The Spark of Activism
The following is a letter to a group of emerging world leaders who are following and supporting us in Congo, organized as Spark540.
To My Partners at Spark540:
I was recently invited to be part of a speaking Tour across a number of U.S. cities. At one of the events, I met Kim Ayers who informed me that I had a young group of partners in the U.S. who wanted to hear from me. I was surprised to say the least! Kim shared with me about the Spark540 community of activists, and their commitment to contributing in life in such a way that their very presence makes a difference in the world. And what Kim was telling me resonated so soundly in me, for I have always lived by the adage that to make a difference, you must personify, or be the difference you envision.
Now, Kim didn’t actually call you “activists”; that’s my word. And I think it’s a good word. An Activist is simply someone who wants to promote positive change in the spiritual, social, political, economic, or environmental spheres of life. An Activist is someone who has been impacted in heart and conscience about a matter and so a passion has been kindled within them, and they can’t relax until the matter is properly addressed.
I wrote an article last year about an Activist friend of mine named Chouchou (pronounced: shoo shoo). The article was entitled: Fighting Evil From Inside Hell. It was about this average woman, who as a teenager became so troubled by what she saw happening to women and girls in our Province, how they were being raped and abused by the thousands, that she began doing interviews with some of the victims. And these interviews were so compelling that radio stations throughout the province began airing the stories on their networks.
The personal, tragic, even horrific testimonies of the women and girl victims touched every heart. Hearing their accounts from their own voice, hearing the anguish revealed in the sound coming forth from their own lips – hearing the story that to them was not just a story, but a part of their personal history, which they now had to deal with, and live with – it was incredibly powerful. And really, it was a dangerous thing that this young lady did. But the way she did it, proved to keep herself and the women giving testimony safe from reprisal. She didn’t accuse or blame or shame anyone; she simply brought the dark stories into the light, and let the power of their messages touch each heart and each conscience.
That is Activism; seeing a wrong and determining a way to right it. And as I mentioned a minute ago, Activism is the result of a passion that has been born within. There are a number of things that I think stir passion – anger, revenge, jealousy, greed are on the negative side. But there is only one thing that rights everything it touches, and that is Love. To truly make a lasting impact as an Activist, your passion must be kindled by Love’s fire; love for truth, love for your neighbor, even love for your enemy. For your enemy is only your enemy because they have not known the love that is resident within you. Your love will inscribe itself on even the darkest soul. Outwardly they may not show it, and would probably deny it, but love works from within, in the secret chambers of our being until just a Spark(540) is able to ignite an internal love-flame that can’t be extinguished.
That’s how we will win. It not us really; it’s Love winning through us. May we give Love free reign within us that we may enjoy the benefit of living in all the good of the world it will create through us.
Yours IN Love,
Founder of the Maman Shujaa of Congo