Awareness exceeds usage

April 20, 2011

by Taylor Stephens, EDITOR

It’s the most wonderful time of the year. Well, that’s assuming you celebrate the hundreds of different awareness months that are supposedly celebrated throughout the year.

For example, April has more than 40 awareness causes associated it with it, according to the McGraw-Hill Professional’s Chase’s Months calendar. Of these, include Emotional Overeating Awareness Month, Customer Loyalty Month, Card and Letter Writing Month and Fresh Florida Tomato Month.

A) If a person is aware that he or she emotionally overeating or that others are emotionally overeating, it’s high time to get some help or put down the Kit-Kat.

B) When did it have to be a special occasion to be loyal to the customer?

C) There’s e-mail now.

D) What?

Of course this is not to diminish the reasons for certain months — Black History Month, Women’s History Month, etc. — but those months were created to remember things that significantly impacted society. Obviously Black History Month reminds people of the black struggle in America during the Civil Rights Era, while Women’s History Month pays tribute to those who revolutionized the way the world viewed women.

However, do we really need to celebrate Clean Up Your Computer Month in January, Accordion Awareness Month in June or Peanut Butter Lovers’ Month in November? To be blunt, no. These months have no significance in society.

If you can’t remember to keep your computer clean on your own, you’re not going to pay attention to an awareness month for it anyway.

For those who aren’t aware of what an accordion is, it looks like the inside of a file cabinet with a small piano at the end — I just saved you a whole month of becoming aware.

Peanut Butter Lovers’ Month? Really? We might as well have a month for people who love spinach — nevermind, it’s in October.

I wish I could say that McGraw-Hill lists all of the different ways for a person to be aware every month.

It seems the more research is done, the more awareness months are found.

Generally, I can also agree with months that recognize an illness.

Though I believe severe ailments are something that should be recognized as needing a cure all of the time, I do think most people — Americans in particular — are simply too busy to worry about all illnesses all the time. In that sense, it’s a healthy practice to allot a certain amount of time for each serious illness.

However, something that still puzzles me is how an awareness month is even created. I understand there are certain days, weeks and months that are observed based on presidential proclamation, but that doesn’t explain why July is a month that celebrates six different types of food — blueberries, grilling, horseradish, hot dogs, ice cream and sandwiches.

I’m also a strong believer that awareness should not be a commercial or social event. I’m not going to pretend that I celebrate any history month dealing with diseases by donating or working at shelters, but I also think people who pretend they care while ignoring what is actually going on is useless to the point of awareness.

However, I’d like to push for September’s Be Kind to Editors and Writers Month to be everyday, all day.


Taylor Stephens is a senior journalism and English major from Bossier City who serves as editor for The Tech Talk. Email comments to tds026@latech.edu.