April is Parkinson’s awareness month. I’m already aware I have Parkinson’s. You are too. As of this sentence, if not before. What is the point of such awareness – in April or in any month? Is it like giving people volunteer opportunities? Is it all a self-aggrandizing way to raise money? Is it okay if the reason is to raise money for much-needed research? Or to rescue animals and humans? If so, is awareness the proper term? Isn’t everyone aware that there is too much need and despair in our troubled world? Surely, you’re already aware that those who can should at least try to help?
Sometimes, the multitude of awareness campaigns numbs us to humanity’s many ills. Save the Children, Heal the Bay, protect the puppies… the worthy pleas meld into a cacophonous cry. Should we throw up our collective hands? Can I even help those in my cocoon — whether I’m aware, awake or numb? What ties us to our fellow humans? How far and wide should these tethers extend? Do I have the strength to uncover my ears?
Can we resurrect hope through generosity? Americans are generous; we gave $390.05 billion in 2016, up a whopping 4.2% from 2015. Nevertheless, I cannot donate nor volunteer enough to make this troubled orb a heaven on earth. Should I therefore walk around in an unaware bubble?
No. Just because I can’t solve – or even impact — most of the wrongs about which I’m aware doesn’t mean I can’t make a difference. For good.
I refuse to let awareness make me heavy. It’s a Herculean task on most days. Nevertheless, I strive to take action and lighten humanity’s load. Even if it’s a drop in the bucket – at least it’s a drop for good. Something is better than nothing.
So, I compliment a stranger just because they’re a fellow biped who walks this earth with me. I donate to causes I care about. I call my mother. Talk to my aunt and half-sister — without playing with my smartphone. I try to make God, my higher self, consciousness, my soul – whatever you call your connection with our communal universe – smile. I try to make my tiny corner of the world better. Even if it’s a drop at a time.