With another October/Breast Cancer Awareness Month upon us, I keep hearing it said over and over, enough with the awareness. Everyone is aware. We are saturated with awareness. And so on. There are places in the world where there is not awareness, but here in the USA, heck yes, breast cancer awareness can be checked off the list. As I have said before, if you ask anyone on the street what a pink ribbon stands for or what month is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, I'm pretty sure 9 out 10 people over the age of 10 (probably younger), would know. Most people are aware.
But awareness doesn't mean much in and of itself.
You're aware, so what?
For example, if you're aware the days are getting chillier now that it's October, but don't bother to stop dressing as if it's still summer, it doesn't matter much that you're aware does it?
If you're aware that you are allergic to chocolate but keep buying and eating Milky Way candy bars every time you meet a bag, it's not helping you much to be aware.
Awareness without action is pretty meaningless. And it needs to be meaningful action at that. Any action will not do.
It's the same deal with breast cancer awareness.
If we don't follow up awareness with some kind of meaningful action, the awareness part doesn't do much good.
This is part of the problem with Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
Everyone has jumped onto the pink awareness bandwagon and I do mean everyone.
And many of these jumpers believe the mere act of jumping equates with doing something meaningful. It doesn't.
Buying the can of soup with the pink label, pasting that window decal in your car, inhaling that cupcake with sprinkle-laden pink frosting, donning a t-shirt with some dumb slogan, going bra-less for a day, promoting gimmicky feel-good games and memes with catchy teasers such as “grab/cop a feel” do not count either. I repeat, they do not count. If you're a merchant, it doesn't count to display and promote all that pink paraphernalia front and center in your store if there isn't also something being done that isn't about helping YOU line YOUR pockets.
Supporting a cause, any cause, is supposed to be about more than making yourself look/feel better. It's supposed to be about, well, supporting the cause.
And this is the problem, well part of it anyway. Too many people think doing something, anything at all, counts.
It doesn't. At least it doesn't count for much.
And too often support (of any kind) is more about show than about support. (Think NFL)
Meaningful awareness results in meaningful action and this doesn't have to be anything profound. Sometimes little things like asking your neighbor, did you know, can make a difference and therefore be pretty darn meaningful.
Perhaps it's time for all of us to ask ourselves this October (and every month), what meaningful action have I taken lately to generate not just breast cancer awareness, but rather meaningful action?
Need some ideas for what YOU can do?
Because without meaningful action, what good does breast cancer awareness do?
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