If I were the parent of a boy bullying a 68 year old bus monitor…

Firstly, I would be so embarrassed for myself and for my family. The Dad of one of the bullies was interviewed on AC 360 (I couldn’t find the link for this segment of the interview), but he said that he was sending his son to therapy. I say, screw therapy – the little buggers needs to be sent to boot camp.

We all know what is important in a teenage boys life: computers, video games, cell phones, going out with friends. He would have to say goodbye to them for the summer, and no, I wouldn’t care how bored he is.

Another great way to deal with this horrendous situation: community service! I’m talking disgusting types of community service, like picking up trash at the side of the road. If I could, I would love to see him volunteering in a kitchen, scraping food off plates. I’ve done it before for two weeks, and it’s pretty gross. Gross enough to make my son start to realize the damage his mistake has caused. Basically anything that isn’t fun would do the trick.

Then, if he has time, which he should,  he should read a self-help book, or take a class. On ethics, perhaps.

Yeah, it all sounds really harsh, but that’s the only way children learn – through deprivation.     Plus, if it was legal, a couple spanks wouldn’t hurt either.

All this being said, having over $500,000 raised for Karen is amazing. For a while, I had lost my faith in human compassion, but now it’s clear that there is compassion out there. It’s interesting how complete strangers can be more compassionate than people who are supposed to be close to you.

Watch the video if you haven’t already:

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The controversy surrounding Kony 2012

What is going on with all the Kony 2012/Jason Russell drama? I stumbled upon a few articles last night that are saying how Russell being hospitalized is jeopardizing the entire project. Another one said that Kony 2012 is more about Jason Russell than actually capturing Joseph Kony. Is all of this true though?

First of all, even though Russell is the mastermind behind Kony 2012, it has gained so much momentum and struck so much interest in people around the world, that it would be difficult for it to just collapse. Regardless of where he is, he has other people working with him. Kony 2012 has offices all over America, and supporters world wide. One of the criticisms that their campaign received from a student was that they are “narrow minded” to think that resolving this problem is easy. Another professor said that the region in Northern Uganda where Kony is running his operation has not seen turmoil in several years. She suggested that Russell and the rest of the Kony 2012 team channel their efforts to more active war lords in Uganda. This makes perfect sense, but contrary to the negative media, Kony 2012 can be a success because:

1. Movements like this have a domino effect, only a bit slower. See, the problem is the governments in these countries do not use their power to abolish child soldier practices because of the mass population, and possibly corruption. Russell’s campaign can stop Kony in Uganda, by which time they might have the power to influence the Ugandan politicians to implement the rules more strongly. Once that happens, they can make similar projects in the rest of Africa. I know it’s easier said than done, but anything is possible. Honestly, that is why Kony 2012 is took off with a deafening bang – because Russell and his team believed it was possible.

2. Russell and his team may have oversimplified the situation, but with a Facebook page, a Twitter account and a website they are obviously encouraging people to get involved. Of course their goals would be slightly more difficult to reach if they were all alone, but they have almost the entire world on their side! As much as we admire Russell for initiating this, he cannot override the power of the supporters.

Now the next problem is the fact that YouTube disable the comment button, meaning about 500,000 comments got deleted from the video. This is what one article calls “invisible media” – they are saying that “we don’t interact as much as we respond” Basically, everybody has their say, but interaction can be more difficult on social media sites than when people are talking face to face. Yes, our lives do frequently run on social media, because it makes communication easier. Especially for a campaign that is this huge, it would be impossible for everyone to interact in person – social media solves this problem. The fact that YouTube does not allow people to post comments is the best for Kony 2012. Often, people will post comments that are critical or negative, and even though freedom of speech allows them to do this, the video is not the place to do so. There are other ways to express your disagreement with Kony 2012, through your Facebook status, your blog, Twitter, or whatever. The video and all the other social media surrounding the movement are all working towards a goal. Negative comments will only steer away from that. The team is obviously very important to the success of this campaign, but they cannot have all the light shone on them. This is not about them as much as it is about their common goal to stop war lords like Joseph Kony, and to protect the children who are at risk. The only way Kony 2012 can fail is if everyone loses focus.

Many thoughts going out to the Kony 2012 team!
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References: http://www.thestar.com/news/world/article/1142287–kony-2012-campaign-goes-viral-in-an-effort-to-help-hunt-down-ugandan-warlord-joseph-kony
http://theconversation.edu.au/kony-2012-and-the-case-of-the-invisible-media-5954 http://www.mysanantonio.com/opinion/columnists/maria_anglin/article/Viral-video-shines-too-much-light-on-Jason-Russell-3430446.php http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/03/24/us-uganda-kony-future-idUSBRE82N00P20120324

Kony 2012

Once again, life’s chaos caught up to me and I completely oversaw one of the most impactful videos to ever go viral on the internet. With over 80 million views in less than 2 weeks, Kony 2012 has become a sensation. Along with millions of other people, my heart was touched by the thought and effort that went into making the movie and initiating the movement for change.

Being as intrigued by Kony 2012 as I am, I joined their Facebook page and followed them on Twitter. However, a line on their website inspired me to write this blog. “3. ENGAGE YOUR POLICYMAKERS. COUNTRIES ALL OVER THE WORLD CAN DO MORE TO STOP LRA VIOLENCE. IT’S A HUMAN RESPONSIBILITY AND THE GOAL WON’T BE ACHIEVED WITHOUT GLOBAL COLLABORATION. ENGAGE YOUR LEADERS IN THE CONVERSATION.

TELL THEM WHY THIS IS IMPORTANT TO YOU…”

This line got me thinking..why is this so important to me? And why should it be important to everyone?

It takes courage to speak up about what you really believe in, especially when nobody else is advocating the same cause. Everyone knows about third world hunger, and the issues with HIV/AIDS, but nobody knew about Joseph Kony before this video was promoted. Jason Russell, the creator of this video, was inspired by one boy’s story and promised him that he would do something to stop Joseph Kony. I don’t think he ever imagined the promise would take his project to such a high level. My admiration for Jason stems from my theory that although many of us are inspired by situations, and wish we can change them, we end up losing interest. Then we make up excuses like “We don’t have enough time”, or “We don’t have the right resources.” so we can feel less guilty for not following through with a plan or a promise. At the risk of sounding like a cynic, we are hypocritical. Having said that, our hypocrisy is not intentional, but is more because we fear judgement and failure. What if someone doesn’t agree with what we are doing? What if enough people ridicule our plan and it fails? These are thoughts are the ones that stop us from taking a leap of faith. Jason is one of very few people who didn’t let these thoughts get in the way of his vision to stop Joseph Kony. He persisted and look what happened! This movement has not only changed the life of that little boy he met in Uganda, but of so many people across the world.

So back to my initial question as to why Kony 2012 should be important to everyone. Well, I think Kony 2012 should matter because it will inspire people in different ways. It might inspire someone to re-evaluate what is really important in life, or it might give them faith to take on a huge project and make you believe that it will work. We always hear the phrase “change the world”, but this does not necessarily mean that all of us working towards resolving the world’s biggest problems. If everyone made one change in their life, they would be able to do more for humanity because they have helped themselves first.

To Jason Russell: congratulations!

reference: http://www.kony2012.com/faq.html