So, even though I swore I wasn't going to do it....I watched "Idol Gives Back".
Don't get me wrong, a show that raises that much money and actually does something with it is amazing. My problem is I am left feeling SO INCREDIBLY SAD and PISSED OFF. Asking myself why?
Why are children being orphaned by the millions by AIDS? Why do children in AMERICA not have access to books, medical care, FOOD when I know people who spend more on a handbag than many Americans make in a month. That the same bag could buy 200 mosquito nets.
Why am I so incredibly blessed and more importantly, what is my responsibility to share my blessings? How do I go about it? Is $10 or $20 or $1,000. really going to make a difference?
When I call the local food bank to volunteer, why don't they call me back?
How did Annie Lennox physically walk away from those 4 orphaned brothers in Africa? Did Simon leave the family in NYC a check for six figures when he left their tiny apartment? Did Miley and Billy Rae Cyrus buy that family in Kentucky a new home for the $120K she probably made in the last 5 minutes?
Now let me make it clear, I am not knocking these celebrities. It was obvious that Annie was in physical pain to leave those boys, she probably hasn't slept well since. And, I know both the others mentioned are using their celebrity to draw attention to the issue. And, when someone really steps up, like Drew Barrymore and gives a MILLION dollars, or starts a movement like Bono or Brad Pitt, I take notice. Otherwise, really, in comparison, a celeb donating $25,000 is like me donating $250. Not enough to be tooting my own horn on national television.
While I was watching the African mother holding vigil over her baby dying from malaria, I had a simple revelation: "That woman loves her son as much I love Will. How is her heart still beating?"
As far as Idol Gives Back, I'm mad for another reason and I'm too afraid of controversy to share. Suffice it to say that I spent a year and a half living in Indonesia and I have a very different perspective on third world poverty.
Having said that, though, I was saddened to see the segment of such poverty in America and the conditions still present in New Orleans. I lived my childhood around the French Quarter and still visit family there. I see first hand how that area has changed. I wondered, too, if the celebrities visiting those places had personally left behind a contribution.
I too feel sad and angry that the world is so distorted. Our country could significantly HELP others with properly directed funds and resources. But instead we feel the need to fight with and kill "the bad guys", showing our might and domination rather than our generosity, compassion, and love.
The rich keep getting richer and the poor are just left to suffer. Everyone in the world doesn't have to live at the same level of luxury, but doesn't everyone at least deserve to live like humans in the 21st century? Why are the living conditions here and around the world still so terrible? CEO's make millions. Sports stars make millions. Actors/celebrities make millions. Gangsters turned singers make millions. Even all of us regular people spend too much on things we don't need. It seems like too big of a problem to overcome. How can we possibly stop the direction of our society? Too much money is going in the wrong direction. We could certainly do more to improve our own country, and maybe with its wide reaching influence, the American Idol platform will really start the ball rolling. We (all Earth people) need to change their priorities and values.
This has been going on for a very long time, but no one's children should be starving, sick, dying, scared, violated, or lonely.