” Lu waay di wuyoo da koy niru.”
English Translation: One lives up to the name he answers to!
In recent years, with the advent of social networks, we’ve seen a steady increase of people who care about different causes ranging from Poverty, Racial Discrimination, Child Trafficking, Sex Tourism etc. Everyday, we see posts about these issues and people pledging their unflinching support in the drive to put an end to certain practices. Sometimes, we can’t help noticing the angry tone with which these comments are made. Some of the issues tend to set fire to human blood and the owners just flare up and emotions take control. In that moment, one would think that with a click of their fingers, everything shall be resolved.
A few weeks ago, the KONY 2012 wave swept through cyberspace like a tsunami. In all honesty, I can’t even say exactly what the video was about. I woke up, got on my Facebook and my news feed was completely taken over by posts and re-posts of the video. I only took time to read the description and scrolled past. That led me to even more KONY-related information. Friends were expressing dismay, horror, shock, anger etc at the issue. By the end of the day, the slogan #STOPKONY2012 was trending on Facebook and Twitter. Millions of people all over the world had a lot of comments to make. Somewhere between the concern and the fire to ‘get up and act now’, I could only notice the anger, anger and anger. Deep inside, I was sorry for whoever was going through the violence and ‘evil’ that was revealed in the video. I prayed that KONY gets caught and that justice would take its course.
Today, one rarely hears anything about KONY! A few days ago, a friend sent out a tweet saying ‘What happened to KONY? Y’all caught him already?’. It was a mere attempt at sarcasm but one cannot ignore the truth in those words. As the days went by, people eventually stopped sharing info about him. Everyone went back to their usual activity, the children of KONY 2012 pushed to a secondary place in our occupations. Sadly, this is not the first, and might not even be the last time we see things of this sort. Each day, we see people stand up and declare themselves ‘advocates for human rights’, ‘child activists’, ‘supporter of the anti-whatever movement’ etc. It is indeed great to see people take up interest in issues affecting our world today. It is inspiring to see that zeal and anxiety with which we make pledges to support one cause or the next. However, how many of us are true to our words? How many of us actually go the extra step to ACT? How many of us go past the stage of just saying ‘I shall act’? How many of us take time out to follow the progress of a cause we say we’re concerned about? How many of us look deep within and ask ourselves ‘Do I really care’?
This is just one facet which can be used to explain today’s proverb. Many of us like to think of ourselves as humanitarians, revolutionaries, advocates for justice and equal rights etc. We feel good when people stop by to commend us for our involvement in the ‘problem-solving team’. We respond to them with words like ‘I shall never stop until we put an end to this‘, ‘I’m in this till the very last stage’ and ‘I care a lot about this and I am gonna give it my all’. How much of our ‘all’ have you given? How much are we really willing to part with? Some might be thinking ‘ ..but it doesn’t only have to be financial’. Yes! Exactly my line of thought. Reaching into our pockets or signing off that cheque is not the only way in which we can help! Support comes in different forms and these concertedly help to create solutions. You care about ‘End Hunger in Somalia‘ but can’t give to the World Food Programme’s fund? Approach that child in your neighbourhood who has nothing to eat and feed him! You are against the discrimination of People with Disabilities but can’t join the International Organisations in their fight against this menace? Just across the cafeteria, a disabled woman is seated all alone; join her! These are just a few examples of how we can put our efforts where our words are.
Next time you stand up tall to say you support a cause, take the next step. Act, no matter how small you think the impact is going to be. They say ‘actions speak louder than words’. It is good to put up a Facebook status and declare our support for a cause, but it shall be even better if we tried to really put our energy into it. That action shall make changes and eventually, we shall all lean back with smiles on our faces, satisfied with our success in making a difference in the lives of millions!
~Beh benen aljuma~ 🙂