Jedidiah Jenkins says that those who work for Invisible Children practice intentional naiveté. It’s the beautiful art of believing in the impossible. And while a great majority of people who see this intentional naiveté chuckle and attempt to show the silly fools how the world is, a few choose to believe.
“We know how the world works but we are saying it’s not okay.” – Jed Jenkins
Each new soul that chooses to walk into the glass walls that define the possible is welcomed by those joyful fools who have been hitting their heads against glass for days, months, years. The thing about those fools is that they’re smiling. They’ve already won. They may never feel the excitement of shattering the barrier, but they know it can be done, and in the end they’ll look back and regret nothing. Because someday, someone will make a crack. They know that on the other side of the glass is another pane, and another, and another. But someday, someone will make a crack.
These fools, these intentionally naive fools, are the ones we see in films and history books. MLK and John Lennon, Nelson Mandela and Rosa Parks, the French Revolutionaries. History’s heroes. The ones who shaped the present. How great it would have been to be there with them.
On March 5th, 2012, we were. All of us. KONY 2012 was seen over 100 000 000 times in six days. The world shook.
The film was an experiment. A test. Would the world care enough about the lives of children to unite and speak out against Joseph Kony and the LRA, and stop the violence, even if it is thousands of miles away?
The paradox of KONY 2012 was that its success or failure depended entirely on our response. It asked us all to believe in our ability to shape our society. If enough of us thought we could, we would, and the experiment would be successful. For about a week, we believed. But something happened. Something that most of us would rather blame on Invisible Children than ourselves.
Collectively, we gave up.
We called KONY 2012 a scam. We called Invisible Children thieves and homophobes. We told our friends that they were hurting the cause or being tricked. We passed on rumours and blogs and even caused a kind, wonderful person to break down so hard that he ended up naked on the street. And then we attacked him for it.
Criticism is good. Criticism is healthy and helps us make good decisions. But we attacked everything Invisible Children has done with the worst of intentions. We wanted them to be bad people. We attacked Invisible Children, wanting to believe that we were the victims and not the villains of this narrative.
But in the end we failed the test. Joseph Kony and the LRA are still displacing almost
500 000 people from their homes. We all could have done more. We could have been kinder. We could have seized an opportunity to push humanity forward. We easily could have. It was right there. For that single week, we tasted it. We could have done better.
But the story isn’t over. We still need to do better. We still need to be there when the earth shakes and we need to shake with it because the choices we make today affect ourselves and each other, across the street and around the globe. So we have to make the hard decisions and somehow find that wall again, to keep on walking into it.
But lucky for us, there is a small group of extremely forgiving fools still hitting their heads against the glass. And today, they are once again asking for our help.
Find the good. Make a crack.