I am blown away, seriously. When I first saw the words “KONY 2012″ and word of some video on the internet, I overlooked it, thinking it was just another random video. I was kinda annoyed, really, as I scrolled through my Facebook status updates and kept seeing this “KONY 2012″ statement over and over again. That was Monday. Then I started seeing more of it Tuesday. Some of my Facebook friends suggest I watch it right away, but when I saw how long the video was, I was discouraged cuz I just didn’t have the time right then and there. Finally, by Wednesday morning, I had 30 minutes to spare, and so I opened the video up and began to watch…
I was spellbound right away. I was brought to tears. I was reminded, once again, of the sanctity of human life. I was reminded to not be apathetic. I was reminded that there are more important things out in the world happening besides checking my Facebook status…although ironically I had to check Facebook to see the video . And I was impassioned to do what I could do at that moment. And so I hit the “SHARE” button, not knowing at the time that I was participating in history, helping to make this video go viral – literally.
I didn’t know at the time that the video had only been released at noon on Monday – two days prior to my viewing it. And by the time I watched it, 2 days later after release, it had received over 5 million views on YouTube. By Wednesday evening, YouTube viewings jumped to 11 million. By Thursday morning, viewings were at 27 million. And on this day, Friday evening, only a little over 5 days from posting the video, YouTube viewings are at 60 million and climbing. On a recent interview on the Piers Morgan show, Jason Russell and Ben Keesey of Invisible Children, the organization behind the video, hope that it gets to a billion views. They say that it went above and beyond their expectations and they are simply blown away. (To see the interview with Piers Morgan, go here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4MSYdMsfsbc) On an interview with CBS news, Invisible Children‘s Jedidiah Jenkins states that their goal was to get 500,000 views of the video by the end of 2012. Well, that happened probably in the first 24 hours! (To see the whole CBS interview, click here: http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-505266_162-57394045/charity-defends-kony-2012-video-expenses/).
This truly is an amazing thing. Videos have gone viral before, but to have a video that is 29 minutes long, and is raising awareness about justice, and to have it go this crazy within days, shows the power of not only social media, but also reveals to the world the desire for justice that we have for our fellow humankind. My husband said it this way: There are an estimated 27 million slaves in the world today. In 5 days a video has had more than 60 million views – proving that people can make a difference and that every person has the power to change the world. If every person did something for just one other person, could it be possible to eradicate such things as slavery, hunger, poverty? According to these numbers, I believe so. I mean, we weren’t having these conversations a week ago…We, as a human race, are indeed powerful…especially when coupled with the power of social media.
But it all comes down to choice. There are some great questions being asked about this whole KONY 2012 thing, and many great discussions and answers are taking place. And then there are a lot of people who have seen this as an oppurtunity to sit back and point fingers and be critical. Some of them have good questions to ask, but then there are many of them who are making ignorant statements, or are seeing all the hype and trying to put their two cents in to get some of the spotlight. And then there are those who have actually said things to the effect of “what can we really do? If we take KONY down, then another evil person will rise up to take his place, and what about all the other evil people in the world?” This line of logic makes me crazy. Cuz the underlying message is this: “since there will always be evil people in our world, why even do anything good? Evil will always win, so let’s just do nothing.” Bury our heads in the sand. Live for self. It’s as if we don’t like being faced with the fact that maybe we could, actually, change the world. It’s like we are suddenly afraid that, could it be true, we have far greater potential for power and change than we had ever hoped? But that thought is so frightening, that we shut it out with remarks like “well, someone else will take KONY’s place, so….” So what, we shouldn’t even try?? As Edmund Burke says, “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”
What if what we’ve just witnessed with the KONY 2012 going viral the way it has, is proof and evidence that we already have the tools to change this world, to fight injustice, to live and uphold love, to promote and actually experience love to all humankind, beyond race and border and country? What if what Jesus said is true – that another world is possible? What if the only thing holding us back from experiencing this reality of love is us?
I will close with this verse taken from Luke 4:18, where at the beginning of Jesus’ ministry He quotes:
“The Spirit of the LORD is upon me,
for he has anointed me to bring Good News to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim that captives will be released,
that the blind will see,
that the oppressed will be set free,
and that the time of the LORD’s favor has come.”
What if we all were to quote this – and then take it far beyond a quote and actually LIVE it? What if instead of videos going viral, a lifestyle of love, compassionate action, justice, and mercy were to go viral the way this KONY 2012 video has? What if we were to inspire each other as we made the above-mentioned kingdom a living reality, and others were impacted with witnessing the change, and so started to step out and love others, and they hit “SHARE” and began living this kingdom, too? What if others saw that passion, and then started to try it out and then others jumped on and the ripple effects went crazy and we, as the human race, actually became a reality of compassion, love, justice and mercy?
You know how some people say that when they pray it seems like God isn’t answering their prayer, cuz look at all the evil that is still in the world. And we pray for it to stop, and there just seems to be more and more evil. But could it be God already answered our prayer? What if God has answered our prayers, and the answer lies within us, right now?? And as we question God with “why won’t you answer our prayer and stop all the injustice in the world,” maybe He answers back and says, “I did: Look in the mirror!” One thing is for sure: we are more powerful than we realize.
To watch the KONY 2012 video, check it out! To find out more about Invisible Children, go here: http://www.invisiblechildren.com/