Standing Together this May Day

It’s May Day today (May1, 2009).  In different cultures and different places, May Day has different meanings, but interestingly in one way or the other they link to a common theme.  In each face of May Day we see people coming together.

When I write these weekly wrap up blogs, I often add a song or video so you can listen along.  This one – Stand By Me by Playing for Change is a favorite of mine – I hope you enjoy it as you read on.

So, back to May Day and its meanings…

For some, May Day is the celebration of Spring, with communities coming together to celebrate Spring in all its glory.  It is a time to look toward the future – to celebrate growth and new life.

In come countries, May Day is Labor Day or Labour Day while here in the United States, we celebrate it at the end of the month.  Around the world, May Day gatherings have not always been just joyous gathering and picnics.  May Day has long been a day of often marked worker protests, rallies for change, and calls for equality.  May Day became a significant rallying call for the Socialist Parties in many countries and in many cities around the U.S. this year there are gatherings about immigrant rights and issues.

May Day is also the internationally known distress call.  Not tied to May 1st, it’s origins come from the French phrase  m’aidez which translated means ‘help me’.  Only used in times of serious distress or danger, May Day calls are monitored 24/7 (on VHF channel 16, or HF 2182.0 KHz) so that help can be sent when needed.

Well on this May Day, some might say that we live in a time of distress calls.  War, unemployment, homelessness, business failures, and frauds mark the news daily.  Disease is on the rise from cancers, to autism, to the newest outbreak of swine flu around the globe.  But the good news is people and organizations continue to come together to do something about it.  Here are a few examples:

  • OTEF – The Opportunity Through Entrepreneurship Foundation – launched  Blueprint for Survival to help displaced workers through entrepreneurship skills.
  • The government continues to launch new programs daily to help on the Recovery. (Agree or disagree with the strategy and tactics as you may.)
  • New Global Citizens is teaching young people how to “be the change they see in the world” (Ghandi) while Playing for Change is is a multimedia movement created to inspire, connect, and bring peace to the world through music.
  • SARRC reaches out to offer support and solutions to a growing population of families touched by autism.
  • AACR recently held it’s 100th Annual Meeting of Cancer Researchers where people from all over the world shared ideas and innovations.
  • RiboMed is imagining (and working towards) a future when getting a noninvasive, multi-disease diagnostic test at your annual medical exam is as routine as having your temperature or blood pressure taken. Imagine tests that can detect early biomarkers of cancer, Alzheimer’s, diabetes, autism or heart disease long before symptoms present. Imagine that when disease is detected, doctors can prescribe a treatment plan designed specifically for you.

In spite of all the  challenges we face, for me this May Day means Hope.  You see, when people come together to build solutions, magic happens. 

Please leave a comment and share ways you have found or seen where people are coming together and making a difference.  Leave your mark this May Day! 

Stay Tuned…

Joan Koerber-Walker

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One Response to Standing Together this May Day

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