In light of the recent Kony 2012 explosion on the internet, I thought I would share my experience, thoughts, what have you, on the subject.
I’ve got to be honest and tell you that I very seriously considered not watching the video at first; I didn’t know what it was about, but all the post said was that it was important and needed to be watched. Maybe it’s because I’m cynical, heartless, desensitized, or all of the above, but I usually don’t bother with stuff like that. Alas, I ended up watching it and crying for almost the entire 30 minutes. It was an extremely moving documentary and my crying probably had to do with the knowledge of what is happening to those people and the realization that I am a complete asshole.
I remember hearing about Invisible Children a few years ago, and I could not have cared less. My whole mindset is that if it isn’t something that affects me or isn’t something I can change then what is the point in worrying about it. I’m fairly certain I’m not the only person who thinks this way, and I think most of it has to do with the fact that we’re raised in an American society where people focus solely on themselves. “Me, me, me; I, I, I.” We tend to focus on how things will affect us instead of how they will affect the world, or the people who are actually involved are being affected. It’s sad really, we as American citizens should have the most power to change things in this world and yet we hardly try. We sit around with all of our materialistic belongings and think about how much better our lives could be. Hell, we have a #firstworldproblems tag on Twitter; how much lower can we get? You’ll notice that I’m using we, because I’ll be the first to admit that I’m guilty of thinking and acting like that. I’m sure you’re probably thinking to yourself, “not everyone is like that, just look at how quickly the Kony 2012 movement has spread.” I agree with you, I don’t think everyone in America feels or acts like that, but I think a majority do. Here we are though, pulling together to try and be a part of something bigger than ourselves. Maybe some people are doing it to be part of the crowd or maybe some people, like me, were truly moved and ended up looking at their lives and realizing with clarity that they have an opportunity to do something important.
Of course, with things like this there are always the people who disagree and oppose what everyone is trying to do. It only took a few hours for people to pull up information about questionable spending habits of Invisible Children Inc., and what’s really going on in Uganda. I read that the LRA, which is the Army that Joseph Kony is in charge of, hasn’t truly been active in Uganda since 2006. This is where my cynicism starts to play with my heart a little bit. When I first read the posts and articles opposing Invisible Children Inc. it made me wary; I thought to myself, “what do I do now? do I continue to support this movement or do I back off and see what happens with it?” I thought long and hard about what I wanted my lasting opinion to be and eventually I came to a conclusion…Whether or not Kony is presently kidnapping, raping, and killing people isn’t the point, nor is how the Invisible Children Inc. spends their money. For me, all I have to think about is that there are probably still thousands of people who are in his army who were not and are not willing participants in his plans. They were still abducted and forced into something they didn’t want to be a part of; they still deserve a chance to live freely. Sure, that’s easier said than done; even if they are freed of Kony they might be too unstable to go back to a normal life, but they still deserve a chance at making new lives for themselves. I can only hope that if something like that had ever happened to me that I would have someone, anyone let alone millions of people, stand up and fight for my chance at a happy life.