Change.org gets it right on rotating April Fools’ Day.

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I’m not a huge fan of Change.org – not that it doesn’t do a lot of great things, but because of its too-frequent tendency to allow weepy personal causes that are more like fund-raising than awareness-raising.

However, an arguably trivial recent Change.org petition to rotate April Fools’ Day throughout the month resonated with me.

The petition (viewable at www.change.org/aprilfoolsshift) simply recommends moving this ‘Holiday’ one day later every year, thus repeating the cycle every 30 years. That means if this change is adopted, we should actually be celebrating April Fools’ Day on April 2 this year, April 3 next year, and so on.

01-april-fools-shame.w529.h352.2x

Why is this a good idea?

There are a few days in the calendar that are traditionally bad to have a birthday: February 29 (although they will inevitably argue they age at ¼ the speed of the rest of us); Christmas/Hanukah/Kwanzaa (because one way or the other you will be left wanting in the gift department); and of course, April 1.

The Change.org argument is that people with this unfortunate birth date are uniquely subject to gentle ridicule their entire lives, and that lifelong association with April Fools’ Day (and perhaps some resulting lack of confidence) could actually be cumulatively damaging to their careers. Reputational harm was not the original intent of this holiday. Rotating the holiday retains the fun part of the day (it’s still in April), without the collateral damage.

This is an excellent example of the power of newer social media to positively influence even age-old traditions.

Below is a list of notables whose birthdays happen to fall on April 1 (below, from http://www.famousbirthdays.com). I can personally identify at most 4 (Susan Boyle, Jimmy Cliff, Debbie Reynolds, Ronnie Lane) – 5 if Rudolph Isley is in fact one of the Isley Brothers. A rather motley crew, actually (Kid Ink? really?); it seems that this theory might have some credence. These people need a little time out of the April Fools’ spotlight so they can build or salvage their careers, or at least glide a bit more gracefully into the sunset.

Old April Fools'

So go to the petition page and sign it. With over 330,000 signatures, there are apparently quite a few people who are in agreement.

The people with April 1 birthdays can get on with their lives, and those with April 2 birthdays can pretend they never heard of it.

So hope you enjoyed your day, Adam Shulman, Clark Gregg, Supla (?) and Michel Troisgros — (Marvin Gaye and Sir Alec Guinness, be glad you missed it)

April 1 Birthdays

Susan Boyle

Kid Ink

Asa Butterfield

Ella Eyre

Elizabeth Gutiérrez

Hillary Scott

Park Ye-jin

Matt Lanter

David Oyelowo

Jimmy Cliff

Debbie Reynolds

Taran Killam

Annette O’Toole

Rudolph Isley

Ana Maria Braga

Sam Huntington

Chris J. Evans

Vincent Bolloré

Milan Kundera

Jon Gosselin

Cécile Duflot

Marcel Amont

Barry Sonnenfeld

John Butler

Ronnie Lane

April 2 Birthdays

Michael Fassbender

Christopher Meloni

Bethany Joy Lenz

Linda Hunt

Leon Russell

Roselyn Sánchez

Marie-Ange Nardi

Ibrahim Afellay

Clark Gregg

Lee DeWyze

David Ferrer

Jesse Plemons

Adam Shulman

Gregory Abbott

Nati Abascal

Supla

Marc Caro

Mariella Ahrens

Éric Besson

Marvin Gaye

Serge Gainsbourg

Alec Guinness

Michel Troisgros

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