Awareness vs. Action

October is Domestic Violence Awarenes Month, National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Family Health Month, and probably an assortment of other awareness campaigns month, but I am left wondering, is the issue really that we are not aware?

If you randomly chose a stranger on the sidewalk and announced, “Breast cancer exists”, they likely would not stagger back in stunned amazement, flabbergasted, gasping, “I had no idea!” The same could be said for most issues that have awareness months, from health campaigns to child abuse prevention.

I am in no way mocking these campaigns, especially child abuse prevention, and I know there are rampant misconceptions that make prevention or elimination of many problems difficult to impossible. But there seems to be an implied cause and effect that knowledge equals action that I don’t agree happens with the overwhelming majority of people.

If you have ever been in a crisis, incident, or uncomfortable situation, you have probably seen the knee-jerk, almost immediate reaction of the group collectively looking at someone else to see who else is going to handle the problem. People recognize that someone needs to do something; they just prefer that someone to be other than themselves.

Wearing ribbons and being able to recite statistics is ultimately not terribly helpful if that knowledge doesn’t translate into “What can I do?”

Maybe we need a Personal Responsibility Awareness Month…?


About TheSmirkingCat

I am endlessly trying to make sense of a world that has completely and unapologetically lost its mind.
This entry was posted in awareness, psychology, responsibility, social issues. Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to Awareness vs. Action

  1. FeministGal says:

    hahahah i love this post. so very true.

  2. furiousBall says:

    you’re right, the problem is most feel samaritanly sated by putting a ribbon on their car or body, but knowledge of prevention or what can be done to correct, that’s truly helping.

  3. macocha says:

    What about PAS month. Or Malicious parent awareness month. Why can’t it just be such and such awareness year. Keep it in the forefront of everyone’s mind to avoid the issues being swept under the rug. But yes, more accountability awareness would be good too. Good post – thanks

  4. Crys says:

    Taking action is one thing that most people fall short of doing. Perhaps there should be a “Take Action And Do Something About It Month”

  5. I never really thought about it this way before, but you are very correct!!

  6. so very true…. we do all know “awareness month” it may be- but its the doing that really makes a difference!

  7. Demeur says:

    The problem is that people have an attention span of about 15 minutes and there’s so many awareness campaigns that it’s an open opportunity for apathy. How about one problem per month 12 per year and only focus on really important ones. We don’t need a save the hairless catfish month or what ever. You get the point.

  8. Sungold says:

    What really gets me is how “awareness” also too often is boiled down to a marketing technique. Breast cancer awareness is unfortunately a pretty egregious example of this. I take cancer too seriously to see it trivialized as a series of pink-tinted products.

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