After reading the assigned material on South Sudan, I did not feel I had enough of an understanding of this conflict to truly put together a synthesis or even provide my perspective on this tragic civil war. I talked to a couple of classmates and friends just trying to find anything “intelligent sounding” to say and I came up dry. Not that I am anywhere close to properly politically aware or the leader of our country but, I tried to put myself in the shoes of a decision-maker where action is essential (supposedly) and being overwhelmed is not an option. Aside from a couple of expletives, I could not find unique perspective from which to stand which may either stem from lack of knowledge or lack of maturity.
While reading and synthesizing the horrific numbers, I could only think of the individual lives and the families and children that have been affected by these mass killings. Although this would make me an awful diplomat, my inability to think in hundreds of thousands or millions of casualties may suit me best for what we are about to do in a week and the rest of my days as an advocate. Trying to see where I could fit in the picture of a solution, obviously I would not be in the legislation picture but helping individuals the best I can.
It is very easy to get caught up in these images and continually ask, “what are we going to do”. I have been asking myself for the past two months and for the issue as a whole have come up with no words but “help them”.
I don’t know if this is me being entitled or too sheltered (which is not my intention) but I want to think in terms of a different picture and doing my small part is the only way I know how. As we learn more about this region of Africa and their struggles, the importance of meeting people who have lived through this tragedy and asking them “how can I help you” has become more evident to me. As an anthropology minor, coming to the refugees and offering help to them on their own terms is the best response to these readings that I could come up with because, I think, getting caught up in these images (below) will bring about more positive energy and change from where I stand, which is just a 22-year-old girl in college in the Shenandoah Valley.