I'm aware of breast cancer.
I'm also aware of: prostate cancer, bullying, cyberbullying, cyberbullying of gay kids, leukemia, AIDS, testing of chemicals on animals, HIV (Latinos' awareness of); domestic abuse, the earthquake in Haiti, straw bale construction, green technology, and athlete's foot.
I am NOT wearing a pin, ribbon or a little wristband to prove my awareness of a particular subject or issue.
I believe that most people get involved with these causes out of genuine desire to make a difference.
And I believe just as firmly that a certain percentage are buttinski do-gooders with the primary goal of making themselves feel good, and the unspoken, secondary goal of nagging their neighbors.
Which would be fine if they weren't so self-righteous about it.
I'm a small town reporter. I cover these awareness-fests all the time, and the organizers always hand me the ribbon, which I decline to pin on the lapel of my expensive — albeit thrifted — suit or sports jacket. (Is the cause going to pay for the repairs?)
This policy earns me squiggly looks. I'm mostly concerned about the jacket, frankly — start poking holes in worsted wool and pretty soon you've got a problem — but I resent the implication that if I don't wear the ribbon or change my Facebook page to pink, then somehow I am in favor of breast cancer or puppy mills.
I also ask questions, such as "How much of the money you are raising along with the awareness actually goes to stray dogs or research laboratories, and how much goes to keep charity execs in nice digs and their pampered offspring in prep schools?"
I don't put it quite that way, but that's the gist of it.
I'm sorry, but I am all awarenessed-out.
I am, after all, a professional at not giving a shit.