Doing “good” is hard and can be very tricky at times.  We live in a capitalist society so any form of aid will have to also be some sort of profit driven organization.  Sure it would be nice if we could always do what is “right” and be able to do it for free, but that’s nearly impossible in this world.  Those who criticize, how did you bring awareness to an issue?  Also, we all are guilty of caring deeply for other human beings on this earth, but then going home to all of our material possessions, most of which are made by exploited laborers.  Quite frankly, you have to be rich to be able to purchase goods that aren’t the product of some sort of exploitation and to be that rich, most likely you are doing a little of the exploitation yourself.

So how do you go about making social change in this world?  I still remember an old teacher of mine telling me about TANSTAFL: “There ain’t no such thing as a free lunch” and now, I think more than ever, this is true.  Nothing is free in this world, everything have a price-tag.  It’s not right, it’s unfortunate, but it IS.  So should I sit back with my hands tied and do nothing because most organizations do not give sufficient amounts of profits to their cause?  Or do I stand up and speak out on an issue.  We devalue the human mind and it’s curiosity; although this may not be an ideal organization, how many people knew about Joesph Kony or the Lord’s Resistance Army?  I for one, after seeing the video, was quite interested in the topic and began to research, which I hope many others do as well!  I won’t defend the organization entirely, but they are making money to do what they’ve done very effectively: marketing the movement.  Also, is the President of the United States wrong to send American advisers to aid the Ugandan Army?  Perhaps, but  I’m sure he knows slightly more about the situation and those involved than the average American.  Of course, the President is no saint and the United States is far from being saviors of the world.  We use unnecessary force and extreme militant action in my opinion, but things do get done… sometimes.

So how do you balance between obtaining a goal, but doing it the most pure way?  Is it possible?  Do such utopian forces exist?  Will they ever?  I propose that we move in that direction, but again, how much time and money do you have to put into such a noble cause?  Do we turn away when we are now aware of such evil and simply shrug it off because it couldn’t be done the ideal way?  If anything it is all of our own faults, it takes nicely edited videos and well constructed websites to get our attention and look legitimate, we LIKE those sort of things (Facebook can prove this!)  I do think it’s unfortunate that someone within the cause couldn’t donate their video making abilities and time, but from knowing people who do film and edit videos: it is very time consuming and very hard work!  You can’t just throw something together and have it look appealing in a short amount of time on a limited budget with cheap equipment.  So I think we should all remember the society, the global society even, that we live in: it is capitalist.  We thrive off making money and that is the only way to get anything done as far as I’ve seen.  Also, this issue doesn’t seem like it will just solve itself.  Maybe this isn’t the best approach, or the “right” one, but maybe it will illuminate enough minds and hopefully capture the attention of just the right person to find the solution.  Here are a few links with some different views of the Kony 2012 campaign, as for now, I want to keep spreading his name and let people know who he is.  Even those who criticize, most likely had no idea who he was and what was going on, it was through the video and the internet buzz that the critics even found out what was happening: the good and the bad, the right and the wrong of it. (Check out the forums and join the discussion for yourself!)  We now live in a world where the majority of news consumed, is actually reported by average citizens (from bloggers to journalists to everyday people who witness events).  These citizen journals are then shaped and corrected by the comments and discussions that take place below the articles or blog posts.  That’s what all this social technology is about!  We learn from one another, we spread ideas, we correct each other (politely would be preferred).  This is because we are human and we can learn and grow, especially from one another.  Another growing field in this world is social entrepreneurship!  The word entrepreneur is used for a reason!  They see an opportunity and they take a risk, some of them do more social good than others, but they do something.

If this organizations biggest faults are exaggerating Kony’s evilness and perhaps not allocating enough money to the cause; they still have shown Kony to the world and they are still sending some money.  That’s more than any of us were doing for Uganda less than a day ago.  Also, they may support the Ugandan Army to rid of Kony, but don’t our tax dollars support OUR army to go anywhere for any “supposed” cause that our country champions?

 

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About Shelby Rusu

I am a current student and activist, but currently trying to break into the world of journalism and global justice. I care deeply about issues pertaining to human rights, global justice, environmental concerns, women's rights, minority rights, education, public policy, technology, alternative energy, politics, and just about anything involving inequalities of any sort. I have a big heart and try to dream big.
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One Response to How to do “good” the “right” way? (Invisible Children and the Kony 2012 campaign)

  1. Shelby Rusu says:

    Interestingly, Invisible Children’s charity rating isn’t as low as critics make it out to be! http://www.charitynavigator.org/index.cfm?bay=search.summary&orgid=12429

    People begin to throw out numbers about the percentage of proceeds that go to the cause and other spending without considering other charities and considering them as well! I’m guessing the people running the Susan G. Komen fund for breast cancer aren’t doing it for free! (Or any other major organization for that matter.)

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