Archive for March 15th, 2012

March 15, 2012

Kony, Invisible Children, and growing weary.

Honestly, I am so weary of the Kony 2012 debate.  I am borderline discouraged.  I am thankful for the awareness created but so over the backlash.

I feel like my reaction to the backlash was way over the top.  At the risk of embarrassing myself, I’ll tell you that I was in tears as I talked to my husband about it (yeah, he’s a trooper).

So, why on earth was that my reaction?

It’s not that I disagree with using a lot of wisdom in discernment in choosing what causes and organizations to support.  I absolutely believe that we need to hold these organizations accountable for the work that they do and the way they utilize resources.  But there’s a difference between being just plain mean and using wisdom.  And I honestly feel like Invisible Children got raked over the coals by a lot of people.  You may not agree with their methods, but let’s not question the authenticity of their desire to do something to help.  I know, I know– just doing something isn’t always better than doing nothing if that something proves to be harmful.  I guess I just don’t believe that these guys are as careless as the media and several people have made them out to be.

All of that in mind, I still don’t think that’s why my reaction was what it was.

I felt for Invisible Children.  I know the frustration of feeling so passionately about something and wanting others to care, or at least understand.  On the stats page for this blog, I can see when people click on links.  I’ve written posts asking people to get involved with certain organizations and causes only to see that no one bothers to even click the links that I post, even if a hundred people read the blog that day.  I’ve had to come to terms with the fact that I can’t force people to care about things, and I also can’t grow bitter about the fact that they don’t.  I know that there are causes othersare passionate about, that I’m simply not.

But when Invisible Children found a way to make more people than I thought possible finally care about something… that was huge to me.  I wanted to celebrate that fact.  So when others couldn’t even acknowledge their success in that, I was frustrated and upset.  It honestly felt like there were naysayers who were only there to be naysayers.  I saw so many posts and blogs pointing out all the flaws of Invisible Children and the Kony campaign, and I was disheartened.  What about collaboration and encouragement and acknowledging the fact that these guys really do care?

I don’t really know how to wrap this post up because I’m still not really sure what to think or feel about this whole thing.  So here’s my two-cents:

Be thankful that Invisible Children stirred millions of people to care about suffering and injustice.  Pray for Invisible Children, and all organizations seeking to serve the suffering and the marginalized and bring awareness to those of us who can’t even really imagine what all of that means.  Find something you’re passionate about and seek ways to serve.  Think critically and look at all of the angles and don’t demonize the people you disagree with.  Be humble, both in your own serving and in your viewpoints on others who do.

That’s all I have for now.  Feel free to join me in this conversation, I’d love to hear your thoughts.

I’ll leave you with this verse that has constantly come to mind amidst all of the noise:

Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary.

Galatians 6:9