Sunday, September 30, 2007

Oh to be O!

Now this posting is a desperate attempt by me to log in the minimum one per month (unwritten) norm of blog-writing. My clock says I have a meager 2 hours to go before we will be in October, and if something is not posted on the blog page till then, well then, I would have left a blank for September 2007. Not that there is not much to write, but that the usual bug has been biting me----of wanting to preserve my ideas till I can really pull them all into one big bang theory, and then present them to the world. However, that big finale may not come any time soon, and so I guess I must present the small parts of ideas that come till then.
Sometime back I saw an Oprah Winfrey show on TV, where the usual glamorously magnanimous Oprah showed videos of how audience from one of her past shows had stood up to her generosity challenge. Essentially the challenge consisted of O giving a thousand bucks to each member of the audience asking them to pay that money forwards in creating some act of generosity. The range of ideas which people applied to this challenge was wide and touching. People had gone on to do simple things like paying a thousand dollar tip to absolutely shocked and happy pizza delivery boys to galvanising an entire town to come together to organise food drives, or fund drives for some local needy folks. The amounts collected over the small sum of one thousand dollars sometimes ranged till several hundred thousands. The social multiplier here was thus unexpectedly large, and pleasantly so.
Despite any amount of allegations of pomposity on Oprah, her shows and her own personality do have the power to move her listeners. What is appreciable about her is her very human surrender to worldly pleasures of fashion, style, money and power, balanced so energetically with her more than human sense of reaching out to the wider world. She makes all of us realise that we don't always have to be Mother Teresas to help others. We can be just ourselves, live our good lives, aspire for better lives, and yet lift someone else with us.
So I sat by thinking what would I do if I found 1000 bucks on the road? How would I be able to pay it forwards? Having looked at O's show it is clear that 1000 bucks need not be a small amount if rightly used to augment secondary support. We'll see how far my thoughts on this go.