I think it’s interesting to stop every once in a while and pay attention to things that usually just slip right by me. One such topic is the number of holidays that occur during any given month. Here’s all the major holidays that I could find that happen in the month of May: May Day, Cinco de Mayo, National Teacher Day, Mothers Day, Victoria Day, Memorial Day, National Physical Fitness and Sports Month, Asian American Heritage Month, Jewish American Heritage Month, Skin Cancer Awareness Month and National Bike Month.
Honestly now, were any of you aware of all of these? I sure wasn’t. It boggles the mind to think of every month of the year being filled up with all sorts of “days” and “months” like this.
Does anyone, anywhere have the time, energy or interest to observe all of these? How about most of these? How about more than 4 of these?
Yeah, that’s what I thought.
Just look at that list. There seems to be some conflict in there to me. Do Jewish-Americans mind having to share “their month” with Asian-Americans, or visa-versa? Not being either one I have no idea, but they may. Were all the other months so filled up that the Asian-American and Jewish-American communities were forced to share May? Hmmm.
The really crazy thing is that every month looks just like this. They are filled with days and months that most people don’t know about, and wouldn’t care if they did. I suppose you could say this is good because it features so many things and gives you so many choices. But I wonder if most of them don’t just disappear in all the noise surrounding it.
There’s 11 “days” or “months” in May alone. So be sure and mark your calendar because you’ll have to work hard to keep up! You don’t want to miss one and offend anyone, do you? I’d hate to slight my Asian or Jewish friends, or my friends who ride bikes or who have skin cancer. Hey, I’ve had skin cancer and I was totally oblivious to May being skin cancer awareness month!
All of this reminds me of the seemingly ever-growing list of awards shows all over TV. I’ve never been a big fan of them and now wouldn’t watch one on a bet! Enough is enough, isn’t it? I feel the same way about all these “days.” By giving every special interest group their own day we end up numbing people’s minds and making sure that almost no one notices any of them! Now that’s what I call self-defeating.
What really bothers me about this is that I believe people need special days. We need to stop and take stock of things. We ought to celebrate historic events and courageous people. We need to know and honor our history and learn from our pasts.
But giving everyone or everything a “day” isn’t the way to do it. In fact, it’s a great way to make sure that we don’t do it!
Like most things in modern life, there’s really nothing either you or I can do about all these “days” and “months.” People are going to petition congress and get what they want from vote hungry politicians. But that doesn’t mean we’re helpless either.
What we can do is to pick out a few items that we really do care about. Figure out what they are, and then build in the time to really honor them. Maybe read a book about that subject or listen to a lecture for example.
It doesn’t really matter what you do, as long as it’s meaningful and helpful for you. So make your own choices and just ignore the rest. Don’t let all the nannies out there who love to run around and tell us what we’re supposed to care about bother you. Figure it out and follow it up. Not only will you be better for it, but our country and culture will be better as well.
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Louie Marsh is pastor of Christ’s Church on the River on the Parker Strip. Visit his website HERE.