Sunday, March 2, 2008

A Building Recognition

We dedicated a new Habitat home a few days ago. Sometimes in the midst of the rather drawn out process of hammering one of these homes together you lose sight of what it's really all about. But when Marilyn, tears streaming down her face, describes living in a homeless shelter five years ago and now having the very first home of her own for herself and her two daughters...Well, it's one of those moments when you feel that you've truly received more than you've given, and your joy, as the Bible says, is full. Standing shoulder-to-shoulder with this community of all colors and ages and backgrounds, even if you can't call them by name, you suddenly recognize, Hey, I know you: You're my brother or sister! So good to see you here!


Jay said...

We watched Oprah's Big Give last night. A strange mix of building people up and tearing them down.

(Plot summary: 12 people are in contest to raise and give away the most money. The losers of each round are berated by the judges and eliminated from the competition for their failed / less successful attempts to help people.)

Our societal addiction to high drama evisceration strikes me as unhealthy. Our common media went from gladiators and lions killing each other and slaves in the coliseum to the sterile mindless banality of 50s television; and now the pendulum is swinging back again, cloaked as prime-time charity work?

BrotherBemused said...

Missed that, thankfully. I was just reading this afternoon a Mother Jones feature on "Voluntary Confinement" that hit what may be a new low in reality TV (although Jerry Springer may already have staked his clai to the lowest of the low). The premise is to "endure isolation and a series of arduous physical and psychological treatments 'treatments' until you break." Starvation, sleep deprivation, even a simulated torture in its third season! All this for a crack at $50,000, which is perhaps understandable. But how to understand those who tune into this sadism? It escapes me how folks think they can desensitize themselves to brutality without becoming themselves brutalized. Not a sign of a healthy society, methinks. Oh well. If you have the stomach for it, you can read more at confinement.