The date has become symbolic. Every year the spin doctors coin a heart-rending theme and people march up and down the streets. For the next few days caution is the by word but by the time the loved ones come from long distances , diaspora and when the 13th cheque is cashed, caution goes through the window.
The date is a significant reminder. It is as good as the wake up alarm in the morning. It will ring but not take you off the bed. It will ring but you can punch snooze and go back to sleep. The alarm can ring and one can switch it off and go back to sleep. It would have played its role but one would not have gotten out of bed and gotten ready for the new day.01 December (World Aids Day) is as good as a ringing alarm.
The greater good comes from those who take heed of the wakeup call and do actually harken to its call. 01 December has become synonymous with red ribbons, freebie condoms, sob stories, political lip service and no serious practice. For eleven months we fill our tabloids with conduct contrary to 01 December, come the day, we wear somber faces and weep crocodile tears pledging to walk a straighter path from thereon (why does this remind me of a drunk who swears he will never touch beer only to gulp glasses of alcohol in a bid to quench a hangover headache?).
The date must not be a starting point, it should be a milestone, we should be celebrating the fidelity we have held since January, we should be celebrating the caution we have shown, we should be celebrating the strength and knowledge we have exercised.
Knowledge empowers, and knowing where you stand in this dimension gives the ability to make decisions from an informed point of view. We cannot afford to experiment using our offspring anymore (a colleague of mine used wait till his latest offspring turned 2 to declare that he was still ‘ok’) as guinea pigs to test our amenability to the scourge. Spouses can no longer afford to spread love laced with death. We cannot afford to be slaves to ignorance when knowledge is free.
On this day this blog is dedicated to all the brave and informed characters that have taken time to know their status, this goes to those who have soldiered on even when the worst was declared, this goes to those who have been supportive of such and once again power is derived from knowledge and one cannot govern or administrate in darkness (read ignorance).
01 December, the day of red ribbons, promises, speeches, candles, condoms etc. should be more than that. It should be a day of self-introspection.
As the sun rises tomorrow will you rise to the AIDS Day alarm?