March 8th, 2012

I am a terrible person.

Terrible, Horrible, Rotten, Abominable, Monstrous and any other word one could add from the thesaurus.

I know I mentioned earlier that I would be writing more. I know I should have kept it up. Ok… should is a strong word for me, cause it implies that I am “forced” to do it, but there is nothing wrong with taking an un-announced break… right?

I guess in my own life I have urges. Oh yes, urges. I have urges to eat chocolate for a week, then maybe something sour the next. Or maybe I train my butt off, then decide to become resident couch potato. Well… I also do this with writing. When I feel like writing, Oh boy I wanna write. Lately, I haven’t had the urge to write.

Until a couple a days ago.

It all began with, you guessed it, Kony 2012. Yes, this. At first, I had no idea of what this was all about – with all these posts on Facebook and Tweets about this guy, and to be honest, I really didn’t care.

Forward 6 hours later. I was feeling under the weather and to be honest, having a really an episode of melancholy. I decided to see what the hype of this Kony 2012 video was really all about.

In the 30 minutes this video lasted, I was crying, swearing like a sailor and energetic to do something. I was really to run out into the streets and get this guy’s name heard. I even got a jar ready so I can collect money for the cause.

But, I decided sleep was more important.

I woke up sober and not at ease. It was like when you wake up from a night of questionable activities and you question what you did last night. Well… that was me in relation to Kony. I was sitting on my couch, trying to add a picture of one of the Kony posters to my Facebook page, when it hit me.

What the heck was I doing?

I had no idea about this issue, but why, all of a sudden, was it the most important thing in the world? Why does Kony take precedent over every other issue. My mother later told me that morning that Afghanistan just passed a new constitution that women were basically considered secondary ( I believe to appease the Taliban – I am in the process of further research of this topic so forgive my facts if I am wrong.) What does something across the world affect us to start a social revolution? There are still issues in Canada that still need to be dealt with that are just as important. For example, the Attawapiskat issue. These people from the north are living in third world conditions. In North America, known for its industrialized society. How can we, as Canadians, help the world when there are issues like Attawapiskat? How can North America help others when poverty levels are substantially low? (again, I know there are issues with Attawapiskat as well but I am, again, researching it as well)

As I began to break down what had happened to me, I become disgusted with myself. I felt like a social media lemming – just jumping to save the day cause 10 other friends decided to post it on their wall. I didn’t think about the entire issue – all I did was connected on an extreme emotional level: I didn’t bother to look at the overall situation. Don’t get me wrong, Kony is one serious bastard that needs to stop, but what happens after Kony? There will be peace? And what does helping Uganda and the other affected African countries mean? That we must shove our assistance upon them just because we are this so-called industrialized nation?

And this issue is definitely growing from both sides. The one side is saying: Fight Kony unless you’re heartless. The other is looking at this and questioning if this is more of an issue of globalization? Are all the facts present? Are we doing this for the right reasons?  Can we make a logical decision based on a video? Will this pass like all the others?

I am leaning towards the latter.

Please don’t get me wrong, if you believe the cause, stick with it like super glue. For me personally, I cannot connect with issues beyond my own border. I am familiar with North American and how it functions: that’s what I am comfortable with. I just cannot connect with those from Africa. I don’t know how to help. It comes back to an idea presented in my sociology class, about community based participatory research; basically saying how we go to the community and ask them what they need, rather than forcing our help upon them. From what I have gathered from this campaign, we are forcing military force upon them which makes me question if violence will end violence. Yes there are schools being built and education will help in some ways, but overall, I am just uneasy about supporting something I am not familiar with.

I am at odds with this. There is immense pressure to do save the world from everyone and everything. I want to do my part. I am just, again, uneasy about trying to do it all. I am just simply overwhelmed on what to believe in.

I have come to the conclusion that mental health is what I will advocate for. It has affected my family and myself and I know what it can do. I want mental health to be accepted in society, so it won’t be a topic to shy away from but to be talked about and dealt with openly. I am in the stage of figuring out what I can do.

What also intrigues me is this thing. The thing you are currently using and will probably use for the rest of your life. The Internet. In particular, social media and social media devices. I am intrigued of how it affects society and how we function. A whole generation was rallying behind one man just by one video, a tweet, a status. How and why people post particular things? How has social media affected our way of communication? Of how we gather information? How we perceive reality? To me, it’s all fascinating.

I think I have asked more questions than find answers but that’s ok. I’m still processing everything. All I can say if, I you believe in something, stick with it. If something seems not right, check it out. Finally, don’t try to save the whole world all at once.

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