Angelina Jolie Her Travels and Her Life

Angelina Jolie
Her Travels and Her Life

Angelina Jolie is the Goodwill Ambassador for the United Nations High Commission for Refugees.  I can't think of a better person for the job.  Jolie is truly an amazing woman, she makes me proud to be a woman too as I watch her dedication toward a cause she cares about unconditionally.

Recently, Jolie wrote the book "Notes From My Travels" in which she discusses her "revelations of joy and warmth amid utter destitution."  The book let's us take a look at Jolie's spirit while also serving to remind all of us that we can do something to make life a little easier for our fellow man. 

Jolie has proven that no matter who you are, big are small, you can make a difference.  Her difference is touching many lives and we can only hope it will continue to do so for years to come.

LASplash: In the Foreword of your book Ruud Lubbers says some the kindest words about you and as I have kept up with your humanitarian work over the past few years I would say I agree, what moved you to begin your journey into the world of refugees and how do you think it has made a difference for you and to those in need?

Angelina Jolie: I wanted to educate myself about the world and I wanted to know what was happening to people in other countries. I feel now I have only just begun. There is so much more to understand. But my hope was to raise awareness.

LASplash: When did you begin to feel this burning desire to help the refugees in the many countries around the world?

AJ: The moment I first met them. The men, women and children surviving against such unbelievable hardships.

LASplash: If you had to think of one moment in your life as a changing point - what would it be and why?

AJ: There have been many, but one in particular was the night I sat up reading about these situations across the world.  It was that moment I decided I should see for myself. That was the moment I made a choice to do something.

LASplash: When you first became aware of the refugee situation where were you in your life? It obviously has forever changed who you are, tell me about the positive and the negative of those changes?

AJ: It has brought into focus what life is truly about.

LASplash: I worked for an NGO several years ago and became completely overwhelmed by the unbelievable situations people around the world live with everyday. It seemed the NGO I was with was very ineffective due to politics in the organization, what can be done to combat this ineffectiveness so that organizations can make a difference where it is needed most?

AJ: When those who have the opportunity to speak to those politicians they must do so and if one doesn't have that opportunity to speak directly, they can still speak indirectly and it can be heard.

LASplash: I watched you in the film "Beyond Borders" and it was very moving. I spent much of the time during the movie with tears in my eyes realizing that much of what was being shown was true, tell me briefly how you feel that project has brought awareness or if it has?

AJ: I hope it has raised awareness and if it inspires only a few people then it is better than none.

LASplash: Many people are afraid to look at situations in other parts of the world and when they do they feel overwhelmed or frustrated because they don't know how to help, what is your advice?

AJ: Everyone can help. We can educate ourselves and our children about other countries and cultures.  We have a responsibility to be aware of others and I believe this will inspire the individual way each person can make their difference.

LASplash: I too have often felt I wanted to do what you are doing - travel around and see the situation and not just read about it, where have you found your strength to do this without being totally saddened by it all?

AJ: By remembering that I don't know sadness or pain like the people do in the camp and to be sad will not help them.

LASplash: I spent a good part of the time reading your book with tears in my eyes because it is so sad and I feel so helpless, do you ever feel helpless about it all and what do you do if that feeling overtakes you?

AJ: I make another plan to do something more, but sometimes I do sit and cry and I don't try to stop it. I need to.

LASplash: I read somewhere about how you found your son and decided he would be the child you would adopt, can you tell me that story again in your own words?

AJ: He was asleep in my arms. After a while he woke up and smiled. We chose each other. It was the most magical day of my life.

LASplash: I believe in destiny and that people are supposed to be together. When I read that piece about you and your son I got the strong sense that the two of you were destined to be together in this lifetime.  Can you talk about your feelings on that?

AJ: I WILL SEND THE POEM. This is one of my favorite things  - a poem about adoption. I think it says it. (Editor's note: We were not able to get the poem before press time).

LASplash: I have some very metaphysical ideas on poverty and people in situations that we, as Americans, could never imagine, for example the women in Sierra Leone or the orphaned children around the world. We are often told about the refugees and their plight, but we aren't left with an understanding of who these people are as individuals - can you tell me about that, I think in one
part of your book you noted their strength and dignity.

AJ: To be put simply they are us. And their mothers are like us, they love their children the same, they laugh, they dream, and they are survivors, they are amazing.

Get involved in an organization you feel strongly about.  For example, the Putumayo Cross-Cultural Initiative is a non-profit organization that uses the power of world music and the arts to inspire children to explore and connect with diverse cultures.  Putumayo believes music is the universal language (and isn't it?).

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