Did you know that April 2 is Autism Awareness Day? In fact, the entire month of April is dedicated to Autism Awareness, along with 20+ other causes calling for attention and awareness. But what about the rest of the year; the 364 other days or months besides April?
March 5-12th is Brain Awareness Week.
July is International Group B Strep Awareness Month.
November is National Alzheimer’s Month.
If more college students were aware of their brains during said awareness week, maybe better decisions would be made during Spring Break (observed during the same time period).
When I had Strep throat (not in July), I was very aware of it. And luckily, so was my doctor.
My point is this: Ask anyone who is affected by a brain, Strep throat, Alzheimer’s, or Autism if they are aware of it outside of the designated time period? I’ve been aware of Autism for over 20 years now and Alzheimer’s for 3 years. It is a part of my everyday life.
When the waitstaff in a restaurant takes an active interest in what CD my little brother is listening to or what new plush chihuahua he has, it isn’t because they are obligated or required; their heart just wants to know his.
When the neighbors listen to my dad (with Alzheimer’s) tell the same story for the third time or wait for him to find a dropped word, it isn’t because it’s November. It is because they want to know him and hear what he has to say, no matter how long it takes.
Days and months devoted to awareness do not go unappreciated by any means; every little bit helps. But I think the way to really make a difference in someone’s life is to be aware of the individual, rather than what affects them. A simple “hello” will leave an impression that is felt 24/7/365.