Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Seat of Power

I must first take a moment of brutal honesty. As I was thinking through this post and ruminating that title around in my brain, my mind kept reverting to a Robin Williams – Genie voice. You know the part when he’s talking about “Infinite Cosmic Power – itty bitty living space”. Anyway, I thought I’d share – perhaps TMI?

In Lisa Shannon’s book, she refers to a couple of the big name actors who have been working hard with DRC issues. Ben Affleck & Charlize Theron. Both of whom are fantastically talented and I’ve enjoyed many movies featuring each of them. Ben has started a group called the Eastern Congo Initiative and Charlize has been working with V-day – City of Joy

Each of these individuals has used their position, influence and frankly financial resources to help draw attention to what is going on in the heart of Africa.

Most of us follow Hollywood stars – to some degree. While I can honestly say I don’t follow any tabloid media and didn’t even watch the Oscars, it is next to impossible for me to say I don’t know anything about what some of them are up to. I am not someone who gets star struck and would not be in line screaming if some major star was to drive by – I more so try to just consider them as any other person (with a career that puts them heavily into the public eye). Each of them is just a person – highs, lows and everything in between. Unfortunately, they garner millions of opinions on how they choose to live and be “just people”.

Some seem to struggle with fame. They are catapulted into the limelight and suddenly have money and attention. Unfortunately, the world watches as they abuse this power. (Maybe they just really didn’t know what to do with it). DUIs, drug charges, abuse. It is all blown massively huge when it involves people we all like to watch on the big screen.

Then, there are those that take their position and use it in such a positive way that you can’t help but admire them. As critical as we all can be about these stars, I LOVE reading the articles that place these big names getting down & dirty in a 3rd world orphanage or in a war torn part of the world. These people that desperately need help likely have never seen a Hollywood movie. I don’t think they would be impressed, let alone star struck to have Ben or Charlize give them a hug or a hand.

So, now to us – the little people (uh oh, again my mind wants to dramatize this) Say “the little people” in your mind as if giving an acceptance speech and doing a little queen wave. Thanks!

We may not exactly sit in the same seat of power as these Hollywood do gooders, but consider this; did you eat breakfast today? If not, could you have if you chose? Did you pour water from a tap & flush your toilet? It really doesn’t matter who we are, what our income is or how well known we are (really as fantastic as my opinionated self is, I will never have the same following as Charlize – just reality – I’m okay with that). But even just the fact that I can sit here & type thoughts without being frightened that someone with a machete may pop up behind me at any moment, puts ME in a seat of power.

I have the power to do what I can, or I have the power to forget all about it and do nothing. The people I may choose to help have no power. They are powerLESS to change anything for themselves.

I guess this is the moment in a post that I should have some mega amazing closing statement. Hmmm, sounds cheesy so I think I’ll just leave these thoughts with you and sign off. If you have anything to add, I’d really love to hear it.

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