Be aware, I am aware

Harefield Gazette - - OPINION - Bm@il Ev­ery week BAR­BARA FISHER looks at is­sues that af­fect us all – the is­sues that get you talk­ing. You can join in by email­ing bmail­bar­bara@gmail.com

WHAT DO I hope for the New Year? Well, for a start, no more cones or road works signs, un­less ac­com­pa­nied by a team of work per­sons bash­ing the hell out of some con­crete. Their sit­ting in a truck with a fam­ily-size bag of qua­vers doesn’t count.

Apart from the ob­vi­ous good health, world peace (and for Mr F to stop ar­gu­ing with the Sat­nav), I’d en­joy a break from the wran­gling around our mar­i­tal split with Europe. I re­cently heard a politi­cian say that Brexit is not like an egg – it doesn’t have to be soft or hard. Oh, very re­as­sur­ing. Scram­bled maybe?

It would also be great if we could stop be­ing pa­tro­n­ised by peo­ple ‘rais­ing aware­ness’ of things.

The ma­jor­ity of us are ac­tu­ally ex­tremely aware, thank you very much, mainly be­cause we keep be­ing re­minded of the things we’re sup­pos­edly not aware of. The rest have prob­a­bly had em­pa­thy by-passes, don’t lis­ten, and couldn’t care a kip­per any­way.

Many of us wear rib­bons and give to our favourite char­i­ties, of­ten be­cause we have had friends and relatives who have had se­ri­ous con­di­tions, and huge num­bers of peo­ple sup­port Red Nose Day and Comic Re­lief which do a great job in rais­ing much-needed funds

This month there is Na­tional Obe­sity Aware­ness Week (Jan 9-15), while on Jan­uary 14 we have Na­tional STI day, ‘rais­ing aware­ness’ of sex­ual health is­sues.

Later this year we have Na­tional In­fer­til­ity Week.

Have they not seen the TV pro­gramme GPs Be­hind Closed Doors? The days when peo­ple avoided talk­ing about sen­si­tive is­sues is long gone, so do we re­ally need to have more and more ‘aware­ness’ events im­posed upon us?

I hope that this year we can stop swamp­ing young peo­ple with high pro­file sto­ries on abuse, body im­age and men­tal health prob­lems, par­tic­u­larly as many of these ‘is­sues’ have been cre­ated by adults. Also, shouldn’t we as­sume that chil­dren feel at home in the gen­der they were born in, un­less they say oth­er­wise, and then qui­etly pro­vide ser­vices if, and when, they need them?

Fi­nally, while re­search­ing this month’s cam­paigns I did ac­tu­ally dis­cover a great na­tional day on Jan­uary 3. It has been de­clared a Fes­ti­val of Sleep Day ‘cre­ated for peo­ple to get some shut-eye af­ter the hol­i­days’. Bril­liant idea. No aware­ness in­volved – you just have to conk out.

Happy New Year!

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