I'm sure most of you have now seen the latest internet craze from Invisible Children to make Joseph Kony so infamous that the power of the global collective will bring justice to a warlord who has used children as the foundation of his rebel group (Lord Resistance Army).
And I, like everyone else, was completely captivated by the movement and felt overly compelled to share this video with friends/family to get the word out.
And then I sat and thought about it a little more. I read some criticisms from those opinionated political enthusiasts who were making claims that awareness isn't a solution, Invisible Children spends too much money on advertising a cause rather than being part of every day solutions, and that making Kony famous actually gives him power (party poopers if you ask me).
I studied politics in university, and I took a keen interest in Uganda years ago when I learned of Joseph Kony and his despicable LRA. It's angering, heartbreaking, and gut-wrenching.
I don't see issues as stand-alone problems. I see the connections between multiple issues - the unequal distribution of wealth, the lack of resources, the conflicts that have arose due to Western imperialism, etc. I sometimes feel that massive awareness campaigns lose those connections and you see issues as "stand-alone" cases and miss the bigger picture.
Awareness is important. But don't just be aware of Kony. Don't see this as a stand alone case. Don't just share the video and think you've played your part. Use this as an opportunity to truly educate yourself on why our world is so imbalanced. Look at Kony as only a small part of a much larger movement to change the world.
Because the reality is that even though we may catch Kony within the year, there may be a Kony 2.0 being trained to take over. OR there will be more Kony's in other parts of the world... We need to stop the root of the issues that allow for such crimes against humanity.
Invisible Children did make this point in their video - that Kony is just the beginning - but I don't think that's the message viewers remembered most.
That all being said, I do love the tenacity of this campaign. I do support it, and I hope that all of you do too, but don't just be aware. Become educated and active. Be a part of long-term solutions.