Let's make the most of AIDS Awareness Month

This February is AIDS Awareness month at Geneseo. Various campus groups have put forward a great deal of time and energy into organizing a month full of activities to raise awareness about what is possibly the greatest pandemic of our time. A pandemic which to most of us seems like an intangible fog

Despite the fact that it is now commonplace, it seems a bit ridiculous that we should need to dedicate a whole month to something. It seems to send the message, albeit unwittingly, that it is during this month that our attention to this particular matter is demanded.

Despite the unintentional message, however, it is easy to see that creating a constant interest in some cause, however worthwhile it may be, is much more difficult than focusing attention within a single month. Sadly enough, however worthy the cause, it is extremely difficult to maintain the interest and attention of a public bombarded with calls and cries for action and change from all sorts of groups who all champion a worthwhile cause.

Even our own individual lives merit charity from time to time even if we sometimes think that constant self-sacrifice is all that is necessary for true happiness. This combination of factors does sometimes seem to be the greatest obstacle to the mitigation of human suffering, even more so than apathy.

I should clarify, however, that I do believe that helping others can be an assured path to an undiluted form of happiness. Of all those things which give us instantaneous happiness, all are fleeting except the gift of self-sacrifice for one another. The tactile pleasures are boundless in their scope and once indulged are rarely ever satisfied for long. Only generosity of time and energy yields a pleasure that cannot be diminished by the possibility of an even greater pleasure.

Therefore it is imperative that in this time we are given to be charitable without too much of a demand on our time or bank accounts, we take full benefit of the pleasure that can come from being generous-even if the sacrifice we make seems small.

I know this sounds preachy, but if history has proven anything , it is that great tragedies and disasters cannot be remedied by single great individuals but rather communities of individuals who after becoming cognizant of their own part to play take action no matter how small or large that part is.

Self righteous as this all may sound, I do think that constant repetition is less of an offense than silence. I think most of us would agree that is would be better to annoy the entire world with sermonizing than let such a horrible thing continue.

So for the month of February let us all do what we can, whenever we can, to make sure that all the effort of students here on campus does not go to waste. In repetition, our actions might seem less like an obligation or chore and more like a kind of habit or even better a kind of sport. This is the kind of drive that many people have worked to create through dedication and their ingenuity.

It is not then just for the needy and the desperate that we must act for, but rather for ourselves and our peers. Let us make the most out of this month for all our sakes.