I’ve been thinking a lot about the Kony 2012 video posted on YouTube.
Like many around the world I watched it and was impressed with the heart-felt narrative style and suggestion that to make a lasting change we have the power to make it happen – aka – if people are united around the world we can make a change, in this case to Uganda.
Interestingly, the video is free and has gone crazy on Twitter. Does this mean that we enjoyed watching and talking about it? Or, do we believe that it is something that we have both the time and motivation to follow through. I’ve said this previously: Our apathy and the survialist nature of our daily lives prevents us from taking action!
There are parallels between the Kony initiative and how after 27.5 years Sikhs are still aiming for justice.
As per the film maker, do we not have the tools in our generation to harness change?
Let us take a look at some of the ideas:
- A fund raising kit that includes two braclets. One to wear and keep and one to give away
- The kit is free if you sign-up to giving a few dollars away per month
- An initiative to ‘paint’/ cover major cities around the world on April 20th 2012
- Use of some brilliant multi-media
- The use of social media channels to communicate the issue on a sustained viral level
- Cute kids that simplify the issue
- Achievements and motivational statements, combined with a link to celebs & policy makers
- A consistency of messaging for example, strap-lines and images that represent momentum
- Focusing people on a single date or event(s)
- Involving politicians & decision makers through simplying biting them & not letting go!
However, the video hides the possible struggle of the film maker to survive. I’m assuming this as he too has a family and responsibilities. He is incredibly brave to sacrifice his life in the pursuit of justice. How many of us would be passionate enough to do the same? He is also either lucky in terms of penetrating points of power or does he have a special connection to Celbs & policy makers. Better still, his message is strong enough to motivate who care and have existing connections.
The premise of the video is also about harnessing talent. It also cites that politicans will stand-up and listen if people post enough mail or communication about an issue of concern.
I want to be like that film-maker but can I motivate change?
In the case of the homeless in Southall, I attempted to harness Facebookers. I suggested that we post the urgent need for a resolution on politicans walls. However, it fell on deaf ears. SWAT continue to use Facebook to update us on the stories that they ‘see’ and resolve on the ground every night – their work is truly inspiring. Maybe part of the problem is that try as we like, our voices are silenced by our fear to want to make a difference. Many will post ‘likes’ and statements like, ‘hey you look good in that outfit’, further endorsing our mutual appreciation society. Our apathy stops us from speaking up. Our apathy keeps our life styles safe. If there is one thing we can take away from the video, its this:
Wake-up, someone will listen, else the dark forces of facisim will be the new light and before you know it you will be part of the killing fields.
The tools are there, we need to harness our talents around campaigns and good people who are already out there trying to make a difference. So join them or join something that will deliver good.