Thursday, March 22, 2012

World Days: In Search of Attention to Older Adults

Droplets (Shakespeare's Garden)
Today is World Water Day, following close on the heels of March 21st which was World Forestry Day, World Sleep Day, and International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination -- all wrapped into one day.  Although yesterday, the only day I saw commemorated was World Forestry Day.  Most notably by Google which used its street view technology to immerse us in the landscape of the Amazon River.  Pretty cool stuff.  I would have enjoyed celebrating World Sleep Day though -- I think a collective postprandial nap around the world around 2:00 pm in each time zone would be just the right thing to celebrate that day.

Leaf Boat (Conservatory Garden)
I was curious about the World Days and so set off to investigate this on the Web.  It took a lot of trial and error to find an article on Hub Pages about world important days with an actual list.  Tomorrow is World Meteorological Day -- it makes sense to have a run of days that elevate climate and environmental awareness (maybe it would make more sense to put them together with Earth Day in April and have a week's worth of events?).  Not all of these days are United Nations created but from the article it sounds like some are.  The belief is that it gives countries a common frame to focus attention on issues deemed to be of world importance.

If you consider yourself an achiever, you might want to mark your calendar for March 24th -- it's International Day for Achievers!  I wonder how that one is celebrated?  Do achievers get the day off?  How would we know who is an achiever and, thus, eligible for the day off?  'Aar she goes on September 19th -- it's International Talk Like a Pirate Day.  For that one, are we talking like an old style pirate or a modern day pirate?  Not really clear and I'm not sure I would be celebrating pirates -- aren't they the originators of walking the plank and keel hauling?

So being a bit obsessive, I scanned the list for days that celebrated older adults and the workforce that cares for them (that's what I think about in my other life -- a lot).  There is an International Day for Older Persons (October 1) and an International Day of the Families (May 15th) and a Global Family Day (January 1) -- although I think that one is often overlooked in the aftermath of our international celebrations of New Year's Eve.  There are doctor (1), nurse (1) and engineer (2) days and a day where we celebrate "hello" plus one where we celebrate television (OK, I confess, I think we need to celebrate television -- and maybe now we can move on and celebrate reality television too but that's for someone else to blog about).

Bedewed (Shakespeare's Garden)
So, life is a journey (my friend Mike has just blogged about journeys and winning over at Wass Doc's blog).  And NOW that I know what search terms to use, I've continued my Web journey in search of the official UN list of days and found it!  The official UN list of days is quite a bit shorter than Hub Pages' list.  The pirates, doctors, nurses, engineers, achievers, and hello days did not make the cut.  The International Day of Older Persons and the International Families Day did (woo  hoo) but I still don't see any World Day to celebrate the workforce that cares for older adults.  There is a World Teachers Day (as there should be) on October 5th.  It does not look like there is anyone leading that particular celebration over there at the UN.   Perhaps they should get on that.

The United Nations does have a fairly decent body of work on aging issues although it seems to be time for a World Congress focused on aging (the last one was in 2002).  It may be worth an inquiry to the UN about a World Day focused on the workforce needed to meet the needs of an aging populations.  If we can't get that day, maybe we could get a World Congress focused on aging?  Now that is much needed -- aging is a big challenge around the world.

In the meantime, Global Water Day is an important world holiday that's already on the UN calendar.  It  focuses our attention on water -- clean water in particular -- as a scarce resource. So, in the spirit of celebrating World Water Day, here are some photos of one of my favorite subjects -- you guessed it -- water in all its glorious forms (fresh, frozen, salt, falling).

Iguazu Falls (Argentina)
Tofino Waves at Sunset (Canada)
Yukon Iceblock (Canada)
Canada? Zambia? Argentina?

Yukon Iceblock Ii (Canada)

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