I watched the Kony 2012 video today, as many others did (20 million and counting.)
Of course, it touched me deeply.
But I wrestled with a few things, including feelings of cynicism, questioning if the video’s popularity isn’t more due to the fact it was brilliantly done and manipulated my emotions, than because of the issue at hand.
This is too complex to be this easy, right?
Or maybe we make it complex.
Maybe it’s as simple a 4-year-old sees it: the bad guys need to be stopped.
But what struck me with this video was something on a larger scale, something incredible that is hard to put into words.
It wasn’t just about one man and his 20+ years of crimes against humanity.
Yes, the atrocities he has committed are horrible, and he needs to be stopped.
Yes, the lives of those children are precious, and they need to be saved.
But what got me excited was something bigger than Invisible Children, than Kony, then the country of Uganda.
What I saw was:
People are coming together for good to try to change something without getting anything in return.
99% of us will probably never meet a Ugandan child that was rescued from being a forced soldier. Yet people care.
People care. That’s what makes me hopeful.
Throwing aside political arguments and agenda, and actually focusing on something everyone agrees on: Children everywhere deserve a chance to have an innocent childhood.
What amazes me is the sheer power of this facebook age, globalization, a world without borders.
Suddenly, it’s no longer about how different we are, but how connected we are.
Invisible Children has tapped into this. This is what makes it powerful. Unifying under a cause of love.
If ”ordinary” middle-class collage kids from America can stop a warlord in Africa, what else can happen?
What if every pimp that led children into sex trafficking was treated like Kony?
What if social justice is just a trend? So what? People are doing something. They are looking beyond their own selfish desires and actually caring.
They are joining the winning side, because good wins. Love wins. Actually, it already has because God is love. He’s won, we just get to be a part of making that reality in heaven match the reality on earth.
I am the least competitive person in the world. I am also a pacificist by nature. I hate any sort of conflict and I want to believe the very best about people, even the most evil people.
Trust me, in an ideal world, I could sit down and have lunch with Joseph Kony. Maybe after lunch we’d go on a safari. As we spotted some lions, he would tell me about his childhood and how it was stolen from him. He would open up about how he is so filled with hate and rage that it eats him up, how he doesn’t see a way out. How he sees people as nothing more than bullets in a gun, how it’s all he’s ever known.
And then I would tell him he is loved.
That he doesn’t have to fight anymore. That he doesn’t have to run anymore. That he can stop using people. I would look him in the eyes and say,
“You are better than this. You were made in the image of God. You can be free.”
And grace would wash over him and all of a sudden everything would be new.
If I can’t believe this could happen, I have to question the core of my faith in God. Because love is enough to overpower the worst kind of evil.
Now, I know it’s not a perfect world (yet) and I am not suggesting the soldiers go and love him. They probably wouldn’t get the chance before they were murdered.
My point is, in all things, I want to choose hope. I want to believe that people truly want to choose what is good, and right, and that (by the Grace of God) the world can become a better place.
And we have the power to choose to make it better.
We were given the authority to bring hell to earth like Kony does, or to bring heaven.
So, instead of skeptically questioning and picking things apart, I want to rejoice with any human being regardless of their beliefs or background, who is doing what they can to bring heaven to earth.
You can call me naive, but that’s ok. I choose to believe the best.