My earliest... most beloved activist. ;)
Everyone has a soapbox these days, whether it's Facebook, your blog, twitter or your occupy tent, people want to be heard or at least be seen as having a relevant voice. I'm no different in the fact that I type away the semi sugar coated day to day happenings of my life on this blog or on my FB wall, and you know what, I find that perfectly ok, because it's just the way we interact in today's world. I like sharing the positive, fun, happy moments in my life because I selfishly enjoy looking back and being reminded of all that I have to be thankful for, and also because I hope that maybe some people actually care to share those little snapshots of life with me. I also realize that with the good comes the bad. Sometimes when people feel convicted by something they also feel that they want to share it with others, in an attempt to connect, or make a point. In sharing the Invisible Children video about Joseph Kony, I was stepping away from my usual happy go lucky posting to share something that struck a cord with me, as it did it seems, with thousands of other people. I have to say I have been incredibly saddened by some of the response to the "campaign". The hateful, negative, almost bullying way that some people have responded to the overnight sensation of the video gone viral really has me upset and whether you want to hear me rant about it or not is no concern of mine but I'm sharing it here if you care to read any further.
Nothing like a little Yoko & John to spread the peace.
I am a college educated, well rounded, person who sadly knows that everyone has an agenda, there are always two sides to a story and has been taught thankfully to always think critically and listen for the voice that isn't being heard. With that being said, in posting the KONY video I am in no way advocating that anyone send their money to an organization that they do not feel 100% comfortable with. However, I also feel that regardless of your opinion of the Invisible Children organization, it can't be denied that they did a pretty unbelievable job of using the platform of social media to make their point... that social media can be used as a tool to spread awareness of social injustices rather than solely as a tool to poll people on who will get the final rose in next weeks Bachelor ;) AND I don't feel bad about sharing a video that made me more aware of a cause that I really, sadly, had not paid very much attention to.
I hope that what people take away from this whole debate currently invading social media right now is that whether or not you want to stand behind an organization isn't what matters. What matters is people are talking, hopefully this means they are also educating themselves about the atrocities happening not only in Uganda but all over the world, look at Syria right now, look in your own backyard perhaps and you will suddenly see things that maybe were "invisible" to you before. What I took away from the video was a desire to learn more, and knowledge my friends is power. It's what you do with that power next that matters. So take the time to start a discussion, send a letter to your local congressman, sign a petition, all things that are free or a few cents. If this isn't your cause then I hope if nothing else it has sparked in you a desire to reach out and do what you can for others. I feel like there is always more that I wish I could do, but I make a point to donate to the Red Cross whatever I can during times of need, maybe your cause is helping the recent tornado victims, maybe it isn't. I spent last Thursday volunteering 2 hours of my time at a woman's shelter, my friends and I adopted a family for Christmas, I marched for education last spring. I'm not listing these things to make myself feel better and honestly as I write them it seems so little. I'm listing them because I'm no one particularly important, I don't have a lot of money to give, and I have a busy schedule like everyone else, but you find ways to help, to start a discussion, to give back, to educate yourself on the world you live in, and maybe you share a video that pulled at your heart strings and made you remember that the world is much bigger than your little apartment, and there are needs much greater than what to wear today. I hope that the discussion is not one of belittling others for sharing something they deemed important but one of how we can use our little soapboxes to inspire others, ignite change, and spread love.
That's all I have for today, peace love and happiness friends. (clearly my San Francisco flower child is in full force today)
xoxo- miss v.