International Days, what are they and why do we have them?

This sectionโ€™s purpose?

To promote international days and show how people can get involved in awareness raising either in the real world or by supporting online campaigns.

It seems to be generally recognised that there are two types of international days. Those that are proposed by member states of the United Nations, then endorsed, voted on, ratified and finally observed. All sounds very efficient and UN like. The others are proposed, designated and promoted by international non-governmental organisations and charities, individuals, associations, companies and corporations [Hmmm! About that last one. Thatโ€™s of course if you believe what some of the largest corporations on Earth who support international days tell you when asked why theyโ€™re supporting such an issue as it seems a tad ironic. As I said Hmmmmm!].

International days celebrate all kinds of things. From some more serious to those who use more humorous name days but they all seem to serve basically the same purpose which is raising awareness and thatโ€™s what Boiling Frogs Blog is all about.

One definition of international days I found available on the web :

โ€œInternational days are occasions to educate the general public on issues of concern [cool!] to mobilize political will [yeah, well, good luck with that. resuscitate political will, more like!] and resources to address global problems [resources?! what resources? do you think the UN would buy me a coffee?] and to celebrate and reinforce achievements of humanity [as soon as humanity has something to celebrate].โ€

The United Nations tell us that โ€œthey observe designated days, weeks, years, and decades [soon to follow maybe eons, epochs and ages! just kidding!]. By creating special observances, the United Nations promotes international awareness and action on these issues. Each international day offers many actors the opportunity to organize activities related to the theme of the day.โ€

Now, when they say actors I donโ€™t think they mean actors like Leonardo DiCaprio. Even though our Leo has personally taken up the torch to raise awareness on many environmental issues. Unfortunately, social media seems to be more interest in the young manโ€™s love-life nowadays.

The next bit sounds very positive!

โ€œโ€ฆand most importantly, governments, civil society, the public and private sectors, schools, universities and, more generally, citizens, make an international day a springboard for awareness-raising actions.โ€

A springboard for awareness raising actions. Sounds awesome and very doable so we will be doing what we can to let people know what international days are in the pipeline and stories of how people are raising awareness.

What does being aware mean?

Good old Google tells me itโ€™s โ€œcognisant, conscious, sensible, alive, [sounds like the requirements for a really bad dating site or maybe a really progressive one] awake mean having knowledge of something. Aware implies vigilance in observing or alertness in drawing inferences from what one experiences [Gosh, does it really!? No idea what that last bit means but anywho!]โ€.

For me one of the worst things about becoming aware of an issue is trying to figure out what you can do about it. Back in my naive Save The Whale days of the mid 70s I was very focused on the issue of saving whales probably because I thought it was the worst issue going. It wasnโ€™t long before I became AWARE that it was only one of so many issues that were really symptoms of a very sick society. Can the news get any worse I thought!? Stupid question? And it wasnโ€™t even September 28th! Which is Ask a Stupid Question Day.

Everyone seems to be focusing on Climate Change right now which is great but itโ€™s one of many terrifying issues that if left unchecked will continue to pose a threat to the very survival of so many species including our own.

There must be a syndrome or disorder which you can say you have when you really donโ€™t wanna become aware of any more horrible things like these. Letโ€™s just go ahead and name it, shall we? Terrifying Information Overload Syndrome (T.I.O.S.).

I have often asked myself over the years: Is being aware really making me and others feel conscious, sensible, alive, and awake? Or numb, stupefied, half dead and exhausted?

If you find you are suffering from T.I.O.S. try not to be so hard on yourself and stop trying to take on all the world’s problems at once. Hopefully, help is coming because international awareness days will help more people to find the spark that will ignite their passion.๐Ÿคž

There is, after all, only so much that one person can do, isnโ€™t there? The unfortunate thing and most terrifying of all is that most people are not doing anything at all.

Recently, I have seen many examples on the internet, especially on Twitter where groups of individuals in communities across the UK have found their issue and they are focusing their attentions upon it by supporting international days. They really have shown โ€œvigilance in observingโ€œ.

So here on BFB we will be letting you know what international days are coming up and hopefully, you will help us spread the word either on social media or in your own community.

Feel free to retweet or share our posts but by all means come up with your own and maybe involve the kids or other family members or workmates or complete strangers and random passers-by.

Get together with family, friends and neighbours, raise awareness and maybe some funds for organisations, preferably local that you think are doing what they say on the their tin and are worthy of your hard earned cash.

I have been attempting to raise awareness on green issues like this my entire adult life. I know that I am just one voice but hope that with this new blog and the other initiatives we are doing here at BFB we will also help people find and focus on their issues.

So I am going to finish by wishing everyone a happy Earth Day. We are celebrating Earth Day ourselves this year by attending the Biodiversity Rally outside the Houses of Parliament still trying to believe that it may have an impact on our so called leaders. How will you be celebrating ?


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