i have not updated my blog all week. in fact, i haven’t even done any homework. instead, i have spent all of my time on the computer.
i have been reading, “google-ing,” searching, and learning. i have been educating myself to the best of my abilities. more importantly, i have been thinking critically. and thinking for myself.
it is kind of weird actually. i would say that i am a fairly independent thinker. i like to make up my own mind, and i have no problem standing up for what i believe in or think is right. i would also argue that i am not much of a follower. but today, i was tempted to follow. in fact, because of social media, i actually felt pressured to do so (not through anyone’s fault but my own). to be clear, there is nothing wrong with following. in fact, i believe that in order to lead, you must also be able to follow. but i’m talking about something different. i am talking about the guilt and urge i felt to join a recent movement that has become viral over the web…without really knowing anything about it.
and before i go any further, i want to emphasize that the point of this blog entry is not to offer my opinion on the organization, cause, criticisms, or the support. this blog entry is not intended to point out anyone’s flaws (the organizers or supporters). nor am i suggesting that i have any sort of answer. to be honest, i just don’t know. my own mind is not made up. and i don’t even know where i stand.
today was meaningful because i too watched the video and immediately wanted to join.
but today became even more meaningful because i didn’t.
split seconds before i shared the movie and tweeted the link, i decided to pause. i decided that i couldn’t support something that i know very little about. you see, if you know me, you would know that i jump in with my whole heart. if i am going to take action, i absolutely want to believe in what i am doing, and more importantly, know what i am doing. if i am going to support a cause, i want to make sure my time/energy/money is promoting good. i want to know exactly where it is going and what will be done with it. i want to be informed about the issue…who is involved, why is it a problem, the history, the culture, the geographic location, what has been done and what hasn’t. what has worked and what hasn’t. i want to be informed.
because honestly, all i want to do is help.
i am 100% supportive of social justice. and i am moved by collective action and grassroots movements. i am inspired by topics and ideas that get others interested and involved. and i love when people become passionate about things that truly matter. and of course i do not believe in or support child soldiers or rape (or any other social injustice), however, i do not believe that it is helpful to fight, support, and join efforts without knowing what they do or why they are doing it. and i don’t think it is helpful if you aren’t really helping.
today was meaningful because i resisted. i didn’t and haven’t donated money or passed the video along. i have however researched the LRA, the Ugandan government, child soldiers, the International Covenant on human rights, the history of Uganda, the conflict in Uganda, and IC. i’ve been looking up other organizations that focus on relief and building education. and i have emailed and started conversations with people who know more about the topic than i do.
today was meaningful because i still haven’t decided.
and i won’t decide until i feel like i know what is going on. until i understand what i am supporting and what my support actually means. until i am not tempted to join, but rather, compelled to.