This is a new viral video that aims to raise awareness about Joseph Kony, a fugitive rebel leader in Africa with a long list of atrocities, including kidnapping children and forcing them to become child soldiers. It’s directed by Jason Russell, co-founder of the non-profit group Invisible Children. It’s also garnered plenty of support from celebrities, which in turn has meant lots of publicity and – I’m betting – no little support from fans of these stars.
I’ve watched the video. It made me a little emotional, probably because as a mum, it strikes a chord. It also inspired me, and not just to find out more about the cause. It was inspiring to see a man moved so deeply by someone else’s plight that he wants to do something big about it. It was inspiring to see young people stepping up and giving of their time and money and voice. It was inspiring because in a world that’s so fraught with evil and hopelessness, I sometimes find myself wondering if every little bit really does make a difference. There’s too much to do and too little resources. We can’t fix everything.
That’s true. But this video has reminded me that I don’t have to try. That if only people would care, there are enough resources and causes out there for everyone to really contribute towards making the world a better place. Things will never be perfect, but when we try to help someone, we don’t just change their lives, we hopefully impact others to do the same and start a legacy of caring. It’s for them, but it’s also for the rest of us.
Sure, Jason has come under fire for the video – it’s been criticised for oversimplifying a complicated issue, for drawing attention to something Ugandans have already moved on from, for not focusing on the real, everyday issues that Ugandans face, etc. (He answers his critics here.)
Many of the critics bring up valid points. They’re not wrong. They, too, feel passionately about their arguments and what they believe in. At least, enough to say something about it. Which is great. But maybe there’s more to this whole episode.
The biggest thing that struck me about the video isn’t that Joseph Kony should be captured, although I firmly believe he should. It’s how one man has worked so hard to draw global attention to his cause – and succeeded. Maybe I just don’t dream big enough, because I never would imagine I could do something like that. And now that a huge spotlight has been shone on the video, hopefully more people will watch it and be inspired, not to be a part of Kony 2012 or Invisible Children, but to find the causes that speak to their hearts and get involved.
There is so much need in the world. This is just one cause. You don’t have to hop on this bandwagon, but watch the video anyway. Because hopefully, it will inspire you to want to make a difference. Some way, somehow. I think that’s what the world really needs right now – people who care. And if Kony 2012 can help make that happen, hey, maybe that’s even more important than arguing about the campaign itself.
- Writer and mummy. Excited about entertainment, sports and telling other people's stories. Occasionally nerdy. I wish there were 30 hours in a day.
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