Why Today’s Causes Fail

Everyone remember the Kony 2012 movement earlier this  year? Did anyone ever hear what happened with that? That’s because nothing significant happened. That whole “cover the night” thing? Never really happened.

It got me thinking, why have so many movements, some never even more than blip on a radar for a day?

There are a lot of causes for this, but I think one of the biggest, is… US.

How many people do you know who are “cause hoppers”, i.e. people who jump from cause to cause, and it leaves you wondering what they really stand for, or they stand for so many causes there is no way they can actually fight for any of them. Now multiply those people across the nation, and I’ve come to realize, most people who are being “protested against” just simply need to wait it out, and the problem will go away because most of the time, people will get bored and move on, then they are free to do as they please.

News flash, people, things don’t change on a national or global level in a day, they don’t change in a week, month, or even a year. The civil rights movement lasted something like 10 years (not 100% about the exact time, but it was something around that), the women’s suffrage movement lasted 72 years (The Declaration of Sentiments in 1848 until the 19th amendment in 1920). The Kony 2012 movement lasted, what, 4 weeks? And we wonder why it failed?

If you have a cause you want to turn into a movement, and if you want that movement to actually change something, you better a) narrow it down to just one or two causes you support/fight for, and b) be prepared to be in it for the long haul, it’s going to take time. An entire generation was born and died during the women’s suffrage movement, so don’t expect yours to change in a week…

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5 comments on “Why Today’s Causes Fail

  1. Change takes even L-O-N-G-E-R than the movement. While the Women’s Suffrage Movement and the Civil Rights Movement may have ended according to the history books, in fact those movements have STILL NOT achieved the equality they sought!

  2. This is a really good point- in order to actually make change, people have to be dedicated to the cause long-term. I remember planning some events in college to “raise awareness” about human trafficking, and I always felt like I didn’t know what I should be doing, because in my own life I felt like “awareness raised, awareness lowered”. I guess it’s because human trafficking and other problems like that are so far away from anything I’ve experienced- I have a hard time grasping the fact that YES, IT’S REAL for more than a few days.

    So, I don’t really know what to do about that…

    • There a million reasons we don’t stick with causes, and one of the biggest one, in my opinion, is that it doesn’t affect us directly. It’s hard to fight for something you can’t relate to.

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