Sunday, April 23, 2006

Please solve your own problems - I'm busy

I have to admit that when I first heard about the crisis in Uganda I didn't really care. I read this article and visited this web-site and got really excited.... about the march. There was going to be a march in Ohio that was going to bring attention to the human rights violation in Uganda. I thought all marches like this happened on the West Coast. How cool would it be to join this? Not because I wanted to make a difference, but because I could be a part of a march. And that just seemed hip.

And then I realized that that was a dumb reason to join a march and that I used to make fun of people who blindly followed movements because their friends did. So I went and saw the documentary. It's called Invisible Children. In an MTV-style three guys document how children are taken from their homes and forced to join the Lord's Resistance Army. These kids are violently brainwashed to fight and kill. If they cry they are tortured and killed. In order to avoid these kidnappings, children will walk for miles to the relative safety of the city to sleep at bus stops and in hospitals. This has been going on for roughly 17 years.

This violent situation in Northern Uganda has been said to be one of the worst human rights violations occurring today and yet it has received little international notice. The march next week is designed to bring this situation to light. People will be walking through cities and sleeping on the streets to demonstrate what the Ugandan children have to do every night.

The film was gripping and disturbing. And yet I left not really caring about the situation more than I did when I walked in. And I felt guilty for this. I realize that this is a horrible situation and that something needs to be done. But something needs to be done about the genocide in Sudan, the torture of Christians in China, the AIDS pandemic in Africa, and the violence in my city. And really, what can I do? There are so many problems. Not little problems either. MASSIVE problems.

And to be honest, it's easier to ignore them.

I know that sounds harsh, but it's true. If I ignore them all, I don't have to change the way I live. I can go on living in my comfortable apartment with my cats with more than enough resources to provide for my needs and ignore the hurt.

And to be brutally honest, that's what I want to do.

But I can't. I can't ignore the intense pain in this world and continue to live in ignorance. I want to. But I can't.

So what can I do? I'm not really sure yet. But there are two things that I know I can do now:

1. Pray. God is the only one with the power and love to solve these problems. I could help put band-aids on them, but God can heal.

2. Help inform other people. The more people that are aware of these situations the more pressure there is to fix them.

I'm not sure if I'll march next Saturday. And I'm not sure what I will do from now on but I don't think I can just ignore things anymore.

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