I have a friend who is very passionate. It is the kind of passion that is contagious. When I was on Facebook Thursday, he messaged me extremely excited. He said that the Invisible Children bill went through to bring more relief funds to displaced children in Uganda and (most importantly) to find Joseph Kony, the leader of the LRA (a group in Northern Uganda that has terrorized and killed numerous people). After talking about it and sifting through questions in my head, I began researching Joseph Kony. I wanted to know what pushed this person to the point of leading an organization of torture. I found information about a boy (a little small for his age) who grew up with Christian parents- a Catholic father and an Anglican mother. From my reading, I found that the group Kony began in had good intentions. He joined for a noble cause from my investigation. Eventually, after a series of events (including becoming the leader), Joseph Kony became power hungry. This evolved into the evil acts Kony is in charge of today.
Class on Friday was completely emotionally draining. We had another person from the Stolen Generation come talk to us about the abuse he suffered. As he told his story- and the effects throughout his life, my heart began to break. He told us about the day he decided to take his life. He went to an old drinking buddy's house to say goodbye- because he wanted to say bye to someone. When he arrived at the house, there was a priest there who talked him out of it. If the priest had not been patient, listened and stood behind this man, he would have taken his life that night. Now, he is a counsellor for displaced Aboriginal people who are trying to find their families.
When I was talking to my friend about Joseph Kony, we agreed that every person has an impact on each person they meet. I can't help but wonder the difference a person like this priest would have had in the life of Joseph Kony. Maybe the entire situation would have been different- maybe millions of lives would have been saved.
When I think about all the heartache in the world, I often get overwhelmed. I can't see how a small person like me can ever possibly make a difference. Yet, when I remember moments that impacted me the most, I always think about the small acts of kindness that I did not deserve. Moments like the speaker from the Stolen Generation had with the priest. I hope that in moments of need, I have people like the priest to help me along. In turn, I hope to be a representation of good amongst the sorrow and hurt in the world.