Since becoming a dad, I've been thinking about the kind of world my kid is going to grow up in. What kind of man is he going to become? I'm lucky enough to spend my life in front of kids who honestly care what I have to say, and I think this generation has a bad rap. You can be a hipster, a scenester, a goth or a prep -- and someone's got something to say about you. But I never lost hope in us, because we're still standing on the shoulders of great leaders, we've got the resources, the knowledge, and the iPhone to do anything. The only generation to ever change America's course -- I mean really break the chain, were the youth. Every decade saw it: the radicals, the revolutionaries, the punk rock kids, the kids who lit shit on fire, (seriously, watch the Weather Underground). They were the only ones with the balls to think they could change things. And they did.
So you'd think we're all apathetic and lazy, twittering the world our laments on last night's episode of Lost. Maybe we are. But in our hyper-connected world, the group of radicals have gone global. We're your neighbors and your co-workers. And maybe you don't know our names, but soon you will: I'd like to tell you about a few friends of mine, who, in a few days are about to make history, and they want you with them.
They're called Invisible Children. They're a movement of people who literally gave up everything because they believed in humanity. They put their money where their mouth is. I watched the film Invisible Children: Rough Cut a while back, about kids sleeping in the streets in Northern Uganda -- hundreds of them -- because they feared being abducted by rebel leader Joseph Kony and forced to fight in his rebel militia, the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA). They're kids. Except no one told them they were, so they carry AK-47s, kill their parents and murder, rape and terrorize their own people on command. In the past two decades, 30,000 of them have been abducted. This is a reality neither you nor I could ever begin to understand. It was one of those times in my life where I was given a choice -- continue ignoring the issue because it wasn't in front of me, or forget about myself and do something. I was losing sleep, I had to go to Africa. My band Fall Out Boy traveled to Northern Uganda to film our music video "Me and You" to see it for ourselves and my experiences have forever changed me.
Everyone I met, everywhere I walked, with every step, the hardwiring in my brain began to change. I was quiet. Every time I wanted to complain, I made sure to bite my tongue instead. One day, we were stopped by some local men holding machetes; they wouldn't let us pass. The fear I felt was paralyzing, but I looked into the eyes of these men and all could see was desperation. A pervasive hopelessness. These men stood at the mercy of a twenty-three year war.
That night, the lights went out in the village, and in those moments of pure darkness, no one could differentiate if you were a rock star or an orphan, more importantly, it didn't matter. Coming home was surreal, I couldn't rationalize anything and nothing really made sense.
My friends at Invisible Children know these stories, they know the names of the people. They are the culture-changers and paradigm shifters. They are the millions of kids who don't care if you think they're cool or not. They refuse to idly allow a modern-day holocaust to continue just because there's nothing in it for anyone to end this war. No oil, no resources, nothing to gain.
Here's where you come in. On April 25th, Invisible Children is staging an event called the RESCUE, in 100 cities across 10 countries worldwide. Thousands of people are going to symbolically 'abduct' themselves and stand in solidarity with all the abducted children forced to fight as soldiers. In turn, every group will be 'rescued' by a celebrity, politician, local luminary -- someone who will make noise and bring the media out. I will be there, in Washington, D.C. standing in solidarity with thousands of other people so that these kids in Uganda will be noticed. And if no cultural leader shows up in one particular city, then everyone in the surrounding cites that were rescued, will take a bus to join them. This will continue until every participating city is rescued. Now, this could take days, or even weeks, but it's going to happen.
The RESCUE is going to make history. It's going to make a positive impact. We will be at the frontlines. And I want YOU to be with us.
I thoroughly believe that after April 25th, the world will see a shift in consciousness, and things will be different. You will be changed, or at least you'll have a hell of a story to tell. Go to therescue.invisiblechildren.com and watch their new film called The Rescue of Joseph Kony's Child Soldiers to learn more about the specifics of why this is the next step. Then sign up. This is your chance to be a part of something great, not for the glory, but for the courage it takes to stand up for justice. Just don't light shit on fire, I don't want to get in trouble.