October is Awareness Day Awareness Month

October 18, 2011

Life and Spirit


October seems to be one of those months left in the barren wilderness of the year. Easter is long gone, Christmas is in the distance and Halloween just lacks substance. If you feel like you don’t have a cause to fight for then fear not. You can spend the day being aware of all kinds of causes.

At this time of year, cakes are left abandoned on plates and shelves, uneaten and left to go stale. It’s a situation that doesn’t need to happen if only you invest as little as £1 a month and gain as little in weight over the winter period. For this reason we have National Baking Week.

Wait, that’s wrong. Looking at their literature it appears that it just some kind of corporate event sponsored by big businesses including Silver Spoon sugar and the Happy Egg Company. It’s hard to believe anyone would need a week for this. Is baking banned at other times? Well it’s gentle reminder. With the internet and social networks it’s now even easier to share recipes, and everyone baking can smugly share it with a Twitter hash tag.

Well that’s lovely for the entire baking community (that’s what they are building after all). No one is sitting alone licking the last of their cookie dough and feeling sad because they are part of something National. Can the same be said of those taking part in last week’s National Chocolate Week?

As everyone polished off an extra large Dairy Milk in the name of patriotism, did they feel like they were part of something? Or was it just another week in the UK where people consume more of the cocoa based confectionery than the rest of Europe?

If people love something, then it’s good to celebrate. If not, then last week was the perfect week to complain about it, as it was also Pet Peeve Week. It totally deserves its own week though. I mean, it’s hardly taking a whole month like Breast Cancer Awareness, or Roller Skating Month.

Oh yes, October is International Roller Skating Month and it has been thus since 1983. Last week you could have been happy just skating through the leaves while simultaneously munching on your chocolate bar of choice. If you did it on the 11th October you could have been open about your sexuality for National Coming Out Day.

But what if you’re not gay? That might be a bit of a downer. Well, you could have always picked yourself up by putting on your glad rags on International Suit Up Day. If that sounds legendary, it’s all a promotional day in support of the new season of How I Met Your Mother on CBS. But thousands of people still get involved and send in their photos through the facebook page. Bravo CBS, you have mastered social media.

There’s nothing wrong with any of these days weeks and months – everyone gets a kick out of something. Some people like talking like a pirate. If we give them a day to do it then they hopefully won’t do it for the rest of the year. Causes all deserve a little time in the spotlight so people can use social networks to show how much they care without breaking their usual routine. If it’s a charity then it opens a fundraising window which hadn’t previously existed without having to sponsor.

Does this all seem a little tacky and commercial? Well of course it does. It’s money that makes the world go ’round. If one charity does it then the others all have to follow until what once was something that created an edge becomes part of an all new level playing field. As an added bonus these events don’t even have a religious element for you to ignore and feel guilty about.

Instead, you can support something that actually matters to you on your own special day and wear that badge with pride. Who needs to do something en masse when you fight your own cause, whether it’s something that really matters or something that makes you laugh? Find something to believe in and make sure everyone knows about it, maybe that way you can make a difference.

What causes are you supporting this month? Tell us in the comments section below.

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