by Kevin Burton
You may call it trite, or corny or worse, but people will be focused on it in three days’ time.
Some people anyway.
There will be people using the fourth day in March as motivation to begin work on that special project, the great American novel, or that great American garage/basement cleaning.
Get it? March Fourth, March forth!
Last week I wrote about needing a spark, or a kick in the seat of the pants, to get myself going creatively and otherwise (“Looking For A Spark In A Springsteen Song,” Feb. 21).
I would be beet red with embarrassment to champion March Forth as that needed spark. But really, who cares what the motivation is? Whatever works.
The idea is so lame, I thought you might need a few days to talk yourself into it. That’s why this post comes today. Now you have three days to plan how you will shake up the world, or at least your house, or maybe just a closet or two.
“March Forth is an annual unofficial holiday celebrated on March 4 to encourage everyone to work towards achieving their dreams,” reads an article on nationaltoday.com. “It aims to provide an opportunity for people to take calculated risks toward achieving their goals and developing themselves.”
“March Forth is the shortened version of the full name of the holiday, which is March Forth and Do Something Day. It is a special day to take a stand against procrastination or the faux reasons that tend to creep into our heads and discourage us from even trying.”
I say March Forth is kinder and gentler than New Year’s resolutions. We think of the resolutions as a line in the sand; I will not do such and such from this day forward. One slip up and the resolution fails.
But March Forth allows us to move forward incrementally, maybe not having the whole goal in sight, but moving toward something positive.
Even so, March Forth is not just a start, but a kickstart.
“The goal of March Forth is to encourage people to achieve their goals. Start by planning out your future and breaking ambitious goals into smaller, achievable stepping stones. Try using a vision board to push yourself to work on them every day going forward,” the article reads.
The month of March was named after Mars, the ancient Roman god of war, according to national today, “because it was the month they would usually resume the military campaigns interrupted by winter. It was originally called “martius” and was the first month of the Roman year.
That is helpful, to use the concept of war, all-out, do-or-die effort to get oneself motivated and moving, actually moving, in the right direction.
It makes me wonder though about the Romans. What kind of a war is put on pause like a baseball game, because of inclement weather?
The article states that March Forth was linked by its creators to take place right after Black History Month, which is February. The marching forth then would be marching toward racial harmony.
“This is perhaps why some believe the day is an opportune time for Americans to ‘march forth’ toward unity and reflect on the dark history of early human rights struggles to avoid reliving it. To these people, March Forth is a Christian holiday that invites the American populace to begin anew and make an effort to open their hearts and minds to the common goal of unity and the work of racial reconciliation through the love of God.”
If that linkage were true that would free March Forth from the accusation of being trite. But I think it’s not true.
It seems to me March Forth has to be on March fourth and anyone linking it to Black History Month would have had to be the ones responsible for placing Black History Month in February.
Whatever the case, March Forth is a great time to begin working on self-improvements and more. National today encourages people to volunteer with community groups, to work on shared goals or to encourage others to reach their individual goals.
And for those of you who ignore New Year’s Resolution season on purpose, for a reason, and who don’t appreciate having a similar date thrust upon you, consider:
March 4 is also National Grammar Day, sometimes called Sentence Day. Aren’t you glad I didn’t go there?