How did you celebrate International Men's Day on 19th November? Or Universal Children's Day on 20th November? You didn't know about them? Me neither. This is something I am annoyed and frustrated by.
This has been a difficult few weeks in world events. The atrocities in Paris shook many people to their core as it was such a barbaric and direct attack on normal people enjoying normal life activities. These terrorists are carrying out their actions whilst looking victims in the eyes, and attacking places that have no direct connection with political or religious activity.
They are cowards, and hateful people hell bent on causing as much disruption and fear as possible. Let's be honest, they are some way to achieving those things no matter how determined we are to never let them win. Paris, and other incidents are planting seeds of doubt in our mind as to our safety, and we are not sure what to do about them.
And this is where my annoyance comes in about not being aware of International Men's Day and Universal Children's Day because they came at a time when their messages would have been so welcome. They are global days celebrated in over 70 and 100 countries respectively.
The important point is these days use normal people as role models or examples. Two of the key Pillars of International Mens days state that the day will - "promote positive male role models....working class men who are living decent, honest lives" and "celebrate men's positive contributions". These are the everyday people that we want our kids to look up to and hopefully follow.
I am all for people having role models that are sports stars, singers, high achievers and the like but in reality it is only a handful of each generation that make it to that level. The best role models are normal people who are living good and honest lives. So when there is an opportunity to celebrate these people it should be grasped with both hands. Their deeds may seem normal or small but are actually the lifeblood of a positive and thriving community, and the basis on which "good" people grow.
The Convention for Universal Children's Day states: "The Convention, which is the most widely ratified international human rights treaty, sets out a number of children's rights including the right to life, to health, to education and to play, as well as the right to family life, to be protected from violence, to not be discriminated, and to have their views heard."
The right to life, health, education, play, family, be protected and heard. Isn't that what we all want for our kids, and probably for ourselves? It doesn't say the right to be a pop star, have fame and fortune instantly, or get things for free in life. And I am delighted that is the case.
So - what is the point in highlighting all of this and wishing it was more recognised?
We think that nine people carried out the attacks in Paris, with the support network let's say, there were a total of twenty people involved. Twenty people caused a huge amount of loss, sorrow and fear and it will be felt for a considerable amount of time. It is terrible that such a small number of people can create such widespread misery.
But here is the counter-argument. I will bet my last Pound on the fact that there are at least ten times that number of people in yours and my community that committed an act of kindness, selflessness, caring or general positivity on the same day.
The reason for this - most people are good and kind - and we should be recognising, promoting and celebrating this. We need to see, at a local level, the positive in the world, contribute to it, and not take it for granted. Never let the fear mongers win and ensure that isolated incidents do not allow us to be disillusioned with the world in general.
International Men's Day and Universal Children's Day came along at a time when we needed these messages highlighting, and it could have done so much to combat negative feelings we are currently experiencing. These days, as well as others, should be better publicised, and the causes they are promoting more widely supported.
So - instead of concentrating on the negativity of the world, task yourself and the people around you to look locally and see all the kindness and positivity. I guarantee you will find it more quickly and easily than you think, and if it changes someone's behavior to be the same, or further encourages a person to carry on their activities, then you have already made your contribution - well done!