I Stand For. . .


I have no answers today, and I’m not even going to make any statements.  Well, then again, I may make one or two, but for the most part, I only want to ask questions.  What is it that you stand for?  That’s my question.  We see advertisements, political campaigns, religious groups, humanitarian organizations, and many others that stand for a certain cause.  And this is a really good question. What do you stand for?  Everyone stands for something, whether we want to or not.  We must know what we stand for.  One organization that I used to be a part of, Invisible Children, stands for the freedom of children in Central Africa.  They want to see that children in this area will no longer be taken as child soldiers for the LRA and will be able to live in peace.  They know what they stand for, and they work really hard to promote their position.  They have worked so hard that their cause came to the attention of President Obama.  They know what they stand for, and like Invisible Children, we too must know what we stand for.  In life, there will come a time when we are questioned.  We will be interrogated, and must be prepared to answer questions.  These questions we are asked will be based on what we stand for.  And if we are confused as to where we stand, we will not be ready to answer.  Know what you stand for, and when you know what you stand for, stand up for it.  Do not be silent.

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Opportunity


Look at your watch, and take a deep breath.  Hold it for as long as you can, and then exhale.  How many minutes passed?  According to the Population Reference Bureau, 108 people die every minute.  Think about that for a second.  No, keep thinking about it!

An infant may have died in that minute.  Maybe it was an old woman, who had lived her life to the fullest.  But what if, in one minute, a mother and her child die because they weren’t able to find enough food to feed themselves.  The Population Reference Bureau also gives wealth statistics.  It said that 48% of the world population live on less than U.S. $2 a day.  Last time I checked, Taco Bell sold one taco for $1.19, and that isn’t including taxes.

When I think about it at a personal level, I feel extremely grateful that I was given the chance to live.  I grew up with opportunity.  Do you know what that opportunity was?  It was life.  Thinking about it makes me want to do something to help others.  Whether that is standing up for those who are dying of hunger, or those who are dying of unclean water.  It doesn’t matter.  I just want to do something.  I feel like while I am at university, my life is standing still, and that my ability to do something to change the world is non-existent.  But I do know this: when I leave this place, I will find a way to make a difference.  I don’t want to waste the minutes that I have been given.

There’s a viral video going through out the world right now about Joseph Kony.  Joseph Kony is the leader of the Lord’s Resistance Army, who have been abducting children in Uganda and The Democratic Republic of Congo.  He uses these children as child soldiers to further his own cause.  He uses the boys as soldiers, and hardens them by forcing them to kill, and the girls he abducts, he uses as sex slaves for his soldiers.  Invisible Children is the non profit organization that released this video.  Invisible children was started in 2003 by three college age guys who decided they weren’t going to waste their life.  They decided to make a difference, and change the lives of those who never had opportunity.

We are not immortal.  We all will die.  But there are those who die without the opportunity to actually live.  What we need to do, not as a country, but as people, is to genuinely care about people.  Voice your opinion, and force the leaders of the world to notice those who cannot voice their own suffering.

This post took 32 minutes to write and edit.  During the making of this post, 3456 people died.  It could have been you that died in the last 32 minutes, but if you are still alive, don’t waste your life.

-Zachary

Tonight, Invisible Children Benefit Concert!


Hey everyone,

Tonight, November 11th, at Liberty University there will be a benefit concert going towards the rehabilitation center that the Liberty University Invisible Children chapter are fund raising for.  It will be in Towns Auditorium at 7:45pm.  It is $3 at the door and 100% of the funds raised will go towards the rehabilitation center we are trying to build in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.  This rehabilitation center is very crucial to the Invisible Children organization because  as children and kids are escaping and returning to their families, they are experiencing PTSD, or Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.  They cannot simply return to normal every day life.  This center will be offering the children a 6 month process where they will be able to slowly get back to being normal children.  I urge you to come out tonight to the concert.  Bring your friends and support Invisible Children

Follow, Following, Followers!


Lately, I’ve been hearing a lot about how it’s a bad thing to be a follower.  I’ve heard: “you’re a follower”, and “you don’t make your own decisions”.  These comments haven’t been pointed directly towards me, but they’ve been aimed at one of my friends.  Well I would like to explain to you today, the ways a person should be a follower, and why we as a society are naturally followers.

First of all, what is the definition of a follower?  The Merriam-Webster dictionary had two good definitions for it.  1. “one that imitates another”  2. “one that chases”.  We see that in the Bible, the apostles were, by definition, followers.  They not only followed Jesus around,  but they left their lives behind to follow someone who had changed their point of view, and their life.  Simon Peter was a fisherman, and when Jesus asked him to leave his work and follow, Simon dropped everything and left it all behind.  From then on, he followed Jesus everywhere he went, and followed His teaching until the day he died.  That’s the kind of follower we all should be.  I use this example of Jesus because that’s a big part of my life.  But it could be anything, from a war starting where you have to take sides, or a humanitarian crisis where you are urged by your own conviction to take action.  I recently joined the Invisible Children group at Liberty University.  From day one in the group I have been working with them to spread the word and to raise money for the rehabilitation center we are trying to build in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.  This is the kind of following we should be doing.

Our society is also a follower society, but most of the time, it’s not in a healthy way.  The person calling my friend a follower is also very much so a follower.  He thinks he isn’t because he is on leadership, but he is, and I’ll tell you why.  Our society as a whole is following.  We have become so interested in what others believe that when something new comes out, or something nice is available, we want it.  We follow trends on the market because we want others to accept us.  We follow politicians, advertisers, social media, television, music, and many others.  I’m not trying to put any of these down, but I do think we need to take a step back and realize exactly who and what we follow.  Just like on twitter, there’s the follow button.  I myself am on twitter so follow me @pinkpanther1122.  Haha but I want to warn you, before clicking that button to follow, think about the pros and cons.  Why are you wanting to follow a politician, why is this trend in clothing a good choice for you, and why should you allow yourself to listen to this music group.  Many times we listen or watch, or follow specific things that go against our own value system.  Don’t follow blindly, and don’t be persuaded into something you know you shouldn’t be doing.  I must admit, this has happened to me more than once, and later I reap the consequences.  But I want to urge you to think about the decisions you take, and the messages you follow and associate your name with.  While wearing a certain brand isn’t a big deal, following a certain politician is.  You can’t stand with someone that doesn’t believe the same thing as you.  Your point of view will change, and unfortunately, your belief system will change also. I urge you to also take action against the wrongs you see in society.  I personally am involved in Invisible Children because I see slavery and child soldiers as something that is wrong and should be stopped right now.  There are many other issues going on, and I encourage you to take a stand for what you believe, instead of just watching the results!

Front Line Tour showing at Liberty University


Hey everybody, Invisible Children will be at Liberty University in Lynchburg, VA on Monday, Nov 7th. In Towns auditorium, there will be a screening of their new documentary, Front Line tour, at 7:45 pm. If you don’t know what Invisible Children is, or what their about, I ask you to watch this clip. And if you’re in the area, I hope to see you there.