Everyday seems to be dedicated to something or other with some being more celebrated and recognised than others. Yesterday Facebook greeted many of us with ‘Happy Earth Day’ and suggested we think about our impact and make a positive change, but who actually acknowledged this or would have even been aware of it if it wasn’t for social media?
I saw some lovely photos from a friend in the USA whose daughter’s school were really getting their hands dirty and learning in the most literal way by planting seeds, tidying their school grounds, making insects out of recyclables, and – you’ve got it – learning about compost and worms.
But what about me? I was at work doing the same things I always do and Earth Day made no appearance in my day bar that Facebook greeting and a few posts by ethical companies, food campaigns and individuals that I follow. But does that matter? At the bare minimum I think about our impact on the Earth every time I sort the food waste at the end of lunch service, and through my Masters, my volunteer work, this blog and my own consumer behaviour I am trying to make a positive change.
So do we really need a day when every day is, or at least should be, ‘Earth Day’? Likewise, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Valentine’s Day, St George’s Day (and the days of other patron saints)… Are these days necessary to show our appreciation for our parents, and our love for one another, and our country, when these are things we should be doing everyday?
On the whole, I think yes. I remember last Remembrance Day standing beside one of my favourite customers, a woman full of unconditional advice and compassion, and sharing the two minutes’ silence with her. For two minutes everyone was still, silent. And it didn’t matter what you were thinking, if you were praying, remembering loved ones, being thankful, or just waiting for the moment you could begin again. What was important was that we stopped, just for a moment.
There is so much going on in this world, and so much information in our heads, that dedicating a day to a person, a place, a cause or an ideal means we can focus our thoughts on one thing, even it is just for two minutes once a year.
Not everyone will have acknowledged Earth Day but then there are people who acknowledge it everyday and work to make a difference, likewise with the numerous other ‘days’ that exist. We all have our priorities – for example, I know of several people running the London Marathon, and other events, and they are all doing so for different worthwhile causes. But, just like they are all raising awareness and making people think, dedicating a day to something or someone does the same. And, yes, people are free to ignore these, but more people will take note than if they didn’t exist at all and hopefully be motivated to help and make it part of their everyday life.