I’m branching out a bit from my usual content to share an issue that grabbed my attention and I somehow felt compelled to share. Most of us have become aware of the “Kony Video,” and the surrounding controversy. The question is what if anything, do we do about it? Over the weekend my 19-year-old daughter, who is away at college, asked me what I thought about the situation. This stirred me to look and think. If this has gotten the attention of our youth, then it is deserving of ours.
“My take is both good and bad. Anything that brings awareness to atrocities in the world is a good thing and kudos to this group for getting our younger generation involved in concerns of our world. Apathy is our greatest threat and they are trying to change that. That’s very positive.
The bad… This issue is not as simple as presented. There’s a lot more to the story. The situation is evolving. What is the role of the government of Uganda? How are the donations being spent? Why does this deserve more attention than larger scale atrocities? Is military action the best solution? Should we be trying to fix the world when we have horrible problems at home? When is it ok to spend our money, use our influence, and risk our soldiers? Lots to consider…
So, what do I think? The best thing you and your friends can do is to become knowledgeable about all of the atrocities taking place throughout our world and what is currently being done about them? Also, get informed about our own problems, the number of homeless, hungry, the violence, damage we are doing to the earth and how we are spending our money. Remember that media is often propaganda; good or bad…Do your own research and form your own opinions.
I’m pleased and proud of you and your friends for paying attention to something larger than yourselves. It’s the only thing that will save our future.”
In case you haven’t been following the situation, you can watch the “Kony Video” on YouTube. The Huffington Post has some articles discussing the larger controversy, but there are many others out there.
As I told my daughter, I believe apathy is our greatest threat. We have the power to affect change, but how do we use that power effectively? Moreover, how can we teach our younger generation to do the same?
What We Can Do
1. Pay Attention – Be aware of what’s going on around the world and in our own back yard. Nothing can be done until we first get informed about the issues that plague us.
2. Choose What Speaks to You – What pulls at you? Where do you feel the most compelled to take action? We are most effective and have the most impact when we focus on things that illicit the most passionate repose.
3. Do Your Research – Gather information about all sides of an issue. What is the situation? What has occurred in the past? What is being done now? What are the proposed solutions? Pros and Cons.
4. Form Your Own Opinions – Nearly all forms of media present a slanted point of view. It’s nearly impossible to be completely objective and neutral, even for news outlets. Perceptions and beliefs do impact the way information is presented. That’s not necessarily a bad thing as long as we are aware of it. Use your research to form your own conclusions, instead of simply adopting the conclusions of others.
5. Take Action – There are many effective ways to take action and affect change.
Spread the word, shine a light on the issues, and share your concerns with others.
Give money and/or time to a cause.
Use your political power; vote or contact your politicians.
Utilize the power of the pocketbook; when money talks, people listen.
Food for Thought
What if career and financial success, health and fitness, beauty, happiness, balance, stable marriages, good parenting, or spiritual connection are not the purpose of life, but merely paths?
What if the purpose, our legacy, is in fact, to use an old cliché, “To make the world a better place for those who come after us?” What would we do differently?
Are we being naïve in thinking we can make a difference?
No, I don’t think so. We can’t fix the entire world’s problems overnight, but we can each have a small impact, which when combined add up to huge changes.
Your turn. Share your thoughts and comments.