On Jason Russell, Being Human, and Fighting for a Cause


It’s important to remember that our mistakes don’t make the causes we fight for disappear, or become irrelevant.

I recently read a blog entry that was written by Jamie Tworkowski in response to the field day media had over Jason Russell and the Kony 2012 project. For those who don’t know, Jamie is the founder of To Write Love On Her Arms, a non-profit dedicated to providing hope and help to those struggling with depression, addiction, self-injury and suicide.

What drew me in was his human approach. The willingness to admit that we, as people, can break down, and in the process make mistakes. Sometimes things can get crazy. Sometimes stress can tear us down, and cause us to do or say things that we regret. We let ourselves and other people down.

But it’s important to remember that our mistakes don’t make the causes we fight for disappear, or become irrelevant. They should matter to you, to me, and to the people who started the movements in the first place. Not because of who we are but because within us there’s the ability to distinguish what is right and wrong, and the need to act upon the things that we can change for the better.

Jason Russell’s behavior doesn’t change what’s taking place in Uganda, or the eight years Invisible Children has invested in trying to make a difference there.

Sometimes in our criticism, we tend to lose the picture that reminds us what is important. Our society needs to hold on to our human element, and never forget that we all wake up to the ‘human condition’. None of us are perfect. Everyone has a breaking point. But in the midst of that, everyone deserves a chance at healing, and the opportunity to get back up and try again. Jason Russell dedicated himself to the efforts of Invisible Children because he was moved by something that was real, and wanted to make a difference.

I bet he still does, and I personally hope to see him get better, get up and keep trying. But if you don’t, then do not negate a cause for the sake of one man’s actions. Because while many networks are delivering their criticism, there are people out there who are working hard to deliver a change.

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2 thoughts on “On Jason Russell, Being Human, and Fighting for a Cause

    • I think we as people and the media should be to blame more than anything IC or Russell did. No one expected the monumental reaction to the Kony 2012 video when it went viral, and what happened to their founder was terribly misconstrued by media and by people who tend to speak before they think.

      Through this we’ve seen that there are amazing, and heartbreaking, affects to the instantaneous nature of Twitter, Facebook and even news networks. IC and one of its founders became a victim of an experiment that exploded in ways far beyond any of them fathomed it would, or could.

      I agree, it’s a shame that IC should lose credibility for this. But moreso I’m ashamed of how people have responded to it all. We watch man get overwhelmed worldwide by positive and negative feedback, he doesn’t sleep for over 9 days trying to keep up and process it all, and has a terrible, and unfortunately public, breakdown.

      In response, people point fingers and scream their accusations even louder. A resounding, “I told you so” in the face of a man who only wanted to do something good in a world where he saw terrible things take place.

      No matter what one’s stance is on the Kony 2012 project… Jason Russell is a human being. And I think in the midst of media craze, we’ve forgotten that.

      In his blog, Jamie said, “I don’t know the details of what happened yesterday in San Diego. i don’t know the truth. In some ways, perhaps it’s not important. i know my friend needs help. i know he needs a break. i know i can’t begin to know the whirlwind he has experienced over the last two weeks – the attention, the popularity, the criticism, the exhaustion…

      We are not perfect.
      We are not machines.
      We make mistakes.
      We need grace.
      We need compassion.
      We need help at times.
      We need other people.
      And that’s okay.”

      And it’s the most human thing I’ve read anyone say about the fiasco thus far.

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