With the start of a new month, there is a new slate of health and social issues that are highlighted. After a little looking I was surprised by how many things I am to be aware of in April alone. Healthline.com (http://www.healthline.com/health/directory-awareness-months) lists 20 items to be aware of this month, or in the very least for a week in April. Awareness.com (http://www.awarenessdepot.com/awarenesscalendar.html) has an even longer list.
I was very aware that last month was Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month, among many other issues. The irony was not lost on me as my awareness was more than heightened. But, as I see posts for the new month and the causes that are highlighted in April, I have been struck with the personal nature of awareness. Synonyms for awareness include words such as sensitivity, understanding, realization, comprehension, familiarity and perception. Sounds pretty personal to me. The inverse, which I find rather sad, is found in antonyms such as disregard, neglect, ignorance and insensitivity.
There may be many motivations for the promotion of awareness months. I’m sure there’s a marketing angle and there are those that gain financially from these campaigns. I’m not oblivious to that. What I’m understanding a little more clearly is just how personal these causes are, and how very personal awareness is. I’m taking pause to be sensitive that April, National Child Abuse Month, is about a mother loving and protecting her son. It is much more than a cause, it is her child. National Autism Month, is a brief span of time to increase my realization that a mother is telling the world she loves her child and is wanting the best life possible for him. It is her child! I can appreciate that! Sexual Assault Awareness Month, also April, is about much more than violence and crime. It is about people!
As the sites I mentioned above will tell you, there is a lot going on in and around us. We have lots to be aware of this day and everyday. My mentioning just three in this month is in no way meant to be a slight of others.
Maybe, you are all way ahead of me and if so, I applaud you. I’m just pondering the value of being more aware. The world does not revolve around me or you. I would much rather be defined as sensitive, understanding and aware than the alternative!
Consider this a little PSA from me. Pay attention to what we are to be aware of and make it personal. And on the heels of Colorectal Awareness Month, I cannot urge you enough to go and get screened! 🙂