If there is anything more important than raising awareness, I AM NOT AWARE of it.
But there are those in America who lack awareness concerning the importance of raising awareness. The worst part: most Americans are unaware that their lack of awareness about raising awareness is what's at fault. And that's bad.
According to the Lancet, lack of awareness has contributed to 2.5 billion deaths. But the figure might actually BE HIGHER. "Because most people aren't aware of the link, they can't actually report it and then of course, they end up dead," says study author Greg Gutfeld. "Research has shown that being aware can save you from any number of bad situations where being unaware could be deadly."
The underlying philosophical thought behind raising awareness about raising awareness is that more people will be aware if you raise awareness about raising awareness. And that awareness, as any aware layman will agree, is key.
HOW TO RAISE AWARENESS OF RAISING AWARENESS
FIRST: YOU NEED to establish that you and only you can raise awareness of raising awareness. THIS IS YOUR ISSUE. Focus all your efforts on it, and within six months you will be invited to George Clooney's Lake Como mansion to meet Bishop Tutu AND PERHAPS some up and coming swimsuit models. If done correctly, Raising Awareness of raising awareness will become the crux of your social calendar.
GET INVOLVED: you can show support for raising awareness by planning one or more activities GUARANTEED to draw celebrities and "tastemakers" alike into your "awareness enclave," (i.e., "basement.") Meaningful activities like auction-style luncheons, fun runs, backyard carnivals and "virtual marches" allow you to rub elbows with people who will be too polite to ask you exactly what you do for a living -- and be immensely impressed by your fervor in raising awareness of raising awareness. Even if you fail to grasp basic hygiene practices, you will still be known as a good, sensitive and "thoughtful" person (see Randall Robinson).
"But how do I start?" asks Seth Greenland?
* Add a link to raisingawarenessofraisingawareness.com to your website or blog. Direct visitors to...
* a monthly electronic newsletter, called THE RAISIN'. The mascot: an "awareness-raising raisin' named Cenk. NOTE: I have camera-ready artwork that can be inserted into any publication, as part of the RARA (pronounced "rara") kit, which can be yours for only 13 dollars. Cash only (coins welcome).
* Create a visual display of the theme "Raising Awareness OF raising awareness" at your local animal shelter, police station, library, school, county government building, mall or other public area. Make it look "cool," with snappy visuals and brash colors. Ask proprieters to display the RARA poster. IF THEY DON'T, THEY ARE PROBABLY RACIST.
* Ask co-workers, friends, and neighbors to contribute to the raising awareness of raising awareness campaign. Focus on the single ones, or those in unhappy relationships. Involve their pets!
BREAK FOR REQUIRED ANTI-BUSH JIBE: The evil Republicans not only don't see the OBVIOUS value of raising awareness of raising awareness, but they also are trying to CUT its funding by RAISING its funding by only 3.5% a year! Were you even aware of that? (Now you see why RARA is my passion.)
ADVANCED AWARENESS RAISING! Invite representatives from local and state government, law enforcement, and the judicial system to an in-service training to learn about the connection between "not raising awareness," and "lack of awareness." Have handouts, charts and graphs handy. E-mail me to receive information about organizing a training event. (In a matter of hours, I can show you how to turn your basement into a "raising awareness workshop," complete with a massage table, stirrups and built-in refreshment center.)
Set up a booth at a park to provide information. Honor volunteers who help out with badges, ribbons or even better: sponsor a luncheon and present them with certificates of appreciation. Make sure to invite the local press, a face-painted juggler and a collection of "living statues." Invite students from middle and high schools. If you make "raising awareness" sound cool, you'll probably gain impressionable fans among attractive slender teens! BONUS TIP: bring pot.
ADDED VALUE THAT ALLOWS YOU TO ADDRESS PERFECT STRANGERS IN BARS: Create wallet cards with an emergency phone number (mine) that can be given to victims of people who haven't had their awareness raised. The cards should include directions to a safe haven (a poorly lit park with firm, flat turf). Contact established Neighborhood Crime Watch programs to make them aware of people who are not raising awareness in their neighborhood. If your neighborhood does not have a program, start your own. Get an orange vest. People associate the color orange with "safety."
FINALLY, I encourage you to involve as many individuals and organizations as possible in raising awareness of raising awareness! I think it is incumbent on white children of privilege to go to neighborhoods of color to raise awareness about raising awareness. It may not actually help, but raising awareness about raising awareness looks damn good on the Dartmouth application.
CONFESSION: I was raised by parents who did not raise me with the importance of raising awareness of raising awareness and I refuse to raise my (future) children without the understanding of the importance of raising awareness of raising awareness. Incidentally, my parents are reluctant to point out my grandparents were at the forefront of RARA but did not raise my awareness about my lineage in this all-important cause.
A SECOND FINALLY:
I also welcome your ideas. Please feel free to write to me, and tell me what you're doing to raise awareness of raising awareness in your community, along with pictures. Or just send me the pictures. To my PO box. Note: Based upon cultural prejudices and a need to dispel institutional biases, the ideal RARA instructor is black, tightly built, gay and willing to give it all he's got.