Ballet Class

Here is something I wrote immediately after ballet class last night. It has been at least half a year since I took class and I thought I would struggle but…

When I dance
I am lucky

I get see the flowers and the meadows
I get to smile and breathe and breathe through my arms
I get to fly in the air and be free and be light

Like becoming alive
Like finding life
Like swirling
Like touring the world without needing to go anywhere

It is the smile
It is the arms
It is the grace that never lost

Kony 2012 – 2

It actually did not take me long to decide where I stood after watching Kony 2012 – I am not on their side.

Catching Kony doesn’t mean a thing, apart from giving the victims a justice. It is not even the real war for them anymore. This article asks, “Kony is a bad guy, but for him to be around for 25 years, there must be some other bad guys out there helping him.” There is a real war for the “victims” (the people we were told to “save”), right now.

The real war is complicated. There is the corruption. The insufficient resources. The aftermath of the cruelty of war. Bright people will understand, not including me, but who will understand most is people whose home is Uganda. It is about the price fluctuations, the professionalism, the discrimination you get because of X or Y, and the customs that are accepted and not accepted by the locals (not by the outsiders).

I didn’t understand why there were strong rejections about charity advertisements in the West portraying a wide-eyed child of “Africa”, but now I do. Because “Africa” is more than that. The richness of the continent is more than that, more than the poor, the “underprivileged” as conceived by the Westerners. Really, the problems are bigger than just that. This article gave a really good food for thought on this issue: From advocacy to “badvocacy”.

What we must not do is support, probably well meaning, rich Westerners flying around the world trying to solve the problems of poor old Africa. – another excellent article of Kony 2012

What happens after capturing Kony? What happens after painting a classroom? What happens after donating food and clothes? There are many ways to solve problems, depends on what you believe in. I believe in humanity, the soul, the strength within, the will and desire, the dreams and everything that will make people take action without needing much aid from external factors. “Teaching them to fish is better than giving them fish”. Which is why I support organisations like Breakdance Project Uganda, a movement that empowers young people. (And of course as dance as that tool, it has to be powerful.)

Awareness needs raising. Awareness without action means nothing.What action you take is your choice – and it’s only useful if the choice is a well-informed choice.

We need wisdom to solve problems, besides people, money and time. Don’t expect to solve problems by one single act. Just take one step at a time. – Dad

Kony 2012 – 1

KONY 2012 from INVISIBLE CHILDREN on Vimeo.

KONY 2012 is no doubt a great film in its own way – nicely edited with a variety of images and a key message of “STOP KONY”. You have to watch it!

But Kony 2012 campaign itself, started by Invisible Children (IC), is controversial and I’m still trying to take sides. (Hence the “1” in the title. When I sort out my thoughts, there will be “2”.)

One of the more debated points is that only 31% of monetary donation to IC goes to the victims (kids). But when someone questioned, “$80,000 per annum salary for the founder?”… It really made me stop and think – these charity workers are working for a good cause, how does it mean that they are worthless and do not deserve a fair salary? (just the fact that they created a viral video raising awareness all around the internet world is worth it, no?)