Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Does It Take . . . George Clooney?

The earthquake in Haiti is one of the deadliest and most tragic natural disasters in human history.  The images and first-hand accounts from the decimated country are heart-rending.  The suffering must be beyond my conscious measure, because, try as I might, I cannot truly imagine the sights, sounds, fear, and pain wrought over the people of Haiti and those there in their service.

We have all been wracked the question:  What can I do?  What in this world of mine can I do or give to help in any even small way?  My husband and I thought and prayed and pondered.  And responded thoughtfully and compassionately.  We're not special.  That's what people do.  No one has to beg us.  It is within us.  Ourselves.       



 APP/Getty Image

So when I heard about yet another celeb-a-thon, this one to implore us to contribute for relief in Haiti, I reacted with incredulity, a mental eye roll, and a heavy sigh.  More lectures from the famous.  I was disgusted by the arrogance of George Clooney, and all his celeb pals, for believing that it would take face time with them to move us to act.  I think we all -- yes, even the non-famous people -- have hearts and consciences and brains, and have thoughtfully considered if and what to contribute to Haiti at this time.     

I was insulted for myself as well as for society as a whole.  We don't need a multi-millionaire movie star, oh-by-the-way with a movie out, to coax us into caring about our fellow man.  Do we really need a simplistic, "Give . . . all you can," to prompt us?  I boycotted the celeb-a-thon.  I had done what I thought best days ago.  And I was sure my fellow man had as well.

But the celeb-a-thon grossed $58 million dollars.

And now I don't know what to think.



tdjunkie said...

$58M might sound like allot, but hundreds of millions havd been donated before the celebrathon.

Amy@TheLemonCottage said...

I enjoy this post.
In fact, I think the text Haiti for the Red Cross raised way more money. Now, that was brilliant. It made giving so much easier for everyone.

My heart and prayers are very much with Haiti. I agree, I cannot imagine what they are going through.

As far as the whole 'celeb' deal. It would be nice if every now and again, they would focus some of their attention on what is happening in America. Yes, the plight of the world is important, but we have Americans struggling more than ever before, too.

Perhaps I'm a little more emotional about it right now because I am a tax preparer. It has been ugly this year. And we are only a few weeks into it. People are losing their houses (and not just people that bought more than they could afford) but your everyday, next door neighbor. People in my little Middle America town, don't know where the money will come from to feed their children next week, they hesitate to take their sick children to the doctor for fear of not being able to afford it. People aren't filling their prescriptions.... I don't know.... I'm not trying to be on a soapbox, I just can't believe the things that are going on in our very own country.


Gail said...

Great post Renee.

I guess my take on it is this: unfortunately there are some people who are not naturally prompted to give to these situations and that it does take an "organized" event to bring them out.
We've seen it here in NZ with celeb telethons too - and all the time I'm thinking why didn't these people just give anyway?? They get a buzz having their name scrawling across the bottom of our tv screens???!

It's an interesting one.
I'd love to see people just giving and doing because they felt a stirring of compassion - without being prompted.

Again, excellent post.

Chicken Boys said...

Trainable rats. I texted 90999 before the Look-at-me show. I don't have much, but I give from the heart. I don't do ANY a-thons.

Weza said...

Yep it does take a Celeb to move some people sometimes, that is the cold hard truth, or it just could be that people have been waiting to be able to afford to give and The celeb a thon coinsided. The giving is what counts... 58 million is not to be scorned.

Rose said...

I think this post speaks for many of us. Personally speaking, I was surprised with that many celebs participating that only $58 million was donated.

As a whole, I think America gives very generously when such a need arises and most, as the widow and her mite {Mark 12:42-44}, do not give of their excess but, as Randy said, give from their heart out of compassion for our fellow man.


bad penny said...

is that what it was called a celeb ra thon ? speaks for it's self doesn't it ?

sissie said...

I believe the celebs were a little late with their help. You've got to wonder if they do it for the real reason or if they do it for publicity. After all, they are actors.
Whatever their reasons, I am still glad that they raised what they did for the people of Haiti .

It is heart breaking.

Mumsy said...

My first reaction was just like yours! I detested it..Celebrities are rich beyond my imagination. Even if they raised 58M, I still wonder how much they paid themselves first.

I also agree with Amy@TheLemonCottage, we have so many people who live in a very poor condition too, so let not forget them either!

farmlady said...

We are such a "show and tell" society. We give more when someone famous asked us to, it would appear. I didn't see the "celebrathon" but I'm glad they raised $58M for Haiti. People do what they have to do. I can't really fault something that brings so much help to people in need.
I just wish that they would do a telethon for my college educated son and all the folks that have been laid off and can't find work. I guess having to give up your home because you're laid off from your job isn't as tragic as loosing your house in an earthquake. It does make you wonder...

Chickens in the Basement said...

Beautifully written. I didn't watch it either. However, at this point for Haiti, if it takes celebs to get the money, do it. Maybe it got some of the kids in their early 20's to donate money.

It's too bad more people don't do what they can because it's the right thing to do. You set a good example!

Knitty said...

In general, I agree with you. I like George Clooney though, and hope he has been sincere in the past when he has said that sometimes he uses "celebrity" to shine a light on a cause that needs attention.

You, most of your readers and I don't need his beacon, but sadly, we are in a nation of celebrity followers who don't know who their elected representatives are but can tell you the dating history of actors and a decade's worth of stats on athletes. There is nothing wrong with knowing those things, but not if that is limit of your social knowledge, and worse if that focus has actually become hero worship.

Bottom line, if the show raised money and very little was withheld for administrative fees, it was a good thing.

Liz said...

Oh my goodness! Such a thoughtful post and so many wonderful comments.
I tend to agree with you a little more now that I am in my late 40'S. I am uninspired (for the most part) by what comes out of Hollywood. I am going to give (or not going to give) based on what I feel moved by the Holy Spirit to give. I also agree with Amy. We have true causes here on US soil that really need to be addressed.
I guess this is a real hot button! Thanks for spurring the conversation. :)

Susan from The T-Cozy said...

Good point! Thanks for the provocative post.

Patti said...

I looked at it as a free concert reminding us to be conerned for fellow man. The celebs gave up their free time to encourage people to dig into their pockets and obviously people responded - 58 million dollars that might have never been donated.

George never flaunted his movie, nor did Julia. Ellen didn't promote American Idol, and Rhianna didn't discuss abuse. It was a simple, calm concert without hype. All major channels donated the time. Money was lost on advertisement, but not one station mentioned that.

People need prompting sometimes - we need to be reminded of how we can help others - we often can get selfish annd get tied up into our own lives and gentle reminders from Clooney and his croneys obviously did the trick

vicki said...

I think your thought provoking blog is simply amazing. Finally - a blog that gives us something to think about. Thank you! I am thrilled that you visited my blog and left all those friendly comments. I gushed when I read what you wrote about my blue cabled blanket - thank you so much. You know, I guess I just dont give my self enough credit. You are so right - someday - it will be an heirloom. Thank you for making me realize that. We will visit each other back and forth between our blogs---


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