Since the KONY 2012 video was posted the on-line community has certainly gone into over-drive, and as always the critics are out. Overall I find backlash against these things interesting because it really comes down to whether you look at the positives or negatives of a situation. So often people want to pull people and/or groups down when they take action and work to make a difference.
Everyone has a different passion and action approach for making a difference in the world and that should be valued. Change happens when people take action. If this video gets people thinking and talking on all different levels then that is a positive. Surely it is better than another article on a celebrity who went out with a pimple and un-brushed hair!
What we can take from this video is we are powerful not powerless. So often people think they do not have a voice and/or cannot make a difference to their own life – let alone the lives of others.
People can make a difference if they know what the issues are or how they can help.
I agree that we do not yet have the solution or best answers to fight the cruelty, injustice and suffering we see in the world – whether that be in our own country or abroad – but when we use cruel words to shut down others we do not get closer to finding a positive solution. Change can happen when people know they can have a voice and have the power to be part of the change.
When the first computer was developed its capacity was laughable by today’s standards. But we had to start somewhere. You do not start with the Apple 4.0 – which will be obsolete in 5 years (if you’re lucky for it to last that long!) – we start at a point and we learn and we create something better, and that is HOPE.
If KONY 2012 provides a new kind of awareness of some of the issues we face globally we are moving forward as a race.
Absolutely the issues are complex. I know people who make their own lives complex a lot of the time! That doesn’t mean they should sit down and do nothing or over-compensate by trying to do everything. Doing not much for so long is no-doubt how it got to this stage in the first place.
Is knowledge power? Knowledge is only power if the right action is taken to follow it up. Knowledge without action produces zero change. Using ‘knowledge’ to shut people down is not the use of power anyone needs.
I have seen some people take the position of what I call a ‘knowledge of information snob’. Some of the comments and blogs I have read have put people down for ‘not knowing’ the issues. This is quite sad. We are not born with all knowledge, nor will we ever know everything. Learning and development in all areas is a constant process for everyone. Let’s not get angry at people for ‘not knowing’ what ‘we know’. Without doubt they have something they could teach us. If we are going to create any change and raise awareness of the real issues it is a matter of teaching not belittling people for their level of awareness or understanding.
KONY 2012 is to be a part of something bigger and to have your voice heard. Margaret Mead said: “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”
Unfortunately we can be quick to jump to the negative and to shut people down who are trying to make a difference.
The KONY kits (which I believe are now sold out) cost $30. However, before buying any more merchandise or sitting back because they have nothing else to purchase what I recommend is thinking about the cost of the kit and what you are/were willing to give to the Invisible Children and do a little homework.
There are many great non-profits and social businesses in Australia (or insert own country here) and overseas. Check a couple out and choose one to donate your $30 too. Pick the one which you most believe in and are passionate about (after your research this may be The Invisible Children). Don’t do something because others are and don’t do nothing because you are un-certain what to do. Find out for yourself. There are great websites now which help you to go through different charities if you find it too much – which is understandable as there are a lot of options out there.
For example, if depression or mental health issues have touched your life then maybe this is something you would be interested in helping people through. Maybe you like the idea of micro-finance and giving people a hand-up through business or maybe it is people with disabilities, the environment and tree planting, education or refugees. Make your dollars count. You are powerful and can make a difference through your donations whether it be $s or time.
Real difference and change happens through working with people. There is a place for charity in this world and there is a place for creating lasting change by working together as the global community that we are.
Whether you like the video and campaign or not KONY 2012 is finally starting a conversation that needs to happen. It is never too late to create change.
If you haven’t watched the 30 minute clip yet the link is: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y4MnpzG5Sqc
(as at writing this blog 57,733,541 had already watched it – impressive for just 5 days)
And finally: “Be the change you wish to see in the world” Ghandi
If you are looking for more reading I recommend
The Life you can save by Peter Singer
Half the Sky by Nicholas D Kristof & Sheryl Wudunn
A couple blogs commenting on KONY 2012