So, here’s the thing. I think when we feel bleak, sometimes the best thing to do to get you over your slump is to focus on helping somebody else. And I’m not talking about in the opening the door for somebody at the grocery store way, I mean get involved in something bigger than yourself, perhaps gaining some real perspective along the way kind of way.
Remember my filmmaker friend Mike? I’ve written about him and some of his films, most recently his project that took him to the DRClast year. Just for kicks, I’ll show you the two of us in High School:
Yes. Those really were my bangs. And those really were his glasses. Total sidenote: we were freshmen in high school here, and this was the beginning of The Crush. You know, the one we all had on some guy in high school? That mullet was HAWT. Just saying.
I had the opportunity to spend some time with him while he was screening a film (at an all male college, btw. Yeah. ME surrounded by college boys and being the only woman in the room. Talk about the best place to be when you need to feel objectified for a while. He dragged me out of there kicking and screaming). That day Mike gave me a gift – he gave me that thing that is so much bigger than I to care about. And I’m going to share it with you.
I wrote for the first time about his Congo project a few months ago when he was fundraising. I don’t want to oversimplify, but sometimes it’s a good way to hook people, so forgive me Mike for doing it again in this paragraph: Basically some of the minerals used to make all the gadgets that we are all so addicted to come from mines in the DRC, and because of the political instability there, we are indirectly helping to fund horrible atrocities.
Horrible Atrocities. That’s actually a very polite term for what I’ve learned is actually happening. It’s a phrase that helps you rationalize or compartmentalize when the reality of what that means is too much to process. I sat in a hotel room with Mike last week listening to him talk – and holy crapballs the next time we get together I’m filming us talk because had you been there you would have left the room changed for having heard his stories – and he explained to me what the phrase Horrible Atrocities means to him because he lived among these people for weeks. He smelled their smells and listened to their pleas and recorded their stories.
And he also saw their hope. These are not a people who are just resigned to living a fate worse than death. They still have hope. And hope, blogosphere, is mighty.
This post isn’t one designed to shock you into caring about all of this, nor is it a post designed to make you feel guilty for your iPhone. But the seed I am hoping to plant today is this: As both consumers and constituents, we have the power to change the world around us.
Mike leaves in a couple of weeks to go back to the DRC. He’ll be there for 3 months this time. And do you know what I get to do? I get to help tell the story behind the story. He is trusting me with his voice and his vision while he’s away, and I will be writing and Tweeting and Facebooking about the film, the issue, the people, and his process. I’m going to help him find people to care about the subject of this film. Lots of them. Ten thousand of them. And I’m starting here, today, with the people who have connected to me as a
fatass smartass weightloss blogger. You’re invited on this journey, too.
This is what I need from you right now: 2 clicks. Follow @Mike_Ramsdell on Twitter, and ‘like’ The Conflict Minerals Project on Facebook. I’ll ask for more later I’m sure, but for today, this is it. 2 clicks.