Sunday, March 11, 2012

Kony 2012: Part 2

So, have you had time to think about Kony 2012? Have you read the reports AGAINST Kony 2012? Because there are a LOT of them. Here are two, but there are MANY more. HERE HERE From what I can see, there are a few major reasons people are against Kony 2012. From what I can gather, these are the biggies: 1.) People don't think the organization behind Kony 2012 (Invisible Children) donates enough money to the children. 2.) Kony himself is no longer in Uganda. 3.) There are other problems in Uganda. 4.) Not many people in Uganda are concerned about Joseph Kony. 5.) He has not killed and/or abducted many people recently. Here is what I have to say about that! 1.) They may not donate much, but how much have YOU donated? Aside from that statement, there are actual responses to this complaint, and you can find what Invisible Children has to say about it HERE (and I ALWAYS think the horses mouth is the best place to find information). 2.) I don't really care WHERE Kony is. He is an evil man who must be stopped! Kony and the LRA has moved through Africa, causing terror and leaving destruction and death in their wake. Just because they are no longer in Uganda doesn't mean they are not SOMEWHERE! When they were not in Rwanda, they were in Congo causing death and harm. When they left Congo they went to Uganda where they killed, raped, maimed and kidnapped. Now that they are not in Uganda, why would we think they should just be ignored? Like leaving Uganda means they have decided to be "good guys". 3.) Yep. There surely are. But just because there are other problems doesn't mean we can't help with ONE problem!! If your child has a cough, a fever and a runny nose, do you not give them medication for their fever? Do you think they just have too many other problems and the fever should be ignored? Of course there are other problems in Uganda! But that doesn't mean we should not do what we CAN to help! If all we can do now is raise awareness about Kony, let's do it! 4.) How many need to be worried to take action? Also, what people are not concerned? The ones living in safe cities in gated communities? Of course they are not worried. It is the villages the LRA attacks, so those in the city would naturally not be worried, would they? If I live in down town Las Angeles, I would not be too worried about a wolf attack, but that doesn't mean I can't support a law regarding wolfs and wolf safety for those living near Yellowstone in Wyoming! 5.) This last one gets my blood boiling. Despite how angry and fired up I am about this, I am going to try to remain level headed and composed so I can keep my thoughts clear and concise. First, let me ask you a question. If your neighbor killed intentionally kidnapped, tortured and killed your child, should your neighbor be punished? What if your child was the only one he had done this to. Should he still be punished? How many children would he have to harm for you to feel he deserved punishment? What if he had killed hundreds in the past, but only killed your son this year? Should he still be punished, or would you be satisfied if someone said he only killed one child this year so he should not be punished? That is how I feel about what Joseph Kony and the LRA has done. So what if he "only" killed so many last year?! How many have they killed in the past? How many more will they kill? And even if they ever only did kill "that" many, don't you feel that one life is enough to evoke justice? There is another point I want to state. I do NOT know the best course of action to take against Kony and the LRA. I do not know that a full-blown military invasion is the best course of action AT THIS MOMENT. The LRA still has many children in their custody. Threatening Kony at this time could bring about the torture or death of those children. They could be caught in the cross-fire and many children could be massacred. Also, the LRA still has a lot of power and control. If we threaten Kony, he may respond with more violence, more abductions and more terror. I believe there IS a solution, however. Even if we have not thought of it yet. It may be the best defence against Kony is to offer protection for the children to keep them from being easy targets for abduction. Remember hearing about the night commuters? Maybe offering more safe places for them to hide at night would be one small step towards safety and peace from the LRA. Another solution MIGHT be in education. I do not KNOW this would help, but PERHAPS educating the children would improve income and more would be able to live within the safety of the cities rather than in the countryside or in the bush. Regardless of how a change should come about, I feel that a change MUST occur. It is shocking to me that this is not a unanimous feeling. I am applaud and sickened that so many believe Kony should just be ignored. That the LRA should be overlooked. Anyway, I believe that the best way to promote change is through AWARENESS! When I was 22 years old, I gave a speech where I talked about an epidemic that is killing thousands of people. It can be found among the poor or wealthy. It does not discriminate among race or religion or gender. It is fast spreading and far reaching. The worst part is most people do not know when they have it! And when some are told they have symptoms, many deny it or simply do not care. The effects are devastating and deadly. What is it? Apathy. I stand by what I said eight years ago. Being apathetic IS deadly. And I think it is what we are facing today. People are so caught up in the logistics, the donations, the statistics, that they are hardened and don't even care about the individual. That single child who is at this moment marching through the bush on their way to be trained by the LRA to be a soldier. They do not care about the young woman being raped at this moment. They do not care about the little boy who is watching his mother being hacked to pieces by a soldier of the LRA. They are only worried about how much money is not being donated, or if enough people were killed last year to care. AWARENESS. ACTION. CARING. CONCERN. COMPASSION. KNOWLEDGE. EMPATHY, NOT APATHY. This is why I want to be involved in Kony 2012. Not to march someone in to Africa and cuff Kony! But to show I care. To raise awareness. To increase knowledge. To show compassion. To take SOME action, because it is better than sitting and watching the horror. This is what Sixteen Small Stones has always been about. Making a difference, no matter how small, and raising awareness. Remember the story of where the name Sixteen Small Stones came from? Let me remind you: In a book of scripture believed in by some, a man wanted to help his family cross a great water (during the time of the Tower of Bable, when God confounded the languages, for those who believe in the Bible). The man prayed to God, who showed him how to build enclosed, water tight vessils that could be used to cross the water. The vessils were safe against the waters, but were completely dark on the inside. The man pleaded with God that he provide light in the vesils so that the man and his family would not have to cross the great water in the dark. In his great faith, the man molten out of the mountain sixteen small stones (enough for two for each of the eight vesils). He brought the sixteen small stones before God and asked that God would touch the stones as he had faith that God could make the stones glow. God touch the stones, which then shone forth in the darkness. In this story, electricity was not invented. Nor did the man try and create a way to light the ocean so it would not be dark. Rather, this man brought what he had, sixteen small stones and all of his faith, before God. Sixteen Small Stones is not all about drastic measures, or earth shattering changes taking place in a huge and explosive way. It is about doing all we can. It is about sending diapers to Africa keep little kids clean and comfortable. It is about sending a single Valentine to let an orphan know they are loved. It is about sending stickers to a little boy with burned feet and no mommy to kiss him and help him feel better. Sixteen Small Stones also exists to raise awareness. To let people know what is happening outside of their neighborhood. To stamp out ignorange and bring light in to the dark places in the world. Isn't this what Kony 2012 should be about, too? That is the way I see it. And because raising awareness and encouraging change, even in small ways, is what Sixteen Small Stones is all about, I MUST be involved in Kony 2012.

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