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Why our best campaigners are also the most flawed.

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Why our best campaigners are also the most flawed.

Post by What Would He Say on Sun Jul 27 2014, 13:15

Just read this about Angelina....interesting, when you apply same principle to GC.




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It was a week of two UN ambassadors: Emma Watson (the heroine) and Angelina Jolie (the heroin). But, says Claire Cohen, Jolie's past actually makes her the better suited to humanitarian work. To truly fight for a cause you need to battle personal demons.







In fact, history shows that to really, successfully fight for a cause you need to have fought for a personal one, too.

When Emma Watson was, this week, announced as a United Nations Goodwill Ambassador for Women, she seemed the perfect choice. Academic: check. Good girl image: check. International profile: check. Beatific smile: check.
Indeed, so enamoured was the world that the UN women websitecrumpled under the weight of interest in the 24-year-old Harry Potter star. Confundo!
Well, good for her. Any attempt by a celebrity to use their fame for good, is to be applauded. But, I can’t help but wonder whether Watson’s squeaky clean image is a hindrance. Other than overcoming the odd Death Eater, has she got the grit required to make a difference?





Take Angelina Jolie. This week, footage emerged of the film star allegedly high on heroin during the Nineties (although, the 16-minute video actually showed little more than a young woman pacing up and down, on the phone). It was met with widespread surprise – mainly that anyone was surprised at all.
Jolie is reportedly taking legal action, citing a ‘gross violation of privacy’.
She need not do so. Not because she’s ‘untouchable’, as some have suggested. Rather that her flaws are integral to her humanitarian efforts.
The past is a foreign country
Jolie has publicly confronted her past behaviour. We already know about the self-harm, the drug use, the sex, the depression and estrangement from her father. She doesn’t need to protect her image. Her past isn’t pristine. But this is what makes her such a force for good.
What, if not her turbulent youth, is her driving force? What else but a motivation, forged in the fires of her personal struggle, could persuade one of the world’s most photographed women to devote much of the past decade to fighting against child abuse, sexual violence in conflict zones and the mistreatment of women?
This is not the cynical ploy of a publicity hungry celebrity. She isn’t playing a part. Jolie’s causes have the courage of her own conviction.

n 2002, the actress was asked what she hoped to accomplish by working with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. She replied: “Awareness of the plight of these people. I think they should be commended for what they have survived, not looked down upon.”
Therein is the spirit of the true campaigner and political maverick: someone who has themselves survived. Someone whose own personal issues set them apart from the crowd and conventional thinking. Someone for who sticking their neck out isn’t so much a risk but a reflex.
Sometimes it takes an ‘outsider’ to see an injustice and act to put it right. Even if, at first, it might not be acknowledged, or accepted (think votes for women, or racial equality). They lack fear; in fact they often feel validated by taking a risk, inviting conflict and ridicule. It’s that drive that sets them apart. Their indignation isn’t intellectual; they just want to get even for their past.
And if they are motivated to help others as much by vanquishing their own demons as by the justness of their cause, does it matter? Getting the job done – as Jolie seems determined to do – is all that counts.
Don't stand in their way
There are other examples. Think Pamela Anderson (abused as a child and raped) who has campaigned for animal and environmental rights for more than a decade and recently founded her own charity. Take Bob Geldof, who has battled against a lifetime of family tragedy to actively tackle poverty in Africa. Try Drew Barrymore (a well-documented struggle with drugs and alcohol) who has long championed human rights in Africa and has a strong presence as am ambassador for the World Food Programme.
With what they’ve been through, would you really want to stand in their way? (That's if you could get past their bodyguards, of course).

What Would He Say
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Re: Why our best campaigners are also the most flawed.

Post by party animal - not! on Sun Jul 27 2014, 14:13

Mm, not sure I agree with the premise.

I don't think Emma will be any less effective because she went to Oxbridge and Browns - in fact she may attract a new generation.

All I know is that, having been to the Global Summit in London, without people like Angelina Jolie finding some considerable time and commitment to jointly helm such a huge initiative pulling together representatives of all the countries involved, the coverage for something so important would simply not have happened.

Emma is just starting with the UN.......let's see how she does. But thank God for the likes of Bono, Damon, Affleck and His Nibs. I'm convinced half the population wouldn't know where half the countries and peoples of the world were without them.

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Re: Why our best campaigners are also the most flawed.

Post by melbert on Sun Jul 27 2014, 14:31

"To truly fight for a cause you need to battle personal demons."

For as much as I love George (if any of you didn't know), I don't believe that he's had an extraordinary amount of personal demons in his life.  Yes, he may imbibe in a bit too much alcohol, smoked a little pot, has had many close family members pass away, but hey, haven't we all.  I can't say that I'm a big Angelina fan, however, I do admire her boots on the ground attitude when it comes to her causes.  Before anybody gets their panties in a twist, I KNOW George has also gone to Darfur and Sudan and been in harm's way. 

I don't really feel like you have to have fought personal demons in the past to be more effective and "believable" with your causes.  However, I do believe that there are too many stars who are humanitarians for the PR and NOT for the true cause.

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Re: Why our best campaigners are also the most flawed.

Post by What Would He Say on Sun Jul 27 2014, 15:10

 Someone for who sticking their neck out isn’t so much a risk 
but a reflex.


This is the phrase that made me think of GC.

From Mel

I don't really feel like you have to have fought personal demons in the past to be more effective and "believable" with your causes. 

Well yes and.... no, in so far as we ALL have personal demons...... even Emma Watson.  It is how you, as an individual, have dealt with and survived your own demon that counts.

Also, one guys demon is another guys walk in the park.....and in this case size does not matter. 
 
Mel, just having success can be a demon. I believe that there are demons in us all...... they cause that friction that moves us on...... stops us standing still......produces the reflex.....If we have to have a demons, why not challenge them, use it as a work out......and produce a strength you never knew you had......If you can conquer your demons, you can conquer the world (or the one inside your head)..... sort of.....jmo

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Re: Why our best campaigners are also the most flawed.

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