Tuesday, May 16, 2006

invisible children

Well... After what I saw tonight, I commited to blog at the very least.

To be honest, I don't know where to start. I suppose that somehow in our world of overabundance, we are lulled into this sense that there isn't suffering out there. OR, if there is, that someone's "on it" already, taking care of the problem. I mean, isn't that what the UN Peacekeepers are for?

But it isn't true. There are problems in this world that AREN'T being addressed. And, to be fair, it's because the situations are complex. What can I do about child soldiers in Uganda? I mean really, it's overwhelming. Even more, what could I encourage someone else to do? There is no magical solution. The problems are complex, so the solutions will be as well.

So, I could easily be lulled into apathy. Most of the time I can just suppress the knowledge that there are people suffering. And I think most of us do that, appeasing our consciences with trifle donations to organizations that are doing something.

Is that okay? To quote my favourite band: "We were meant to live for so much more, have we lost ourselves?"

More, I think, is required of us. Invisible Children (www.invisiblechildren.com) is raising awareness of the poverty in northern Uganda that results from fear of being abducted and brainwashed into fighting for rebel forces. Children aged 5 - 12 are being forced to kill.

The most significant thing to me tonight was seeing that these are real children. We often dismiss those living in poverty as being somehow adjusted to their situations. But in a raw documentary, I heard them talk about how they listen to Tupac and dream of being doctors and lawyers but can't afford the school fees. Their situations may be different, but they are still people.

So, what to do. I blog because we need to raise awareness. If we keep thinking about it, learning more about it, and talking to others, we may come up with a solution.

What I suggest from here is to become aware. I highly recommend seeing the film "Invisible Children." It does lead to more questions, but it's worth seeing.

This is about more than just child soldiers in Uganda, though. How can we practically care for our fellow human beings who are suffering?

Right now, I have no answers. But let's at least keep thinking about it.

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