Tuesday, April 12, 2011

On Giving

As I'm watching TV with my mother at home, Oprah is preaching. Not only is she preaching her particular system of thought and counsel, but she held a contest recently. It was called 'the Biggest Giver'. The point of the competition is for the contestants to out give one another to various charities or organizations. And so, I guess, for weeks, this competition got done. Until there were three people left.

And then something happened. It showed a clip of the three finalists standing together with envelopes. Oprah told them to open the envelopes; two had a substantial amount of money in them (I don't know if the third person got hosed or not). The guy who won was very excited when he found out he won; so excited he screamed with sheer excitement (and so did Oprah). Note: This contest happened in 2008.

The catch was that half the money received was to be given away to any organization this winner so chose. And he chose a Rwandan based organization.

I have no problem with this contest at all, except for two things: First, there had to be a contest in the first place. The competitors are apparently well off and they didn't HAVE to participate to make a huge difference. In fact, I'm sure Oprah could buy a nation, but that's neither here nor there.

Why there had to be a contest is beyond me. Why the man had to celebrate is also beyond me. He won a contest? On giving? If the contest seems absorb, his end zone dance was just as much so.

Secondly, the man actually won a million dollars. Half of it had to be donated as per the rules of the contest. That means he got 500 thousand to keep…? To do what with? Add to his large bank account?

I'm not jealous, nor am I angry. This man did give so much and he did give away his money he had to and he was rewarded. He is heading up a noble cause for Rwanda education. But why was this contest necessary? Why did it take an Oprahatic (see what I did there?) act to get all this giving done?

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