Hijack of the day

It has come to my attention that today, and yesterday, and tomorrow, and every single day, have been been hijacked; taken over and marked with flags of ownership… though mostly for a good cause. I’m talking about all the National and International days proclaimed by organisations as Their Day.

The last year or so I have noticed it a lot more. Perhaps this is just because I am more in tune with the charity and cause frequency than I was before, or perhaps the growth in social media has given organisations more access to the general public. Or maybe, as I suspect, the ever accelerating process of globalisation and the consequent excess of information, with corporations and causes all wanting your attention, has both permitted and forced everyone to adopt an entire day, or even week, to publicise and broadcast their agenda – ‘raise awareness’.

If I sound cynical, I don’t mean to be (the tone seems to come naturally to me) –  I actually love knowing what ‘day’ it is today; whether it be International Dance Day (29th April), Red Nose Day (27th June) or my Birthday (11th December).

Days hold significance for people at all levels – individually and collectively. Western culture particularly values dates and general ‘officialness’.

As someone who is drawn to meaning, history and sentimentality (perhaps it’s just called being human), if I’m having a particularly uninspiring day, I’ll sometimes look up the date and see any causes that want my attention today, or any interesting history that has been officially scheduled into remembrance on this date. This quick investigation draws me out of the smallness of my world – one that can seem, on those days, claustrophobic, daunting or even boring. It connects me to meaning, and collective communities that are bigger than my otherwise shrinking thoughts.

For example, in the last week we have had:

  • Today (21st March) – World Down Syndrome Day

  • Thursday (20th March) – International Day of Happiness (United Nations)

  • Monday (17th March) – St Patricks Day

  • Saturday (15h March) – International Day Against Police Brutality

As well as a name, there is action to those days – people are getting together to celebrate, advocate, mourn, petition, remember.. something. It’s cool.

I might write about some of these ‘hijacked’ days and the causes responsible from time to time, on the days that they take place.

Heads up – Next week, starting on the 24th and ending on the 30th of March, is National Meat Free Week. Because I want someone else to explain, here’s an article from the Sydney Morning Herald that will tell you things:

http://www.smh.com.au/lifestyle/diet-and-fitness/eating-meat-when-less-is-better-for-you-20140315-34t7d.html

but I’ll write my own article next week. (I challenge you to read the article, and attempt a week without meat).

TODAY If you have had a mediocre Friday and need reminding that the world is diverse, vibrant, interesting and home to people with initiative and passion, here’s a list of things that are significant about today:

As already mentioned today is World Down Syndrome Day – this video made for the day is a beautiful watch: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ju-q4OnBtNU

It’s also Harmony Day in Australia, a day to promote cohesion and inclusion and promote a tolerant and culturally diverse Australia – schools across the country encouraged children to wear the colour orange to show their support for the message ‘everyone belongs’.

A long time ago today, in 1617 Pocahontas died in England – incredible that her name and parts of her story, are still remembered in the 21st century.

If you’re still not feeling connected to the world, here’s a song by Baths for you to chill out to – they’re playing tonight at Oxford Art Factory, which makes today a good day for the people who are going:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dHvWURUzj3Q

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