Just over a month ago I wrote that there is something to be “observed” every month, every week, and probably every day, some cause worth lifting up to at least generate a passing awareness. Like, April is (among many, many causes/observances): National Child Abuse Awareness Month, national Cannabis Awareness Month, Lawn and Garden Month, National Humor Month, National Soft Pretzel Month, National Poetry Month, National Welding Month, and National Safe Digging Month. And these are just a very few of the monthly observances! This week is International Tree Climbing Days Week and Bat Appreciation Week, and next week includes National Library Week and National Animal Control Appreciation Week. The month closes with Air Quality Awareness Week, Bedbug Awareness Week, National Princess Week, and Sky Awareness Week (there are many others!). And every day in April observes/celebrates anywhere from three to 10 things!
The point is, we have much to be mindful about. Not that we should be mindful about all of these things. That can feel so overwhelming! The purpose is to offer us any number of opportunities to focus on or celebrate a cause, to slow down, or even to stop during a day that we want to celebrate and just enjoy or remember. They are invitations to realize that there is something every day to participate in, or at least be aware of, that can make a difference for us or for others.
It’s also Sexual Assault Awareness Month. Which is not like gardening or eating pretzels or going to the library or looking up to the sky. It’s not something we want to know about. It hurts too much, is too ugly, doesn’t contribute to one’s well-being, and ought not to be any kind of monthly observance.
And that’s right. But it cannot become a non-recognition awareness until it no longer is a concern. And it won’t concern any of us when it finally is eradicated as a way of hurting, or even killing human beings, mostly women.
So, whatever you observe this month, this week, or today, please remember to love each other. And when you feel like you’ve hurt someone, ask their forgiveness. Or if you’ve been hurt, somehow convey to the other your pain, thereby offering an opportunity at least to talk about it, and perhaps for them to seek your forgiveness.
“Do to others whatever you would like them to do to you,” said the Teacher, and “Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other.” Can we do that?
It’s really simple. Not necessarily easy, but simple. And so often it can be hard. But it’s worth doing. For God’s sake, and for ours.
Harry ~ LifeSpring Chaplain