What we can learn from the Jason Russell and Kony 2012 Story

oprah-jason-russellI truly believe that all experiences in life are meant to teach us something. Although you may wonder what do experiences like the passing away of a loved one, going into financial ruin, divorce, or any other life changing and challenging event has to teach us, I think if you truly look at the experience with the intention of seeing the lesson, it will appear.

A couple of weeks ago I viewed the Jason Russell and Oprah interview. You can watch parts of it here. As I usually do when listening in on interviews, I make every effort to dig deep into the message.

Jason Russell’s story and what happened to him and his family after the explosive release of Kony 2012 is one of those experiences we can all learn from. Although thankfully most of us can’t relate to having a nervous breakdown – although with having kids I’ve come close (still love you babies 😉 ) – most of us know the feeling of not being in control of something and our frantic need to gain it back. We can relate to being misunderstood and misjudged by others who do not know us for who we truly are.

I don’t know Jason Russell, his family, or his friends. I am not here to judge him or applaud him; although I do applaud his efforts to realizing a dream and the impact that realization has had on the world at large on putting a light on the atrocities of what is happening in Uganda.

I’m here not to be a voyeur of his ordeals and his resolve after his breakdown, but rather I ask myself, what can I learn from his experience that would expand my life and make me grow?

I can’t help but be inspired by his brilliance. A man with a camera and a mission to change the world … OUR world. And it was done with one simple and often overlook methodology; something that has been used since the beginning of time.

A story.

Sure if you see the video you hear the facts of these horrifying events. But the video go beyond the facts, it takes us through the story … THEIR story.  The story humanizes the facts. It puts faces to the heroes and villains. It allows us to get on the roller coaster of life with them and feel what they feel; see what they see.  It can touch our very souls. It makes us realize that fundamentally we are all connected … we are human.

We all have a story. It may not be as harsh and terrifying as what Jason or Jacob went through, but it’s OUR story. It’s what allows US to connect to others. It allows us to show our humanity.

So here is the lesson from all this. Tell your story. Be a stand for what you believe in and tell the story. Sure at times people may judge you; but there will also be people who will stand with you.

Are you currently using your compelling story as a way to connect to those you come in contact with? Are you using them in your marketing materials? If not, why not?


  1. Wow.., that was an intens post. Brings back memories.
    It took a lot of guts to do what Jason did.., sadly it took more out of him than he had. That sure sounds (all too) familiar. I have yet to figure out what the lesson for me was. Other than that the sacrifice was worth.., in the end.

    Phoo.., heavy one…

    1. I guess you can say it was a sacrifice. Although I imagine he didn’t know the extent of it when first starting this. But it is amazing how we can always learn from other peoples experiences.


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