My children woke early this morning and watched the KONY 2012 video. I know the world wide web is all aflutter with scandalous accusations against the campaign, and the Invisible Children nonprofit organization, but we’re throwing our support behind it, and here’s why.
Because, while watching the video, my children understood the very basic issue. There are children being hurt and harmed. There are children living in fear. This is not fair. This is not right. My kids didn’t care how many of the pennies they donate to the organization are allotted to making videos to spread the organizations message versus putting anti-LRA fighters on the ground. They just want to be part of something that is making a difference. They believe in the call made in the KONY 2012 video—that we as people can band together and use our voices for good. Why can’t we keep it that simple, sometimes? Why must we be skeptical and snarky? Why must we nitpick our way out of responsibility? It seems, if you can prove a single flaw with an idea, you grant yourself permission to step away from it. To stop caring. To sit on your cozy couch and keep from doing anything at all.
That’s not the type of children I want to raise. I want to raise kids who not only believe they have a voice, I want them to learn to use it. I want to raise children who stay up all night on April 20th, and plaster their city streets with posters of a warlord who’s time has come. I want children who wear bracelets that remind them of causes they believe in, take part of, and contribute to. Even if, from time to time, those causes fail or falter or have finances that don’t exactly match some other person’s idea of flawless perfection. I hope to raise children who look for worthy opportunities to join with others, stand for truth, and serve their fellowman. I hope to raise children who change their world, one day at a time, one cause at a time.
And so, today’s cause is KONY 2012. After watching the video, my 9-year-old son said, “mom, you know that money I was saving for Club Penguin? I want to give it to stop KONY.” He’s folded laundry for three days to earn eight dollars. He’d wake up early to transfer the wet laundry from the washer to the dryer. Gave up after-school play times to sit our fireplace and fold. He worked hard for those eight dollars. And you know what? If he or I were to discover that his eight dollars went to help Invisible Children fund another video that educates people on their cause, rather than building schools for victims of LRA violence, it wouldn’t feel like a loss.
There’s no grand expectation that every minute, every penny, every single opportunity we have to help will be exactly the right thing to fix our world. But, in giving, my son is learning how to try to fix his world. He’s learning that his hands make dollars, and his dollars can be given to more than computer games and candy and college savings. He’s listening to stories, offering himself to things that inspire him. He’s trying.
And that is what I believe Invisible Children is doing with KONY 2o12. They are trying. Trying to educate people on a wrong they see. Trying to gather strength, resources, numbers, and voices in the hopes that we can do more than we’ve ever done before. Trying to change one thing, in the hopes that we can change everything. Together. One day at a time.
So, along with my children, we made KONY 2012 cookies. A good way to spread the word to our neighbors, we thought.
Something we can do with our hands.
Something we can do.
Maybe it will make a difference. Maybe it won’t. Maybe our generation won’t change our whole world this year.
But, you better believe we’re going to try.
For the Cookies:
- 1 package chocolate graham crackers
- 1 can Duncan Hines Fudge Frosting
- 1 package red candy melts (available at most craft stores in the baking aisle)
- black gum paste OR black decorator’s icing OR black gel icing
Break the graham crackers in half. Frost the middle of each graham cracker with fudge frosting, place a second cookie on top. Melt the candy melts. Dip graham cookie sandwiches into the melted candy melts. Allow to dry on a piece of parchment before frosting with frosting, or decorating with gum paste. Use a small amount of the chocolate frosting to stick your gum paste decorations to the cookies. Share and enjoy!