November, as we know, is the eleventh month of the year.
It doesn’t take a Fulbright Scholar to know that. Its name (derived from Latin “Novem” meaning “nine”) carried over from the Calendar of Romulus (c 750 BC) when it was indeed the ninth of the ten months in that calendar. (As a side note, January and February were added to the calendar about 300 years later, giving us our present twelve-month calendar.)
A few factoids about the now-eleventh month of the year:
- World Kindness Day is celebrated annually on the 13th. On this day, participants attempt to make the world a better place by celebrating and promoting good deeds and pledging acts of kindness, either as individuals or as organizations.
- November also is the home to several “awareness campaigns” including Lung Cancer Awareness Month, Transgender Awareness Month, Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month, Military Family Month, National Adoption Month, COP Awareness Month – and many more.
- If you’re tired of seriousness, Blasé Day (really) is celebrated annually on the 25th of the month. On this day we have permission to be blasé’ toward just about anything. To celebrate, it is suggested we yawn, feel “meh” and tune out; posting our actions on social media – but only if we feel like it.
Of course, most of us associate this month with Thanksgiving and gratitude — which I’ll admit has been difficult to feel when, for the last few weeks, our power has been cycling on and off like a strobe light at a rave.
If you don’t live in California, and are therefore not aware of this phenomenon, PG&E, the energy supplier for large swaths of the state, has been “de-energizing” vast portions of their electricity delivery-system as an attempt to minimize fire danger caused by the hot, dry weather and strong winds besieging the (not-so) golden state via what are known as “public safety power shutoffs” or “PSPSs”. The logic is if there isn’t electricity flowing through the power lines, should one be toppled by the gale force winds in a tinder-box parched region, it cannot start a fire. However, if one has listened to the news of late, one knows that California is ablaze from one end to the other. That’s not necessarily the fault of PG&E, but obviously, something more needs to be done.
Whose fault is whose is of little consolation to my inner child when he’s sitting in a light-less household sans heat, worried about food going bad in a lifeless refrigerator and anxious about how to make a living when he doesn’t have electricity.
“Someone needs to do something!” I yell with righteous indignation at no one in particular. “This is horribly unfair! How are we supposed to live like this?”