The trials of getting RiME signatures
Approaching the general public with my clipboard and petition was not what I'd call fun. I encountered quite a lot of ignorance, to the point where I was apprehensive about asking for signatures! I began to pick whom I'd ask. I assumed younger people would be more knowledgeable, likewise non-whites being less affected by ME, would not be a good choice. I was wrong. Surprisingly, of those who wouldn't sign many of these were younger. I would obviously enquire if they knew any sufferers "no" I'd explain (as I did to all those I approached) that ME is a debilitating neurological disease that afflicts both young and old. But, still no, they didn't want to sign. Of the many that did sign, the attitude was a complete contrast "oh, I know someone with that, yes I agree with the petition, let me sign". I also pointed out that we weren't asking for more money, just that the government spend what it intended on the physical causes. Of those who refused to sign they either hadn't heard of ME, or, said is that that illness thatís all in the mind! It seems people read the headlines and no more. All in all I found the experience enlightening, but as with some family members it's less painful to keep our suffering to our selves.
As I said on page 1, this should never have been. If the petition had have been promoted by the main groups and in turn the local groups we would have had signatures coming out of our ears.