I love the groundswell of grassroots energy about the Kony 2012 video, but if you want to stop butchers like Kony all over the world, we need your attention and your activism every day that our international investments come under attack.
I believe that the success of the Kony video stems from its ability to simply and unambiguously articulate both the problem and an actionable solution. Kony is personified as the lone enemy that must be stopped in order to put an end to childhood conscriptions in Uganda.
At any point, anyone with a social mission can lose it. You live and breathe your work. It's so personal to you. Meltdowns like Russell's can happen whenever you have a mission much bigger than yourself.
Imagine for a second your worst day or your worst decision -- and having that magnified a million times. A Google search for "Jason Russell arrest" (which was not an actual arrest because charges weren't made) conjured up 121 million results on Google. Imagine that with your name.
Awareness can make us numb after the initial reaction. In the same way our body adjusts to tolerate new, even freezing temperatures, our souls adjust to protect us from situations that seem unbearable.
With much respect to the legitimacy of the debate around "Kony 2012," there is a single sentence that keeps pushing itself into focus before my eyes: we have to open the eyes of the world to human rights abuses.
Rather than disparage Kony 2012 and its makers, as if we'd like the video to disappear as breathtakingly fast as it appeared, I hope teachers in classrooms and families at dinner tables will take this opportunity to discuss these issues about which most of us are woefully ignorant.
Watching Kony 2012, I feel manipulated. I don't want to be coddled like a toddler or seduced by filmmaking strategies that appeal to my age demographic. I want to be challenged to understand the world differently.
It remains to be seen what will become of this spotlight. But the Kony 2012 movement shows that you can activate the next generation in social engagement -- in a purpose that's greater than themselves and silly cats.
I believe there is no mission more urgent than to help children who are suffering and I applaud Invisible Children for raising the awareness of Kony. I urge them to embrace the opportunity before them and point advocates to where war and abducting children is still happening: Congo.
Right now there are potentially hundreds of millions of youth interested in Uganda and hungry for guidance. Experts must positively engage this expanding global dialogue and to teach the conversation upwards.
When did awareness become change? Bracelets are not change. Slogans are not change. Sharing a video is not change. Campaigns are not change. All of these things are great marketing for mobilization... and big business.