Is doing nothing better than doing something? Should we let critical voices stop us in our tracks? Yesterday I watched and shared, the now famous or infamous depending on your take, Kony 2012 video. Shortly there after the criticism started spilling out all over the internet. Here is what I have read in the past day, the first critique and then a few others, The Invisible Children's response, reactions from Africa and a boat load of cynicism. Honestly I now don't know what to think of it all and I will likely hold off a bit from taking any action. Which really is a sad thing. It's not about the criticism really, it's about my issue with wearing the name of a notorious villain on my wrist. When I first watched the video I had some criticisms mostly superficial in nature, as a film geek I can' t help it.
Here's what I am walking away with from all this...
One. We are way to quick to support a cause and then stop supporting it. We don't know what we think and we are swayed by social influences more than we are faith or heart.
Two. In the end a whole lot of people critical or not now know who Kony is. That is powerful in a country where people, especially young people don't know what is going on around them in their town let alone the world. People need to know that people are suffering in the world. People need to know what this looks like. Maybe the message is simplified. Maybe that is what it takes to get a message to take hold. We live in a world of 140 character thoughts, we have to simplify.
Three. I have held in the very hands that type these words children who have been effected by this and it needs to stop right now. I don't know how to stop it, I don't know the answer. I just know it needs to stop and it should have been on our collective radar 20 years ago.
Four. There have been some ethical concerns about the Ugandan forces being supported because of the crimes they themselves are committing and the general ethics of the government to which I challenge show me a government that isn't corrupt or hasn't committed crimes of a humanitarian nature. I doubt you will find one. If the governments have the power then that's who you have to work with. It sucks. It isn't pretty. It is an ethical nightmare. Then again so is our own government.
Today I am grateful that my heart remembers the warmth of the human beings caught in the middle of all this.