People by nature have wanted to name things since the Garden of Eden. If it isn’t finding shapes in the cloud or identifying a taste, it’s giving significance to days, weeks and months. You can find these compiled in the annual Chase’s Calendar of Events or online at Brownielocks.com.
Several month-long observances in March relate to sharing — some more commercially than others. Even if you don’t spend much time online, you can make the most of the rest of this (or any) month.
Optimism Month: Looking on the bright side of life has been associated with better health, longer lives and more job satisfaction. Plus, you are just more fun to be around, because optimism is contagious! Share a positive word with others (happify.com/hd/10-reasons-to-think-like-an-optimist).
National Mirth Month: Sharon is a fun friend to have because we trigger each other’s funny bones. Do you know a person like that? The Corrections Corporation of America, of all places, reminds us that sharing joy and excitement leads to better physical, mental and social health (cca.com/insidecca/ put-some-mirth-into-your-life). It can start with a smile (or in Sharon’s case, a snicker).
National March Into Literacy Month: Two-thirds of children who can’t read proficiently by the end of 4th grade end up in prison or on welfare. Sharing stories, reading aloud, writing notes and utilizing the library can all help (getreadytoread.org).
The approximately 93 million adults in the U.S. who have basic and below-basic literacy skills are likely to be on welfare, unemployed, having out-of-wedlock births and lower recidivism after prison. Addressing literacy needs can lead to better language skills, jobs and community health (ctb.ku.edu/en/table-of-contents/implement/improving-services).
Sing with Your Child Month: A 2009 study found that babies are able to discriminate rhythmic patterns after a single day. Sharing live music with infants and children results in better vocabulary, tighter bonds and increased spatial reasoning (brighthorizons.com/family-resources/e-family-news/2010-music-and-children-rhythm-meets-child-development).
Life is not all fun and games. Much of our world faces heartbreak and hopelessness. Choosing to share words, music, a smile or a positive outlook will be a blessing to others, as well as yourself.
A former media specialist, Ken Satterfield is marketing coordinator for Word & Way.
- International Mirth Month (allenklein.com/memo.htm)
- Sing with Your Child Month (musictogether.com/singmonth)
- 8 ways to change your glass half-empty mindset into a glass half-full one (Psychology Today)
- Tips for improving literacy (Examiner)
- Singing to children may help development of language skills (The Guardian)
- Literary statistics (Begin to Read)
- Jim Trelease Read Alloud Handbook (trelease-on-reading.com/)