How is it I just found out about this?!!!
I don’t even remember what led me to it, but I somehow ended up on the Invisible Children website. I watched a couple videos and said to myself, “I need to know more about this.”
It turns out that in 2003, three young guys from San Diego decided they wanted to film something meaningful. So they looked around for a place with conflict in the world, begged some money for camera equipment and plane tickets, and took off for Uganda.
In Uganda they found thousands of children commuting (walking) from their villages to the cities each night to sleep. The children were afraid of sleeping at home because the rebel armies might kidnap them and force them to join the army. It was safer for them to sleep in the bus depot then in their home.
It turns out this guy, Joseph Kony, wanted to rebel against the Ugandan government some time back. They call themselves the LRA. That didn’t work out, but in the process he created this horrifying child army.
Why would the children be in the army, you might ask? Well, he kidnaps them from their homes- he focuses on kids between 8 and 12. Then he brings them back to his camp and if one kid tries to escape, or doesn’t behave well, he kills that kid in front of all the other ones. After that, they do everything he says because they don’t want to die.
Their childhoods are completely stolen. Some of the children who have escaped tell stories of dropping babies in rivers and burning whole families in their huts when they were 11 and 12 years old. It’s heartbreaking and horrifying. And there is absolutely no purpose to it.
The part that is almost the worst for me is that I’d never even heard about it until two weeks ago. I don’t live under a rock. How is it possible that I didn’t know this was going on? How is it possible that I’ve heard how many stories about Sarah Palin’s jacket, but I’d never heard about these poor children?
Well, now I know. Thanks to the three guys from San Diego who came back from Uganda and said, “This isn’t right. We’re going to do something.” It’s amazing and inspiring what they’ve been able to accomplish in 7 years. I highly recommend browsing the website invisiblechildren.com.
The children in Uganda no longer have to commute to the cities at night,and Invisible Children is funding a school and mentorship program to help the children of Uganda get educated.
They are also building radio towers in parts of the Congo, because that’s where the LRA has migrated. The radio towers warn the people in local villages if the LRA is near. It’s an early warning system that saves lives.
Anyway, something about this really struck me and I’m on fire about it now. The more I learn, the more horrified I am by Joseph Kony, and in contrast, inspired by the Invisible Children founders and organization.
I can hardly believe that this kind of thing is going on in the world today, but I’m going to do what I can to stop it- even with only the smallest action of buying a bracelet or donating some money. Please feel free to do the same if the spirit moves you.
Deep Thoughts, Movement | Comment (0)
“I’m walking through my resistance.”
That’s what I wrote this morning in my journal. It resonated through me as Truth. Like my Higher Self had managed to shoot that one thought out, one firework in the sky, among my thoughts of doing laundry, paying bills, and grocery shopping.
It all started a couple months ago. I had gone to my doctor for a regular check-up and she told me if I wanted to lose some weight I just had to walk briskly for 1 hour, 3-4 times a week. Normally I ignore people who say I need to lose weight, but she must have said it just right because just a few weeks later I took her advice.
I would put my walking gear on (shorts, sports bra, tank top), check the time, and walk for 30 minutes in one direction, then turn around and walk back. I didn’t even know how far I was going. I just wanted to get moving and get healthier. Initially my muscles weren’t used to walking that much, but it got easier pretty quickly.
And I ended up getting far more than better legs. Walking was meditative. No music, repetitive steps, rhythmic movement, soothing scenery- like a baby on a dryer. Something about the movement distracted my busy mind so my wiser self was easier to hear.
Which reminded me…
- I was lucky enough to see Julia Cameron, author of The Artist’s Way, speak in New York City. It was just before she released her book Walking in this World, and she was speaking about how walking settles the mind and releases creativity.
- Another favorite author, SARK, devotes an entire week to walking in her book Living Juicy: Daily Morsels for Your Creative Soul. She says, “A good, conscious walk encourages meditation by it’s repetitive and calming movement. The body is in action, and the mind can relax.”
I walked religiously 4-5 times a week for one month. I felt so good. Walking felt great and I was so happy. Life just felt better.
Then I checked my scale and I had lost 10 lbs! I started wondering if I could lose more weight with jogging. So I committed to jogging. But I don’t like jogging, so I didn’t do it. Eventually, I was barely walking once or twice a week and then only short walks or maybe with a friend.
Which brings us to this morning. I was feeling kind of tense and almost grumpy, pushing against my day. I was writing in my journal complaining, but trying to feel better when I thought, “I should walk again, not because I want to lose weight, but because I was so happy. I’m walking my way through resistance.” Literally.
And so this evening, I took my own advice. I walked and I feel great.
Songs to inspire walking
Walk On – U2
25 Miles – Edwin Starr
I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles) – The ProclaimersDeep Thoughts, Movement | Comment (0)