#Kony2012 is trying again. You’ve got to be kidding – didn’t they learn anything the first time round? Well apparently they did but sadly I believe that their intended audiences got beaten up along the way and so this time it will be a bit of an uphill climb in order to get the required traction needed.
Let’s take a little side trip for a moment and talk about the concept of failure. I think that failure is only failure when there is no learning. We can trip and fall on our faces and make a large or small mess but if we learn something and evolve and became better at what it was we were trying to do in the first place then this is NOT failure. Failure is when one cannot, one will not, or one is unable to see what has transpired and thus there is no change and no learning. Vision plays a huge part in this process. Failure is mostly a conscious act although I do wonder at times if there are some circumstances where it is just plain impossible to learn and to change but I don’t think I want to go there at the moment. #Kony2012 was not and is not a failure. To suggest otherwise might create the impression that one lacks a level of personal vision or at least an inability to have seen the original vision.
I do not pretend to be an illuminated visionary but I am a baby-boomer whose passion and wonderful naivety about the potential for my world has never been lost. I may have allowed aspects of it to go to sleep, I may have wandered off and become a suit and did things that my society desired of me as useful and meaningful for the time, but my passionate DNA that came alive as a late 60’s teenager and young adult was excitedly reignited again when I first saw the March 5, 2012 #Kony2012 YouTube. I was entranced by the whole idea presented, not just the “Get Kony” aspect of the campaign but I felt I saw a phenomenal idea and an innovative concept for global communication and participation and I got excited and I shared my feelings with friends and others (Blog postings 1, 2, 3, 4).
There was no way anyone could have imagined what happened as a result of the airing of the #Kony2012, March 5 video: the excitement, the attention, and then the amazingly ugly backlash. I am still so very saddened by the nasty cynicism expressed by so many and the way that this cynicism was threaded into our daily diet of crap pabulum fed to the masses by a crass corporate agenda. Unfortunately no one could have foreseen the effects of this video. It was so unique and so publicly and glaringly personal on a global scale.
Why couldn’t we have allowed this somewhat naïve but fresh, innovative, and passionate group of individuals an opportunity to try out their global experiment? Why did we have to go out of our way to trash something so delicate and fabulously innocent? Of course there are real conspiracies and public projects that have rich and sinister undertones and hidden agendas but why couldn’t we globally believe that there was a group of individuals who really had no other agenda than to do what they claim in their brilliantly crafted set of videos? Why do we rather destroy and trash rather than support or at least stand aside and allow things to play out? The attempt to create a global public conversation about something that should have spoken to the rich part of all of our hearts got lost. It got lost in many ways because the #Kony2012 organization did not and could not have had any way to have prepared to handle the global response to their message and thus they appeared to be everything their detractors claimed they were. The #Kony2012 organization and their precious message became fodder in blood infested shark waters and for a long time all anyone could see was an ugly train wreck.
I live in a world where I believe in the goodness of humankind. I am not so naïve as to ignore the existence of bad and evil intent but I move forward every day with a sensory barometer and a good-first attitude about those I encounter and the ideas I am presented with. #Kony2012 is an idea worth keeping alive and worth supporting. I know that we may have to try and see past the residual damage and find a way to know that this detritus is only an artifact of misunderstanding and misdirection and an artifact we must just walk past. Are there lessons to be learned? Of course there are and one of the biggest lessons is that in this day of ubiquitous, global communication no one can really know the real effect of any of our utterances. All we can really hope for is that we can use this same global ubiquity to observe the impact of the waves we create and know that our message is changing and evolving at every stop along its way. In doing so we have to continue to be creative and innovative and evolve with the shaping of the outcome of our ever-changing message. The matrix of our world today shapes every aspect of our intention and we have to know that intention and reception are shaped by where the receiver sits in the matrix. Can we afford to be everywhere our message is received in order to help ensure it is heard as we intend? Of course not, but we had better have some sense of the receiver’s place or we risk a train wreck the likes of which we saw earlier this year.
I will continue to support #Kony2012 for many reasons not the least of which is that I still believe it is an amazing experiment in global communication and cooperation. Their latest video, albeit a little on the long side, really does show the heart and soul of their intent, and their beliefs, and their vision. This is a global experiment we should embrace and in doing so we must check our cynicism and our crass commercial corporate agendas at the door and join in with our hearts and minds wide open. Maybe then we could allow ourselves to be a part of an amazing global movement that truly changed and enriched all our lives.
Is there not a lot to lose if we do otherwise?