here today—explaining why abiding by, adhering to, and applying the Altruism Code to the promotional campaign for 25 Lessons has such an important, strong and natural appeal to me.
As a result, Cyan Books USA and I are exploring the prospects of donating part of the proceeds from book sales to the fight against breast cancer.
Naturally, I imagine people are going to ask “But why breast cancer?” and not leukemia, AIDs or testicular cancer even?
Well, if what I have written above does not already suffice to explain my feelings on the matter, I’ll add, “Does one really need a reason to support the fight against the number one cause of death against women?”
According to the Susan G. Komen Foundation, based on current rates, more than 12.7% of women will be diagnosed with breast cancer at some point in their lives. Chances are, that's 1 out of every 8 women you know.
Breast cancer is the leading cancer among American women and is second only to lung cancer in cancer deaths. Statistically speaking, this year in the United States alone, 178,480 women and 2,030 men will be diagnosed with invasive breast cancer and 40,460 women and 450 men will die from the disease.
If caught prior to spreading beyond the breast, the five-year survival rate for breast cancer is now 98%. In 1982, a mere 25 years ago, it was only 74%.
Thus, greater awareness leading to more early detection has significantly helped save lives. Nearly 75% of women over 40 now get regular mammograms, compared to less than 30% back in 1982.
Moreover, the US federal government now allocates more than $900 million each year to breast cancer research, treatment, and prevention; $870 million more than it did in 1982.
There are approximately 2.3 million breast cancer survivors living in the United States today, they make up the largest group of cancer survivors in the country. Thus, there is much to be said for creating awareness. And therefore, I am looking to help by associating the launch of 25 Lessons with the effort to achieve a greater survival rate, if not a cure, for breast cancer.
Not that this cause needs anymore justification, but I would like to elaborate a little further as to why I’m looking to help in this regard by providing some personal reasons as well.
As per the forward in 25 Lessons, the book is first and foremost dedicated to my children, Enzo and Nicky. It was written with them in mind, for I wanted a way to succinctly teach them some of the more important lessons I’ve learned in my life.
Moreover, I also wanted to teach them by example. Thus, I wanted to show them it is possible to make a positive impact in the world by promoting a good cause. And so, as explained above, I’ve chosen the fight against breast cancer to do so.
Secondly, it so happens that the father of my good friend Stephanie, the editor of 25 Lessons and the head of Cyan Books USA, is an oncologist. Thus, awareness about this dreaded disease has long been part of her life. In addition, her grandmother passed away of breast cancer, and in turn it has had a personal impact on her.
Third, in 1987 it impacted me personally as well. This coming May is the 20th anniversary of Armida’s death. Armida was my mother’s best friend who died of breast cancer at the age of 41. The night before she passed away my mother told me that she, Armida, had had a dream about me. I was 600 miles away at college, and thus the fact that I was not able to be there for Armida or my mother has long haunted me. Thus I feel that the cause I am promoting here will finally help me bring closure upon the fact that I was absent during a critical moment in my mother’s life when she needed my support.
Fourth, since God knows I’ve tried very hard to love one woman many times in my life and have seemingly struggled over and over again, I recently decided that I should love All Women instead—if only, as Stephanie helped me realize, because every woman is special. It’s true you know. Every woman is special.
Besides, apart from these four good reasons Stephanie once again helped me realize, that I just happen to love breasts as well.
And so, we figured a good campaign slogan might be “Buy A Book, Save A Breast.” If you have any other ideas that might help promote the cause, please feel free to list them below.
At this critical juncture, two mojitos into the late afternoon, our discussion slightly digressed, for Stephanie asked me, “Do you like big breasts?”
“Ahhh…”, I sputtered, stumbling across my sudden tumble of thoughts. I paused to look down at my hands, desperately seeking an answer.
She came to my aid by adding, “Jay told me that if a man says he doesn’t like big breasts, he’s lying, because all men like big breasts.”
At that moment, as she pulled her coat tighter around her, I found what I was looking for and declared, “Absolutely, not true. For I don’t have a preference for either big or small breasts.
If anything, it’s all about the nipples for me,” I smiled.
Stephanie smiled back, meanwhile pulling her jacket even tighter together.
I continued, “Besides, its all so relative. There are too many other variables—ranging from how firm they are (regardless of size), the size of the nipples, the proportion of them to the body, and of course, the person’s personality. Give me a pretty face and a smart and sassy attitude, and I’d be convinced that she had the best pair of breasts in the world.”
Stephanie, took another sip of her mojito and suddenly seemed to relax, letting her arms hang loose at her sides.
So I went on, “Stephanie darling, I’ve known many breasts over my lifetime, and truth be told, I don’t think I’ve ever met a pair I didn’t like."
But then again, maybe that’s because I believe—every woman is special…
*For a discussion on Jane & Phillipa's female "Utopian Impulse" click HERE