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So, if you have watched the news, read the news, or been on facebook these past two weeks you have probably heard about the Kony 2012 campaign. A sincere effort by a young father to change the world by bringing attention and making notorious a man in Africa who has for years led the LRA. The LRA is well known for abducting children and making the young girls sex slaves and the young boys soldiers. A part of the new soldiers initiation is to often times kill their own parents.

As with anything nowadays it didn’t take long for people to begin criticizing the effort – the film maker made it too simplistic, the LRA isn’t even in Uganda anymore, the problems won’t be solved by taking out this one man. Well, I watched the film and I don’t remember hearing a claim that this would solve all the problems in Uganda, I do recall seeing a map showing that the LRA had left Uganda over the last few years. I agree with research and second opinions but so often it acts as inadvertent diversion and distraction.

I would love to think that the critics of this movement had as much sincerity behind their critiques as the young men and women across America have in embracing this cause…but I’m less confidant in their sincerity for some reason.

You see – I don’t care whether Kony is still powerful – I care that I have known for years that he existed and did nothing. I couldn’t have told you his name, but pretty much my entire adult life I have ached for the troubles of Africa. I have been sickened by the lack of humanity and the atrocities that go on there, but I’ve never. done. anything. I have known forever.

I know many people talk about cleaning up our own back yard and give countless examples of vicious acts that occur right here in the States. I’ve never really understood that – a first world country with limitless resources has problems, undoubtedly, we have people so of course we have problems, but comparing that to a third world country’s problems is the height of arrogance.

I imagine going down to the homeless shelter tonight and lamenting to the inhabitants that I have to wait until Friday to get the new iPad. Seriously?!? I cannot imagine walking up to a woman with HIV who has children who will most likely die as well and telling her that we have troubles in America too. I cannot imagine it.

To many the message in that beautiful film was less about the impact of bringing Kony down and more about the fact that people are uniting to change the world. I know it won’t change Africa – but to change the world you don’t have to change Africa. To change the world you have to change it for any one person – that changes the world. I believe that if Kony were brought to justice many lives would change, and I believe that would change the world. How many Mandela’s have been murdered or had their soul ripped apart? What could those murdered children have accomplished? What could the survivors still do? What would it mean to them if the leader were brought to justice? For that matter – what will it mean to our young people driving this campaign? What will they be empowered to accomplish in their lives? How many will take this success and use it to make bigger and bigger change?

I believe that the most life affirming thing we have to give is hope and what kind of hope would those poor parentless children have if knew that an entire country united to right a wrong, even if it doesn’t right everything? Isn’t it our job to right wrongs, one at a time, until it really does right the world? Should our attention only be given to causes that will, in a single sweep, correct everything?

When I posted the Kony video I wrote, “This is about our children.” At the time I was thinking of my children having to face such a hopeless existence but after I posted it the sentence stayed with me and a truth was revealed in my heart that the children being impacted by this, they are my children too. Who else do they have? If a child has no one – then that child deserves everyone.

I spoke of the critics as diversions and distractions – what I mean by that is a fire was lit up in me by that video. I was inspired. I was excited for the youth movement that was driving it. I was excited to have a cause to unite behind globally because in this new age we can do that – we can have global goals and causes that are individually driven and not government controlled. That film made me look at the social network more broadly. But when the critics started I felt a bit of my passion withdraw. I heard a little voice give permission to let go and step back. I had a little first world relief that maybe this wasn’t something that required anything of me…after all, some of the facts are in dispute. I was diverted from the message and distracted by the noise.

This world is often times nothing but constant diversion and distraction. I know I won’t solve any big problems but you know what – I’m going to stand up with the Kony2012 movement. I’m going to support our young people driving this big goal. I’m going to do it less for the impact it will have on a country but totally for the impact it will have on the kids. Even if it is just one, but I know it will be more. And that changes the world.

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